Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Scrappy Meadowland Quilt Top

This quilt is inspired by the Meadowland Quilt designed by Then Came June. I started making one test block of 16" back home before I went on vacation. I packed all these bright and beautiful fabrics in my suitcase and hoped I would have time to work on this in between the good food, hot weather and all the sightseeing. Most of the sewing took place when the rest of the crowd was sleeping in the hottest time of the day, and one block here and another one there add up to a whole quilt top in no time flat (almost)!

My scrappy palette is bold and bright, and I am especially pleased with the chartreuse against the blue. The navy was a very good choice for the background.

The top will travel home with me to get quilted, I have already chosen the quilting design, that will be revealed later.

I have to show these super cute photo bombers as the last picture. They are half wild kittens, but we have mutual respect for each other. A daily breakfast is served to them, and they stick around and are nice to talk to.

I'm having a great summer, and I hope you are, too!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Artsy Fartsy Challenge

Welcome to my project in the Island Batik July Artsy Fartsy challenge. All the fabric and threads used in this project were given to me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program 2019.

Our task this month was:

Use any fabric art/non-traditional quilting/sewing/thread painting technique using 3 Aurifil thread weights.

During the last few months I have become more and more fascinated by all the Sashiko and Bori projects popping up around the Internet. So many beautiful art works created by hand!

A hand stitching project was a perfect one for me since I would be away on vacation most of the month. Bori projects are very interesting, but since they are more into mending a piece of clothing, I decided on Sashiko instead.

I decided that only three different Aurifil threads were way too few for me, so I used all 12 different spools in the picture above, with weights ranging from 12 to 80, in a rainbow of colors.

Back to the starting point of my project: I pieced together patches of Island Batik Foundations and other semi neutral batiks in an improvisational manner. Then I made a quilt sandwich with Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton Batting and an Island Batik neutral as the backing.

After pin basting I quilted some decorative stitches with Aurifil 50wt around some of the patches to keep the quilt sandwich stable before the hand stitching/quilting was to start. I also added the binding to the piece before hand quilting started. This way my work-in-progress traveled well to my holiday location.

A little had quilting in the afternoon in the shade was a very relaxing project, sitting with this in my lap. I did not rush, mainly doing one patch at a time, not having a complete plan plotted out beforehand. The quilting just happened.

The first patch I stitched was this grey one, where I used the three spools of thread assigned to me for this project: a light blue 12wt, a pink 28wt and a dark purple 40wt. I had fun making Artsy Fartsy stitches with these threads, cross stitches, pluses, running stitches and colonial knots.

After finishing this one I knew that I had to add a lot more colors to my piece!

The center "blackboard" patch is stitched in pink 12wt and yellow 50wt. It could be interpreted as a big city skyline, or maybe a bar chart of oil prizes?

The uppermost left corner is quilted with yellow 50wt and pink 28wt, forming a waffle-like structure. The greyish patch is quilted with 28wt thread and the green on top with green 80wt.

The snowy blue in the right hand corner is quilted with 12wt alternating light blue and white.

 I made some stars in the grid of the blue patch using varying thread weights and colors. 

My stitches are far from perfect, but I really loved the process of this Sashiko project. The main thing is to have fun doing it, right? I also learned a lot, and next time I need to patch up a pair of jeans there may definitely be a Boro project coming up!

Here's my full and complete Sashiko project. It measures approximately 14" x 17", it is fully hand quilted. Binding is the green Check It Out with a couple of scraps added for interest. 

I love the structure the hand quilting gives. This is how the backside looks.

My first ever Sashiko project turned out to be a color explosion of Aurifil thread and Island Batik fabrics! Hand quilting really soothes my soul!

 If you would like my opinion on which Aurifil thread weight is the best for Sashiko quilting, the answer is 12wt!