After a year and a half of very challenging and time consuming family responsibilities, I am determined to reclaim my life and get back to quilting regularly.
So to start off the year with progress, I finished this small mug rug today. The project began as a trial block using interleave technique. I loved the technique and went on to make several interleave quilts. This sample remained in my orphan block pile. I felt the pieces resembled a forest with upright stems, so I free-form cut some palm branches and appliqued them on to create a tropical forest. Then binding was applied and hand stitched to finish up my first project of the year!
While I was not posting, I did complete a few projects during stolen moments, but I actually started more projects that are nowhere close to finished. So this year, I am going to concentrate on turning my UFOs into completed projects, My goal is 52 projects = one per week on average. Many are quickies, but others will take a significant investment of time. However, I will keep at it to make good progress on my goal. Posting and your comments will keep me encouraged!
This little quilt is a panel I quilted as a quick gift baby quilt. This panel was quilted with a cute design that includes bears, moons and stars. Added a binding and voila, a finished quilt.
It is really nice to have a finished quilt on hand for spontaneous baby gifts. Some baby will enjoy snuggling with this one.
Batik Tied Quilt
This lap-sized diagonal batik quilt was made specifically to enter into a class for tied quilts at the fall fair. I like the bold graphic lines of the quilt. I tied the quilt in the center of each square with matching embroidery floss. So yellow floss on the yellow squares, blue on the blue, etc, so that it is not immediately apparent it is a tied quilt. My quilting friend Judy told me the top was too nice to tie, but I explained I have a longer term plan.
This large lap sized quilt is backed with fleece, so it would make a cozy little TV watching quilt. However, I actually do not like tied quilts, so I am on to part two of my plan. Because the quilt has now finished the fair season, I intend to cut all of the ties and remove the binding. I will add more blocks and a border to the quilt top to make it queen size. I have lots more fabric, so I have design flexibility. Then I will quilt it on the longarm. I know the result will be a quilt that pleases me more than a tied quilt.
This little wall applique hanging was made using the stain glass technique. It sat in my UFO pile for quite a while until I decided to quilt it up for a fall fair category for applique wall hangings. I quilted it using my domestic machine with walking foot. I matched the threads on top and used Superior MonoPoly in the bobbin. I entered it in a few fall fairs and it won a several ribbons. I still feel I should add a bit more quilting to the Iris leaves, but so far, have not felt the inspiration to do so. Maybe someday.
Pieced Christmas Stocking
This Christmas stocking sat in my UFO pile for a few years before I finally pushed myself to complete it. The stumbling block was how to finish the top edge. I kept imagining a cuff on the stocking. I hired a friend to embroider a cuff for the top, but once completed, realized I would have to quilt the cuff to achieve the same density of the quilted stocking. I thought that quilting the cuff would detract from the embroidery, so waffled over that idea for a couple of years. Because I needed another entry for a fall fair, I decided to quickly finish it up. I was pressed for time so I elected to simply add a coordinating binding to the top, reasoning I could add a cuff later.
To my surprise. the stocking won first prize ribbons at several fall fairs, so I decided it really did not need a cuff. So it stays as finished and my daughter Sarah is happy with her Christmas stocking.
This stocking was made with little strips from my scrap bin. i store my scraps by colour, so it makes it easy to pull a bunch of coordinating fabrics. Once the fabric had been strip pieced into a shape that would accommodate a stocking, I densely quilted the fabric with a Christmas tree bulb design in a gold thread. After a couple of years of marinating in my UFO pile, I cut out the stocking to the desired shape and assembled it. I added a simple binding around the top and now consider it done.
The lesson learned here is to avoid overthinking a project, that simple sometimes is better. Entering a fall fair can be a great incentive to get things done!
Now I plan to make a coordinating green stocking for her husband. They have been married for two years now, so it has become a much higher priority!
Hand Quilted Circus Panel Quilt
This little hand quilted printed panel is a well travelled quit! It was my companion for every trip for a full year. It went to Northern Ontario many times, to Cuba twice and to Kingston once. I mostly worked on it during travel time. It is good to have something handy to keep me busy and my mind occupied. When I am at home, I prefer to machine stitch or quilt on the longarm. Since I only work on it while traveling, it takes me a long time to hand quilt a panel. Typically about a year. I like to make one of these each year as it gives me another entry for the fall fair. Since babies are always being born, it is also very good to have a baby quilt on hand to gift.
Flannel Rag Quilt
This quilt is my longarm quilted version of a rag quilt. A few years ago, I bought the stash of a woman who was giving up quilting. She has a LOT of flannel. I found several sets of rectangles that I felt could be combined into a pleasing quilt.
I cut pieces of scrap batting slightly smaller than the rectangles. I mounted a large piece of flannel backing on the longarm and then basted each of these rectangle/batting pairs onto the backing. I selected an open quilting design that would maintain the fluffiness of the quilt and look more stylish than the typical X quilting design one generally sees on a rag quilt. When the pieces were all quilted, I squared them up and sewed them together. My dear friend Sue lent me a pair of spring action scissors that are fabulous for cutting the fringe. I prefer to bind the outside of the quilt rather than fringing it. Binding gives the quilt more stability and strength.
The finished quilt was entered in the fall fair and won first prize. The picture shows the quilt on display at the fair. (Note to American readers…In Canada, the red ribbon is the desirable one!) I have since given it away to one of my preferred charities, a group called Canadian Food for Children.
Dumpster Rescue Quilt
This quilt was rescued from the dumpster at Bibles for Missions, a thrift store in Chatham, Ontario. My brother bought it with the intention of cutting it up for padding for another project. My sister in law, horrified that he would cut up a quilt, rescued it from him and then gave it to me to clean and repair.
The quilt was VERY dirty, so I soaked it in the tub several times, gently squishing suds through it to get it much, much cleaner. I then repaired the ripped seams with careful blind stitches. I patched holes and frayed bits as appropriate. In some areas, the quilting stitching is broken, but I decided to leave it be, since my own hand stitching is distinct from this quilter’s stitch and the difference in consistency would make it immediately noticeable as a repair. The tattered white binding was removed and then replaced it with a red fabric of similar vintage and intensity. The quilt looks strikingly better and I am pleased with the result. I think the original quilter would be happy with my rescue of her work.
While working on it, I wondered if I was merely wasting my time on a quilt that was clearly past its prime. However, last summer, I entered the quilt in the fall fair category of yard sale/thrift shop quilt and won first prize. That felt like a confirmation that all of my effort on this rescue quilt was worth it.
Now it is living a second life as a Christmas decoration that is brought out of storage only in December. It adds a lovely festive touch to our family room and is soft and cozy to snuggle under while watching Christmas movies.
This third set of place mats was also cut from the same border print fabric, but because it was cut from a different section of the fabric, it looks different from the first two sets. There are three mats of this design, even though only one is shown in the photo. These place mats sat in my UFO area for quite a while, so I am very glad to have them finished and off my conscience!
This second set of Xmas place mats were cut from the same piece of border fabric but because they were cut from a different section of that fabric, they look quite different fro the first set. These place mats were good practice for mitering corners. If you do it often enough, you can get quite good at it!
They were quilted in a snowflake design with a gold shiny polyester thread which has the look of metallic thread, but is much easier to run on the longarm. I’m happy with the result and I am sure they will come in handy sometime.