Monday, March 18, 2013

String Piecing

I have a bunch of strips and scraps left over. The natural fit is....string pieced blocks!  Looks like baby will get a quilt, also.  Or, at least, that's my good intention.

Simple diagonal foundation pieced blocks, nine inches square. I want the finished block to be 8 inches square, so I have a little wiggle room to square the blocks up.

I'm throwing in some strips of solids from the fat quarter pack I purchased at JoAnn.

The foundation is a 9-inch square of muslin. I had found the muslin at JoAnn in the remnant bin, and purchased it because I figured I needed at least one piece of scrap fabric for testing out the machine and the stitches.  I found a good use for it!

I don't have rotary cutting supplies here at my parents' house and I really don't want to buy a whole set. (It's bad enough I bought a machine just for the 6 weeks I'm here!) The foundation squares were cut with a cardboard template. I used Dad's right angle from his carpentry supplies and drew the shape on the the top of a shirt box. Then I cut it out. To make the muslin squares, I traced each square on the fabric with a pencil and cut it out by hand. The remnant was super wide, and I could draw 16 squares on it.

I'm not sure how many blocks I'll get from the scraps. The number will determine the setting for the quilt top. If I get all 16, I'm thinking a 7x4 block straight setting with 4 rows of blocks alternating with 3 rows of white.

These blocks are crazy fun to make! And, they don't have to be precise, another bonus!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One little, two little, three little burp cloths

Sung to the tune of the children's song: "One little; two little; three little Indians..."

One little, two little, three little burp cloths:

The Modern Collection

Four little, five little, six little burp cloths:

The Whimsy Collection

Seven little, eight little, nine little burp cloths! Ten little burp cloths for bay--bee!

The Princess Collection

Construction Notes

As I said in my previous post, I got the idea to make these from Carla at Lollyquilts blog. I screwed up and didn't even realize that there was a difference between prefolded and non folded cloth diapers. Prefolded, as Carla used, cost a dollar more, so I got the cheaper ones. Who knew prefolded actually are made differently?? Not me.

I did not want to return my diapers, which were basically rectangles of cheesecloth-like weave of fabric, so I simply folded them in thirds, then in half. I zigzagged around the edges to seal the layers. With 6 layers of cloth, I figured they'd be absorbent enough for the job.

Then I decorated the edges using the scraps I had purchased.

Using Ribbon

I concealed the edges of the fabric appliqué using ribbon, much like Carla did. I wanted to use up ribbon I'm finding around my parents' house, and I pulled the ribbon from Mom's copious collection of gift wrapping supplies (I swear, I have uncovered at least 10 boxes of bows, wrapping paper, and ribbon! Geez, Mom!) Most of the ribbon was not suitable for sewing, but I found about 10 spools of fiber ribbon in different colors. I tested them to make sure they wouldn't melt when ironed. I also avoided wire-edged ribbon. We don't want baby to get poked!!

Not all of the ribbon worked great, but heck, baby's going to spit up on them. Doesn't need to be impeccable...just washable.

Project Burpcloth

The limited fabric selections and scrap sizes, and the uncoordinated ribbon colors made for a creative design challenge. Since I know several sewing techniques, I was challenged to apply them for interesting designs. You can see a couple of patchwork pieced designs, decorative stitching, and fancy embellishment (ruffle).

The most complicated was the one in the Princess collection in the lower left. I made two gathered ruffles out of a  folded-over strip of the princess-themed fabric and sewed it down. Nice and girly!

The biggest design challenge was the patchwork in the Whimsy collection. Nothing looked right to edge it. I ended up buying a pack of fat quarters in solids at Joann's and made simple fold over binding out of the dark gray.

The top one in the Modern collection was a lot of fun. I used a decorative stitch over a thin plain white ribbon in  contrasting thread color to add visual interest.

Thanks for looking! Now off to the post office to mail to the lucky little one.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's a long story...

I find myself in Charlottesville Virginia on a 6-week leave from work, caring for my elderly father who has had a health crisis. He's in a rehab hospital and he is getting better, but it's slow. The family has "taken over" and we are gearing up to sell the house and move Dad someplace safer.

To maintain my mental health, I need to create. I expected to play with my mother's old Kenmore, but I arrived to find it had been donated! Woe is me! Ultimately, we would have donated it, I just didn't think it would be gone already. Dad hadn't been very motivated to clean out the house on his own, so I was surprised he had taken it to Goodwill.

It's gone, but I still have a need. What to do?

It has been said: a credit card can solve a lot of problems. So, I bought a cheapie:

It makes a decent straight stitch and does 24 other stitches. Good enough! Now I need stuff to sew. What's a good project?

There is a new baby in the family and, uh, that's another a long story. At first I wanted to make a baby quilt when I saw this pattern at the Moda Bake Shop. However, no shops seem to have the Moda Honeycombs pre-cuts yet.

Then, Carla from Lollyquiltz posted about the burpcloths she's making for her new grandchild. What a great idea!  I went down to Cottonwood Quilt Shop and found a scrap bag filled with delightful girly prints (the new baby is a girl). Perfect!

Cottonwood is a delightful shop in Charlottesville at Barrack's Rd. Definitely worth a stop of you are in the Charlottesville/Central piedmont of Virginia area.

Spotted at Cottonwood: the Zigzagged Quilt pattern by Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio. The proprietor of this company is in the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. Yeah Shea!!