Here’s a quilt I made for a great niece recently. A friend gave me the jungle animal panel which I paired with fabrics in my stash. I love how purple it is! Yet purple is not my color.
Another use for my skinny fabric scraps–a rooster!
This handsome fella started out as a quick sketch…
Which I cut out and traced onto felt.
Then I added those skinny strips to make his feathers and added a mile of thread! (Actually, I didn’t measure the thread.)
Here’s the palette I used…
His face is all threads so it’s smoother.
The chicken wire is quilted with my favorite silver thread, Fil-tec.
There are several babies on the way in our family, so I’ve started making some baby quilts. I tried several new techniques on this one. I pieced the triangles on the serger instead of the sewing machine. It went together quickly and should add to the durability of the quilt. Then I quilted using special rulers and a ruler foot, with two different sewing machines. There’s quite a learning curve to using the rulers!
When it came time to bind the quilt, I could not find the binding I had originally cut. So I found coordinating solid fabrics and tried the faux piping method of binding. I think it looks much better than what I had planned!
My newest sewing machine has an embroidery function that can be used for quilting. I’ve done some experimenting with that feature. Today I practiced on a quilt for Hospice Caring, to give to one of the campers at bereavement camp later this year. The top was made and layered with batting and backing and was ready to quilt. I made some calculations, found a design that was close to the right size, and adjusted it to fit. Getting the quilt hooped correctly took some time, and I had to do it 20 times! Not sure I got any better at it! The stitching was pretty easy–just watch and listen for problems, like running out of thread. It was fun and it’s done. The pattern shows up best on the back.
Today I started preparing for a demo I’ll be presenting at our quilt show in August. I’ll be using skinny strips of fabric, the size that usually go into the trash, and recycle them into cute little bags, like these.
Now I have plenty of scraps that don’t fit in the category of “skinny strips” so I started playing with those as well. I used chunky scraps to make this one. While I was making it my thought was to cut it up for projects or quilt blocks. I really like it as is so it may become a wall hanging.
Then I used strips from a bag of scraps I purchased (uh, yeah, I didn’t have any of that line in my stash) a few years ago, to make this one. I like how it turned out, not sure how to use it yet.
Playing with scraps has been a great way to spend the end of my vacation!
When my girls were young the mending pile only seemed to grow, never get smaller. When I did get around to tackling it, I’d find they had already outgrown some items so I really didn’t have to mend those!
Now when I get ready to quilt or sew, I find a few items have accumulated by the sewing machine, waiting for repairs. I’ve changed my attitude. I consider this mending to be a warmup exercise. It may involve simple repairs that can be quickly accomplished like sewing on a button. Or it may require more creativity like finding the right color fabric to patch a hole. Either way, I am accomplishing something and getting reacquainted with my sewing space. (Note–this is not an invitation for you to drop off your mending pile!)
Today’s stash included a couple pairs of spring slacks to hem for my aunt. As I pulled the hems out I remembered that we used to save that thread so we’d have a perfect color match for the new stitching. I don’t have to do that because I’m fortunate to have a large collection of thread to work with. This is only one small selection!
Now that repairs are done I think I’ll stay and quilt a while.
I read A New Vision in Quilt Making by Mark Lipinski in the August/September 2015 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. The subtitle summarizes: “Slow down and reconnect with your creativity.” Mark’s “Slow Stitching Movement” fits right in with the mindfulness and single-tasking that I have been embracing. Mark describes his practice of slow stitching and it really appeals to me. Here’s a quote: “Stitching with intent will help you trust your creative instincts and learning through practice, how to be in touch with all your senses, emotions, and the creative muse.” Taking time and effort to create can be really fulfilling, just as slow-food can be really satisfying. I think I will be doing this more, this mindful stitching, putting aside distractions and concentrating on the work at hand–enjoying the process. And then I’ll balance that with the quick projects that give me the satisfaction of getting something done!