Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Project Quilting #4: Across The Universe

I can't believe I've participated in all the project quilting challenges this year!  When I first heard about it, I thought, "that sounds cool...I'll watch from the sidelines."  Then the ideas kept coming...along with motivation!  And I'm so glad.  I keep getting to try new things and do those projects that tend to just brew at the back of my mind perhaps never getting a chance to be created.  This was just one of those projects!  When I first heard about the "one block wonder" awhile back I was intrigued!  They have always appeared very celestial to me, especially when there is a lot of black in the original fabric.  This week's challenge was to be inspired by the theme "Across The Universe."  I ruminated on a few ideas, but was very excited to remember the one block wonder!  (There is a fantastic set of tutorials on YouTube by Jacqueline OBrien based on Maxine Rosenthal's book.)

This quilt I have named "Infinite Possibilities", and the reasons are threefold:
1. The number of ways this quilt could be created is truly infinite.  From the way the repeats are cut to the cut of the triangles, to the arrangement of the hexagons, and then to the placement of the hexagons in the whole quilt.  I don't think you could make the same quilt twice or reproduce one seen.  I have seen a few done with the same fabric, and they don't look at all the same.
2.  If you had told me that I could have created a quilt of 100 hexagons made up of 600 triangles, pieced, quilted, and bound in THREE days, I would have told you it was impossible!  You're crazy!  Nuts!  I have two toddlers, you know, right?  As I saw this creation actually coming together, and all the work I was capable of doing in a few short days, I realized one thing...infinite possibilities!!!
3.  And finally...The universe IS infinite!

Here is the fabric I started with.  This fabric is crrrrazy!  I am drawn to modern quilting, and this fabric would NEVER have entered my mind to put into a quilt.  Ever.  But when creating a one block wonder, the idea is to get a fabric with a big design in colors you love.  This fit the bill as I wanted something very celestial with the stars and swirls of the universe.  I also wanted the fabric to have a good bit of black.  As cool as it would have been to show that a celestial quilt could be made from non-celestial fabric, this was just too perfect to pass up. 

To start, the fabric is cut on a chosen repeat 6 times, and stacked on top of each other in a very precise fashion.  Strips are cut, and then triangles so that there are 6 identical triangles for each hexagon.

I cut 107 triangle stacks!!!  I kept wondering why I was so crazy!  What was I thinking?!  I ended up using 100 of them to create the quilt.  In the end, I'm glad I made so many. 

Designing each block was so much fun.  Each set could create one of three different designs.  Below I've shown the three different options for one set.  

Once the hexies were formed, it was time to design.  I tried to make a ROY G BIV-ish arrangement from the top left corner to the bottom right.  I quilted it to have 3 points that radiate straight lines - "stars". 

To border or not to border.  Tough call.  I went with no border to make it more of a "throw" size rather than a twin size.  It ended up 46"x64".  Turns out my 4 year old really took a liking to it while I was quilting it, and decided he'd like to sleep with it.  Oh well.  He's not too big, so it still works.  He also said it would help him stay cozy and sleep longer.  Hah!  Sold!  

 The back has a strip of the original fabric down the side to show where it all came from!  Ooh, and the rest of the backing is flannel, which is why Ev wants to steal it. 

Bound and quilted.  Three days.  Wow!  I'll have to try to get a better full shot when it's not being slept with.  :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Project Quilting Challenge 3: Sweet Treats

In light of Valentine's Day, this week's challenge was to create something inspired by candy.  Everett and I had already discussed sewing treat bags as Valentines for his classmates.  I figure I can go all out this year--the one year I have before there are two classes to create/buy for!  To make this a project quilting challenge, we sweetened up the bag design by adding some candy motifs. 

First, we have each friend's name sewn into the scalloped red ribbon along with what Everett likes to call "fancy stitches" (hearts in this case).  He often comes up to me while I'm sewing, asking, "Mom, are you doing a faaaancy stitch now?"  In the picture above, the names are covered to protect privacy, but you can see Everett's on the top bag.  To me, these ribbons are reminiscent of red licorice. 

Then we created and appliqued conversation hearts onto each bag.  I found some stiff felt that worked great for this.  The conversation heart words are all preschool appropriate not to mention modern.  My favorite: "TEXT ME." "EMAIL ME" is a close second.  :)

The bags all have a red lining.  I couldn't remember how you're supposed to add a lining.  I should have looked it up on YouTube, but I just winged it.  They mostly turned out right.  Hah!  The ribbons are sewn in between the two layers.

Initially, the plan was to make the bags to hold a few pieces of candy.  But when they were finished, I realized they are the PERFECT size to hold a little box of crayons.  So we had to add that to them as well. 
And look!  We really did sew these together.  As much as a 4 year old can.  :)  I think it made a wonderful memory for us both.