Finished Scrap Quilt

DSC_0147

The thing about documenting projects on a blog is that I can actually see how long things take me. Yipes! I started this lap quilt over two years ago. But on the bright side, I’ve actually finished two quilting projects in the same month. A record!

I got bogged down in the quilting of it. It’s my first attempt at free motion machine quilting, and I struggled a lot with the technique. I still haven’t figured out what all was going wrong, but I finally made peace with it and decided I could accept the deeply flawed quilt stitching. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I ever would’ve finished it. Let’s just say it’s a good thing you can’t see the back of this puppy.

DSC_0148

Now that it’s all finished, I am really loving this piece—the deliberate wonkiness, the way the colors and patterns play against each other. My nine-year-old started designing it when he was seven. He had some strong opinions about it. The scraps are from all sorts of things: his baby quilt, his crib sheets, vintage family fabric, a friend’s crib sheets, his baby sling, a friend’s baby quilt, various craft projects, and on and on.

My favorite way of seeing this quilt is wrapped around my little guy like a cape. If you want to see this quilt in an earlier stage, click here.

For more of my patchwork and quilting projects, click here.

DSC_0150

Green Apple and Aqua Quilt

DSC_0136

Ever notice how some people have a kind of family color palette? They pick out clothing and decor with the same basic colors again and again. For me, that palette is blue and orange. I can’t seem to get enough of different variations on that theme, both in clothing, decor, and even in my paintings to a certain extent.

I always think of red and blue as being my parents’ family colors, and for my in-laws, at least for the women, green apple and aqua are a recurring theme. My daughter has in the last few years adopted that color palette as her own, and I love it.

She came up for the concept for this quilt/ duvet cover—the colors, the shapes. She picked out most of the fabrics, with a few scraps coming from friends and family. I put them all together, and I’m pretty happy with it, if I do say so myself. It took me two years plus to finish this project, though of course I was doing lots of other things in between and lost interest several times.

I’m so glad it’s finished!

DSC_0132

 

DSC_0133

 

Dress Shirt Quilt in Progress

Dress Shirt quilt

Here’s just a little peek at the quilt I’ve been working on for lo these many months. The quilt top is basically finished now, so I’m working on the back and making plans for quilting it.

It’s made up of my husband’s dress shirts that were on their way to Goodwill. Hope I can show you more soon.

Here is an earlier post about it, and if you want to see more patchwork projects, click here. I just realized I haven’t even blogged about another quilt I’m making. I’ll have to remedy that.

Hope you’re having a good Monday. American friends in the Northeast: stay warm and safe!

Scrap Quilting with a Seven-Year-Old

Scrap Quilt

I actually have three patchwork projects going now. Yes, three. Yes, I have a problem.

Hopefully more about the others soon. But this one started in the most irresistible way. I was making a bed cover for my daughter (10) when my son (7) declared he wanted a quilt, too. I told him he could look at some of my quilting books for inspiration, and he sat down and thumbed through them. He liked the Gee’s Bend book the best (is this kid good at getting brownie points or what? Gee’s Bend is my inspiration for all things quilty). Then he set about arranging my scraps into patterns.

Scrap Quilt 2

It’s been so fun to see what he comes up with. He’s very particular. Also fun to see what surprises come together as the patchwork grows. The way the deep orange pops, the way the blues and greens begin to blend together, the way the prints dance and change character according to their placement and size.

Scrap Quilt

All of these fabrics have a story. They’re bits from friends and family or pieces of other projects, some reeeeeally old.

Scrap Quilt

He seems to want it to be a lap quilt. For more of my patchwork projects, click here.

Finished Call the Midwife (the book). It was very good. I especially love the stories about the nuns. Fascinating people.

 

New Year, New (ish) Projects

Dress Shirt Quilt

Happy New Year! Did you survive the holidays? Ours started out low key and then sped up after Christmas with the Colorado wedding of a dear friend, a couple of days of skiing, and 3 stitches in my lower lip after a minor fall.

Don’t worry, I’m fine! Luckily, nothing was broken, so I could go right back to skiing. Actually I can only find 2 stitches now. They are not the dissolvable kind, so I don’t know if I misplaced a stitch or if I just miscounted. Hmmm…

I’m finding, unexpectedly, that I kind of love January. Not for the weather. Who could love January weather, even in the South? But I love getting back into the routine and not having a bajillion outside actitivities to distract and exhaust me. And the days are getting just a tiny bit longer. So I’m told.

Currently I’m back to work on my nonfiction book for elementary-aged students. I’d taken several weeks away from it while focusing on my novel, and the break has really helped clarify things. It still needs a lot of work, but I’m excited to see how far it’s come since my initial brainstorm. I’ve been getting some feedback on both projects from writer friends, which is so invigorating!

The above picture is a sneak peek of a quilt I’m working on. It finally seems to be coming together, though it’s looking like spaghetti to me right now. For more sewing and quilting projects, click here.

What about you? What’s inspiring you this month? Reading anything fantastic? Stay warm, folks!

Silk Patchwork Throw

DSC_1218-001

I got a bunch of lovely silk remnants (crepe?) from a friend who was leaving Hannover some time ago. I’d never sewn with silk before, but it only took me two years to work up my nerve to actually run it through the sewing machine.

I thought and thought about the best thing to make with it. The remnants are lovely but a little pale for my coloring. I over-dyed some of it, which I’ve been working into a dress. I was planning to use all of it for clothes, but the camel and pale green then turned out to be just right for a throw for our “book nook.”

Silk Patchwork Throw

Ever since reading Handmade Home, I’ve been wanting all sorts of handmade throws to snuggle up with. And natural fibers! But of course natural fibers for a large project get pretty expensive.

But with gifted silk remnants, the decadence could be mine, all mine! And really, was imperfect silk sewing really better than letting all that lovely silk just sit in storage?

My original plan was to quilt the throw. The assembly part went pretty well, not as tricky as I’d feared. I used part of an old sheet for the middle layer. But machine-quilting silk was another story. I liked making crazy lines with the machine, but the silk got all slippy and puckery, but not in a fun way. So I just stopped quilting after a little while and left it at that. I would unpick the quilting, but I think it’d make it worse, and anyway, it’s just for us. The throw is a really nice weight, perfect for a little reading or a quick nap.

And I’m all about celebrating imperfections. Otherwise this throw would still be remnants in the stash box. Hopefully my gifting friend won’t see this and gasp with horror 🙂

DSC_1217-001

Stay tuned for another natural fiber throw of a very different kind. And hopefully that overdyed silk dress will be ready soon. It’s allllllmost finished.

If you, too, have silk-sewing fears, here are some tips I found very helpful from Sunni of a fashionable stitch.

Have a great weekend!

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.