Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Want a Piece of Me?

Pieces of one another!

Jill's aqua, purple and gold.
jill here...I recently returned from a quilt retreat with a 10 year Chicago connection!  What fun to get together with friends, sew a lot and share quilting ideas and projects.  Since we were ahead on our charity contributions, we decided to challenge ourselves: "You Want a Piece of Me?".

The assignment, if we chose to participate, was to create a small composition (one dimension of the piece must be 9 1/2" unfinished) in the recipients choice of colors, in the style of the maker's choosing that would be recognizable to others.  My choice of colors was aqua, purple and gold.  One friend created a negative/positive design that I was lucky enough to receive three different combinations, thus the three similar blocks.  How we choose to finish/display them is up to us!

Here are some of the other blocks!

Janis' grey, cream, turquoise and black.

Sharon's aqua, blue and peach.

Anita's blues, greens, purples in bright, saturated hues.

Kathy's blue, rust and cream.
As you can see, once we had some of the main colors, we were free to add in others to our liking.  It was a stretch to create a block for another in our style, hoping they would like it.

We're going to try it again next year with a different theme, yet to be decided.  Any suggestions?

'Till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sewing Machine Cover from DMMQG challenge fabrics and charm squares

We left off here. The original thought was to make a bag.
but now a sewing machine cover seems like a better idea.
This pieced front for the cover is 20 ½'' tall.
It is too wide and will be cut to size below.
An 8 ½" square was cut from each of four remaining challenge fat eighths.
(I'm saving the final challenge fabric.) 
A 2 ½'' strip of color was added along one edge.

A second 2 ½'' strip was added along the next edge. (log cabin style)
These blocks measure 10 ½'' square.

A few 20 ½'' square arrangements were possible, but this is the one I chose.

I added 2 ½'' strips to the sides to make it wide enough to
 cover my machine. It measures 24 ½'' wide by 20 ½'' tall.
It is a bit tall for my machine, but is sure to drape nicely. 
Bigger is better than too small. 

The "front" was trimmed along the sides to measure 24 ½'' across.
The "front" was sandwiched with batting and backing and quilted with a simple
 loopty loop stitch similar to cursive practice strokes.

The "back" was not quilted.

  • After the front was quilted the "back" was seamed on. Now 24 ½'' by 41'' 
  • The joined halves were placed right sides together with a backing fabric, pinned and stitched with an opening for turning. 
  • The whole thing was turned right sides out, corners pushed out, and edges carefully pressed. 
  • The final step was to topstitch all around the perimeter.

A machine cover done!
Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Des Moines Modern Quilt Group Challenge + Charm Squares = Project Part 2

Marny here…time for Part 2. See Part 1 here
This is where we left off. Since this layout is cute, finishing seems right.

One thing to be aware of is these two units are not the same height,
therefore some trimming needs to take place to make the layout work.
Just ½'' is trimmed from all the taller units.

The two middle rows are pretty straightforward now that they are trimmed.

Units in the middle rows are sewn.
(Just rows are sewn, the rows are not sewn to one another yet.
They need background pieces sewn to their sides/ends still.)

Note the ends of the rows do not line up exactly.
The rows need to be staggered just a bit to keep 

the dark verticals where they belong.

A "background" fabric is now starting to be incorporated.
It is a black with mutidirectional white ovals.

2 ½'' wide background pieces were sewn to four short pieces
bringing them up to size, and makes sewing by rows possible.
See above and below.

More background pieces added. 
The narrow strips are 2 ½'' wide and long enough to extend beyond the interior rows. The two inserted between the color units 
in the top and bottom rows are 2 ½'' x 6 ½''.
The eight "square" background pieces are all 4 ½'' tall, 
four are 5'' wide and four are 4 ½'' wide.
The rows are ready to complete and be sewn to one another.
Hopefully Part 3 will have a bag well underway! (It was 83 degrees here on Monday, not a time for sewing, it was a time for enjoying the brief promise of summer.)
Till Tuesday…cooler weather is returning so…

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Scrappy Backings

Spring is teasing us!

jill here..... A friend recently hosted a sewing get-together  to complete some charity quilts.  These quilts will be given to school age kids.  The photo shows the 2 "girl" quilt tops that were made from the Brioche and Baguette pattern.  One column and one row was added for additional size.  The quilt top measures 49" x 66" so the backings need to be 57" x 74 when sent to a machine quilter.

This is one of the focus prints.  Isn't it cute?  The white background really pops in contrast with the aqua sashing.

I started with a full width of fabric that was only 65" long (the cute little Monaluna bird print).  I had to bring it up to size by adding to both the length and width.  These two pieces were sewn together and trimmed to 10" x 57" wide.

The chevron print was cut width of fabric (x 2) and joined together lengthwise.

The "chevrons" were sewn to the trimmed width of bird fabric, leaving the selvedge intact on the left side.

To balance the weight of the aqua chevrons on the side, the birds were sliced again lengthwise and added to the other side of the chevrons. The birds are flying 2 directions but that's okay!

Then the back panel was sliced horizontally about 1/3 the way down and 10" piece inserted. Finally, the smaller cut was and flipped and sewn for visual balance.

The second backing was a different challenge.  I had several WOF colors that were trimmed various widths (here they are folded for easier handling) measuring them to bring it to the desired length.  Not to make my life more difficult but to create just a little more interest and variety, I trimmed some of the dark blue and inserted it into one of the yellows fabrics.  I eliminated the other yellow which will be used for the binding.

Once the widths were sewn together, I added 2 WOF chevrons to the side and trimmed the excess to fit.

I cut across the backing and flipped again for interest and balance.

 Here is one of the options.  Jackson is telling me it's time to come upstairs. 

Here's the second option.  Now it's really time to quit.  I think I like the first option better but I'll leave the decision for tomorrow.

Hope spring comes your way.  'Till next Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Des Moines Modern Quilt Group Challenge + Charm Squares = Project Part 1

Bundle of six fat ⅛ths tied up.

All are text…some less directional than others.
One has a black background and one has a creamy background.
The rest are white backgrounds with black print.
Four 5'' squares of each of 4 colors from a
Dear Stella charm pack of  Zig Zags. 

This charm pack was unique in having so many of a single color. 
Each "block" needs 2 matching charm squares, and today's 
directions make 8 blocks.

I chose the black background fabric first because 
the bright zig zags really pop adjacent to the dark.
Cut two 1 ¼" x 21" strips and two 2 ½'' x 21'' strips to make eight blocks. 

Cut every charm square in half.

Yep, in half.

Seam one side of the charm square to the 1 ¼'' strip cut previously.

Chain piece four halves along the 21'' strip. 


Press, then seam the other half of the same charm square, 
cut edges aligned. (Pinked edges are to the outside.) This ensures directional fabric will be oriented correctly in the finished units. 

A unit with both halves seamed and pressed.

Now cut these units (only the ones with the 1 ¼'' strip inserted) 
in half cross wise.
Note orientation shown.

Two halves

Repeat sewing process with a 2 ½'' x 21'' strip and 
four remaining matching charm squares.
DO NOT cut them. You now have units to make four blocks.

Repeat the entire process through once more to make a total of eight blocks. 
Here is just one idea for assembling.  
More experimentation and playing will take place before Part 2 of this project is posted. The rules for the challenge are minimal, use some/all of the challenge fabrics, and the final project needs to be quilted. Where is this going? Making the "blocks" is really fun and somewhat addictive. How many do I need and for what? Hmmmm.

Till Tuesday