After 6 months of doing Slash the Stash, I've decided to mix things up a bit. I'm still trying to sew the majority of my projects from my stash, but I wanted to open things up a bit for all of those who aren't trying to work from the stash this year like I am. This new link-up is simple--no button, no big requirements. Just link up your favorite finished project for the month that you are so excited to share. For those who are wondering what this is all about, check out the beginning of this post for the"hallway" story about my friend's mother.
At the end of my hallway this month is my finished Flea Market Fancy quilt! I really wanted to sew something simple with this line. The prints are just too pretty to cut up into tiny pieces. I stuck with large HSTs. These blocks are about 7.5" finished. I chose to use up some 100% linen I had on hand. This stuff washes up so nice and soft, but it's a beast to work with. I starched it three times before cutting the blocks, but after working with it for a while the starch starts to wear off a bit. As it softens it gets harder to work with again. I knew what I was getting into because I used the same fabric on my Innocent Crush diamond quilt. I admit I'm glad I used it. It was nice to continue using fabrics from my stash rather than running out to buy something different, but I don't know that I'll be using it again on a quilt.
I also ventured out and tried some new quilting on this one. Several months ago when I was back home for my Grandma's funeral, my mom introduced me to one of my dad's cousins who is a long-arm quilter. Dawn, who calls herself the Pajama Quilter, has actually produced a couple DVD tutorials on quilting. She offered to send me copies of her videos and workbooks. I really debated. Her vidoes are more for long-arm quilters, and I didn't want her to send me anything I wasn't sure I'd use. Finally, I decided to give it a try, and she shipped me her DVDs. She has some really fun pattern ideas and teaches them on a white board in each clip. I was watching the Retreaded video one afternoon while my twins actually napped. Miss C was entertaining herself with a craft project. When she saw what I was watching, she quickly sat down next to me to watch the quilting videos and even asked me to pause it when she had to go to the bathroom. I made copies from the workbook for her to color while we watched each clip. She loved it and was so excited to "learn" to quilt.
I chose one of Dawn's patterns (sort of a swirly flower) that I felt fit the fabric and started sketching. It really did help to practice drawing the design over and over. Then I practiced on my test fabric. Finally I jumped in and started on my actual quilt. The biggest challenge I didn't plan on with trying a new quilting pattern was the fact that my thread perfectly matches the linen. I literally couldn’t see where I had stitched and frequently found myself stitching over my pattern. Also, the texture of the linen hid my stitching making it even more difficult to see. I was sad my pattern didn’t show up much, but at the same time it was a great project to test a new pattern on. It was just fun to try something new and finally get out of my rut a bit. Thanks so much to Dawn for letting me try out her DVD's and techniques!
I’ll be sharing the quilt back later this month when I participate in Ali’s Festival of Hexagons (which should give you a good clue what might be on the back)!