Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sun Kissed Topper


Middle of August.

Does this make you nervous? It does me! Seems like I still have so many summer things to do, and not enough summer left to do them.

So I guess, I should quit crying, and start doing, eh?

Speaking your summer to-do list, have you started working on your entry for The GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge yet? If not, you'd better get crackin'. There is still plenty of time, the deadline for entries is September 21, 2012. But there's less time now than there was this time last week, and there will be less time next week than there is this week. (Do you understand why these things make me so nervous?)

Here’s a little something I pulled out of my stash this week to get your thoughts humming.

I may have mentioned last week that I really like citrus colors. And when you have fabrics you really love, you don't want to let a single thread of it go to waste.

That's what happened when I made a quilt a couple of years ago. I think these prints might have been from a Moda line of fabrics, bright and cheery, and very citrus-y. As I recall, I did a mitered border on that quilt. Usually when I miter the corner seams on a border, I sew multiple border strips together first, then attach them to the quilt. For this particular quilt and these leftover border pieces, I stored the leftover strips in a 'safe' place, and promptly forgot about them.

Until The GREAT Summer Orphan BlockChallenge got me digging into spots in my sewing studio that I forgot that I had. And unearthed those strips again.

Not enough to make another border, but what can this become?

The sewn border strips were 8-1/2" wide, so I had enough strip-segments to cross-cut into three 8-1/2" "blocks." A few extra strips were sewn together, just enough to make a fourth block. And a little 18” square table topper appeared - “Sun Kissed Topper”

To the blocks, I added pieced sashing strips from a little bit of cream and green solid fabrics to coordinate, and I fussy-cut one last little bit for the center of the center piece.

I was tempted to arrange the newly-created blocks in a rotating fashion - like a rail fence layout, with the pieced sashing strips in-between. But by placing the blocks into their current position, the table topper has an illusion of being a little bit longer than it is wide. Plus, I think it looks rather playful this way, don't you?

To keep things simple, I did a pillow-case technique to encase the raw edges by layering the batting, backing right side up, (a scrap of lime-like green print leftover in my stash, about 20" square), and the top, right side down.

A word about the batting I used. I confess: I am addicted to wool batting! My favorite is Hobbs Washable Wool. It's light weight, quilts beautifully by hand or by machine, has a really nice hand, doesn't remember folds like cotton does, and it's machine washable! So I asked my buddies at Hobbs Bonded Fibers if they would throw in some batting to our Orphan prize package, and they said, yes! WooHoo! Add a Throw size (60" x 60") wool batting to the Grand Prize Package for the lucky Orphan Block Challenge winner!

Like we did for the Tootie Fruitie Table Runner last week, sew 1/4" seam around the edge of the top, leaving a 6" opening for turning.

Trim the batting and backing even with the quilt top.

Don't forget to save the extra batting scraps to make pin cushions!
Pin around the edges and the the opening closed with a decorative edge stitch around the entire quilt. Then quilt the project.

Then, quilt the center!

A puff of steam from a hot iron to settle the wool batting into place, and . . . All done! Another 'orphan' put to bed, so to speak!

All this citrus stuff has made me thirsty! Time to relax with a nice tall glass of fresh lemonade . . . and enjoy August with some stitching, of course.

Happy Stitching!

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