Margaret Griffiths is back with another featured quilt this week. The Eyes Have It is made with some of my "waste fabrics" that she purchased from one of our local quilt club fund raisers. I bet this one took as long to face as it did to quilt!
For sharing, Margaret received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
There's nothing much to be done about a cold except to wait it out and that's what I'm doing. I did have the energy for a little bit of sewing yesterday but I didn't want to do anything that required math.
These are the scraps from the sample quilt that I made with Paula Nadelstern's Artful Snowflakes collection. They have a nice bit of silver metallic in them so I thought I'd see if I could come up with a postcard design for one set of my Christmas cards.
I worked through several ideas but settled on this. It uses the symmetry print leftovers for the centers and a cool border print for the edges. I'll finish them off with metallic thread edges and will likely add some crystals. This is going to be a fine project to work on in bits of time over the next few days.
After playing around with more sashing ideas and sending a dozen photos to my friend and making Chris look at all of them....
we decided in dark sashing with bright cornerstones. It's not really where I wanted to head with these quilts but it doesn't show off the blocks best. I dyed the fabric yesterday so might be able to start sewing Sunday.The small quilt will be the darkest shade of Jungle and the big quilt will be a blue similar to Royal. Now it's always possible that I get these fabrics dyed and then decide that I don't like them. That's OK, I can always dye more.
After dyeing yesterday I decided to focus on the Christmas cards a bit. I came up with a hippie-inspired card for the ice dyed trimmings. I ordered a silk screen to use with these strips that I fused to Wonder-Under. Now I'm working on an idea to use my Paula-quilt cut offs.
But honestly, I'm not working on much of anything. My dear husband brought home a cold from his Canada hunting trip and now it's my turn to enjoy it.
I had some time Sunday to iron and trim my ice dyed blocks. These are the ones that I chose for my quilt. It will be queen size and will probably have 3" sashing. Next I pulled out some fabric swatches for what I though would be a fast exercise to pick the sashing.
I was wrong about the "fast" part. As usual.
My plan all along has been to use gray for my sashing. I also considered medium purple or medium blue. I didn't like any of these. The gray is particularly horrible. I'm also opposed to black for some reason.
A few more samples later I landed on bright green and pale purple. Still not excited, but closer...maybe.
Then I worked my way toward yellow and orange. I was surprised that I kind of liked the orange!
After consulting with friends two of them said "use all the colors". Hmmm
Meanwhile, I arranged the "reject" squares for a lap quilt. While arranging them I though that I might try the scrappy sashing idea on this quilt and see how it looks before I make any decision on my quilt. So this is my next step. Cut some scrappy sashing pieces and see how they look.
There's also this! There no way this is going in the trash.
Galaxies are on sale!
Galaxies are fabrics that are 2 yards and longer that are produced during ice dyeing sessions. I love to use them as feature fabric or borders as I did with my Antelope Canyon and Maine quilts. This week all Galaxy fabrics are on sale 20% off. Use coupon code GALAXY20 at checkout. I can always create a palette for you using one of the Galaxies as the feature fabric.
Gradients Back In Stock
Several of your favorite gradients are back in stock this week!
Black and Gray Skies are the gradients that I'm using for background for my Loony Moony quilt along with moons made from Shibori Stash Packs.
Blue Sky is the fabric that Patricia Caldwell used as the background for her Red Rocks Sunrise quilt.
Katelyn Morley used the Sundance Gradient to make these cute dog collars.
Friday and Saturday sewing was a lot of fun this weekend and quite productive. I got to try out the new/used Janome 415 machine and it stitches beautifully. The 1/4 inch foot is more like a 3/8" foot so it's useless. I solved that with a piece of masking tape to mark 1/4" on the base. That worked just fine. The tension is perfect and I got about half of my blocks together. After about 50 blocks I realized that I needed to press the blocks in two different directions (out and up vs. in and down) if I wanted this quilt to go together without too much bulk in the seams.
I didn't plan any color arrangement so I wanted to see how it might looks so when I came home I spent about a hour putting all the blocks on the design wall. I love looking at my blocks through the camera. I think it gives a better perspective on how a quilt will look and I LOVE how this one looks. Even with the total "scrappiness" I think the stars stand out nicely. There will be lots more dark fabrics in the final layout. The dark fabrics are mostly on the bottom of the project box since they were cut first.
Using the GO! cutter die makes cutting and piecing very fast. Everything fits together perfectly since I took some time to verify (set) my 1/4" seam.
I did a few other things this weekend with my ice dyed blocks but haven't edited the photos yet. I'll get those shared edited and shared Wednesday.
Joanna Mack brings us our inspiration for this week. She wrote a blog post explaining the inspiration and construction challenges for this wonderful quilt. Be sure to go check it out and read her blog for lots more great inspiration.
Joanna made this using the Nightfall Gradient.
For sharing, Joanna received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
It's not the most modern upholstery but it looks a lot better than the filthy blue that was on it before. I think I paid less than $50 for this chair many years ago and it's still my favorite, and most comfortable, sewing chair. (I'm not showing the underside.)
I also needed to get a project ready fast. Today is the monthly sewing days with Country School Quilters. I needed a new project to sew on with my new travel sewing machine! I'm looking forward to giving this one a test drive this weekend.
After the great presentation we had Tuesday about all the good that our veterans quilts do, I just had to start another one.
I've had this Hunter Star die for a while and it seems a fine one to start with.
In my stash I found a 3 yard gradient that I dyed a long time ago for another project that fell off the "to do" list. I needed about 6 yards for a veterans size quilt and I found some yellow, a couple of orange fabrics and a green fabric to go with the gradient. There's no plan for color placement. I'm just going to sew a bunch of blocks together and see how it goes. I did starch all of the fabric before I started cutting. I make my own starch with this recipe.
The Hunter Star die looks like this and 4" strips are the perfect size. One pair of strips can make 1 12" block. I run 4 strips through at a time. I can run 6 layers but I get less distortion with 4 layers and it doesn't really take that much longer. I don't know yet if I'm going to make 12" blocks of matching fabrics or make the whole thing scrappy. I'll make some 6" components and see how it looks.
By the time you read this I should be set up and sewing. I even had enough fabric left for binding.
Yesterday I said that I will only make the pet beds from free stuff.
Well, Tuesday night was our annual quilt club Trash to Treasure sale and someone brought a box of upholstery remnants. It didn't have any fragrance scent so I broke my rule and paid a dollar for the whole box! Last night I decided to go through it a precut it into pieces ready to stitch into pet beds.
The size of the bed is determined by the size of the fabric piece. Some are big and some are smaller.
I know that they wash the beds so I don't use fabrics like this that have some sort of backing. I'll probably give her those remnants because they can probably use them for other things.
Out of the whole box these are the only "rejects". Even if they end up in the landfill it's still less than half what was in there.
I also cut up a couple more of the double knit pieces. Someone commented yesterday that if you have double knit fabric that you might donate it to theater groups. They can use them for backdrops because that fabric can be painted. So there's another idea for a stash of double knit.
I'm all set for pet beds for at least a year! I know I'll be going through these at a good rate because 2 of our members recently visited the VA hospital unit where our veterans quilts are donated. It's a unit where people get things like chemo ports inserted. They told them how careful they are about giving the quilts out and how healing the quilts are. They use them a lot for patients that are too angry about their diagnosis to focus on treatment. They say that the quilts really help them to get the patients in a calmer state. I think that report motivated all of our members! I expect the veterans quit tops to start rolling in when I start taking them again in November.
I'm not a world's-about-to-end environmentalist. I'm not worked up about plastic straws or any other sudden crisis that's really meant to divert our attention from other things. Instead I'm more interested in thinking about consumption in general. I don't judge your consumption, only my own. I try to really think about things I want to buy and whether I really need them. I don't buy note pads, for example, because we generate plenty of scratch paper from printing my mailing labels every day. I don't like having a lot of collectibles or stuff that needs to be managed.
Right now I'm most annoyed that my cell phone is dying after only 5 years. It has all the capability and function that I need but I'm going to have to buy a new one anyway because some of my apps will no longer work and it's starting to overheat. I was able to extend it about a year with a new battery but I can't keep going to the Verizon store to have it restarted when an app crashes and shuts it down. If I could keep this phone 2 or 4 more years that would make up for a ton of straws. I don't know why I'm talking about straws, I don't even use them.
But I've got no control over controlling technology so I have to focus on what I can control and one of the things I can control is trying to reduce the amount of garbage that we produce in this house. This is one of my garbage reduction projects.
Quilting my quilts plus 40+ veterans quilts each year produces a lot of scrap batting and backing. I save the wide end pieces (12" - 20" on average) along with extra backing fabric and give it to a woman in our quilt club. She makes dozens of baby quilts for a local hospital. These batting chunks are easy to piece into baby quilt size batts.
Since I trim the veterans quilts I have all of the trimming scraps. I chop up the bits like this.
All of those bits get stored in this white trash can but I had some overflow this week. I'll also add in here some chopped up fluffy clothing (like sweatpants) and pillow filling. I do not add in fabric cut offs. Plain chopped up fabric makes the pet beds too dense and heavy (in my opinion). Fabric attached to batting is fine, plain fabric bits are better for scrap quilts or fabric postcards.
It was time to deal with all of the batting scraps because it's gotten out of hand.
My main rule is that I will not purchase anything to make these. Occasionally I find someone wanting to get rid of a stash of decorator fabric. In the case of the green fabric, that's some old double knit polyester! A friend was clearing out her MIL's house and came across a stash of fabric. I figured I might as well try the poly. It made a pretty soft bed and I've got plenty more. The brown print was a heavy cotton jumper that the MIL had made but never added buttons to. The skirt was big enough to make another pet bed.
I got 6 beds out of all of that and every bit of it was destined for the landfill. Now it has a second life to make some dogs comfy while they are at RAL (Richmond Animal League) also waiting for a second chance at life. I asked my friend to let me know if the double knit actually works out because I have a ton more of it.
Now, don't get any ideas. I am often offered other quilter's scraps but I can barely handle my own garbage! You'll have to be responsible for your own and I don't judge if yours goes to the landfill. Time is also a valuable resource that has to be factored in and after all, that's why we made landfills.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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