Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Me Made May - Cuff Tops

Inspired to participate in the May Aurifil Artisan challenge, I decided to try a new pattern and ended up making it three times. 

Because there’s a lot of topstitching in the Cuff Top pattern, I auditioned and strategically chose 1147 Light Leaf Green 40wt to blend well with the multicolored palette of the floral fabric from my stash, a vintage loose weave gauze. 

The next make was an easy pick for the thread color, 2785 Dark Navy to complement the indigo block print cotton.  Cut slightly boxier, I put the pattern on the fold without reducing for the center seam allowance called for in the original instructions.  

On a roll with my garment sewing success and curious how a knit might turn out, I whipped up a third and final with 50 wt Light Beige 2310 remembering to use a jersey needle and the stretch stitch setting on my machine. 

My friend destashed a roll of thin muslin to me and it has saved me from having to buy pattern tracing fabric - a bonus!  

Before the Cuff Tops

Following a pattern is much quicker than self drafting like I did for this blouse made for my granddaughter.  She's happy with it and that's all that matters. 

50wt Aurifil Slate 6720 was the perfect blue thread and our pink rhododendron a picturesque backdrop.  Now I can get back to filling up my design wall with quilting again! 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Britches- Upcycle for Earth Day

 Playing with Parts and Possibilities is a process more so than a pattern that I have taught and made many times but never before using the fabric from four different pairs of deconstructed pants.  The Aurifil Artisan Challenge for April was the ideal opportunity and celebration of Earth Day. 

Along with my curved improv abstraction blocks, I combined traditional blocks, some freehand cut and others like the half square triangles using the Accuquilt cutter. 

Pieced with 50wt 2600, quilted with 40/3wt 4250 variegated and finished off with 12wt 2530 trying big stitch by hand on the binding,  Aurifil threads made for great teamwork . 

The two pants with 100 percent cotton content were much easier to deal with than the other two with 5 percent stretch.  The jean weight took some getting used to but fortunately, unlike my previous attempts with velvet and corduroy deconstructed pants, these did not shed. 

I purposely kept the size smaller 35" x 45" to avoid an unreasonable amount of weight for the finished quilt.

Keeping in the spirit of Earth Day, I also used scraps of leftover batting patched together.   With a graphic design for the piecing, I opted to go with a mix of playful designs on the quilting motif. 

Pressing with steam (thank you Oliso) and open seams helped with bulk and I did take my time stitching over the multiple layers. 

After a long and wet winter, the weather has been beautiful lately.  My finished BeeSewcial blocks for Debbie's April prompt "Albersesque" look so vibrant tossed on my Britches quilt don't you think? From the Josef Albers book Interaction of Color 50th Anniversary Edition, I chose inspiration from the transparence and space illusion chapter. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Playing Favorites Aurifil 40/3

When I first started quilting, my attitude towards the actual quilting step was to just make the layers stick together and to hide the thread by what I lovingly referred to as "stitch in the general vicinity of the ditch".   Times have changed, thanks in large part to Aurifil, now I want to show off the thread

This month, the Aurifil Artisan challenge was to choose our favorite thread weight and 40/3 stood out.  I was first introduced to it last year and immediately gave it a try on the long arm.  Sometimes I'll still quilt with 40wt or 50 wt but I've become comfortable with the 40/3 option.  

Granted, I probably use 50wt more frequently because that's my go to for piecing and trust me there are a lot of pieces in my quilts, especially this one.  40/3 gets the favorite ranking because I love the way the stitches enhances the quilt and can be seen.   

This is my third time sewing an Organized Choas pattern by Sujata Shah and probably won't be my last.  With a cool, calm beachy palette, inspired by the colors of sky, ocean, sand, driftwood etc.. the results are quite different than the two that came before.  

The recent storm damage in Capitola made national news and I watched footage of the tsunami-like weather sweep through from the comfort of our home, fortunate to be located on higher ground.  Recovery is bound to take awhile, but I thought I'd snap a picture this morning of the wharf with the visible gap and missing portion to document the event, part of why I started blogging. 

I continue to push outside my comfort zone - like trying new thread weight - and for this quilt I used a double batt for the first time.  There is a layer of 100 percent cotton with a layer of 100 percent wool and it wasn't any more difficult to stitch through the extra layer.  The 40/3 wt thread didn't seem to mind at all. With dark and light fabrics, I used 2610 Light Blue Grey, the perfect compromise. 

There is something kind of amusing to me when I think about how much focus and energy was spent to make the flimsy flat only to distort it with lumps and bumps created from the high loft of the batting. 

 My new Oliso iron has major steam action and was great for pressing those seams flat. 

Here are a couple other recent quilts showing off the beautiful cones of 40/3, my favorite weight.

It would be a little rude to mention the two previous Organized Chaos quilts and not show them so here you go - and wasn't I right in saying just how different they are?!