You all know how I love to piece, and don't get to do it as much as I would like to...mainly because I usually work on largish crazy quilts, and once the piecing frenzy is over, it takes months of embellishment to finish a quilt.
But I had four little projects to piece for an upcoming trip I'm taking, so I had a blast whipping them up yesterday.
Next week I'm traveling to the annual Girl's Week with my cousin, sister-in-law, and my Uncle Hal's widow at the old family cottage on Lake Michigan. I am bringing stitching projects for us all to work on as we while away the glorious hours on that porch I love so dearly.
We are going to make soft jewelry bags...basically a long block folded into thirds, with the sides sewn up and a front flap hanging over. Because my ladies are not quilters, I prepared their blocks for them, but I am going to teach them some embellishment techniques and stitches. One of the gals, Deb, is a World Class Cross Stitcher, so I am going to bring some waste canvas along with some of Pam Kellogg's wonderful cross stitched CQ seam designs, (a superb free online resource: thank you, Pam!!!) and have Deb teach me a thing or two, too.
I took a few pictures throughout the morning of my Piecing Party...
I have found I like drawing the block's piecing pattern onto my foundation fabric. This acts as a guideline for when I start sewing and flipping my fancy fabrics...but as you will see, the four blocks I made are similar in their pattern but definitely not the same. Keyword: guideline! Here is my pattern taped onto my "lightbox" ready for tracing onto the foundation fabric.
I ran out of muslin for the foundation so chose some old pre-printed "lace" panels from my sane quilt stash. I've had it for 25 years so don't need to keep saving it! I like that it is lightweight with a slightly loose weave...easier for stitching through later.
These floral initials will be the front flaps of the bags.
Each block has some lace pieced in it somewhere. I like the way this heavy lace essentially turns that patch visually into a large scale print. The green linen below it was already sewn and flipped; then I machine basted the lace over it before sewing on the next piece.
There we go, all tucked into place. The edge of the lace makes a nice pre-fab seam treatment, doesn't it? The great Martha Green (crazy quiilter extraordinaire) would call that a "con", and she'd be right.
This time the lace is machine basted to the patch before it is sewn and flipped as one unit. Here the lace acts to divide a largish plain patch, so I get lots of added visual interest for virtually no extra work. Another con.
This shows how part of the block is pieced into a chunk before the chunk is sewn on and flipped.
Isn't that hand-dyed silk shibori AWESOME? My friend Vicki Day did that...
Here are two of the bags-to-be, ready to be interfaced and have their edges zig-zagged, and then handed over to my gals to sew on.
And here are the other two.
I started throwing some seam treatments onto mine yesterday at the 4th of July party we went to...a ten year old girl was watching me and occaisionally throught the evening she would shake her head and say, "You never stop sewing do you?"
Nope, I never do....
This is where the stitching action will be! My family has gathered on this porch for about 90 years now...we keep overlaying new summers of memories here, some tragic, some joyful. This summer's are going to be mellow....