Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back to the old sewing room

I've been a on a bit of a sewing kick, partly because of my latest bout of tendonitis. I'm not positive that knitting aggravates it, but why take chances? So off the sewing room I went.  After several test layouts, I put together the Christmas sampler.

It wasn't easy.  I had trouble deciding on the alternate block design, and none of the neutrals in the stash looked right with the background fabric. The blocks were made in 2004, so the local shops didn't have it and I couldn't find it online.  Luckily, I'm a member of the biggest quilt guild in northeast Ohio.  I send a picture out the guild members and someone forwarded it the second biggest guild in the area. I actually heard from a couple of people who had enough for my purposes.

 In hindsight, I think I should have put a small border of the background around each of the blocks, so that they didn't run into the alternate blocks like some of them do.  Also, looking at the picture, I think I should have put triangles of the print in the outer corners, since those big open places look kind of weird to me.  But as the Dear Jane motto goes, "Finished is better than perfect," and it's only a Christmas quilt after all.  I'll only have to look at it a few weeks a year.

All quilts need a backing and I had 10 Christmas blocks that I got from an online block exchange in 1994 (!) that needed to be used.  There were supposed to be 12 of them, but a couple of people were slackers and didn't send theirs.  They sat in my sewing room all these years because I didn't know what to do with them.  Here's what I came up with: 

Most of the fabrics I used on the back were in my stash.  The only one I bought was the peppermint candy print in the middle. I just didn't have a red-on-white print that I liked for that section. 

I could have made two quilts, but who needs two Christmas quilts, really? At any rate, it's off to the quilter and should be back sometime next month, I think.

When the Christmas quilt was done, I turned my attention to these little guys. 

There are 500 of these units here
I pulled a bunch blue, green, purple and white fabrics from my scrap and fat quarter bins and started cutting.  When I was sewing, trimming and pressing them, I thought I'd gone a little overboard.  There are enough pieces there to make a full size quilt without borders.  If I put borders on it, I could make bed quilt and a baby quilt.  There are about a dozen ways to arrange these units, but I'm thinking of a pinwheel design.  I'll probably take this to quilt camp with me next month.

I made  this cute little reversible project bag for a knitter friend of mine, in part for her birthday and part as a token of my appreciation for an "above and beyond" kindness she showed me earlier this year.  She seemed to like it, which made me happy.

One side...
...and the other

Last, but not least, I spent some quality time with these, but more on that next time.

What did I do with a stack of feed bags?

 Blue helped me with the quilt back.

Everyone's a critic.