Monthly Archives: June 2013

Chapter 17: The Story Behind the Quilt ~ What went wrong turned out right!

Continued from my WIP project this week.

Well if you are a quilter you know that sometimes things just don’t go the way you planned! The problems began  with my original design paper pieced blocks. I had done a couple of my blocks correct and laid them out on my design board. Then I walked away from them for a while.

13 blocks pieced

13 blocks pieced

I had precut all my fabric pieces and had just enough. Not a very good idea. As a quilter I would recommend always buy and extra 1/4 to 1/2 yard of fabric just in case. Did I follow this rule this time, No!

To make things go a little faster while I was talking to my friend on the phone, I was pinning my first two pieces of fabric to my paper pattern to sew.  My gold/yellow pieces were almost square. There was a difference of about 1/2 inch.  So I didn’t think about which direction to place them when I was pinning. If you ever paper pieced you just realized what I did. After sewing all 36 blocks, half of the the gold was off by 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch.

My solution instead of taking apart all those blocks that I had sewn wrong was to  just cut my blocks down to 8 x8 instead of 8 1/2 x 8 1/2. No problem. It worked out better because I decided I didn’t want to have to worry about having points anywhere that met.

Second problem:  I had all my blocks ready to sew and thought I laid them in the direction I wanted to piece the rows. After sewing two rows when I went to put them together realized I had rotated all the blocks so it actually came out different then the above lay out!

Block sewn different

Block sewn different

I decided to just finish the quilt the way it was coming together. I actually like it a lot better. The orange doesn’t over power the quilt as much. But it would look OK the other layout also! Initially I wasn’t going to put a boarder on the quilt, but felt it needed it at the end. Sometimes things just work out!

Finish quilt

Finish quilt

 

 

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#17 WIP ~ Fall Quilt

I have never really been an orange person. It is one of the colors that I have tried to master in my quilting. So I decided to challenge myself to make a fall quilt.  When I went to my local fabric store there was a ton of orange in every shade you can imagine.  So I skipped right passed them and went to find a print that I really liked with orange in it.  By the way I love leaves.  All leaves.  I came across a beautiful leaf fabric and from there went to grab some coordinating oranges, golds, and greens.

Fall fabric selection.

Fall fabric selection.

I then sat down with a sheet of plain paper and drew out a few simple lines. Scanned into my computer and decided to run off a couple and using paper piecing method, sewed a few together.

paper pattern

paper pattern

A surprise pattern came out once a few of the blocks were sewn and laid out on my design board. I think I like it!

13 blocks pieced

13 blocks pieced

So I went ahead and precut all my pieces, and with the left overs, made some mini word quilts!

Fall throw quilt 3

You can see or even purchase these little inspirational word quilts in my etsy store.  Hop on over for a visit.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/thebutterflyquilter

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Inspiration from Gardening

Sometimes I need to take a break from quilting in order to get my juices flowing. I have been working in my flower garden areas. Since living in Maine my husband and I have moved a lot of rocks and that is what I use to close in my garden areas. Every year in spring time I head into my surrounding area and pick up rocks or boulders. It is a workout! The frost heaves during the winter push some fresh boulders higher up from the ground making it easier for me to shovel them out. We hired someone to move a lot of the larger boulders when we were building, then I added the smaller ones around to make a special place for plants. The problem is each year I add another space. LOL–It just keeps growing.

I have been out weeding and trying to catch up. I just finished planting some wonderful colorful flowers. Inspirational when you sit outside on my deck and just enjoy the animals, birds and the colors. Last year we laid 69 bags of mulch down. I am not mulching again this year but added another section for plants. I think my husband gave up on helping me but that is ok for I love the work.

New section. Pots in the ground with Daisy's!

New section. Pots in the ground with Daisy’s!

Forward section done weeding!

Forward section done weeding!

 

View from my deck!

View from my deck!

Other side of deck! Excuse the clothes line!

Other side of deck! Excuse the clothes line!

Across from my front door.

Across from my front door.

 

Starting to add flower pots to my deck!

Starting to add flower pots to my deck!

My husband doesn’t really mind because as a photographer, as long as I bring home pretty flowers, it keeps him busy too. I didn’t take some other areas I am working on but once it is all done and the flowers bloom at different times I love my gardens.

 

 

 

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Chapter 16: The Story Behind the Quilt ~ Crazy Memory Quilt

Finished quilt

Finished quilt

Crazy quilts have always been something that I wanted to try. I like to do hand work every now and then. A friend and I decided to do a small wall one with 9 blocks of  12 x 12. For mine, instead of all the different fabrics like velvet, silk, and other choices, I decided to do it all in cotton. I also decided to do it all in neutral colors. After heading to my local fabric store here in my area I found a lot of tone on tones and different patterns within them to work with.

Sewing machines today have a lot of decorative stitches but I wanted to try some by hand. I went and got three books on crazy stitches. I know, how many can there be?! You would be surprised!! I used a 14 x14 inch block of muslin for my base. I then added a cut out piece on top and sewed it in place. I was careful to cut a 1/4 inch seam and not cut the muslin in the back. Once the block was pieced, the fun started. I used different stitch designs and different DMC thread colors for each different stitch design. It was trial and error at this point.

In my travels to different surplus stores, Good Will and others I found buttons and objects that I wanted to add into my crazy quilt.  I also had things on hand that I thought I could add onto the piece in some way.

This block has a pair of earrings I was wearing when I met my husband. The date we got married. Of course there is a butterfly in a lot of my blocks because I love butterflies. Each block has something different also. In this block  was when I started experimenting with rusting and beading.

Wedding day block!

Wedding day block!

England, Navigator

England, Navigator

The above block is when we lived in England. My husband was a Navigator for the USAF. The stars and propellor from heart beads and buttons and stars. We adopted our first cat and I had my first garden. The plastic flowers reminded me of the plastic knobs in my kitchen. (Just click on photo it will get larger so you can view).

Second Cat, Sundial

Second Cat, Sundial

This block we were living in Albuquerque, N.M. The photo of our second cat, which we adopted there, was taken on a pile of quilts. I took this photo when I took a photography class. We hiked a lot there and came across a sun dial thousands of years old (button with beads around it). Today you can not get close to it, the state has blocked it off from the public.

Maine, log cabin, and third cat!

Maine, log cabin, and third cat!

This block has a log cabin block to depict the log cabin we built in Maine, snow flakes that was tea dyed, and our third adopted cat. Leaves because we are surrounded by acreages of trees. There is even bird buttons because we feed a numerous amount of birds in the area.

Boat Block

Boat Block

At one point in our lives we lived on a boat. Sold everything we owned, moved onboard, and traveled down the east coast. We named our boat the December First. I even found gold boat beads. A friend had some anchor buttons she gave me to use in the quilt.

I sewed all the blocks together and then put a backing on the quilt. To hold it all together I bought some trim and sewed that along the seams of the 12 inch blocks with a button at each intersection. I put a sleeve on it and hang it every now and then on our wall.

This was so fun just searching for the right objects to use with each block. Always great to look back on where you have been and what you have done. I hope you start one of your own.

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#16 WIP Wednesday ~ Weaving fabric

OK, on to something new. LOL Yup, I am forever trying something new. I wanted to try to weave my fabric in different methods just to see what I like better instead of piecing my quilt top to look like it is woven. An example is this bee quilt. I cut the strips then took each strip and sewed it in half. Iron it flat so seam was on the back side. Then I wove different fabrics together. Here is the finished piece.

Woven Quilt

Woven Bee Quilt

This time I wanted some raw edges. At least that is how it started out. I laid a piece of batting down first and wove these batik fabrics that go from light to dark grey and black and some blue. This new one I am working on will be called Moonlight Garden. At least I think so.

Raw edges

Raw edges

I decided to add another strip to the top across because I could see the batting no matter how tight the weaving was.

Fiber 1aI  use a variegated thread to zig zag the strips in place. Still no back piece just batting underneath.

fiber 1c

You can still see that it is a raw edge but not the batting underneath.

I then decided to take out my shiva white paint stick and paint in some little clouds and mist. To do this you take a piece of paper and tear it. Then you place the paper on your fabric and take your stencil paintbrush full of white paint and brush across the paper edge. It leaves an interesting design.

fiber 1dThis mini quilt is going to be a mixed media piece. I am going to use some batting and cheese cloth to make the flowers. I think! It is still a work in progress. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow!

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#15 WIP: Continuation of my free form Triangles!

Well as you know last week I was trying to figure out how I was going to piece my free form triangles into a quilt. After a couple of days I decided to try to take an old block and make it modern with my free form triangles. I realized to get the angle right for the block I would have to paper piece. I drafted out the size and then scanned it into my computer. I then decided to use some left over heavy water soluble stabilizer a friend didn’t like. I figured I could just tear it away like paper. Well after printing off 36 of them and sewing about 22 of them I tried to tear it away. It left some on the fabric. That wouldn’t be bad but it was the black ink I was worried about that was on the stabilizer. I put one in water to get rid of the stabilizer only to have the ink run into the white fabric. So for a few hours and small tweezers I bet you can guess what I was doing,  getting every last bit of stabilizer off. I decided to go back and run the rest of my paper pieced sections onto  paper. Worked so much better!

One of the triangles!

One of the triangles!

One block done!

One block done!

Once I had my 9 blocks  (I wanted to do more but knew I would not have enough fabric) , I laid them out. I loved them on point.

On Point!

On Point!

The rest of my blocks and outer triangles were also done with free form piecing. I think it gives it a very modern feel. This took a lot longer than I thought but I love the colors. All from just white fabric and a bundle of  2 1/2 in strips. I plan on quilting it next. Still deciding on how but something will come! LOL

Quilt top done!

Quilt top done!

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