Finished: In Need of Repair

I have a habit of cutting off two 2-1/2″ strips of each fabric as it arrives, so that I don’t have the fear-of-cutting-into-it Blank Canvas Syndrome when it comes to treasured fabrics. But this creates another problem… What do I do with all of those fabric strips?

I decided to play. I cut each one into about 10″ sections, and sewed strips together randomly.

Pressing to one side, I used a straight edge to trim about half of each strip off.
  

Then I had lots of strips and small pieces. I sewed more strips together randomly.
  

When I ran out of sewn pairs, I split the remaining stack of pieces and sewed those together randomly.

Eventually, I had two 7-foot strata of 10″ strip-sets. And no plan. Hm….

I decided to cut 1-1/2″ wide strips of the strata and sew them between half-square triangles of my low volume neutral fabrics.

Since I have the attention span of a guppy, then I decided to make half-square triangles of the strata, and attach those to the HST of neutrals.

Kinda fun to play with.

This was cool, but it would have been really small. And not that interesting to look at, other than the color variances.

So then I played with tilting some of the 1-1/2″ stripset pieces into the neutral squares. YES, PLEASE.

 

And then quilting. I wanted the color to pop, so I quilted everything else with more neutral thread.
  

But obviously the outer corners would need more stabilization. And the interior sections were boring, so I traced them — over the other quilting — with purple thread. Much better. And then purple thread in the colors gave it just enough zing. Ella liked it too.

So did Friday, but he was feeling snobby.

 

 

Here it is, oriented properly on the fence outside. I named it “In Need of Repair,” since I made it during Exam Week last May, and it’s how I feel at the end of a long school year.
  

And here’s the back!

 

Finished: Goose Vortex Tree Skirt

In time for Christmas! It’s a foundation pieced treeskirt with a 44″ diameter.

You can make it with two colors, as shown above, which requires 5 fat quarters of two different colors and 2.5 yards of background fabric, or you can use half-yard cuts of 5 different fabrics (plus the background) to get a spiral that goes all the way from center to outside edge.
  

Or you can make a 25″ in diameter table topper for any holiday — not just Christmas. C’mon… You know you want to!

 

Pattern available in my Etsy store (PDF and print versions available), or through PayHip for PDFs for my EU customers.

Finished: Steampunk Challenge

Yay! It’s reveal time for my entry into the BAQS Steampunk Challenge! When I ordered the fabric pack, I didn’t open it for a few days because I wanted to finish some other projects. When I finally did open it and read the rules fully, I was a little concerned — there was a LOT of fabric in the package and the rules stated that every one of them had to be used somewhere in the piece. UHOH. Initially I was going to do a small bag, but I changed my plan to Dresden Sprockets as accents on a Travel Duffel when I saw how much fabric I had to utilize.

In my stash I had a large chunk of black peau de soie that my mom had used to make a gown for herself for my Debutante Ball in 1992, and it was the perfect complement for all of the fabrics in the challenge pack. It had the weight and heft I needed to suggest leather, without the handling difficulty.

Luckily, it came together pretty quickly…

But it was BIG. So my second plan had to be replanned. The big sprocket was far too big to go on the bag design I wanted to do, so now I had to find a background fabric that would work. Luckily, I had in my stash a fantastic satin-finish cotton that I had purchased a few years ago with the intentions of making a jacket for myself. I never made the jacket, obviously, so over 2 yards of fabric was plenty for the front and back of this quilt.

 

I had plenty of fabric to make another sprocket, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the piece or shift focus away from either of the two I had started with. So I cut a sprocket out of freezer paper and auditioned it on the background.

 

Once I had the sprockets appliqued down to the background, I ironed the freezer paper sprocket down and layered the quilt. After I quilted around the paper sprocket, I filled in the background sections. Here it is, from the back. Ella helped, as always.

 

I binge-watched episodes of the Blacklist, Blindspot, Body of Proof, and Quantico while quilting the background sections.

I liked how the ghost sprocket was looking, but when I got any distance from the piece, you couldn’t really see it. So, pardon the pun, the wheels started turning.

 

Shiva Paintsticks to the rescue!

I realized as I filled in the ghost sprocket that when the paint hit the black peau de soie, it really looked like metal. If I brushed the peau de soie with just a little, it took on a leather-like sheen. SO PERFECT. I went a little berserk, but I loved the effect. Metallic thread just pushed it that much further.

 

I finished it, but the density of the quilting meant that I couldn’t really cut it square without cutting into the big sprocket. So I improvised the bottom edges, and bound it with bias binding. Then I started adding metal embellishments that I had in my scrapbook stash.

And here it is! I’m so pleased with how it turned out, even though it’s not what I had in mind when I started.

 


  

Finished: Good Neighbors

For two years now, I have participated in Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt. Here’s Celtic Sherbet, the one I made for the 2013 Winter mystery. And this is Good Neighbors, the one I made for the 2014 Winter Mystery.

 

I don’t have a lot of pictures of it in process, for some reason. But I did manage to get fence photos of the front and the back.

And a few of if during the quilting process.

 

And of course I have one of Friday modeling on it the night I finished piecing the top.

When I was working on it last December, I was pinning sections together and noticed flashing lights outside. Ambulances, police, firetrucks, and lots of neighbors going into and out of the house across the street. The father in that house had had a heart attack and was found hours later by his son, and the mom was out of town at a sales meeting. I called her and spoke to her and went across to see their son, who was surrounded by friends and family and civil servants. Their older son was on the way home from his first semester in college, just before he would have been taking his final exams.

Every time I worked on the quilt after that, I thought of their family, and the events of that night and how everything changed for them. Prayers were said as I worked, and it became their quilt. When I finished it, I gave it to Christy. She was not expecting it and didn’t know about it, so it was extra special to give it to her. She’s the neighbor who acted as our agent the night of the fire, who went into our home with the fire inspector and let me speak to him on her phone, since we were out of town. While neither of us is particularly social, we are always friendly and greet each other when we happen to see each other outside.

Good neighbors are truly a gift. I’m glad I was able to give her a quilt that had so many prayers sewn into it.