Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quick Projects

Last holiday season (2015), I bought some fabric panels from Spoonflower to make kitchen towels.  I hemmed and gifted the other ones, but I had saved this elephant for me. Since this one was mine, there was no rush to get it hemmed. The gifts were calendar towels and the calendar year is gone. I decided it was time to finally finish mine.  It is fairly quick and easy to hem, although the layers of fabric in the corners did cause some thread breakage and complaining by the machine. While I wasn't aiming for perfection, it actually is a rectangle even though it looks wavy in the picture.

This elephant tempted me to embellish it with beads and baubles, but I think it is plenty colorful as it is, and will work better as a towel, table runner, or anything else without the embellishment.

My sister, brother-in-law and I went to an apothecary when we had some time to use up between appointments and came across some rice bags.  I've always thought about making some, but wasn't sure if I would actually use them.  The bags at the store were $14 or $18 each. I figured if they could sell them that expensively, people must really like them!  Allie and others have told me they really like using them.  Instead of buying one, I decided to make one using the directions on Allie's blog.  I am looking forward to it keeping my tummy warm. I haven't made a cover. I figure I would just use a pillowcase or towel until I know whether this is something that requires long-term protection.  Until then, the bright shiny orange fabric will add some warm sunshine in the winter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Quilt Show

On the day I took my finished flowers quilt on a walk to stage it for photos, we first went to a quilt show at the same park.  There was a good variety of beautiful quilts there, mostly big quilts and smaller wallhangings.  There were also a small number of other projects - table runners, bags, etc. 

Here are the photos of my favorite quilts. I was trying to save the batteries for my own quilt, so these are just quick snapshots. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Glitter Block

Ever since I saw this Glitter quilt in the book Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell, I have been intrigued.  It looks so different from the usual quilt, and all those lovely scraps look so good together.  I immediately decided I was going to make it. While I kept working on my current projects, I thought about all the scraps I would use. I even bought a packet of fabric from Connecting Threads that I thought would lovely in this quilt. How else can I get the loveliness of a scrappy scrap quilt than to buy a packet of coordinating fabric? haha

Yes, I see that there are set in seams, and fabric that is cut with templates.  The quilt looks easier to make than it really is, but that is how you can make such an intriguing, different quilt.  Even though I bought enough fabric to make one or two or these quilts, I decided to think practically and make a small quilt, maybe 36, 25 blocks, or even 16.  Today, while I am waiting for your advice on my Adinkra quilt (see my previous post, please), I decided to go ahead and start this quilt with a sample block.

I looked more closely at the sparse directions  and the set-in seams - four of them in each block. I thought that  eight blocks would make a nice small quilt - four in a row.  I chose some fabric and decided to make a trial block.  There are three colors and four different shapes, so it takes attention to make sure everything in the right place.  Trying to make more than one until I had a hang of it would be too much. I didn't even try to work it in with  a leader/ender, opting to use a scrap fabric for that purpose. 

I thought I could avoid that diamond shape by cutting it in half. But it really doesn't help with the piecing. (It may have helped slightly with finding the right place to join the fabric.)  The background setting is a weird shape and while I could try to piece it, I decided to make it the way Jen did.  The center worked out pretty well.  The first set in seams not so much.  I thought maybe a three block quilt would look good. 

As I added the other background pieces, I had to convince myself to just finish the one block, just to show that I could.  I did get better as I went along, pinning properly and finding the right place to start the sewing. You have to keep going back to the block - those set in seams require eight separate passes through the machine, meaning eight passes through the leader/ender scrap. When I thought about string piecing it, trying to keep all the colors and pieces together, I got a headache. 

This one will go into the orphan block box.  It wasn't awful, but it takes more attention than I want to give it now.  This scrap quilt doesn't look like a masterpiece quilt to me, and I would like to spend that kind of time on quilts that will be masterpiece quilts. That leader/ender scrap was thoroughly filled by the time I finished the block.

The four squares in the middle is the binding fabric for The Earth Laughs in Flowers (formerly known as Daisy's Chickenpox).

Friday, February 17, 2017

Adinkra Borders

One set of borders have been added to the Adinkra top. These were tricky, since I am only working with fat quarters, have a limited selection, and since I fussy cut to get the motif. But I really like how these work with the quilt.  The side borders don't show the blue as much as I would have liked, but there is a faint blue, and is the same fabric as as some of the blocks (the bird, comb, and star). 

The top and bottom border fabric hasn't been used in the quilt but the gold echos the gold in the economy blocks, and the blue-purple helps tie the blue and the purple of the two types of blocks together.

I had to add cornerstones since there wasn't enough of either fabric to make it all the way across the quilt without additional piecing.  I thought the purple might be too bright, but in the picture it looks like it blends right in. And the gold works with all the rest of the gold. I don't think it is African fabric, but I must have bought it at about the same time since I stored it in the same box.

The original plan was to add an outer border using the fabric left from the economy blocks.  What do you think? Does the quilt need outer borders? If so, how wide should they be? What should I use for a binding?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adinkra Topped

While checking my Bloglovin' feed on Friday, I noticed how many bloggers were able to show their Friday Finishes. To keep from showing my embarrassing Friday Finish - "Look, I finished sewing down half of the left side of one of the blocks of this very simple applique," I decided it would be better if I made some real progress.

As you can see, not only did I stitch down all the remaining blocks, I also managed to put the blocks together on the weekend. As a bonus, I auditioned my African fabric to decide on a border. I don't have a lot of African fabric, so this part is fairly easy. I was afraid I would have to turn to my non-African fabric for the border, but it turns out that the fabric will work perfectly.

 I was planning to start another quilt (the surest way to remedy quilt guilt is to completely smash a rule that doesn't exist by starting a new quilt), but I really like the way the fabric looks against the quilt, so I am going to finish the borders on this top before starting the new quilt. That won't stop me from choosing the fabric for this new quilt though!

Linked to:
Moving It Forward

Monday, February 6, 2017

Quilt Reveal: The Earth Laughs in Flowers

I finished sewing down the binding, label and hanging sleeve of the daisies quilt while watching a couple of  marathon of shows on PBS: Mercy Street, Victoria, and Secrets of The Six Wives of Henry VIII.  The pattern has daisies in the title, but my niece and my sister say it looks more like sunflowers.  It is a gift for my niece, who is  concerned about the environment and is resembles a modern hippie. I thought "The Earth Laughs in Flowers" would be a better title than daisy's chickenpox, which was the working title of the quilt.

We went to a quilt show at a park yesterday, and I brought the quilt with me, so it could get a proper outing and beautiful backdrop for pictures.

We took a lot of gorgeous pictures, and I thought a slideshow would be a better way to show 16 of my favorites. Enjoy!

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PS This is my first time using Smilebox, so please be sure to let me know what you think of the experience. I notice that the show keeps going until the music stops, but there are only 16 pictures, so once the slides stop coming, you can exit the program.