Oval Medallion Duvet Cover

Oval Applique Duvet  Oval Patchwork  Upcycled Oval Patchwork Applique

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may recognize this project. I started it a short four years ago. Four?! I finally finished it!! *Happy dance*

For those of you who are new (and btw, welcome new subscribers!) or don’t remember the project, it’s my take on an Amy Butler pattern in her book In Stitches. She calls it the “Patchwork Duvet Cover.” Mine is a bit different from the original pattern, mainly in the placement of the ovals and the background fabric.

This project took so long for many reasons. I got sick of it many times, and by the end I almost gave up because a) I wasn’t sure I liked the color scheme anymore and b) The oval appliques were giving me such a headache when I tried to sew them on.

My hubs wanted me to finish it, though, so I changed my machine needle and soldiered ahead, and now I’m glad. After putting it on the bed, the patchwork has grown on me, as out-of-favor crafty projects sometimes do. Here’s to perserverance!

For more info on this project in its earlier stages, check out this post and this one. The fabric was all upcycled, with the background made from twin duvet covers and the patterned fabric from thrift store finds, one of them over-dyed to suit.

If you want to see my other patchwork projects, check out this one and this one.

And oh yes, that painting is by yours truly. More info on it here.

Hope you had a great holiday weekend. I’ve had some unexpected sustained writing time, which has been great.

Big Girl’s Room and Patchwork Duvet

The Cuppa Cuppa patchwork is finished, and we rearranged a few things in my daughter’s room to coordinate.

The elephant painting is one of three animal paintings that I made for her nursery before she was born. She’s now seven and still loves it, which makes me so happy, of course. And very glad I didn’t paint a mural on the wall, since she was born two moves ago.

The stuffed elephant was designed and hand-sewn by my dear friend Minnemie when my girl was a newborn. So glad that he’s still loved as well.

The sweet pajama cat (you stuff him with your pjs) was made by my mom from the book Knitted Toys by Zoe Mellor.

The matryoshka doll wall decals are from local shop Enna (the seller, Anne Wendtlandt, also has an etsy shop from which she ships internationally).

And lastly, the Tooth Fairy pillow was mine, made by our neighbor back in the day. Love the 70’s Holly Hobby vibe.

I’m really glad I convinced my girl to tone down the pink in the patchwork scheme. All the sudden she’s feeling like a “big girl” and not as interested in pink and purple princesses, so thankfully she still likes the patchwork now that it’s finished.

If you want to know more about the making of this patchwork, here are posts about the beginning, middle, and almost-finished stages. It’s constructed with improvisational piecing using self-dyed, commercial, and recycled fabrics, inspired by this quilt by Malka Dubrawsky.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It’s always a bit strange overseas, since no one celebrates it here. On Sunday Advent season begins, though, and Christmas markets have opened, which are a big deal here and lots of fun. Happy weekend!

Oval Patchwork Update

Still fiddling with these ovals, trying a new layout on for size before I start sewing the suckers down.

This project started out as a variation on Amy Butler’s patchwork duvet pattern. See an earlier post about it here. The original pattern calls for a patchwork background topped by these ovals, but I decided just to do the ovals on top of a plain light green background.

Last time I was laying these out, I was still following the general layout of the original pattern (see the earlier post), but that design minus the patchwork background seems too static to me. I’m liking this much better. What do you think? Of course you have to imagine away the navy blue because it will be light green in the end.

I’m not loving the colors as much as I did when I started, but oh well. I’m committed now, and I’m ready to finish this thing. I got really bogged down with the ovals because of some fabric shortage issues, which led to some creative piecing on the fly.

Meanwhile, I’m inching toward the finish line on the Cuppa Cuppa Patchwork. Stay tuned.

Also, I just started the Blogging Your Way e-course with Holly Becker of decor8. Looks like it’s going to be a good time.

Have a great weekend!

The Cuppa Cuppa Patchwork

“It’s just a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a cup of fruit cocktail with the syrup, stir and bake in a hot oven ‘til golden brown and bubbly.  I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness.” Dolly Parton as Truvy in Steel Magnolias

For awhile I was calling this the Candy Rainbow patchwork, but now when I look at it, I keep thinking of Truvy serving ice cream with her Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa cake. The intense, sweet colors here were just begging for a little something to cut the sweetness.

I’m liking the quiet spaces the white is making. The front of this is finished now, so hopefully I will finish up the back (all white) and show it to you soon.

I’m getting a little weary of the candy colors, or at least in using them all together. My next new quilt will have to be something a little quieter.

For earlier pictures of this patchwork, click here.

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy seeing an earlier patchwork of mine that appears here.

Candy Rainbow Patchwork-In-Progress

You may remember seeing the fabrics for this patchwork here. I’m calling it the Candy Rainbow for now because the colors are so bright and sweet they remind me of a collection of Jolly Ranchers. It’s fitting, because the duvet cover is for my daughter (7), who loves candy better than just about anything.

The inspiration came from a couple of places. First, from this one, which needed a sister. I wanted it to be different and feminine but using many of the same fabrics. My daughter really wanted some florals and some pink, so I incorporated those. The florals are new fabrics, and the pink is scraps from a dress I made for her. The darkest orange is left over from an infant shopping cart cover that never worked, and the rest of the fabrics are scraps from commercial and self-dyed/ batiked crib sheets.

Second inspiration: Malka’s strips and bricks baby quilt. I love the simple shapes here. There’s something really satisfying about it, and the colors match the vibe my daughter wanted. By the way, Malka has this pattern for sale here if you want it.

So our loose design is a riff on these ideas. At first my daughter was totally adamant that there be no white, but she’s relented a bit and seems willing to let me put in some white bands. I just thought we needed a bit of a breather from all that saturated color.

I’m sewing these strips together to make the full width of the bed (queen-size). Then I’ll be cutting the sewn strips different lengths, separating them by bands of white.

As usual, the project changes shape as I work on it. I was thinking of going in this direction:

But then I didn’t really like the way the “stacks” seem to float in the design.

Little Miss and I agreed on something more like this:

I like the way the strips in this version are beginning to look like books on a shelf.

I had a really good writing week last week and got all excited. This week has been a bit tougher. Currently reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom.

New Patchwork/ Current Reads

I know, I don’t need to be starting yet another patchwork project, but they kind of multiply when you turn your back.

You haven’t heard much from me this week for two reasons:

1) I’m buckling down on my novel and trying to minimize distractions. Ouch! It’s tough. I’m pretty distractable.

2) During craft time I’ve been chipping away at several projects but don’t have much interesting to show just now.

I finally finished Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and have just started her latest novel, The Lacuna. I had heard bits about it several times but somehow until now missed (I guess I wasn’t really listening) that it takes place in Mexico and involves Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Trotsky.

You had me at Mexico. Add Frida, Diego, and Trotsky delivered by the great Kingsolver and I’m totally committed. I’ve been a  Frida fan since before she was cool (1994-ish?) and have been to her house  and Diego’s murals in Mexico City. Notice how I’m on a first-name basis with them?  Though oddly, I never saw the Selma Hayek movie. I suppose I should try it.

Meanwhile  re-reading Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. Oh I love this book. It’s read-aloud worthy and really a great companion when you’re slogging through manuscript revisions and expansions.

The fabric strips above are for my daughter’s patchwork duvet cover. I want it to be a sister piece to my son’s. You know, related, but not the same exact looks and personality. I’m using some of the same fabrics as I did in his plus some other scraps and a couple of new florals specifically requested by my daughter. She likes prints, my girl. I wanted to add white but she is adamant that it be full color. Okay, okay.

Little Miss is interested in horses right now so I am looking for a decent read-aloud chapter book about horses. We’re reading Misty of Chincoteague, which I had never read. It has its merits, and she seems to like it, but yow! it really bothers me that the little girl happily stays home wearing a dress while the boy gets to do all the horse-wrangling. I know it’s old, but still. She could at least want to join him.

If you know any good horse books that wouldn’t kill me to read aloud, and possibly involve girl characters who are allowed to do anything, please suggest away. I’m all about reader choice, but when it comes to glittery covers and magic ponies I would rather she read those to herself.

Have a great weekend!

Hand-Dyed Patchwork Duvet Cover

It’s finished! The duvet cover I started lo these many months ago is now on my son’s bed. His bed is a bunk, though, very difficult to photograph, so this bed had to stand in.

This duvet cover started out life as my son’s cribsheets, which I hand-dyed and batiked. Also thrown in are scraps from curtains I made for his room and the pieces from a failed attempt at a shopping cart cover and leftovers from his baby sling. For more information about how this cover was made, check out these posts: this one on the batik, this one on his original room, this one about the design for the bed cover, and here and here about the patchwork process.

I’m really excited with how it turned out. It just glows. The little man really likes it, too.

Here’s another view.

And below, a couple of detail shots:

On to other duvet covers for the rest of the family!

FYI I recently joined Pinterest, a social networking site where you can “pin” images from the web into an account so you can look at your favorite things together in one place. Other people can see them, too, so if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve pinned, click here. I seem fixated on quilts lately, so that’s most of what you’ll see. Be forewarned, if you’re addicted to beautiful images, like I am, it’s a bit of a dangerous site.