Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pot Holder--Third Finish 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long 2018

Model for drawing a moccasin 
Our Thread Tales fourth quarter book was "The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivy. It was about a husband and wife who moved to Alaska some years after losing their infant during childbirth. I enjoyed the author's description of the landscape. The author's development of the characters and the story lines sometimes lost me; but, all in all, I enjoyed the read.

I sketched a figure. I thought about the night sky, snow, snow flakes, red mittens, a fox, a dog. I sketched more on the figure and thought more about the story. I couldn't figure out how to draw a shoe from the front view. I took a photo of a slipper and tried drawing it. Miss J was so helpful about how to make my drawing more realistic. I worked more with my shape.
Drawing of a figure for a possible quilt

I thought about the previous book club project I had started. I had drawn some figures on a piece of fabric. (A post about that project is ahead!) I had a frank discussion with myself about starting another art type quilt when I haven't finished the other art type quilts because I got stuck somewhere along the way. I also haven't had a finished quilt at a reveal in so long that I can't remember when it was that I did! I decided to go small and to stitch a hot pad with the Aurora Borealis on it.
Selection of green bits

Selection of bits in monochromatic photo
JoJo over at Through My Hands, posted a pot holder project that she named, "Aurora Borealis." This project has been on my Finish-A-Long list since January 2017. I started with the fabrics that I had bundled for this project.

Shaded and basted hexagons ready for stitching

Background was too small

As I reviewed my fabric choices, I decided that I wanted to make the Aurora Borealis as green as possible so I removed all but the background, backing and binding fabrics. As I looked through my scraps for greens, I decided to use a different green in each hexagon.

I also wanted to practice shading the Aurora Borealis from light to dark. I pulled some pieces and then tried to shade with my eye. Then I took a photo in monochromatic on my phone. After viewing the photo, I pulled some pieces and chose others. I cut out the hexagons using the template that I had purchased last month. These hexagons finish to 5/8 inch so they are small!

It has been a while since I English Paper Pieced. It took me a few hexagons before I figured out how I had basted them in the past. I figured it out and was happy that I had purchased a bag of foundation papers that were just the right size as it make the task easier. I also remembered how much I enjoyed this method.
Audition of prairie points

I also had to do some searching on You Tube for information on how to do a Knicker Knot as my first attempts weren't as I had remembered! It didn't take all that long to sit and stitch the hexagons together. Using the pattern provided, I cut out a background hexagon. Right away, I noticed that I had a challenge. My background was too small for the hexagons! Probably what happened with my pattern was my printer was set to "fit" so that was why the pattern printed too small.

I could have taken some hexagons off; but, I decided that I would recut the background and this time, I would work with a squarish piece of fabric and that I would cut the lines of the hexagon after I had quilted the piece.

I like the background. It looks like the Aurora Borealis is going on behind the hexagons. The background fabric is a scrap from a quilt that I made my freezing daughter many years ago. Nancy Crow designed it. I like that the darkest hexagons fade into the background. I  used a little bit of glue to baste the hexagons in place. Glue basting made it easier to applique them.

At the April Clark County Quilters quilt show two years ago, I purchased a spool of bright blue thread heavier weight Aurifil thread to hand stitch in the background of this project. I put a layer of insulbright and two layers of cotton batting behind the top and stitched some hand stitches around the hexagons. Then I layered it and added the tiny prairie points. I liked them; but decided to add them when I add the binding so that I don't cover too much of them up.

Quilting wise, I wanted it to be simple. I chose to stitch a few gentle curves to represent water and a few peaks and valleys to represent mountains in Alaska. I stitched next to the hexagons and about a 1/4 inch away from the hand quilting. The definition the stitching gave was enough for this small project and probably took me about half an hour.
Finished back

I made the prairie points using Susan Cleveland's tool. These are small. I used a 1.5 inch strip of fabric! I did stitch a decorative thread on the strip to add a little interest to the prairie point. I basted the prairie points to the potholder before I quilted it. Then I decided it would be easier to tuck the prairie points under the binding so I removed the basting stitches and worked on the binding.

Stitching the binding was a challenge. I used my number 72 foot and after I had stitched it, I realized that I had neglected to move my needle over to the left. It made sense now why the seam allowance seemed so small!!! In my defense, I often set up the next step of a project before I leave the studio for the day. Then, when I have 10-15 minutes, it is easy step into the project and make some headway. This was the first time that I was able to consistent square corners with the binding.
Finished front

In the past when I have had a corner different that 45 degree angle, the end result was different for each corner. It really helped that in JoJo's instructions, she shared using the marks on her sewing table to use as a guide for when she turned the corner with the binding. I still need practice; but, I am pleased with how much better these corners look! I am working on bettering my technique of applying the binding totally by machine. I'm making progress but, need more practice!

I used about a quarter of a yard of fabric for this project. Truly, my only costs were the papers, template, thread and needle as the fabrics were all small bits of leftovers. I did put insulbright and two layers of cotton batting in the project so it could be a working potholder. I've had the insulbright on the shelf for years! I'm glad to have used a chunk of it too!

I have now used 38 1/4 yards of fabric from my stash. I am edging closer to my goal of using 50 yards from my stash this year. I have 11 3/4 yards more to use before December 31. If I can finish quilting that mystery BOM quilt, I will surpass my goal. As for my initial drawing, it may become a later project! I'm pleased that goal number five and goal number 23 on my 4th Quarter Finish A-Long list are finished. I'm excited that I've also completed one of my November that was in my previous post!


Anonymous said...

The time you take to explain the course of action you take for each project is so appreciated. It's like reading a book. Gail G said...

Gail, I hadn't thought of the time factor like you described in your comment. No wonder it takes me almost forever to get to the finish line!!!! Great point!