Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trade you!

Some of you may remember my gushing over the Daiwabo fabrics, design, and ultimately, the finished quilt top.  Man -- I love this!
But, these are fabrics well out of my price range and quite frankly, out of my normal comfort zone when it comes to color and tone.  So -- how did I get so lucky?  I'm glad you asked.
A few years ago, I posted about falling out of love with this quilt block.  When I saw the original quilt (made from old kimonos) in a Quilters Newsletter, I fell madly in love with it and knew it was how I wanted to use up my scraps from the Wavy Log Cabin I had made.
I sort of believe that these beautiful Asian fabrics can't really go on your shelves by color -- like Kaffe fabrics (in my little world), they have to stay together.  So, I had a tote of every little scrap as I couldn't bear to throw them away. But I got tired of it.  I fell out of love.  I don't really like paper piecing and the process was taking the joy out of the design.  I thought the blocks were fabulous and the potential for the quilt was great -- but I was losing any mojo for finishing it.  And into a shoe box it went!
Wavy Log Cabin
At the same time, mom22smartchix was losing her mojo for the Daiwabo quilt.  These little blocks look so simple. Ha!  Lining up 1/2" strips after you have sub-cut is not easy and there is a lot of ripping involved.  Whether it was a pity swap or a joyous swap, I'll never know for sure -- but last year during a visit, we gladly gave each other our shoeboxes and walked away from our projects.
I am still doing the Snoopy Happy Dance that I don't have to paper piece all those strips -- and now the Daiwabo top is done and making me smile every time I walk by it.  It's in the living room -- never even made it upstairs to the quilt top closet.  I have chosen not to fret about how to quilt it or what color thread as those decisions are far far away -- instead, I am tickled it's done and happy to have it to look at and all the little snippets remain isolated (of course) in their shoebox!

Tired of something that you started -- find a friend to trade with -- it's a blast!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Finish and Fun!

Finally!  Have you ever had one of those "holy moly" moments when you realized that a gift quilt is going to be needed sooner than you expected?
Meet the quilt top for Baby C who is coming in August.  I'm not sure why I hadn't focused on the fact that August is around the corner and I will need a gift in July. comes at the same time every year.  I had my "holy moly" moment two weeks ago and started looking for fabric that would work with this pattern.
Luckily, I remembered I had been hoarding this Moda Three Sisters  fabric for a baby quilt and had more than enough to make a quilt for Baby C.  And, there was diversity in patterns -- different scaled florals, fabrics that read as solids, stripes, polka dots, paisley.  All in all, I decided it should work.  These fabrics were those that I bought in an absolute panic to make a quilt for a young woman who was diagnosed with bone cancer while in medical school.  She was in the same high school class as my son, we were in Chicago and feeling very far away, and I knew I had to do something.  So -- I wanted to make a quilt that was peaceful.  This fabric fit the bill!  I was very busy at work and impulsively ordered a 50 fat quarter pack so that I didn't have to spend time searching!  I have also used this fabric for my Oak Park Beauty.  And I had some left over which was sequestered for another project.
So, Baby C will have a lovely feminine baby quilt and I'll continue to look for the right nursery fabrics for a later quilt.

This pattern is from Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaeffer and is not the first baby quilt I've made from her book.  As you can see from this post, I made two at once by resizing the block and improving (I think) the construction process.  The Mahalo quilt was also made from this pattern. So, it's tried and true and fast!
Making this quilt top should have taken less than a week but it ended up taking a bit more than two weeks.  But I have a very good excuse!  One of the kind and generous quilters from our little church group loaned me her Accu-Cut Studio cutter.  Oh, how fun!  And efficient! This shelf of men's shirts was attacked in full force.  The smaller cuts that you see here are sleeves and they are awkward to cut with a rotary cutter.  With the 2.5" die in place, they all were cut and scraps thrown in the scrap bag!  Great improvement in the shelf.
And for good measure, I cut a bunch of fabric that I had bought for baby charity quilts and finally had to force myself to stop cutting.  Otherwise, I was going to start pulling fabric "willy nilly" from the shelves to cut with no idea what the final purpose was.  I managed to cut 10.5" stack of 2.5" strips and came to be a believer in the Studio!  For those of you who have them, kudos to you!
I have to say, I'm feeling pretty productive and I have a lot of blocks leftover and believe I can make a quilt for a friend's daughter that will "fit the bill" as well.

I hope you have had a creative week -- productive or not.  


Saturday, June 1, 2013

What a great pattern!

Don't you love this pattern?  I have been looking for a denim quilt pattern to make use of a full tote of jeans parts that I've had for years.
EDITED on 2.20.16 This is by Alicia at Lucy's Quilts and she makes it available through her Etsy shop, Lucys Quilts, -- for $10.  It goes together like a dream and you never sew denim to denim.  That is exactly what I had been waiting for! PLEASE NOTE.  I DO NOT SHARE THIS PATTERN. IT IS NOT MINE.  Please click on the link at the start of this paragraph and go to Alicia's site.
The sashing is 1" wide and you press to the sashing; the back is flat for quilting as you can see below.  She ties most of her quilts but I will try to long arm this one.  Alicia recommends an 80-12 needle and sewing this was crazy easy.  Her instructions are clear, supplemented with a schematic, and are modified from a Kaffe Fassett pattern. How cool is that?
And the assembly is in sections and not readily apparent when you look at it.  She has made 100+ and I will definitely make more - but not that many more.   This one goes to mriquiltforfun (seen here) for fishing or camping or picnicking or the back of his car or who knows what.  It should be terribly sturdy and last for years.
Alicia estimates that a quilt takes about 5-6 pairs of jeans.  Here is one pair of jeans that I cut up last weekend.  As you can see, there is not a lot of waste when you cut up jeans.  And in my family, we have big jeans.  Our son is 6'5" and mriquiltforfun is about 6' and I'm 5'10". My sister and nieces are much smaller but I'm guessing I only need four pairs of "our" jeans to make one quilt!  I have left in some "imperfections" -- paint, pen marks, small grease marks, unidentified substances. These reflect the history of my family and I like capturing some of it in the blocks.
I made this quilt from the loose jeans you see here and the bags haven't been touched...and then there is the huge tote upstairs waiting for cutting into blocks. I am guessing I have enough enough denim to make another 6-8 of these. Over time -- not in a row.
Like sewing with men's shirts, there is something amazingly rewarding to me to take perfectly good fabric that is no longer wearable due to size or holes or whatever and create a quilt with it.

I hope you are working on something that is fun and easy!