I have small finish to show you today. With the 4th of July holiday just around the corner for those of us in the U.S.A., I thought it would be nice to make something patriotic. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!
I knew exactly what fabrics I wanted to use. I have had these fabrics for quite awhile. In my mind I was thinking on a design for a flag mini with them, but the idea I ended up with is totally different.
I started with the fabric, my small cutting mat and rotary cutter, and ruler. In addition to that I used this mini Made Fabric template from Victoria Findlay Wolfe. While this project is easily done without the template, the template is clear and makes it so easy to fussy cut for this project.
I fussy cut four stars from this Jo Morton fabric. Then, taking red, white and blue fabrics, I began to sew.
I just alternated the strip colors as I attached them to the star piece, going around twice.
Once that was done, I pulled out my little scrap pieces of batting and got them ready for quilting. Just enough of the cream colored fabric was left for the back.
Using simple straight line quilting,I just followed the flow of the strips around the center star. One 22″ black strip cut 1-1/4″ was used for a single-fold binding with an envelope finish.
Our daughter is coming home this weekend, so these will be fun to use when we’re all together. I am hoping the weather holds enough for us to spend some time around the table on our deck, sipping on something refreshing and catching up with each other.
Batiks and babies are on my mind here at Pieceful Thoughts today. While I am procrastinating on other projects, I pulled out some batik strips and whipped them up into a quilt top.
The batiks are leftover from two other quilts I made, one for my daughter and one for friend who let us stay at her cabin. They are bright greens and blue batiks; very calming and fun to work with.
The pattern is a free download I found a few years ago. I used this pattern for my daughter’s quilt, so I knew it would be easy to do again. However, I miscalculated in one step of the cutting so things don’t quite match up correctly. No matter, this is going to be a practice quilt for me as I learn free motion quilting.
Babies and Baby Quilts
Both of the finished baby quilts are in their new homes, and just in time too! One of the babies has arrived. A beautiful little girl named Sophia Joan. I can’t wait to meet her and see her with the quilt. The day I took the picture, which was, of course the morning I was handing it off, was rainy and cloudy, so the pictures aren’t the best. I hope to have some better ones to show you soon!
The Mini Periwinkle Quilt was given to my cousin Deb, who is the grandmother of the soon-to-arrive little girl. We are all waiting, (im)patiently for her to make her appearance! Here’s a picture of the quilt, taken on yet another very wet, dark day. This pattern is from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, and the fabric is Sugar Pie by Lella Boutique.
The rest of the week has been spent secret sewing, in anticipation of the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop! I’m looking forward to sharing my project with you!
Katy of KatyQuilts nominated me for The Liebster Award. I have been following Katy for quite awhile and her blog is one of my personal favorites. Whether she knows it or not, she provides so much inspiration to me as a blogger, through her beautiful quilts, her love of her family and her faith, and her lovely blog. If you aren’t familiar with Katy, please visit her blog and say hello. Thank you, Katy, I’m delighted and humbled that you would choose to nominate me!
So what is the Liebster Award? The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
The official rules for the award can be found at The Global Aussie. According to the rules, I’m supposed to share some random facts about myself, so here’s the questions:
Who inspired you to quilt/sew? I grew up around fabric with a grandmother who was a seamstress and my mother who made clothing for me as a child. While they inspired me to sew in some ways, I honestly have to say that my brother and sister-in-law are the two who lit the spark in me to quilt. They still inspire me, and you can see that we have a good time together, even when we’re not quilting.
If you could meet one person you have never met, who would it be? My great grandmother, who made this quilt. I’d love to talk with her, hear her stories about her life, and ask her about this quilt and why she made it.
What was the last movie you saw in a theater? I honestly cannot remember! I think it was probably Unbroken. Most of the time I stream movies at home so I can do some hand stitching while I watch.
What kind of music do you like? My tastes in music are pretty varied. When I quilt, I’m likely to be listening to mellow music. Lately we have been following a couple of our favorite indie folk artists, Josh Garrels and Holly Arrowsmith.
What is your favorite quilt/sewn project/craft?
Any quilt with points in them — New York Beauty, Pickle Dish — anything with spikey points in them. I just want to try making them to see if I can.
What is your favorite candy bar?
Truthfully, I don’t eat many candy bars. BigJ claims I am a coffee and chocolate snob (he’s right). Give me good dark chocolate any day over a candy bar. But in desperate times, I’ll nab a Snickers.
Hand Quilt or Machine Quilt?
When I started quilting, I hand quilted my quilts because I had no confidence to try machine quilting. Most of my attempts turned out pretty poorly. I’m determined to learn how to free motion my quilts, but in the meantime I use my walking foot to quilt many of my tops. My larger quilts now go to Connie, who machine quilts them on her long arm.
Orange — bright, vibrant orange. No pastels, thank you.
Favorite Quilting/Crafting Item?
My rotary cutter. I grew up cutting fabric squares for the church quilting ladies, using a cardboard template and a scissors. From the time I was little my mom used to say I would cut just about anything I could get my hands on — my hair, my dog’s hair — so she put me to work cutting quilt squares. (My dog was thankful.) It was a long, slow process. Now I’m thankful for my rotary cutter because it so fast and much more accurate!
Do you work on one project or many?
While I have a stack of projects to make, many works-in-progress tucked in various places in my quilt cave, and a few of them by my machine, when I’m actually working on a project, I’ll work on that until I’m done. Sometimes I’ll take a break and work on something else, but not often.
Last fall, I participated in a QAL hosted by Lori of Humble Quilts where we made a mini quilt using Madder fabrics. I got the quilt top finished, but that’s all the farther I got. Until now. Over the last weekend, I finished off the little quilt, using my new machine to quilt it.
I kept the quilting simple, just diagonal lines through the quilt. I used a thin batting. When it came to marking the quilt for the quilting, I tried my hera marker, but I couldn’t see the lines well enough, so I opted for a light (or not so light, in places) pencil line. It worked much better for this one.
All the fabrics used are shirtings and madder prints from our local quilt shop, Reproduction Fabrics.
I’m currently working on a quilt top using some leftover batik jelly roll strips in blues and greens. I hope to get a bit more progress on that today. This weekend will mostly be spent on the road, as I travel to celebrate birthdays with two of our aunts.
Awhile ago, when I first joined our quilt group, we had a challenge where we picked a napkin with a design and made a quilt using the design on the napkin or colors in the napkin. I was told we didn’t need to copy the design exactly, but could use it as inspiration, which I did. I no longer have the napkin or my written description to show you, but I can tell you that my mini didn’t look at all like the napkin!
This little top has been languishing in my pile of WIPs until now. I have wanted to finish it just because I love the color and the fun I had designing it. All of the fabrics are from my stash.
I decided to quilt it with freeform wavy lines with orange thread. I didn’t think too much about creating the waves, I just let them happen. I started by stitching wavy lines down the center of the quilt, then added additional wavy lines, spacing the wavy line pairs about 3-4″ from each other. Once that was done, I filled in more wavy lines between those until I felt it was done.
The colors are very bright orange and deep blues. It was a challenge to get a photo showing the intense color.
For the backing, I pulled out this bright batik.
The binding is another piece of orange batik that I had in my stash.
Baby Quilt Update
I handed off one of the baby quilts today, with a request for some pictures in the baby’s nursery. It was a rainy morning yesterday and I wasn’t able to get any good pictures, even in natural light.
I will be delivering the other baby quilt this weekend, so I’m hoping the weather cooperates enough to let me get some good photos of that one beforehand.
Most of my weekend has been spent getting to know my new Janome Skyline S7, so I thought I’d share a bit about what I like about this machine so far. I still have much to learn, but I have tested it quite a bit this weekend.
This is the first machine I’ve ever picked out and purchased on my own. All the other machines I have were gifts from my mom, except for the little toy sewing machine I own, which was a gift from my daughter. It’s kind of like buying my first car!
This is a hefty machine, weighing 24 pounds. I used to slide my little Janome around on the table when I needed space to work. I won’t be doing that with this one. It stays put.
At 19″ x 12.5″ x 9.25″, it has a nice wide bed as well as a much longer harp than I’ve been used to working on. This weekend I’ve worked on two baby quilts, two mini quilts, and a bag and the bed and harp made finishing these projects so much easier. There was plenty of room to move and shift the fabric as I was sewing.
A Few of My Favorite Things
Thread Cutters – The thread is automatically cut at the touch of a button when you finish sewing. I am completely spoiled by that feature already. The thread tails are so much smaller, I’m already l saving thread with this feature. There are also three other thread cutters well-placed in this machine: by the bobbin winder, in the bobbin compartment, and by the needle threader.
Lighting – The lighting on the workspace of the machine is very good. I can easily see what I am sewing. I still have one other task light off to my side, more for the work I do when not using the machine.
Bobbin Winder – As silly as it is, I love the bobbin winder. It is easy to use and it is so quiet (and there’s that nifty thread cutter).
Storage – There is ample storage for the 11 feet and other accessories.
AcuFeed Flex – This was one of the reasons I went with this machine, so I’ve been eager to give it a try. I used it to quilt and bind two mini quilts. It feeds the fabric and batting through evenly with no puckering. None. No skewed corners. In addition to the dual feed, there’s also a “pivot” button feature. When you stop sewing the foot lifts up about halfway with the needle down, so you can pivot corners easily while binding. It’s a great feature.
Needle Threader – I have a needle threader on my other Janome, but I hardly used it because it never worked that well. On this machine, however, it works easily and consistently.
Free Arm – Like other Janome machines, part of the bed detaches, leaving a free arm that is useful when sewing bags, sleeves on garments, etc.
It came in handy when I worked on this market bag this weekend.
This bag is lined with a fairly stiff pellon and the machine handled it beautifully. If you want to see more about this bag, you can read my post about it here.
So there’s a little peek into what I am enjoying as I get to know my new machine. I have quite a bit left to learn, with 11 feet, 91 needle positions and 240 stitches. That should keep me occupied for awhile. I’m sure most of what I’ve commented on is basic in the newer machines, but it’s all new and fun to me!
In January, I posted about The 70273 Project, explaining how I came upon the project and why I decided to join by making some blocks. You can read my original post here. Not long after that, I was invited to share The 70273 Project with our quilt club as a challenge, asking them to join me in making some blocks. Today I’ll share with you today the results of that challenge.
The blocks I’ll show here are those made by some of the women in my quilt group. Each one is unique in its own way, and each one represents one life taken.
You’ll see that the blocks are made using different materials. There are only three sizes for the blocks, and we have some of each size. In all, our group made 54 blocks.
The next step is to scan all the blocks and provenance forms, then give an id tag to each block. Once that is done, the blocks will either be mailed to Jeanne or will be made into a quilt. I’ll decide which once I have the scanning and tagging done.
Wednesday Wanderings isn’t wandering far today. We’re sticking close to home, but I’ll share a bit about wanderings coming up! It’s Project Central around here. Both BigJ and I are up to our ears in things to get done.
For the rest of the week, you’ll either find me here:
Or at the Minnesota Quilt Show with friends, old and new!
I’ll be back next Monday to share my thoughts on the weekend and the show. This is my first Minnesota Quilt Show! I know, right?! I’ve lived in Minnesota how long and I’ve never been to the quilt show?? Time to get out from under my rock and go!