Catching Up

July 18, 2008

Summer is just so busy around here. Lots to do , people to see, places to go. This is a quick post to show you what I’ve been doing lately: Kiddie clothes, fabric dying, and a one-block wonder quilt. First the clothes. These are for Jessa and Mirabelle. I also made some samples of these for Harbor Quilt and will post some how-to’s later next week.

It’s from SewBaby and made from Moda fabrics and charm packs. Here is a variation of the same pattern except I made a ruffle rather than use the charm packs:

That’s a detail showing the ladybug buttons I got. For some reason I can’t get the photo of the entire dress to post.

Here is the petal dress:

Won’t this be a perfect dress for twirling? I can hardly wait to see the kiddies in their jumpers.

Ever since I saw some One-block Wonder quilts at a retreat I’ve wanted to make one. Of course I immediately stocked my fabric supply with a likely candidate:

Kaffe Fassett’s Paisely Jungle fit the bill, large scale print and swirling design, few if any straight lines. Thanks to the magic of hexagons my large design wall is now displaying this work in progress ( I’ve grouped the hexes by color but I plan to swirl the blue ones throughout the design once I get done playing around with it on the wall)

These were fun to make and there was very little fabric waste.

The other activity to report on is the hand dying my mini-quilt guild did recently at Dorothy’s. Who by the way is a great instructor. Here’s a few photos of my batches:

Freshly rinsed greens, made from combining left over yellow and emerald green procion dyes.

The above photo is from what’s called a 2 color family, this from indigo and magenta.

Here they are washed, dryed and folded:

The pastels on the right are from colorhue dyes.

So there is your peak into my recent activities. I”ll post more about these next week and I have some more plastic bag tricks to show and tell.

Who knew you could do this with sacks?

July 4, 2008

Note: All photos are clickable.

Among the many articles in the last issue of Fibre & Stitch was one concerning how craftswomen in Africa turn found objects into art and Sue Bleiweiss used this idea to challenge us to see what we can do with things we find around our homes. The cut off date for this challenge is July 5, so procrastinator that I am I started looking around my home yesterday. We recycle and/or reuse/re-purpose everything we can think of. A perusal of the recycling area lead me to our stash of plastic sacks/bags. Most of those show a distinct lack of personality but the few colorful ones fairly jumped out of the bin and into my arms, notably yellow, blue, red, green and white. I’ve got a dim memory of my mom and her friends crocheting bread sacks into shopping bags. So I sliced the yellow bag into 1 inch strips, looped them together and rolled it into a ball, then attempted to crochet it. I felt like Goldilocks, all my hooks were too little or too big, none were just right, so back to the drawing board, because I really want to do something with these sacks, the colors are very pretty. So I cut them apart into single layers and voila!

Red layered on blue equals purple. Add the white sack underneath all of it and the color intensified. So I did what any stitch crazy person would do, I stitched those layers together, no stabilizer, but I quickly switched to a teflon foot. Here is the result using variegated machine embroidery thread. and lots of built-in stitches (I’m going through a phase of using those built-in stitches. I figure I paid for those I might as well use them — but honestly I think it’d been faster to just free motion stitch.)

If you try this remember to only use fairly open type stitches like a feather stitch, not a satin type stitch as that tore the plastic. The other thing I learned: I should have fused the Pellon prior to the stitching, it would have made the later stages of this project easier. You live and learn. I was so excited with the result that I immediately cut this into 1 inch squares because now I knew I’d use these for an Inchie swap over at MQ Resource. ( A great place for machine quilters to hang out).

Fusing: I cut a 12 inch square of fusible Pellon and 12 inch square of a yard sale fabric buy. Lay the fabric face down on the ironing surface, put the Pellon on top of that, lay out the inchies on the Pellon, cover with a teflon pressing sheet or baking parchment and then press with your iron set to Nylon. I held it in place over each section about 30 seconds, just long enough to tack them down. Then I turned the whole thing over, (parchment side is now on the bottom-fabric on top) and I pressed an additional 45 seconds. (times might vary depending on your iron and your pressure and the phases of the moon) The heat of the iron deepened these colors and removed some shine. (It reminds me of leather and now I want to try this with some of the brownish colored sacks)

Next step: zig zag around all those inchies.

Next: Cut them apart. This was quicker and easier than you might think thanks to my sharp little snippers.

I like how these look, but what about some recycled bling? I love the thermoseals from coffee grounds and cashew cans so I’ve got some on hand. I cut another red sack, shown here with my June Tailor Shape Plus Cut tool. (one of my favorite tools)

Here are the inchies with the cut up red sacks and the thermoseal bling.

I placed a couple of little squares of red sack on the inchie and topped that with a triangle of thermoseal bling and then fancy stitched it down with my sewing machine.

Thirty of these are for the MQ Resource swap. I’ve got 50 extra to swap if any of you want to swap with me. Let me know if you want yours with bling or without.

Take It Further – June Challenge

June 30, 2008

This month’s Take It Further Challenge involves our fabric stashes and the stories they could tell. Stories about what was and what could be. Looking at my stash often reminds me of where I purchased it, who was with me and what – if any- project I envision for it. There’s my collection of kiddie prints, acquired with an eye towards making my granddaughters quilts, toys and dresses, my collection of blacks and whites which include at least one B & W fat quarter purchased from any new-to-me quilt shop. Then there are my beloved batiks in a variety of prints and hues. They are the workhorses of my whole stash, good for everything from art quilts to bed quilts. There is also my small but growing stash of hand dyes in rainbow colors, destined to be a drunkard’s path and an Irish chain quilt. The crazy quilt fabrics compiled via stash swaps, Goodwill shopping and yard sales as well as internet shopping for dupioni silks, satins and velvets. There is also my stash of costume fabrics, things like lames, organzas, and sequined delights. I can’t forget about my art prints, these are fabrics that mimic the sky, the ocean, trees etc. Some are prints of these natural wonders, but many are batiks or fabrics that just remind me of something from nature, like the batik that I used for Ed’s salmon.

So that’s my stash inventory and it brings me to my special stash. I am the keeper of my mini-guild’s red, white and blue (RWB) stash. Last month Dorothy, Tamara, Lory, Karen, Lois and myself combined our RWB fabrics and met at my home to make a quilt for the American Hero Quilts (AHQ) group. (There is a link to them on the right hand side of my blog) The goal of AHQ is to provide all returning wounded veterans with a quilt to show our appreciation for their service. This is not a political group — some who make these quilts support the war and some do not support it. Making the quilts just means that we want to help the wounded veterans know we care about them.

Upon combining our RWB stashes we think we’ve got enough for at least 3 AHQs. Here is a picture of our first AHQ. It’s a work in progress. I need to make a few more blocks to finish the top. Tamara will quilt it on her long arm, then I’ll bind and wash it and send it off to Sue N. who’ll distribute it.

It’s a string quilt from a pattern provided by Mary Johnson of the Heartstrings Quilt Project.

Here is a picture of an AHQ that I made using stripped fabrics. I need to quilt and bind it as well.

The process of making these quilts yielded quilte a bit of very small scraps and selvages — perfect for the TIF challenge.

I decided to use these bits and pieces to make a flag. Here’s part of our large stash of RWB fabrics. and here’s a pic of the itty bits

I took a piece of fusible webbing cut like a waving flag and fused the RWB to it.

and here is is completed. It just needs a flagpole.

In conclusion, these RWB stash fabrics could be many things, a picnic cloth and napkins, a bandanna, a shirt, but we chose to create a quilt that we hope will wrap one returning veteran with love and appreciation.

Round Robin — Laura’s Funky Chickens

June 23, 2008

Sorry I haven’t blogged lately — I surprised myself by how much I’ve missed posting. I truly enjoy publishing my creations and getting your feedback so this time away was bittersweet. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the quilting retreat — met and made new friends, caught up with old ones, stayed up late quilting and got up early for more quilting and of course made some time to shop and dine. I brought my on-line friend Laura M’s funky chicken to work on — There are 13 of us in this Round Robin and the projects are as diverse as are we. Laura provided patterns but also gave us permission to do our own if desired.

Shirley’s rooster:

Joie’s Hen

Yvonne’s chicken

Carol Ann’s chick all inspired me to design my own rooster:

If you look closely at the background fabric you’ll see that is is a white on white with feathers! It thrilled me to find that at my retreat. I just played with the fabrics, made a small ruffle for the comb, a modified prairie point for the beak and I used quarter circles for the tail feathers. Those were sewn right sides together, then turned out and formed into cones and then arranged in tail feather fashion, so they are dimensional. I braided embroidery floss together for the legs and they hang freely. The wing is a triangle sewn right sides together and then turned and gathered then satin stitched to the body. The wattle is just a bit of gathered fabric and a red button completes this colorful fellow.

Now they are on their way to Lynn and from there to the other legs of this RR. This is Round Robin 30 for most of these participants and includes ladies from Canada and all parts of the USA. I think this is my fourth RR with this group and I look forward to many more.

Mermaids Finished!

June 11, 2008

After much experimentation on the mermaids’ hair I am finally finished with my quilt for the Gig Harbor Quilt Festival — and none too soon as I’m leaving for a quilting retreat this evening. Here is the final product: I call it “Gifts from the Sea” Here is a detail shot: It doesn’t show well, but within the shells are beads inscribed with the words Hope, Healing and Miracles . Maybe this will clarify The theme for the Gig Harbor Quilt Festival is “Fishing for a Cure” so I hope this will be appropriate and will fetch a good amount come auction .

I spent a lot of time experimenting with the mermaids’ hair, much more time than I ever spend on my own LOL. I’ll post more about that when I return from my quilting retreat early next week. All these pictures are clickable so if you want to look closer you can. I’d appreciate any suggestions and critiques.