Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Favorite F-Word


(What were you thinking?)

First, here's the project. The Recycled Tote. The pattern is free. Really! Now, before I tell you how you can get your very own pattern, there's a back-story. (Isn't there always!?)

The Reclycled Tote, free quilted bag pattern

The title of the book, When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters, implies that perhaps bad things happen because of something the quilter did. Hey, we all make mistakes, right? But some bad things just happen. Nobody did anything wrong. Like the quilt pictured below. The quilt that almost was, below, never really got to be a quilt. It was huge, nearly king-sized! It didn't get to be a quilt because I fell out of love with it about halfway through the quilting. I didn't want to finish it, so it sat in a heap . . .for years. Now it has been reduced to cut-up pieces because it was used to make the Recycled Tote above. I bet I have enough quilt left for another tote! (Yay, me!)

By the way, check out the glass button on the bag above! It was made with this bag in mind by my friend Bonnie from Joyful Adornments. Love it!

cut up quilt

Here's another quilty example of something 'bad' that happened. Yup, this is my bedroom (don't look too closely at the rumpled sheets or the stack of katty-wampus books on the nightstand). However, notice, that the quilt on the bed is a stunner. One of my favorites, made from swapped blocks.

scrappy bed quilt

I should say it was a stunner. After years on the bed, it has seen better days. The edge of the bed, where the quilt gets the most wear, is particularly ragged. Yep, that's batting boldly showing through the wrecked rose-colored star.

damaged scrapy bed quilt

Oy. I feel compelled to point out that this is my husband's side of the bed.

scrappy bed quilt, damaged

But much of the quilt, though it may be a little faded, is in really great shape. This quilt is a great candidate for the Recycled Tote. Or, what about that quilt found at a garage sale? Perfectly good quilt, not much sentimental value: recycle it!

scrappy ribbon star quilt

Okay. Are you ready for the pattern? All you have to do is go to this page and download it. While you're there it'd be okay if you bought the book, too! Or you can get it here. Or better still, ask for it at your local quilt shop.

I suppose that I need to find another quilt for the bed. . . more on that coming soon!

Last week I showed you how I made a heart-shaped pin using the Taste of Nectar Pin Pattern Pack. Mary, one of the visitors at my booth in Houston last Fall, sent me a note, but no picture, for inspiration. After last week's post was sent, I learned that, indeed, I had received a photo from Mary, and her pin creation was quite different from the one I imagined. Here's a quick recap:

Once again, I worked with only one 9-patch section of the grid. I used some super fun Hoffman batiks in low contract colors for my 9-patch. Place squares on the grid, fuse. . . .

Mini scrap grid interfacing

Fold, sew, furl . . .

nine patch made with mini scrap grid interfacing

and trim . . .

nine patch quilt blck made with mini scrap grid interfacing

Add borders to two sides of the 9-patch, like you would make a courthouse steps log cabin block. One border is 1-1/2" x2" and the other is 1-1/2x3"

adding borders to a nine patch quilt block

Add a backing and fusible foamy stuff sandwiched in between (the foamy stuff comes with the pattern).

making a quilted pin

Add a little quilting . . . Since heart shapes can become a real hack-job without a some guidance, I drew the curvy heart shape onto the borders first with a white marking pen that will disappear later with a bit of steam. Notice that I started the heart curve about 1/4" away from the edge.

tutorial to make a quilted Valentines pin

Trim on the drawn line with pinking shears

quilted Valentine's pin tutorial

Now, you be the judge. . . They are both cute. I think I really like the low-contrast color choice.

quilted Valentine's Day pins

Here are Mary's originals. Super cute!

quilted Valentine's Day pins

Mary made her pins as gifts for the residents at her mom's senior living community. Wouldn't these be cute for a child's Valentine party? I plan to put mine on my coat for a seasonal conversation piece. Very fun, and only took a few minutes to make.

Happy Stitching!

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