Waves- A Mini Mini Quilt

As you probably know by now, I really enjoy quilting challenges! I love the Curated Quilts mini challenges because they are minis and a fun break between larger projects.

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This challenge was called Utilitarian and the challenge was to use ‘accessible fabric’. I had a little problem with the term Utilitarian because to me that means it needs to have a useful purpose. And Mini quilts, typically are not very utilitarian. I even googled it. ‘Utilitarian Art is art that has function as it’s priority and yet is still aesthetically pleasing’ according to my google search. I thought about making it a hot pad/trivet or an oversized pot holder, but I just ended up going with a plain ‘ole mini quilt!

My mini quilt has no real function…

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But! My mini quilt does incorporate ‘accessible fabric’ which is defined on the challenge page as scraps you have on hand, significant fabrics that you treasure, or thrift shop finds. My husband just happened to have cleaned his closet out and had this shirt as a throw away, so I grabbed it and headed to the sewing room! And the green is fabric from my stash.

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The challenge also had an inspiration fabric, Candlelight Woven in Ocean by Ruby Star Society. It was requested to use this fabric or let it inspire the color selection. I let it inspire my mini, because buying new fabric didn’t feel very accessible to me…

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I used the inspiration fabric for both the color and the design. I designed a little paper piecing sketch to mimic the zigzag pattern in the fabric. I didn’t actually paper piece it necessarily, but improv pieced based on the little pattern piece.

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I mimicked the wave shapes in the quilting, even in places where the waves aren’t there!

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I also added in some white contrast pops! I initially though the white should be grey, but I couldn’t quite find the right grey in my stash so I moved to the white. I actually like the brightness of the white.

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For the back I had this matching print fabric in my stash that I decided to use. The piece finished at 12.5×12.5 inches. A mini mini for sure!

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I submitted! We’ll see if it makes the cut… Either way, I enjoyed making it. Did you make one?

Disposable- An Upcycled Quilt

Or as they say on Project Runway, an Unconventional Challenge.

Not too long ago I saw a call for the UW Recycling Trash Art Contest. As soon as I saw the call, I knew what I wanted to do. I had to make a quilt from all the disposable masks.

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When the pandemic hit, I made a ton of masks. I HATE the nature of the disposable masks. I’m that person that also hates to buy anything that is individually wrapped. No single servings pre-packaged for our lunches. And the same with the masks, no one time use in this house. Then I went to work in a hospital and the disposal masks are required as a way to slow the spread of Covid. But honestly, it makes me cringe to see all these disposable masks strewn about the streets. In addition to the disposable masks I also used a neighbor’s worn out scrubs and disposable gloves. Not a single bit of new fabric was harmed in the making of this quilt!

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For the round blocks I used my used masks and my neighbor’s scrubs. I cut the masks in half and made a quick template for the outer piece. The problem I realized with these materials is that the masks melt if you try to iron them. So, no ironing the seam allowances!

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I made this block out of my husband’s masks, the neighbor’s scrubs and a disposable glove. I love the secondary shapes the masks make. In the end, as much as I love this block, I didn’t love it as part of the quilt, so it ended up being left out of the quilt.

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And the half square triangle blocks made with disposable masks and disposable gloves. I sewed together two masks and cut out about a 5.5″ square and sewed the two together around the edge. Then cut down the middle to get 4 HSTs. Or course, no ironing here either!

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The quilting inside these masks represents the germs bouncing around inside the masks, but not being shared with those around me. The circular quilting around the masks represents the germs staying on the outside, another reason we wear the masks. I quilted the circular blocks first, then the mask blocks. It was a pure, happy accident how this quilting came together in the corner.

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One of the questions for the Trash Art contest was to explain how this art piece is relevant to my personal and/or UW campus waste? 

This quilt is relevant to my personal experience in so many ways!  For the last 10 years I have worked as an architect in the healthcare industry in local hospitals, including UWMC and Harborview. I have always grappled with the irony of all the disposable items used in healthcare to keep our patients safe and healthy versus the amount waste these same items make in order to also keep our patients safe and healthy. When I transitioned to an employee at UWMC last year, I had to give up my handmade, washable face masks for the disposable one time use masks. Every day on my walk to work, I pass mask after mask disposed of on the ground of the UW campus. This quilt is literally made of my own personal, disposable trash being upcycled into a work of art.

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And the back….

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I used the last ‘larger’ piece of the scrubs on the back. And in good upcycling fashion, I just happened to have these blue and white striped sheets in my stash waiting to be used.

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ok, maybe I didn’t tell the truth… I did use one small piece of new fabric. The label is new. The binding is, again, worn out scrubs.

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I had this idea to take these pictures hanging on the side of a building next to a dumpster. That situation didn’t exist where I thought it did. But my husband spotted this recycling dumpster and it was perfect for my photo shoot. It did make it a little hard to get the color perfect in the pictures though.

Testing- A MQG Fabric Challenge Quilt Part 1

Every year the Modern Quilt Guild hosts a fabric challenge for Quiltcon. This year the fabric challenge was hosted by Windham Fabrics using their Artisan Cotton fabric line. If you sign up fast enough, they send you free fabric. I didn’t sign up fast enough, so I actually ordered my own fabric to play along!

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There were 4 main fabrics you could choose from. You had to use three of the four. Then there was a list of other fabrics that you could incorporate. I ended up ordering some that had nothing to do with the challenge and I’m really excited about the colors! For ‘Testing’ I used the four challenge fabrics, Wine/Pink, Coral/Aqua, Aqua/Blue and Blue/Orchid plus neutrals Stone/Lavender and Navy/White.

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I actually ended up making two quilts. ‘Testing’ was my submission to Quiltcon because I finished it in time. The second quilt, ‘Eyes on You’, I’ll tell you more about later. It wasn’t completed in time, so it didn’t even get submitted. But today, I’m just telling you about ‘Testing’.

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image via https://www.design-seeds.com/
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Do you remember way back when I used to design quilt patterns with the Quilt Design a Day FB group? I’ve made 6 quilts from those designs: Running Away, Rabbit Hole quilts, Raindrops of Wildflowers, Left and Right, Triangle Mountain, and Bright Tide Pools! And now we have number 7, ‘Testing’!

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It started as succulents. Once the design was translated in fabric, the quilt took on a different persona. Gone was the nod to the succulents. The quilt now takes it’s que from the ‘off the air’ TV graphics of a bygone era when screen time wasn’t available all day and actually ended at a certain time each day. 

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I started in the center and with each layer, I created a piece made of different colored wedges. Then I used my inset circles technique to layer and layer one on top of the other. The picture above is actually the scraps from each layer, but you can see what they started as.

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When I quilted the circles, the mini quilt became a little wobbly and doesn’t like to hang flat. You can really see it in the picture of the back. So maybe it’s a good thing it didn’t get picked for the Quiltcon show! For the back I used stash fabric that I happened to have. I love that it picked up not only the grey from the front, but also the circles!

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And that’s my ‘Testing’ Mini Quilt! Did you submit a fabric challenge quilt to Quiltcon?? I can’t wait to show to you my next one! Stayed tuned for Part 2!

Weeping Willow in Black and White, a mini quilt

Another quilt I never posted…

This mini quilt is from 2019! I made it for a the Curated Quilts mini challenge for the Black and White issue.

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I have a mild obsession with improv quarter circles. For this one, I wanted to see how small I could go to piece improv quarter circles by machine and I ended up with 1″ finished squares. As I was laying this one out, by using the positive and negative space of the black and white improv quarters, the image of the flickering leaves of a Weeping Willow was the image I couldn’t stop seeing. Do you see it?

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And it made the cut to be featured in the Mini Quilt Gallery! I really love making and submitting mini quilts for these challenges!

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I mirrored the quarter circles with a wavy quilting. I also felt like it gave it a little windy feeling, like the leaves flickering in the wind.

What do you think about these pictures? Usually, I edit my pictures to get the colors as close to real life as possible. For these, I am in love with the sunset on the red rocks of Utah. And I love the sunset reflected in the white of the quilt. A little bit different!

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This little guy finished at 16 inches.

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I have so many quilts and things that I’ve made and not shown you. I’m hoping to get better at posting! I used to post 3 times a week. I don’t know how I did that! I don’t have the mental capacity to go back to that, but I’m so excited to show you everything I’ve made! Including more quilts and some fun Christmas present ideas!

Impossible is a Bad Word- a mini quilt

Here’s a min quilt you may recognize. I actually finished it in 2019, but again, never blogged about it. Catching up! Late is better than never! ha!

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This mini quilt was a Curated Quilts challenge for the Well Said Issue. The challenge was to incorporate a word into the quilt, literally or figuratively. I have always told my son to never say, ‘I can’t,’ without at least trying first. During Christmas time we read a book by Matt Haig, A Boy Called Christmas, and in it the word ‘Impossible’ is considered an elf swearword. The book was great, but that sentiment has stuck with me. That sentiment, combined with our family not saying ‘I can’t’, inspired this quilt.

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I absolutely loved the color pallet for this challenge! Pink, orange, teal and bright green. I could use this color scheme over and over.

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I started by piecing the letters. No plan, pretty improv. The strips of pink were all the same size and I tried to make the letters the same size. But pretty much just winged it!

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Then I sewed them together. It had to be a square, so I had to rotate the letters in a ‘circle’. And I added the border.

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Then I do that crazy thing that quilters do. I cut it into pieces and sewed it back together. I wanted the word to look shattered!

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I wanted the quilting to further enforce the idea of the word being shattered.

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I took these pictures at Jackson Lake Island near Montgomery, AL. It’s a little island where they filmed the movie Big Fish. The only inhabitants are the goats. I just loved this series of pictures and watching the goat look and me, then see the quilt and then head over to maybe take a taste of the quilt. We moved fast, so maybe he just wanted a closer look, but I wasn’t taking my chances…

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Quilts in the Wild! ha!

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Have you made a word quilt? This was my first. And even though I made it in 2019, I still love everything about it. I’ve since made another word quilt last year. Before I made this one, I didn’t think I’d ever really make a word quilt. But now I wouldn’t be surprised if I make more!

A Buffalo Cushion

This is an oldie project that I never shared, but since I’m broken and confined to elevating my broken leg, I’m pullin’ out the oldies to share!

I’m an architect and at our firm at least once a year a vendor will ask us to participate in a design fundraiser. They usually supply a piece of furniture and we have to make it something else or embellish it or something! Then we give the piece back when we’re done and they have a party and silent auction to raise money for something. For this project, I contributed my quilting skills.

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The firm I work for is called Buffalo Design, so we decided to make a Buffalo seat cushion for part of the transformation.

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This is what we started with. A plain blank white chair that’s way heavier than it looks! A co-worker drilled the holes in the back of the seat. (more to come on that…)

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The name of our firm comes from the building where the firm actually began, but our logo is an actual buffalo. Everyone has different colored business cards and we each have a few different angles of the buffalo. The colors of our business cards became the colors of our cushion.

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I sketched out how the pattern would go together and put it in CAD. Which is how I make all my paper pieced patterns!

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Then I just started paper piecing it together until I had our colorful buffalo!

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The cushion fit perfectly in the curved seat.

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My co-workers took on the yarn embellishments! I love the pattern on the front and the pompoms on the back. And again, we stuck with all the colors of our business cards.

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The great thing is, my bosses went to the party and were the high bidder on our chair! So it’s still in our office for us to enjoy! I keep saying I’m going to make the office a buffalo pillow for our couch in the waiting area, but I haven’t yet. One day soon!

A Mini Quilt with Curves

Also known as a Curated Quilts Mini Challenge Reject!

This is an old one I made for the a Curated Quilts Mini Challenge for the Curves Issue last year. I did have a tutorial and a different quilt in the Gallery of Quilts, but my mini challenge didn’t quite make the cut!

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Also, in keeping with my projects photographed at the beach house, I thought I should get this one posted!

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I had had this idea for a quilt for a little while, so it was a fun chance to try it out. I went full on curves with the circle. Maybe they were looking more for ‘curves’ versus ‘circles’! ha! First I sewed together a piece of the white and pink fabric. Then I cut it into stripes and sew-ed in the green stripes.

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I did not succeed at getting the thin pieces of the pink fabric perfectly straight, but I think it was close enough! Then I used my inset circle tutorial to make the circles.

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I think I have mentioned this before, but I typically don’t piece the backs of my minis. I just used one of my favorite staples, Cotton and Steel Fabrics Dottie.

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My traditional label photo!

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Even though this one didn’t get picked for the magazine, I think it has some potential for a larger quilt design. What do you?

Designing with the Kiddo

We’re at it again! The kiddo and I designed another fabric design for the Spoonflower weekly Design Contest! We had a great start and some fun feedback on our surf design (which is now available for sale here….) So we did it again!

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This week’s challenge is Rhino’s! The design didn’t come out quite like I had planned, but we like it! I drew the rhino, then photocopied it over and over and over. Next we ‘decorated’ the rhinos. Lastly, I scanned them all back into Photoshop and set up the design. Actually the whole family designed this one. Dad even got in on it and designed a few. We call it ‘Parade of Rhinos’!

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I did sneak in another design between the surf and rhino challenges. I submitted one for the farm challenge. This one I wasn’t too excited about… I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it seems boring to me.

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Our local Architecture Without Borders group and the local Architecture for Humanity are sponsoring a design competition that I think the kiddo and I are going to do too! The competition is to design a Free Little Library. The kiddo has wanted one for a while, so when I saw this design competition, I knew it was right up our alley! I’ll have to keep you posted on our progress!

Of our three designs, which one is your favorite? I’m thinking maybe pj’s made out of the rhinos… What do you think?

 

Surfin’ USA and a Contest

There’s another goal I’ve set up for myself. You know, because I need more to do….

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Every week Spoonflower has a design contest. I keep saying I’m going to do it each week, but I haven’t yet. Until this week!

And how fitting that I decided to do this contest since I just posted the board shorts I made, huh??!! Totally not planned!

So each week they give you a topic and sometimes there are restrictions, like the color palette. Then you design a graphic that can be printed on fabric, etc, based on the topic and upload it to their website. Then you can decide if you want to offer the fabric for sale or not. Finally I saw the topic, came up with a design idea and actually sat down and did it! And the kiddo even helped. It ended up being a super fun project for us to do together. I want to make it at least a monthly project for us to do together.

So, now I need you to VOTE FOR US! Did you see that coming??

And it’s free swatch day! Get a free swatch of their faux suede here. Warning… You might waste a lot of time looking for just the right fabric!

Next contest is Farms…. Any ideas?