Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spontaneous – An Off Season Project QUILTING Challenge. My Patchwork Duffel Bag...


Christmas Leftovers!

Named for the leftover Christmas scraps I used to make it, but also as I intend to use this bag to store holiday items that do not make it to storage before the boxes are stored away. Over-looked decorations and ornaments that seem to appear throughout the year...
New to Project Quilting Challenge this year, I had no idea Kim would continue to challenge us during 'off season'! When the Spontaneity challenge came through my inbox, I thought I'd better pass and focus on current projects. It was a week or so later I had pulled out my Christmas stash when found a little paper bag.
Hmm, what have we here? and like a can of worms, I opened it...
Some pretty little leftovers, and a 25 year old orphan block. How endearing.
Do I really need to save everything?
Hmm, I thought,
If I were to make something with this block, it would be spontaneous!
And nostalgic as well! I made Christmas Sampler blocks when I was first learning patchwork. I drew some of them and made templates, and some were more improvisational. Just last year I set the blocks, and I am hoping to get this quilted by Christmas this year.

Anyway, it did not take me long to figure out why this little tree block I found had been set aside from the others - it has no seam allowance for the tree top! Although I still can't part with it, I was already distracted by the other goodies in the bag and began sewing together simple patches. I made a sandwich and Big-Stitched it with DMC 8, then I added the gold X's and began figuring some dimensions for a duffel.
I took a lot of pics with a tutorial in mind, but for now they are shared here as a collage.
I added a strip to the bottom of the sandwich, flip&stitch style, and basted two strips to the top edge for the casing. I used string to determine the oval, base-shape.
The lining fit just right!
I struggled with how to finish the ends of the cording. In the end, I cut the tassels from pillow trimming and wrapped the ends with floss. Not the best solution, but it worked ;-)
Today is the deadline to linkup for the Spontaneous Challenge at Persimmon Dreams.
As well for Ho Ho Ho and on We Sew - the link party is hosted at SLIK stitches this month.

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Le Challenge de Tradition

The theme for March Le Challenge is TRADITION.
Patchwork and quilting are steeped with it, making the challenge pretty open-ended!
I began with a chunk of Las Golondrinas (Alexander Henry) as my theme-fabric. It is filled with lovely Mexican tradition, and named for the Swallows.
 All the patchwork fabrics were selected from the theme fabric.
 I couldn't quite cut into the it though, and it ended up on the back!
Here is the finish - I love all the pretty bits!
Quite traditional, those HSTs. The pattern is designed by Kimberly Jolly, the Aurifil Designer of the Month. I linked this up for their monthly thread giveaway (at Flickr). No dice, but perhaps one of these month's my name will be drawn!

I decided to break tradition a bit with some unconventional free-motion quilting.
Every mini is an opportunity for growth!
I experimented with some FMQ, Angela Walters style.
This was my first time using wool batting, Quilter's Dream. (machine washable!). I wanted to play with it before going with a full size quilt.
It feels like a poly, and interestingly, when I read the fine print, it actually has some poly in it. It quilted well and has great texture for enhancing quilting.
I like this style of quilting a lot, and I improved as I went along (wish I hadn't started in the center!), but I still prefer less density - parallel lines versus all the points. Especially on the back, it just seems a bit dense to be cuddly.  

The binding is machine-stitched, and I tried invisible thread in the bobbin to hide the stitching on the front.
Hardly noticeably, and it stitched without incident!
Thank you for visiting!
Finish #1 Q2 FAL!

Check out Le Challenge!
The April Challenge is 'WOOD' !

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 Finish-Along Q2 - Eleven Picks

Linkup Participant #121: My Quilty Intentions for second quarter 2015...

Looking three months ahead, I made 11 selections as possible finishes:

1.  Donna's Stars! Status: In queue. All negative space needs quilting.
2.  Mother's Day Bookcover for the large-print NY Times Cookbook I found. Status: Plans and dimensions are noted - fabric has not been pulled. (I know, that's the fun part, right?)
3.  Aurifil Mini. Status: Next in line for quilting!
4.  Red & White Hourglass Baby Quilt. Status: Flimsy complete - on hanger.
5.  Sew Sweet Simplicity. Status: Flimsy complete - on hanger, still needs a back pieced.
6. I forgot what I was calling this Christmas Scrappy Goose quilt! It has been on a hanger since I took that photo (after) sunset photo back in December..
7.  Pattern testing this bit of Red, White & Blue Quilty Goodness. Status: One more section to quilt, then binding.
8.  Leaders and Enders. Status: I may have enough blocks to create a setting. I suppose this and my next project are possible finishes, but really not likely!
9.  Daisy Chain Status: This flimsy has been on my mind lately. It is baby-size, but I have an idea for expansion and you never know, I may just pull it out and go for it!
10. Primary Circles Baby Quilt: I think of this one each month when I need to select one goal. Status: Four blocks!
11. Dr. Suess Improv Baby. Status: One little pile of fabric & this photo. Taken to remind me of whatever it was that was in my mind that day, month's ago, when I thought I ought to 'whip' this cutie up for my Etsy shop. Perhaps next time I pull them out, I will just do it!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

This is my first time linking up with the 2015 Finish-Along!
Maybe I can help bring the collective number to 600 finishes ;-)

Flimsy Finish! Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM

I added 12 alternate blocks + 10 setting triangle blocks.
Houston, We have a flimsy!
What a fun Block of the Month! When it began last fall, I found the denim color, hand-dyed yardage loitering deep within my stash. For five years it had served great purpose, providing stability to the many blue fabrics stacked upon it while waiting to someday be over-dyed.
Hmm, If I'm to break my strict No New Starts rule with Jacquelynne's tempting QAL, I reasoned, I can clear some stash and rid of another 'maybe I will use this someday' skeleton projects and fulfill my need to save the fabrics of the world!

I kept the corners dark in each monthly block for some unity, even though I did not really know where I was going with it at the time.
Jacqueline's instructions are thorough and I like the six month Quilt Along. Her blocks had plenty of patchwork and I loved placing the colors each month, then sharing with others on her Pinterest Board. My favorite part of a BOM is looking at the beautiful variety from the same pattern!

By the time my blocks were completed, I knew I wanted them on point and somehow connected visually. The alternate blocks were worked out on EQ6 so that I could play with layout and color options.

Sew Sweet Simplicity Free BOM with Jacquelynne Steves!

Flimsy, approx. 50" x 70"

I have never completed a quilt with cut-off corners, but I am leaning toward leaving them. The final decision's been postponed until the backing is complete. (And starching as well since this will be queued up for some time ahead - sorry the fabric is a bit wrinkly!)

As I was piecing the blocks together, the final rows that is, I thought how this pattern would look great on a twin bed, and how fun to add a pillow top section to this. Perhaps more diamonds...

Linking up on Monday with Lyn at What a Hoot for BOM's Away!

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