Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Scrappy Friendship Quilt Top

I’ve named this my Scrappy Friendship quilt.  It’s a description of how it was made, but it also describes friendships.  We all want to offer our best – all the time – and often we do.  Yet sometimes all we have to contribute are scraps, and true friendship accepts scraps and turns them into something beautiful.  We shouldn’t withhold our offering because we don’t think it’s good enough; friendship is offering and accepting what we have, knowing it will be helpful and appreciated.  Scrap quilts are the same, and so it is with this one.

I have one friend who likes collaborative quilting projects.  She got a half dozen of us together to pool our scraps and sew some quilts.

For our collaborative scrap project, we each brought 24 squares of fabric, 5″ square, to use as the beginning of the block.  Some of us brought solid fabric scraps; some of us prints.  We set up our sewing machines in one room and each of us took someone’s stack of 5″ squares.  We pulled a scrap from our own bag without worrying about matching or coordinating, and sewed it to one side of the square.  Trim and press, and pass the blocks to the next person.  In this way, we added to each other’s squares to make an improv block that was unique.

We devoted two different evenings to our blocks, and then each of us took our blocks home, decided on the final size of the blocks, and finished the quilt.  This meant trimming a little or adding a few more strips, and in my case, making one more block so I could have a 5×5 layout.  I had my blocks finish at 15″ square for a 75″ quilt.  If you’re looking for a fun sewing project to do with friends, I recommend this idea.  It’s also a great way to force yourself to try some improv and not worry about contolling the outcome, which is a good practice in creativity.

When I see these blocks I see my friends.  I see their styles and tastes, and I think about how much they push me to be better.  They do it for me in my quilting, and they do it for me in life.  I am grateful to have a quilt with all of our fabric scraps thrown together.

 

Mod Christmas Lone Star quilt top

Christmas seemed a lovely theme for a Mod Lone Star quilt.  I’ve been fond of stars all my life, and especially love them during the holidays, as they remind me of the sign of the Savior’s birth.  “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him …. and, lo, the star … went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”  (Matthew 2: 2, 9-10)

I’m pleased to have completed this quilt top before Christmas.  I enjoyed selecting prints from my fabric stash to make it, using a variety of greens and reds and adding some black for fun.  I was curious how the light round of diamonds would look in the center part of the star and I love the effect it creates.  A sheet music print seemed appropriate for the background as a subtle reminder of the many Christmas hymns I love.  When quilted, this will be a welcome addition to our pile of quilts used daily during the holidays.

What a beautiful time of year it is.  I love this Christmas season, but find it’s not as simple as I’d like it to be.  There is so much more to do than I usually manage to accomplish, and if I’m not careful I can get discouraged about falling short of my expectations.  Yet the holiday will come and it will all be great – especially if I choose to accept what does get done and let go of what doesn’t.  In the remaining days I hope to really center my heart on what I’m celebrating, to look for the light, to be present in my interactions, and feel reverence for all I’ve been blessed with.

Relevant links:
Mod Lone Star Pattern
Lone Star tutorial page

I hope your holiday season is full of memorable moments and that the end of your to-do list is near. Merry Christmas!
Love,
Jennifer

 

Santa’s Garden: Rescuing an old project

Years ago, before I learned to sew, I enjoyed embroidery.  One year I spent many hours working on a large embroidery project called Santa’s Garden.  In spite of my lack of sewing skills I finished it and used it as a wall-hanging in our home.  When we moved, I no longer had a good place to hang it and by then I didn’t want to hang it because it was finished so poorly.  Soooo, it’s been sitting in a box for about 12 years.  Last year I unpacked it and removed the backing and ugly borders (I never even quilted it because I didn’t know how) and decided that I still like the large embroidery.

This year I’m slowly working to turn it into a functional quilt, large enough to be enjoyed by my family.  My inspiration is the State Flowerscape quilt I made earlier this year.  So far I’ve added two simple borders.  They are narrow on the sides of the panel and wider at top and bottom.  The first red border is the last of an older, more traditional Christmas floral that I bought when I first started quilting.  The second is the awesome, very modern stripe by Victoria Findlay Wolfe that I can’t get enough of.  I’m excited to use a variety of fabrics in this project.

Santa, his wagon and the trees are unfinished.  I used something like Heat & Bond to fuse them with an iron years ago, so when I quilt this there will need to be some special attention given to these pieces.  I’ve never done something like that before.  I do love the embroidery though, the silly reindeer and the “north bean pole.”

The mistletoe and poinsettia patches are probably my favorite part of the entire piece.  I hope that I can use lots of color to liven up this rather neutral piece as I add more borders, and make it feel fresh and new even though it’s an old project I couldn’t bring myself to discard.

Have you ever done something like this?  Styles and crafting come and go, and we get rid of a lot over the years.  But something I love about Christmas is that when I unpack the decorations, sweet memories come pouring out along with these pieces I’ve had for years.  The books, the nativities, the ornaments, most of it has been in my home for years and I like the feeling of greeting old friends when we decorate for the holiday.  I like the fondness my children have for various pieces.  For me, it adds to the feeling of Christmas.  So I hope I’ll succeed in making this embroidery project a happy part of our traditional decor.

The question is, what to add next?  I’m thinking a couple of rows of trees might be fun.  I guess I’ll see where the creative process takes me!

I hope, in the craziness of this holiday season, you’re able to work on something that brings you joy, if only for a few minutes.

Jennifer

1 2 3 4 93