I have had this batik quilt top languishing in my stash for far too long. So long, in fact, that I cannot remember when I started working on it. We are having rain again today, but I was able to sneak out between showers and quickly get a few photos. Let me tell you a bit about it.
There is no pattern for this quilt. I just picked batiks that I liked and started sewing them together, using the stack and whack method, if I recall correctly. There was no plan, other than just playing with my batik fabrics. It started out with the idea that it would be at least a lap size quilt or larger, but then I got to a point where the rest of my batiks didn’t work as well with it. So I added the inner dark blue border and left it. I added the additional border a little later.
The quilt is 38″ x 50″, so a large baby quilt or crib quilt size. I had some left over yellow flannel, and I pieced that for the backing. That sat and languished almost as long as the top!
I brought it to Connie for quilting and then forgot I had brought it to her. This poor quilt! Anyway, here’s a close up of Connie’s lovely quilting with swirls and a leafy vine in the border.
The binding is in a deep rose batik from my stash. I’m not sure what I will do with this quilt now that it’s done, but it’s my batik finish for this Friday.
I finally came up with an idea. While the fabric made me think I needed to do something with a tropical theme, I realized I could make some fun pumpkins from the pink and orange fabrics.
Today is all about keeping it real, as I show you that sometimes ideas don’t exactly come out like planned. Honestly, I debated about whether to even post on this, but I think it’s okay to show the imperfect too.
My idea was to make improv pumpkins. I just cut a few strips of the pink and orange fabrics and put them together. They are a bit more “cubist” than I had planned, but hey, it’s improv, so it’s all about going with the flow, right??
The stems are made from small improv pieces of the green and blue fabrics from the bundle. The cream background fabric is a piece from my stash (I don’t know what line it is from). Once I made the pumpkins, my plan was to add improve squares/rectangles to the corners to create the rounded pumpkins. That worked until some of the corners disappeared when I put the borders on. Voila! “Cubist” pumpkins.
Once I put the top together, I was debating the thread color for the quilting. I thought to use this rust-colored thread. It worked okay, although if I were to do it again, I’d go with a lighter thread color. I learn better through trial and error, so I’m okay with this too.
As long as I was learning things from this quilt, I decided to take my first whack at a flanged binding. I’m not happy with the way it turned out. Not everything lined up and the corners didn’t miter as well as usual. I found it difficult to stitch through the flange and the quilt sandwich, much of which I think is due to the density of batik fabrics, and I wobbled around on my stitching too much.
Anyway, I had fun making it, I learned some things, and, in the end, it’ll do. It’s my finish for the week.
I’m having lunch with a friend today, and her birthday was this last week, so I made this little mug mat for her. We’ve known each other for a long time; in fact, my husband and I met through her and her husband many years ago. But that’s another story . . .
The center block is from a fabric line called Comfort of Psalms, and I like to use it to make mug mats for friends. All of the fabrics were from my stash. The blue polka dot was supposed to be a dress for my daughter when she was little. Right when I was going to make it, she told me that she didn’t like polka dots. I love the polka dots, so I’ve used this piece quite often!
Introducing . . .
Another friend I’d like you to meet today is Tracie. Tracie and I have also known each other for years. We have shared many cups of coffee while chatting about life, family, faith, quilting, and her adorable dog. She has been a huge help to me as we both started blogging, and I am grateful to her for that. She is very creative, has a wonderful way with words, and an amazing eye for photography.
Tracie’s blog is Riceford Streams. Her current post shares some of the joys she finds from making quilts. Don’t miss her Vault of Happiness. Curious? Go check out her post and leave her a comment (tell her hi from me). While you’re there, don’t forget to take a peek at her Instagram, where you can see more of her photography and that adorable dog!
Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
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.
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.
Last weekend was so busy I didn’t have any time to work on the baby quilt. Tuesday and Wednesday my sister-in-law Nita came to visit. We talked, did a little shopping, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We don’t get to be together often enough, but I do love the times we are together.
Yesterday was an all-sewing day. BigJ needed to take my car, so I was stuck at home, happily. I got busy and finished up the second baby quilt top. Wanna see it? Of course you do!
It has been another crazy weather week in Minnesota. We have had sunshine, 80 degree weather, wind, rain, hail, and now chilly temps in the 50’s. Needless to say, it’s been good weather for a sewing project! I’ve been busy, so let me show you what I’ve done.
Friday is here and once again I am late at getting this post done. One of my goals for this year is to work on getting more of my posts ready ahead of time rather than flying by the seat of my pants. So far, it’s not going too well, but there is some improvement. So, strapping on my inner Last Minute Lulu, here goes!
I actually started and finished a large quilt top this week. That hasn’t happened in awhile. Now, granted, the quilt was easy because I was working with pre-cuts. Sometimes it’s just good therapy to grab and sew, y’know?
I made this quilt while waiting to begin another project that will involve more intricate piecing. I couldn’t go to the quilt store until this past Wednesday, so I had to find something to do in the meantime. I mean, I have no other unfinished projects that I could’ve, well, finished. Ha!
In Wednesday’s post, I showed you the pre-cuts. I used fabric from Corey Yoder’s Sundrops line along with a Kona Solid in a creamy white. The Sundrops pre-cut pack had a pattern in it named Garden Gate. So armed with everything I needed, I got to it.
Yesterday I was finishing the quilt by putting in the sashing. Easy peasy, until I did this.
Been there, anyone? So I spent some time with Jack, the ripper. We had a long conversation . . . 59 inches of conversation. Not doing that again, I hope.
I was so excited to show you the finished quilt, but I needed to take some photos. So I slipped my hikers on (who needs to tie them – this was gonna be short and quick anyway), and headed out on to my patio. Did I mention it’s currently -2 degrees here this morning? It was a short and sweet photo session, so don’t judge too harshly. Long sleeved shirt, denim capris and hikers; probably should’ve rethought that fashion statement before going out. I don’t think anyone noticed . . . they were probably tucked in their warm houses, slurping coffee!
So anyway — here it is, right next to our Christmas tree which has migrated to the deck. I told you it was tradition, now you have proof.
Even my cat got a short burst of energy from my foray onto the deck. That chilly air wafting through the house had him zipping to and fro, which of course means he will be napping on my ironing board later when I need to use it. Did I tell you that he once singed his fur nestling too close to the iron? Silly cat.
Today I begin cutting into this lovely cache of fabric. This will become a quilt that has been requested by a friend. I hope she likes it. I can’t wait to get started!
Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy your weekend, may it be full of long running stitches (and no Jack)!
My Friday Finish for the week isn’t a quilt, but a project that will improve my quilt room.
A few years ago, my daughter purchased an art canvas that measured 36 x 48 x 1 inches. She had planned to do a painting on it, but life got busy, the painting never happened, and the canvas shifted from place to place around the house, waiting for a spot to land. There had to be another use for it.
One day it occurred to me that I could use it as a small design wall. For awhile now, I’ve just been draping a batting over it and using it that way. This worked but obviously not as ideally as it could. When I cleared the quilt room to put in the new floor, it was time to get this design wall project done.
Here’s what I used for the project:
Art Canvas (this would work with any size)
Batting (I used Warm & Natural Crib Size)
Staples (long enough to secure batting well)
Because I had used the batting already, I wanted to get the threads cleaned off of it. I suppose you wouldn’t necessarily have to do this, but it felt better to work with it clean. This is where the lint roller came in. Helpful tip:Pull a longer strip from the roller and tear it off. Place it sticky side down on the batting and rub it (similar to waxing your legs – haha!). Pull it up and voila! It seems to pick up threads much better this way.
Lay your batting on a clean, flat surface. Center your canvas on the batting, making sure there is enough batting to wrap around each side of the canvas with some to spare. One end of my batting was longer; you’ll see that I cut that off later. You could also measure and cut the batting to size before you begin.
I started on one of the short ends, pulling the batting around the frame of the canvas, then securing it with a staple. Using a staple gun from this angle can be a little tricky. I found it easiest to lay it flush with the canvas and use the frame to hold onto as you squeeze the trigger (I used both hands). This helps get the staple flush with the frame and through the batting. My staples were a little short, so we’ll see how they hold. Use staples that are long enough to staple securely.
With one short end done, I flipped it over to see my progress and to make sure I was tucking it snugly as I got ready to staple the other short end. You don’t want to pull so snug that the batting tears, but you don’t want it loose either. Once I felt like I had the right tautness, I flipped it over and got to work.
The next step are the long sides. The first thing I did was tuck the corner. Because my staples were shorter, I decided to do a two-step wrap, hoping to secure the batting well enough. Once the first wrap was done, then I made a second, similar wrap.
Then I worked my way down the long end, stopping just before I got to the other corner.I made sure to firmly tuck the batting around the frame as I worked along. At that point, I trimmed the extra batting so that I could tuck the corner without extra bulk.
Now that I had three sides done, I flipped it over to be sure it was still laying flat. Satisfied that it was looking good, I flipped it back over and worked on the other long end. This is the last wrap, so I made sure I was keeping it gently taut.
Done! It looks so much better stapled to the canvas rather than draping over it.
When I moved back in to my quilt room, I moved this antique dresser in. This is a family piece; the story is that it was made by an uncle of mine out of wood from an old organ. BigJ did a little work on the drawers, making them slide in and out better. It now holds my fat quarters, small projects, and batting. The design wall will hang over the dresser. I should be able to access it well enough for my little projects, more efficiently using my space. I’ll still be able to take it off the wall and carry it to another room to use if need be.
So here it is, at home on the wall, with a few little projects on it. I even have my dresser top reasonably clean (for now). One more quilt room project, done!
I do have one little quilt project finish for the week. I finished this little mini runner. I’m enjoying the Pantone color of the year for 2017 early!
Our weekend is looking to be cold, snowy and chilly. Tuck in, stay home, stitch much!!