As usual, I am rotating my time among several different projects — stuffed kitties, a couple of hand pillows, knitting a sweater, sewing a series of quilt blocks, to list just a few.
But I’m having a lot of fun quilting this little quilt I made using some blocks I made to test the instructions for the 2016 Row by Row quilt at Pacific Fabrics, where I work.
The blocks are 9″ x 9″, set 4 across and 4 down. The alternate squares provide nice open space to quilt wreath designs, and the pieced blocks are just right to quilt 3″-wide border motifs.
Often I’ll donate a quilt top made from my stash to the Linus Project but this one I decided to keep. Someday, I think it will make a great baby quilt.
For some time now, I’ve been sewing together small bits of leftover fabric that I collect in zip-lock bags, and turning them into pillow covers and occasionally a quilt top.
Some of the pieces are quite small — two inches square, or even smaller. It’s a wonder that I keep them. But it’s so easy to just toss them into a plastic bag.
This month, I went a step further.
I had previously made a heart quilt where the background was pieced from leftover bits of all the same fabric, and the heart was made of random strips sewn together.
This time around, the whole thing was crazy pieced.
Very few design decisions go into this sort of construction. Here, the background fabrics are primarily tints of blue and pink, with some lavender and yellow or beige thrown in.
The corner squares are made from the triangles trimmed away from the star-point rectangles. I sewed together two triangles, added some strips to bring them up to size (12-1/2″ unfinished) and then a triangle in one corner to anchor it.
Below is a picture of the outer side rectangles before the star points were added.
Unintentionally, the focal point turned out to be the yellow square in the center star.
Someday, I think it will make a fine baby quilt.
For the last few months, I’ve been engaged in an ongoing project where I am making a series of blocks using fabrics from my bin of batik fabrics paired with the same background fabric.
There is this one fabric that, whenever I have come across it, I have always looked at it and thought to myself, “This is kind of ugly, and I don’t know what I will ever do with it.” And then I put it back on the stack.
Well, I finally did something with it, and to my surprise, it looks pretty good!
Between this pillow, that sweater, some quilting over there, and trying my hand at English paper piecing — not to mention enjoying a couple months of summer in Seattle — posting to this blog has definitely been relegated to the proverbial back burner.
I will make a concerted effort this month to write a bit about everything I’ve been turning my hand to lately.
Today, I will feature my latest Craftsy project, “Stained Glass Squares,” which I (finally) finished (hand) quilting a couple weeks ago.
Yes, yes, if I’d gotten it machine quilted, it wouldn’t have taken so long. But I like to hand quilt, and this way I was able to feature a different motif in each square and rectangle.
Posted in quilting
Since we got back from Europe, I’ve been so focused on blogging about our trip that I haven’t posted anything about my crafting.
I’ve been working on a variety of projects: I finished a pair of socks, I’m in the process of (hand) quilting my next Craftsy project, I have a hand pillow in process as well as more stuffed kitties.
A few weeks ago, I came up with an idea for another Craftsy project. I planned it out, purchased some fabric for it a few days ago, and this afternoon went out to the studio and sewed together this little block.
It’s 3″ x 3″ finished. The little green triangle are 3/8″ finished. It was foundation pieced (of course). No way to do it otherwise, without losing my mind.
It’s taken me two months to cover what we saw and did in Europe. Here are some various images that didn’t make it into any of the other posts.
Looking through a window at the Rodin Museum.
A fun poster in Paris.
Public art at the Lilles train station, on our way to Calais. (Tulips of Shangri-Law by Yayoi Kusama)
Public art at Gare du Nord train station, Paris. (Angel Bear by Richard Texier)
Two European birds. The one on the left I have tentatively identified as an African blue tit. However, its range does not appear to include France. But the bird picture here resembles the African species (with its black head) more than the Eurasian species, which has a blue crown. The bird of the left is an Egyptian goose, which is not native to Europe. According to Wikipedia, “Because of their popularity chiefly as ornamental bird, escapes are common and small feral populations have become established in Western Europe.”
Seattle likes to tout itself as being “bike-friendly.”
I’ll admit that it’s better than it used to be. When my husband and I bought our house in North Seattle back in 2009, I wouldn’t have been caught dead riding my bike around here, because, well, I was worried that I would, in fact, be caught dead.
In the last 7 years, though, I feel that the ambience has improved a bit. There are more dedicated bike lanes. I think car drivers are more watchful (though I ride defensively and yield to cars until I’m sure the driver sees me) and willing to share the road.
But Seattle’s hilly geography does not encourage casual bike riding, by normal-looking people wearing normal-looking clothes.
Not so with Amsterdam.
Everywhere, people on bikes. Mostly one-speeds, some pretty beat-up-looking. No racing bikes with curved handlebars and hunched-over riders. No spandex. And no helmets. But when you’re only going about 5 miles an hour and there are more of you than there are cars and you have your own dedicated lanes and traffic signals, what’s the big deal?
Even your dog.
And everywhere, bikes chained up on racks and fences and railings.
And they always seemed to be there. It was like their people never came and got them and took them home. Kind of weird.