Sunday, September 26, 2010

Artfully Adhesive, and Fully Fused...

Don't you love looking through old quilting magazines? We have a trading table at our guild, and I always manage to scoop up an issue to browse (not that I don't have a collection of my own at home!). Well, this issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting from May/June 2005 had a a great feature on quilt artist Melody Johnson's fused flower quilts. I decided to give it a try, and this "Bloomers" quilt is the result.

It's all fused, no piecing at all. Even the binding is fused. I may add a fancy machine stitch around it though. The machine quilting, which is fairly close, secures the pieces in addition to the Wonder Under, which was the fusible web I chose. It's just such a happy piece. I'm sure I'll make more like it. It was a good opportunity to sharpen my machine quilting skills.

There were many lessons to be learned from making the quilt, too. Here's one of them. Uh, oh! Lesson: Be mindful to keep the fused side down when fuse-tacking the flowers in place! It was a good news/bad news kind of lesson. The bad news is the mess it made on the iron and the need to cut a new piece. The good news is I did it only once. And it motivated me to buy this cleaner while at the quilt show in Jacksonville, FL, on Thursday. I'd been meaning to anyway. Below are a few of the fabric pieces I fused in preparation for making this quilt.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Too Early for Christmas? Nah...

Our local sewing/quilt/craft group gets together in our Community Center each week. From time to time, one of use will teach a special project. This time Penny brought styrofoam eggs, little squares of assorted fabrics, tiny pins, and lots of glitzy trims. We used them to make these Prairie Point Pine Cone ornaments. While most of us used Christmas fabrics and trims, a few completed the project using harvest-color fabrics, or pretty florals. Penny was a great instructor, and everyone agreed they'd be making more of these ornaments. They'll be great gifts. That's Penny below, holding some samples she'd made, followed by some hands at work.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Are They Working On?

One of my favorite things about quilt guilds and sewing groups is that there is always something going that inspires! I love the variety of projects, fabric choices, and techniques on display at a gathering of quilters. The Monday afternoon group of my local guild is no exception. I'm not always able to join them, but when I can, here's what it looks like. Kathy and her granddaughter worked on the batik turtles. They enjoy sewing together.

Eddie was binding this lovely Thistle quilt that now hangs on a wall in her home.

Freda is working on her pumpkin stack wallhanging.
Ann-Marie is appliqueing the border with lively bright flowers on black.

Norma Jean is also working on bright floral applique on a dark background.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blooming Bahamas Bag...

I made this purse using a pattern from Abbey Lane Quilts new book "Blooming Possibilities". I used some of the hand printed fabric we bought while in Nassau on the quilting cruise last January. The fabric is pleated and I used fusible fleece to back it. Then the pleats are held in place by the stitched-on pink band. The loose pleats at the top are ruffled out to dress it up a bit. I adjusted the pattern size slightly to fit the fat quarter of brown print. The bag is lightweight yet roomy, and the hand strap makes it comfortable to carry securely.

And the cute flower accent! So much fun to make, and the book shows how to make several sizes and styles of flowers. There are 12 project patterns in all. I've already made two of the flowers, and plan to make lots more. And I want to make at least one pair of The Ladies Flip Flops, too. Lots of appealing projects in this book!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quick-Sew Projects...

These pillowcases are easy to sew and make nice donation projects. The University of Florida Gator case shown here will go to Con Kerr Cancer.. a Case for Smiles program. There are instructions for making pillowcases on their website. Our local quilt guild donates cases that go to the hospital oncology units in Gainesville for children undergoing chemotherapy. So some little sports fan will enjoy this one. The other two will go to the Horse Protection Association of Florida, an agency here in Marion County that rescues and provides care for neglected and abandoned horses. The one in front is a travel pillow size with little buckaroos in the print.