It’s Left-over Night!

I used to like left-over night when I was young. Mom would heat up everything left over from a few days of meals and we could *usually* each have something we liked especially or a little of everything. As a grown-up, 5 out of 7 nights are now reserved for left-overs in my house. 🙂 Mostly micro-cooking for me.

In my quilt world left-overs are saved for years. I don’t think of them as fabric scraps… scraps go in the trash. Left-overs will again bring color and sparkle to a quilt or other fabric project some day. I have accumulated a multitude of these pieces. I organized them in early January so that I could really see what I have and maybe used them more often. (instead of being in an overflowing large box on the floor). This is what it looks like now (and it takes up vertical space, which is better).

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The 5 boxes on the left are the batik pieces and the 6 boxes in the middle are the rest of the cottons. Specific colors are in each box. I’m sorry to say that the piles on the cabinet are the in-progress projects. I apparently like to start things and not finish them, ahem.

I started a new project with my scraps!!! I mean, I’m turning my left-overs into a new quilt!! I’ve been seeing lots of mention in blogland and by facebookers about the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. It looked very interesting and involved NO outlay of cash on my part to start it. The instructions are here. Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville makes it easy. She says to pick from all your scraps, anything goes. I wanted to use my blues cuz I have mostly them, and green goes great, and then there’s purple. And how ’bout some pink for sparkle. Another of my ‘design’ elements was a dark color that would go diagonally through the center, lending a strong criss-cross to the quilt. Some of my pieces didn’t qualify for this project because they were too small and couldn’t convert into  a strip easily.DSC00377

I had no problem tho, coming up with sufficient material and it still looks pretty full in the blue box. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, there’s a block or four.DSC00379

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I made another 2 after taking these pix. Fun! I am shooting for at least 12 blocks. I’ll see what it looks like when I get that far. What do you think??

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Little Pouches

I have been busily sewing in November. Just because I haven’t posted doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing. Almost every day. Here are my projects…

Made Laura 2 more skirts. One already has a hole in it, discovered this morning. Looks like a couple of sharp fingernails went through when wrestling her into it. I am contemplating some applique ideas to cover it up.

I finished a big bunch of Fat Bottom Bags for an order from one of L’s nurses. Made all from Christmas fabrics. She’s putting a couple of things in them and giving them as gifts. Soooo glad I bought those fat quarters and half yards at Keepsake’s sale a couple of years ago.

I finished the top for that curvy quilt. It is Kathy Alyce’s from her book, Flip Flop Quilts. And its all in modern fabrics, coral, pink, and navy. The curves were a good challenge but not too hard. A departure from my comfort zone. This is half the quilt folded over the quilting frame. Not quilted yet. No surprise there. I’m thinking about what the back will be. I have lots of scraps.

And I’ve also had some fun with making some small zippered pouches. I took out my Christmas fabric scraps. And I mean scraps! Small pieces that I saved, now I know why. I did a sew and flip, quilt as you go, on scrap batting. Lots of fun! They are intended as gifts. Try it some time! I put in the zippers and finished the bags just like in my Fat Bottom instructions. Only one of them has a fat bottom, the rest are flat bottoms.

So pretty. This one might be for me!

Challenge in Progress

I am working on the artistic challenge for my guild’s show. It is not a copy but an interpretation of a greeting card. So I held a contest with my facebook friends: I would pick one of their holiday greeting cards as the model for this challenge. I would give the winner this quilt (wallhanging) after the show. Sheila D won with her card of a berry wreath. I loved the card and thought it would give me a wonderful artistic challenge. It is in progress now, and has been for some time, and I have a shot at actually finishing it by April 26th, the day I have to deliver it to the show. I was starting to get worried.

I first cut a background piece and then drew a large circle on it. Then I starting cutting out berries from a variety of red fabrics, and some orange and pink for sparkle. Made a few leaves too. Then I cut a 2 inch wide circle of a red/pink/green batik for a wreath background. Then I started gluing everything on. Yup, glue stick. This is a raw edge applique method. I will be putting a piece of tulle over the top of everything and then quilting through all the layers. That is the next step. I welcome your ideas on how to quilt this. I’m thinking lots of free motion circles for starters.

Here is the challenge so far with the greeting card in the top corner.

And here is a closeup…

I think it is looking just like I want. The next part is the hardest for me and the most challenge… the quilting. I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Maybe I should have a contest for guessing the number of berries on the wreath. Nah, then I’d have to count them!

And just for good measure, Friday the Cat thinks I should just chillax, don’t stress, it will come to me. He is a Zen Cat. He jumped up to that narrow windowsill and didn’t disturb my small rock garden sculpture. (Hampton Beach rocks of course) No, they are not glued together.

 

Mistakes Happen

Even though I was not careless, I guess I was not careFULL. I am making a mini quilt for an online swap. It is an 18″ version of the Lone Star that is the banner picture on this blog. I thought it was going along fine but the very last seam through the middle was a mess. It was absolutely not going to happen. I spent Monday morning taking parts of it apart. I tried the middle seam 3 times but no. I was making it from scraps and was almost certain that there wasn’t enough to start over. This is how it ended up…

So I cried on the shoulder of my friend Cathy, Goddess of Mini Quilts, and she reminded me of the important rules of minis, not too different from regular quilts except they must be followed to the letter. Quarter inch seam (not off by a thread), starch the beejeeziss out of the fabric, and trim to the correct size. I thought I had done all that but not careFULLY and to the nth degree. I found more pretty batiks in the scrap box and started over. I certainly hope my swap partner likes this mini when she gets it! Now it looks like this and everything worked out almost perfectly.

It will not have the offwhite as a background. It will be navy. So much better! I like it now. But I can’t get attached to it cuz I have to mail it in March. Here is a closeup of the center

And here’s the back so you can see those lovely seams! The Y seams will come next. I don’t anticipate a problem I will be careFULL! 😉

In a bind

 

Look at all the quilts I have in progress!!! 🙂  I make the binding after making the top and set it aside so that it will be all ready and waiting for when the quilt is quilted. There is a DIY on making binding on a separate page (the DIY page, believe it or not). Check it out!