Fabric Play

I’m supposed to be quilting the basket quilt.  I’m soooo close to finishing but it’s hot and I don’t feel like wrestling with it in my quilting gloves.  I decided I needed a day to just play with fabrics and try something new. (This is probably why I have so many unfinished projects!)

I bought a book last fall called “Wanderlust Quilts”  by Amanda Leins.  We were still living in Italy and the quilts in the book really spoke to me – they made me think of Italy and our travels.  Also, the book was on sale so I just could not pass it up.

I fell in love with one of the quilts in the book called Aqueducts.  It’s a small quilt of scrappy arches on a white background.  I think I finally have enough scraps to make it so I got started.  The book calls for making fabric out of scraps, or just basically just keep sewing fabrics until you get pieces big enough.  I looked at it and decided maybe it would be easier for me to paper piece bits together.

The long straight pieces I just sewed together and cut to the right size but the arches, I did a variation of paper piecing to save fabric and get the right shape.  I’m not gonna lie, this project created a mess!

So the large arches went together very easily.  I pinned them like crazy, used the slow speed on my machine with the needle down and just took it slow.  I’ve only finished one row of the large arches but they all turned out very nicely.

The small arches were another story.  They were just so tiny that getting them in the machine and around the curve felt impossible.  I did one on the machine and the rest, I sewed the background arch on by hand.

It’s coming together quickly.  I have these two rows done and have to do two more rows of large arches.

It’s just what I needed though – lots of fabric play!  I’ll share more when I’m finished.

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Moose Quilt

I’m making a big push to finish my UFO’s or unfinished projects and today I checked one more off the list.  I finished my Morley J. Moose quilt.

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The top was all finished and I even had it stuck to some batting.  I just needed a back and to quilt it.  I had some bright yellow backing left over so I had to do some piecing to make it fit.  With the quilting, I got to use my darning foot or free motion foot for my Janome.  I bought it last fall but really hadn’t had a chance to use it.  It works great and this little quilt was small enough that getting it into my machine was no problem.

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I played around with some different motifs inside the moose and then did a stipple in the background and some lines around the outside.  The whole thing was just fun.

I had stored some strips with the quilt and I assumed those were the binding strips.  I put them together and thought they seemed a little narrow.  I thought maybe the pattern called for a 2 inch binding which is smaller than I usually use but sometimes when it’s a small piece, the binding can be smaller.  I still thought they seemed small as I was sewing them onto the quilt but then when I got to the end and measured for the seam to close off the binding; I realized these were 1 1/2 inch strips!  I was really wondering if it would work at all but by that time – the deed was done.  Well, it took some ironing and some pulling but I got the binding sewn onto the back.  It’s not pretty but since it’s a wall sized quilt, it won’t get a lot of handling.  I don’t know what happened there.  I can’t find the pattern anymore so I don’t know if it called for small binding strips or did I completely goof and cut them the wrong size?  Anyway it’s finished.

My friend gave me her easy method for adding a label and I followed her instructions.

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It was easy since you sew it in with the binding.  Plus, this white half-square piece of fabric just fell out when I was going through my unfinished projects – it was practically begging to become a label!

Baskets finished & Updates

I finished the Basket quilt-top yesterday and am washing the backing that came in the mail a couple days ago.  Hancock’s of Paducah was having a backing sale and it couldn’t have been a better time for me.  I found a old time-y looking neutral print backing that will be perfect for this quilt.

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Please don’t look too closely at the basket handles as I warned you that applique is not my thing.  I made it through 20 of these blocks and actually ended up hand appliquéing most of the handles.  It wasn’t too bad but getting them all in the same place obviously was beyond me.

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It’s a sweet quilt that will be a perfect lap warmer.  Now I’m trying to figure out how to quilt it.  I think I’ll just do some straight stitch-in-the-ditch lines.  I hope I can manage this size on my little sewing machine.

You might have noticed that I was able to hang my quilt to take photos.  I got my design wall put up!  I just made a little sleeve on the felt design wall I had and hung it up on a small curtain rod.  Easy!

I also wanted to share a cute block I made for a block of the month of my quilt guild.

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How adorable is this Pineapple block?  I thought about making another one with orange fabrics.  For every block you make, you get more chances to win all the blocks and then you can make a quilt out of them.  (I’m also tempted to keep it myself and make a little pillow.)

And last but not least; I wanted to update you on my Long Time Gone block of the month quilt.  This month I got the fabric to finish this last block for section 3:

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So now I almost have the left side finished.  I think I have to add section 4 to the bottom.  And then the whole right side is sections 5 & 6.

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Whoa!  Right?  It’s a lot to look at.

Anyway, besides all this; I was inspired by the backing sale to dig out some quilt tops and get them finished.  I’ve got fabric coming in the mail and am making plans to finish my unfinished projects!