Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn, Eventually {a scrappy batik quilt}

I was being rather optimistic when I made this fall-colored quilt.  A couple weeks ago we were still in the depths of 98 degrees every day, drought, dusty, dripping sweaty summer!  I named the quilt "Autumn, Eventually" because autumn will come, eventually, we hope!

Well, here we are at the end of September and the days are finally turning cool and breezy! Not all of them, mind you, but more and more.  Maybe we won't have too many more sweltering days til summer comes again next year.

This quilt was made from some of the scraps Judy sent me.  When I made me initial sort of the fabrics I pulled out several groups that immediately seemed to go together and this was one of those.  I cut them all to 5" tall and pieced them together, a la my Scrappy Strip Quilt tutorial and the Scrap Palooza Brick Quilt.  I decided to sash between the rows to separate them a little bit and ta-da, a quilt!

I have several favorite fabrics in these but this oak leaf is one.  Theses colors are just delicious and the majority of the fabrics have nature-themed designs.

I did a new-to-me FMQ design, leaves and loops from Natalia Bonner's Free Motion Quilting book.  Much easier to see from the back. I used a golden/tan colored thread in the top and bobbin.

Speaking of the back, I pulled together a pieced back from my stash of nice fall-ish colors, a mix of prints and solids, and bound it in a soft yellow solid.

The quilt finished at 63" x 51", a perfect size for a couch, or a swing :)

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WIP Wesnesday

Remember these HSTs on the design wall?  Well they were finally sewn together, then cut back apart with some easy curves.

This quilt is also back on the wall. I need to get the second half of it sewn together.  I showed what I have so far to its future owner the other night and he LOVED it, so maybe that will give me the motivation to need to get done!

Finally I've been working on more batik scraps, this time in a pretty girly palette.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday. What are you working on this week?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rust Dye Experiment

I stumbled upon Luann Kessi's blog the other day, she is working on a stunning quilt using some of the rust dyed fabrics she created herself.  The colors and textures from the rust are so saturated and sharp!

So naturally the next morning I dug out some rusty metal bits, soaked some fabric in vinegar, and set up a dying experiment! I didn't get any photos of it in progress unfortunately, just the finished pieces.

This one used a metal grill, probably from an oven, and several metal mesh baskets of some kind that were just falling apart.

I laid the fabric down first, put the rusty objects on, and then folded the fabric over the top to get a mirror image.

The other pieced of fabrics used a couple of what I assumed to be car parts and several old chainsaw chains.

When I showed him the finished fabric my dad identified the round thing immediately as a clutch from our old Suzuki jeep. I love how crisp some of the lines are between the rusted and white areas.

Here's what the chainsaw chains did.  After rusting for 3 days I soaked the fabrics overnight in baking soda and salt water then washed them (twice) and dried.

I'll be interested to see if there is any issue with these colors running when I eventually use them, most likely as quilt backs. For now they are folded up and I'm just enjoying looking at them :)

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Giant Floor Pillow and Easy Nap Time Blankies

Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts makes these great oversize floor pillows for her kids and I have been wanting to make one ever since I saw her first one. Unfortunately I don't have any kids, but I know people who do!

To make the pillow I first made my own pillow casing from a sheet and stuffed it with about 5lbs of Poly Fil. Then I made the pieced top and solid back for the pillow and simply stippled them onto batting.  Amanda says that it's hard to really understand how big these pillows are until you see one in person, and that is definitely true. It's huge! Fortunately Wilson hopped into the picture to give some scale.

I made a hidden zipper, which was a first for me.  It's not exactly invisible but it is low visibility, and more importantly I think it's recessed enough not to scratch the floor when little boys jump off the couch onto this pillow and slide across the room.

After I made the pillow but before I delivered it I was wandering around Hancocks and saw they had their John Deere fabrics on sale. One of these little boys is OBSESSED with John Deere. So, of course, I had to make some quick nap-time blankies.

For each blanket I got 1yd of fleece and 1 yd of print. I sewed them together pillowcase style, sandwiching some bits of ribbon and ric rac in the seam.  After turning them right side to and hand sewing the opening closed I just sewed a round about 1/4" from the edge to hold everything in place.

I did a really really large stipple on both blankets to hold the layers together. Not strictly necessary since there is no batting, but I think it looks nice.  The combination of fleece on one side and cotton print on the other feels very soft and cuddly but nice and light.

Even though I knew that these would end up around 44"x36", as that is 1yd x WOF, and I have made baby quilts in that size before, I was still pleasantly surprised by how large they seemed when I got them all done.  They will be able to grow with the boys for several years!

And that's what I've been working on this week. What about you? Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

HSTs on the Wall

Monday again. Where does the weekend go?

Today this is what's on my design wall. A bunch of HSTs in boy friendly colors. I am still rearranging them right now; haven't committed to a layout yet.

Linking up to Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Scrappy Crumb Paint Box

Well, this one took waaay too long to finish, but finally the scrappy crumb jar paint box quilt is done! What got me motivated? Starting my next crumb project, of course! I only wanted to have one going at a time :)

All these little scraps measured 2" x less than 2" to start. I grouped them by color and sewed them in to long chains which I turned in to blocks.

The blocks are sashed in half an inch of white fabric and set in a black and white crossweave that reads as a grey. For me that cross weave makes the quilt. It is so soft! It gives the quilt such lovely texture and depth.

I quilted it was oddly spaced straight lines in various colors. This is the first time I have tried straight line quilting in a while. Ever since I learned to FMQ and realized how much easier it is I haven't looked back! That said, it worked out pretty well. Minimal puckering at the intersections of seams.

I did squeeze in some FMQ; I did a stipple inside of all the scrappy squares in a matching color.

For the backing I used some more of the IKEA numbers print that I love so much. I think the black and white contrasts really nicely with the bright colored scraps.

The quilt finished at 45"x60", a good size for a baby or toddler.  I don't have any plans for it yet, here's hoping it finds a good home soon!

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Autumn Scrap Quilt

 This week on the design wall, it's yet ANOTHER new quilt top. Well, it wasn't quite assembled yet in the picture, but it is now. This was made from some of the batik scraps that Judy sent to me.  Don't these colors just scream "Fall"?  We're still deep in the heat of summer here in Texas, but I know Fall will come, some day.  I hope!

Linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lonestar WIP Finally Finished!

Well, I knew it had been a long time, but after looking back in the blog archives the last time I really worked on his quilt was April of 2013! Ouch. It's been folded up, basted and partially quilted ever since then.  What held me up was filling in all the negative space around the stars I had straight-line quilted. I had only started FMQ in January of that year and I lacked the confidence to do anything more than a stipple, and I wanted to do something more "special" that stipple!

Over a year and a lot of FMQ later I have decided that the stipple is pretty awesome, especially when it comes to finishing a project quickly! So I unfolded this baby, dusted it off, and stippled in the rest of the background.

The pieced star was made based on Better Off Thread's tutorial. Please forgive the less than stellar meeting of the points! There are some cute fabrics in there, including the little mini marching elephants I used in this quilt.  I quilted the star by outlining both sides of the seam using my walking foot as a guide. Doing that gave me the idea to quilt a couple more partial stars in the negative space using the same motif.

This kind of quilting is really hard to get a picture of! There is most of a star on the upper right of the quilt and a corner of one on the lower right.

Wilson assisted with pictures, as per usual. As you can see, I did indeed do a loose stipple in the space around the stars.

I love this pieced back almost as well as the front. Because I was using brown thread on the front, and didn't want to fight with the FMQ tension trying to get it just perfect I opted to use brown on the back too. The contrasting thread shows through all the quilting designs.

The Michael Miller Wooden Horses came in a scrap pack from Hawthorne Threads and I have used every stitch of that fabric! Love those little horsies with the doily type motif on them.

The large textured aqua came from Connecting Threads, don't remember exactly what color it was. That orange plaid came from a scrap pack, too. And of course there's the IKEA number fabric.  The quilt is kind of a funny shape, about 55"x70", so it's long and skinny.

I have had in mind to give this one to some friends of mine if I ever got it done... but I think I might give them a choice of a couple different quilts I have on hand. Every time I have done that people surprise me with their choice!

For the first time in a long time I have no quilts sitting around partially quilted and unfinished! What finishes are you celebrating this week?

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Disappearing Hourglass Blocks

I so enjoying linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Friday Finishes each week and looking at what everyone else has finished!  This week I saw this quilt made from the Missouri Quilt Company's Disappearing Hourglass Tutorial and wanted to make a similar one immediately.  The stars are perfect for using scraps, and look so delicate and girly.

I pulled these fabrics from my stash using the colors in that plaid in the center.  I will probably remake the green blocks in fabrics with more contrast. These blocks are fun to make and come together quickly, I already have the pieces cut for a dozen. I am planning on a 36"x48" quilt for donation.

On the design floor, as it were, are lots and lots of batik strips sorted from the generous scrap box Judy sent me.  No immediate plans for these, I am just enjoying looking at them for the moment.

Finally, I am working on sewing together crumb units for my latest scrap quilt. 282 down of 1225 needed!

Of course what I really need to do today is baste some of the tops I have done. Sigh.  Basting is my least favorite part.  What about you?  Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Fresh;y Pieced.