Sibling C and I have been working on the red and white bowtie quilt project. I finally finished sewing all the seams back together (although a second look-through showed that my initial standard for “good” may have been too low).
I assembled the back panel from some coordinating and some scrap fabrics. The brown floral fabric I mentioned in the last post is actually a large amount (maybe enough to make a dress), so I didn’t want to use it if possible. The tradeoff is that I had to do more piecing.
I bought a lovely but worn hand-sewn quilt from eBay to use as filling for this new quilt. Reusing an old quilt like this used to be more common, when fabric and batting was more valuable. Old blankets or sheets, for a lightweight quilt, can be used as well. Search on eBay using the keyword “damage” or “damaged” to find good quilt or blanket candidates.
The old quilt needed some repairs to make it useable. Sibling C and I sewed up that big rip and padded thin areas with scraps of cotton batting.
We’re in the quilting stage right now. The quilting pattern is pretty simple, just outlining the red bowties.
Since this quilt is pretty large (maybe 70″ x 78″) we used a special setup to get the excess fabric out of the way when working on it.
I received a surprise sewing request from my dad. He wanted a replacement curtain for the bathroom in his RV. The old one was falling apart — probably rotten from the sun. The fabric was an upholstery burlap with an interfacing layer for stiffness.
We measured the dimensions (essentially a square with some topstitching) and I duped it using surprisingly well-matched fabric from Austin Creative Reuse . The fabric was only $5.50!
Besides the two already-assembled quilt tops, my grandma had a collection of matching quilt blocks. I turned them into a small quilt (my first!) last Christmas.
There weren’t that many blocks, though, only enough to make a lap quilt. Neither of the layouts I tried seemed particularly appealing (at first). I settled on the second since it wouldn’t require making additional pieces.
Every step of quilt-making is more laborious and time-consuming than you’d expect.
Before working on this project, piecing seemed like it would take the most time. You have to collect scraps, decide on a pattern, cut and sew everything pretty precisely, and iron everything. Often people use complicated patterns that have super tiny pieces or need some fancy geometry knowledge. Check out the quilting subreddit for examples of fancy quilting projects.
BUT it turns out that piecing with a sewing machine is the fastest part! Sibling C and I sewed the binding on and quilted by hand. It took maybe 40-50 hours between the two of us.
I made a pair of lounge shorts a while ago. This was before I had my sewing machine, so I had to do everything from hand. Not my favorite, but you do have a lot of control over where the stitches end up!
Forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but it wasn’t that good. I gave them away sometime.
I used French seams but had a little trouble doing that with inseam pockets. And did a little research on dominant seams (whether to sew sleeve in first or sew sleeve in after doing side seam, or sew the crotch seams or leg seams first).
A natural dye sampler using materials foraged around Austin and leftover from cooking.
It’s really hard to get colors that aren’t shades of yellow, orange, or off-white! Sibling C wore these socks for a few years. She reported that after enough washes, it’s hard to tell which socks go together.
I have a couple quilt tops (the decorative bit that you see which made up of a bunch of different fabric scraps sewn together) from my mom’s mom. The less fancy one has what I’m calling a “dogbone” pattern (I don’t know what the official name is). We don’t know where the quilt top came from originally; my grandma didn’t quilt, so it must’ve been a gift of some sort.
The fancier top was a wedding present to my mom’s parents in 1952. This one is more finished, with a border and everything.
I put these through the laundry to pre-shrink them, make sure the colors don’t bleed, and find any weak seams, but I was too rough on them… so I’m currently repairing frayed seams. I was hoping to go straight to assembly and quilting.
While resewing seams, I’m thinking ahead to what border and back to add to the dogbone top.
I could also combine borders or do two rows of border. What do you think looks best?
I was thinking a lime green patterned fabric would look really good, but there’s nothing like that in the stash.
Each of the street trees in New York has a little patch of dirt around it (“tree square”). The NYC Parks department owns them, but officially sanctions adding plantings around the tree to reduce erosion and runoff (as long as you don’t kill the tree).
My local tree squares were sadly bare, so I took them over after seeing a guy down the street planting tulips! Competition is non-existent. In fact, I get a lot of weird stares when gardening 🙂 I was fortunate that the closest tree square is quite large (around 50 sq ft), although the tree, a red oak, has lots of shallow roots that get in the way.
The fence was used (“for parts”) on eBay. Apparently it was from a junk yard. It was the cheapest fence option I could find.
I’ve decided that I’m willing to eat street-grown food, but only in cooked form. Who knows what goes on in the tree squares!