Friday, November 18, 2011

{Post #850} More Selvage Loveliness

I really AM clearing off my cutting table.  But I'm sewing up the scraps and goodies as I go!  I found these cute potholders online, so I made up 6, 4 on the diagonal...

From the online source:

Mine (not quilted or bound yet, obviously):

I cut a "base fabric" (this is read yucky stuff I had a chunk of on my cutting table) into 6" squares and just made sure they were covered, then trimmed them down after sewing the selvages on.  This time I did not take the time to switch thread out every time...I just kept a dark wheat color in and let the stitches fall where they may.

Here is my next cutting-table-clearing project.  I used 10-1/2" square base fabric (the red).  Then I marked a dot 1-1/2" from the same corner and 5" from each side of the opposite corner.  I used a gray pencil to connect the dots from each 1-1/2" mark to a 5" mark on an adjacent side.  Then I drew a line 1/2" in from where the 5" mark side was to create sort of a triangle.  Then I just took a piece big enough to go from one side to the other and started adding selvages. 

I'm sure this is like any other sewing project...everyone has their own way of doing it.  I line up the selvage side of the fabric with a pencil line and sew as close to the edge as I can.  I do two blocks at a time so I can have a leader/ender thing going.  The next fabric is placed facing the same way so that the selvage is on the same side as the first one.  I overlap the previous raw edge only as much as I have to and then stitch closely to the selvage edge again. 

Here is one block that is 10-1/2" square.  Same sewing as the potholders...make sure some is hanging over and then trim to original size when finished.

Even though what I make is nearly always scrappy, I usually have some unwritten rules.  They are written in this case!  I didn't use a red strip for my first one since the center of the block is a red print.  I broke my own rule by using some very small pieces for the last print that don't have words on the selvages.  I repeated a fabric in a block a couple times, but once they are sewn to each other, it will be so busy that it won't matter.

After I got to where I didn't have enough selvages to start another 2 blocks, I moved something on my table and found 3 very long selvages.  After I do some baking for Rachel this evening (and clean up), I am going to do a couple more if I have the energy.  Wish me luck!

Here are all 8 I did this afternoon...each block finishes at 10" square.

Here is where I sort of got my inspiration (from an online picture):

I used a Thimbleberries red, so of course I am not in danger of burning my retinas out.  Isn't that cool?  Instructions for the Red Zinger are here along with lots of other patterns.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Post #849} Sew-y Tote Bag Gift

OK, so this should be on my secret projects blog, but I don't think the recipient will know it is for her.  I am not even sure she reads my blog any more.  A-n-y-w-a-y-s...I am uncharacteristically thinking ahead for some gifts for Christmas, birthdays, Christmas, babies being born soon, Christmas, etc.  I really wanted to sew tonight.  It's been a while since I've spent quality time with my Janome.

I got the bright idea to make this certain person a tote bag.  I was looking at patterns the other day.  I liked different things about different patterns, so I combined all of them into this bag.  It does not look that impressive in the pictures, but you know how sometimes pics just don't do an item justice?  My husband and dear-soon-to-be-17-year-old daughter both really liked it.

For the past few months I've been collecting selvages.  I had seen some cute ideas out there and thought I'd wish I had some if I ever saw a pattern I just had to make.  Being a scrappy quilter just overflows into other scrappiness.  I decided to make a band of selvages to fit at the top of my tote.  Here is a section close up...

I added a few non-Thimbleberries just to see who was paying attention!

For the handles, I took a 4" side piece of fabric x 25" long and ironed it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.  I then ironed in a piece of (are you ready for this) IRON-ON interfacing 1" x 25" along the fold on the inside (I'm a little loopy tonight...don't know why).  Then I folded both sides in and ironed them.  I ended up with a 4-layer piece with no exposed seams with a piece of interfacing in there somewhere.  I topstitched it with 5 rows of stitching.  Cute.  Durable.  Not extremely stiff.  Matches the bag. 

One other "Joan" feature...I cut a strip from a leg from a pair of jeans from which I made another gift (pics to come) that was laying on my cutting table (are you following this?).  I used that to make the bottom of the tote bag so it would be more durable.  Genius, right??  Hee hee...

The whole shebang (except for the selvages) was meander quilted with a variegated heavy thread in primary colors.  It matches the spool fabric very well.

Here is a picture of the whole thing...

An hour and a half well spent.  Hope she likes it!!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{Post #848} New Group and SOK Progress

Rachel met a woman at the craft show last week that invited her to a "sit and knit" group that meets at a local church on Tuesday nights.  Since R doesn't drive (not many 13-year-olds do), I drove her over and took my Apple Core/Seeds of Kindness quilt to hand quilt while we were there.  We enjoyed lots of conversation and got some handwork done, too.  It was a really fun time.  I am about halfway finished.  I was going to edit a picture, but it won't upload for some reason.

Rachel is knitting a scarf with a snowflake motif in it that she designed herself.  She is a knifty fast and accurate. 

My log cabin quilt center is complete.  It is 43" square.  I am considering adding a very small border as a frame, possibly 1-1/2" finished.  I will need to measure the wall where it will be hung tomorrow and see if that will make it too large.  Here it is...I love it!

Also finished my I Spy quilt center for now.  This will make it easy to see if I already have a particular fabric in it.  I only have a limited amount of the blues (which is unusual since I'm usually not threatened with running out of a fabric because my quilts are scrappy and I'm cutting off bolts).  I had what I thought was a great idea for adding the sashing and cornerstones to the 4-1/2" blocks, but I now think that the old-fashioned way is best.  Here is one block.  I added a plain blue strip to the right of every block.  Those were ironed out.  Then I added a light blue strip with a dark blue square on the end.  Every block had strips on two sides.  It went fine, but I wouldn't do it that way again.

Here is one block...

A close-up of two of my favorite sections...

The whole far.  This is 32" x 43".  Once I get my cutting table cleaned off, I will cut up a bunch more of my I Spy fabric collection.

Hello to my new friend, Barbara, from Sit & Knit!  She said she'd look at my blog soon.  Hope she does!


{Post #847} The Tale of Two Quilts

This pile is the beginning of a new I Spy quilt.  I'm making it for someone who is not pregnant yet.  It's going to be a big one (quilt, not baby), so I wanted to work on it gradually.  I will show some progress on it later (today or tomorrow).  After that, it will only be available on my secret blog. 

This is my log cabin quilt wall hanging for my very own house...most likely the living room.  I am sewing the rows to each other in between assembling the I Spy quilt from above.  I am going to hand quilt it.  Any design ideas besides Baptist Fans?  That is the way I'm leaning, but I'm open to other suggestions.

Off to sew a little more.  Rachel and I are meeting a group of local ladies for a sit and knit time tonight.  I will be hand quilting.  Think they'll notice?  At the craft show last week a man stopped at my table to make conversation.  He looked at all my quilts and said, "Someone's been doing a lot of crocheting!"  Yes--he was talking to me.