Two Finishes

November 27th, 2018

There is something so satisfying about totally completing projects and I have 2 that I can now cross off my list!  My sister’s knitting bag is done and she loves how it came out:

Unfortunately, she had this photo taken with the “bad side” in front, but I guess that means she’s ok with the bad side, so that’s positive!  I also finally finished sewing down the facing on a wall hanging that has been folded up in my sewing bag for over a year.  That may be a new record for lugging around a 95% completed project and not taking the time to finish it!  It’s developed creases in it from being folded for so long:

The background fabrics are cotton sateens that I dyed and the appliques are all cotton batiks:

A Different Kind of Improvisational Quilting

November 14th, 2018

These are 2 improv blocks laid next to one another on the floor.  Wouldn’t more of these make the coolest quilt?  These are actually going to be used as the front and back of a giant knitting bag for my sister, but I definitely want to return to this technique for a real quilt.  Totally, totally fun!  The circles are made separately and appliqued to a block using a small blanket stitch.  I used invisible thread in my top needle:

Here is the front of the bag:

…and here is the back panel:

(I like the front much better, that’s why it’s the front!)  And here’s a shot of the front panel quilted with a spiral design:

Isn’t that cool?  I’m not gonna lie-that spiral was really hard to quilt and my neck was in spasms.  I did it with my walking foot and I NEVER do walking foot quilting because it sends my neck and shoulders into a cramp.  The whole time I was doing it, I was dreaming of throwing on my free motion foot but I persevered and it came out great!  Will post the knitting bag once it’s done.  The interior is a custom job with all kinds of special compartments that Marnie wants, so it will take me awhile to figure that part out.

Quilted and Bound!

November 10th, 2018

This quilt was the quickest quilt I’ve made in eons and it was totally fun from start to finish.  There is something invigorating about working with rich, saturated colors that really gets me “into” a project.  The center section is quilted with featherettes:

The outermost border is quilted as series of arched swags with tapered channels inside.  These were made using the PTD 12 arc:

…and the blocks themselves are just quilted with stitch in the ditch.  I did those as ruler work using my PTD staright ruler:

Besides being incredibly fun to piece together, these donation quilts are teaching me about quilting for bed quilts/snuggle quilts.  I am exercising tremendous restraint in my quilting because densely quilted quilts don’t keep folks as warm (you need to be able to trap air in the batting layer to provide warmth), and a stiff quilt is not as inviting to snuggle as a “poofy” quilt.

Hospice Donation Quilt #3 for the period 10/1/18-9/30/19 completed!


New Quilt Started

November 5th, 2018

I’m about 2/3 done quilting that first improv quilt, and in the meantime, I’ve gotten a good jump on piecing my next improv quilt.  This time, I’m working with a blue/green colorway.  Here were my original building blocks before the really fun part began:

I knew I wanted some type of blue for my sashings/borders, and this is the color I settled on:

I laid out the rest of the borders to get a sense of what it might look like.  I like it, but it’s too “matchy/matchy” for my taste.  I decided to try and simulate what it might look like if I slashed each block and inserted a new color as the “slasher color:”

The more I looked at it, I wondered how it might look if I used a different shade of green on 2 of the 4 blocks.  It’s subtle, but you may be able to see there are 2 shades of green in the photo below:

I like that much better.  The slashing part is pretty fast and easy.  I drew 2 intersecting soap lines on a block so I had a kind of a road map as to how I wanted to slash, then went ahead and slashed in 1 direction.  I re-attached the pieces with a narrow strip of a yellowy green in between, and here’s how it came out: 

I then slashed in the opposite direction and here’s what it looked like at that point:

I then re-attached the 2 pieces with another narrow strip of the same color.  Here’s what my first block looked like once it had been re-assembled:

I’m so excited and I’m loving this process!  I  won’t have time to get back to this quilt for a couple of days, but I’m psyched to work on it more.  I’m seeing some slashing in my future…

And on a totally unrelated note, if you haven’t watched the new mini series on Netflix called “Homecoming,”  watch it!  The acting is great and the story is intriguing.  The first few episodes are a little slow, but once it becomes clear that something is amiss, you can’t stop watching!!

Improv Quilt

November 2nd, 2018

The pile of strips above represents the beginnings of an improv quilt.  I was so “juiced” by working with warm colors on my last quilt that I decided to start a new quilt in that same colorway.  To be honest, I have been so upset/frustrated/disenchanted/saddened by the hate and distrust that is bubbling over in our country that I have been “hiding out” in my sewing room, trying to stay upbeat by throwing myself into quilting.  I’m grateful to have this outlet as there seems to be no end in sight for the negative vibes in this country.



This next shot shows my 4 improv blocks just before they were completed.  Each block began as a scrap from a quilt I made more than 20 years ago.  I threw in a few more “skinny strips” of those same scraps into each block as I worked my way outward.   I like the look of them all together on the floor:


I knew I wanted to stick with a warm color for the “background” fabric, so here is my first color audition:



Ooh, la-la!  I found my winner on my very first try!  Next up, I sewed the joining sashings and then added those outer borders, and viola, my quilt top was complete:




I must confess that in my enthusiasm to piece this improvisationally,  I ignored all the rules about taking the averages of measurements to determine the correct length of “the next strip.”  I may pay the price for this when I go to quilt this colorful top…full report to follow!  In the meantime, I have bagged my warm strips together so I’m ready for another project down the line:

I’m trying to stay organized so I can make many of these kinds of quilts down the road…