Quilt Dreams

American Patchwork Quilting_01
American Patchwork & Quilting August 2017

My mom subscribes to American Patchwork & Quilting. When she renewed, she got a free subscription to give to someone else. She decided I was that someone else! Mostly because I’m neck deep in my Sarah Fielke Down the Rabbit Hole 2017 Block of the Month Quilt–a sign that I’ve been bit by the quilting bug!

Now, because I’m in the middle of a quilt that consumes most of my crafty time, I don’t have time to start another quilt. But that’s not going to stop me from dreaming!

Here are two that I flagged (because I’m going to be saving these magazines for future reference, of course):

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Sawtooth Star Block
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Make the Connection

I think I like both of these patterns and color schemes because there’s a distinct background that really puts the spotlight on a few different fabrics. In my quilt dreams, I would use one of these patterns for a t-shirt-esque design. I’d make those stars out of old shirts–you know like dad or grandpa’s retired work shirts. Those rows of 4 squares, I’d make out of old baby clothes. (You know, the ones that are too stained to pass on or donate–fussy cut around the spaghetti stains, of course.) I’d let these patterns capture some fond memories by showcasing old, beloved clothes.

Aaaaand, end of quilt daydream. Back to reality.

40 Before Forty Update: No. 06

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

Month 5 wasn’t so hard, except for the fact that I was catching up on month 4. And, then I had to pull out my sewing machine to add the last 2 rows of houses, the corner squares, and a thin border on all sides. Meanwhile, month 6 of the pattern was released.

I started by doing this:

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Quilt To-Do List

I wrote down everything I needed to do, sorted by task–cutting and stitching. I did everything I could for all of the patterns without pulling out my sewing machine. (My sewing machine lives under my desk.)

Finally, yesterday I had a quiet morning and I sewed like crazy! I’m happy to report that I have month 5 complete!

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Ta-Da! The Sarah Fielke 2017 Block of the Month Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt! (Month 5)

You don’t know how happy I am with it! I love how the corner suns/flowers pop!

I’ve got a decent start on month 6. There is a lot of hand applique involved. Which is fine, but I don’t think I’ll be done by July 31st when the next pattern is released. Oh well, I’m having fun!

 

40 Before Forty Update: No. 06

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

Month 4 took me forever to complete. In fact, I’m about half of a month behind. First, I had to pick out 10 new fabrics. Then, I had to cut out a bazillion little pieces. Of course, when you have a bazillion pieces, you have to stitch them together. My sewing machine lives in a storage tub under my desk. So, I have to have a clear schedule to pull it out.

Finally! That day (or 2 or 3) came. Behold the next installment of my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt!

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Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017, Down the Rabbit Hole, Month 4 Complete

Okay, it was a lot of work, but I’m LOVING it. I’ve been sweating in the fabric store as I pick out new colors. I’ve been trying to use some of the same colors over. For example, the house roofs are made from the same fabrics as the flowers and the wedges of the center circle. The small center circle, flower centers, and windows are all the same yellow fabric. My goal is not only to keep some consistency within the colors, but to use up as much fabric as I can–not that a stash is a bad thing!

As you may have guessed, because I was behind on this, I’m behind on month 5. But, it appears to be less work and uses techniques I’ve already learned with this quilt.

40 Before Forty Update: No. 06

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

I’m nowhere close to having this quilt done, but I have completed the third month of the pattern! Behold!

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Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017–Third Month Completed

I’m happy with the colors. And, it’s such a relief, because I’m not necessarily the best with putting colors and prints together. Month 2 and 3 had a lot of hand stitching in the form of needle turn applique. That thin dark blue border was machine stitched. Because my sewing machine doesn’t live out in the open, it is an occasion when it comes out. I try to only break it out when I know I have enough time to tackle my current project, plus something on my “to-sew” list.

So, when I stitched on the border, I also stitched loops of ribbon onto my kids’ towels.

TowelHook
Ribbon loop sewn onto a towel for hanging convenience.

I saw this on the Internet a year or two or three ago and mentally cataloged the idea. I put some semi-permanent hooks onto their bedroom doors. It’s such an easy solution. Bonus: because they’re just towels, I didn’t have to fuss over ribbon or thread colors. What I had was what I used. Function over form!

Now, I’m working on Month 4 of the block of the month pattern. There are a lot of little pieces I have to cut out. Everything is machine stitched, too. We’ll see if I can get all the stitching done in one sitting–I’ll keep you posted!

Fast Fashion Made Slow

I’m frugal by nature. Which leads me to purchase inexpensive clothing. I’m well aware of the Slow Fashion movement. So, while I may purchase cheap clothes, I try to make them last. Here’s an example.

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Bad lighting and wrinkles, I know.

I purchased this cat dress at Target. I actually wore it as a maternity dress. The empire waist rested just above my belly and the dress fit more like a tunic, which I paired with leggings. But, being fast fashion, the quality wasn’t there. See the trim around the armpits? It bled. Gross. Washing it didn’t help.

catdress_02
Gross. Was it my deodorant that made it bleed? How come it didn’t do this around the neckline?

But other than that, the dress was in good shape. So, I turned it into a skirt. I simply took out the seam at the waist and removed the thin strip of elastic. I folded down the top and stitched it down to create a casing for new, wider elastic. I slipped in the elastic and stitched it into a loop. Finally, I stitched up the casing.

catdress_03
Wrinkles, still. And, a little mistake or two.

Voila! A skirt! Now, it’s pretty short and pretty see-through, but I plan to pair it with leggings.

Fashion slowed down just a little bit–a fast fashion alternative. As a bonus, I got a chance to work on my sewing skills!