Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Slow Stitching in the Pumpkin Patch

Auditioning FabricsI have finished the appliqué on all the parts included with this orphan and have pulled a couple of fabrics from my stash for the moon in the original pattern and an additional border to make the pillow cover that I plan to make from this a little larger.

I will be pin-basting a couple quilts this afternoon–a task which is my least favorite in quilt making–with the reward of some relaxing slow Sunday evening stitching to add the silvery moon and call this done.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tokyo Subway Map Quilt-Along

I was surfing blogs this morning and Celine mentioned on Espritpatch that there is a new Quilt-Along starting next month for Elizabeth Hartman's Tokyo Subway Map quilt.

Back in 2010, I followed along (and saved the directions) when Elizabeth shared the design as part of the original QAL, tucked it away and thought of it as a someday quilt.

The pattern as written is made from 1600 2-inch squares. I spent some time back then thinking about how I would change the dimensions and cheat the background, using larger squares and rectangles as much as possible.  Now that my scrap bins are filled or overflowing and with the support of other quilters who will be quilting along, maybe it's time to make a serious start on this quilt.

Click the QAL image above (and in my sidebar) or this link for details on Nina's blog, Nina with Freckles.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a link to the pattern page and an image of this great, modern, scrappy quilt, inspired by the Tokyo subway map:


Do you have one of those someday quilts that you've seen online or at a show or in a show, saved the pattern and know that you WILL make it one day in the future?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Three Questions for My Quilting Friends

First, because it's (almost) WIP Wednesday and two of the three questions I have for you are about this piece, here's what happened with my scrap bag challenge.


Scrap Bag Challenge Progress

The bag of scraps I received for the challenge
To refresh your memory, some local friends and I exchanged quart-size zip lock bags filled with fabric scraps.

The challenge was to use all the fabrics we received and make a little quilt.

It's OK to add your own fabrics, but you must use everything you find in the ziplock bag.

Here's a better look at the fabrics I had to include:

All the fabrics I received

And now for my three questions for you:

         Do you see what I see?

  1. This was one of those projects that took on a life of it's own and ended up being something completely different that I first imagined it.  An idea took hold and I ran with it and now I wonder if I made my intent clear.  My question for you is, what do you see in this design?  

  2. Borders?




  3. Does it need borders?  If so,  how wide and what color?  Keep in mind that it was made primarily from someone else's scraps, with some of mine added, so I don't have any more of any of the fabrics. The pieced top currently measures 26 by 37 inches.  It will be a wall hanging, or possibly be used as a table mat.   

  4. What three words describe your quilts? 




  5. As I was playing with these scraps, I started thinking about how you think the challenge is to use all the fabrics, but you find that it's also about how do you make a quilt from fabrics not chosen by you, in combinations you might never choose to combine and have it turn out looking like a "you" quilt. That led me to think about what makes it feel like me and I came up with these three words that often apply to the quilts I design and make: scrappy, organic and color-saturated.  What three words do you think describe your quilting style? 
I'd love to read your answers to one, two or all of these questions in the comments.

Because it's already Wednesday in Australia, I'm linking with Ester's WOW (WIPs on Wednesday).  Be sure to click over–she has quite a WOW to share today. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Preparing for Play

I confess that I was looking for something else that I had tucked away before the move (which I haven't yet found) when I pulled out my in-progress Scrap Bag Challenge.

Completed bits and pieces on the design wallI put the completed units on the small design wall, which is (another confession) not yet attached to the wall in my sewing room.

I still have quite a few fabrics left in the zip-lock bag that must be used in the challenge.

Fabrics still to be used.



I described how the Scrap Bag Challenge works at the bottom of this post: Challenged by Challenges. 

Coming back to spending time quilting has made me see how much I need it as part of de-stressing.  This week, I'm going to make a conscious effort to spend at least 15 minutes working on this project playing and enjoy the tangible and intangible benefits.

Since I almost have a design wall again and something on it to share, I'm joining the lists for Design Wall Monday  and Monday Making.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Little Hand Applique on a Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday was the guild's Red Hen Auction.  One of the lots I won contained a nearly finished Halloween appliqué and book.

Pumpkin Patch Appliqué

I don't make many seasonal projects or Sunbonnet Sue blocks,  so I thought this would be good for me ... plus the price was right, since no one else wanted it and I cannot resist an unwanted orphan.

The pattern for the orphan is not in the book that accompanied it, but I found it on Sentimental Stitches, as part of an Angelic Sunbonnet Sue series. Here's her version.

The designer blogged about the series here and you can find the pattern for the wall hanging here.  Isn't the internet a wonderful resource? A quick search for Sunbonnet Sue + Pumpkin patch and I found it at the top of the search results.

To finish it as it was designed, looks like I only need to add a hand and a star and finish the appliqué ... then decide what to do with it.  Pillow cover, maybe?

It's my plan for some Slow Stitching Sunday later today.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Returning To Quilting (and Blogging)

On Monday, I was asked to help begin the assembly of some pieced parts for what will become the Northern New Mexico Quilt Guild's 2016 raffle quilt.   I was flattered (and a little surprised because I'm not at all a perfectionist quilter).

It was the push I needed to return to quilting (and finally find the box with my favorite scissors, rulers and other go-to tools.)

2016 Raffle Quilt in Progress
The quilt pattern is a block-of-the-month pattern called Taos by Whirligig Designs (you can see the whole quilt about half-way down this page).  Here's how it looked when we were done with this step.

The organizers are changing the outer pieced border to appliqué–I volunteered to help with that, if needed, so you may get another peek in the future.

Since I was now reunited with my scissors and organized to travel, I caught up with the QOV Mini-group yesterday and made some progress on a scrappy star quilt I started last spring.

The end was in sight so I was motivated to keep going after I came home.  When the quilt top was completed, I realized that taking a photo wasn't going to be as easy as it was in my old house with it's long 1000 square foot studio.

New Photographic Challenge

On the plus side, I now have a deck, high enough to hang a big quilt–the only challenge being all the trees and vines in the back yard that could obscure a clear shot.


Block Lotto followers will recognize the stars with made-fabric centers (our April block) and the Many Triangles border (this month's block). The stars are a lot bigger (15 inch blocks) and the border is slightly larger (5 inches).   The completed top measures 60 by 75 inches.  I couldn't find my clamps, so you can't see it, but the scrappy blue triangle border goes all the way around ;-)

Updated to fix some grammar and punctuation and to join Angie's list for WIPS Be Gone



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Play Day (with Dyes)

I am still in dealing with the aftermath of my move mode, but I took a break yesterday for a Shibori play date with the guild's Surface Design mini-group.  I haven't yet washed out all of my pieces–I dyed cotton fat quarters, silk scarves and a straw capeline (which will become a hat soon)–but, here is the first.

Arashi ShiboriWhat do you see in this arashi shibori? 

Common answers of the day were petals, yucca plant, dragon or alien skeleton.

There is a nice tutorial for shibori here:

Shibori-DIY

For our workshop, we used an indigo-colored procion dye.

This (and getting settled into the new place) is my work-in-progress this week. Like Lee, there will also be painting.

My sewing space is still unpacked (and I still cannot find the box with the sewing essentials like scissors and needles in it).  Right now, the cats are spending more time there than I am.

And the design wall is still just a piece of insulation ...

DSCN9519

They are checking out the neighbors. Isn't he a beauty? 


DSCN9520   DSCN9514
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