By Sandra Bruce
Hey, everyone, hope your summer is going well. Aside from really high temps that have me indoors more than I’d like, I’m still managing to play Pickleball, do a bit of gardening, and grilling on the deck. Pickleball, by the way, if you’ve never tried it, is totally addicting and great exercise. I needed something to counteract the hours I’ve been sitting lately, hand-sewing binding on some quilts 🙂
I did finish Maury and Maxine, as part of my bird series. The binding on it was some of the most complicated I’ve done, due to the color changes. This way of making matching binding is one of the techniques I’ll be teaching my students at Zephyr in September. I also have a mini-tutorial on CourseCraft on how to do it. (You can find it at https://coursecraft.net/c/matchedbinding). There are some interesting photos coming to my Zephyr workshop that my students have chosen to make their quilts from…..they have selected lots of animals! I do have a space left, (and I could stretch it to 2) if anyone out there wants to join us.
Here’s how it turned out, along with a closeup, and the back. It’s 24″ by 44″. The eyes are painted. Maury is the jokester!
I never tire of making wonky blocks, and finally finished a batik wonky log-cabin quilt I started a while ago. I’m happy with how it turned out. It’s been fun taking a little break from Matrix to make some different and sometimes traditional-ish quilts. Here’s a closeup of it, showing the quilting. This has been my favorite quilting pattern of late. Smoky swirls!
I belong to a few groups, and the one that has been the longest running is “Friends to Dye For”. We have been meeting for over 23 years, less often now than in the first 15 years or so, but we still do get together when we can for fun days of different projects. In the past we have done every craft and sewing project you can imagine! Altered books, mosaics, polymer clay, prayer flags, paper collage, goofy hats, bedroom slippers…the list goes on and on. We decided recently to repeat an idea we did years ago that was very successful. Each month one of us (there’s 5) gets a turn, where we pick a quilt pattern and everyone shows up at your house to sew for you to get a whole top done in a day. I went first, and we had a blast sewing (inside where the AC was on, of course!). That was a 100 degree day, I recall, or close to it. I planned 2 quilts, as they were super simple and I hoped we’d have the time to at least start the 2nd top. The first, a pattern by Villa Rosa, “Beads”. In all black and white with chartreuse “beads”.
It went together super fast and we had the top together by lunchtime.
In the afternoon we worked on 144 of these little black and white squares (below)…the squares were made by the end of the day and I pieced them all together later. This also is a Villa Rosa pattern, called “Split Charms”. I ended up putting a mixed partial border on it, I’ll post it when it’s done 😉 The photo below shows the blocks loose on my design wall. Lively! I think scrap quilts are my favorite.
A few weeks later it was Michelle’s turn. She wanted squares made from dyed indigo to make a quilt with. We first spent time at Michelle’s kitchen table, with a box of assorted items such as wine corks, rubber bands, string, thread, twine, clamps and other trinkets. We used these things to tie up the stack of white cotton squares before us, in differing configurations, before throwing them in the dye bath, outside.
After coming out of the dye bath, the pieces needed a bit of sunlight. Interesting blue blobs.
Then we sat and untied/cut the rubber bands and such from the squares, to reveal the patterns we created.
Oh my, did they come out beautiful, or what?!
The clothesline filled up as the day wore on, it was such a delight to watch them appear.
Here’s a couple of my favorites…
I have to say, typically this blue is not one of my favorite colors, but I have to admit I love these and can easily imagine making something using this technique. Michelle will put this quilt together, and I will quilt it for her. Can’t wait to see what she puts together!
Coming up, I have a rather complicated Matrix quilt idea in the works, it’s still in my head but I want to start it before summer’s over. Looking forward to making a summer garment first. Then I will have Artistic Alchemy prep to take care of, as the retreat is around the corner! Happy sewing, and stay cool and safe.
Maury and Maxine are amazing! Those dying classes/get together looks very fun! I want to do that someday!
Thanks Tierney! It is fun to see the results
when you open each piece after dyeing.
Love those scrap quilts Sandra!
Thanks Jane, I know you do!
An idea for that piece in the last photo: Don’t iron it, but quilt the undied white section with navy thread to match the pattern in the dyed section. It would be sad to let all of that pleat work go to waste!
Thanks for the tip! I’ll pass it along to Michelle 😉
What a wonderful post, Sandra! Loved every part of it. Your parrot quilt is magnificent and those black and white tops are so fun. See you soon.
Thank you Gayle! Looking forward to seeing you. I’ve been enjoying your blog posts too. 🙂
PS: I’ll be bringing my polymer to Zephyr, and making more in August beforehand, let me know if you have any requests!
So enjoyed your blog and seeing the wonderful quilts and talented ladies…
Sent from my iPad
Kathryn, thanks for commenting!
It’s always so fun to see what you’re working on Sandra. I can’t wait to see your next Matrix quilt idea take shape. I want to start another one too, but haven’t found the right picture yet.
I’m curious to know what’s on top of the wooden stool in the pic of you all sewing together. Looks like some kind of light?
Hi Kathy, thank you!
You are observant…that is indeed a makeshift light. Our dining room didn’t have enough, so we improvised with a floodlight on a stool 😉
What a great idea! I’ll have to remember that one.