Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Making - Improv Pot Holders

Recently, my mom moved away. She decided that life needed just a little more adventure, so she moved to Florida to be near her sister. The two of them enjoy spending time together, and now, they're in the same neighborhood and can get in all kinds of trouble enjoy each other's company even more.

With the move came the need for a fresh start in all things, including decorating. All I know is that she's going for less traditional, more contemporary look in citrus colors. I thought I'd do my part by sending a couple of kitchen accessories for Mother's Day.

My daughter, Erica, and I went through my stash and pulled a wide range of citrus colors.

This is just one of several groupings we put together. I really did not have a plan for what the design would look like.

First, I cut 2.5" strips from the yellows/oranges and made a wonky strip set. This made me think about the sun's rays, so I cut the strip set apart at angles and separated them with lime green strips.
None of this was measured. I played with my ruler until I liked the look, then cut the strip set apart. The green was handled in the same manner. It's all  by eye. Once everything was sewn together, the block was squared up to 8.5".

The second block is a simple square in a square. For both of these blocks, you can see from the original stack of fabric that some was added and some was taken away as the block progressed. Sometimes it's fun to be free to change as you go rather than to be constrained by a predetermined set of fabrics. These blocks needed fun backs, so it was back to the stash for that.

Because these are going to be hot pads or pot holders, I added two layers of Therma-Flec to the batting.

The square in a square version was quilted in a big spiral. I love the look of this quilting and I'm thinking about trying it on a bigger project soon. Small projects are so great for trying out quilting designs.
It looks good from the back, too.
Here's the quilting on the sun rays block. I was hesitant about the squiggly lines on the green, but am pleased with the result. Much more fun than sticking with straight lines.
The back of this one is fun, too. It's always good when a project can be used from either side.
My mom is a sometimes blog reader. It's okay if she gets a sneak peek; projects are always better in person than in pictures. Some happy mail will be coming her way in the next few days.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes - May Commitment

While I've been making a dent in my long list of unfinished projects, a few new ones have been started this year as well. I'm determined that all starts will become finishes, so it's time to finish up the Circular Reasoning quilt I started earlier this year.

I layered it a couple of weeks ago and got it under the sewing machine this week.

The quilting did not require a lot of thought, since I love the quilting design on the pattern cover.

The first step is to pebble quilt in the negative space around the letters. The letters are fused to the background so I am intentionally letting the edges of the quilted pebbles overlap the edges of the letters to better secure them to the quilt top. This is not going to be a quick finish, and this kind of quilting is best done in lots of short sessions. Spend too long quilting pebbles and your shoulders will scream!

Can't wait to share the finished quilt at the end of the month. Thanks, A Lovely Year of Finishes, for keeping me motivated to finish!
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