In May I was able to take a class from Carolyn Friedlander about [foundation] paper piecing at Modern Domestic. The pattern/project for class was Carolyn’s Aerial quilt pattern. As written it can be a table topper, a wall hanging, a throw or a full/queen bed quilt. I love when pattern writers take the time to give us multiple quilt sizes (and their yardage requirements). The class happened the day after I got back in town from a week+ trip. Before the trip I pulled some fabric possibilities, but I forgot to finalize my decision until I arrived home the night before class (I left myself no time to start second guess, or shop obsessively for the “perfect” pieces). With my sister’s help I settled on the blue & grey selection and I love every piece that I choose (most purchased just because). I even tossed in a couple “my precious” pieces.
I did a couple b&w shots to help me with value variation and started piecing. I think I finished two blocks during class.
The week after class I was super excited about the project and worked on a block a night for a few nights. Then I had 5 out of the 6 blocks needed and it languished. I finished that 6th block over the weekend. But I’m not sure it should be a wall hanging anymore.
Should it be a table runner for my new rectangular table?
A wall hanging? Or should I make 30 more blocks so it can be a throw? Do I attempt to bed-size it?
I never bought the border fabric, so while that is an undecided factor, it opens up possibilities instead of limiting them due to fabric quantity. I estimate that if I cut up the rest of the fabric (I cut one to two strips from each print initially) I need about one more yard to have enough for 30 more blocks. But I found that last block sort of tedious to make (there is one seam I find myself ripping and redoing 2-3 times per block). What if I hate making them after a few more blocks? Does it really work for my house? Do I just want to be done with the project? What sort of end project will I find most functional in my home?
I see cute coaster projects on a regular basis, but I would always think, “that’s nice, but I don’t use coasters.” But recently I noticed the little wooden stool I use as a side table was looking sort of worn. Maybe I should make coasters… I took a pile a scraps and some small squares of quilt batting with me to SewDay.
Since I had a few 2 1/2″ squares already cut I started by making four-patches. Then I put them on batting and did a bit of free form straight line spiral (echo?) quilting. And then sewed right sides together with a plain backing, trimmed any batting out of the seam allowance and flipped it out. Then I used the for the next month without slip stitching the opening shut.
But I did that the other night – yay finished object.
My late Madrona Road challenge. No chance of prizes for me, oh well, I’m glad it isn’t a UFO.
See the earlier WIP here. I tried to make the puddles work, and to incorporate a little bit of selvedge from the fabric line, but it just wasn’t. So I simplified and finished it. I bought more grey fabric (Northcott though I don’t recall the exact color at the moment) just in case, but in the end I just barely eeked out the binding (2″ strip leftover) from my first yard. I trimmed it to be around 27″ x 29″ and now I need to decided where to hang it in the house. I should probably title it PNW Spring, though I called it Raindrops at show n tell last night.
Saturday was the last Portland Modern Quilt Guild All Day Sew of the year. Practically any quilt guild event totally refreshes me for quilt sewing. Although before hand I completely (well almost) panic regarding what project(s) I should bring to work on. I ended up packing four different projects. Ha. The stack of fabric I lugged with me, versus the stack of fabric I actually used is nearly comical.
I’m a slow quilter, and I spent the first 4 hours of the day in a vague fog due to lack of sleep, so while some people made entire quilt tops, from cutting, piecing blocks and assembling the top… I made one 12 1/2″ block and almost finished a mini-quilt top (16 5″ blocks). Of course I also had 3 mini fabric shopping trips, 1 lunch out with a friend, several good and sometimes long conversations, and gave a tiny bit on input into a charity group our guild is working on.
First up, my quilt-club (a group/class at a local quilt shop that involves making one block a month): I would have never picked these fabrics myself, but I do like them. However I’m not so happy with my which-fabric-where decision. Oh well, I suspect the entire will work nicely when it is finally put together. And these blocks are learning tools for me.
And now my mini quilt. In my quilt guild we have some amazing artists, creating their own patterns and it is very inspiring. But I’m mostly a copier, I see a quilt and think “I want that” so I set about to recreate it. In this instance I spied a block that was part of Black Rock Stitchery (5th photo down) and an entire quilt of them flashed before me. And since I’ve had a piece of aqua fabric hanging around I decided to copy the color scheme too. Now individually this block is a wonky cross and there are some beautiful wonky cross quilts out there, but I had a slightly different vision for it. I did make a couple mistakes in my process, but overall I am pleased with the progress and execution of my vision. The top isn’t quite complete, but after working on it for a few hours I decided it needed to let it sit for a bit.
All in all, I really recommend putting effort into turning what can be a solitary activity into a social one. But, if you notice, I only used the 3 fabrics sitting on the top of the pile and a small roll of fabrics (just enough) that I was given for the quilt club block.
This weekend I had plans to go see Susan Beal at Powell’s and pick up her most recent book, Modern Log Cabin Quilting. On Friday night I got the idea for this necklace, and thanks to my nearly clean sewing/craft room I was able to make it on Saturday and wear on Sunday to showoff to Susan – I’d have never come up with this if it weren’t for her books (Bead Simple helped me figure out how to use jewelry pliers, of Bead Simple also keeps me from swearing off jewelry making as a hobby altogether, and that just means one more section of the craft store that has a siren call to me).
This particular piece is a bit unintentionally wonky and getting it attached to the chain was much more difficult than I anticipated. I’m hoping to make some improvements on the next one that I make.
And continuing the bias binding theme… my finished objects with that brown bias binding I made last week.
First up: My first mug rug for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild Swap. It measures about 6″ x 9″ because I folded up a piece of paper next to my laptop and set my mug on it to determine the size. I was constrained by my small round table, I’d probably make it 1″ bigger in each dimension if I had a rectangular table. The back is just solid fabric. And I failed to pay attention to my binding seams and accidentally put one in a corner – don’t do that – it makes mitered corners extra hard.
And the second bias bound project: my spiffy new door draft dodger. This started as a scraps project, but then I made a cutting error and had to figure out a new plan of action. That is where the bias binding entered the picture (and I bought a FQ, luckily on sale, to make said binding since nothing I had seemed appropriate and bountiful enough). It is unconventional since I decided to make a roll instead of a filled tube. My goal was something that could easily be thrown in the wash once it is covered in dog fur. See how nicely it fits – yeah – that is a cutting error. I forgot the seam allowances. Doh.
And a detailed shot with the lovely bias binding. Is there a philosophical debate on calling something finished if it contains safety pins? *la la la, I can’t hear you*
And a “how it works” shot. Canvas + fleece gets rolled up into a draft dodger (the fleece is actually doubled to make rolling a bit easier). The canvas is there to keep the fleece from being covered with dog fur. The fleece is there because I needed something to fill the canvas and I really wanted to get it out of my scrappy stash pile without throwing it in the trash.
Actually it all worked out very nicely. I only had about 12″ leftover of binding. Which of course I can’t throw away, so I’ve started a little baggie for all my scraps of binding. And think it does its job, but really the whole door needs a draft dodger and since it is a primary source of light for my dining space that isn’t going to happen.
Today (erm, yesterday) I made a pin cushion for a swap at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I recently borrowed Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan from the library and when I saw the ribbon embellished wrist strap pincushion I knew that I wanted to make a wrist pin cushion for the swap. I’ve never found the generic red one with plastic cuff bracelet comfortable, but with a soft, custom-fit cuff, it could be a wonderful thing.
Originally I wanted to do a crocheted granny square for the top (where did I see that recently?) but I didn’t take the time to try out the yarn I had for that idea. And I sort of felt compelled to do some sort of patchwork on the top. So I dug in my scrap box, picked out some pretty fabric for the wrist strap; when I found the little orange center piece I knew it would be a wonky log cabin block on top. I made up the wonky log cabin piecing as I went, but I think I followed the general principle of such a block.
It is so nice having a stash of ribbon and various closures. I settled on sew-in snaps since they would be easy for the recipient to adjust if needed. I used some cotton fiberfill I have on hand to stuff it since I wanted to keep it light in weight. At the meeting tonight several people used flax seed or rice to provide weight for larger pincushions meant to sit on the sewing table.
Today I stopped by a fairly new, local fabric store (stocked mostly with cottons, but the store appears to be trying to catch a broader audience than just quilters). While I was there, an older man came in the store to look around. He told us how he started quilting after his wife died. He had all these clothes of hers and no clue what to do with them. Someone suggested he make a quilt out of her clothes. So his daughter gave him a quilting book and loaned him her machine, he spent a couple hours reading the book then started cutting up his wife's clothes. He joked that he couldn't be in denial while cutting up her clothes. But then he went on to say that he included some of his clothes too. And he uses the quilt on his bed, so he is never really sleeping alone.
In a way this story was very sad, but from his demeanor you could tell he was at peace with his loss and that he cherished the quilt and knows that his children also will cherish that quilt. He has also gone on to make something like 40 more quilts and is a regular quilter.