Thursday, January 25, 2024

A Bit of Blue - Project Quilting Challenge #15-2

This week's Project Quilting's challenge was "Sky Color" with the caveat that your quilt could have at the most the color sky blue. From my scrap bin, I chose several shade of orange to yellow and improv curved them all together. The mini quilt - 6" x 6.5" - came alive with the addition of pink thread and my walking foot.

My inspiration came from the beach sunrise photo - all yellows and oranges.

I decided to add a tiny bit of blue just because. And it could be my favorite part - the unexpected!

My quilt The Nest was my first project for this very fun challenge.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Local House #1 - Carlos

A friend organized a fun QAL using the Local pattern by Carolyn Friedlander. Each month, we'll each make a house and read the back story about the owner. Several of us plan to add our own homes to the neighborhood.

I've printed off the pattern at 50% scale. My first block is ~ 8" x 10". 

It took me a couple of false starts before I settled on a fabric plan for the quilt. I started with solids, moved to prints and now am back to solids again! One of the things I did not like about my first attempts was the 'sidewalk'. I tried a whole slew of colors and at the end, decided on eliminating it. This will give me more freedom for how I assemble the actual quilt top.

Here was my reject - I like the fabric pull when I started but did not like the result! It has since been deconstructed and will be repurposed into future blocks!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, January 15, 2024

My Oxbow Tote - The Mouse Version!

I love patterns from Anna from Noodle-head and was excited to give her latest pattern - the Oxbow Tote - a try. This is the smaller of the two sizes offered in the pattern.

We've got a trip plan to visit the land of the mouse so I deconstructed a canvas Mickey themed canvas tote and reconstructed my new bag! The canvas tote - which sadly I did not take a 'before' picture of - had some mysterious stains that limited how much fabric was available. The main red fabric is actually the wrong side of the canvas bag lining - the right side had all these different Mickey's but I really liked the solid better. I was happy to preserve the big Mickey as the pocket.

There is a large pocket inside. I plan to add a removable base for the bottom in red!

The canvas itself was very lightweight. I added interfacing (SF101) to the lining but not to the canvas. That turned out to be a good decision since the bag stands up just fine. I used foam interfacing with the white canvas for the base which likely contributes to this. 

To continue with my repurposing theme for the bag, the shoulder strap (not pictured) was rescued from another bag that was no longer in use.

I will definitely make this bag again in the 'good fabric'. It was a very fun make!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, January 12, 2024

The Nest - Project Quilting Challenge #15-1

Have you participated in Project Quilting? I played a long a few times last year and hope to do the same this year. 

The first challenge is Bird House - read about it here. My inspiration came from a pile of colorful selvages. When my daughter was young, she would leave my fabric scraps outside hoping a bird would use them to build a next. We were never sure if this actually happened but this was my inspiration for my quilt!

I pinned strips to a foam board and started weaving. Once I was satisfied, I carefully slid a background piece of fabric underneath the weaving, added batting and backing and then started quilting.

After everything was secure, I kept adding scraps on top and further securing them with quilting thread. 

It was fun to just play in my sewing room when working on this one. I doubt a birds nest has ever been this colorful before but it is nice to think my smaller scraps could be used this way!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, January 8, 2024

Cozy & Local QALs

I've joined two QALs for 2024. The first is the Cozy QAL from Alison Glass. This quilt is quite unique - the top and bottom layer will be jersey knit and the inner layer is quilting cotton. I've chosen these beautiful rainbow fabrics for my inner layer. The jersey knit will be a denim blue.

The quilt is all about handwork and raw edge reverse applique and I'm very excited to give it a try. While Alison does provide stencils for the applique, I'm leaning towards a series of words or phrases that represent things that bring me joy. Much planning to do right now and am looking forward to the handwork.

The second is a QAL with local guild friends. We are going to make the Local quilt by Carolyn Freidlander. I decided to go with scraps and downsize the pdf by 50%. Started my first house and it looks like it will finish at 10" x 8.25" instead of 20" x 16.5".

In addition to my own designs, I like having all different projects underway so there is always something ready for me to do when I am ready to sit and sew.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, January 5, 2024

My Bag of Many Colors

In late September, I started a project to deal with my scraps. From all my solid small scraps, I created square-in-a-square blocks and then assembled them together into 4 panels. The process of composing these panels was truly enjoyable. I used By Annie's foam batting and then quilted straight lines using red thread. As the quilting began, I was a bit concerned about my choice until the quilting lines got closer together and suddenly the texture felt just right!

The bag construction itself was made up as I went, including the pockets I added to the lining. One side has a large zippered mesh pocket, divided in half. The other side is an open pocket with a slot for pens and pencils.

There is a removable inset that brings color and some stability to the interior of the bag. I went with leather handles and I really like the look of the handle. I do wish they didn't have pre-drilled holes because sewing them on by machine would have been more secure.

This bag was my last finish for 2023!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Welcome 2023

Happy New Year!

Pickle Bird

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is a wonderful time to reflect on goals accomplished and to set new ones for the upcoming year.   I recently shared my Best of 2023 post and now I'll be liking up to Yvonne's #2024QuiltingPlanningParty.   I've filled this post with some eye candy of favorite finishes for the year because it is always fun to share them one more time. 

Loves Me, Loves Me Not.

My goals for 2023 were set in the Reflecting on 2022 and Welcoming 2023 post. I did reasonably well.
  • Make at least one quilt to submit to QuiltCon 2024 which will be in RALEIGH! - I made three quilts - Echo, The Twist and Pickle Bird - with QuiltCon submission in mind. Both Echo and The Twist were selected for the show!  
  • Donate one quilt to our guild charity using only fabric from stash - I donated 2 quilts this year and one came completely from stash! (See the Scrappy quilt.) I will carry this goal this new year and have already started on some HSTs from stash.
  • Adopt the 'container' concept in my sewing room and donate or sell fabric I no longer want - I've progressed on this goal quite a bit and had luck selling stash. My new fabric purchases are focused on solids (when they go on sale) and project specific backings.
  • Run a quilt-along with a quilting friend - I designed the Loves Me, Loves Me Not quilt for my friend Frances's Quilt Fiction site and ran the QAL as well. It was fun to see what everyone created.
  • Continue to challenge my fabric color choices to explore new color combinations - I can never call this goal as done. My Pickle Bird quilt was a bit out there color wise for me although I have been leaning into the chartreuse colorway a bit in the last few years.
  • Blog 1-2 times weekly and continue to host OMG (but without sponsors.) - Done and done! OMG was also transferred to Anne-Marie at Stories From the Sewing Room in October after we co-hosted for much of the year.

I spend 1-2 hours in the afternoon in my studio and I'd like to continue this practice.  I've already got a lot on my "want to make" quilting plate - 2 wedding gift quilts, 2 QALs, plus this years Pantone challenge. 

My quilting goals for 2024 look a bit similar to 2023: 
  • Make at least one quilt to submit to QuiltCon 2025 
  • Donate at least one quilt to our guild charity using only fabric from stash 
  • Play! Lots of ideas for this - explore new color combinations, start two color improv, experiment with large curves, make more mini quilts, and give garment sewing a try.
  • Adopt the 'container' concept in my sewing room and donate or sell fabric I no longer want
  • Blog 1-2 times weekly plus I want to revamp my monthly newsletter. 
In addition to these quilting goals, I intend to continue to make reading a part of my day. I hope to add weekly strength training to my daily walking or swimming exercise.

One of my takeaways from the Seaglass QAL this summer was to seek joy every day. I hope to make this a focus on my year.

Let me end this post with a wish for a happy and healthy new year for you and your families. Welcome 2024!

Have a wonderful day! Patty