Tuesday, May 3, 2011

12 x 12 Swap Finished!

I never used to save scraps. I DID, however, save smallish pieces, and fold them neatly and stack on my shelf - pieces smaller than a fat quarter, I would nicely fold and put away. But extra strips or scraps from a project? I would stash them in a bag under my sewing table, and give to a friend when the bag got full. No more! Blogging has changed this! I am a regular follower of "15 Minutes Play", a very fun (and addictive) blog which encourages creativity and play, using SCRAPS! and I am hooked!!!

Recently, Victoria (the blog's writer) offered a 12" square mini quilt swap, "something from nothing" - using only scraps. I signed up instantly! She paired me with another quilter, who will receive my quilt. Another quilter will make a mini for me! We may post our progress, but we are not to divulge the recepient until that lucky person opens her mail and finds her quilt gift. The names were given out on April 8th, and the quilts are to be mailed by May 16th. I just finished my quilt recently.

I started with my MANY bins and baskets of scraps, and a design idea for my quilt. One of the main focuses of the 15 minute blog, and something I wanted to include in my quilt, is to "make fabric". We use our scraps, piecing them together any which way, until a usable size is achieved. Victoria actually has an excellent tutorial on the website.


I wanted to make flying geese, so I started by making fabric for the geese. My background was to be made of lime green fabrics (my favorite color). I made the geese of red, purple, and orange scraps. Some of these fabrics are old!



This shows my progress in piecing my flying geese. I drew the curved shape on phone book paper with a sharpie, which shows through to the back side - an essential element of paper piecing. Starting at the bottom/wide end, I placed fabric for a goose, then some gold "sky", first on one side. Stitch from the back side, so you can see the line, flip, and press. Then add the other sky piece and repeat. You're on your way! The gold batik is leftover from Christmas projects! (see previous posts about Emily's tree skirt and stocking) I'm sure this is old fabric, too! The red print is a very old Alexander Henry that still looks smashing!



After piecing the curved geese, I pieced the large lime background sections, adding a few errant geese - you know those you see, trying to catch up with the others! Then came the challenging but not-really-that-hard part of fitting the geese to the background. I traced the curve onto the green section, cut, added matching hash marks, and then pinned like crazy. It was sort of like setting in a sleeve. I used to sew all of my own clothes - in another life - but I'm good at it! :)

Finished quilt top, ta da!


Then I layered with wool batt (yummy, creates lovely dimension, and nice drape), quilted it, added an orange flap edge insert, and bound with the red print. After sewing a label on the back, it's ready to "fly" to its new home! Fun project!









Monday, May 2, 2011

Scrap Challenge - Finish!

You might recognize this picture - this is the same bin of scraps used for my Challenge Block in a previous post. Why? Well, the table runner was made FIRST, then the Challenge Block, but I couldn't post about the runner until today...because I finally gave the gift (the runner) to my friend on Saturday. Actually, this runner, and the Challenge Block, are the 2nd and 3rd projects made with this same set of lime green scraps!

This runner was inspired by a Scrap Challenge on a friend's blog (Basket full of Scraps, by my friend Sujata). This was to be done in February, the theme was Love, and we were to use only scraps. I decided to try Sujata's string piecing pattern, using my scraps, and make a table runner for my friend, Sue. The love theme was perfect for Sue, because she is a very special friend, she shares her love with those around her, and this gift is also dedicated to her son, who passed away.
I started with my favorite lime green scraps, although I tried to lean toward the sage greens, as that more suits Sue's decor. I also threw in some red scraps, as Sue love's red! The gold and purple jumped into the pool because of the colors in that red print fabric.


Then I string-pieced blocks (around 11" square I think), using strips of various widths. The blocks were cut diagonally in half, some one way, and some the other way, to yield a nice groups of triagles. I arranged them until I was happy with the result.



I backed and bound it in the sage green dotty print, after quilting it. I combined some straight-line quilting (with the walking foot) and some free-motion shell design quilting, my new favorite for filling in a space.


Close up view, including my great grandma's pretty vase. Project completed!







Mother's Day and Blogger Woes

Wow I have no idea why my banner looks so strange all of a sudden.  If anyone could enlighten me on this, I would be so grateful! Now read ...