Thursday, June 14, 2012

In the Bag

A couple of months back I signed up to take part in the In the Bag - Ugly Fabric Quilt Challenge. Having never done one before, I wasn't sure what I was letting myself in for.
(Oh, and it's all been organised by the lovely Coloradolady.)

Basically, you post 2 yards of Ugly fabric to your swap partner, and they send you 2 yards in return. The 2 yards can be made up of any combination of pieces of Ugly fabric from your stash. (Don't be embarrassed, we all have them - at least one Ugly lurking in there with all the Pretties and Plains.) Once you've received your fabric, you're allowed to add to it whatever you like from your stash, and you can even buy 1 more yard of whatever, but you must use up 90% of the Uglies in the quilt. Even if it's just in the backing.

These are the fabrics I sent to my partner in Croatia:
The big greeny-bluey print, I don't like the colour of at all. I only bought it because it was cheap and I thought it would do as a backing. The orange is a cat print, but it's very subtle and busy at the same time. The other two small pieces came from bulk packs of scraps I bought. The dark blue, I just don't like, although looking at it now, I see fussy-cutting opportunities there. The other is a scrap of a nursery rhyme print.

And these are the fabrics she sent me:
Each piece is folded in half, so this pic shows the relative quantities of each.
Spot Missy's tail!
The yellow print is intensely bright. Especially to me, as I'm not a yellow person. (In my stash, sorted by colour of course, the yellow pile is by far the smallest.) The multicoloured FQ underneath it, I don't mind at all. The top-centre is a FQ of bears in various poses, hmmm. The half-yard of red roses is... well... tricky! and the grey print on the right is okay, it could have its place somewhere... but all of them together? I have my work cut out trying to come up with something! Thank goodness we're allowed to add stash fabric to the mix!

I have been mulling over it for weeks now, trying to find the perfect quilt pattern. I even contemplated designing my own - I came up with a couple of ideas, but wasn't too confident about how they'd work out. Then I had some slightly cunning ideas - like doing a prairie point border (never tried it before, because I know they use up a lot of fabric, which seems kinda wasteful to frugal ol' me, but would be just the ticket here); or having lots of 1" cut strips (because half of that would be seam allowance, thus halving the problem of where to put these tricky prints - plus they (hopefully) wouldn't be as noticeable).

Then yesterday I had an idea - a Yes! moment. I'll make a double-sided quilt, with the bright colours on the top and the dulls on the reverse/backing. Different blocks/theme for each side.

So the next step is to add some more fabrics, and mull over that for a bit longer until I'm satisfied it's time to start cutting.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Little Night Music

I seem to be continually beginning new things but rarely finishing them. I take comfort in the fact that I am not the only one in the world who does this.

So today, I will post about my second (and final) Project Quilting quilt.

Let's see, I'll cast my mind back...

The inspiration was Music. You had to choose a song title for your inspiration. I chose Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. This translates in English to be "A Little Night Music", which I interpreted as follows...

Navy background, creamy coloured moon in the centre, with randomly placed colourful "music" spots dancing around it.


No. So I rearranged the spots, into what I found to be their natural order. (What can I say, I love rainbows!)

Yes. So I pinned them all. I should add that this is sandwiched all ready for quilting - backing, batting, top, held together with my wonderful friend, Quilt Basting Spray. Yay for the Spray.

I free-motion quilted the spots down, with matching thread for each colour. The central area needed something too, so I did some squiggly "rays" emitting from the moon. Yay for the moon rays.

That was the funnest part, as it was totally unplanned. I didn't know what I was going to do with each quilting line until I was actually doing it. What freedom to be creative!
The finished quilt, 24" x 24"

The back was made in a free manner as well. The central square is sewn from four new fabrics; the rest are repurposed pajamas.

The front's navy background and the moon are flannel as well; the small circles are all cotton. The binding was the lining of a favourite handbag. It had many compartments and pockets, so there was quite a bit of lining to be had.

But why mainly flannel? Because it was originally intended as a quilt for my cat Missy. But after I pinned it to the wall to get a good photo, I liked it being there, so it's staying up until I've got something to replace it with.

Besides, Missy is a long-haired puss, so just imagine all the shedding it would receive...

Hanging on the wall in the living room. Sorry Missy, you miss out. For now.