Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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Log Cabin Finish

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This quilt has been a while in the making, but it’s all finished now.  I completed the blocks in the middle of July, 2013, and put the top together sometime this winter.  Then I quilted it during the Quilts of Valor Sew-In and Sports Ball Sew-In this past weekend.  Monday I added a bright blue binding that I think is perfect.

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This quilt is all made from stash.  The red “chimneys” are 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ patches from my bins.  The “logs” are all strings, except for the wolf and owl fabric.  This seemed like a good use for it, except that their eyes do stare at you!

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This is being donated to Quilts of Valor, so I was planning a quick job on the quilting.  I stabilized it by quilting in the ditch between all the blocks using Bottom Line thread.

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Then I marked a wavy line down either side of the columns and rows of blocks (I think straight lines would have looked odd on these really wonky cabins), and switched to a medium blue Masterpiece thread so the stitches would show more.  I used the walking foot, thinking I would sew on the marking and a line on either side.  I found I wanted to add one more line in each area (24 extra trips across the quilt), and that came close to catching every strip of fabric in at least a bit of quilting.

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The plan was to quilt a star outline in each red patch, but, again, that didn’t seem like enough, so I stippled around all thirty-five of them.  I’m really happy with the effect.  It has enough quilting, and the waves make a nice effect as they undulate across the surface.

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As always, I enjoyed sewing with the #Twilters and others who joined us for Super Bowl weekend.  The QOV Sew-In was very quiet by comparison, at least on Twitter.  Maybe Facebook and Instagram were more chatty.  I also got the idea folks were sewing in groups, so they had plenty of live company.  Maybe they got more done than those of us who sew with one hand and tweet with the other all day!  I won a prize from QOV, so I’m not complaining.

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This will be heading off to Heather as soon as I get finished looking at it hanging over my stair railing!

What have you finished?  I’m linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


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A Bright Quilt in the Snow

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Yesterday I put a bright blue binding on this very Bright quilt.  After washing, I took photos of it in the 9ºF weather.  I waited for some lovely late afternoon light, but it was a quick shoot and this is all you’re getting, so enjoy!  (No cats were harmed in the photographing of this quilt.  They all had the sense to stay inside.)

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What started as playing around with some strings that don’t fit into other color schemes evolved into quite a project, but the results are good.   I think it says something about my former taste in color that I had this many  garish very bright scraps, let alone enough brilliant fabrics to piece the back.

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I still love color, but not quite as saturated as these prints.  This wasn’t a planned slow quilt, but each design decision along the way led to another.  I set the bright strings off with 2″ strips of black prints and black Kona solid.  I’m really happy with the visual interest from the black prints.  Then I sashed it with black Kona.   It was beginning to resemble a vintage crazy quilt.  Then the border needed to be black, but not all black, so I pieced in these bright triangles from scraps I had set aside for another project.

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Nice effect, but still too much black, so I quilted wavy lines through the sashing using a purple/teal heavy cotton Sulky thread.  I cut basic patterns for paisleys for the border, then free-motioned the details using Superior’s “Lava” in purple/teal/lime.

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Each corner is different, and I tucked a few surprises into the little ones on the sides.  Each block has a basic paisley surrounded by stippling.  Marking was tricky, because of the contrast in color.

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First, I cut sticky templates from Contact Paper, and tried to sew around them.  That worked, except this large (60 x 84″) quilt scrunched around a lot, and the template wanted to come off.  What worked best was to stick the shapes to each block, then trace around them alternating washable marker with white mechanical pencil.  Then I started experimenting with threads.  Thin black Bottom Line was invisible on the black stripes, but too harsh on the prints.  Regular invisible thread was fine on the prints, but too shiny on the black.  I settled on smoke colored invisible thread.  It’s visible on some of the prints but very unobtrusive, and blends well into the black, with just a little shine.  So this was a quilt for experimenting and learning.  And lots of ripping.  And it works now that it’s finished.

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What I would do differently:  use a black batting.  I totally spaced on that.  I guess that I seldom make dark quilts.  It looks fine for now, I just hope it doesn’t beard down the road.  It did cause me to vacuum my studio, which is always a good thing.

Hope you accomplished as much as you wanted this week.  I’m linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

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One Gift Finished

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This week I finished the green and white quilt I’ve been working on for my DS, who attends Marshall University.  It’s a nine-patch, so, really, it sewed up fairly quickly.  I just got a bit tired of green.

 

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Marshall has changed their green over the years.  It’s currently a shade brighter than kelly (emerald?), but at a game one sees every shade, from hunter to this current bright green. So I just rummaged through my 3 1/2″ scraps and my green bin to find a variety of greens that don’t go together at all, but seem to get along in this quilt.  These may be my last pieces of the chartreuse and teal Mirror Ball Dot.  The white is mainly Basic Gray Grunge, with some white, snow, and the odd bit of Fairy Frost.

 

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The backing came from Kelly of SewmuchfunWV  on Etsy (and has a different green from any on the front!).

 

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So that’s one of my December goals finished, and I’m making good headway on another (which I won’t be showing before Christmas!)  See what everyone’s finishing over at Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

 


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Chevrons is Finished!

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The snow made a nice backdrop for this quilt.  I seemed to plod along on it, but it was worth it.

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50″ x 66″

Cotton prints, solids, and batiks.

Warm and white batting

Superior Bottom Line, Art Studio, and New Brites threads.

 

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I try to do something more or different every time with my feathers.  These have a double spine and echoing.  That really gives them some definition.

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Today we’re remembering Nelson Mandela, and the difference one person can make in the world.

 

Snow is falling rapidly here.  The schools are closed, so that makes this a Sew Day, doesn’t it?  Time to work on Christmas gifts.  What have you finished?

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

 


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Pink and Green Cabins

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I finished this quilt and finally found a pleasant day for photographing it.

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It’s a big throw, 60″ x 82″.  I blogged more about making it here. 

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I know fabric is fabric, and the last inch costs the same as the first, but somehow a quilt made entirely out of strings seems like a dividend.

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I quilted it with diagonal lines using the walking foot.  I used pink and green Superior “Living Colors” and “Nature’s Colors” threads.

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I’d love to see what you’ve finished.

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


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Oh My Stars: Two Finishes!

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Here is the first of my two finishes from this project.  I love the fabrics and the minty green background (Kona “Mint”!).  This one has lots of crinkly texture from all the stippling.   I don’t have too many UFOs, but this one has been nagging me, and I’m glad it’s finished, and in time for Christmas.

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This project came from “Oh My Stars! ( a Quilt-Along)” by Sheila of Thought and Found.  She organized this almost exactly two years ago, and she did a great job offering twelve different versions of Sawtooth Star.  I never intended to make all the very detailed versions with my large-scale Christmas fabric.  I stuck with four of the simplest, and I’m happy with the result.  Some quilters did amazing things with this pattern, though.  Check out the Flickr group to see some.

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This first quilt measures 52″ x 72″.  I quilted all the blocks in the ditch, and stitched the diamond design into the plain blocks.  In the border, I quilted 8″ and 4″ Sawtooth Stars, and stippled everything else in the green background.  That was a lot of stippling, and I was glad it was finished.  The texture is great, but it’s not very original.

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The backing for both quilts is a busy green print from my mom’s stash.  I had in mind all this time that it had stylized Christmas trees on it, but they’re just triangles.  Looks good, anyway.

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The second version had a few problems.  I needed more Kona solid for the borders and to fill in the empty spaces.  I like the effect of the extra space in the design.  Unfortunately, when the Kona came, it was not the same color as the original.  As a sometime knitter, I know all about buying enough of a dye lot for a project,  but I hoped that Kaufmann had it down to a science.  Also, it seemed a little thinner than the original.  The difference doesn’t show much in these outdoor pictures, but under artificial light it’s pretty noticeable.  Not awful.  I did arrange it carefully, and hope it looks like a design decision.

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Then I made the decision to quilt the feather border using a red, green, gold metallic thread.  I can’t blame Sulky for the problems I had with this.  This thread is really old (and I still have a spool and a half!), and seems to have sort of formed to the spool.  My machine does very well with all kinds of threads, and I did a test first and had no issues.  The thread didn’t behave too badly for the spine and first side of the feather border.  It seemed like the farther I got into the spool, the worse it got.  It stuck to itself and seemed rough in the machine.  I found that if I manually pulled off a few lengths of thread first, I could sew a few feathers, but there was still breakage.

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That, and Yuri’s interest in this process, didn’t make for very smooth feathers.  I thought this might be a job for Sewer’s Aid lubricant, but my JoAnn had never heard of it.  In desperation, I took the spool to the garage and gave it a good spray with a can of silicone showing pictures of cars and boats.  Wha la!  Magic!  Sewed like a dream.  Wish I had done it when it first started acting up.

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Anyway, this one is quilted all over (in Bottom Line – no problems there!) in a four-sided feather design on every twelve inch block or group of blocks.

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It shows better in the empty spaces.  I really think this is a much more interesting effect, and the border turned out okay after all the drama.  This is my favorite of the two (also voted on Twitter!), and it’s staying home to be my sofa quilt this Christmas.  It’s 48″ x 72″.  Krissi really liked the first one, but I don’t think she’ll notice.

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These two jokers were lots of help.  Kind of takes the “free motion” out of free motion quilting!

I’m sighing with satisfaction and linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

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Two Finishes

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Here are two little baby quilts I finished yesterday.  Both are aqua and gray, very popular colors.

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I finally got these log cabin blocks oriented correctly.  You might have said something after Wednesday’s post, or did you think it was something artsy I was doing?  I found two to fix after that post, but I didn’t see the last block till I had it sandwiched.  Fortunately, it was in a corner, so it wasn’t too bad to un-sew and re-sew.  If you spot a problem now, please don’t tell me.

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This one with the chevrons was more of a minty aqua, and hard to photograph.  I like it, though, and I had fun doing the feathers.  I even remembered to add extra batting to the gray areas when I sandwiched it, so the feathers pop more.  The odd triangles are seersucker, and the texture is  great.

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I like the flying geese backing.

These are smaller than I usually make, 30″ x 36″, which I still think is a useful size.  Usually, mine are around 36″ x 42″.  What do you think is the ideal size for a baby quilt?

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