Friday, 6 January 2017

New Year, new quilt and about time too!


I cannot tell you how good it felt to be sewing again this morning.  In the course of the last week, my brain and fingers itching to get back to my own sewing I have instead produce two very makeshift rag dolls (as in, can you do this in half an hour and can it please look like a Ninjago character please) and a blanket to keep Mr Sew Slowly's legs warm while he's fishing. This was not as simple as you might think, as he wanted fish appliqued on (even bought his own fabric from Spoonflower) and three layers, two of army blanket and one of wadding, all quilted together.  

Anyhow,  after all that, and before someone thinks to ask me for a circus tent or a pair of trousers decorated with balloons or any such nonsense, I have been back to my own stuff.

Remember this pile of fabric? Where to start?  Ok, so I had only the vaguest of thoughts about this, which was pretty much 'something with rectangles'.  So I kicked off by cutting up the yellow fabric with birds on.  This was the scariest one to cut into, but I reckon it's a good idea to get the worst over first.  I ended up with this:


and a pile of spare bits without birds.  

The next thing that caught my eye happened to be a  shirt pocket, which yielded two squares once I sliced off the seams.  I added a third. 



At this point I started to think in columns, so the next thing was to start adding bits to build vertically.


As usual I am cutting willy nilly then adding bits on if something is a bit small.

When I take a shirt to pieces I habitually take off cuffs, collars, plackets etc, but I don't throw them away and at some point in the scheme of things I wondered, in the spirit of Modern Utility, whether I might just include them.  Here's a train of thought picture of that stage.


Of course this is very early days, and I am still pretty much just playing: putting stuff down and seeing what I like, but some of these bits have already made it in there.


In a nutshell, today was mostly about getting a feel for the fabrics, seeing which ones I liked next to each other (or not), and starting to put together some chunks that work for me. Where they end up in relation to each other and what else will find its way in, I have literally no idea as yet, but it's a start! 

18 comments:

  1. Loving this color palette! I always enjoy hearing about your process.

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  2. I love the detail of the buttons and how that shirt print dies all the other colors and prints together so well. Hooray for being back at sewing!

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  3. Love where this is wandering off to!

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  4. I'm doing something with the same bird fabric right now. I love the direction yours is headed.

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  5. I love how this is going too, very inspiring! Enjoy 'playing' !

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  6. How good to see your new project, I love the bird fabric and your additions of shirt fabrics. This is going to be such fun to follow your ideas.

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  7. Last year I fell in love with your quilts and the way you develop it. It seems it won't change in 2017. :-)

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  8. Last year I fell in love with your quilts and the way you develop it. It seems it won't change in 2017. :-)

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  9. And I have a pile of old shirts too and thought of cutting the buttons to save them. Good that I didn't start yet. You gave me ideas as usually.

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  11. I love the progress you are making so far with this quilt. Looking great!!

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  12. You really are the ultimate improv quilter! I love that. I have never tried doing anything that way and I'd kinda like to! That bird fabric is really pretty and I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

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  13. Oh, so good of you to make the 'fishing' quilt for your man! I bet the army fabric will wear very well.:) And I love what you're doing here with this. I've used the sewn bits of a shirt before but I LOVE the look! Good to have a new project on the brain. I've been wanting to start something new so badly, but I am trying to have a discipline--at least until I get my open ended projects thinned down!

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  14. Great fun seeing the birth of something new : )

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  15. Thank you for showing this process. I have some of my Dad's shirts to make into a quilt and am in need of ideas, so thank you. Hope you get to sew more before any other requests come in!

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  16. I'm so much in love with this already, I'm going to have to stop reading your blog. I know I will carry this in my head when I start to cut up shirts myself.
    Oh, when are you going to make me those trousers with balloons appliqued on them, I am waiting!

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  17. I think you are off to a wonderful start! I keep cuff and collars until I am done just incase I need a bit of fabric for something. They can be tedious to take apart, but that's the unsewing part of sewing!

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  18. That saffron yellow is such a gorgeous colour and looks great with the grey. I really like the addition of the plackets and pockets - have you seen the recent Sherri-Lynn Wood 'pocket quilts', they're quite good fun. As for kids, I'm so glad I don't have to make another Sackboy or Minecraft Creeper cushion, or a patchwork quilt for Piglet! Still, I never expected to be asked to make anything by a little boy, so, precious memories really! As for a fishing blanket...you're a bloody saint, haha!! x

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