13 June 2020

All sewn

Thrusday night I fought thru being tired and got the recycle shirt top all sewn together. I still need to square it up. It will be approximately 40" x 52". I am behind in posting this because the internet has been totally uncooperative! It is now 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and it is working good for me.
I need to find something for the backing so I can get started quilting this and get it done. I do not want it to just sit unfinished! I think I will do a combination of hand and free motion quilting.

09 June 2020

My thirty-second recycled clothing project

The prompt this month was for clothing recycling. Well, I have plenty of projects to fit that! It is time to the piece I started in the Gee's Bend workshop at QuiltCon in 2015. We were to bring some old clothes and work on starting a quilt top out of them. I brought two denim shirts that I did not wear, a beige shirt, and a red polo shirt. I remember Mary Ann Pettway asking me how big I was going to make my piece. I said I would keep sewing until I run out of fabric from the shirts. She smiled and approved. Here is the piece as it stands right now. When time ran out the ladies were happy to pose for pictures. I asked them to sign my piece. They looked at me and said really? You want us to write on your piece? I said yes! They said nobody ever asked them to do that before. I was glad two of the ladies dated it too.
So now I will play around with the fabric I have left and get this top finished. I have the perfect place to hang it in my living room once I get it done. I also have a pile of clothes that were my Dad's that I want to make a couple quilts out of for a couple of my brothers and I have a box of linens that I have collected over the years and think they will make an interesting quilt. I really like making quilts out of clothing. I have made 31 quilts out of clothing over thirty years. I have used all kinds of clothing including t-shirts, jeans, Dockers, a seersucker jacket, and polyester/rayon shirts. I have embellished with the labels and buttons that I carefully removed. Maybe now I will get these projects that have been in the back of my mind done!

07 June 2020

"Mid Century Modern Curves": not ad hoc, but definitely improv and positive

I'm following Carole Lyles Shaw's online course on curves and improv. Which is basically freehand cutting Drunkard's Path blocks, joining them: 

and cutting them up, rearranging and sewing together:

four cuts made

and repeating several times:

finished 16.5" block, umpteen cuts made!

Along the way Carole gives tips, making her own blocks and sharing her decision making process. There are no patterns, or instructions, simply suggestions and guidance. While I'm new to neither DP blocks nor improv I am learning a lot, both from the recorded videos and from the Zoom sessions with Carole and other participants. Principally, I have lost my fear of cutting up my sewing! Now I have to learn when to stop! (cutting, that is, not sewing!)

So far I have made four blocks:

Viewed like this it's rather a jumble, but it's a learning process! Top left is the most recent.

Bottom right was the first one I made and I like it most, but after I'd made it I found it rather overwhelmingly dark and lacking in light fabric. Then I changed from Kona Iron, to Kona Silver grey as the "background fabric" for the rest of the blocks - dark medium and light assured. I've since realised I could have achieved that by other means, so I think the lime green and shocking pink will play a prominent role in another quilt, with a dark background! Meanwhile I'm continuing with the course as every step in every block is different, with surprising results.

I love the liberated feeling of improv, but don't always find inspiration, so its nice having someone set parameters for me. I find that too in the challenges here, although the hourglasses ran aground fairly quickly. Probably a question of overthink! I'm good at that! Here's the positive: I will return to them, and probably cut them up to be unrecognisable: fractured hourglasses! But not just yet!

Keep safe, and healthy
Happy sewing


06 June 2020

At last - Hourglass finish

Yes, a finish but a small one!!

I began with ideas of a decent size quilt, using just a simple
but I had issues working with a subdued palette.

You can read a little more about it on my blog, just check the
labels for Hannah's Garden.

What began as these blocks below on the wall gradually shrank because
I find it difficult to work with a subdued palette.

So, instead of a quilt I now have an 18"  square cushion!
I pulled the brightest blocks, quilted very simply but added
two small lace flowers to the centre block.

The lace came from a box of treasures given to me by my mother-in-law who in turn was
gifted the box from her grandmother.
You get a better view of the lace flowers below.

Kaja has just announced another challenge so I very pleased
that just squeezed in with a finish on the
previous challenge!

Working on the hourglass prompt.

More information on


03 June 2020

Positive Thinking, Otsego Revisited, and My Plan

I impulsively purchased this layer cake in early 2019.

I shared my plan in this July 2019 post

I followed up with this post in December 2019.

Earlier this year, I finally pieced 42 blocks.

When I put them on the design wall,
they did absolutely NOTHING for me.

I took them down in frustration
without taking a single photo for the file.

They were packed in a box 
(with the unused strips)
to be shipped off to Covered in Love
and their future life as a hospice quilt.

But then the pandemic and stay-at-home happened
and I haven't been to the post office since.

* * *

Yesterday I emptied that box 
after making a decision NOT to allow 
those layer cake fabrics to defeat me.

(enter my love-hate affair with pre-cuts . . . 
their hopeful possibilities inspire, frustrate,
 and paralyze me all at the same time
as witnessed by this project)

I quickly sliced the blocks apart,
cut the larger pieces into smaller strips,
sorted them into 'yes' and 'not-now' piles,
added the 'yes' group to my project box and
filed the 'not-now' strips into their crumb boxes.

That was the easy part.

Making a choice and coming up with a new plan 
on how best to use the 8" long strips 
was a much greater challenge.

(insert hours of contemplation)

I have long admired this quilt named Nancy
made by Lynn Carson Harris.

(her process posts are linked 
at the end of the linked post above)

* * *

Kaja's challenge includes this suggestion:
 "what about working with a block 
that makes you feel happy, 
for whatever reason, or in a way 
that is comfortable and familiar?  

Hmmm . . . .   

I love strip/string quilts . . .

I love HSTs . . . 

 I now have a box of strips/strings 
in colors that make me happy . . . 

And, just like that,
my decision for this challenge was made.

Aside from the overall impact,
my favorite element of Nancy (the quilt)
 is Lynn's bold choice of chartreuse for the HSTs.

I could do that with my project,
but I only if I could do it my way. 

What about using these scrappy greens from the stash?

Oh, yes . . .

To flesh out the rest of my plan,
I pulled 2 yards of blue-violet and 
several shorter lengths of red-violet
for the quilt-to-be's scrappy backing.

The possibilities in this combination have me excited,
something the other approaches never accomplished.

* * *

I'm thinking LOTS of positive thoughts 
for this project which I've named Otsego Revisited.

(in honor of the number of times Otsego's design
has changed during this long and winding journey)

* * *

And maybe, just maybe, by the time 
this new challenge period ends,
I'll have quilted/finished London Fields,
the fourth quilt from our AHIQ Flowers challenge.

The other three finishes are linked below: