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Christmas Quilt

Well I decided that there would be no Fun Friday last week and worked on my Christmas quilt.

Block 16

Block 16/16

All of the tree blocks are quilted and I’m practicing some free-motion designs for the border. Here are my practice pieces, starting with poinsettias (used up some pink thread and almost-empty bobbins). I like the poinsettia but not the meandering in-between.

Poinsettia motif

Poinsettia motif

Here are some other designs I’ve started playing with. So far I’m leaning toward the tree/snowflake motifs. The trunk of the trees will come out from the inner seam of the border.

Tagline, practice border quilting, holly, trees/snowflakes

Tagline, practice border quilting, holly, trees/snowflakes

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Is this pieced binding not cool? Not.

Pieced binding

Pieced binding

Strip piecing

Strip piecing

Well, yes, it’s cool but it’s so not happening. Perhaps if I pressed the seams open (perhaps not). Perhaps if I cut wider strips to begin with (perhaps not). I had to use less than 1/4-inch seam and it tends to stretch funkily–is that even a word. I’ll repurpose this strip-pieced set and go with some Christmas polka dot fabric I have.

Binding fabric

Binding fabric

When I’m not working on the Christmas quilt, I’m spending part of every day weaving in thread ends on Self-Portrait II. I’ll take a break from my pile of Christmas projects as soon as that’s done. I should be able to finish my Christmas tree quilt this week. It’s a busy week–my husband has pre-op for one cataract surgery, I’m teaching a young person to sew, and there will be a new exhibit at Crystal Bridges (American Made Folk Art), which I’ll be previewing on Fun Friday.  All of us local makers are excited. Throw in exercise, cooking, and cleaning and I’ll be ready for another vacation. Till next time, I hope you’re surviving the heat, the floods, the politics, Brexit, and the mayhem and chaos that is our world.

 

 

Fun Friday, Part II

More Friday Fun.  Happiness is finding some more red scraps.

New red scraps

New red scraps

I never did post about the tote bag I finished, using up my stash of red strips.  I kept forgetting to take pictures as I went.  See, I actually do finish projects.

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Tote Bag

Tote Bag

It seems this improve piecing is taking over my quilting.  It’s such a great way to use up strips and leftovers.  Here is potholder #1.

Potholder #1

Potholder #1

I used a zigzag stitch to piece together some leftover Insulbrite.

sewing batting scraps together

sewing batting scraps together

Matchsstick quilting

Match stick quilting

Matchstick quilting-reverse

Match stick quilting-reverse

The Insulbrite batting makes sewing down the binding a little difficult so I zigzagged the edges on #1, which helped, but after this I’ll use a scant 1/4-inch seam for the other two so there will be a touch more binding to bring to the back.

Potholder #1 Finished

Potholder #1 Finished

Here is #2 and #3.  They just need binding.

Potholder #2

Potholder #2

Potholder #2-Reverse

Potholder #2-Reverse

These small projects are great for practicing match stick quilting.  On #3, I started about 3/8-inches apart and then went back and quilted between the lines.  If you don’t like free-motion quilting, try this.  You do not need to mark lines (except maybe your first line if you have no seam for a gauge) and the lines don’t necessarily have to be perfectly even or straight.  PLAY!

I still had some scraps so I made a tiny name tag.

Name tag

Name tag

This is about how my vision is–next week I need to get my eye lased–sometimes you get some scar tissue after cataract surgery.  This is seriously affecting my photography but all will be well soon.

South Beach Update: Still on the program with exercise 3X a week.  No weight loss this week–we’ll just say we’re making muscle and keep going.

Today is National Quilting Day.  Quilt ’em if you got ’em.

 

Fun Friday, Part I

Last week I reinstituted Fun Friday for the first time this year.  Fun Friday is the day I do anything I want rather than what I “should” be doing.  Sometimes Fun Friday extends to the next Friday, as it did this week.  After finishing my red strip-pieced tote bag, I still had some red scraps left so I started piecing bits and pieces together.  Then on my way to the shower, I thought that cutting the pieced strips in half lengthwise would be fun so I ripped the long strips apart and cut some of them into 3/4-inch strips.  Also pictured is one of my starters/enders (also called spiders), which gave me a working title of Black Widow.

Scrappy Strings

Scrappy Strings

I cut a piece of grey fabric at 60-degree angles at 3-, 5-, 8-, 13- and 21-inch intervals (a Fibonacci sequence).

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Next, I turned the piece and cut angles in the other direction (again, 60-degree angle and Fibonacci sequence).

I started lining up the pieces, which was not particularly easy, so I ripped out the first two strips and decided to stagger the lines.

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This piece is sewn together–I’ll have a photo next Friday when I start quilting.  Right now I’m thinking about a huge spider web.  Stay tuned for Part II.