Two Projects – Same Fabrics

I finished the hand work last evening on this project – what started out to be a central motif for a medallion quilt, turned into a wall art piece.

Finished Wall Art Piece

I added the bright, strong narrow outer border and finished with an embroidered signature (on the bottom right side) and hidden bindings. Finished size: 20″ x 24″ – a good size for a wall hanging.

Today, I assembled the blocks for the original lap quilt project – a simple but colourful construction which I began at the sewing retreat. The half-square triangles used in the wall hanging came from the corner offcuts from the quilt blocks so you can tell how small the half-square triangles really are.

My intention is to add a 3″ light grey border using one of the paler fabrics from the panel with no narrow border but I’ll see over the weekend when I get back to this whether that will seem right, or not.

Same fabrics, two very different feels. That’s what I love about working with textiles – I’m never sure how any project will turn out – I start with an idea, a stack of fabrics I think will work together, and see what emerges.

Medallion Quilt – Carrying On

This project is totally unexpected – I thought I was starting a much larger quilt by building a central block on which I was going to improvise further. The responses I got to the panel were interesting, however – suggesting this was a complete piece as it was.

Medallion Quilt

Worth considering. If it was a piece on its own it still felt unfinished to me – I thought it needed another narrowish border. After auditioning quite a few fabrics from my stash I decided this wild, vibrant batik (which I used in the blocks themselves) was precisely what the emerging piece needed.

I mitred the corners because if this is a wall art piece it needs the finesse of mitres and I’ve overcome the butted piecing of the grey border by stitching in the ditch in both directions creating the illusion of squares in the corners.

I’m not finished stitching in the ditch – I stitched the borders and began on the diagonals. I will continue that tomorrow, emphasizing the squares on-point and the triangles.

It’s so interesting how I start in one direction and find I’m actually going in another – totally unexpected, and yet interesting. It’s about colour, it’s about shape, it’s about visual impact.

I’m not going to do a standard quilt binding – definitely a hidden binding since the outer border stands comfortably alone. The challenge will be establishing a seam allowance that successfully fudges the slight shortfall in a few spots and yet manages to catch the border fabric so it won’t pull out and fray and leave enough width to the border for it to look even.

We’ll see where this goes.

Instructions For Making Zippered Bags

I’m posting instructions for making zippered bags since I’ve received requests about how I make my bags.

I make zippered bags two ways – one using zipper tape which gives a very nice finish to the bag:

Zippered Bag Constructed Using Zipper Tape

I also make bags using zippers:

Zippered Bag Constructed Using A Zipper

The bags look similar, however, I prefer using zipper tape because it simplifies the process.

I purchase my zipper tape from The Zipper Lady who sells the tape by the yard in a gazillion colours – she also sells zipper pulls.

She has video demonstrating how to put the slides onto the tape.

Hope this helps you out.

Ombre Socks

A month ago when I had shopped at Have A Yarn in Mahone Bay, I came home with a ball of Lang “Happy Stripes” Twin Soxx ombre sock yarn. You can see the colour gradation in the finished socks but it wasn’t really visible as I was working on them since the colour change is so gradual. The single repeat actually gets a lot lighter but the sock foot stops at 50 rows past the gusset because that’s all the socks need to fit someone wearing a size 7 1/2 – size 8 shoe.

Ombre Socks

Decided to use the striped yarn to complete the toe in order to get the lightest pattern repeat possible.

I have enough yarn left over to make a pair of legs – just have to find a complementary yarn so I can knit a full pair of socks!

Medallion Quilt II – Comment

Just on the phone with a very close friend who thought my medallion panel was striking just as it is – make an effective wall art piece, she thought.

Medallion Quilt – Centre

I certainly wasn’t seeing it that way – in my head I was working on something much larger. Now I have to rethink the whole thing. Maybe just one more border in a darker grey to finish it off?

Decisions, decisions….

More Small Zippered Bags

When I got home from my sewing weekend I showed my niece my stash of small zippered bags. Offered her one, she took two. She was going out that evening for dinner with a friend whose daughter was having a birthday – she took one for Fiona and another for her sister Dana. I took another and put a birthday gift in it for a friend of mine. Now I was down five bags from the collection intended to be for Christmas gifts.

My niece sees me put the gift in a bag and asks if I would make ten bags for her to use as gifts – she’ll pay me, she offers.

Can’t say no to a request like that, so after she left for Toronto the next day, I dug out what fabric I had left over from the original batch, prepared 10 more bags, sat down and stitched them up over the next two days.

Zippered Bags For Maxelle

Past Thursday, I packaged them up and sent them off to Toronto – as a gift for my niece. What am I going to charge her? $5 is too little and $10 is too much to ask her (although were I selling the bags at a craft fair I’d charge $10 for the smaller size, $12 for the larger ones). I was using leftover bits of fabric and batting, I buy zipper tape by the yard, so while I have an idea as to what my materials might cost there’s still nothing much to reimburse me for my time. Better a gift to my niece than try figuring out what to charge her.

She should get them next week. I told her to make sure she tells her friends where she got the bags! I’m sure whoever gets one will enjoy having it. You can’t have too many small zippered bags for carrying stuff, right?

Medallion Quilt II

Funny what calls out to you when you sit down to work. The small triangular cut-offs from the Nine Shades Of Grey quilt said “Play with me” – so I did. I began by sewing them together into half-square triangles, then laying them out in blocks, formed rows, and stitched the rows together. I was trying to mix up the colours so they weren’t adjacent (and I was pretty successful doing that). I ended up with an 8 X 10 array with a bordered square on point in the centre. My piecing isn’t perfect but it’s close enough to live with as it is.

Medallion Quilt – Centre

Once I had the small half-square triangles sewn into a panel, I decided to enclose it with a narrow border rather then a wider one. Had I been doing a wall panel, I’d have used the golden fabric as a piping, but I thought for a quilt it probably needed to be a narrow strip of accent fabric. And then the medium mottled grey seemed to settle the whole panel down – it’s strong enough to stand out and yet sets up the yellow which brings out the golden shades in the batiks.

I have no idea where to go next! Medallion quilts are usually square, but for a comfortable throw/lap quilt it wants to be longer than wider so I went for a rectangular panel. I will see if it’s possible to increase the length with perhaps two insert rows in top and bottom edges as I build the quilt borders out.

Time to look at Medallion quilts and see what inspiration I can find for taking this quilt further. I think I want to keep the “Nine Shades Of Grey” idea going in this project which means whatever I do next should use the grey fabrics extensively with perhaps just hints of the bright batiks – who knows….