September 25, 2013

Quilt 17: Tutty Fruity Placemats

Most of the charm squares (from the pack I told you about last week) are very similar prints: bright, sparkly and vivid. There are a handful, however, which are less so.

Such as the "potatoes" squares, "mushrooms" and the "cabbage" squares.  They're OK, but they don't blend well with the others, so I've pulled them out and have decided to make placemats with them. Like Quilt 13 (the table runner with Japanese prints), I expect they'll work up pretty fast. And as I'm not really in LOVE with the prints, if beef juice or red wine (or, more likely, curry sauce) gets spilled on them, well, so what?!?!

Six charm squares make up almost a placemat-sized rectangle.  I'll edge these with plain solid black calico.

Here's the pairings:

First: apples/peaches/cabbage/asparagus.
 Who would pair asparagus with peaches in a dish?  Well, not me. It doesn't make sense from a culinary point of view, but at least the colours don't scream "WRONG!!".... at least not to me.

Second: mushrooms/corn/potatoes and onion/lettuce/carrots.
 The carrots kind-of "pop out".  I tried swapping the corn and carrots, but ended up thinking this arrangement is probably best. Well, sports fans, there's gonna be plates, cutlery and table napkins sitting on top.

Finally: bell peppers/tomatoes/bell peppers and limes/chilis/cucumbers.
Yeah... a bit much.  I know.  Again, I tried different arrangements, but this one is the most harmonious (keeping in mind the fabric in real life looks just a smidge different than it does in photographs).  This one is garish, but might be nice for the picnic table...?

So there you are.  There are enough of these prints to do 2 of each of the above 3 combinations, 6 placemats in all.

I've stitched the charm squares together, but haven't added the edging yet. I'm holding off on that. I've got the black calico but have decided to go with a "throw" size quilt and a table runner, and am thinking I should get those measured and thought out before I cut into the calico for these placemats.

These will make nice little "portable" projects, too.  Something I can easily tote with me when I visit my friend and quilt guru Pauline (and I'm hoping to see more of her in future... ...I'm even working on her to let me photograph some of her divine pieces so I can share them with you here...  ... Keep your fingers crossed, because she could say "no"...).

September 18, 2013

Tutty-Fruity Charm Squares (Fabric yes, Design no)

On my last visit to Florida (late May of this year) I headed to Cousin Toni's favorite quilt shop and did some "indulging". One of the things I brought back was a couple packets of "charm squares" cut using veggie/fruit prints. I'd picked up a yard or so of a "tomatoes" print back in 2011 (in Ohio) but hadn't done anything with it (no really good ideas yet). But here were 2 packages of 36 5x5 squares - 18 different prints.

Well, you just KNOW I couldn't pass them up.

We don't want all that lovely fruity/veggie wonderfulness to just sit and rot in the closet, so I pulled out the packets and started sorting through to see what's in them. Here's a photo of some of them spread on my working table:

Almost makes you drool, doesn't it?  But wait.  Notice some of the prints have definite black backgrounds. Some are just solid fruits (in whatever colours).  And notice the cucumber bit right there in the center bottom.  Very light - and a shade of green that doesn't seem to quite match/mate with anything in the entier pack.

Now, some of these are bright, vibrant colours. Others? Hm... the potato print? Cutsy, but not exactly splashy. And mushrooms? Also brown.


Going to have to give this some thought. I'm thinking: 
  • place mats (maybe that yard of tomato prints would make up nice napkins?)
  • table runner 
  • and a "throw"

September 11, 2013

Quilt 13: Japanese Table Runner - DONE!

Once I got serious about this project I was surprised - REALLY surprised - at how quickly I was able to finish it. There's not a huge amount of hand quilting on this, and it's only straight lines (and not many of those), so once the thing was sandwiched, it was done in a flash! Here we are: sewing on the binding:

And here's the finished product, draped over the stairwell rail, draped so you can see the front and back:
And here it is in it's final place - a little table in the hallway (I'm going to paint the table black later this spring, it will look much, MUCH nicer after I do that): 

I've never done a table runner before. It was an immensely satisfying project from the standpoint of creativity, speed and results.  Hm... I'll have to do more of these. I've got some Christmas prints stashed away, and maybe those would do well as table runners...?


September 4, 2013

Blast From the Past (2011 Japanese Print Table Runner)

It's been two years since I told you about my plans for a table-runner quilt, made from Japanese prints.  I had the fabric, came up with a design, all ready to go, but somehow... ..well... it just never happened.

But now it HAS!

I've adjusted the design slightly - simplified it, really.  There are 9 rectangular blocks with the blue/gold mums, each with 2 half-inch borders of cream/gold fabric.  They are framed by a coffee/gold print.  Here's a segment so you can see the colours:

(Double click the photos below to see larger images)
There's just enough of the flower print to use as the binding:
For bedspreads, I've been using plain unbleached muslin (aka: "homespun").  With printed calico costing anywhere from $15 to $25 a meter, I just can't justify the expense of a print, when I can back a bedspread with something that costs $6 a meter instead.  But for this project, well, a print makes more sense, so the table runner is backed with this Japanese writing print:
It only took me 2 years to get around to this... and the quilting and finishing on this project will go very fast.  I'm going to stitch inside the flower blocks and then around the edges, but not much more than that.  I'm using a cream thread, which shows up nicely, gives just the effect I'm wanting for this project.