Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art

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Design Wall Monday: A bright baby quilt


No blocks on my wall yet, just fabric, as I play around with choices for a brightly colored baby quilt.  I love this half-yard of polka dot batik.  My current plan is to cut it into five inch squares and frame them with the other two fabrics.  I’ll choose the centers so that the turquoise fabric doesn’t surround turquoise dots.  The lighter fabric is quite calm in color, but this quilt will still have a lot going on.  Hmmm.

Are you playing with your fabric?

I’m linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.


Baby Quilt Finished

Wills stool

I finished up the baby quilt yesterday, and it’s all washed and dried and crinkly.  This looks different from other baby quilts I’ve made, but I like it.

Will's Quilt

It’s bright and bold and energetic, and I think it will be perfect for a little boy.  I bound it with rayon blanket binding for the touchable edges.  This finish doesn’t seem to sell well for me, but I almost always use it on gifts, because I know the babies like it.  This is made completely from stash.

Wills backThe backing is one piece of pale blue and white cloud fabric.

Will back 2I like this stained glass look where the sun brings the other colors through it.

Wills detailThe piecing and cutting were very quick, perhaps three hours.  The quilting, however, took around six hours.  There’s lots of it, in the ditches and through the block centers.  I used Superior Bottom Line in a pale blue on top and bottom.

Wills folded

The finished size is 36″ x 48″.  I always consider that the binding will take about 2″ off of each side of the design, so I usually add borders.  I didn’t this time, because I thought it was okay to cut off the edges of these Disappearing Four Patch blocks, and I think it works.

I’m linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

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Christmas Pillows Finished!

Pillows largeThese six Christmas pillow covers were really finished yesterday, but it has been pouring steadily for two days, so I just now got pictures of them.  It was still drizzling when I took them out to the wet bench for photos. They turned out very well, especially since they are for my own living room.  I made a few mistakes, and learned a new technique, so it was a good project.

Pillows backYou can’t see this zipper, can you?

New technique:  I used this tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew for inserting a covered zipper into the backing.  (I heard about this recently from someone else on a blog, but I can’t remember who’s Ah, is was Jacquie, from Tall Grass Prairie Studio. Just look at her beautiful pillows! Thank you!)  It worked really well, especially after the first one.  I was able to assembly line the last five covers and achieve a very nice look in no time.  I liked this much better than the velcro I’ve used before.  I had some trouble with the 1/4″ Steam-A-Seam2 Double Stick Lite Fusible Web.  It was supposed to be sticky to stick to the project before ironing, but it wasn’t at all.  The web kept separating from the paper backing and it was a little fussy to use.  Also, the cat was very attracted to these slender, curly strips I was trying to work with.  It was worth the fuss, and I got better at it, and it really made the zippers go in easily.  I will use it again.

Pillows greenMistakes:  The red and green strips showed through the Kona Snow.  I only noticed this after the tops were quilted.  They were actual strings, with frayed edges.  In the future, I will trim these edges and check the pieced top carefully for any seams that are showing through.  Live and learn.

Urbana-20121208-00514Also, I’m used to shaping the corners of pillow covers by trimming 1/2″ from each corner, tapered on back to the middle on each side.  This works great with home dec covers to keep the points on the corners from being too “pointy” and sticking out.  I think it was the fact that these covers were quilted that caused this not to work so great. They’re just a little wonky, but look fine on the couch.  Next time I will just sew them square.  These covers were sewn right sides together, then machine bound like a quilt.  I much prefer this to covering cording, inserting it, then turning the pillows, which I’ve done for years.  I like this method and this look.

Pillows red and greenNot a mistake:  Even though I pre-wash all my fabric, I still thought that all that red and white could be trouble.  I washed the covers with two Color Catchers, and I’m very glad I did.  I have six nice clean pillows and two very pink Color catchers.

Pillow green insideSo my living room looks better for Christmas.  What are you working on for yourself?

I’ll go ahead and link this up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

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Sunday Stash Report- That time already?

Don’t know where this week went.  I guess a lot of time was spent with the television looking at Hurricane Sandy, before, during, and now after.  Lot of misery and cold going on out there.  And, of course, the campaign coverage, Presidential visit here (I didn’t go), and lots of discussion going on.

Anyway, not enough sewing to effect the stash.  I used about 4 yards to make this top, but I’ll count it when it’s all finished, maybe tomorrow.

This week: 0 yds. added,  0 yds. used

YTD:  +114 yds., -192.5 yds.

Used 2012: 77.5 yds.

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times.

Here’s to a more productive week, but I’m sure there will be election drama, too.

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Quilt Fabric on the Hoof, er, on the Plant!

It was unseasonably cold when we left Ohio Monday morning, and we passed many frosty fields.  When we arrived in Missouri, the fields again looked frosty, but they turned out to be frosted with ripe cotton.  We have traveled in cotton country before, but never in the fall.

I’m used to corn lining the roads at home, but here and all through Arkansas, there were acres and acres of cotton in various stages of harvest.

In some fields, the effects of the drought were evident, with sparse crops.

Still, they seemed to be harvesting a lot, some in these huge rectangular bales, and some in large round bales that were each wrapped in bright yellow plastic.  Rail cars waited on sidings and trucks hauled bales around.

When we stopped to take these pictures, I felt the “lint” on the plants.  It reminded me of wool:  soft and a little greasy.  Of course, I was thinking about all the quilt fabric this could produce, but I forgot that cotton seed meal and oil are important parts of the crop.  Anyway, this is one of the places where our beautiful fabric gets its start!