On my quilting journey I set goals and follow a roadmap of sorts. I map out where I would like to go, what projects I would like to create. Sometimes I make lists of what I want to get done. This last weekend, my roadmap had me finishing both the Christmas quilt and the snowman hanging. What I have learned is when you take a trip, and follow a map, you have to be ready for detours. My “detour” this weekend was spending lots of time with 5 of my grandchildren. We had a wonderful weekend together. In the midst of it, I was able to finish the binding on the Christmas quilt while we watched a movie, and I worked just a bit on a grandmother’s flower garden that I have been slowly putting together over the years. The kids were quite interested in that project. I did not get to work on the snowman wall hanging at all. It’s important to me to embrace the detours, be they family time, or a quick new project that takes me to a new destination. I never want to get so set on the roadmap I create that I forget to stop and enjoy all the special times along the journey. The snowman is waiting for me, and I have wonderful memories of a weekend spent with some wonderful children.
The class was fantastic, and even though I didn’t fully know where I was going with this I was excited to keep at it.
The idea of the class was that you would create a quilt by making four rings that would then be mounted to a complementary background fabric. I kind of felt that my story with this quilt called out for something larger, and more use of the blocks and fabric I had. So I decided to make this 9 rings.
I just kept working section by section and the process of sewing curves became more natural. My earlier attempts were not nearly so successful but with the great instruction that the class provided, I was able to move my skills forward.
There were some spaces that cried out for some kind of detail and this is where I added in some crazy quilt stitches on my sewing machine. I did different stitches in colors pulled from the quilt.
I free motion quilted the various spaces on the quilt. My daughter’s always called my Mom Rose even though her name was Millie. There are many roses quilted into the rings of this little quilt.
And then there was a bump on the head…
After quilting and leaving a trail of thread debris under my desk. I got down on the floor to clean to clean a bit, and on my way back up my head made contact with this shelf. Don’t ever let it be said that a quilter does not suffer for their art!
Double Wedding Ring Part 3 coming soon!
Yesterday was a day off of work and in the sewing room. I accomplished so much and am feeling very motivated. I switched off working on my One Block Wonder, and quilting the Christmas quilt. I was so pleased to get that Christmas quilt all quilted and the binding on and ready to hand stitch down. With the frigid temperatures outside I think that will be a wonderful thing to do tonight after dinner.The snowman wall hanging is now being quilted as well. It feels so good to be finishing projects. I really love to have a piecing project at one machine, and the other set up for machine quilting. I can go back and forth and not get bored. Sometimes I think I have quilting ADD. I am always wanting to start on something new and flip between projects. I love the thrill of sinking my teeth into something new. When I finally do finish something I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. Maybe by the end of this weekend I will have a few things complete so I can start something new! I have an idea about what that may be, but that is for another time!
I have forever and always wanted to learn to make a double wedding ring quilt. I never really took the time to figure it out though. Then, some great circumstances all came together to make learning this in a creative way possible. First Victoria Findlay Wolfe was coming out with a new Book: “Double Wedding Ring Quilts, Traditions Made Modern”
And Second: The Wisconsin Quilt Museum was hosting Victoria to teach a 2 day class this past January. After already having taken the 15 Minutes of Play workshop in 2014, I eagerly signed up.
It occurred to me that I could make this a very special quilt in honor and memory of my very special Mom. She created and instilled in me my love for all things sewing and knitting. Many years ago we were sewing together, she on Dresden Quilt blocks to make a quilt for me, and I was working on a twin sized quilt for my daughter. Sadly neither of these quilts were ever finished. I incorporated one of the blocks my Mom made at the center of my DWR, and took a “Cut It Up” approach (a Victoria thing!) to the other quilt and pulled various elements out for this quilt. Keep in mind that these were fabrics from the 80’s! Remember? Sage Green, Dusty Rose, Williamsburg Blue, Peach. Dated fabrics, and really not a favorite anymore. How could I make them work today? I pulled and purchase modern fabrics that had some of these colors, which also pulled in other colors. These new fabrics were bolder in scale and color.
Below is the start to my quilt on the design at class.
There were many talented women in this group, each making a unique DWR. They were all so different. Victoria was there to help each of us find our way and using her Creative Eyes, she helped us tweak our creations.
Enjoy the Day and Look for Part 2!
In the busyness of life, sometimes I like to slow down and pull out some handwork. I like to sit and hand sew, it’s soothing to me. I can be in the same room as the rest of the family watching a movie and still be accomplishing something, or take it with me to the beach on a nice day with a friend, as Pam and I did on a nice summer day. I have an English paper piecing project that I have been working on for years. I tend to go in streaks, pull it out and work on it, then it gets tucked away, sometimes for months. I pulled it out again recently and made a few flowers. I don’t know how big this quilt will eventually get, I just like working on it and finding new fabrics to make flowers out of. The paper shapes I use are from a web site called paperpieces.com. They carry all different shapes and sizes of heavy duty paper to use in your projects. They have tutorials, books, patterns and notions you need for making a project. It a one stop English paper piecing store. I’m just glad I don’t have to cut all the hexagons myself!
Under the needle right now I have the last bit of quilting on a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. Victoria Findlay Wolfe called this a “Heart Strings” Quilt. I was fortunate tho take her class at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum in January. Reveal coming soon!
Another sneak peek….
How do you choose which project to work on at any given time? I have four, what I would call active projects right now. This by no means is the number of unfinished projects I have. I have patterns that I really want to get at, I have kits, both that I have purchased and that I have put together myself, and I have UFOs. In my world a kit does not become a UFO until I have started cutting the fabric. Sometimes I start cutting and another project comes to the forefront for some reason or another. I may box up a quilt in progress and put it away for a while. Back to where I started, the four I am actively working on. As I have blogged about recently, there is my One Block Wonder which is up on my design wall. I love this quilt, I love watching it come together as I sew each block and add it to the design wall. I have a lap sized Christmas quilt. The plan was to get it done before this past Christmas. It is pieced, pinned, and partially quilted. I plan on getting that one done in the next week or two. It will be all ready to use next Christmas. Snowmen are a whole winter thing right? The snowman wall hanging I made last fall is also pinned and ready to quilt, if I work quickly I can still use it this winter. I have four more weeks before spring is here, yeah, it’s possible. The last active quilt I am working on is a collaboration quilt Pam and I are working on which you will be hearing lots more about as we proceed. As for now, my sewing machine is calling me….which project will I work on?
Bam! Pow! Zowie!
Okay, what’s that have to do with anything? Take a look at the center of each of the blocks. Crazy Quilt templates were used in the creation of the above pillow as well as the table runners shown below. While I would love to make an entire crazy quilt, it just hasn’t come together yet. The crazy quilt templates are great for use with Novelty fabrics. Frame out what you would like to feature with solid fabrics.
I ordered my set of Crazy Quilt Templates from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. These templates are a great starting place when you are not really sure what where to start. Think pillows and table runners and so on. You can have a couple of blocks going at one time, and work on them by chain piecing one in front of the other.
There are 4 sizes of templates included with a set: 4″, 6″, 9″ and 12″, as well as fantastic instructions on how to get started with these templates.
Here are a couple of table runners made using the templates. The Halloween runner was fun to embellish with the rarely used fancy stitches on my sewing machine.
Think of the possibilities a set of templates can bring when it meets up with your stash!
And I am not talking Cookie Crumbs either!
A Great way to make a Valentine is on fabric. As shown above I made a Crumb Heart using this tutorial from Bonnie Hunters site. She has a number of free patterns under the tab with that name.
Crumbs and Schnibbles are both names for those little bits of fabric that I can’t bear to part with. As a matter of practice, once I complete a project, I take the time to put away all the leftover parts. Anything a fat quarter and larger goes back into the cabinet. Parts smaller than that get cut down into varying sizes that I commonly use. After that, the little parts get tossed into bins that are labeled in 4 Categories: Light, Bright, Medium and Dark.
Every now and again, I pull out these bins and just play with what is in there by randomly sewing pieces together or by piecing them onto a foundation of phone book paper cut to a specific size.
The work above was made from a leftover heart. I made a number of them for the wall hanging below. All of the hearts were framed out by a vintage looking Valentine’s fabric that was in the stash. The hearts disappear a bit in this fabric and gives it kind of a neat mosaic look. It makes your eyes do some work!
The quilting is freemotion around the design of the fabric and hearts. For a binding, consider using an odd fabric in your stash that might just add a little detail.
What are you waiting for? Use up the little bits if you can’t bear to part with them!
Here’s a little something shown on my quilting frame. I will be sharing the whole quilt soon. I am just waiting for the arrival of a special little boy first.