Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mug Rug Swap ~ What fun!

I am a sometimes member of the forums at The Quilt Show website; I love love love the DVDs of the shows, and really need to just commit to being a full time Star member so I can watch the shows as they debut on the computer, instead of waiting for the DVDs, especially now that I'm back in the US and my internet will actually support streaming videos like that. The classes and wealth of information are more than worth it!

Luckily for me, though, even a Basic member (which is free), can participate in the forums. I've "met" some fantastic women there, learned a lot, enjoyed the friendship, and treasure the ability to ask any quilting question I might have and know I'll soon have several answers. Yay!

Part of the fun recently has been a "Mug Rug" swap. This is a very informal swap, where we each just said "sure, I can send one..." and then people reply and say, "Oh, can I have one from you? That would be lovely!" and back & forth, back & forth, back & forth it goes. When you ask to receive, you also agree to send one back, and so Mug Rugs have been flying across continents for a while now.

Now that I'm back in the US, I finally was able to throw my name in and participate instead of watching the fun from the sidelines. Yay!

I wanted to send Brazil-themed Mug Rugs, and bought this fabric for this project before I left Brazil. Beautiful butterflies, which I fussy cut and made the centerpiece of the mug rugs, and then assorted Brazilian scrap fabric to pair with each one. I used a much-coveted fabric on the back, which is in the pattern of my favorite Brazilian cobblestone sidewalks. I have a large amount of this, because I have a quilt in mind for "one day" and this will be the back of that quilt, once I get there.

I used a cute Flip Flops fabric for the binding as well, since it is fairly representative of Brazil to me.

I did decorative stitching on each one, and outlined the butterflies in the quilting as well. 

The Mug Rugs I received back have been stunning! I feel like mine are rather inadequate in comparison, but this was the best I could do at the moment. Life for me is swamped with moving, and getting ready to move again, and adjusting, and settling in, and I'm still not fully unpacked (we aren't unpacking much until we get into our final home, which should be soon!), and, well, this is what I could accomplish just now. Maybe later I'll do this again and spend a bit more time on something  more intricate.....

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Movie Night Quilt

As I mentioned a few posts back, we're getting ready to move into a new house, with multiple living areas, and so we need more couch blankets. One of the rooms is an actual media room, and so I decided we needed a movie-themed quilt.

I love designing my own quilts, so I did a search to see if there was anything similar out there already (there wasn't), and then started sketching. I knew I wanted movie themed items, so I made a list -- popcorn, movie reels, DVD case, tickets, sodas,....what else? The boys suggested 3D glasses, my husband thought maybe a movie marquee sign, and so I played with these ideas and layout and placement, then took my sketches and played in my EQ7 software to get the applique drawings right, and to play with did I want filmstrip sashing between all the blocks, or just as a border, or just between the rows, or ????

I ended up mainly drawing the applique pieces freehand, just because that's easier for me, but I did finish the EQ7 drawing so that one day I can offer it as a pattern, if anyone is interested.

Funny story on that, though -- I drew the popcorn patch, and could NOT get it to color properly! In EQ7, when drawing freehand, you have to get things to complete a certain way, line up right, connect to certain's somewhat complicated, and I've not spent nearly enough time learning it as I should. So every time I tried to draw the popcorn, I ended up with a patch that wanted to not complete, so wouldn't let me color just the popcorn.

I *think* I got it fixed, but....who knows.

I also drew the 3D glasses patch, then forgot to flip my fabric when I traced the template, so the glasses are a little funky looking. I had to cut them out three times before I got them close enough to right....

For this quilt, I used fabric that a friend had sent me from her stash. I'm still settling into life in the US, still unpacking my sewing items and fabric and all, and with all the "setting up house" spending, I'm trying not to spend too much on fabric right now. Easier said than done, but luckily, the dots and fun colors in this fabric were perfect for this quilt, so I was able to manage! I mostly had to buy the black & white, and then the backing fabric. Pretty much all the rest came from my stash, and largely from the gifted fabric from a friend. Sweet!

I made a pocket in the middle for remote controls, with the sections decorated with remote control buttons; this doesn't get used much, but the idea is we can fold the quilt up and drape over the arm of the couch, and have the remotes tucked inside. Good in theory, but with three boys....not so much in reality, I don't think.

 For the back, I used a tone-on-tone silver, and then for the quilting (not shown here) I outlined each applique with two echoes around each one, in a silver (non-metallic) thread. I'll update with a photo of the quilting in a future post....

I had a lot of fun with this quilt; choosing which color to go behind each applique, and then the layout of the designs, as well as the original choosing of what to applique. It's all machine applique, but I use glue stick to hold the applique in place (and turn under the edges before appliqueing around them), then I machine stitched just inside the edge of each.

Can't wait for more movie nights under our Movie Night Quilt!