update on two projects

bears

The bears have their frames, next up the decision on how to bring them all together into one quilt.  I had one really nice lay out, but the quilt ends up being orientated landscape. Whenever I make a quilt with a landscape layout it always seams a little wrong.

I really wanted to frame the embroidery to showcase them. I am proud that, unusual for me, I made samples to make the decision of what color ought frame the little bears without overwhelming them.  I settled on the lavender/blue fabric that is shown above framing the bears and below to the far right.  This is different palette for me, usually I love bright colors, especially for baby quilts.  All of my primary color samples overshadowed the delicate embroidery.

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I have used only stash fabric for this quilt so far.  For the blue, I had exactly enough; I only had to piece one little strip at the very end.  I was holding my breath while I sewed the last set.  Someone must be watching over me (is it Lou?), because I have had that fabric for a while and it would have been difficult to match.

The blue quilt is now officially a flimsy, ready for quilting. Steve calls it “homey” and I guess it is with its unusual mix of fabric.  It is a real stash quilt with every blue and green fabric in my stash in it. It really glowed when I photographed it.

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We had to go down to Burnsville, so on the way I ran into the new SR Harris and picked up this lovely for the back:

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It captures all the colors of the quilt and will hide a multitude of flaws in my quilting.

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Published in: on September 13, 2015 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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blue quilt update

This summer has been busy mostly good some bad…in any case as usual sewing is my relaxation and joy and escape. I am not so good this summer at documenting what I have been up to. I have been slowly working on this blue quilt in the background, cutting squares while watching tv, sewing and pressing. I have finished a few blocks now and feel like I am on the down hill, at least with the top.

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The fabric already is infused with memory. A friend at work gave me the Christmas and snowflake fabric, the blue flowers are from my aunt.

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The butterfly fabric on this one is from my niece’s quilt, and the little all over flower on the bottom right is my from my aunt.

I have fabric from my grandmother on the Porter side, too, but those blocks aren’t done. It feels good to move forward, and as I remind myself- every time I sew them together, my number of seams halves.

Published in: on August 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mending

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How does one know when a quilt is beyond mending? For me it is when both sides are not repairable. I made this quilt before my younger son was born, before I graduated from college, nearly 18 years ago. At the time I was short on money so I chose a polyester blend for the back. This has worn so well that it has no holes at all.

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The front, however, is not so well-preserved. I made several samples with indigo in college using Japanese style stitched resists. These were made with new muslin. After that, I made took two of my skirts over and dipped them in the indigo. I knew it would be a long time before I had access to a vat of indigo. These skirts were already worn, one I had since high school and the other was a cheap cotton chambray. In any case, these have worn away.

I have two strategies for mending this quilt, the addition of the fish. These worked pretty well until it became clear that soon I would no longer have fish, but a red border. Then I took some pieces from another indigo piece I had and sewed them on in the style of slow cloth. This has been an interesting study for the front of the quilt.

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But I was looking at this quilt today from the back and it is even more interesting. The white on blue works well in the context of this Japanese-influence quilt referencing back to sashiko stitching.

It is definitely one of those times when serendipity happens.

Published in: on June 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Holy Holey

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.

 

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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.

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Then, I stitched around the circle and cut out the center. I then heavily clipped the seam allowance.

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Then turn to the back.

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Here is the finished front:

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Now to decide what should go in the hole.

Published in: on April 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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blue quilt

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.

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Published in: on March 22, 2015 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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shoebox full of possibility

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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…