I learned to quilt the old fashioned way — tracing templates onto fabric, cutting out the shapes with scissors and then stitching them together by hand. While I have since learned to machine piece and quilt (it was really rather necessary if I wanted to finish more than five or six quilts in my lifetime), I still enjoy working on hand projects.
In the last week or so, I was itching to do some English paper piecing, but didn’t want to work on my giant hexies, which are in the sew together stage. I decided to print out some hexagon paper piecing patterns online. I pulled out some scraps and have been working on them a few nights here and there as I chill in bed, surf online and watch TV.
I’ve really been enjoying working on these! These hexies are a half-inch on each side. They’re small, but not too small. I definitely have been thinking more of making a little mini quilt or a wallhanging. I have been known to take on some ridiculous craft projects in my life, but I don’t think I’d ever be crazy enough to attempt a bed-size quilt of half-inch hexagons.
The first time I laid them out, here was the result. I obviously hadn’t been making the same number of each color!
The next time I tried laying them out, wow! I loved the effect (even though I was annoyed I forgot all the turquoise ones). Forgetting that row wasn’t enough of an annoyance to lay them out again that evening, however.
Next up, I tried little flowers. The first quilt I ever finished was a traditional grandmother’s flower garden quilt, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down this route again. But oh, these little flowers are so cute. I’m not sure if the petals are too scrappy, though.
So, at this stage, I’m torn. I like both options. What do you think?
I’ve been doing lots of little bits of projects here and there, including organizing some of my scraps, but I really haven’t finished many actual projects lately. Luckily, I’ve at least finished this little Kindle cover.
I love the cute little owl fabric I planned the design around; I think it’s from a bundle of Japanese fabric scraps I bought on Etsy quite a while ago.
I don’t normally use brown fabric very much (ever), so it was kind of nice to make use of some of the brown and rust scraps I have in my stash (most were left overs other people gave me). Since this is the third Kindle cover I’ve worked on, I’m starting to figure out some easier ways to put them together and a better idea of what size is perfect to trim the panels to.
This is the first one I’ve made that uses a flap and Velcro to close it. I have previously had issues getting Velcro sewn onto items cleanly, so I tried a new Velcro that is adhesive and made for fabrics. The package says it can be washed and closed/opened more than 1,000 times. Obviously I have not put that claim to the test, but so far, so good.
The lining even looks (almost) perfect inside! It’s always satisfying to work out a design for something that turns out like you want it to!
Last weekend I got to spend a day at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. It was so amazing and inspirational. I took a TON of photos … hopefully I’ll get some of them posted soon!
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Christy was in need of a pillow to rest her feet on at work. So.. Da dada daaa!! Jim to the rescue!!
I added some eyeholes for ribbon to be threaded through for her to tie the pillow to a crate for a custom footrest.
Happy resting honey!
— Salty Jim
Our apartment has an Eastern exposure which we love;however there is a small issue with the early morning sun coming through our window.
I had been rigging a temporary curtain to block it, but took it down every day. Christy wanted me to show it, but it was way too ugly for me to post here. Needless to say I wanted to fix the problem more elegantly. I decided to quilt a window covering.
Christy and I decided on white with green and purple blocks. Here’s the first block coming together. As i progressed I decided on a layout on our design wall.
Finally I got it pieced and layered. Initially I was going to use straps to hang the shade as you can see from this pre-quilted photo, but I didn’t like the look of the straps.
Christy is doing the hand sewing on the binding so I will wait to show you the finished product and tell you about the hanging solution we came up with when it’s done.
— Salty Jim
I’ve currently been working on making a couple of quilted Kindle covers as gifts and I thought I’d write about the first one I made a while ago.
While sorting through some of my quilting and crafting photos, I found a series I took when I was in the planning stage of my Kindle sleeve. As you’ll understand when you see the photos, I totally cracked up when I saw the photo of the (gigantic) fabric pile I put together for this (really small) project.
I decided to feature a fussy-cut piece of a cool typewriter fabric and use pink, turquoise and gray as my main colors. As you may have noticed, I pulled quite a bit of fabric for a project that’s about the size of a small book. I always seem to do this for every project: find it completely necessary to go through a big portion of my fabric stash and pull any fabrics that might work, way overestimating what I will actually use. It’s not really shown here, but I also like to go through my scraps and do the same, so in this instance, very little of the above fabric actually made the final cut. If it’s not obvious, I love the planning stage, especially picking out fabrics.
I made the front and back panels into improvisational pieced log cabins and then quilted them with a loopy squiggle. For the closure, I just used a fuchsia ponytail holder and a button.
This project uses some of my favorite fabrics: polka dots and anything with letters. It was a lot of fun to make and not very time-consuming, either! When I post about the other Kindle covers I’m making, I’ll show what I’m doing the same and different, and what is working better or not as well.
Here’s yet another of my previously finished projects that was really quick and fun to make! A while ago I started a quilt-as-you-go project with wonky log cabin blocks made out of scraps. I made a few blocks but then got distracted, as I so often do.
Then I needed a gift for the daughter of a good friend of mine. Just like me as a kid (and uh, still now), Sydney loves stuffed animals. My friend often posted cute photos of her on Facebook, with Sydney’s animals being put to bed in a variety of funny locations around the house. My favorite was when a few of her animals found a bed inside her soccer shin guards. This inspired me to make her some bedding for them.
I used one of the quilt-as-you-go blocks as a mini-quilt for her animals and also made a few pillows to go along with the quilt. Since the block was already quilted, I just had to bind it and then make the pillows, although it would be a quick go-to project from start to finish as well.
I really need to make more small quilts! They are so quick to finish and also give me a chance to try out new blocks, quilting patterns and other techniques. I love the idea of having more of them hanging up around the house as decoration, too. So many ideas, not nearly enough time!
In the second installment of my bag series, I went back to the first bag I ever made. This is a cutting board tote I made for Christy.
I decided to make this after helping Christy get ready for a weekend with her quilting guild. She didn’t have anything to help carry the many rulers and flat items such as cutting boards. It was made with freestyle piecing with many sewing/quilting related fabrics.
I made the top to look like a classic yellow ruler by appliqueing some black strips to look like measurement increments.
The long pocket in the front is made to hold the long ruler and has a cute button to keep it closed.
All in all this was much easier than I though it would be to make. It was a fun project. Stay tuned for a more nerdy bag in the next installment.
— Salty Jim