Saturday, February 22, 2014

In a Groovy Space

The wedding dress quilt was delivered Thursday, and a shower present is completed.  That means I have no deadlines, which is a wonderful place to be in the studio.  Since the Debbies turned me on to Marcia Derse fabrics at the last retreat, I've been accumulating.  And this week I finally am cutting into them and have a plan in mind.  This quilt will be alternating pieced and whole blocks, all of them 6" x 12".  So simple even I can keep track of the math!   The scraps are even attractive!

I know this picture doesn't look like much. But it's the beginning of my "Modern in the City" challenge. The inspiration photo taken by FB buddy Brian Jones is not very clear in the picture, purposely. But I've got an idea and think I know how to execute it. What a luxury to have this idea and the space to play around with it while I work on other things.

Back to playing!
Here's the shower present I made for my cousin's daughter - an insulated food carrier. The most special thing about this present is that the spoon was made by my cousin Jerry.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

So Stinkin' Cute!

When I use the words "so stinkin'" cute, I'm usually talking about a baby - Beth's Mina and Tessa, neice Jen's baby Henry, niece Laura's little ones. But this time I'm going to use these words about a table runner I just made. This is so stinkin' cute!  It is 52" by 17".  The batting I used was InsulBrite, which means this table runner can also serve at a hot pad.  Here's how this runner started yesterday:

I started with 2.5" strips, a total of 8 reds and a total of 8 greys.  Then I stripped them together.  Fellow guildster Terri told me about this clever use of strips by Three Dudes - and this link is on You Tube.  I've been wanting a new table runner, and this seemed like the perfect occasion to try this technique.  I used scraps on the back of this runner - the Mo Household needs both sides of table runners.  I may add some more quilting later.  Meanwhile, this is so stinkin' cute!

(A special thanks to Holly, Melissa, and Mimi who gave me some of these fabrics!)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wedding Memories

This little bed topper is 60"  by 60" and was commissioned by my dental hygienist.  I have known Bev for 10 years.  She knows my parents and their journey, and I heard of her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis.  Bev's daughter married last summer in Michigan, but they also made a special trip to Florida and had a small ceremony with Bev's parents prior to the big wedding.  And shortly thereafter Bev's mother died.  This quilt is a combination of a wedding dress, the grandmother's blouse, and the grandfather's shirt.  The black is the blocks is from the sash of the wedding dress.  This is a sweet project, and I am pleased to have worked with Bev and her daughter on this. 
The back of the quilt features a 15" square from the bride's dress, surrounded by the black sash.
These six blocks helped Bev to decide she wanted 9
The quilt all pin-basted and ready for quilting

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Aragon Bag and My Fabric Crush

Yes, I just made a bed quilt for myself from these fabrics.  Now I've made a carry-on bag.  And I have a couple of leftovers - perhaps a zippered pouch?This Aragon Bag is a pattern of Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness.  I've made several of her patterns, and I love them.   My Chicago Modern Quilt Guild had Sara for a workshop Saturday.  What a lovely day with some wonderful quilty peeps.

Sara is a great instructor - she had little demo bits for each step of the way and wasn't at all flustered by how independently we work or by how over or underprepared we all were. There's great attention to detail with this bag.  One side of the bag has a curved pocket and magnetic flap.  The other side has a zippered pocket.  Both of these details hide the raw edges of the handles.  Both sides have a little elasticized pocket - perfect for keys, phone, pacifiers, water bottles - you get the idea.  

I usually don't show the interior of a bag, but I must with this one because of the technique for finishing.  So many bags construct the bag and lining separately.  But this pattern treats them as one piece.  The problem is all the messy seams are visible from the inside and must be covered with double-sided bias tape.  I bought the wrong item at Joann's - single bias tape.  So I wound up making bias tape from my bag lining.  Yesterday I attached it by hand, and I am so impressed with how neat the interior of the bag is.  Notice one side of the interior has another zippered pocket.  The other side has two elasticized pockets.  Very practical and easy to use. 

My new favorite tool is evident on this last photo: clips! So much easier than pinning!  I love that I've added some new techniques to my purse-making repertoire.  Saturday's workshop was a great reinforcement of why it's important to read every word of directions - something I'm still learning.  I did made a pretty serious mistake but was able to figure out a work-around by channeling Tim Gunn and making it work!  I'm pretty thrilled with how this bag turned out!