Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Improv Patchwork Quilt (sort of)



I'm not sure why but I have a difficult time starting something new if I know I have a WIP waiting to be finished. I know some people prefer having lots of projects going on at the same time and I definitely see the benefits of that but I prefer to start new projects with a clean slate. So, since I have a couple of projects I need to start, I decided to first finish this WIP from a few months ago.


Well, it is not that I don't like having any WIPs, just none that are as close to being done as this was. For this quilt (which I last wrote about in the beginning of July), I just needed to add several more rows and quilt it since I had already completed the back BUT I knew if I had to add the number of rows necessary to make it the size of the backing that it would continue to be a WIP and I would never start my other projects. So I just added a few more rows so that it would be a big throw size and backed it with some flannel from my stash. Actually, I guess having that finished backing means I kind of, sort of have a lingering WIP then, right?

leah_duncan_improv_patchwork_quilt

Actually, size is not the only reason I chose to make a different back. Um, well, I only have one package of batting in my house right now (and only a very small batting scrap) and I want to use those for my other projects. Yes, I could have just ordered more batting and I considered that but instead I decided to try backing it in flannel without any batting - which I guess makes it more of a coverlet? 



Since I didn't have to worry about quilting it according the batting instructions, I barely quilted it at all - just some random, somewhat wavy horizontal lines spaced very unevenly throughout the quilt.



Then when it came time to add the binding, I'm not sure what I was thinking but I just folded the front over to the back and used that for the binding. I 'm not sure how to describe it but you can see in the photos. I've seen people do this by folding the back over to the front (which I considered) but I liked it better this way. I even got one of the corners to miter the right way!

leah_duncan_improv_patchwork_quilt

Well, it might not be the best quilt I ever made but it is out of the WIP "pile" and will soon be being used so YAY! Right???




Monday, October 6, 2014

quilted applique pillow

quilted-applique-improv-pillow

When you make new pillow covers, do you just buy new inserts? Do you take off the old covers and store them for the seasons? Or do you do what I do and just put the new cover over the old one???

quilted-applique-improv-pillow

Eventually, I'd like to buy more inserts and have more pillows on my couch but my motivation for this pillow was to replace one I recently made that didn't fit in my living room the way I thought it would. I wanted something really simple and I wanted to only use fabrics from my stash so I pieced together the simple two color background and quilted it heavily with light pink aurifil and then added the half circle applique. 


I actually used these fun novelty prints for the back of the pillow. Since I was only using stash fabrics, I figured I might as well choose from my novelty fabrics since I don't use those as often as I used to. 

Just a side note - I used french seams to piece together the bottom panel which was quick, easy, and worked well and I'll definitely use that technique again when piecing pillow backs.

quilted-applique-improv-pillow

And another side note - the light was so great on my couch when I was taking these photos. I seriously should have taken pics of my kids instead!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

improv baby quilt turned sewing machine cover


Have I mentioned that I haven't sewed anything since July??? Possibly I've mentioned that in every recent post - ugh! Anyway, this is another little project I made during the summer. I can't remember how I got started or what my original plan was - though, I'm pretty sure that these fabrics all just came from my scrap drawer.  What I do know is that I didn't use any batting and that I lightly quilted it to an old(ish) flannel baby blanket and that if I just add some binding and ties, that it is the perfect size to use as a sewing machine cover -- and that covering a sewing machine that isn't getting much use these days is a good idea -- and that I'm now hopeful that I will be sewing again soon!



Monday, September 22, 2014

modern applique mini quilts






I keep writing and erasing the words for this post. I'm not really sure I have much to say about these mini quilts especially since I already wrote about the pink pineapple quilt

Well, let's see - the quilts are all freehand cut raw edge applique and I quilted the background before sewing on the applique as I described in the tutorial I wrote recently for my fox pillow. I made these all within a few days of each other back in July (the last time I sewed!!!) and they are now "displayed" on the walls of my 9 year old's room.  Hm, what else . . . my favorites are the more modern ones; my daughter's favorites are the pineapple and the flowers. 

I have to admit though that I'm not sure how I feel about these quilts - part of me thinks they look like they were made, or at least designed, by one of my daughters (they weren't.) But I really enjoyed the process of making these and plan to experiment with more applique in the future. 



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

acorn trail fox pillow


Just wanted to show you this little pillow I made using a new fabric line from Birch Organic. Acorn Trail was designed by Teagan White who also designed one of my favorite fabric lines last year, Fort Firefly (see the pillows I made with that here.)


Just like with Fort Firefly, I love the color palette of this line and all of the details in the novelty prints. And I plan on eventually making a fun quilt using the rest of the prints. I also made a dress for my daughter using Acorn Trail that I shared on my blog earlier this summer.

My tutorial for this pillow is now on the Birch blog - let me know if you have any questions.


And just FYI, Birch sent me this fabric but all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

drawstring bags




Have I mentioned that I made a ridiculous number of drawstring bags for my daughters to organize their "stuff" this summer using a fantastic tutorial by Svetlana? So, my question is why, when my oldest daughter needed one for school yesterday, did I have to give her one of mine?!?!?! My suspicion is that my two youngest decided to keep these all for themselves - I guess I'll be going on a scavenger hunt later today!

Monday, August 25, 2014

around the world blog hop



When my friend Heidi from Fabric Mutt asked me to be the next stop in the Around the World blog hop that has been making its way around the online quilting world recently, I was happy to say yes. Basically, being part of this hop involves answering a few questions and inviting a few others to join in.

1. What am I working on?

Well, not much sewing has been going on here recently. And by not much, I mean, I have not sewn anything at all for almost a month. Yep - my kids are starting school this week with not one new handmade item to speak of (I know - cue the tiny violins!) But this is a big difference from the past two years

However, I have been inspired by Anne and her genius QDAD idea and I have been designing plenty of quilts - and maybe, just maybe, I'll actually make one of them one day.



2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I always like reading the answers from other bloggers for this question but it really is a difficult one to answer. Since all of our work is an extension of us, then I think that all of our work differs from others, right? But to be more specific to me, I guess I would say that my answer is that I usually prefer to use my own designs (like many others) but that since I prefer not to focus on details like straight lines and matched points, I make quilts where those things really don't matter. I don't know if just sounds like I'm being lazy - I really don't think I am, I just prefer to concentrate on other things. So, I guess everything I make really has that handmade look - intentional or not.





3. Why do I create what I do?

I seriously don't even know how to answer this question. I love being surrounded by handmade things -whether it is a quilt to cuddle under, a scarf to keep me warm, an original piece of art for my wall, or even simply a dress that makes my daughter twirl nonstop. And I like being able to give handmade gifts - which I hope the recipient will enjoy. I also really enjoy learning new skills - whether it involves fabric, thread, paper, or um, chocolate!

4. How does my creative process work?

Basically, I just get an idea in my head and then I just make it up as I go. This is especially true of my quilting process. I don't usually sketch before I start, nor do I try to figure out specific measurements. I just start sewing - making changes as I'm working. Earlier this year, I started using a design wall and that has changed my process a bit by giving me the ability to easily try out different combinations and arrangements before committing to anything. 



Now it is my turn to invite three more bloggers to participate in the around the world hop. I've chosen three of my blogging friends that I've known for a while (and who still blog regularly.) All three of them make absolutely gorgeous things and have their own distinct style. They are Erica from kitchen table quilting, Svetlana from S.o.t.a.k Handmade, and Jess from the Elven Garden. Look for their posts next Monday, September 1st.


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