Sunday, December 07, 2014

Off My Wall...and a Bit Outside My Box

I've been lovin' my sewdio these days.  Sometimes I even knit in there!  My laptop has practically taken up permanent residence on the end of my sewing table, as I've been watching online programs as I stitch.

While working on Grand Illusion, I've caught up with several missed Quilt Cam episodes (I subscribe on You Tube)...and I cut out the latest pieces for Clue #2 while I watched my newest Craftsy class ("Pattern-free Quilt-making" with Joe Cunningham, aka, Joe the Quilter.)

Yep; I succumbed to "Cyber-Monday Madness".  This one has been on my wish list since I saw the teacher on The Quilt Show (Episode #1)...watched over and over, and on an installment of Craft in America (Episode 12: "Industry").

This weekend I got all the pieces cut out for Clue #2.  I'm making this quilt 1/2-size, so I need to make 100 units.  I don't own the special ruler (yet) and don't like working with templates, so I am using Bonnie's suggested method #3 -- using rectangles and squares.  I know there will be lots of miscellaneous triangle bits left over from trimming up the units but I have a sack for those and someday they will have their own time in the quilting spotlight.  :-)

Ten sets of ten pieces of three fabrics :-)

Once that cutting was done, I got going on a Christmas stocking.  I've only ever made two quilted stockings in my life -- the one I just finished, and one made a few years ago.  The latest one is for a newborn, the second son of friends of my daughter.  The first one was for his big brother!

I took the ideas for the stocking from these sources:

  • Pattern: traced from my son's commercially made stocking;
  • Fabric: inspired by Bonnie and by Joe Cunningham, I worked with what I had.
    • In this case, it was a batch of orphan blocks already made in to "3 Sisters" or "Rail Fence" units, and abandoned a good 20 years ago.
    • Inspired by Joe, I put them together "in a way that pleased me" rather than worrying about whether or not they were in the classic rail fence setting.
    • Then I quilted it, once again, "in a way that pleased me".  :-)
    • The backing and batting were left over from the Magic Tiles quilt I made this fall for another new baby.
    • I didn't have enough blocks to make the back of the stocking, so I dug out some red fabric that would work, added a strip of green to make sure it was long enough, and quilted it up:

Quilting Detail 1
At first I tried stitching parallel lines, different widths apart.  I hadn't marked the fabric or anything.  But this was still a bit boring, so I played with the quilting (photo below):

Quilting Detail 2

Then I added a cuff.  I am most grateful to both the book, Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do by Roberta Horton (C&T Publishing, 1998) for the lettering, and the You Tube video from Missouri Star Quilt Company for the instructions on the cuff.  Otherwise I'd have gotten it upside-down and backwards, to be sure! 
First I drew out the letters per Roberta's suggestion, and cut them out to make templates:

 Then I traced them -- reversed, of course -- onto fusible web (Wonder Under in this case):

Once I'd cut them out and fused them to some red cotton fabric, I auditioned their placement on the stocking cuff.  This wee boy has a long name -- it had to go right around the cuff!

Et Voila!

Sometimes I have to leap outside the box and off the design wall altogether...but they say a change is as good as a rest, eh?!

Linking this to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday...Have a great week!

P.S. On the knitting front, the Wild Socks are finished, washed and ready to wrap.  A slouchy hat is finished except for the decorative buttons, and a "scarflet" is under construction.  Wild Socks #2 will be cast on before the day is out!

Pattern: "Veronica Slouch" by Brenda K.B. Anderson
from "Make It! Knits" 2014
Yarn: Diamond Luxury Gemstones in "Onyx"


Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

You are very busy. Grand Illusion is coming along :) Love the slouchy hat, must try that one.

elle said...

Nice sticking. Warm and inside working on great projects is right up there on the seasonal fun list! :)

els said...

You're very productive. love the stocking!

Andee said...

Mystery is coming along well! I have seen all the quilt cams but two of the last three..I need to catch up myself!

Vireya said...

You have been busy! Your mystery block look very organised.

Judy Warner said...

I just love how productive you are, Margaret! The Christmas stocking turned out beautifully. You must have a huge stash of random blocks, etc!

Linda A. Miller said...

I applaud your energy, Margaret! Love the stocking and how you wrapped the name around it. Enjoy all your projects. Happy Holidays!

Lesley Turner said...

Thanks for sharing your stocking construction process. It was interesting how you were problem solving the whole way to produce such an original and personal result.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

You are getting there Margaret, and the business of Christmas Season we have so many other things to do. Thanks for dropping by my blog.