Sunday, May 26, 2024

Work, Play, Rest

Background auditions
Goal number seven on my May list was to figure out a plan for the current book club quilt. Not only did I meet the goal; but I exceeded it because I finished the project!!

Maybe shirting plaids as a background
We are reading "The Year of Less" by Cait Flanders. The author details how/why she stopped shopping, reduced the amount of belongings in her home and along the way discovered a more meaningful life for herself. 

For the last several years, I've tried to work from my stash; but, I still managed to bring in almost as much fabric as I sewed into projects. So this year and influenced by the book, I made my own shopping ban. 

My essentials list: toiletries, groceries, gifts, eating out, gas, quilting group memberships, subscriptions to online groups/online and printed magazines, gas, pool/gym membership, dental/medical/eye massage/PT appointments. 

While some may think eating out shouldn't be on the essentials list, we don't eat out all
that often. If a friend invites me for a coffee or a lunch, the visit is worth more than money I will spend on the drink or the food! My quilting group memberships and online subscriptions help keep me connected to the quilting world. 

Not Allowed: impulse fabric, thread, notions, pattern purchases, unless there is a purpose that the item will be used in 30 days.

Approved list: Replacements, travel, long arm, home remodel, hair cut, manicures and pedicures. 

Dark background audition
Replacements cover clothing, shoes, as well as fabric and notions. When I've worn out that pair of pants or shirt, I need to be able to purchase another one, If I use up all a particular size needle in my stash, I will need to replace it. If I decide to enroll in a class, I want to be able to do it. . .guilt free!

I plan to spend a year with the shopping ban. Next February, I'll evaluate how well I've done. Of course, I'm planning the experience will be successful. Not only will I have less fabric in my studio; but I'll also have more finished projects! 

I read the book in February. While I did buy some solid fabrics in January, I have managed to stick to the shopping ban. I have been tempted multiple times; but, I didn't purchase! Many times, I put items in a cart one day and the next day deleted the items when I decided I didn't really "need" them. This week, I did order fabric to replace some that I used up so I'm still on track! 

Maybe red or purple as a background
A lot of thought went into coming up with a plan for a book club project. I've challenged myself with the book club projects to use from my stash and to purchase nothing! If I choose to finish a project I've begun in a workshop is a goal too. One of the online Saturday workshops that I participated in was a shirt folding class. 

It was fun to fold the shirts, They are about four inches long and about four and half inches tall. A couple years ago, I went through my closet and purged a bunch of clothing that I no longer wore. Since then, I've done okay with purging an item when a new item comes into the wardrobe. 

I can remember my grandmother talking about clothing in her childhood. She had a school dress, a play dress and a Sunday dress. She said she wore a pinafore to keep her school dress clean and she wore an apron to keep her play dress clean. 

Auditioning shirt layouts
This memory got me to thinking about the three shirts that I had folded. I could use the theme of Work, Play and Rest to make a project. Thank you Nancy T for helping me come up with "Rest!"

Finished front
Nancy also helped me as I struggled with choosing a background. She said why choose one color? Choose three fabrics. Cut the fabrics into triangle like shapes. I tried it and I liked the mock up. So I pieced the fabrics into a background. The green fabric was a small scrap. I cut a diagonal line and added the red and brown sections. It is a small piece eight by 11 inches.

Top quilted and ready for facing.
I spent some time auditioning layouts of the shirts. I took photos along the way. I did layer and baste the project. I quilted it with a walking foot and cotton thread that was the color of the background.

It took me about 35 minutes to quilt the background. My knee was not happy quilting. Quilting isn't a task I can do just yet. I even took a break after I quilted each color! I miss quilting; but, I'm thankful that I can piece.

Back of project and the leftovers
The backing is a scrap left from a previous project. Once I had trimmed the edge of the piece, I serged the edge. I wanted to know if serging would make the edge more

stable so I'd have less distortion when adding the facing. I think I did so I will try that process on a larger project.

I decided that I would machine stitch the facing in place before I appliquéd the shirts. I looked through my two and a half inch strips and found a strip that was four inches larger than the piece so that was what I used for the facing fabric. 

Back with the sleeve and label
I spent more time auditioning other layouts until I found an orientation that I liked. I pinned the shirts in place and hand appliquéd them into position. The shirts are 3-D. The point of the collars are tacked into place; but, you could run your finger under the rest of the color edge. The back of the sleeve is appliquéd to the background. The front is also free. At this point, I decided that the piece needed some words.

At first, I thought about using my machine to embroider the words. I made some examples in the . Then I thought about hand embroidering the words. Gertie, my inner squirrel thought hand work was a better fit.

I wrote the words on a piece of Grunge fabric using a fine line Micron Sigma pen. I placed a small piece of lightweight interfacing behind the words to prevent shadowing from the background fabric and/or the embroidery floss. I used two strands of embroidery floss and backstitched the words. I appliquéd the words to the background. I like the interest that the words added.

I completed the label, hand stitched the facing and added the sleeve. I used some of the red fabric I had used in the background. Not much of the back of the project shows! 

It's good to have a finish! I used about a half a yard of fabric for this project. . .all of the pieces were scraps! I've cut the leftovers into useable sizes and placed them in the appropriate storage. 

This is a small project and simple project. Still it took me at least 15 hours to finish it! A finish, no matter how small, is terrific!

I did purchase four yards of fabric to replace what I had used for my temperature quilt. I'm planning to track my fabric purchases since I began the shopping ban in February. Fabric used from stash this year is two and a half yards. Fabric purchased since the shopping ban: four yards.

This is my second finish this year. Linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. Also, l'm linking to Patchwork and Quilts. Thank you again, Frédérique for the invitation to join your Linky party! 


Janice Smith said...

Cool project!
I, too, am trying to stitch solely from stash, and with fabric it is working very well. My downfall is ordering wool applique and cross stitch patterns. I’m incorrigible or in absolute complete denial but how long it will take to stitch what I already have. :-)

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Your little folded shirts are lovely, and the pieced background is perfect. Love the written words too. Good luck with the fabric ban, it's a very good resolution. Thank you for sharing!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That sounds like an interesting book, Terry! I love your shirt idea for the quilt to represent what you learned, too. Those little shirts you created are amazing! Glad you're back to piecing, and hope your knee agrees that you can do more quilting soon!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Very thoughtful quilt, Terry!!! Great that you could combine your shirt folding class with this project!!! I put my name in for that book at our library.

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

I too try to quilt and sew from my stash but often find myself purchasing fabrics. I wish you all the luck on your purchasing challenge this year. Your little folded shirts are adorable and as sweet as can be, Terry!

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

Adorable little folded shirts, and terrific quilt! I love the concept of using what we have and buying less.