Saturday, February 13, 2016
I made these 10 simple napkins today. My family has been using cloth napkins - mostly home made ones - for about 20 years. Estimating low, that is over 30,000 paper napkins that were not used and not thrown in the garbage. I wash them with our towels, and they don't change the number of towel loads of laundry either. And cloth napkins are fun.
But eventually they wear out, and I've been meaning to make more. When I found this bundle in my stash today of linen mochi dot by Moda which is 100% cotton but feels like linen, I decided it was a perfect match. I cut 16" squares. I folded and pressed the edges over at about 1/4" twice. Then I sewed two opposite sides and then the other two sides. I used my walking foot as the corners are thick.
I'll wash them in the morning and give them a press and they will be ready for dinner tomorrow. We could use some more too, I'll look for another fabric choice tomorrow.
I was giving my sewing space a major tidy and reorganizing today. Maybe I will finish tomorrow and share some photos here - there are a couple on instagram if you want to see sooner.
Don't forget to join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I for the February Scraptastic Tuesday link. You have until 10 pm MST on Monday night to join us. Go here to link up your scrappy project.
And, I'll tell you more on Monday, but I have organized some great giveaways over the next month to celebrate my 5 year blogging anniversary - on March 12 - and some other internet milestones too.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Welcome to if you're shopping.... On some Fridays, I share news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping.
The Fat Quarter Shop has Valentine's fabrics on sale until midnight on Valentine's day. They have Sweetwater's new line First Crush and several other great fabrics in this sale.
Sew Me a Song has beautiful curated bundles, including this Voile bundle of Amy Butler and Victoria and Albert prints.
Mention monochrome and most people immediately think of black and white or grayscale colour schemes. Think again! Oakshott Fabrics' NEW Monochrome Picks demonstrate the impact that can be created by designing with one colour, whilst producing a soothing effect which is easy on the eye.
Green Fairy Quilts has Kate Spain's Aria in a Fat 16 bundle as their featured fabric of the week.
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has two of my most favourite new lines - Avant Garde and Carkai - in stock now.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
It's the second Tuesday of February so the Scraptastic Tuesday monthly link is open.
I decided that I needed to continue with my scrap strips and make more regular sized log cabins, at about 15" square. I might just carry on until the box of scrappy strips is empty.
I only managed 2 tonight. I did clean my sewing machine too, but my long walk earlier means I am sleepy now. I am still Quilt Con training and will have to figure out how to go for a long walk or two shorter ones tomorrow too.
In case you missed it, there are my scrappy log cabins from the weekend - now a 60" quilt top. I need to make these a back so I can get them quilted soon.
Now its time for you to share your scrappy projects, plans and ideas.
A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for providing the following prizes which will be awarded randomly among those of you who link up.
- Fat Quarter Shop - $25 gift certificate
- Sew Sisters Quilt Shop - $25 gift certificate
- Sew Me a Song - $20 gift certificate
- Massdrop - tba
- Fluffy Sheep Quilting - a €20 (20 Euro) gift certificate
- Green Fairy Quilts - $25 gift certificate
- Karen Lewis Textiles - scrap pack
- Mad About Patchwork - a $40 gift certificate
Please join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I by linking up a blog post or flickr or instagram photo sharing a scrappy project, in progress or finished, or your thoughts on dealing with your scrap mountain:
- You don't have to have joined us before, everyone is welcome.
- One link per person, and it will be your entry into the random draw for the prizes. It is the same link up here and at Nicky's blog - Mrs. Sew and Sow - so you only need to link up on one of our blogs.
- You can link up from your blog, instagram or flickr, but you have to link up to be entered in the prize draw.
- Please visit at least a few of the links, they are very inspiring, and leave comments too as everyone loves to connect.
- Use the Scraptastic Tuesday button and invite your friends to join us too. Please share our button, or a link or the hashtag #scraptastictuesday in your linked post or photo.
- The link is open until next Monday night at 10:00 pm MST. We will announce the winners next Tuesday.
- If you have trouble linking up, let me or Nicky know and we will get you sorted.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Last month I went through my scrap binds and pulled out all the strips - long rectangular pieces with at least one straight edge - and then I put them in a box. This weekend I took them all out again.
I picked the easiest block for different sizes of strip scrap - log cabins. Every log can be a different width and it does not matter, your log cabin can continue without issue. I picked blue as there were a lot of blue strips and it always makes me happy to sew with blue fabric.
For the first several rounds I could sew, lean over to press and then trim right on my table. Once the log cabin got too big I hopped up to the actual cutting table with each log.
I made giant blocks - about 30" square, more or less. This was block one, finished on Saturday night. I decided just random fabric placement was working fine - I mostly looked for the next strip by size.
This morning I made another. I figure it takes me about 1.5 hours to make one of these big blocks, working fairly steadily. At this point it was lunch, and time for a long walk - I managed 7700 steps today, I am in training for QuiltCon.
I figured I did not have enough blue, so I later this afternoon I started a green one.
Before supper I had three finished. After making the green one I was almost out of green scrappy strips, but I also realized that I had enough blue left for one more block.
After supper - my DH cooked and did the dishes and it was yummy - I made the last one. This is not a great photo as it was dark and in my hallway, and I edited it heavily, but you get the gist. A 60" quilt top, all from scraps! It's a bit scary that I can name almost every designer of every one of those fabrics too.
I know that the February Scraptastic Tuesday link up is not opening until this Tuesday, but maybe you are inspired to join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I now. Those scraps can turn in to lovely quilts.
I might have to start another, I have a lot more scrappy strips.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Let me tell you about Spin. After a wash and dry, she is about 56" x 58", drawing in a bit more in one direction than the other it seems. The math for the pattern gives you an un-quilted quilt top of 60" square. If you wanted it bigger it would be a simple thing to add more of the background squares.
Spin is a version of my own design - a pattern I call Twirl. A minimalist medallion using the Allium block I designed when I made Echoes. This pattern will be available to purchase very soon. In the meantime, if you are impatient, feel free to just make your own version if you are able to figure her out, although I would love it if you would let me know and credit me for your inspiration.
I waited just a bit too late for the best photo light, but that one above is probably the closest to right. Spin was made with some wonderful orange bits and lots of low volume neutrals. There are a lot of Carolyn Friedlander prints in this quilt but several others too. I have to say that orange is my current favourite quilting colour.
I quilted and quilted Spin. I have already written about the quilting here and here. All the quilting was done on my Millenium Longarm machine. I drew every line free hand, without the help of rulers or channel locks or markings on the fabric, and with no computer or panto either.
I used 100% cotton thread for the quilting. The top and the bottom, as I quilted her used a medium orange Superior Threads King Tut - that close up above is the orange thread. The middle portion uses a Star variegated orange, pink/red thread. I used the same thread in the bobbin as on the top.
I consider my style - this style - to be modern industrial - think warehouse, brick wall, rough and functional - organic, not precise. I filled the spaces with lines, every which way. For the orange curvy bits, I echoed the curves. The final step to show off this style of quilting is to wash and dry the quilt so that the 100% cotton batting and thread draws in a bit and adds some texture. I prewash all my fabrics so the draw in is not from the fabric shrinking.
For her back, I used four prints that I love. Two by Zen Chic, one by Denyse Schmidt and one by Suzuko Koseki. You can see the quilting well on the light prints on the back. The binding is scrappy, made of 7 different Carolyn Friedlander orange prints.
The above photo is before I washed this quilt. You can see the flatness in the quilting and the stiffness in the drape. There is just no way for me that the quilt is finished at this stage, this is not the look I am seeking.
Here is a close up of the unwashed quilting. The quilting is easier to see but it is so less textured and dynamic.
Here is another photo after the wash and dry. You can see that the cardboard-y stiffness has gone and the quilt is drapey like a blanket. This photo also gives you a bit of proportion.
I am so smitten with this quilt. I am going to enter her in the Quilt Canada National Juried Show - the entry must be in by noon tomorrow. I am going to try for one more photo shoot first thing in the morning to see if I can get a better full on shot for the entry, but either way, I am hoping that she will be accepted into that show.
I am off to the Lethbridge Modern Quilt Guild meeting - they will be the first quilters to see Spin in person.
Thank you to all of you here and on Instagram for all the encouragement and enthusiasm about this quilt. I am already keen to make another, but I have some other designs using this block in mind too.
I've linked this post up to some excellent and inspiring, sharing posts: Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Hearts, Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Finish it up Friday with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts, and maybe I'll add some more links as the week goes along.
By the way, Spin was on my Q1 FAL List too, so I have one finish already!