On the Way to Organization

While emptying out my grandpa’s cupboard (where I keep the majority of my stash,) I came across a pile of squares and circles.

"Grandpa's cupboard"

“Grandpa’s cupboard”

The squares were left over from the recent baby quilt I made for a niece, and the circles were from an abandoned project (I think.) I also save the circles that I cut out of the background fabric when I zig zag circles on top.

(back of quilt top, showing the circles trimmed out.)

(back of quilt top, showing the circles trimmed out.)

Anyway, they were right near the leftovers of a cute print that I had used for the back of my niece’s baby quilt. Hmmm. I wonder if I could make something out of these? I have another niece who is pregnant, so need to be fair and make her a quilt too. And wouldn’t it be fun for these baby cousins to have similar (but different!) quilts.

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This project was so fun. I sewed the squares into four patches. I cut rectangles from the print to add to the four patches. There was just enough of the print to cut out two squares the size of the four patches. And two four patches that did not have the print added to them. Then I started zig zagging the circles on top. As I cut the back out of the circles (to minimize bulk,) I saved those circles to be used in other squares.

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After all the pieces had enough circles attached, I figured out how I could fit these squares and rectangles together evenly, and sewed them into strips, and then joined the strips into a small quilt top. I refused to put it on the design wall–just joined them together as they looked good on the sewing table. I love the way it looks. Its only 36″ square, so I plan to get some solids that match and cut 2 1/2″ strips to add borders all around. And of course, I still have a few circles to add to the borders. I will say that zig zagging pieces is a lot easier when you are just adding them to a block instead of a whole quilt top.

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Studio update: I have windows! And the huge organization/purge continues. I filled 6 grocery sacks with good fabric to give to my crafty sister and nieces! Don’t worry, I have plenty of fabric left for my own use…

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Lots of Experimenting

Since I came home from the Nancy Crow workshop, I have been experimenting with the strip piecing and restructuring, and also have reverted to some of the style of work I was doing just before I left.

I made one composition, and then decided to see what would happen if I tried to insert a lattice-type of strip piecing into it.

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And then I had the idea to make a BIG quilt (56 inches square is big for me.) I wanted to try to include strips and circles together in one quilt. This was very fun to do, but also took a lot of time to put together all those strips of fabric.

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And then this one, which is back to the style that I started, and is the style I am using for “The Psalms” quilts. It is very calming. I will probably add some circles or other shapes on top of it, but it is all ready for me to start hand quilting.

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And that’s what I’ve been working on for the past week or so!

Another Abstract Quilt!

Oh, I think I could get addicted to making these! Very fun to play around with colors (yes, you are right, Shelley–colors that I don’t usually use,) and shapes. And they are small, so they are ‘finished’ in a day. I put that finished in quotes, because I am thinking that they are blank canvases for me to embroider on top of. In fact, I’m embroidering some circles (what else?) on yesterday’s quilt tonight. (confusing sentence…)

For this one I tried tearing the fabric. I like the texture that it adds. I’m not sure how much difference it will make in the long run. But I straight stitched the torn fabric and zig-zagged the edges of the cut fabric. I think it’ll add a little texture. If you remember the picture of the fabric I had laid out for this quilt, you will notice that I added a few pieces. It needed a little punch of color, so I looked through my greens and chose the one mosaic-y looking one, and then I found the fabulous tree fabric, and had to add a bit of that.

Here’s a pic in process–all pinned in place and ready to quilt.

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And here’s the end product. The color is a bit off in this picture. This is a small quilt too. Maybe 13″x16″.

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I love the organic look of these quilts. If I continue on with them, I am thinking of making them a series of quilts called “Psalms.” There is such a lot of beautiful imagery in the Psalms. I think it might provide the perfect words to put on these quilts.

And completely unrelated, here is Noah. He LOVES his couch. I hate this couch, so I’m glad somebody is enjoying it!

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Departure!

In honor of International Quilt Weekend, I took a little break from the log cabin quilt to play! My Quilting Arts magazine arrived Saturday, and I looked through it during my afternoon coffee break. I saw something that inspired me to work with a specific palette of colors, and I kept thinking about it, so that night before I went to bed I pulled out a ton of fabrics and auditioned them.

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These are the ones that made the cut.

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The next morning I got up and thought, hmmm, the ‘rejects’ make a pretty nice palette too.

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So before I went to church, I found two small backing fabrics and two small pieces of batting and put them together so I could play as soon as I got home from church. (Oh, a weird aside. I went back through that Quilting Arts magazine TWICE and I could not find the picture that so clearly inspired me. Maybe it was something I saw on the internet?)

At first, when I do this, even though it seems I have a ‘clear’ picture in my mind. I just stare at the fabrics. All these thoughts flit through my head “How am I supposed to put them together?” “What made you think you could do something like this?” “You CAN’T do this!” “What is wrong with you ?” And finally, “just cut into the fabric and TRY.”

And here is what I made. I just laid out the fabrics on the batting (the fabric kind of sticks to the batting so that is convenient,) and then pinned them all in place, and zigzagged around the raw edges. (It is small, maybe 14″x20″.)

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I LOVE it! I am hoping to use it to add a lot of hand stitching on.

Today I hope to get the log cabin together and make the second small ‘inspired’ quilt.