Finish Two, Start One New

As I reported earlier, I’m rounding up my unfinished tops that are ready to quilt and putting pedal to the metal. Two are now done. One, Swimming Upstream, was pieced this year. The other, Shirtsleeves, has been in a plastic tub for at least a year.

Swimming Upstream 2Swimming Upstream came about because I found some leftover 1.5 inch squares and HSTs plus a few leftover blocks. Using Sandi Cummings’ techniques from Thinking Outside the Block, I did a mash up of traditional and contemporary. I free motion quilted it with a loopy meander. It was misery, with the bobbin seizing up at least 30 times on this small (about 24 by 32 inches) piece. Each time I rethreaded, took out the bobbin, cleaned the bobbin case, etc. I used Aurifil thread on the top and bottom and generally did everything recommended. I also tried putting in a different bobbin. Some days I had no problems. Other days I’d get only about 2 inches of stitching done between seizures.

Shirtsleeves 2Shirtsleeves is made mostly of my husband’s old cotton dress shirts, with a bit of other striped fabric. The bits of yellow sprinkled throughout reflect Kaffe Fassett’s influence. He does a shirt fabric quilt like this in his book Passionate Patchwork. The back uses more of the shirts. There is sure a lot of fabric in men’s shirts, even in the smaller sizes. The quilting is a simple 2 inch grid. The label is part of a front placket. I didn’t want to have any buttons on this quilt in case I give it to some new parents.

Shirtsleeves backNow for the new part. Since I had finished two quilts I could start one new one. (Yes, this is totally arbitrary, but self discipline is a goal of mine.) Since I’ve started Joen Wolfrom’s Craftsy class on color I thought I’d try a color gradation.

Here’s my colors arranged for paper pieced leaves using a pattern by Deb Karasik.

leaf fabricsYou can see the fourth gradation in the leaf below.

paper pieced leaf rose 1I’ll be at this project a while as I have only four leaves done so far. The worst part is picking out the little bits of paper. The pieces are too small to use freezer paper piecing. Guess I didn’t learn how tedious this method was with my last project. But …

paper pieced letters

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8 Comments

Filed under Completed Projects, In Process

8 responses to “Finish Two, Start One New

  1. Wow! I love all of these–they’re so different–I can’t believe they came from one quilter! Those little leaves are really special–I’ll look forward to watching that one develop.

    • I do tend to work in several genres, so to speak. I think it depends on the fabrics I’m working with. I know the shirt quilt was best done in simple shapes as the material, while wonderful to touch, is so tightly woven that it’s a bit difficult to stitch. The leaves are coming along, but they’re not quick sewing.

  2. jennyklyon

    All spectacular!Bummer about the “seizures”. If you ever figure that one out, please let us know.

    • It’s either a trip to the shop for my machine or I’m doing something weird in moving my hands. I have 2 more experiments in mind – using all poly thread and trying one of those bobbin washers.

  3. patty

    You have been keeping busy! Both quilts turned out lovely! My favorite is the one with the shirt fabrics, esp. the back!

  4. Really love the men’s shirts. I’ve cut apart a small number of shirts in my time. A couple of them were very nice children’s plaid shirts, the kind a kid wears once for a holiday. I expect to make Christmas stockings someday for future grandchildren. Another shirt was oxford cloth, white with pink and blue stripes. I put the fabric in my pinks bin, and it will get used someday somehow.

    • Love the idea for your plaid shirts. As for your pink and blue striped shirt (sounds like it would be great to play with), I did wish my husband had more adventurous taste in shirts as I was hoping for a lavender stripe.

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