Archive for September, 2010

Kitchen Spoons

I live on the top floor of a big old Victorian-era house. Sadly, it doesn’t have the gingerbread, turrets and wrap around porches  that would immediately bring to mind it’s origins. What it does have, at least, my part of it, is odd little nooks and unexpected layouts, which I find charming.

This is one of my favorite of them, an odd corner of my kitchen just the right size for a pretty little got-it-from-a-yardsale-and-painted-white table and chair. I have a dining area with a full size table and enough chairs for guests, but this is my spot to sit and drink my first cup of coffee in the morning.

But anyways, what I thought I’d show you is one of my favorite, unexpected decorations: spoons.

The same blend of utility, beauty and crastsmanship that I love about quilts, I love in alot of vintage items (um, see shelf with antique bottles, my pyrex mixing bowls, my favorite blue and white teacups and the extra pieces of my petalwear dish set). Around here, you can get silver and silver-plate spoons for a dollar or so a piece at flea markets.  A couple of these have marks that date them to a 100+ years ago (for a dollar!)

Anyways, a few dollars, a few spoons with pretty decorations and an “A” monogram for my first name,  and an easy craft project, and I have a display. The dark blue backings are just painted pieces of styrofoam (it occurred to me later I could have wrapped the foam in fabric), and the the spoons are held in place by straightpins like an old butterfly display or something. You could glue, but I wanted the option to take them down so I could polish them occasionally if they got too tarnished, or scrap it all together if I got bored.

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Finally got a few minutes to sew, and made some progress on my bee.

Here are the fabrics:solids and balck and white dots fabric for fresh modern bee 2

Quilt Happie gave us  lots of freedom with the blocks – rectangles that used all of the fabrics and blocks that had  “a modern Improv, scrappy kind of feel”

I decided to play with different sizes of slightly wonky log cabins:

modern log cabins block for fresh modern bee ii

(Which was lots of fun, by the way)

detail log cabin blocks for fresh modern bee

Here are some of the other blocks for this round:

1. Blocks for Jessica, 2. Blocks for Jessica, 3. Blocks for Jessica, 4. FMB2 Blocks for Jessica - September, 5. FMB2 Blocks for Jessica - September, 6. September block for Fresh Modern Bee II, 7. FMB II - September 2010, 8. FMB2 Blocks for Jessica - September, 9. can't stop, 10. Fresh Modern Bee 2 for QuiltHappie, 11. jessica - september, 12. Jessica's rainbow (fresh modern bee 2)

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Art Deco Inspirations…

Just because I haven’t had time to sew much lately, doesn’t mean I haven’t had time for fabric shopping…

Has anyone else noticed a group of new art-deco inspired fabrics?

I love art deco motif’s, so I’m quickly acquiring a pile of them in both warm and cool colors.

I haven’t decided what I’m doing with them yet, fussy cut somehow, I think, to show off the flourishes. Any ideas?

ETA – The fabrics are from Perch, by Alice Kennedy (on the left here – I think it’s my favorite of them all), and two from Filigree, by Art Gallery Fabrics (the whole collection has an Art Deco feel). The yellow is “Garden Tile” from Clothworks.

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Doll Quilt Swap

I’m behind in posting pictures of the cute little quilt I received in the Doll Quilt Swap 9 – for reasons that are beyond my comprehension my computer refused to upload them for a week.

doll quilt swap 9 - red whit and aqua mini patchwork quilt

Audrey got some of my favorite elements here – the fun red and aqua color combination, my favorite white sashings, a cute Alexander Henry backing fabric, and how did she know I have a blog post planned on my recent love of polka dots.

alexander henry fruit fabric mini quilt backing and polka dot binding

And, she sent this cute, coordinating pincushion. (She included some fabric too — but I whisked it off into an “I could start another new project pile” before the photo shoot. )

whirligig red and white modern patchwork pincushion

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A Gift for YoYo’s mama

Yoyo the puppy wasn’t the only one who got a handmade present this weekend. His human got a voile scarf.

handmade cotton voile scarf - valori wells nest fabric in orange

I’m a little late to the party, but I LOVE this cotton voile. I made myself one of these scarves a couple weeks ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite things. I was already a fan of Valori Wells’ Nest fabric, but the texture of the voile is just gorgeous.

This is also an amazingly easy project for the results – just a few straight seams.

handmade gift - orange cotton voile scarf

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Yoyo’s Leash

Life has largely overshadowed crafting and blogging , lately. Nothing dramatic, just a busy, busy couple of weeks for me. I did, however, make time for a quick birthday gift for a friend: a patchwork leash for her adorable puppy.

I did manage to make something for the human-half of the duo, too, but haven’t had a chance to take pictures yet.

handmade cotton patchwork dog leash

I just sort of made it up as I went along – a solid strip of fabric on one side, patchwork on the other – but Anna Maria Horner has a tutorial here.

It’s pretty simple construction – but I definitely recommend a heavy duty needle and a walking foot, if like me, you end up using nylon strapping (It’s sturdy, but also thick, slippery and hard to pin)

orange patchwork handmade dog leash

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Anyone else have these projects?

Disappearing Nine Patch quilt - jessica levit timber fabric and kona solids - gray, blue and green

I made the blocks months and months ago, periodically I take them out, think “I really should finish this”, look at them, arrange them indifferently on the design wall, but don’t get quite  inspired/ambitious enough to actually sew them together.

pioneer valley girl design wall with modern patchwork projects

Design Wall with D9P mid-August 2010

Sometimes I audition sashings — a pretty light blue this time — or try different arrangements, but I just packed these blocks back up and tossed them into the basket where UFO’s live for another few months.auditioning sky blue kona solid cotton fabric with "Timber" gray disappearing nine patch quilt blocks

Maybe next time they’ll get assembled …

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I doubt I’m alone in this, but I’ve been thinking about solids alot lately. My “Daydreaming” quilt – inspired by City Quilts –  still needs to be quilted – but I’ve been doodling more solids quilt ideas on envelop backs and the like. And, then, look what landed in my mail box for my Fresh Modern Bee II – some gorgeous colors and some black and white dots.

folded solid cottons and black and white polka dot fabrics for fresh modern bee II

And, did you know there’s a group on flickr that’s all solid quilts ? Here are a few inspiring examples:

mosaic of modern quilts with solid fabric

(Click through to flickr for the links to individual photos)

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Getting Ahead of Myself

I have four active projects as I type, not to mention my monthly bee blocks, that all really need my attention.

folded fabric stack - gray, green and lavender

This is not one of those projects – I don’t need another project, but I went and pulled this stack of fabric from my stash anyways.

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Take 2

I have two family birthdays coming up – the Roses quilt is done, so I’m on to the second project.

But this one isn’t a new quilt. I first made this quilt 10 or 11 years ago. It was one of my earliest quilts —  I was a crazy ambitious beginner who didn’t know better than to decide to make a quilt with a million half-square triangles and bias edges, until I was easing seams every which way and cutting off points left and right.  But, it came out alright, all things considered, and was well used.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know enough. at that point, about crafsmanship and quality materials, for it to be particularly durable. So, after 10 years it was showing it’s age badly, and wasn’t in regular use any more. I took it back and took it apart  (it was just tied, and not frequently enough) I threw out the polyester batting, gently washed and repaired the top, added new batting and soft new flannel backing, and am stippling the heck out of it.

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