Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Managing Scraps: Me Made Low Volume Fabric

Sewing creates scraps.  It’s the way life goes.  My scraps were getting out of hand recently so I sorted them into two categories:  colors and low volume.  I’m trying a new approach to managing scraps.

I put all my low volume scraps into on bin regardless of shape or size.  It sits on my sewing table and when I have 15 minutes I sew pieces together randomly to make “me made fabric.”

I set several creative goals this year and one was to sew for 15 minutes every day.  If I don’t have time or energy to get my brain into another project, I can sit down and sew scraps together without a plan.

I don’t measure my “me made low volume fabric” when I sew it together, but most of them are about the size of a fat quarter when I finish.  I use scraps of all sizes for variety and interest.  And to save time.  I also add a few bright colors here and there just for fun.

These will be fun to cut up and use in a quilt someday.  I’m excited to keep making them until my low volume bin is empty, which might take a long time!

Or perhaps I’ll use them as background for a scrappy applique quilt.  I have so many leftover pieces from my Carolyn Friedlander projects that a scrappy applique project might be in my future.

What do you do with your scraps?  I have a good friend who throws all of them away so she doesn’t have to worry about them.  I like them too much for that!  This method of managing scraps has been fun for me.  I’m finding it to be relaxing, productive, and creative.  It keeps me sewing regularly, and that’s a very good thing!

Sweet Dreams – an unfinished lone star

I am enjoying sewing my Lone Star Tree Skirt along with many of you, and filming it has been a lot of fun.  One result, however, has been guilt over an unfinished lone star project I have.  After I released my Mod Lone Star pattern, I started another one in Anna Maria Horner’s Sweet Dreams fabrics. Life intervened and I put my carefully cut strips of diamonds in a box.

I got them out this week and sewed them together into diamonds.  I can’t remember which print I intended to put in the center, so I am testing the diamonds in both directions.  This is something I like to do every time I make a lone star, just to see what the star would look like both ways.  Nearly half of the time I end up sewing the star together opposite from how I planned it!

I like the purple in the second round of diamonds above.  It really stands out.  It’s interesting to see what the fabrics look like together at a distance compared to the greater contrast they seem to have up close (below).

Up close it looks like I have a great variety, but when I removed the color I learned that most of the fabrics are medium in value.  I have very little light and dark in this star.

That’s not a bad thing, especially since my goal was to work in a narrow color scheme.  But it’s an interesting lesson in value.  How does it look with the yellow points in the center?

I like this layout because each round of diamonds in the middle seem to stand out more.  I like the light pink.

The value is still mostly mediums in both layouts and there is no right or wrong choice.  I took a photo of both options below.  You can see how the value will be different with each option.

Either way, this quilt is going to be beautiful.  I want to participate in the Anna Maria Horner sew along on Instagram (#AMHsewalong). Sewing this star together will be a great way to do it.  It’s also making me wonder what it would look like to applique on top of the star….

What do you think?  Would you choose the yellow/gold center or the purple?

Happy Sewing,
Jennifer

Light Quilt

Last year I shared the story and process behind the making of my Light quilt top and today I’m here to share the finished quilt.  It took me a year and a deadline to summon the courage to quilt this myself.  I was afraid I’d ruin it.  Afraid I’d diminish it’s beauty.

I was wrong.  I simply finished it’s story.

The part of the quilt that intimidated me most was the large area in the middle of the quilt.  Mostly white and largely negative space, I had no idea what to do with it.  Then I quilted my Botanics Quilt and realized I could use the same approach here, so I went to work.

I worked my way from section to section, pushing myself to be brave even if my lines looked wobbly.

In some cases I followed the pattern on the fabric or the seams.  Everywhere else I tried to “freehand” some “straight” lines.  I’ve seen this called organic straight line quilting and I love the way the word organic covers for all the flaws.  The quilting on my Light Quilt is very organic.

Now the quilt is out of the closet, finished and useful.  It hung in the Garden of Quilts a few weeks ago.  What pushed me to finish in time was the chance to showcase my friends and their combined work.

I look at it and marvel that they made something so beautiful for me.  While my quilting is not as good as their design and piecing, it is part of my journey and growth as a quilter.  I decided there is nothing wrong with having quilts that tell the story of the journey.

Even with the mistakes it’s awfully pretty to look at.  Like the Botanics quilt, I’m finding this style of quilting to be very forgiving while motivating me to improve.

The quilt is huge.  It measures approximately 73″ x 96″ and is the largest quilt I’ve done such dense quilting on myself.

I started with that sunburst block above and Jill finished with a perfect fade from light to dark at the bottom.

I had big plans for my label but ran out of time to embroider all of it so part of the information is just written in Sharpie.  Their names are on the quilt and that’s what matters most.

The making, the message, and the friendships captured in this quilt make it a treasure to me.  I am more blessed than I deserve!

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