red flannel pantry

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Archive for the tag “fabric”

xxth anniversary

IMG_1653Friends are celebrating their 20th anniversary today, so I made this mini-quilt to commemorate the occasion.

IMG_1641I used a light gray for the background fabric (since platinum is the traditional 20th anniversary gift), and I worked some diamonds into the quilting for good measure.

For the roman numerals, I incorporated fabric scraps from other gifts I have made for their family.

IMG_3159 IMG_1642

From a hamsa I made Julie for her 40th birthday, I used a batik fabric with little fish that is still in my stash. Fish on a hamsa are considered good luck, so they make a fortuitous reappearance.

IMG_5066From a mini-quilt I made their Daughter #1 for her bat mitzvah, I used a feathery palm print, egg fabric, and bird text print.

IMG_1646See–here’s some.

Daughter #2 has an amazing memory for numbers and dates, so I know she will like that this little anniversary quilt has a design based on numbers.

IMG_1652Fleur de lis is Julie’s favorite design motif, so when I poked around my stash, I found these two fabrics–one in orange of course. I’ve had a thing about orange for quilt backs lately. You can see how I did a ton of quilting on it–I tried out some new patterns for fun.

Finished size: 16 1/2″ x 26 1/2″.

Happy Anniversary, Julie & Greg!

tea time

tea cozyHere is a case of fabric inspiring the gift. This line-up of retro tea cups made me think of my friend, Jill, whose beverage of choice is tea. Ahh–a teapot cozy would be the perfect Christmas gift for her.

I used this tutorial as a guide, but I altered the dimensions slightly (finished 8 1/2″ x 12 1/2″) and created my own template to make it slightly larger to fit my robust little teapot.

I wavy-quilted it, made a simple top loop, and bound the bottom in bright blue. It was finished quickly.

tea cozy at workThis tea cozy is now atop Jill’s teapot, warding off the winter chill.

pillow talk–part 3

I wanted to make one more gift and I had one pillow form left–providence.

sarah's pillow frontFor this 14-inch pillow, I used up more of the little squares, surrounded the chunk of squares with a warm brown, and positioned it off center.

When it came time to quilt, I was working late at night. I took two passes and the stitching was not right, which was especially apparent since I was using brown thread on these bright squares. Was there a problem with the tension? Was the scrap backing too slippery? I seam-ripped it all out (argh), cut out a new piece of backing, safety-pin basted it together again and went to bed grumpy.

Early the next morning, it came to me–had I checked the walking foot?

Head slap–when I had installed the walking foot last, I had failed to align the lever on the right side of the presser foot with the needle clamp. It was resting on top of the needle clamp instead of fitting around it. Problem solved and quilting resumed.

Then, on my last quilting pass, I wasn’t paying attention and I ran out of top thread. More seam-ripping and redoing. Sewing reminds me–again and again–of the value of patience.

sarah's pillow backFor the back I used this gorgeous fabric that I found at Fabric Nosherie. It’s called Sinister Swarm (color: mozambique) and is from the Field Study collection by Anna Maria Horner. When I saw it at the store, I knew I had to have some but had no plan in mind–the usual fabric addict/hoarder reaction and I succumbed. I did show some restraint and bought only one yard.

tiger beetle croppedI am fond of butterflies, and my son, who had recently taken an insect morphology field study class, created a work similar to this fabric in its color palette and design sensibilities (see fuzzy phone photo above–now you know how tiger beetles copulate!). This pillow back was a great way to highlight the large-scale print.

I wavy-quilted it and used the same zippered-back techique I described in an earlier post.

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

milestones in pixels

My sister-in-law, Terrye, is celebrating a couple of significant milestones this month, so I made this wall hanging to commemorate the occasions.

I was inspired in part by this quilt made by a member of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild for their August 2012 Art Challenge. It made me think of Ellsworth Kelly, so I looked him up.

The works of Ellsworth Kelly typically have bright colors, minimalist style, and abstract forms. He spent his early years living near Hackensack NJ, just like me. The work above is Colors for a Large Wall (1951).

I designed the quilt to represent the two milestones in Terrye’s life this year: her 60th birthday and the 25th anniversary of her marriage to Pete. There is a total of 60 colored squares, and I grouped 25 of them together in a 5 x 5 block.

For the back, I chose fabrics that relate to Terrye’s life. Terrye was a math major and then a computer analyst, hence the orange fabric with all of the numbers. She is also a talented chef and a foodie, which made the cooking utensil fabric an obvious choice.

I always stress out about the quilting design. I usually deal with this anxiety by putting the quilt top aside (ie, major procrastination). I didn’t have that option here, since I was already late with this gift, so I started with the easy (straight-line quilting of every other row) and moved on to the hard (pebble-quilting the negative gray space in the lower third).

I like how the straight-line quilting makes the colored squares resemble abacus beads and how the pebble quilting looks like boulders flanking the block of 25 squares. The wall hanging ended up being 14 x 21 inches.

This is my first piece using only solids–I think they balance well with the dark gray background. I might explore other riffs on this same theme–especially since I have a whole bunch of little fabric squares left over.

pincushion organizer

I made two of these weighted pincushion organizers last year: one for myself and another for my friend Sarah. My sister-in-law, Terrye, recently bought a new sewing machine, so I thought this organizer would be a good little gift for her.

I used this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew by Elizabeth Hartman, and I had no problem following along. You will want to use lightweight interfacing. I made the mistake of using heavier stuff when I assembled the first one, and it made the top rim of the bag too thick and top-heavy.

The organizer sits nicely on the edge of my sewing table or on the arm of the sofa, which is handy when I am working in front of the TV. The organizer panel has the perfect-sized slots to hold snips and a seam ripper, an unfortunate necessity for me. The detachable bag is helping to curb my bad habit of flinging stray threads to the floor, where they tangle up my vacuum cleaner.

I thought this fabric by Timeless Treasures with its twist on sewing expressions was fun and appropriate.

I have found “Keep calm” to be a good mantra while seam ripping.

fabric nosherie

I was in Webster Groves, Missouri last week and thought I’d stock up on some modern solids at Fabric Nosherie. Of course, there was collateral damage–I am a fabric hoarder.

I couldn’t resist this squirrel & nuts fabric from David Walker’s Get Together collection–I love their comma tails. I bought a couple of fat quarters of it.

Given my family’s embrace of all things amphibian, I had to get a chunk of turtle fabric from Aneela Hoey’s Little Apples collection too.

Fabric Nosherie carries a great selection of fabrics including Laura Gunn, Amy Butler and a variety of prints from Japan–talk about eye candy. It is hard to resist. You can also find cool buttons, patterns, books, quilting tools, ribbon, and embroidery floss.

Shannon, the store’s owner, is welcoming and knowledgeable, and she offers sewing classes for the beginner to the not-so-beginner. The store just celebrated its first birthday this past weekend. I enjoy shopping local stores–Fabric Nosherie allows me to feed my fabric habit and feel good while doing it!

Yesterday a friend told me about a store that just happens to also be in Webster Groves,  Red Lead Paperworks, where I can find Diamond Glaze for a project I am working on. It is located down the street from Fabric Nosherie (how convenient!) and carries scrapbook supplies and other crafty items.

I feel another trip to Webster Groves coming on . . .

in the ‘hood

The chicken looks like she is ready to move in!

I just finished piecing this quilt top using Elizabeth Hartman’s Neighborhood quilt design (I am sure it is clear by now that I am kind of obsessed with her latest book.). I made it only three rows long because the only available wall space in my house can’t accommodate anything larger.

I chose a fabric/color palette similar to the one shown here. I like how the windows pop.

The brown neutral background resembles our yard these days.

Now comes the hardest decision: how to quilt it. Here is when procrastination usually sets in. I will probably set it aside for a couple of weeks till inspiration strikes.

corgis galore!

Last week I received this really cool fabric from Spoonflower (designed by DianeF and appropriately called “everyone loves a corgi“). Corgis have always been a favorite of my oldest daughter, and who could not love them after seeing them trot beside the Queen and Daniel Craig during the Olympic opening ceremonies?!

Yet another friend is turning 50, and since she owns a corgi, I thought I’d poke around online to see if I could find some fun corgi fabric for the back of a wall hanging. I hit the jackpot on Spoonflower! But now that I have it in hand, I don’t think I can hide all of it on the back.

I find the corgis’ psychedelic colors and smiling faces charming, and the brown-gray background is perfect.

When I finally decide what to do, I will share photos–I have two weeks till the birthday!

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