Thursday, July 25, 2013

Going Backwards?

It seems as if I've gone from summertime plodding on my quilt projects, which manifests in s-l-o-w forward motion, to going backwards! I sure hope my quilting skills haven't peaked and are now going the other direction. I made such a blunder on this project. This is one panel for a bag I'm making as part of a Craftsy class taught by Tara Rebman, Quilt-as-You-Go Patchwork Bags. She's an excellent instructor, and I enjoyed making the pieced panel. I pulled two storage bags of scraps from my collection, and have pretty much limited myself to using only those in the patchwork. It's good to use up bits and pieces, and fun to see how they blend together. I did purchase the larger bag bottom piece which is a medium-weight denim. However, I made a blunder in tracing the bag half-pattern. Of course I saw it after completing the piecing and quilting. It was a "smack your forehead" moment for sure. Want to know what I did, or can you spot it?

The panel doesn't look like much at this point, before trimming. But it was here that I spotted the error. I placed the fold line of the half-pattern on the side of the bag rather than at the center, flipped the pattern and repeated. So the deep curves at the sides in the photo above are really supposed to be at the center of the bag. My mistake places the bag handles closer together and leaves the sides of the bags shallow. I was chatting and laughing with others while tracing the pattern, which is a lesson to me in keeping a better focus at critical points. Not that I wouldn't have done the same thing if I was at home alone! Tara also provided a full-pattern piece, but I'd have had to make a special trip to town to print it out, so I opted not to. Rural dwellers do stuff like that. Live and learn. What to do?? My answer- I got this far, let's see what the bag looks like by finishing it up anyway. So stay tuned, time will tell. The lining is done, and I have one more panel to piece. Hope I don't regret investing more time in it. It sure won't look like any of my classmates' bags! Maybe I need a vacation... which is exactly what we're going to do. I get to go to the Pine Tree Quilter's show in Maine over the weekend. That's sure to get my head straight.

And the quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) acronym reminded me of another one that stumped us for quite some time. AUCE. We kept seeing it on restaurant signs, and tried to figure it out. Thought maybe they left off the S for Sauce, but that really made no sense. At last the light dawned and we understood it represented all you can eat! Can you tell we don't dine in buffet restaurants much? Ha!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Just a Little Sewing...

Summer is flying by and I've been sewing only a little. And sewing little projects, too. I had so much fun making this quilted book cover, that I had to make more. I notice that when I start to pull fabrics together for a project, other fabric combinations that I like also emerge. So what else can I do but set them aside to make a second... and a third... and ... well, you get the idea. This small project was a great use for the batik scraps I seem unable to use up and certainly cannot throw away. While you're looking at these, I'll also ask- what do you do to keep corners on projects like these or pillows square and sharp? Mine always seem to poke out or look rounded or misshapen. I clip diagonally at the corner to reduce the bulk (there's batting and a lining along with the front piece), and I use a point turner. But still the corners don't quite measure up. I'd appreciate your tips if you have any.  

This is the second one. It also requires me to go through my collection of fibers and beads and incorporate some of them, too. Always enjoy that. The third book cover appears below the quilt pic for some unknown (to me) reason. Two of the book covers will be donated to a group for a fundraising craft table. Now to decide which one I'll keep.

I've also worked with other quilter's to help with their projects a little  bit this summer. A quilting friend was given these redwork blocks and wanted to use them in a quilt for her veterinarian who is expecting. Perfect place for the cute animal designs. So we turned them into a quilt-as-you-go quilt, using red print scraps. A photo of the back is below. I like this method of making quilts, and it goes along quickly. She met her deadline of having the quilt done ahead of the baby's arrival!

The third book cover. I may keep this one for myself.

Dog bones and bandana prints look lively and fit the theme on the reverse side.