Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Very Scrappy Quilt

Sometimes people criticize quilters for cutting large pieces of fabric into smaller pieces, then sewing those small pieces into a larger piece to make a quilt. We quilters all know that's just plain nonsense! But I have a project that used already small pieces of fabric scraps to make a quilt. The idea came from Elizabeth at She made a large floor pillow with this technique; I made a small-ish quilt. It can really be made in any size you wish.

Here is a photo of the finished quilt top.

Now I will show you how I got there!

I used my blue scraps for this quilt. I didn't sort them at all, or care if the blues went together or not. The above photo shows my little fabric bowl full of blue scraps sitting next to my sewing machine. Next to the fabric scraps is a pile of one-inch strips of off-white fabric. This fabric is leftovers from a sheet that I had re-purposed into a comforter cover.

This photo shows my first two pieces of blue fabric with a strip of off-white between them. This is the basic step for the whole project.

I sewed the 1" strip to one piece of blue, then pressed toward the blue. The 1" strips were all approximately 20" long, so they simply got trimmed down to the size I needed when I sewed them to the blue pieces.

Here is the first set of fabric sewn together and pressed.

Next I laid them on the cutting mat and trimmed one side to a straight edge. As you can see, I angled my cut, which adds to the fun and scrappiness of this quilt.

Now we're missing a couple photos, but the next step was to sew a 1" strip to my straight edge. Then I made another set of two (or maybe three) fabrics, made a straight edge, and sewed it to the first set I'd sewn. Get it?

And here is a finished block. You may notice that the block itself is not square either, but has a slanted edge on the bottom. That's ok! It will all work out in the end! Also, I have no idea exactly how big this square is. I just kept sewing fabric pieces until it looked about right. Really, this project is so forgiving! Which also makes it very liberating. Just grab a piece of fabric and sew it to the next one! It's so much fun.

Here's a close-up of one of the blocks. I particularly liked this fairy fabric. I remember it from quite a few projects ago!

And here's another shot of the finished quilt top. Now I just need to add borders and finish it up. If you look closely, you can see that the blocks and rows are not square and do not line up exactly. I used the same one-inch strips to join three blocks together into a row, then evened up the bottom and top edges. Another one-inch strip joined the rows into a whole quilt top. You may notice that the rows and columns are not parallel or even with each other. But it doesn't matter: it all gets trimmed square in the end.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Decorations

OK, here's a super easy Christmas decoration. Simply tie some beautiful ribbon around the dining room chairs! It doesn't get much easier than that. It helps that my chairs have ultra suede fabric on them to help hold the ribbons in place, but a little well-placed scotch tape could do the trick, too.

I think it was in October when I was in Costco and they had their Christmas decorations and wrapping paper out. They have such nice paper (in a much bigger roll than I'll ever use up!) and really pretty ribbon. The ribbon comes in a 50-yard roll, which usually lasts me several years! This year I used up more of it, but as I usually re-use my ribbon, I'm sure I'll still have lots left over.

I had a plaid woolen skirt that I wasn't wearing any more, so one day I washed it in hot water and dried it on high heat to felt the wool. Now I've finally gotten around to doing something with it! I cut mitten shapes out of the wool, then did a decorative stitch around the edges in red. All that remained to do was clothes pin them onto a ribbon.

I have eight regular-sized mittens, and one small mitten. This decoration was slightly more work than the one above, but not very much bother, either!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Class

I recently took a free motion quilting class at my local quilt guild. It was taught by Bonnie Toy, a very experienced quilter. She has some awesome ideas, and is a good teacher. Bonnie has a wonderful way of getting things across to her students.

Now, if you don't laugh too much, I'll show you some of my attempts in her quilting class. I've done some free motion quilting, but am nowhere near adept at it, and I always need more practice. I take every class I can find, as I always learn something new.

This first example is just a little elongated, three-loop figure eight, then three loopy loops around it. It's quite easy to move around the quilt top with this design.

My second example is a curved loop, but then it is "echoed" in a square manner, rather than with loopy round lines.

One of my favorite designs, and totally new to me, is this one that looks like intersecting circles. It requires drawing a grid onto the fabric, then snaking curves up and down the lines. The result looks like circles. It's awesome, and I am so glad I discovered this design. I now need to acquire the necessary grid, and my local quilt shop has some ordered, so I'll have one soon.

This design--or one similar to it--is know as bananas. However, I didn't make mine quite like everyone else did. But I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Just some random curves.

The above examples are all on one piece of fabric. You can see that the fabric is a very colorful batik print. One day I will do more practice quilting on this fabric and will have a set of placemats!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Decoration

This may look like an odd assortment of objects to be holding in my hand, but I promise there is a purpose here!

Two years ago I read an idea on the internet for a Christmas decoration which involved dental floss and little round white stickers. The stickers were attached to each other over top of a length of dental floss, then hung in a window. I made several very long rows of these and hung them up. It almost looked like snowflakes falling!

This year I decided to make a variation on this idea. I used last year's Christmas cards and my one-inch circle punch. I really went crazy punching out colorful parts from the cards! Then I used a glue stick to attach them to dental floss. Just randomly spaced, no measuring involved!

Here is the result, hanging on my front door. I simply put a piece of clear tape at the top and another piece at the bottom. I left a little slack in the hanging lines, so that when the door is opened or closed all the little circles wiggle and twirl and sparkle and look pretty!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I may have won the Bad Blogger Award. It has been way too long since my last post. Sorry about that. Things have been a little busy for me, but I know that's no excuse.

Today I'm going to give you a preview, through photos, of things I have been working on, and blog posts that will be coming in the future.
I promise.

I know that some of these photos need some explanation, and I guarantee that will be forthcoming!