Baby Quilts for Charity

I thought I would check back and let you know how  I have been doing finishing my UFO’s.   Well it’s hard to dig into my pile of unfinished projects if I keep starting new ones!  But these I have at least started AND finished–and I’ve made a dent in my stash as well.  My quilt guild provides quilts for a women’s and children’s shelter in our area, so these will go to a good home.

baby quilt stack for charityInstead of trying to follow a pattern, I took fabrics that seemed to go together and just started sewing pieces together in a “Gwen Marston” fashion.

Baby in Green  IMG_0585 IMG_0580 IMG_0587I kept adding pieces until I had a quilt top about 40 x 40 inches.  Then I tried to make them a little more interesting by adding some simple applique that I attached with my long arm.  It’s “raw edge” applique so the edges might curl up a little when washed, but I think that will just add some interesting texture.IMG_0584  IMG_0586 I tried to simulate a blanket stitch on the these stars. IMG_0588It make a quick finish, I brought the backing fabric around to the front to do a mock binding.

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I had so much fun making these quilts.  They were simple, yet I was able to use my creativity AND use up some of my stash of fabrics.  I am ashamed to admit, that I probably have the materials on hand to make a hundred more!  I may not have time to make that many, but I will definitely make more.  It feels good to use my  time for such a worthy cause.

Now I just need to wash and dry them before our guild meeting tonight.

 

 

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Gwen Marston Workshop

I’m really fortunate to belong to a quilt guild that brings in fabulous teachers from all around the country.  This week was no exception.  I had the great opportunity to attend a day long workshop with Gwen Marston.  Even though Gwen has been teaching in this industry for 3 decades and has written 26 books, I was surprised to find her techniques to be quite fresh and modern.  I think she has changed my life! (well, my quilting life, anyway).  Her approach to improvisational piecing was truly liberating.  Here are some of the pieces she shared with us.

First, strip piecing with 30’s prints.  Notice how everything doesn’t need to match up exactly.  It’s OK!

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Those black fabrics really give this movement!

 

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It’s the use of solid colored fabrics that really give this a modern feel.

 

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Gwen often takes her inspiration from antique quilts.  Here is a new setting for strip pieced blocks.  

Notice how the borders get chopped off in the seams.  Just like they do with old quilts.  That’s  OK too!

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I really love this one.  Sewing fabric strips together is an old, old idea, but this looks like modern art!Image

 

Even though this one is made from 1890’s reproduction prints, it looks fresh and new.Image

 

 

So I had to try it.  I cut strips  any old shape and size and sewed them back together.   You may notice that                                      my fabric color choices are a lot like my painting color choices.  I do love pink!

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No measuring!  No worrying about points matching or using a perfect quarter inch seam.

I like this “X” block I made for the corners.  This is a 4″ block.  Notice the tiny pieced bits in the “X”.  Those are all different fabrics I sewed together and then cut into strips.  Really not that hard!

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I worked fast as I could to finish this little piece (about 20″ square) before the day is through.

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 I could quilt it now for a little wallhanging, or maybe I will turn it into a larger quilt.   You’ll just have to stay tuned

to see how it all turns out.  Just don’t expect it to be any time soon!