Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Solstice Stars -  Work in Progress
Star of Mystery 
After a Holiday weekend long pinterest fest, I was inspired. 

So I used the Holiday to be creative. No sandwiching and finishing quilts that have been languishing in a bin for me. I started Fresh Lemon's Solstice Stars. I tackled a paper pieced star today which took quite a while. I love that it came out pretty sharp, but I still find paper piecing to be pretty stressful.

Another Star
Faith's tutorials are great though: and by the time I had pieced the 3rd side of the outer section of  the Star of Mystery I was in a groove.  I do love Faith's instructions. 

My  biggest take-home lesson was to slow down, take the time to lay out all the pieces, and really "see" them, before starting to sew: Much more pleasing and no seams to rip out when you've planned what you are doing. 

Ribbon Star
My small cutting board turns out to be perfect for carrying the parts to the sewing machine after a final trimming. 

Non Whirling Dervish
So here they are: 4 Solstice Stars, one modification of one of Faiths Six Point String Star and a take off on Becca's Whirling Dervish mini quilt, all more or less 12.5 inches square. These last two need were definitely a practice run and need a repeat to get them right. All material is scrap batiks from my stash.

We'll see what the weekend brings. I still have one more paperpieced star to try and then figure out a layout and how many stars I need to make that:

The blocks are actually straighter than they look, I need to stand on a chair to shoot straight down, so the photos aren't at an angle.
String-pieced equilateral stars
Might be my favorite.
Two-color Star

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Portrait Quilt
This is a project my husband and I did together a while back for a friend's Big birthday. He adapted a photo in Photoshop, simplifying the image and turning it into blocks of color. He then printed out the image, cut up the shapes for patterns, then we cut up fabric, layered and fused the pieces down and stitched very close to the raw edges. The fabrics were batiks in honor of our Indonesian friend.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

little kitchen projects

It's been forever since I've posted, but then no one but me ever reads my posts. I've been lurking, looking at all those wonderful projects on Amanda Jean's Finish It up Fridays, getting lots of inspiration. These days most of my creative energy has
gone to making little things for grandbabies, and they outgrow them before they are worn out.

Here is my first post holiday project: a couple mug rugs and bowl-holders for microwaving your lunch: 8 nickel squares with narrow seams or two 10 inch squares, padded with a bit of cotton batting and shaped with darts. So easy and they keep your fingers from getting scorched trying to pick up a hot bowl from the microwave. They've made great gifts. We saw these in the New England Quilt Museum this Christmas, came home and found the pattern/tutorial on Etsy. The bright colors are a new set from Moda. The African prints are from my stash.

From one of the Finish It Up posts, I saw a dishmat with quilted top and towel backing. This is made from left overs from other quilts. While I am not satisfied with how rumply it is, as the towel won't lie flat, it's great to have extra space for draining dishes when cleaning up after a party.

Then I saw quilted covers for mixers and since I had lots of strips and scraps of batiks in these colors, I decided I needed one of these too. Took a bit of time to figure out the size but tonight I downloaded the Downton Abbey episode I missed Sunday night and turned the pieced strips into a finished product. Now my mixing bowl won't be full of crumbs when I am ready to bake and almost all my green and orange batiks are used up.

So here, I am going to try to link up with Amanda Jean's Finish it Up Friday and see if I can join the quilting world on the web.