It All Started with Twine?

So has everyone seen the fabric twine? It must be on Pinterest, because it is so cute. I saw it on The Quilt Show website. The first time I saw it I thought, Ooh, pretty! But the second time I saw it I was hooked. They used it to make a little rug! So I clicked over to the tutorial. I needed strips of fabric. I do believe I have a box of strips somewhere. 

I found the box of strips, and soon I was MAKING TWINE. Now, to be fair, she did warn that it was a little hard on the hands. Oh yeah. That twisting motion was very hard on my hands. I made this much, and knew that twine making was not in my future.


That made me a little mad, so I went back to the box of strips. There were plenty in there. I could make another knitted rug. I really do like these rugs. I have two in my kitchen, and they are nice and cushy to stand on. Plus, they are easy to wash. And free. And they use up a lot of fabric that I would otherwise be donating to the thrift store.


Okay, so I got that rug started. The strips in the box were mostly neutrals, both darks and lights. I liked that idea, and decided to add just a few sparks of color once in a while.


So about a week later I went into the studio with the intention of cleaning up. There were still some strips leftover in that box. I was thinking I would just toss them. I made the mistake of actually LOOKING into the box. There were three squares that I had started on a few years ago. They were from a fabric panel that had old inn signs on it. I really did like those signs, and I liked the way I had outlined them with the strips. Oh, plus, for some reason, there were two paper-pieced blocks in there. Maybe I should use these strips up and make a little quilt.


ONE WEEK LATER, (and of course, with lots more strips cut out) I finished another WAY TOO BIG quilt top. It was very fun to work on this quilt, and it was a nice break from using my hands so much (machine piecing instead of hand work.) But 72″ X 72″? That’s gonna be a lot of dang quilting.


A Do-Over


Remember this quilt that I started way back when? And then I got the top put together here? I mentioned in that post that I was considering adding perle cotton embroidery to the ovals. And sure enough, I did do that.


I thoroughly enjoyed just adding my simple random embroidery to those pieces.


But after I had finished six of them, I still didn’t like the way it looked. I tried again, using only the running stitch, and connecting the ovals. Nope, I didn’t like that either.


So I took all that embroidery out. And then I tried to figure out what I was going to do with this quilt. It was on the wall when I took out some little oval pieces to play with on a different quilt top. When I do my zig zag appliqué, I often cut the back out carefully and keep those pieces for a future project. So these were the leftover pieces from this particular quilt. And I thought, Hey…..

So I tried putting these ovals on top of the other ovals. And I liked it!


Since the quilt sandwich had already been made and partially quilted, these motifs were zigzagged through all three layers of the quilt. I finished it with some “scribble circle” quilting.


P.S. I realize that those pieces are not “ovals.” But I don’t know what to call them. My BF says it looks like a Fleur de Lis now. I think that name will stick!

A Deadline is a Good Thing

I was asked to speak at the ladies luncheon this Saturday about The Bridge and our trip to Haiti. It has seemed to me that my life has run along two parallel but divergent lines for the past year–my housetop quilt project and my work on The Bridge. And they practically intersected during the first week of January. I hung the quilts for the gallery display on Thursday, and Sunday I left for Haiti! So I asked the organizer of the luncheon if I could share how meaningful both projects had been in my life for the past year. And she was most enthusiastic about it!

That meant that I had to try to finish two quilts this week. Because both of them were very related to the Haiti trip. One, of course, is the little travel quilt. As soon as I get off the computer, I need to start stitching like crazy on that one.

And the second was this quilt. I’ve been calling it ‘the little crosses’ quilt. But the real name is “We Are One.” I shared the meaning behind it here. I finished up the quilting on Monday, and I got all the words stitched onto it yesterday. And today I decided what to use for the binding, and got that put on this afternoon! Whee! It sure is fun to finish a quilt. Sometimes its a little painful, when you are kinda ‘done’ with it and ready to move on to the next project but there are still a lot of finishing touches to be completely finished. But it always feels great to put that last stitch in the quilt and hang it up to see your finished work.

Anyway, here is a shot of the four original blocks–remember, they are the ones I didn’t like, so I cut them into smaller pieces and inserted the crosses.


And here is the finished quilt:


And a couple of close-up shots:



And now I’m off to stitch a bit more!

New Work from Old

Well, I did go back to my quilting this week, but I got a rather slow start. I had little bits and pieces of ideas, and I just tried them all out.

I had six blocks that were made from a piece that I didn’t like at all, so I cut it all up into smaller pieces and sewed it back together. I liked those blocks, but what to do with just six blocks? So they have been hanging around (literally-hanging on my design wall,) for over a year. Sunday night I was thinking about what to do with them, and I thought--hmmm, six blocks. I wonder if I can make a cross with them? And sure enough, I could! I love the way it looks, but once again, it is stuck on the design wall, because I am still thinking about how to ‘frame’ it.


Then, I had some more blocks that I had put together in simple uneven strips of 5 color ways–yellow-gold, violet, blue, red, and green. BO-RRRING. So I cut those blocks into smaller strips. I found this piece of gray batik with pink metallic blotches on it, and thought it looked just great with the colored strips inserted. Again, I am not working evenly. I am trying to make them all into 12 inch blocks so that eventually it will be easier to put together.


Then, I had this bag of one inch strips hanging around. They were leftover from a bathmat that I knitted (yes, I knitted with one inch strips of cotton fabric. No, I don’t recommend doing that. It was pretty hard, and my wrists really hurt by the time I was done. But yes, I do love that bath mat!) ANYWAY, I kept thinking, what could I do with one inch strips? And this morning I was looking through an old journal, and there was an entry where I wrote down “try doing a raw-edge log cabin.” Wow, I answered my own question! Here’s the prototype. I really like how it looks. And I think it will be very interesting after its washed. The raw edges will fray and add a lot of texture.


And of course, mostly in the evening, I continue to work on my little travel quilt. Who had the idea that the entire thing should be covered in quilting lines less than 1/4″ apart?


Of course, supervised, as always, by Sophie.

So that’s what I’ve been up to this week. It didn’t seem like I had done much. But when I put it all down in one place, it seems just fine for a week’s work.