Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tree of Life grows again!

Remember this lonely little tree from May, 2011?

She was rescued from the work-in-progress pile last week and now has four mates!

The majority of fabrics are from Sarah Fielke's line "From Little Things" released in early 2011. The dots on white are my favorite - I'm using the lavender, grey, yellow, and teal dots for my tree backgrounds.

The stripes are also from that line, but I've thrown in some Kaffe (of course!) and some Art Gallery Oval Elements to mix things up.

As always happens when you let projects sit for too long, it took me some extra time to get back in the groove of what size and quantity of fabrics I had to cut for each tree. While each 14.5" block is still more time-consuming than you'd think, I've cut it down to about 2 hours each by making 4 in a row uninterrupted by other projects.

The other thing that happens (to me, at least) is that after some time is allowed to pass, occasionally I'm not as excited about the borders and sashing fabrics that I originally chose. So those funny birds (I'm kinda done with that whole "put a bird on it" fad) and wacky vines that were slated for setting triangles and borders will now likely end up on the back. A wild new Kaffe print and some bright fuchsia stripes are taking over as setting triangles and sashing. The border choice is currently undecided - the two leaders are a new floral from Philip Jacobs and a oldie but goodie leaf print from Kaffe - the final choice will be made when the rest of the top is complete. I'll show you some photos of those beautiful fabrics next time. It's going to be a wild one, for sure!

Five down, three to go!

Or maybe seven to go - if eight trees are good, then twelve trees are better, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

pretty in pink

I am so lucky to be a part of a charity quilting group at my church. We meet every week and sew quilts and other projects for organizations such as Lutheran World Relief and Project Linus, as well as quilts and gift baskets for various local fund-raising efforts.

Our latest project is making baby quilts for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital. These small quilts will be donated to families with babies being cared for in the unit.

This little pink lovely is my first contribution to the group's donation set of quilts.

I started with a WOF strip scrap bag from an LQS purchased a couple of years ago. I think most of these fabrics were from a Moda Basic Grey line, but sorry I can't remember the name. I cut all the strips in half and sewed 16 of them into the center section. With the remaining strips I constructed some four-patch units to add to the sides with a 2" finished strip of white-on-white to separate them. The final border strips are the same 2" finished white-on-white bringing the total dimension to about 36" x 39" - perfect for new babies :)

The center and four-patch borders are straight line quilted in a pale pink thread.

Within the white border sections I free-motion quilted a continuous line of pale pink hearts.

The backing is a cozy pink-on-white stripe flannel.

It gives me such a great feeling knowing that this little quilt will be given to a family with a tiny new baby girl receiving extra special care and attention before she's able to go home.

I've got two more quilts for this hospital donation in the works. More about them later!

Hope you are all enjoying your week!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

fall placemats

This work-in-progress can finally be checked off the list, and there's still plenty of fall left to enjoy them :)

Last fall Thing 2 decided we needed some season appropriate placemats, and since she was fresh off of her table runner finish (see it here) she decided to use the same pattern for our placemats.

Luckily I had a bundle of autumn-hued Anthology fat quarters just waiting to be cut up and used. We dug through the stash and found a few others to coordinate, and she went to town cutting 3" x 18.5" strips - enough to make four placemats. She finished two of them last year, and then schoolwork and life in general got busy and the other two were just put aside.

Time flies and here it is fall again already! I discovered the unfinished pile a couple of weeks ago while on a straightening and organizing binge, and decided that we needed six rather than just four (I hate when you've got a guest or two and all the placemats don't match or even remotely coordinate. OCD? Yes!)

So a few more strips cut and sewn, some simple straight-line quilting, and now we've got a coordinated set of six fall placemats :) You can see that the strips were just sewn together randomly to avoid a matchy-matchy look.

They are backed with this large fall floral Anthology print.

And since they will see lots of time in the wash cycle, the binding is machine-stitched for extra durability. In an uncharacteristic burst of "use what you already have on hand and just finish it already" motivation, two different bindings were used!

You can look here to see my method for machine binding.

Finished measurement: 11.5" height x 18" width. Very simple and quick!


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