Project Quilting Inspiration

Project Quilting Inspiration

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are over, and it’s time for Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams to begin the first week of the Project Quilting Season 10 challenge.

When I saw the first challenge phrase, “Hope Springs Eternal“, I instantly thought of a photo my son & daughter-in-law sent us of our sweet little granddaughter looking up in awe as she “helped” decorate their Christmas tree.

Isn’t she a sweetie? She’s just between 1-1/2 & 2…So this is the first time she’s really enjoying the tree. And that look on her face is just full of wonder and hope for what’s to come.

Not only does it represent the hope of things to come for her, it represents our hope of flying half way around the world to see her soon. I’m so grateful that I live in an age where we can video-chat online weekly and get instant photos every day, but it’s just not the same as seeing them all in person. I can’t wait to give her a hug and play together.

To start the challenge, I printed an outline of the photo on paper and used my Cutterpillar light box to lightly trace some of the important features onto white muslin with pencil.

Next I sandwiched the white muslin on top of batting and backing and started thread sketching (which also served as free motion quilting) with black cotton Aurufil thread and my Bernina BSR foot.

I decided to thread sketch everything…her sweatshirt, hair, and even the needles on the branches of the Christmas tree. And it helped to look at the photo of her beside me on my computer as I sketched in all of her features, starting with her eyes.

I’m so glad I’ve got a nice selection of variegated cotton Sulky thread! I think they really help add depth…

my granddaughter has the cutest pink cheeks (just want to kiss them!), and I couldn’t get the effect I wanted with thread…so broke out my stash of Derwent color pencils and started coloring… adding a bit if color to her lips, her hair, and some shading.

Now that’s a bit better!

A little more shading, and then I added a double border of batik fabrics.

Here’s some close up photos…

I started so late on this challenge, … I wasn’t sure I’d have enough time. But once I started, it just came together and I loved every minute. You really CAN do it in a week.

Participating in PQ is so much fun, because it forces me to try a new technique or idea and actually get it done. I don’t have time to worry about failing or to quit and start over. It is what it is. And I can’t procrastinate when it HAS to be done from start to finish in only one week!

The voting starts this Sunday afternoon (January 13, 2019). Come vote for your favorites…but of course I’d love your vote!

VOTE HERE. Be sure to scroll down to the end.

I believe the voting is open January 13-19 and the winners announced Jan. 20.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Scrapbuster of a Scrap Quilt

Scrapbuster of a Scrap Quilt

It’s the last challenge of the year (“Scraptastic”) for season 9 of Project Quilting, and if you’ve been following along you know I’ve entered every challenge this year so far. However, for this one I’m really in a time crunch. I think my real challenge will be to finish it in time! The entire quilted item must be started and completely finished (yup, quilted & bound) within one short week.

I’ve got bins and bins full of leftover fabric from years of sewing. Some are so old, I think they might be considered “vintage “…maybe you’ll recognize a few of these prints. I gathered my beiges, browns, threw in a few reds, greens, and blues, and made a plethora of half square triangles.

As I was pinning them up on my design wall, secondary stars began to appear in the pattern…so I purposely went back and placed light contrasting hst in white or beige in those areas to help the stars shine.

You really need to stand back to see them.

It’s a very simple pattern once you lay the hst and squares out to make one block at a time…

It’s a 16 block made up of hst and squares, and depending on where you place the lights and darks, it creates the stretched star.

Here I’ve done a little better job of alternating the beige and white stars. Each block measures 12-1/2 inches (12 inches finished). It’s a great stash buster, but as you can see on the table, half square triangles seem to multiply like bunnies when you’re not looking! The clock is ticking, so to get done in time, I’d better stop now and use those extras in another project.

I found a great backing in my stash, and here it is on my trusty Tin Lizzy ready to quilt. I’m planning to do straight lines around each of the stars and then fill in with meandering and loops between the stars with swirls inside the centers…leaving the star points unquilted so they pop.

I decided on a faux flange binding.

And here it is…finished just in time!

Hope you’ll stop by Project Quilting and vote for your favorites Mine is #50, hint-hint). Voting begins Sunday, March 25, 2018 (I think voting runs through Friday).

It’s now for sale in my shop here.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Last Challenge for 2016 #PQ7

Project Quilting Last Challenge for 2016 #PQ7

#PQ7 There’s one last challenge this year for Kim Lapacek’s PROJECT QUILTING (2016).  My goal this winter was to make a quilt or quilted item for each challenge.  And I’ve just made it!

When I heard the challenge was “A Goose in the Monkey Wrench”, I immediately thought about creating my own version of a large “Monkey Wrench” block  by inserting “Flying Geese” into and maybe around it.  I opened up my Electric Quilt (EQ7) and found the “Monkey Wrench” block, then inserted Flying Geese around the structure of the block.  It needed more, so I played around with adding flying geese in the  border, turning and twisting them until I found an interesting pattern.

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This is what I came up with (above) after several trials and quite  few different colorings.  I’ve always wanted to do flying geese in gradated colors….now’s my chance.

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EQ7 allows me to print my drawing as a paper piecing pattern so I can print it on my favorite foundations—Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper.  After gathering some of my batiks and hand dyed fabrics in the colors I needed, I started paper piecing the center of the mini art quilt

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What I love about paper piecing is the precise points.  I could never do that with regular cutting and piecing.  Some people can…but not me.

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Here’s what it looked like after the center was finished and I started on the “flying geese” border—yikes, there’s a lot of little pieces!  Looks overwhelming.

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The only thing I don’t like about paper piecing is peeling all the little bits of paper off the back of the quilt top after it’s sewn together…but a good movie, and it goes quickly.

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Here (above) is the mini art quilt–quilted, bound, and finished.  It’s now for sale in my Etsy Shop here.

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I like the curves that were created by the flying geese around the border—reminds me of ribbons.

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I chose to do a simple stitch by the ditch (not “in the ditch”) quilting.

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Here’s the finished quilt (above), and the EQ7 rendition (below).    PQ EQ7

The colors are different, but it did turn out very much like my EQ7 rendition.

So the Challenge is finished for this year.  I want to send a special “thank you” to Kim Lapacek (and her mother) for all the hard work to make PROJECT QUILTING a reality.

I hope you’ll stop by Kim’s “Persimons Dream” website to vote for your favorite entries.  The voting begins at noon Sunday, March 20 and ends March 25.

I got the chance to talk with Kim at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show just a few weeks ago–she’s so much fun (that’s her on the right).  Catch her website to find out more about the quilts shown in the background.

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UPDATE:  The voting has ended and mine came in at second place (out of 32 entries).  Thanks so much for your votes!  It was a lot of fun.  Looking forward to next year!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING,
AND

HAPPY NATIONAL QUILTING DAY!!!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge 5: Through the Eyes of a Child

Project Quilting Challenge 5: Through the Eyes of a Child

We’re in Challenge 5 of PROJECT QUILTING (Season 7)…”Through the Eyes of a Child”.

I remember when my boys were little and we’d go hunting for bugs.  Off we’d go with a butterfly net and a magnifying glass to find as many different bugs (and other critters) as we could.  It always amazed them to see the small world open up with the magnifying glass.  So I created this baby quilt “Under the Magnifying Glass” for the contest this week.

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First I found this wonderful turquoise fabric in my stash that features bugs, frogs, salamanders, dragonflies, and turtles and a lot more.  To make it look as if the magnifying glass was actually zooming in on one section of the fabric, I enlarged it on my copier by 300% and traced a pattern.

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I transferred the pieces of the master pattern onto Steam-a-Seam-2, making sure to turn the pattern backwards before I traced it onto the fusible so it would turn out the right way around in the end.

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The magnifying glass was black fabric cut with a circle template—the handle was eyeballed and cut out.  By  using a lighter background within the circle I thought it made it stand out more.  Everything was fused in place with the heat of my iron.

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Adding the batting & backing, I machine stitched the pieces in place.

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And added a few hand stitches to accent the bugs, butterfly, and put a happy face on the turtle.

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The 3D butterfly was made by fusing fabric to both sides of the Steam-a-Seam-2, pinking the edges, and stitching it in place with a little tuck.

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And here’s the finished quilt…with the polka dot borders it turned out 30 x 34 inches.

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It’s machine washable, or could be used as a wall hanging in a child’s room, and is for sale in my Etsy Shop.

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I tried the “flange binding” — it adds a very thin faux piping accent and is so easy to do—it’s super easy to machine stitch into place.

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I hope you’ll come by the Persimon Dreams blog by Kim Lapacek to vote for your favorites.  You get to vote for 5 items (hope mine’s one of them), starting this SUNDAY (MARCH 6) and runs through March 11, 2016).

UPDATE:  The voting is over, and my entry was #7 out of 38 entries.  Although I didn’t win, everyone was a “winner” since we all won a pdf of a new messenger bag pattern from StudioCherie!  Thank you so much Cherie!  AND on top of that, my name was picked for a prize from Persimon Dreams — a beautiful charm pack by MODA called Simply Colorful II.

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Thanks so much Kim!

  
Oh, did I mention I got to talk with Kim at last week’s Sun Prairie Quilt Show?

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge: Vacation

Project Quilting Challenge: Vacation

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is “I NEED A VACATION”.  My favorite vacations are traveling to a beautiful spot, finding a cabin or home to rent, and relax by the lake, river, or ocean and just take in the beautiful view.  We might do some day trips in the area, like hiking or going out for lunch, but always coming back to the serenity and beauty of the surroundings of the spot we’ve rented.

I found a photograph I had taken this past summer when we ventured up to one of our favorite spots near Bayfield, Wisconsin.  A short walk from the back of our cottage is a rocky private beach with a spectacular view of Lake Superior, with Bass Island and the rest of the Apostle Islands, in the background…it was breathtaking!  I loved walking down to that spot with a cup of coffee every morning to take it all in.  So when I heard “I need a vacation” as the theme, this is where I’d want to be.

My first step in creating the scene was to find fabrics that had the same feel as the photograph (and my memory of it), and cut a piece of batting and backing to the size I wanted to serve as the backdrop “canvas”.

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Then I cut and positioned the background and shoreline onto the batting.  I had just purchased something new—a Fons&Porter glue pen.  It worked great to keep everything in place.  I found it a lot less messy than the regular glue stick.

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Bit by bit, auditioning fabrics–some that didn’t work, and others that did, I continued adding to the scene.

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I thought the trees and bushes needed a bit more depth, so I got out my soft pastels and went to work, shading the foliage…

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And adding some depth to the water and rocks…

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I’m glad I purchased the set (on sale).  I used a blending stick to blend it in.

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The sailboat is small in the distance, so I decided to create it by thread painting…

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After quilting, I wanted to add a border…so I auditioned several different fabrics and came down to three possibilities…

I didn’t care for the dark blue-grey, it seemed too dark and gloomy.

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The blue batik was interesting, but the black piping was too harsh…

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I felt the brown brought out the color of the rocks, so I went with that…

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Here the borders have been added…along with more batting and backing.

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And here’s the finished art quilt…

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With a close up of the water…

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and the thread painted sailboat in the distance.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey, and that you’ll stop by Persimon Dreams website PROJECT QUILTING and vote for your favorite quilts!

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The voting begins February 21 and runs through February 26 (2016).

UPDATE:  The voting has closed.  I came in #3 of 39 entries–no prize, but no bad!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge—Confetti

Project Quilting Challenge—Confetti

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It’s January, and time to begin Project Quilting!  As you’ll remember from last year, this challenge is put on by Kim Lacapik of Persimon Dreams blog.  Just like “Project Runway”, Project Quilting has a challenge, a time restriction, and instead of voting someone off, the viewer votes who wins!

I’ve been wanting to participate again this year, because it helps the after-holiday, mid-winter blues, and jump starts creativity.

This week’s challenge (#1) is “CONFETTI”.  Right up my alley.  I immediately thought of the “confetti technique” I first saw demonstrated by Noriko Endo.  I’ve used this technique for many of my art quilts in the past, and was wanting to begin a new one.  This challenge is just what I need to get me going.

First I need inspiration…so I took some time to look through my photographs to find something that inspires me. I think I’ll choose a single tree.  One that is the very first to show it’s color and even start dropping some leaves before the others have turned—and the grass is still green.

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First, I need to prepare some “confetti” by cutting up batiks and some of my hand-dyed fabrics for the leaves…

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Next is the background.  I’ve chosen some hand dyed fabrics for the sky & commercial batiks for the background & foreground.

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I cut and temporarily “paste” strips of grey & black fabric onto the background for the tree trunk & branches.

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Then “sprinkle” and position the confetti leaves.

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Everything gets encased in black tulle & pinned before it’s taken to my sewing machine.

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First I straight stitch around the edges so nothing “falls out”, using dark grey cotton thread and my walking foot.

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After that, I put on the free-motion foot, drop the feed dogs, and sew over the confetti & tulle with different colors of variegated thread.

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I liked the look of circles.

 

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Now I can move on to the bottom half and add the confetti for the leaves that have fallen to the ground.  Everything needs pinning so the confetti doesn’t fall out before I get to the machine!

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It always looks better once it’s all straightened and trimmed.

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I like to add triangles to the corners so the piece can be hung by wooden dowels.  So here you can see the triangles and binding ready to sew by hand.

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And it’s finished.  I’m so glad I got it done in time…it took about 5 days–just finished in time to post today…(deadline is Sunday)…

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I hope you’ll go to Persimon’s Dream blog and vote for your favorite “confetti” quilt.  The voting starts soon…January 10, 2016!!

UPDATE:  The voting has closed, & my art quilt came in #2 (SECOND!!) out of the 67 beautiful quilts entered!  I’m so pleased!!  If yours was one of my votes, I want to say thank you so much for your vote!

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Hope you enjoyed my journey through making the quilted wall hanging this week to enter in PROJECT QUILTING:  SEASON 7 (2016)!!  It was fun.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Sweet 16 Heart Table Topper for Challenge #4, Season 6 of Project Quilting

Sweet 16 Heart Table Topper for Challenge #4, Season 6 of Project Quilting

I’ve been thinking about the most recent “Have a Heart” Project Quilting Challenge  (challenge #4 of Season 6) and wondering if I could create some kind of an applique pattern that would have at least 12 hearts in it in less than a week!  Having a wind chill of minus 30 wind chill this week, it’s a great time to be in a nice warm quilt studio working!

So I grabbed some paper, started folding it and cutting it up.  It’s fun—like making those snowflakes when we were kids…!  I have to say that trying to create a quilted object in a week for the challenge gets your creative juices flowing.  After several tries, I finally came up with the heart shapes (see photo above), and started “playing” with them to get them to fit within a 10” square.  (I have lots of left-over layer cake 10” squares that I thought would be perfect for this challenge.)

I grabbed some of my favorite iron-on fusible—“Steam-a’-Seam II”, and traced the hearts onto it.  Then cut them out to arrange on one of my 10” squares.

BTW, are you as thrilled as I am that “Steam-a-Seam” is back?  It’s my favorite fusible because of it’s “stickiness”.  The Warm Company was having some production issues. While they were working on an alternative solution to the paper that they use, the machine that they used for testing and production broke down. But everything is fixed, and it’s finally available again online and at your favorite quilt stores.  Yeahhh!

After pressing the template fusible onto the back of the fabric, I’m ready to cut it out on the line.

After fusing all the medium rose & green hearts onto a light printed layer cake background, I decided to try a little handwork.  So I did a chain stitch around the smaller hearts with a Pearl Cotton thread.  It was more work than I bargained for…so after finishing up all the smaller green hearts by hand, I opted to do a machine blanket stitch around the larger hearts.

I found that the Aurifil Thread I won a few weeks ago will match the colors beautifully!  (Thanks again to all who voted for my Sunset quilt–and Kim and Aurifil!!!)

I’m using the “edge” walking foot on my Bernina to do some topstitching around the edges, and stitch in the ditch quilting.

Above you’ll see a close-up of the blanket stitch done in the green (on green) and deep rose (on rose).

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And here’s the finished table topper.  It measures 13 x 13 inches after I added the border to the layer cake.  It’s backed with a coordinating fabric, so it’s reversible.

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I think it might really look nice as an accent pillow.  Next time, maybe I’ll try making it as a pillow….  or I could enlarge the pattern for a larger table topper or wall hanging.  …Or it might make a cute baby quilt–I can see other blocks surrounding it, or putting 6 blocks together with sashing in-between.  M-m-m-mmm.  More ideas!

Quilting is never-ending, isn’t it? There’s always something new to try. Or one more project to do.

So what do you think?

The voting starts after noon on Sunday, February 22, so be sure to hop on over to Kim Lapacek’s “Permison Dreams Blog”, Project Quilting  to cast your vote for your favorites!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts