Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More scraps

I don't turn down good, cotton fabric if it's being offered for free.  I figure even the really ugly and unwanted stuff will prove useful eventually.
Case in point -
I had this project panel for a teddy bear themed vest - from the '90's.

This blue bit came from a stuffed whale plushie project panel.

This was a cast-off piece of yardage from when a friend cleaned out her basement.  It's not ugly, but it's not super-trendy either.

A few more scraps and here we have a fun little guy to eat lunch with.  All my bibs are made from whatever fabric I have on hand.  I find that it makes me more creative to improvise with what's available instead of going out and buying new materials for a specific project.
His friends are for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sharon Quilt cont.

Well, progress is being made.  I figured out that I'd need to make 188 blocks to complete this quilt top.  I finally had them all finished and started to lay them out.
I ran a bit short.  I thought maybe one of my children had run off with a stack or two - they were "helping."  I counted up what I had and everything was there.

I went back and checked my math - I'd forgotten to carry the 1.  

So I still need to make 100 blocks.
Yep.
Good thing I enjoy sewing :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The end of the fabric food chain

I am impractically frugal with fabric.  I try to use up scraps whenever possible.  There is a limit though.  1.5" square is as small as I will save, the rest goes in the trash, well, the sort of trash.  I have a roundabout version of composting.  I only use 100% natural fiber fabrics when I sew.  Mostly cotton.  I do this for the very reason that they can, in fact, be composted.  I keep a separate trash can in my work room for actual trash and have found that only about 10% of my workroom waste is not compostable.  Here's how it works -
I start with this - fabric bits and some torn up phone book pages from paper piecing.  There's also some cardboard from packaging and such in there.
All of that then goes here.  Where chickens do what chickens "doo."  The fabric brightens up the coop a bit and gets mixed in with the straw and dust and all the lovely little microbes that help make compost happen.
Then it's off to the compost bin.
  Where they'll be turned into some luscious compost for my tomatoes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giraffe Blankie


This is the start of a quilt for my soon-to-arrive niece.  Her momma picked out all the cute fabrics and I just had to figure out how they'd go together.  I'm loving those giraffes.
I'll likely be making a bunch of bibs with the leftovers.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quilting and Anime

   A friend recently got me interested in Anime.  Mostly just movies - the TV shows can go on into hundreds of episodes and I tend to lose interest.  The best director, by far, is Hayao Miyazaki.
This random intro is all to say that inspiration for quilting can come from the strangest of places.
     I was watching Princess Mononoke by Miyazaki, and there's this scene of a swamp.  Most of Miyazaki's films are fantasies or fairy tales and in this one, there were these incredible, glowing dragonflies with long, trailing bodies.
I had a really hard time finding a picture - this is the closest I could find, though there are parts of the movie where they're much longer and make glowing trails across the screen. 
Those little white tree spirits are called Kodama (They are another inspiration altogether).  You can see the dragonflies in the lower half of the picture. 
 I instantly wanted to do something with that idea.
Here's where it led me. It's been a favorite in my Etsy Shop
Not an exact replica - If I were into embroidery, I could probably do a bit better, but it's not about copying, it's about inspiration.  I'm going to play with this a bit more and see what else I come up with.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The End of the Rainbow


I finally got this quilted (after many false starts and do-overs), and finished stitching down the binding while on some long flights to and from California.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Sharon Quilt

An old friend told me she wanted a quilt.
Teal and gray.
I said, "Sure, here, look at these fabric websites and tell me what you like."
Teal and gray turned into turquoise, teal and chartreuse with gray. 
She wanted "patchy."  I'm never quite sure what people mean when they say that, so I showed her some pictures of different styles of quilts.  She liked the string quilts.

 So here's where we're headed
I figured out it's going to take 188 blocks to complete this quilt.  I have about 120 done so far.
I have to say, I love her color choices.  I sort of want to keep it....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What to do with UGLY fabric

So, what to do with the ugly, outdated fabric?  Or the little bits that just don't have a home?

Well, pink is pink and blue is blue - no matter the pattern on the fabric, and as Bonnie Hunter says, "If it's still ugly, you just didn't cut it small enough!"
 So, I've started some string quilt projects.  You can cut the fabric down as small as you like, and if you group fabrics by color, it's easy to make a fresh, pretty quilt out of some UGLY fabric.

I also used this idea for some project panels that someone gave me.  Remember those cutsie, crafty vests from the 90's?
 
I had some project panels for several of those.  Plus some panels to make a stuffed dinosaur and a really ugly fish pillow - there was also a sort-of-pretty stuffed doll pillow, but kids don't ever really play with those.  I wasn't terribly inspired to make any vests or dolls, but if you start with this -

 - Then cut it into bits...

... Then sew it into a spiderweb block...


... You can make a pretty quilt out of ugly fabrics.

Here are a few other ways I use up ugly fabric:

Monday, July 11, 2011

For the Record

I just wanted to document some of the things I've made since I have the pictures, but no longer have the items.  I guess as a record of where I've been creatively - to document my progress and growth.

I made this spiderweb quilt in 2004.  That would be 5 years after I started quilting - it was maybe my 4th or 5th quilt.  At the time, I was very much into the blue/yellow colorway.  The batting was a vintage wool batting that my mom got at an auction.  I hand quilted it.  It hung around waiting for the right baby to come along, but I have a crafty family, so all my babies were over-gifted with blankets.  I recently sold it on Etsy.



These were all different designs of bibs I made and sold in my Etsy Shop between 2008 and 2009.  They're all raw-edge applique.  I've since switched over to a type of turned-edge applique, but I still like these.  Especially the artist's palette.  That cow is cute, but I've moved away from that style lately in my designs.