So close, not quite- Totem

Do you ever get so very close to finishing a project, then some logistic halts you in your tracks?

I thought I had plenty of binding for my Totem wall hanging, but alas. Day late and dollar short. AND I got it from Hob Lob so it won’t be open til tomorrow.

But I want to share what I did this weekend! It’s very exciting to me because it represents not only learning, but innovating and seeing my creative visions start to come to life.

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I love the quilting. It’s wonky and “straight line” and completely improvised. It has echoes of my inspirations for the Botanics quilt

I did basic black binding to “frame” it. 

It makes me happy. When it’s fully done I can’t wait to shoot it in a creative way. And even be in a couple of the pics, myself.

Carolyn Friedlander Paper Piecing Class

I was PSYCHED to get to go to a class at Oklahoma QuiltWorks with Carolyn Friedlander teaching paper piecing. 

You may remember I’m using her beautiful Botanics fabric line on a quilt right now

She used her pattern, Totem, to teach the principles of paper piecing. 

I’ve tried my hand at paper piecing a few times from videos online, but I’ve never felt confident (or even good) about my results. This was great because she is one of the greats, and I was in a class full of awesome people and we were all learning together.

Carolyn was so kind, patient and awesome! She answered my (and everyone else’s) questions and I caught the hang of it much quicker than I thought possible. 

If you get the chance to workshop with her or do a class, I highly recommend it. And she said she has a new line of fabric coming out this fall, which I can’t wait to see! What a joy it was to hang out and talk shop with people who love what you do. I haven’t really had the chance to do that at all, and now I might be hooked on meeting up with my fellow quilters.

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The blocks I completed in class.

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Carolyn and me!

Modern Botanics – in progress

In an update to my earlier post wondering about making a mid-century modern inspired quilt, I have an update. I’d really wanted to use all the different low volume pieces in the layer cake to make the sashing, but wasn’t sure until I saw Cluck Cluck Sew’s Sea Glass quilt where she did the same. I also got it in my mind that I wanted to do this as a quilt as you go (QAYG) project. So I just started.

It helped that I watched a documentary of the Women of Gee’s Bend the day I started.

The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend – PBS Feature from Glass World Films on Vimeo.

I really want to embrace the creativity of quilt making, and accepting that imperfections are ok and beautiful, too. 

So I just started sewing squares and rectangles from the high volume pieces and using the low volume pieces as sashing. 

It’s definitely not a traditionally pieced quilt. I am sewing directly onto the batting, and in places on certain edges appliquéing lines down. 

It’s taking some time, but it makes me happy. IMG_2832

So far I have two “blocks” that I joined together today. 

In other, somewhat related news, tomorrow I am taking a class with Carolyn Friedlander (designer of this very line of fabric!). SewOK is this weekend but was too rich for my blood, but she is teaching a class at a local quilt shop tomorrow. We will be making her piece, Totem.

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I still need to decide what colors I’m taking! I’ve never done a class like this, and really I’ve never even been to a get together of other quilters, so I’m looking forward to it!

Crafty gifts- purse and pouch

I got a new sewing machine 2 weeks ago! Wee! I had been generously given my previous 2 machines. Both were great, but I was looking for some more advanced features now. I got a Brothers CS6000i.*

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So far I’m loving it! It took me a minute to adjust to computerized sewing, but I love it. It’s so smooth. And the stitches and accessories included are awesome, and I have already utilized many of them. Sewing with it is a joy and has definitely encouraged me to sew more already.

My mom’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to make her a quilted tote bag. If you’ve never made a tote bag, I used the basic guidelines from this awesome FREE Crafty class from Kristin Link. I would link directly to the class, but I’m having trouble with the site cooperating for me.

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It ended up going a direction I didn’t expect, but ended up really liking.

I made a classic HST block for the front of the tote, then quilted it with some of the decorative stitches on my new machine. I used denim for the rest because I wanted it to be durable. I went to Salvation Army and got a long, denim skirt that I cannibalized for the denim on this project. It worked perfectly! I even utilized one of the pockets for the back of the tote bag. Perfect to hold keys and a phone.

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My only disappointment is that because the denim was a bit cumbersome to work with, it ended up shrinking in size due to seam allowances. It’s smaller than I wanted, but is still perfectly sized to hold magazines.

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I also decided to make a little pouch as well. My mom loves Americana, so I used some scraps to make it. These are actually scraps from a quilt I made for her a couple of years ago. I used See Kate Sew’s basic tutorial. I love tutorials like these, because they give you the guidelines, then you easily figure out how to modify and do your own thing from there.

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*affiliate link

Mid Century Modern Quilt- seeking ideas

One of my fabric buys this month was a layer cake of Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander. Here is what it looks like if you’re not familiar!

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I adore the color palate and the minimal patterns. I really want to make a mid century modern inspired quilt.

I have looked and looked for inspiration, because I’m not really looking to do something original, but I haven’t found much that is what I have in mind.

Some pieces that inspire me are these:

Fabric from Spoonflower

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I’ve sketched out a lot of variations of this grid pattern trying to flesh out what I want.

This quilt from etsy is also similar to what I’m envisioning.

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This quilting is perfect-

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I’ve also thought about going this direction, with the Sundown Quilt from Kitchen Table Quilting

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I’d love to do a triangle quilt (which I’ve done before and loved) and pull the gradient out towards the ends.

Any ideas, internet???

USA! USA!

In honor of the holiday (and a new sewing machine! I’ll tell you about that later), I did one of the projects on my list.

I got a US map panel at Joann’s on clearance and thought it’d be easy enough to quilt. I used this as an opportunity to free motion quilt the state boundaries on my new machine. It went really quickly and was quite fun! I’m loving this smooth new machine. Smooth like butta!

I’ll be interested to wash it and see how the cog flannel backing shrinks up. But I like it overall!

Happy birthday USA!

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