Thursday, December 29, 2016

Camera Quilt - A New Project For An Almost New Year

There was a plan. I was going to finish up my holiday sewing and then slow down with the quilt making for the first couple of months of the year. My sewing room is in an upstairs bonus room so I am away from the core activity of the household. I planned to sit by the fire and read and cross stitch and crochet and just relax and be more visible and available.

While this plan was being made other conversations happened and I found myself committed to five quilting projects for the upcoming year. I did not over commit at all. The first is not even on the horizon until late spring. But the seeds had been planted and I could not stop thinking about these new quilts just waiting to be born. The design for one had been set in my brain so why not pull some fabric for it?

And why not make a test block to see if the mind and the quilt were in alignment? After looking at this block for a day or two, I decided that more lens and less camera would look better, and I lengthened the rectangle on the top left just a little. I also narrowed the side and bottom borders to match the top border.

After all of that, I just had to make a few more blocks to get a better idea of how these blocks were going to look all together. The color of this quilt is supposed to come across as teal and in the beginning I was staying very true to that. It made for a boring quilt. There needed to be pops of other colors throughout to keep it interesting.

The camera lens is what brings life to these blocks. They are quite boring to me without it. At some point, I am going to have to do something about securing the lenses. They are fused on for now. I will probably zigzag or blanket stitch around them by machine. Still thinking about that.

I went back through my stash again to pull a wider range of colors. Then I grouped them. Each camera needs a body, lens, and background. I think I have about 50 fabric sets ready to go.

I am cutting them in groups, then piecing them three at a time. I can stitch together three blocks each morning before leaving for work.

As of this morning, I have 20 blocks pieced. The original plan was to do eight blocks across and ten blocks down, but I did not like eight across. Six seems better, so we will go with that for a while. Each block will finish at 10 inches x 7 1/2 inches.

What I thought was going to be a project for the spring, and one that was going to be worked on over time with a few blocks here and a few blocks there, seems to have taken on a life of its own. I'm okay with that. The new year isn't even here yet. There will be lots of time for fires and reading and relaxation, just as soon as I stitch up a few more camera blocks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Believe Circle December Block - Big Log Cabin Block

This month for our Believe Circle quilt, Tiffany asked for a log cabin block with a five inch center that finished at a minimum of 18 inches. I realized after finishing this that I used a cut five inches for the center, which finishes at 4 1/2 inches. She did not specify cut or finished in her instructions so I hope this will work out for what she has in mind.

This fleece print (bad picture is courtesy of me taking a picture of my computer screen) will go on the back of the quilt and is our color inspiration for the front of the quilt. I had fun going through my stash for this project.

And the sporty backing is in need of some superhero encouragement on the front, right? I was picky about centering the red boom, then I remembered that Tiffany said she was probably going to be cutting our blocks into quarter log cabins and mixing them up. There are plenty of other words that will remain intact when she does. We need fabric like this with sewing words on it. CUT! STITCH! PRESS! FINISH! Oh, I would definitely make something with fabric like that.

This block isn't quite square. It is 18 1/2" x 19 1/2". I thought about squaring it but decided to leave it to Tiffany to decide which of those outer pieces would be better to see a little less of. I'm happy to get this month's block finished so I can get back to some of my secret holiday sewing projects.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Modern Pheasant Pillow

Back in October I visited my daughter and her family for a few days. While I was there I noticed a pheasant themed calendar on the wall. I asked about it and learned that my son-in-law is a fan of pheasants. I had been hoping for some gift giving inspiration while I was there, so that was exactly the kind of thing I needed to know.

When I went looking for pheasant quilty things, I primarly found panels and hunting motifs. That is not what I wanted. I wanted a modern pheasant. There was one picture that worked nicely. I blew it up and traced all the parts.

This is not my usual kind of project but I enjoyed searching for the right colors and fabrics.

I was really nervous about fusing all these tiny parts so I laid him out carefully on top of the traced image to make sure I was happy with the shapes and placement. I also realized that I did not have a suitable background fabric. A quick online fabric order took care of that.

I ordered two different colors of Grunge fabric, a lighter and a darker. I settled on the darker fabric. If this pillow ends up on their sofa, it is a dark gray, and this choice should work better with their other decor.

I matched thread as best I could to each section of the pheasant and free motion stitched around all the parts to make sure they would stay securely on the pillow.

Then it was time for quilting. I used a layer of batting and a thin white batiste on the back. I wanted the pheasant to look like he is standing on the ground so I chose a horizon line and stitched horizontal lines for the ground. A large meander (which always makes me think of clouds) is quilted above the horizon line.

The backing is envelope style with an extra fabric added for interest. I like quilting the back of pillows, too, to give them more body. I layered all the pieces together and then bound it like a regular quilt. It was a little bit challenging to get through the thickness where the backing top and bottom overlap, but it worked out just fine.

I don't make enough pillows to be confident with the pillow form size and the pillow. I don't like them overstuffed but I don't want them too floppy either. The pillow itself is 18 inches when laid flat. I used a 16 inch pillow form to fill it. I think it works. Oh, how I have wanted to share progress with this project on Instagram, but they frequently look at Instagram, so it will have to stay right here in blog land for now.
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