In addition to Project Quilting, I participated in the Modern Quilt Guild’s most recent fabric challenge. The challenge started last fall, when we were given a set of fat eighths of Riley Blake fabrics. The only requirements were that we could use any Riley Blake fabrics including any (but not all) of the ones we were given and any solids to make any kind of quilted project. I could only find a few other Riley Blake fabrics locally to fill out the palette, but here’s what I came up with.
Project Quilting 3:2 – be inspired by the title of a song
I had a piano book called “The Most Beautiful Songs Ever” open on my lap and thought that was a good place to choose a title from. There were lots of very cheesy, mucky titles about love and beauty and willow and stars…but then I asked Dave for a “visual” song title and this was his first idea. Brilliant!! I’m so glad I asked him. I wanted to make a totally recognizable “Strawberry Fields” quilt and I think I love it! I listened to the song at least six times through while working on this.
It’s mostly improvisational. I just cut some rolling hills and arranged them right onto the batting and quilted them together. I didn’t even have the size nailed down when I started. Then I cut out a bunch of little strawberry parts while on the phone with my mom! I arranged them and stitched them on in a deliberatively sketchy way. I practiced that first on a separate piece, because I really loved my hills and didn’t want to wreck them. It almost could have been complete without the strawberries. But when I placed a strawberry on the fields, it made me smile and giggle out loud, so I knew it was right!
Then I had just a small chunk of that perfectly psychedelic binding fabric. So I chose to do a single layer, fused binding cut with a wavy rotary cutter, because I had to make it fit! The finished quilt is 10.5″ x 18″ I made a challenge to myself that no side could be more than 20″ this time, because last time I started too big! Then I had to trim the sides a little because the binding fabric was too short! But I only used scraps and I’m proud of it!
Ok, so if you aren’t playing along with Project Quilting, I just have to tell you…on a Tuesday night, when usually I would be sitting around watching tv or cleaning the house I decided to start thinking about PQ and launched into this truly wonderful evening of quilting and being creative with time I otherwise wouldn’t have used for myself. It was a real treat, got my creative juices flowing and really energized my whole week! The one week deadline may sound crazy, but it sure eliminates the UFO problem and I end up really enjoying the process from start to FINISH!
You may have already heard the news, but I don’t know what has taken me so long to blog about this….I’ve been published! I have a pattern in the great big Quilting Arts special issue “101 Patchwork Projects.” I even brought it to my guild meeting before posting it here. They gave me the warmest, most enthusiastic applause I have ever received at just a show and tell. I think they were proud of me!
Anyway, here’s the project that gave me the honor of sharing my craft with the quilting world.
And here it is in a magazine!
And here is where it says my name, in a magazine!
Oh, I know, maybe someday having something in a magazine will seem just as exciting as my everyday job, I hope anyway…but right now I’m basking in the newness and excitement of it.
I’ve made three of those “Tree of Life” wall-hangings since that first, just to make sure I could do it again. I had the magazine open and pretended to be someone else, just following the directions in a book! I had to really concentrate on reading each step before just rolling ahead and doing it, but it was fun that way!
I’m sure I’ll be offering them on Etsy, so if you’re interested, stay tuned (or convo me on etsy and get the listing up!) BUT better yet, go get the magazine and make your own!! I do hope I get to see what some other quilters do with the pattern. So, if you’re going to make it, be sure to show me you finished quilt!
By the way, the project is super-fun! It’s made in a fun and easy method that really allows you to play with the design before stitching it all down.
Here’s the cover of the magazine and the link for you to purchase your own copy. It’s a really great book. I made a pretty big list of projects in it that I want to do someday soon. I’m sure there are a few more blog posts about it to come! Bracelets, slippers, a headband, vases, placemats, a few simple quilts, and lots more.
I just finished another Project Quilting weekend…and it was a toughy! I’ve had trouble with this one from the very beginning. I started thoughts on about three different projects and when I had a great idea…it still didn’t go very smoothly! BUT, the results were really worth it!! So, oh well, better luck next time!
Here’s the finished quilt.
The voting is up here.
and the story…
Why does spray paint come in such basic colors? That’s the thought I had in the hardware store looking at the rows of red, yellow, blue, and white. Moving a little further down the aisle, yes, there are the paint chips that offer a wider rainbow of colors…but still, I started thinking about my stash of fabric and the wide range of possibilities there in comparison to that aisle of spray paint!! How lucky are quilters?!
This quilt is 45″ x 33″. It is all pieced. There is a clear vinyl pocket on the bottom, holding real paint swatches from the hardware store (who can resist grabbing those as you walk by?!) The 1″ inner blue border is the exact blue of painter’s tape (the third item from the challenge).
Here are some other photos. The inspiration:
Here are some of the working stages. I started with the center, an abstracted version of the spray paint cans on the shelves of the hardware store. I sketched it unto a big piece of brown paper and then started to piece it. It was basically free-style piecing…making stripes and then laying them down on the sketch and trimming to the right size.
Then I wanted to incorporate the paint swatches from the hardware store and I wanted to include the actual swatches, they were just so beautiful. At the hardware store they are stored in clear slots so they make a beautiful visual impact, so I did the same thing with a vinyl pocket!
The painter’s tape border was pretty fun! I needed some tape for quilt-sandwiching anyway, so I picked some up at the hardware store and held it up at the fabric store until I found the perfect blue. The size is 1″, because that was the most common size tape to buy at the hardware store!
Lastly the outer border was to be a wide array of quilting fabric. I started just trimming the size I wanted out of all my scraps and laying them out in a nice sequence. Before you know it I had a rainbow going and started to get obsessive about making it a continuous rainbow around the quilt!! This ended up taking the most time and I was really feeling crazy while working on it. But now I know that it really made the quilt spectacular!
You could say that I was really crazy when I went to my computer and drafted the corner pieces for paper-piecing so that they would turn around so nicely! But I think that was worth it for the wow factor too!
I don’t know why I can’t just think of quick and easy projects! Next challenge, my extra challenge to myself will be to come up with something so clever and brilliant because of it’s simplicity and ease of construction, not necessarily the coolest idea.
’til then, I’m proud of what I accomplished last week!
Before I was a quilter, I sewed. I embroidered, made stuffed toys, sewed clothes and pillows and just liked to try projects with fabric…but I obviously didn’t know any of the rules of quilting….
I just rediscovered an old project I made 10 years ago, while waiting for my first baby. It’s reallly cute, but I obviously didn’t know what I was doing. I made a quilted wall-hanging without a stitch of QUILTING! I remember taking it down because it had gotten saggy. It’s also a set of pockets, so after years of holding toys and small books, the fact that there was no quilting holding it together made it look bunchy and wrong.
So yesterday, I fixed it.
Because “Once a Quilter, Always a Quilter”, I couldn’t just leave a quilt un-quilted!!
Click the images to see them bigger. And I apologize, I don’t remember where I got this idea!! I think it was a book but I can’t be certain. If I figure it out, I’ll surely let you know, because I want to give proper credit. It was a great idea! And so fun to make. Look at all those rows of fancy stitches and reverse applique that I had fun with.
It’s still not a masterpiece of quilting. The sandwich, of course, didn’t lay quite flat anymore, so there are some bunches. But I’m now proud to call this a little quilt!
Kind of funny to have finished a 10-year-old UFO that I didn’t even know was a UFO! But it shows there’s always room for improvement.