Sunday, October 31, 2010

Design Wall Monday 11-2-10

Wow! Cannot believe that it is November. I'm linking today to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. And I'm so excited to have something to show since I missed last week.

This quilt was a UFO from a couple of years ago. The pattern is from the book Fantastic Fabric Folding by Rebecca Wat. I decreased the size from a 65" square bed throw to a 40" square wall hanging. The flowers are a 3D effect and I did not think I would use it on a bed. Plus I plan to add beaded flower centers and petal tips, so it will be better suited as a wall hanging. There is still a lot left to do: quilt sandwich, quilting, binding, beaded flower centers, folding back each flower petal and securing it to the quilt top with a bead - there are 65 flowers so there are 260 petal tips to deal with - sounds like a good evening-in-front-of-the-TV type of project.

Each flower starts with a 6" square. No matter how precise I was about cutting the squares and folding them, each finished 3" square flower was anything but square. It was frustrating but I decided to slog through and see what happened. As the petals were sewn into the 9-patches that helped to square them up. I did learn that if I were to ever make this or another origami type pattern again, I would take the time to baste down all the petals so they would be out of the way during quilt top construction.

In the book, this pattern is shown in more pastel colors, but I'm drawn to more vibrant and loud colors. I'm naming it "Wild Flower Patch".

Am still knitting the Sea Lettuce scarf, too. Am over half-way finished with it. but got waylaid by this quilt top. It feels good to see some significant forward progress on a UFO. There are still a couple more UFOs waiting in the wings ...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Design Wall Monday 10-18-10

Dash over to Judy's at Patchwork Times for some fabulous quilting inspiration today. She's hosting Design Wall Monday.

On my design wall is a project I started 2 years ago - an origami quilt from the book "Fantastic Fabric Folding" by Rebecca Wat. The quilt will be a simple 9-patch - the pattern is "Inside Out Flowers". I bought the fabric for the flowers during a shop hop event and cut out the 6" squares and started folding, then for some reason, I don't remember why, I put it down.

I'm bringing it back out but unfortunately, the flowers I've already folded were not stored well and need to be ironed out and re-folded. - on an upnote, I had only folded about 25 so I'm not out much time. This quilt needs 125 flowers. But after that it's just a simple 9-patch and should go together quickly. Because of the 3-D type of effect of the flowers, Rebecca said she tied this quilt instead of quilting it (she was a guest on Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts show). The background is white/green and the flowers are all these lovely spring and summer colors. As a little embellishment, I think beaded flower centers would be a lovely extra touch.

As I've been typing this blog posting, however, I've pondered the Inside Out Flowers quilt and have decided I would enjoy it more as smaller wall hanging, than as a bed size quilt. The piece in the book is 65" x 65" and has 25 flower 9-patches and 24 white/green 9-patches. I'm going to make it 40" x 40" so it will have 13 flower 9-patches and 12 white/green 9-patches.

I've also been seriously bitten by the knitting bug and have several projects going. At the encouragement of Judy at Patchwork Times, I'm attempting to knit, for the first time, socks. I bought the book Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham and have my first pair going. I do spend an incredible about of time, though, trying to keep the two balls of yarn untangled. So I decided to also knit a pair of socks the old fashioned way - one sock at a time on double pointed needles so I would have something to compare it to.

And I'm knitting a scarf - I think a row of seed beads might find its way onto this scarf ...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flipflop Dishtowels

Am linking to Judy's Patchwork Times blog today about handmade gifts.
Flipflops are popular in my neck of the woods as I live relatively close to the beach. These dish towels are super easy to make because you start with pre-made, inexpensive dishtowels from Walmart - this is their Mainstays brand, 2 for $3.99, solid white, a waffle weave type fabric. Trace the flipflop design and strap piece onto Steam A Seam and fuse the fabric to the dish towel, then satin stitch around all of the pieces or just the main pieces. You can also add beads. I also add either rickrack, fringe, or bias binding along the bottom edge of the towel for a little extra color and finishing touch. Only your imagination limits what you can do with this. So far, everyone I've either given these to or shown these to have loved them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Design Wall Monday 10-11-10

Update on 10-14-10 - Judy at Patchwork Times has a great post today about handmade gift items. I'm linking to it and am also updating this post with instructions for the flipflop dish towels. The dishtowels come from Walmart - 2 for $3.99 - Mainstays, plain white, kind of a waffle weave pattern. The design is fused to the dishtowel using Steam A Seam, then I satin stitch around all or most of the design. I also add binding or fringe or rickrack along the bottom edge for a little extra finishing touch. Last night I hosted Bunco and these dish towels were a huge hit! I also showed them at work and walked away with orders for 2 sets. The design possibilities are endless and it would be easy to match a kitchen decor.
Update on 10-13-10 - linking to - some super cute and fun ideas here!
Update - on 10-12-10 I'm linking to Today's Creative Blog for Get Your Craft On Tuesday. Lots of great ideas!!!!
I'm taking a bit of break from quilting to make some other sewn items that will either end up being gifts or items to sell at a local craft show in December. The fabric boxes are from a pattern - if you want the pattern name, let me know and I'll send it to you. They were easy to make once I figured out the pattern, which was a bit difficult to follow. But now that I know the technique the baskets can be made in any size. I also found that using store-bought binding is a lot easier than making your own binding. I plan to use the baskets as bread baskets and when they're not in use simply untie the corners and they lay flat for storage. These boxes are 8" square except for the black one that is 6" square.
The flipflop dish towels are a big hit at work today - I already have 2 orders to make 2 sets of 8 (2 for each season of the year). Super easy peasy lemon squeezy. I made 2 sets with Christmas ornaments on them, and 2 sets with Christmas stockings, but it's the flipflop ones that folks seem to like.
As usual on Mondays, I'm linking to Patchwork Times. The more I read Judy's blog, the more I enjoy it - she's talked lately of knitting two socks at one time and I ordered the book she recommended yesterday - should be in Wednesday or Thursday and I'm excited about giving that a whirl. I admire how much she accomplishes and how independent she is in their style of living - I'm not sure I would ever be that independent but I certainly plan to put some of her ideas in place in my life.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Design Wall Monday 10-4-10

I've been sewing the binding on to two quilts previously shown in my blog - the red & white quilt for my cousin and the black & white foundation paper pieced quilt - so I guess those are still on my design wall. And I'm still working on the 2' x 6' townscape wall hanging. When not sewing, though, I've been knitting. In the blog Textiles 4 You a knitted scrubby pattern was featured and I've made a slew of them! And in another blog that I totally cannot remember right now, a link to a pattern for an Irish Hiking Scarf was provided - I promise to try to figure out which blog I got it from and publish the link. Anyway, it was a fun and fast scarf to make and those 3 cables make it look so "wintry".

I enjoy Design Wall Mondays at Patchwork Times because I always get so inspired by the awesome quilt projects featured there. I also find Judy's blog interesting because she is so self-sufficient - it's an admirable trait.