I’ve been having fun making patchwork panels for some more linen placemats. I love working without a plan, and using up some of my scraps. Because I usually work with large blocks of color, I am creating a mountain of scraps. I will confess that sometimes I throw away small bits because the thought of that scrap heap gets a little overwhelming, not to mention messy. But, of course, I feel a little guilty about it. Then I read this post from Dinning Room Empire, Naptime Quilter about collecting scraps to give away to other quilty friends–such a great solution. How nice to feel generous instead of guilty!
Still, one of these days I’m going to make a scrappy quilt. While I love the idea of having a signature style–the kind where you can look at a quilt and tell who made it–I don’t want it to prevent me from trying something new. After all, half the fun of quilting is the endless variety. I am always inspired by Denyse Schmidt. She has one of the greatest signature styles out there–there is something about her fabric and color choices and compositions that makes her quilts instantly recognizable as hers even though they range from modern to more traditional. I’ve noticed that the quilters I most admire have a strong style but aren’t afraid to innovate. Katie Pedersen of Sew Katie Did is another great example: some of her quilts are made with tiny scraps and others with huge blocks of color, yet her signature style shines through in all her work. Just thinking about this makes me want to delve into my scrap heap!
I am thinking about participating in a craft show in December–I think it will be fun but I know it will be a lot of work. I realize that I’ll need some smaller items to offer, so I decided to make a test placemat using some time saving steps. I used an improvised patchwork panel–in part because I really love this style and in part because it is quick. I also tried machine stitching the binding. First, I tried a double binding that was machine stitched rather than hand stitched on the back–without success. The corners were sloppy and I couldn’t catch both sides in an even seam. Next, I tried a bias tape method following instructions in Dare to Be Square by Boo Davis. This method was much more successful for me, and it conserves fabric.
All told, this placemat took about five hours to make (including trying both binding methods). Am I insanely slow? If I make more, I know they would go much, much faster, but still! If I do the craft show it will definitely be for fun not profit.
The fabrics used are: Robert Kaufman, Yarn-Dyed Essex in flax; Kona cotton; Comma by Zen Chic; a teeny piece of Lecien Dots in large gray.
I got my email from Pink Chalk Fabrics and I was so excited to read about the new Kona colors–28 beauties! And three new shades of gray. My guild has the opportunity to exhibit quilts at Santa Fe College here in town and I’ve been mulling over some ideas. I am thinking about a sort of slice-and-dice / pick-up sticks style–with bold colors and lots of white. I haven’t abandoned the idea of entering a double wedding ring quilt in the NYC Metro Modern Quilt Guild challenge. How far away that December deadline seemed this summer! Hmm, I’m also thinking about applying to be a vendor at a craft show in December. I would need to make some small items like mini quilts, coasters, placemats. I know I can’t do all these projects but these lovely solids are inspiring! I can think of so many things to make!
What are you thinking about making?
This quilt is a modern interpretation of an Amish bars quilt, and it turned out almost exactly like my original paper sketch. The colors remind me of California–sunny and laid back–and I think the organic shapes of the bars keep the design from feeling rigid. I debated about using a patterned binding. As much as I love solids, it didn’t work to pick up one of the colors from the bars, and I couldn’t find a good contrasting color–but the Yuwa aqua honeycomb seemed just right. With the pared down design, this little touch of pattern adds some fun without being fussy. Plus this fabric is so soft and silky it really adds to the drapey texture of this quilt. The backing fabric is Cloud Nine Simpatico in Peachy Straws–which is a lovely organic fabric.
I am adding this quilt to my Etsy shop!
At last, here is the finished framed star quilt! I went with aqua binding, and I think it adds a nice cheerful touch. Binding is almost my favorite part of quilting. I love how it pulls a finished quilt together and I really enjoy the hand stitching. I started out crafting as a knitter and sometimes I miss sitting on the couch and working on a project. I bound this quilt while watching the US Open round of 16–perfect.
I am very happy to be linking up with SwimBikeQuilt 100 Quilts for Kids and–more importantly–to be donating this quilt to Peaceful Paths. This organization in Gainesville, Florida, (my hometown) provides support to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.