Posted in creativity, modern quilting, quilting

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.

Posted in creativity, modern quilting, quilting, stash

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.

Posted in Art, quilting, Rant, stash

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.

Posted in quilting, stash, Uncategorized

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.

Posted in quilting, stash

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!

Posted in quilting, stash

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.
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, 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, 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 quilting, Writing

Practical and Artistic Way to Help Flood Victims in Southern Alberta

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Practical because:

  • people who have lost their homes need warm bedding and something colourful in their lives
  • it’s quick and almost free for us as donors, just the cost of postage and an opportunity to whittle down your scraps
  • it’s easy so even people who have never quilted can put together a block
  • there’s a plan in place to make the quilts and give them to the victims

Artistic because:

  • this is a quick, improvisational block with few rules
  • the parameters of making each block in one colour will lead to a beautiful, cheery quilt

check out Cheryl Arkison’s post

for instructions for making and sending slabs and a photo proving what great quilts we’ll be able to make!

The photo shows my first slab.  It didn’t take long to whip up and I was able to use some of the scraps from the box labeled “funny size squares.”   Hmm, does Cheryl have a hidden camera in here or what?

There’s a story behind the little triangle in the bottom right-hand corner.  Promise not to tell the Quilt Police but after everything was sewn together and squared off at 15-1/2 inches I discovered a tiny hole in the corner of the hand-dyed fabric.  So I took a piece of the solid orange and snowballed it on.

If you can make a slab or three, please do, AND please spread the word!  Cheryl posted on Tuesday but the CQA just publicized her initiative this morning.

Other improvised things I’ve made can be seen here (artistic baby quilt) 

and the tote bag

and a nap quilt

But this is the first time I’ve confined myself to just one colour.  Just checked the pile of pre-made larger blocks but the colours are all jumbled up exactly like the earlier pieces I’ve made, so the next slabs will have to be made from scratch.