After my last few projects, I realized I had an abundance of scraps. Fortunately, I love to play with scraps! I had this idea that I would make something along the lines of Charlie Brown’s t-shirt – a bit of a zigzag. Instead of making it all scrappy, I had some blue fabric that I thought might work as the center to create the zigzag line. Full disclose: the blue fabric was what was going to be a summer dress. After two pattern alterations (one with the professional advice of my mom), the darn dress still didn’t fit so I gave it up and threw it in my stash. It was very cathartic to cut up the remains of that dress and put it to use in this project! I have to admit, this is one of my most favorite quilts that I’ve made so far. Fortunately, I still have a ton of that blue fabric left over and I am always making more scraps!
I purposefully made the blue strips uneven widths so as to add to the wonkiness scrappiness of the quilt. I think it works!
The back is some Marimekko yardage that I got for cheap at the Crate & Barrel Outlet. It’s a bit heavier than quilting cotton so it was a dream to quilt – no puckers! The quilting is very simple – I did a single line through all of the blue fabric and then another single line the opposite way.
I love how this quilt came out and was so pleased with the process that I’ve lost a bit of my “sewing mojo”. I’m slogging through my latest quilt . . .
My mom and I are new members of the New England Quilt Museum. Last month we went to check out a couple of exhibits and as we entered, we were asked “Are you here to see the quilts or the fabric sale?” Fabric sale?!? Apparently we picked the one Saturday they have each year to hold a gigantic fabric sale. We checked out the exhibits and yes, went to the sale – it was for a good cause, after all :-) The idea was to fill a bag for $X, with all the money going back to the museum. This was one of the most exciting and overwhelming experiences I’ve ever had as a quilter! So much fabric! So many decisions to make! I’m so picky! And I didn’t really have any quilts on my to do list, so I couldn’t imagine what I’d do with all of the fabric! We each ended up with ~7lbs of fabric and as a testament to how stressed it made me feel to have that much fabric in my home, I bored my bf to tears with taking about my anxiety over it all weekend.
So I did what any self-respecting quilter would do – I whipped together a quick quilt just to get some of that 7lbs of fabric out of my house! It’s a half-rectangle quilt and due to the fabric that was available at the sale, is kind of a throwback to all those calico quilts the pioneer women made.
I swapped a couple of rows to make them upside down just to make the quilt a little more interesting.
Isn’t this backing wild? It’s from IKEA and I just love it. I love how traditional the front of the quilt it and how modern the back is.
If you look in the upper right corner of this picture, you can see a stack of fabric on top of a plastic bag. The bag has all of my quilts that are ready to be turned into Project Linus; the stack of fabric is just *some* of what I got at the sale. Eeep – time to make more quilts!
Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not working on a super complex, thousand piece quilt, with the latest and greatest fabrics. Or maybe it’s not all guilt, but envy too. The truth is, that I can’t run out and buy fabric whenever I want to; I kind of have to work with what I have and use what I have, which tends to be leftovers from previous projects. This means that I plan my quilts around what I have and what’s possible with the materials available to me without buying yardage because I need it or just because I like it. As a result, my “want to make” list is a lot longer than is currently feasible (seriously – lately I’ve been obsessed (obsessed!) with making a lonestar quilt!) with what I have and that means that I end up making something simple because fabric limits are well, pretty limiting.
On the other hand, sometimes making something quick and easy is just what I need – something that I can work on while letting my mind process everything else that’s stressing me out. Like this quilt:
I’m almost embarrassed at how easy this quilt was to make – I just used scraps and fat quarters. The larger squares are 8″ and the smaller triangles started out as 4″ squares. Green is my least favorite color but oddly, I had a bunch of green fat quarters that I’m not sure I would have ever found the desire to cut into them, had I not had the blue scraps to match with. I kind of love how it turned out.
The binding is mega-scrappy. Seriously, there must be close to 30 separate pieces in that binding! They all match the fabric on the front of the quilt. I did the double-fold method of binding and I’m much happier with how it came out this time. It’s such a neat and tidy finish.
I had nearly a solid piece of yardage for the back that I’ve had for a long time, but it wasn’t quite enough. So I cut it up and added the veggies in the corner.
The black has a really cute button pattern on it! And the veggies are left over for some napkins I made as a gift for Christmas.
I tried a little “free hand straight line quilting” on this one. Yikes. Not my best work. I need to think more about planning out how I’m going to do the quilting before I feed it through my machine. I took an intro to longarm quilting class recently and it totally blew my mind! I’d never even seen a longarm machine before the class and only had a rudimentary understanding of what longarm quilting meant. I’m hoping to transfer some of those skills to what I can do on my trusty Janome.
This quilt is for Project Linus. I’ve only made four quilts for Project Linus since last summer. I can’t believe last year around this time I was finishing up my 10th!
About two years ago, my Instagram feed exploded with quilters making scrappy trip around the world quilts. Seriously, I think every quilter on the planet was making them. And honestly, I wanted to make one too. This was the first time I ever felt the need to jump on a quilting bandwagon, and the need was strong. It’s a cool quilt and is really easy to put together. Why did it take me almost two years to finish it? Well, it’s a “scrappy” quilt so I had to wait until I had enough scraps to make it! I’m so glad I took my time with this one and I am super glad that I used all scraps from previous projects. I can look at the fabric in every block and remember the original project, kind of like a memory quilt.
This is the largest quilt I’ve made and it’s the first one I’ve made since I started quilting that I’m keeping for myself. I love it and I love looking at it and thinking about all that I’ve made and all that I’ve learned since I started quilting.
The quilting is a simple straight line grid which I did on every other row. The quilting was a beast! There was too much quilt to wrestle with in my sewing room so I ended up putting my kitchen table in the middle of my living room and quilting it there.
The back is random bird fabric that I got from IKEA a few years ago and never used. It fit the entire quilt perfectly, with no cutting or weird geometry needed. Have I mentioned how much I love using IKEA fabric for the backs of my quilt?
I am so in love with this quilt! I almost – not really! – wish the weather would stay cool so I could use it. But summer in New England can be super short (unfortunately), so I’m sure I’ll be using the quilt daily soon enough.
My next multi-year scrappy quilt is now in progress :-)
My quilting guild participated in a fabric challenge over the summer (yes, I am waaaay late in both making the quilt and posting about it). I’d never done one before but I was excited about the prospect of getting free fabric and seeing what I could come up with. I have to confess that when the fabric came in, I was a little underwhelmed. The fabrics were a lot lighter (ie more pastel-y) than those that I usually use and there were also some very clear patterns in the fabric that I was nervous about chopping up. We received 1/8 yard of five fabrics so there wasn’t a lot to work with. I ended up making a fairly simple quilt. The hardest part was figuring out the size of the half-square triangle stars so that, finished, they’d be 5″ blocks. Quilt math can be tricky! The grey stars were my test ones so they’re a little off.
The fabric grew on me as I worked with it, especially the two orange-y fabrics. I kind of love the back of the quilt more than the front (you can see the fabric patterns a little more clearly here too) but on the whole, I’m a little ambivalent about the quilt. It’s going to Project Linus so maybe there’s a kid out there who’s going to love it? I hope so!
The most exciting part of the quilt was that in the middle of working on it, I got a walking foot for my sewing machine! I’ve been using my regular sewing foot for all my quilting and it’s been a bit of a bear – uneven stitches, puckering, fabric pulls and other problems. I could never understand how other quilters get their quilting to look so perfect on a regular machine and thought it had something to do with my basting process. I’ve only figured out how to quilt straight lines with the walking foot, but it was an absolute dream to work with! While I have yet to master quilting in a straight line, you can see in the close-ups my even stitches and pucker-free quilting.
I even used the walking foot on the binding and it was the first binding I’ve sewn where I wasn’t wrestling with my quilt the entire time!
The walking foot is a bit of a game changer – I totally feel like I’ve cracked the door open to the top secret, members only, secret quilting club just a tiny bit :-)