Sunday, March 5, 2017

Black floral tablecloth

An old blog friend, who is also a Facebook friend, asked me to make a holiday tablecloth for her long narrow table. She and her husband have 5 6 kids. As I was playing, two designs emerged, and she decided to order both.

Both designs are based on Jane Brocket quilts in her book The Gentle Art of Quilt-making. I love Jane's quilts, which are full of florals and bright, saturated fabrics.

This one is based on Jane's Russian Shawl quilt. Margaret thought it would be wonderful for Easter, so I wanted to get it done first. I even found one of the fabrics Jane used—the mums. The other fabrics I found either online or at our local quilt fabric shop and are similar to ones Jane used. I had pretty much given up on that local shop, which feels like an old lady quilt store, pardon my ageism. But happily they seem to have expanded their offerings from the dated fabrics of traditional quilts I learned to make in the 1970s and 1980s. I purchased the black and white stripe there, the black and white graph check in the edge, as well as the gorgeous rose floral in the drop.

If I didn't tell you, maybe you would not imagine the amount of time and work it takes to shop for and choose fabrics for a project commissioned by a customer. This can take weeks of online browsing, local store shopping, and elimination. Also, when buying fabrics online, there is no way to be certain that fabrics will go well together until receiving them and playing with them. It's always nice to add fabrics to the stash though, even if I don't use them for the intended project.

The tablecloth on our little kitchen table.
On Margaret's, it will drop the same distance on the ends as it does here on the sides.

I lined the tablecloth with very thin black muslin. I learned the hard way not to sew this like an envelope—sewing edge seams, then turning inside out—which I did first. I had hoped to avoid adding a binding. But it is impossible to make a pieced top lie flat, so when topstitching the seams, I got puffiness here and there. I pressed the bejeezers out of it, but it still poofs a bit, though not enough to ruin it (in my opinion). Then I did add a binding in the same black and white graph check as the outer border.

So next tablecloth I will simply baste the top with the lining, topstitch, and bind it. This method does not pucker, because you are flattening the top from center out as you baste, and the edges are not secured before topstitching. Make sense? I will be using Jane's design that also inspired the second quilt in my blog header—on point squares, which she calls Hydrangea.

Finished tablecloth is 50" x 99"

Saturday, January 21, 2017

3 new mug mats

pink, orange and green; fabric scraps from my stash and Nancy's stash;
small green and white dots binding is from our kids' childhood curtains;
9" x 11 1/2"
Once again, mug mats are what I create when I need to play with color and fabrics. Emphasize PLAY. I got inspiration from various places, such as my Pinterest color board, and also a Chef's Table episode!


I created this after watching a "Chef's Table" episode on Francis Mallman;
totally inspired by his wild, free, elegant life in Patagonia;
8" x 11"

back of Patagonia
Green and black paisley is an old Civil War print.

This cream floral is very old, maybe 1950s?
Up-cycled navy floral dress, blue men's shirt, and white and blue men's shirt,
all thrifted; 9" x 9 1/2"


All posted at my Etsy shop

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bright log cabin baby quilt

A former colleague commissioned a quilt for her fourth baby, due in early January. I made eight placemats for her a couple of years ago, and those were bright too. She loves wonky quilts, and her whole house is painted in bright, vivid, tasteful colors.

Baby #4 will share a room with his big brother, which is painted in lovely shades of orange and blue.

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I sent a photo of the first log cabin block I finished for this project to Heidi for approval. She said "I think it is lovely. Brighter the better. :)" I got the message and set that one aside! I did not have many bright fabrics in my stash, so I stopped at Joann's and picked up several fat quarters in brights. The next try was a winner.

Then I had to get even more brights, solids this time, for the back, which is one big log cabin block.


There is a little black and white center of each block that you'll see if you look closely. I decided to bind the quilt in this black and white dot from Joann's.

Besides the new brights from Joann's, I had a few other new fabrics on hand
as well as scraps from friends and my own projects.
There are a few thrift shirts also.

I couldn't be happier with the result. The mama says she is in love with it.

Finished quilt measures 44" x 59"
Machine pieced and quilted every 2 1/2"

Friday, April 15, 2016

Table runners keep running

A commission for Vikki, this is 14" by 45"
Some upcycled shirts and also fabrics from my stash

I had these three fabrics in my stash, two from Nancy,
and one from the batch I bought from Leslie Schmidt when she moved to Switzerland (aqua).
I wanted something swirly and abstract.

These fabrics were such fun playing together.
Upcycled shirts, stash fabrics, some from Babsy,
some from Leslie.
I have been better at making items for us to use, thanks to Babsy's encouragement. Table runners are great, because they sew up quickly, and they add a pop to daily life.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A scrappy baby girl quilt

Well this is probably my favorite quilt yet. The process from beginning to end was blissful.

A friend commissioned this quilt for her brother's first baby. She is the same friend who commissioned wonky Mother Goose log cabin baby quilt for her friend's baby, below:

Quilt for Adelaide, made about a year ago

I kick myself that I didn't take photos on the weekend, before washing the quilt, because I ended up having to take pictures in artificial light. Except for this first one below, of the binding, made with Alisse Courter fabric.

In this closeup you can see the Sujata Shah wonky flying geese;
also, the half square triangle blocks were pieced by stash sister Nancy's former daughter-in-law

The parents like owls ... apparently ..

There are scraps from every which source ...

.. scraps from thrift clothes, from a special friend's stash,
from Nancy, from a quilter who sold me her stash before moving to Switzerland ...

scraps from my dear friend Susie .. 

.. scraps from my old vintage stash ..

I just had to document every square inch. As I quilted over each inch of this I enjoyed it more than I can express. I wish I could have kept it. I hope Eveyln and her parents will love it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Susie's scrappy girls pillow

I made this 20" pillow for Susie before we went to visit her and David a month ago. She loves it. She says she hugs it a lot.

Susie gave me the girl fabrics: matryoshka dolls, silhouettes in the wind, talking girls with birds.

I will be making three of these for Christmas gifts in the next couple of weeks, but smaller: 16".

I pieced the back with some of the fabrics Susie has given me: matryoshka dolls, bees and flamingoes.

before quilting

after machine quilting