Monday, July 5, 2010

Scraptastic #5

I went back through my posts, and this is approximately the fifth post about my Scraptastic obsession. This all began last fall when I had lost my quilting mojo and was feeling overwhelmed by the scraps in the sewing room. I had finished at least three or four big projects and was feeling uninspired. So, I started sorting my scraps into color families and sewing them together at random. For pictures of that early part of the process, please go here.

Then, I made a couple of test pieces (and ended up quilting and binding the green one for a silent auction at my husband's workplace). Then, I made a larger piece for the silent auction that my quilt guild will have at its show this summer. Then in June, I dyed the background for the big quilt I'll put in the show - it's the scrunched blue near the top of the post. As of this morning, after a weekend of working on the quilt, I am pleased to show some real progress.

First off, the idea is a field of flowers under a sun. Last month, I created "dirt" from my brown scraps:
As you can see, I pressed the edges of the triangles under and topstitched all around. I then moved the triangles around on the quilt until I had them in a layout that pleased me. The end triangles are left and right isosceles triangles rather than regular isosceles triangles - to form edges.

In my last post, I was unhappy about the way the sun looked. At about midnight Friday night/Saturday morning, I couldn't sleep and went into the sewing room, hauled the thing down from the design wall and started scribbling on it with Prismacolor pencils.

I am pleased with how it looks. It's a little messy, but much less obviously BRIGHT YELLOW.

I cut down the very large diamonds I had cut out, and made several smaller flowers. I pressed the edges under, starched, and topstitched.

Once I had enough flowers, I could then start laying them out. When I was in college 30 years ago, I edited the student newspaper for a year and a half and learned basic layout skills. To this day, I start in the upper left corner of a "page" and move diagonally downward to the right and then put something interesting in the upper right. You can see this in the Brat Cat quilt. You can see this in this quilt.
That's the sun in the upper right corner. The faint orange lines are pieces of novelty yarn used to show the locations of the flower stems. Next, I went into the scrap box and pulled out stem-shaped pieces of green fabrics and laid those down.

Then, I trimmed, sewed together, pressed under the edges of the stems, and pinned the stems into place:

After I had the layout right, I started sewing down the stems and flowers to the quilt. At this point, the dirt is held in place with a single line of stitching across the bottom and pins the rest of the way. When I get the stems and flowers sewn down, I'll create leaves from squares left over from a previous quilt (the red, green, and yellow one shown here). I'll have more pictures soon, probably tomorrow.

In other news, I have been spinning 20-30 minutes each day of the Tour de France/Fleece. Here is two days' worth of spinning:

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