From Stuffed in a Bag to Glorious

As a quilter I ponder many design ideas on projects.  Some projects it’s the first time by.  Other projects get halted and then wind up in a plastic bag smothered in my WIP cabinet.  This quilt has gone on a five year journey to completion.  It’s sad, inspiring, and real all at the same time.

Moda Blush Quilt

My love of charm packs were at an all time high in 2012.  People may have noted it as an obsession, but that’s all hear say.  For the IMQG first overnight retreat I grabbed the Moda Blush charm pack and yardage in my stash along with Kona white to make a creation.  Seven to eight simple squares were started and another five or so improv blocks.  Improv is a loose term, they were measured and tried to keep it symmetrical.

Post retreat the blocks and yardage were stuffed into my WIP cabinet in a plastic bag.  I had so much hope for that project as I wrote the above blog post.  Five years later, it was pulled from the cabinet and given new life.  It could breathe again.

The improv blocks were stripped back down to the charm block and the solid.  Rather than continue with a design that didn’t make sense, I wanted to go back to the simple blocks.  Simple will get the project finished rather than sitting in a cabinet.

Simple can help you finish a project faster.

During the winter IMQG retreat this year I took the blocks and created the quilt top.  From the yardage I was able to piece a backing as well.

Post retreat the project went back into that plastic bag.  This time it sat near my sewing space.  Part of my first quarter goals for 2017 is taking the time to finish some projects.  Rather than have this project taunt me, I grabbed the starch and started pressing.  Lots of starch to get these seams to lay flat.

Some franken-batting was created to use up some scraps.  The challenge from my IMQG peeps was to try another FMQ at home.  This was the project that accepted the challenge.  After some spray basting it was ready to quilt.

Rather than quilt at night when I’m tired, I went in fresh on a Sunday morning.  It was invigorating to try this new to me technique so early in the morning.  Challenge myself to break out of my go to straight line quilting.  Guess what?  FMQ went faster and was fun.

FMQ was fun.

After being washed and dried, I truly admire this project.  It has new life, it’s been rejuvenated with the help of a seam ripper.  Stuffed in a plastic bag doesn’t have to mean the end of a project.  Look at it now with all the crinkled goodness.

Pieced back with enough left over for binding.

What project do you have just sitting around?  Could you break it down to something more simple?

This quilt is now available on Etsy and ready for a new home.

Springy Granny Squares Finally Revealed

Springy Granny Squares by quiltytherapy #grannysquares #babyquilt #florals #springdecor #floraldecor #nurserydecor #floralquilt

I’m excited to share this quilt with you.  The input and response to selecting the back was awesome.  Thank you for participating.  Here it is…the back of the quilt.

The vintage sheet is pure perfection.  Soft, drapes wonderfully, and the colors coordinate well with the front.  Notice anything different about this finished quilt?  More free motion quilting.

Confession time:  I have avoided FMQ for so long, but I truly enjoy it.  Why did I resist for years?  My quilting time has been cut down by a couple of hours. Instant time saver.  Loops are my jam for now.  I tried meandering and quickly ripped it out.

This quilt turned out much better than I could have imagined.  Tiny polka dots on a pale green was the perfect binding choice.  It provides a gentle frame around the quilt.

Floral fabrics stretched me creatively especially on the front of a quilt.  I don’t mind them on the back and often choose florals to coordinate on the back.  Maybe it was the scale or colors in this specific collection that didn’t originally inspire me too much.  As I noted in my last post, it helped to chop them into 2.5″ squares.

This quilt is available in my Etsy shop.  Wouldn’t this be a cute baby shower gift this spring?


Springy Granny Squares

Help Me Pick a Backing

Linking up with:

Needle and Thread Thursday

Help Me Pick a Backing

Time to back the Springy Granny Springs quilt from last week.  Now, what to back it in?  I have a few choices in mind.  Why not open it up to quilt by committee?

Here is the binding choice.  It’s a nice pale green.

 

All three are solid choices.  Which is your favorite?    Vote in the comments by Thursday, March 16th.

 

Excited to see which backing is the winner.  Let the voting begin.  You can vote in more than one place too.  Instagram, Facebook or the blog.

Springy Granny Squares

We have had some wonderful weather in Indianapolis the last week or so.  Flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding, and my allergies are starting to flair up.  Spring is coming.  To celebrate I wanted to create a baby quilt using small florals.  The fabric was part of a mystery box I bought a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t in love with the fabric at first.  Once I chopped it into 2.5″ squares, it became more my style.

Dipping into my solid scraps I found some coordinating colors with the small florals.  The background is a white on white circle print from JoAnn’s.  I usually keep 1-2 yards on hand for backgrounds if needed.  Last week I paired everything up to make 20 blocks while watching TV.  Everyday I sewed a few blocks and by Sunday they were finished.

I was able to sneak in some early morning sewing while everyone was still asleep.  Remember all that natural light in my sewing room from this post?  The sun was just peering from behind the clouds and the room was flooded with sunshine.  It’s my favorite time of day to work in there.

 

After finishing all 20 blocks I wanted to start on a layout.  Obligatory quilter’s feet in photo coming right up.

 

Do you like how my socks tell me which feet to put them on?  Makes me giggle.

I should have thrown in some other prints, there are many yellow and blue blocks.  Egh, we will call it a design element.  The binding will be a minty small polka dot.

 

This week I hope to piece the top and start auditioning backings.  There are a few options:

  • Pieced backing with coordinating fabrics
  • Vintage sheet
  • Solid color backing (mint or yellow)

Look on Facebook or Instagram for options later this week.


Linking up with:

Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation

Fabric Budget UPDATE

As we wind down February, the budget is still in place. There are been a few purchases for my stash which leave my budget pretty low on funds at the moment.

One of my friends was purging her Lotta Jansdotter Echo stash. Ummm, yes please, all of it. Got an amazing deal on one of my all time favorite fabric lines.

A quilt shop near me is restructuring. Not going out of business, just changing things up. They have been doing an inventory reduction sale. I ventured out on the first night, wading through the crowd, and finding just a few items to add. I’m tempted to go back now that the entire store is 50% off. I’m very conflicted. Honestly, there is nothing that I NEED. Is there really anything I WANT? Doubtful.

Okay, I went after writing the above. I did find some fabrics to use. They were down to $3/yard. How could I resist?

All this for $37

The $100 fabric budget did wonders for changing my whole thought process on fabric buying. Old me would have probably spent too much money at that sale and sit on the fabric for four years. Instead I truly looked for things that I will use. That blue fabric will be backings for boy baby quilts. Black and white polka dot could go with anything. The floral prints are for pillow for the living room. Need to brighten that up this spring.

IMQG hosted their February meeting at The Sewing Speakeasy.  These charm packs called out to me with their saturated colors. An idea is already in mind for what to make. I’m going old school and creating a disappearing nine patch. If you are new to my blog, it used to be my go to pattern for a baby quilt. I haven’t made one in almost three years.

I envision something fun and bright once the top is created. Grey thread in FMQ. Maybe a vintage sheet on the back too. Speaking of vintage sheets, I was able to pass some on to another quilter at the meeting. Felt good to get rid of some sheets that I have had for a while. My husband was confused at first.

“You love vintage sheets,” he stated. “Yes, hubby I do. If I really wanted to do something with these, I would have by now,” was my reply. “Fair,” he responded.

My First Attempt at Free Motion Quilting

Free motion quilting (FMQ) has been a goal for years.  Much like zippers, it scares me.  Maybe it’s the idea of learning something new?  Could it be that I’m concerned it will look like my free hand drawings…awful.
With wonderful support of my IMQG friends I successfully quilted a small quilt with FMQ.
At the retreat I came prepared with my darning foot and an ancient WIP, it’s been around since 2011.  What I didn’t expect was how nervous I would feel.  With sweaty palms and a racing heart I pushed the pedal and started guiding my fabric.  Loops, I can do loops, yeah, let’s do that was my thought process.
Okay we’ve made a few, they look decent.  Even better the back looks good, the tension is correct.
Then I started to question myself and I slowed down.  Stitches started skipping and the frustration mounted.  UGH!  “I knew I couldn’t do this” began to creep into my mindset.  After stopping, breathing, and adjusting the fabric, I tried again.  I kept the seam ripper nearby for the number of errors that occurred.
 
Here is what I learned:
  • My machine likes to go fast.
  • Trust my gut and just keep moving the fabric.
  • If needed, stop and adjust everything.
The back may be my favorite part of this quilt.
I have a project in the works to try FMQ again.  This time will be at home.  I’m sure I will be texting my friends before for moral support and possibly having some wine to help me relax.
Love that drape
Quilt details:
Fabric:  Botanica and coordinating Kona Solids from Fabric.com
Pieced by various members of IMQG ~2011
Style:  Improv log cabins