Batik Slab Tote Finished!

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Leading up to the big reveal of the quilt that goes inside this …

I put this together with leftovers from the quilt itself plus some other batiks and hand dyes.  It’s a little smaller than a pillowcase and plenty big enough to take a large nap quilt with room for a book or other small items that might be needed.

Now I realize I should have taken a photo of the other side too, oh well.  I constructed this by sewing the slab into a long rectangle, folding it in half and sewing up the two side seams.  The lizard tote was folded the other way and I had to sew across the bottom and up one side seam.  Because this will be a functioning tote as the quilt will be carried around, I took care to keep the lighter colours at the top of the bag as the darker colours can withstand being set down better.

The whole tote and the handles are stuffed with batting and quilted with trilobal variegated thread which has a beautiful sheen.

Hmm, I could see getting into more totes and the like, there’s something very satisfying about functional objects that you make yourself!  I’m still going to do art pieces but sometimes the gap between the inner vision and the ultimate object is so vast.

Still designing Modern Quilt Guild Banner Block …

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Decided to go with the repeated diamond shapes in the background fabric.

What do you think?

Not wanting to use up all the Kona Cottons I went with the palette I’ve chosen for the next workshop I’m taking, which is Mile-a-Minute, coming up soon, as the supply list says it’s okay to bring orphan blocks.  I’m curious to see how similar the method is to building slabs, which I’m still doing.

Improvised design wall for lastest baby slab quilt

Okay, okay, it’s my bad, I should have hung up my design wall as soon as I moved in to my new home BUT instead I procrastinated although I was convinced I had all the necessary hardware.

This morning since my design study group is meeting tomorrow I decided I really must do something about the design wall.  Out comes the industrial gray felt with the hanging tabs, out comes my box of hardware, out comes the rubbing alcohol to clean the wall.

The wall is cleaned, the felt is smoothed out all ready to hang.

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OBSTACLE!  what I thought was removable strips for the plastic hooks turns out to be a pack of Velcro removable strips to go directly on the back of a picture frame.  I need the kind with adhesive on both sides to stick to the back of the hooks.

Pause to kick myself (because I did a mega-shop yesterday and could certainly have bought the right product had I realized) and to wonder also why they package three of these Velcro doohickeys when the illustration on the back shows putting two on the back of the picture frame?  Why do I wonder, it’s so they can make everyone buy two packs in order to hang two pictures, and then have two left over.

Don’t let me rant about this way of packaging that forces you to buy more than you need or can use.  Our dustbin lid went missing recently.  New dustbin but will anyone sell you a lid?

Anyway back to the drawing board, er, I mean design wall, and back to a supply I can’t do without, i.e. masking tape!  It’s not pretty but for now it will do.

The two columns on the left are sewn together and the other three columns are still under design.  I’ll let it percolate for a bit and probably move things around.

The colour palette is analagous, which was the design exercise we had set for ourselves at our first meeting.  It was interesting to see what others made of this, because I was the only person to use a neutral in my design.

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It’s good to have feedback from supportive friends who ‘get it’ because originally the bottom corner looked like this (more or less, excuse the masking tape!)  I had focused on the fact that the structure of that block makes it a good corner block, but five fresh sets of eyes noted that the weight/volume is much too light.

After some reverse sewing I was ready to replace the offending block.  Set-in seam strikes fear into my heart, but I found a terrific YouTube tutorial by Kaye Wood which I watched several times and followed, and I’m quite pleased with the result:

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Here’s a close up of the set in corner.  Kaye’s method is very simple.

My only regret is that I got confused and the part which I planned to have on the outside corner isn’t.  However I think with a new to me technique and all the seams it’s better to quit while I’m ahead.  Am I being a wuss, what do you think?  You can tell me, I can take it!

All the tutorials online show how to do y-seams as part of a block like Bright Hopes, Tumbling Blocks or Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  No one has posted a tutorial on “sewing round corners when you need to fix a design flub.”  Hmm, an unmet need.

Baby Quilt for Bloggers Quilt Festival

Yes, it’s That Time Again!

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How awesome that Amy puts in the effort to bring this to the blogging/quilting community twice every year!

Here is my entry to the Baby Quilt category, where I see many, many wonderful creations already.  Although I have entered the festival before, this is my first time to have two entries.  My other quilt is an art quilt and you can see it here.photo(80)

Although I have made a couple of other baby slab quilts, this was my first attempt to go low volume and “air out” the block by alternating them with white on white blocks.

Slab blocks are such fun and a great way to use up scraps in a colour controlled way that results in a cohesive piece.  I’ve posted numerous times about slab blocks and Cheryl Arkison’s work which was what got me started on this tack.

Comments are welcome and please visit the other sites that are participating in the various categories.  You’ll be glad you did.

Pink Butterfly layout

Up on the design wall, here’s a photo from my iPhone

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Same layout, photo from my iPad (which doesn’t have a flash)

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The baby for whom this is intended has arrived and is a girl!  Not knowing the gender ahead of time, I had hoped to have 12 pink slabs and 12 blue slabs completed.  I debated mixing pink and blue but then thought that more negative space might be a good thing.

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OVER TO YOU NOW, DEAR READER:

  • What’s your opinion?
  • What’s weird with this layout?
  • Which photo is better of the two pink layouts, iPhone or iPad?

There are no right or wrong answers, just your own thoughts, please!

Interested in exploring the modern quilt esthetic.  Satin Moon has a modern mini-quilt challenge and I plan to pick up my kit today.  It was ALMOST ready to roll on Wednesday but they insisted on keeping it a surprise until the kits were prepared.  And the first meeting of the Victoria branch of the Modern Quilt Guild is meeting at Satin Moon next Thursday, so It’ll be interesting to see everyone’s show and share.  I may have to organize my slab quilt pix into an album on my iPad since the baby is waiting for her gift!

Slab Baby Quilt finished

Actually not just finished, but labeled, loose ends neatly darned, pressed, wrapped and delivered!

Sometimes I amaze myself, which counterbalances the many, many times when I fall short of accomplishing the projects I set out to complete.

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This measures 30 by 39 inches so its perimeter is 138 inches towards the CQA Walk to Brock Challenge.

Lessons Learned:

  • I’m starting to appreciate the wisdom/beauty of low volume in baby quilt design — although that is not obvious from this one.  I did make some of the slabs quieter and less busy
  • Next time I’ll go with a much lighter variegated thread for the free motion quilting.  This is Valdani Green Pastures on the top and Ebony Almond in the bobbin.

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”