Saturday, July 23, 2011

What to do With Scraps?

Since I am anything but a traditional quilter I have a huge stash and giant piles of irregular shaped scraps. There is something relaxing about just sewing random pieces together to "Make Fabric". Then the challenge is to do something with it.  This is my latest project. 
I started by just sewing random scrap pieces together,  then trimming to 10 1/2" blocks. Made over 30 of them.
Then using a multi-color blue/green stripe  fabric I make 1/2 square triangles using this technique.

 May not suit everyone because the triangle legs are on the bias, but with "made fabric" everything is on the bias.

Arranged the blocks in a zig zag design. Size will depend on how many blocks I get from the solid fabric. .

After all the sewing I'm still left with more scraps, but enough is enough.  

These go into the scrap bag which will be used as stuffing for dog and cat beds, which will be donated to the local animal shelter

One of these days I'll do a post on knitting since I spend a good share of each day doing that. No sense just watching TV without some knitting going on!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Solids Swap Completed

If you read earlier posts I was a participant in 15 Minutes of Play Solids Challenge. 
This is conclusion of the swap and how we each interpreted the pictures. Different but the same.   Kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but I had a hard time with the size requirement (15" square). I just could not covert a rectangle to a square and get proportions that I liked.  

Ellen's Inspiration
My Interpretation with
machine embroidery

Ellen's Interpretation, with great hand embroidery

My Inspiration, a photograph 

Ellen's Interpretation

My Interpretation.
This was a fun exercise and I hope we can do another one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Way back in January I joined a group project proposed by Tommy. She picked a picture, cut it into 16 pieces and sent each participant a section to interpret. The only restriction was size. So off we went with wide open creativity. After sending our sections back to Tommy, she joined them together and then sent in an application for the Houston International Quilt Festival. And today we got our acceptance notification.  

Congratulations! Your entry, To Market, To Market, has been selected as a finalist to be exhibited at the 2011 International Quilt Festival/Houston in the annual IQA fall Judged Show, Quilts: A World of Beauty.  This year’s jury had the difficult task of narrowing a field of 652 entries to 380 finalists. We genuinely appreciate their diligent efforts.

My Section
I have only dreamed about a quilt show entry, figuring it was not even a remote possibility. But dreams can come true and this is really exciting even if I was only 1/16 of the total effort.  Thank you Tommy for your great idea. And thank you everyone else who made this a success.

Original Picture

Group Composition

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Solids Swap Challenge Part 2

This is my picture. Totally different from my swap partners choice.

To make this a real challenge I used my color wheel to pick out a color combination to use. Selected a triad of yellow-green, red-orange, and blue-violet. Again I thought I had a large solids collection, after all I have taken 2 Nancy Crow workshops, but could have used a bigger variety. I'm tempted to order 1 yard cuts of the entire Kona Cotton collection. Maybe I should ask for this for my birthday!.

Solids, but not a good picture. They are pretty close to the color wheel.
  I finished the piece. It was entirely improvisational cutting,  (no rulers were used in this piece) which is my favorite way to work. I know I didn't get the proportions correct from the inspiration, but I plan on making more of these.  My husbands comment "That's interesting, you made a fence." No- but it could make a nice placemat. I like it but want to try again with different colors and proportions. And am looking forward to the quilting. Again will use free motion quilting with rayon thread.
Finished but not quilted.

First Inspiration Piece Finished

"Vase of Flowers"
by Vincent van Gogh

I Finished my swap partners inspiration piece. I don't remember who said "When in doubt, add more quilting." but this is exactly what I did. (If you click on the picture to open full screen, you should be able to see the quilting detail)

I have a large box of cotton and rayon decorative threads. I saw this as an opportunity to use some of the rayons which are too fragile for every day quilting. I didn't have any bright red so I used a 30 weight cotton. This made the 50 weight rayon look absolutely puny. So added more to the yellow and orange with 30 weight cotton. The piece is now so heavily quilted that it will almost stand up by itself. But just need to add the binding and label and call it done.

Quilting with 30 weight thread is a real challenge. This piece had some very thick places because of all the very small pieces used for the flowers. It was very tricky to free motion quilt with this type of irregular thickness.

Now on to my inspiration piece which is totally different and should be a lot easier to quilt.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More than 15 Minutes ..........

Our collective blog is titled 15 Minutes of Play but I spent way more time on my Solids Swap project than 15 minutes today. It was a very warn humid day, so I stayed inside and worked for over 5 hours. Time flies when you are having fun!!  Once I got going there was no stopping. Even turned the iron and sewing machine off, just to go back and turn it back on and work for another 2 hours. 

I think my swap partner wanted to keep our projects secret, but I can't help myself.  If you are reading this Ellen and want to keep the secret, you have to stop reading now.

 I started with this strip pieced fabric to make the flowers but this didn't go anywhere. Then I used lots of small strips and made "wonky" squares for the flowers.

This made lots of small pieces but was successful for the look I wanted. I then started to arrange the flowers on the background  and liked it even more. This was the point that I turned things off, but came back to keep working.  Then the fun really stared. How to piece all these strange shapes together into something with balance and composition? I think I sewed X, Y, and W seams but it is reasonably flat. Quilting will be my friend.

 This is a little more representational than I wanted but I am really excited and can't wait to get the fancy rayon thread out to start the quilting.  I'm going to send this to Ellen, because it was her picture I used for inspiration, but I think I have to make one for myself. Wonder if the 2nd time will be any quicker?

This is a really fun challenge project. It is difficult to use just plain solids and not use my hand dyes which are not even color, or batiks which I have a major collection of. But nothing to say I can't make more.  Now I have my own picture to work on which is a totally different style.  IF tomorrow is another hot day (prediction is 90's) I should have progress pictures tomorrow.


Starting with the Blues

My swap partner picked this picture to use as inspiration for a small 15" x15" quilt.  This is a tough one because it's too easy to just make the flowers as applique or a raw edge technique. But I really don't want "chunks" of solid colors either.

 I have my pile of solids ready. First problem I don't really have enough blues in my stash.  Probably enough for this project but will have to look for more on the  next shopping trip.

So for the first try I started with free cut strips of the blue for the background and the vase.  I think to just get started I will make flowers made from fabric using the 15 Minutes of Play  "found fabric" process.  From there maybe something more free form will emerge.