Denim and Lace

Our guild issued a new challenge that was due at last night’s meeting. The quilt was to use a mixture of denim and lace. It didn’t have to use actual denim but the fabric needed to look similar to denim.

I didn’t have any flat lace and, when I looked at the fabric store, I didn’t find any that I was particularly excited about. Instead I pulled out my lace trims and was immediately drawn to these two…..

As I have said before, I LOVE daisy-type flowers and these seemed to be perfect for a floral arrangement, but how was I going to do the vase. As I thought more, I wondered if I could make it out of the flat lace, but how would I attach it?

I was trying to keep the quilt fast and easy and wondered if I could used wonder-under on it. I made a small test piece…..

…and found that I worked great, as long as I covered it with a silicone cloth. AND, once I had ironed it really well, the fusible in the open mesh dissolved as well!!

After cutting the vase out, I added fused on stems and started placing the flowers in the vase…..

Once again I wondered how to easily attach the flowers and turned back to Wonder-Under….

….putting a small piece on the fabric and then adding the flower on top.

When I had everything arranged, I pressed it well…..

…and had a look.

Hmmm. it definitely needs some color. How about yellow centers for the flowers…..

To finish the quilt, I added two small borders on one side, quilted/thread painted it a bit, and called it finished…..

Our next challenge has been announced….an 18×18 inch animal portrait that contains a metallic embellishment of some sort…..sounds interesting!!!

“Blew” Two….

Yesterday, I posted about my entry in the “I’m so Blue” guild challenge.

Normally, I am finishing my challenges on the day that they are due, or maybe the day before if I am really organized, but, with this one, the idea came quickly and I was finished over a month before the due date…. UN-HEARD OF!!

Just after I finished it, I was talking to another guild member (Sue) and she said that she would make it different by using the other spelling/meaning of blue……ie BLEW!!

Just after our conversation, we made another trip to Kunming, China where I spied this wonderful bronze statue…..

I adored the look on the man’s face….

….not to mention the little boy at the back…..

Now THAT is a great example of “BLEW”!!

When we returned home, I called Sue and asked if she had ever acted on her inspiration. She said that she had not and that I was welcome to use the idea.

I started with the photo itself, tweaking it to enhance the color…..

I used the pinwheel as my inspiration and added a bunch of small pinwheels and two larger 3-D pinwheels….

….and added the beaded “stick” to meet the embellishment and blue requirements.

I made a couple of paper quilts to test out the quilting designs….

….but finally decided on wavy parallel lines in a metallic thread….

I love the final product…..

…particularly the way that the fabrics worked together.

And, as a plus, it is another fun “Travel Log Quilt” that reminds me of a trip to Kunming!!

Sweet Potatoes!!!

I have been participating in the “Monthly Color Challenge” Quilt-A-Long series being hosted by Patterns by Jen.

So far we have pieced blocks inspired by Eggplant and Lemons…..

For March, we moved on to the amazing Sweet Potato….although there has been a lot of questions about whether we should be calling it a Yam!!

I headed upstairs with my inspiration….soon to be my lunch…..

…and once again marveled in the wonderful colors!!

Picking fabrics was fun….

….and before I knew it the pieces were cut……

….and piecing could begin…..

Since I am making the 6-inch blocks, it was important to keep a correct seam allowance. If you remember, I learned this lesson the hard way when I was making my Lemon block. You can read about it HERE.

I love the resulting block…..

We are supposed to share our favorite recipe each month and mine is super simple…..

Bake the sweet potato until it is nice and squishy and caramelized….

….add butter, mash it well and salt and pepper liberally!!!


Eat your Eggplant

The title statement, “eat your eggplant”, was not one that I ever heard as a kid!! Growing up in the heart of West Texas, eggplant wasn’t all that popular!!

I first learned about it when, as a young couple, Michael and I were living in Australia and bought a cookbook with a recipe for Ratatouille and, of course, the main ingredient was Eggplant!!

I have always been intrigued with the color of an eggplant, never really knowing if it was black or purple, or maybe even dark blue.

So, when the January block for the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge showed up, I was excited to see that it was going to give me the opportunity to explore the Eggplant!!

I spent a bit of time looking closely at a live example….

….but still had a hard time deciding on the color.

Then I added it to a few fabrics and I started seeing a pattern…..

It is Purple but also has some traces of red in the rind.

Since I only needed two colors, I decided that these best exemplified the stately Eggplant….

I had to “fussy cut” the dark hand-dyed fabric to make the best use of the darker color but soon had my pieces cut…..

After a few, short minutes of sewing….

……trimming and even a bit of ripping, the block was ready to sew together….

I had never “spun” an intersection before but in Jen’s instructional video she shows how to do it so I jumped in and tried it. It made the cutest, tiniest pinwheel on the back….

….and the front was picture perfect and OH SO FLAT……

Now, if I am going to be perfectly honest, Eggplant has never been a favorite food!! I am not happy with the texture of it and the only flavor that I get is from the surrounding juices!! Having said that, I did cook it one night for a vegetarian friend, and loved using it in the place of meat. I sliced the eggplant in thick slabs and breaded it using a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis for “Pork Milanese”….just leaving out the Pork. We dipped the eggplant in flour and then beaten eggs and finally crusted it with a bread crumb mixture containing grated Parmesan cheese, dried basil, and dried thyme. We then fried it in a bit of Olive Oil and Butter… was YUMMY!!!

If you haven’t already joined the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge, why don’t you jump over the “Patterns By Jen” and check out this and future clues!!!

So for now, it is Goodbye Eggplant……hello Lemon!!!

Virtual Quilt-A-Long

Yesterday was another first for me…. I participated in a virtual quilt-a-long!! Our guild has been looking for ways to get our members together more often so we tried a Q-A-L. The numbers were small but we had a great time!!

We were following a challenge and the first clue was to use a circle in the design. I knew that I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this project but still wanted to participate and this first clue reminded me of a book that I was planning to work thru……

So, I decided that I would kill two birds with one stone and try to follow the challenge clues while learning how to make a face in fabric….smart huh!!

While everybody else dug into their fabric, I started working thru the steps to draw a face. The book did a great job of teaching how to find the proportions of the face….

I started with the circle (arc) pieces….

….and then moved to the second clue….flying geese!!

After a few minutes of thought, I decided that she could have necklace of geese shaped beads…..

I will add a “chain” to it and may add some 3-D beads between the geese.

Next, we were supposed to add something with lines….either in cut strips or in a fabric. I excitedly searched for this one particular fabric in my stash…..

…and sliced it into lots of little strips…..

I had SO much fun playing with these strips and LOVE her hair….

Next clue said to add a house or architectural element such as a window or door. Since the eyes are said to be the window to the world….that was my invitation to work on her eyes…..

At this point the Q-A-L time was over and I had to move on to some other projects so here she sits…nose-less and mouth-less!!! But, MAN do I like her hair!!

Future clues include adding an X or cross, adding squares, putting a heart on it, and then one element of my own choosing. I don’t really know that I will continue with the challenge but sure plan to finish her up!!

For now she will be a mascot on my design wall….urging me on!!

Here is the progress from the other participants…..

There will be some WONDERFUL projects coming from this morning.

It was fun to have a view into our member’s sewing rooms and to be able to chat at different times thru the morning. I definitely want to do this again!!!!

Maybe you can join us next time!!