Posted in quilting, stash

Slab Baby Quilts

I had so much fun making slabs to help recover Southern Alberta that after I had mailed off the last package (the organizers had a deadline of July 30) I tweaked the concept and have started making baby quilts.

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Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of the first one because I was rushing to finish the top before our Guild meeting.  Anyhoo, the blocks are made just 9-1/2 inches to finish at 9 inches and I am putting 12 blocks in three rows of four and then adding a contrasting border to frame it.  The blue quilt has a rust red tonal border.

Thanks to Laine who contributed one large green block.  I trimmed into four baby size blocks, adding white and other green fabric as necessary.

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Lessons learned:

  • Pale pastels and airy scattered prints, a.k.a. low volume, are good
  • Easier to sew together if there are not too many seams on the outside of the top, especially on the corners!
  • Trimming to size is easier if smaller scraps are inside the block and wider ones on the edges

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  • I cut a 9-1/2 inch square out of heavy sketching paper as a template so it’s easy to tell how much more needs to be added to the block while you’re assembling it

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  • finished blocks have their own home.  This is supposed to be for scrapbooking paper, don’t tell the scrapbooking police!  although you could use a pizza box.  We often make our own and rarely phone for pizza so we don’t have a source for clean pizza boxes. The template lives in the box and often has a sticky note on it with notes like “need 3 more blue blocks”
Posted in baraka, Homeschooling, Islam, quilting, stash

Prairie Point Project

Does this ever happen to you?

It never fails!  My major projects, such as the dino quilt, always seem to generate test and practice pieces.  And they in turn take on a life of their own.

Yes, I could grab some ugly hard to use fabrics, make a quick quilt sandwich and grab assorted precut 3-1/2 inch squares (precut by me using Joan Ford’s Scrap Therapy system) and make sure I can apply Prairie Points.  But I can’t bring myself to do that.

Out comes a novelty fabric and some pretty chintzes and I’m making a table topper for Young Sprout & Co.  They were recently blessed with a child size table and chairs and as soon as it was in their room, they found a receiving blanket to serve as a tablecloth.

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Since this is to be an Eid gift, for now I’m just showing the back.  Ignore the birds nest of threads.  This is still a work in progress as I have to deal with that and sew down the prairie points by hand.   Then it will be on to the dino quilt, a much larger project, LOL!

Posted in baraka, Environment, quilting

More slab blocks

Many other Guild members made haste to make slab blocks to Recover Southern Alberta.  These blocks are 15-1/2 inches.  Arlene, Margaret and I put our efforts together and the package I express mailed on Sunday was delivered on Tuesday, which is really pretty awesome considering.

photo(60)We made blocks in various colours, but all of us had made blue blocks.  This photo shows why this design of Cheryl Arkison’s is such a brilliant choice for group projects, because each block was made by a different person.

Top left is Margaret’s, mine is on the right and Arlene’s is below.

I’ve been well and truly bitten by the slab bug and am working on what may hopefully become a group project, using 9 1/2 inch slabs to make baby quilts.  The photo below shows a few of the blocks I’ve made so far.  I’m figuring 20 blocks to a quilt in four rows of five and hope to have a top assembled for show and share in early August.

It’s such fun to see the projects people come up with to bust stash, so what are YOU doing?  I’d love to know!

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Posted in baraka, creativity, quilting

Baby Quilt 2014 Challenge

This is going to be fun!

Please scroll down below Paddington.  It’s a scan and I should’ve cropped it.  Lesson learned!

river011Our Guild’s Baby Quilts Committee have come up with a brilliant challenge for the quilt show next year.

Everyone who accepts the challenge receives – free – a packet.  All the packets are different but they all contain nine 6-inch squares (Paddington is one of them) plus a fat quarter in solid or tone-on-tone green or yellow.

Fabric from the nine squares and the fat quarter have to be included in the quilt top.

Additionally each packet contains some extra scraps that could be used along with whatever we have in our stash.

What I appreciate about this challenge:

  • Not too many sadistic rules so hopefully lots of members will feel moved to participate
  • Free is always good — they are even providing the batting once the top is completed.  Free is good because no one has to think about the money before joining in AND once people have signed up almost everyone will actually finish and turn in a baby quilt for the local neonatal intensive care unit.
  • The fabrics in the packet are pretty eclectic so even more scraps from the stash can come in
  • Having all different fat quarters is great
  • The use of yellow or green for the fat quarter is gender neutral

Of course it’s a challenge so the design has to be kept secret until next March.

But I’ll write process notes as I go along and then publish them after the deadline.

Put a marmalade sandwich in your hat (like Paddington) and Stay Tuned!

Posted in baraka, productivity, quilting, stash

Use What You Have – Got Stash??

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well, this is embarrassing!  I knew I had a lot of scraps — defined below — because I had a large tote bag stuffed full, plus some that overflowed onto the floor, plus an open medium size moving box that the tote bag sat in also containing scraps.

Making slabs to recover southern Alberta  inspired me to tidy and organize them.   I emptied the bin in the photo above by consolidating some dyeing fabric and blank white garments which easily fit into a single bin, then started folding and laying scraps in.  Now the tote bag is empty and the box is nearly but not quite empty.

What an eyeopener!  This is the wake up call.  I could make a slab a day for the rest of my life just out of this bin.

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and the slabs would be colour coordinated too!

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NOT in the bin:

  • batiks for the prairie points on the dino quilt that coordinates with this pillowcase.
  • solid fabrics except for very small scraps
  • green and pink prints for baby quilts

The bin is on a shelf at waist height where I will see it and be able to reach it easily.

Of course, tidying one thing led to another and I have plenty of batting too, now consolidated into a Rubbermaid roughneck tote bin and a moving box.  And there is a little more floor space free than before.

Does anyone else have this problem?  What are you doing about it?

The bin there bin really is just that.  It seems that there are very few fabrics which I’ve completely used up.

This represents 15 years of quilting but I can see the next 15 years are already right here!  And in the very first class the teachers warned us about this, but who listened, LOL?

DEFINITION OF A SCRAP

Minimum:

  • at least two inches square OR
  • one and half inches by six inches long

Maximum:

  • fat quarter with a chunk cut out of it, because of the number of times when I’ve been preparing for a workshop that calls for fat quarters only to discover the dreaded missing corners!
  • quarter yard or just over and NOT width of fabric
Posted in creativity, journaling

Process Pledge

This has been going for a while but trust me to stumble onto things long after they happen!

Anyway I figure since I’m already doing this I can safely take the pledge.  So what if I’m the 892nd person to leap on the bandwagon?

And I’m posting ROssie’s prompts as a reminder to myself and others:

  • Do you have any new sketches to show?
  • Is this design inspired by a past quilt or someone else’s quilt you saw (link, please)?
  • Does the color palette come from somewhere specific?
  • Are you trying to evoke a specific feeling?
  • Is this quilt intended for a specific person?  How did that inform your choices?
  • Are you following a pattern, emulating a block you saw somewhere, using a liberated process, or totally winging it?
  • What are you hating about this quilt at this stage?  What do you love?
  • Did you push yourself to try something new?
  • In working on the quilt, are you getting ideas about what you might want to try next?  What?  Did you sketch it?

Stay tuned for more about the other two workshops I took at the retreat and other fun things!

Posted in quilting, stash

Challenge Piece – the home stretch and big reveal

This time I didn’t try to ice-dye fabric for the binding.  Instead I auditioned from my stash and picked out this batik.

river002Lesson Learned:

  • From now on, make binding wider than two inches!  This piece is quite thick in some places (the stretch corduroy) and then the sky is thinner since it’s one piece of ice-dyed cotton.

And here we have the finished piece!

I’m pleased that:

  • I experimented with the sky and the river fabric instead of persevering with something that wasn’t the best choice.
  • I tweaked the method taught in Ana Buzzalino’s workshop by ice dyeing the land and the sky in two separate sessions
  • I was brave enough to free motion quilt using my beloved Valdani variegated cottons
  • I got it finished in time for the retreat — need I add I was sewing on binding the day before it started!
  • This piece actually looks better from a distance.  This became apparent at the retreat when it was displayed in the dining room of the college.  At home the farthest I can get from my design wall is only about 12 feet.   If you have any ideas of how to show that in a photo online, speak up, don’t be shy!
  • My favorite fabric is the shiny, glittery strip towards the bottom below the darker strip.  This is one of Hoffman California’s Bliss Blenders and it overdyed stunningly, which was what I hoped would happen.

 

 

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Posted in Art, creativity, journaling, quilting

The Challenge Piece – 5 : Quick & Painless Piecing

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Does this scream RIVER!!!!

Having found better fabric for the river at the Fabricland in Duncan I decided to make a paper mockup and note my steps, so I don’t paint myself into another corner.  I now have less than a week to do this and other responsibilities still have to be taken care of …

The new fabric is a poly/rayon blend so won’t absorb much dye.  In fact I could try piecing all the strata, piecing in the river and then ice dyeing.  But I want to be happy with the results so I probably will piece the river in afterwards and perhaps try ice dyeing a small offcut of the river fabric just to see what happens.  I bought half a metre and it’s 54″ wide so will go far.  I can see this may be one of those fabrics that I will later wish I had more of.  Oh well.

In this photo the green is the stand in for blue river and blue sky, as I had no blue paper to hand and wanted to get on with this project.

Of course the piece will be trimmed and the fabric I’ve earmarked for sky is not the same as the river fabric.photo(18)I made the strata by making striped paper using E-Z Tints scrapbooking daubers.  They’re not pens, they look like bingo daubers, and I’ve only seen them in scrapbooking stores.  I think mine are actually discontinued.  Then then cut the paper into vertical strips and pasted them slightly offset onto another sheet of sketchbook paper (65 pound).  Then I cut that apart to insert the river.  The bend in the river is important to me.

Posted in quilting, stash

Dino quilt coming together

… and about time too, since I’ve had the fabric for 18 months.

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Lessons learned so far:

  • keep a file folder with design notes right in the bin with the project rather than scattered through sketchbooks which then have to be tabbed with sticky notes
  • keep ALL the fabric in the bin.  I was nervous of running short of dinosaurs but when I came to make the remaining bow tie blocks the other day I thought I had run out of the background neutral, so three blocks have a different background.  Then I found plenty of the original planned background fabric that had been stashed in another spot.  I debated picking the blocks apart but decided that done is better than perfect, especially when Young Sprout, the intended recipient, knows about the quilt and is not getting any younger.
  • buy plenty of the focus fabric so there’s enough for a pillowcase.  I already made and presented the pillowcase for this quilt.
  • Directional fabric makes it easier to keep track of which way each block goes
  • Google images was my friend.  I searched for images of bow tie quilts and scrolled down until I found one made with a similar design to what I had in mind.  I don’t have EQ software and if I did I’d either sit and play with it and never sew anything, or I wouldn’t use it at all.   With smaller blocks it’s fun and easy to put them on the design wall and move them round.  These blocks will finish to 12 inches for a total size of 5 feet by 7 feet, which is far too big for my design wall.  So we laid them out on the floor and I made sure that we liked the look of having all the bow ties going the same way.
  • My low-tech friend was masking tape.  Since the squares of dino fabric are virtually interchangeable, I just labeled the bow ties.  Now if I lived in a home with an atrium or a large hallway with a balcony on the second floor I could do it with photos … oh well, think of all the dusting and vacuuming THAT would entail!
  • And here’s my other low-tech friend. Yup, pen and paper.

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Posted in quilting, surface design

Challenge Process 4, Previewing Possibilities

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If the sky were deeper it might look more like the big skies of the southwestern desert.

Of course there is a maximum size of 24 inches for both height and width so adding sky (how much) means chopping down below by at least an equal amount.

Trying to make sure I`m happy with the end result, that it will seem to be in proportion and say what I want it to say.

This is just an audition.  If I go this route I will be dyeing some yummy cotton-linen fabric from Satin Moon Quilted Garden which I used in the strata just above the black fabric with the dots.  There`s still time to think about this, especially in light of the fact that I should build up my supplies of ice before doing any more dyeing.

(written May 14)