Friday, February 5, 2016

PVQA Quilt Fair- Wall Quilt Challenge with a twist!

Another challenge that we run at Fair time is the Small Wall Quilts challenge.
 Buy a packet of fabric and make a wall hanging,
The theme fabric was the one on the left called "Fancy Feathers" this was to coodinate with the orange, dark blue (at right) and the Kaffe Fasset stripe (center) and orange print (below).
But this year there was an added twist.  There were two rounds of construction.  
First round:  The participant was two make 9 - 9" blocks of their choice with the challenge fabrics (you could add a few fabrics if needs be).
Second round:  2 months prior to the Fair there was an anonymous exchange of the block sets..  After the exchange you were free to slice and dice and add some fabric to make the final piece. Other criteria were that the challenge fabrics must continue to play a predominant role and there must be some reference to birds ie." a block design like "bird's in the air" or appliqu├ęd bird/s or a birdy embellishment.
I decided since I already have a huge stack of wall quilts that I have no room to display that I would make a table runner (something I might have use for).
Conveniently my first round blocks were 'Birds in the air'.  I decided to go with it. I flipped them around to get a configuration I liked and that was pretty much all I had to do. I did exchange out a few fabs for color reasons but mostly the blocks stayed entacked.
 I had to add some borders for the min. size requirement.  Tada!
I hear people complain about how they would not choose this or that Fab for a challenge; but, then it would not be much of a challenge would it?!
I don't mind that part of a challenge,  I'm willing to work with colors or fabrics I don't normally work with but what I did find really challengeing was coordinateing with someone else's sense of  design!
I'm not sure that I was very successful but it was a good learning experience.
Have a great weekend!
cheers, Claire W.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Victorian "Make Do" Pincushions

Another exhibit at our Quilt Show this year is Pincushions.  I've had this idea to make a "Make Do" pincushion for some time.
I saw a picture in a book written by Pilgrim and Roy about Victorian Crazy Quilts of a pin cushion made from a piece of broken stemware. The cup portion of the glass had been broken off and replaced by a velvet covered pin cushion.  The Authors called it a "Make Do" pin cushion.  I thought it was really quite charming. 
Here's my version.
Here's how I made it!
 I did not have a piece of broken stemware so I went to the Goodwill and bought this pretty candlestick holder for 99 cents!
It's not crystal but it will do....
First thing I had to do was figure out how to fill the top space with crushed walnut shell.  I decided to line it with a fine silk.
Then I filled it with the crushed shell, tamping it down tight as I filled it.

Then I gathered up the silk, tied it really tight and sniped it off the yardage.
I traced the top allowing for filler space.
Sewed that to another larger circle of silk and machine sewed a gathering stitch to the silk so I could gather it into a pouch shape.
Filled that with more walnut shell.
Pulled the gathering threads tight and tied it really tight.
Sized it to the size of the candle stick .
Stuck two very long Doll needles into the top to hold it to the bottom while I sewed the two pieces together.
I used an upholster's curved needle to sew the top to the bottom.
Added a strip of satin to the bottom edge to hide all of the mechanics.
Added some beads and a beaded dragon fly (store bought) for embellishment...
And ta da!  Victorian "Make Do" pin cushion!
It's almost to pretty to use!
I think I will use it to keep my hand sewing needles sorted from my regular straight pins.
The sewing needles tend to get lost amongst the pins in my regular pincushion. 
The whole thing took me about two hours.
I could definetly see making some of these for my sewing friends as gifts!
Have a great week!
Cheers, Claire W.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PVQA Quilt Fair- Challenge Blocks

Every Year my local guild (Pajaro Valley Quilt Assosiation, Santa Cruz County, California ) offers up several challenges to our membership to produce a variety of projects to be exhibited at the show.  This year my friend Jan organized the Block Challenge and I thought it was a particularly fun idea.
These blocks were definitely improved so I'm linking up with AHIQ Check it out!
Each package contained a 13" square of the blue background fabric with the instructions to produce a block/s that depict something that you would see in your neighborhood.  Additionally the block could be any multiple of 3" in width and height.  So you could make a 3"x 6" block or  6"x 6" or 6"x 9" or 9" x12"  etc.
I decided to make mine 6" x 6".  First I made a house and that was so much fun I went on and made a few more.
I left the 4 blocks seperate so who ever wins them can lay them out however it suits.  I kind of like the 'all in a row' look; but, they look kind of cool all as one block too! 
I'm thinking this graphic approach could really make a nice quilt all on it's own?!  
Very Tempting, but I have a few other challenges to finish for the Fair before I can start anything new!!!!!!!
Cheers, Claire W.