It's February...(time for chocolate)!!by Andrea Kelter on 02/02/16
So hard to believe that yesterday was February 1st...but it was, and that means TIME FOR CHOCOLATE. And love. And romantic cards. And flowers. Maybe dinner out. But mostly CHOCOLATE!!!!!
It also means that Pat Sloan's second block in her 2016 Mystery BOM "My Secret Garden" has been released. I downloaded it last night - it's another lovely block and I'm looking forward to making it (once I decide on the fabrics).
I was mentally pondering and debating material choices for the block last night, and decided to keep my fingers busy while thinking - so whipped up a 6 x 9 mug rug with a Valentine's Day theme. While this is an original piece, no pattern - just bringing a few fabrics together in a whimsical style - I shamelessly admit the overall feel borrows heavily from a British quilter named Andrea Walpole, whose work is endlessly uplifting, charming and mesmerizing. If you'd like to see for yourself, please visit Raggedy Ruff Designs and check out Andrea's charming woodland creatures, flowers, grasses and other images from nature - all cleverly worked into her lovely, eclectic piecing.
This is "Birdie" - and it is headed to North Carolina (along with my new favourite gourmet chocolate bar by Girardelli - Sea Salted Caramel enrobed in thick dark chocolate - because I (foolishly, given my current schedule) agreed to participate in a Valentine's Day mug rug swap in one of my online quilting groups. But it's done, and I loved making it. Gave me a chance to try Minerva's built in embroidery stitches, and to play with free-motion applique - which is just so much fun!!!!
I've been playing with fussy-cutting lately - incorporating fussy cuts in subtle ways into my quilts. In this mug rug, I placed the green butterfly in the upper left corner of the "Postale" fabric band - and made sure the script text lined up correctly along the edge of the binding - simple touches that added just that little bit extra (I think).
On birdie's wing, I made sure the tiny flowers were clustered in the widest part of the wing, a small detail that adds a bit of "pretty" to the overall design.
One of the mistakes I made was not doing the embroidery stitches through the quilt layers - in retrospect, I think the back would have been more fun and prettier if I had done both the free motion applique and the embroidery lines through all three layers. Next one for sure!
Except for the binding (from my Maker's stash), Birdie is made entirely of scraps. I realized if I made about a hundred more of these, I would make a bit of a dent in my stash - so I need to get into a stash-buster project (or get drowned in scraps).
As much as I hate to admit it, it was a relief to get Firefly off the machine for a few hours. I spent about four to six hours quilting more of this one on the weekend, and I swear, this quilt is getting BIGGER as I work on it. It seems to grow by six inches in every direction each time it gets put on Minerva...
Has anyone else ever had a quilt do that?
I think this quilt will be a bit special when it is done...but it really does seem like an unending project...I am thinking of binding it with a wide flat binding (from a recent blog post by Carrie Nelson over at Moda's Cutting Table Blog). Because this quilt has a white microfleece backing, I think a wide, colourful binding will add a bit of oomph, and will look really nice from both sides.
That's it for me so far this month (hehehehe!) - can't wait to see what y'all have been up to - so linking up with Connie over at Freemotion by the River, and also with Freshly Pieced Modern Quilts. Have a great day!