Thursday, April 5, 2018

Scrappy Triangle Quilt

It seems fitting to finish this quilt in time for spring. (Well, technically it is spring, although we're expecting a bit of snow tomorrow.) The bright colors of the Anna Maria Horner fabrics are undeniably cheerful and full of life, just like the season, and the low volume prints set them off nicely.
I used 50 weight white, Aurifil thread to quilt the top in a free motion figure eight design, which I  recommend if you are new to free motion quilting or have a largish quilt to handle on a home machine. The design offers lots of places to stop and adjust your quilt without interrupting the flow of the shapes. It can also be modified to fill pieced shapes, like these triangles.
The binding is another Anna Maria Horner favorite, and the backing is a soft, white flannel.
I'm sending the quilt to my grandmother. It will drape over the back of her couch where she will see it everyday. At 54 x 71 it is also a good size to fold over her lap on chilly days. She may not remember that I made it for her, but I'll feel better knowing it's there with her although I can't be.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

When Scraps Attack

 As you may recall, I finished piecing my scrappy Anna Maria Horner triangles quilt. I found a swath of white flannel for a cozy backing and got it basted. As I pondered quilting designs, it happened. The pile of scraps leftover from cutting all those triangles suddenly became irresistible. I had to stop everything and sew them into strip sets. Do scraps ever overtake your other projects?
The resulting rectangles made another set of placemats for a community service project for the year, which is a large stack of placemats for Meals on Wheels by December. These are perfect for leftover strips or blocks, paired with scrap binding and the odd fat quarter for backing.
I finished these quickly with some free motion quilting. Since the placemats will most likely be given to individual recipients, they don't need to match or be exactly identical in size. I'm eyeballing mine to be about 14 x 18 inches.

Now maybe I can get back to that quilt.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

One Use for Quilty Leftovers

If you're like me, you have a drawer or container full of leftover, random quilt blocks or otherwise abandoned projects. There's something guilt-inducing about all the work and money they represent, just sitting there, unfinished, even if they are out of sight! I'm going to share how I'm turning mine into a project for the year to benefit a local charity.
I've taken blocks like this lovely thing I made on a whim to use part of a scrap pack of screen printed fabrics from Karen Lewis (back before she had her own fabric line), and transformed it into a quilted place mats. Really placemats are the perfect use for leftover blocks. A quick border can fill them out to the needed size as I've done with a couple strips of mustard solid.

Or, combine leftover strips like these extras leftover from making a custom Scattered Colors Table Runner. The small size of placemats is perfect for trying out new quilting designs too. I went to town with my walking foot, and I love the resulting texture and interest it adds to the simple piecing. 

I'm taking thriftiness and the urge to recycle up a notch too by using scrap batting (frankenbatting if needed), the last bits of low spools of thread, scraps of binding pieced as needed, and even odd fat quarters I realize I'll never actually use for the backing. Mine are about 14 x 18, but since they will be given to individuals, the placemats don't need to match or be identical in size.

If I make a couple of place mats a month I will have a nice stack to donate to Meals on Wheels by December. It makes me pretty happy to think of someone getting not only a meal but a handmade gift, and my drawer of abandoned blocks will hopefully be emptier. If you want to join in, donate to your local chapter and hashtag #placemats4MOW to share pictures online.

What's your favorite way to use quilty leftovers?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Scrappy Triangle Quilt Top

I've finished assembling my scrappy triangle quilt top. I mentioned earlier how I started this quilt to use up some of my favorite Anna Maria Horner scraps, but I thought the triangles were so lovely I broke into my stash make the quilt larger. I'm so glad I did. It is 55 x 73, which makes a nice lap quilt. For those who have asked, I used a Tri Recs ruler to cut the triangles to just over 6" high (affiliate link).
My kitchen floor got a good cleaning, so I could baste the quilt layers. Never bad thing. The backing you can't see here is a white flannel. This is going to be such a bright, cozy quilt. I'm going to give it to someone who needs comfort this winter.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Quilted Logo Pillow

I created this quilted pillow cover as a gift for my taekwondo instructor. I drafted a foundation pattern to replicate the studio logo, and I'm really pleased with the accuracy I was able to achieve. And even though it looks really good with my Candy Coated quilt, I'm still going to part with it.
The quilting on this 20" pillow took longer than I thought it would, but I'm happy with the results. I used my walking foot and red thread to quilt the logo and filled the negative space with a simple square meander using a free motion foot.
My favorite finish for quilted pillows is an interfaced backing with a lapped zipper and hand finished binding. The pillow feels appropriately substantial and sturdy. I love the peek of red from the zipper.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Winter WIPs

Bone chilling cold has settled over the Midwest, leaving me starved for color and warmth indoors. I started this project as a way to use my favorite Anna Maria Horner scraps, but I soon realized I wanted a larger quilt than my scrap stash would allow. I pulled out the good stuff, and I'm resolving to cut it up. It's silly to leave it on the shelf. The riot of color and pattern is somewhat calmed by the alternating low volume prints, another stash category that needs thinning.
For a hand sewing project on the go, I'm creating something more austere. I've never worked with this English paper piecing shape before. I suppose it's really just an elongated hexagon. I'm not sure where this doodle is going yet, but not knowing is half the fun.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Paper Boat Mini

When my friend told me her nursery has a nautical theme, I was all too happy to revisit this paper boat pattern. I love the pastel fabrics for a baby's room, and it looks so sweet in the snow we got just in time for Christmas.
This mini just needed a couple of triangles on either corner to hold a small dowel rod for hanging, and it's on its way to little Lewis.