It has definitely been a long and stressful summer, much good, some bad. I forgot what it was like to be 16 years old and 21 years old, but this summer I re-experienced it. The road to adulthood is sometimes a bumpy ride. In any case, two weeks ago we cleaned out my sewing room to make room for my son. He has set up the space nicely. I have a large pile of materials in the basement to sort through yet. If I can manage to store it all, I will. However, I am getting rid of some things that I haven’t used for a long time such as my papermaking supplies.
Finally last night I got back to business and laid out this quilt. It is fairly large probably: 6 feet by 5 feet. I wasn’t able to photo it all but here is a sample.
I should easily be able to get the top together this week, then next week to the fabric store!
I finished this two weeks ago, but haven’t had time to post it:
I started this quilt over eight years ago. It began with some Hawaiian shirts that Steve no longer wanted. He gave them to me and I cut them up and sewed them back together. This first run was not successful because these are either a lightweight cotton or rayon. The fabric didn’t have enough body to make quilt construction easy.
I had decided to make a dress out of the fabric, but this also wasn’t successful. I used muslin as a base, and sewed scraps of fabric to the base. This worked ok, but I didn’t plan it very well in order to work of a dress. I cut it into squares and then it became something.
If I made another quilt like this, I would use fusible web as the base. I did that on the last few blocks I made for this quilt, and it was much easier. The “starter” piece for each block could be pressed down, then the next one sewn to it, then pressed down to the fusible. It made for a very stable base. I will let you know how the structure holds up over time.
This was also one of the most expensive quilts I have ever made. Most of my quilt tops are largely recycled fabrics, either from previous quilts or old clothing. Only the innermost blocks are recycled, the rest is new fabric. I can guess I paid over an one hundred dollars in fabric, batting and thread on this quilt. Usually, my quilts run about fifty dollars: mostly batting and back. Read more
I have started to follow Sew Slowly. She just posted about some holes she is putting in her top. This is very intriguing to me. I love the way that quilts wear, so I love the idea of holes in a quilt top. She has pretty clear photos of what she is doing. She is hand working her quilt. I decided to use her technique but by machine.
Here is a nice four patch that did not line up the way I would like. I prepared a square quite a bit larger than my intended hole with my stitch line already marked.
Then, I stitched around the circle and cut out the center. I then heavily clipped the seam allowance.
Then turn to the back.
Here is the finished front:
Now to decide what should go in the hole.
I almost have finished a skirt. This project has come in under the radar. It is one of my after dinner trying to diet not eat projects. Back in September, I made a bolero jacket with striped pieced sleeves.
That was pattern is from Alabama Chanin, and it was Natalie Chanin’s influence that gave me the idea to work the sleeves with the pieced stripes. When Steve saw it, he suggested I make a skirt with this striped technique, making the stripes vertical. A long time ago I saw one of the designers on Project Runway do a technique where they had taken strips of silk chiffon and sewed them down, leaving the edges free, then sewed across the strips at right angles one way then the other to create a wavy sort of pattern. I used this technique on the skirt instead of the pieced stripes that I used on the bolero.
This is the same pattern as this plaid skirt I made several years ago, New Look 0119. I traced the pattern and made it without pleats because I was afraid of bulk. I thought I may have to put a zipper in because the horizontal lines might make the skirt not stretchy enough to get into without breaking the sewing. However, it did have enough ease since I left the pleats out. I added a green binding and inserted 3/8 inch elastic. It is very comfortable. All and all, I am happy about the structure of this skirt. I don’t know if I would do this surface treatment again because it took a long time- I have been working on this garment since September.
When I finished the entire skirt and tried it on, Steve felt there was too much contrast between the lighter colored strips and the darker ones. I wish I would have only used three colors, the dark green, mid tone and the gray-green turquoise. I considered removing the light ones and the red/brown ones but the seam ripping was just too much with both the vertical and horizontal seams. Instead I decided to over dye the whole garment. It is in the dye bath right now. I chose a color about the same color as the background fabric. I will let you know next week whether it is successful.
I am starting another new quilt- this one blue. I already have quite a bit cut. I am using my new 10.5 ruler as the guide. The finished blocks will all be this size. I cut squares that will add up to a finished size of 10.5. I am excited to see how this one comes together.
Here is my newest quilt – a shoebox full of various sized red and pink squares.
It leans a little too much toward primary red. I intend to put green frames around the blocks, but not Christmas, so I need to add some more pink. I have an idea of wonky pieced squares floating in green with a wonky bright pink square and then green again.
In any case, more to come…
I have made considerable progress on the angel quilt. I have even decided on the name: Angels 3: Celestial Spirits. I finished the back. Here is a picture before I added the backing:
It is fun to see this quilting, never to see the light of day again. Here is the finished back:
I am adding prairie points which will look like rays.
I am excited because I am on track to finish by March 1!
I have made great progress on my UFO:
I have solved the problem of the disk. I integrated it by adding a thin strip of fabric around it. Now it is partially surrounded, and even more dimensional. I trimmed the edges and I will add some fabric to make the quilt into a rectangle.
I did some stitching on the cardboard sections. There is definitely more to be done there. I also need to go out into the cold freezer that is my sewing room and root around for a specific fabric that has a feather motif for the wings. They are just too flat. Still, good progress.
On another front, I have added the first run of the green to the Hawaiian quilt. The muted green is perfect. It will really create dimension and reminds me of the ocean or water.
My February UFO is this angel quilt:
Paul picked this one. I have several other projects that I would have given precedence. But I set up the game so I play. I have several problems. One is the metal object in the center of the sun. This is a watch back with the month dial and a polished rock bead glued to it. It is a great object but I didn’t think to put holes into it before I superglued it. It is not attached as well as I would like. Also the angels faces are from a Christmas greeting card. If I redid this, I would copy the images to fabric somehow instead of attaching the card itself.
I have my work cut out for me but this still is a piece that I love. I haven’t worked on a piece like this for a long time: a painterly piece. Most of the things I have been working on lately are clothing or more traditional quilts. I am excited to see where it will go.