Monday, May 1, 2017

Make Do Quilt

While working on my What Shade Are You Blog Hop quilt, I got stuck.  And then I decided to not use all the strips of fabric I had cut up.  I made a few improv blocks out of the scraps of the weavings, which I loved and this led to a Make Do quilt, which has become my favorite way to create.  A make do quilt uses what you have in an interesting way.  I had these big HSTs I had made and decided didn’t work and had already sewn them down to the batting.  I used the improv blocks I had made as inspiration to add to each HST in a log cabin, round and round I sewed strips, working each block individually.  This led to some wonkiness but I just kept going, evensewing batting scraps together and adding them round and round as well for a “Franken-batting”.  I incorporated both the small improv blocks which were the source of the inspiration for the quilt.

I had recently received my great-grandmother’s quilt and although it was in terrible condition, I loved how none of the fabrics matched and it was a Make Do quilt, much like the style usually attributed to Gee’s Bend quilts. I started researching more into these types of quilts and found them intriguing.  I found the hand quilting rather interesting in that it didn’t usually echo the blocks but rather was traditional and ignored the blocks themselves.

Back to the wonkiness, when the blocks were big enough, I joined them together.  This led to more wonkiness, especially due to the fact that I did not trim most of the batting to make sure it was straight before I added it on.  However, I decided that this fit the style I was going for and only fixed the worst of the spots and that I could try to quilt it out. 

I hand quilted the entire quilt with large rather irregular stitches in straightish lines.  I wanted the lines to be rather organic, similar to the way older quilts were made, with no modern rulers. I even hand stitched the binding to the front of the quilt.  I did not square up the quilt, though it’s not really noticeable unless you are trying to fold it. Also, all of the wonkiness did not quilt out.   But I think it’s my favorite quilt I’ve made so far.  The texture of the hand quilting feels so soft compared to machine quilting and I only want to make quilts this way from now on, at least my own.

All of the fabrics are RJR Fabrics, either Cotton & Steel or Cotton Supreme Solids. I now have two quilts made with the same fabrics and they couldn’t be more different. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pyramid Wheel Paper Piecing Pattern

My Pyramid Wheel Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern started from this photo from Tara @weftyneedle way, way back and with the whole fixing my house up and moving and my #Whatshadeareyou quilt (which I even used the pattern) and then no internet, it really got put to the back burner. But here it is!  You can purchase the pattern here at Craftsy for an introductory price of $5.  
Here are some closeups (I need some better photos) of the Pyramid Wheel blocks from my #WhatShadeAreYou quilt XOXO:

And even one made with patterned fabric, which was turned into a baby quilt with added borders.

If you made it this far, you can enter to win a copy of this pattern! Just visit my instagram and follow the instructions on the photo with the pattern!

Friday, March 31, 2017

What Shade Are You? Blog Hop

My name is Amanda and I go by Mandy Andy Designs on instagram (but don’t call me Mandy).  I’ve been quilting for 11 years, inspired to start quilting by an antique quilt my mom had bought when I was ten.  I homeschool my two kids when I am not sewing. I love making quilts but on occasion will make other things, which tend to inspire my quilts.  Here is my quilt, called XOXO, which includes fabric weaving and paper piecing and hand quilting galore.

I was thrilled to be contacted by Rachael at RJR Fabrics and it was the same week I posted my Best Nine for 2016 on instagram, eight of which were weavings I had done so I knew I wanted to make something with fabric weaving.  I also was working on a new pattern that I really wanted to finish so I went back and forth between the two ideas for a couple days and then it hit me; I’ll combine them.  I’m not much of a planner when it comes to quilting, mostly just starting with an idea and letting it evolve as I work.  I decided on the idea to make an XO pattern with the fabric weavings as the X’s and the Pyramid Wheel paper piecing pattern as the O’s. I chose the colors based on a weaving I had made for a different project.  Most of those fabrics were Cotton & Steel so I was able to easily match the colors of the Cotton Supreme Solids to the fabrics I liked and the ones I couldn’t match were actually C&S Basics anyway. 

Cutting Strips

Ironing Strips

My colors are:

Bubblegum 244
Hot Pink 217
Pink Saphhire 218
Sunset Ruby 357
Moulin Rouge 356
Red Wagon 416
Silver Lining 433
Silver screen 380
Greyhound 321
Shadow 431
Raven 396
Gift Box 291
Royal Blue 126
Mermaid 393
Banana Cream Pie 336
Peridot 342
Black 34
Basics XOXO Lightning, Sprinkle Jelly Bracelet and Sprinkle Corduroy
Backing and binding are Raindrops Geo drops in Charcoal

I specifically chose a range of colors in pinks and reds and grays and black for the Pyramid Wheel pattern but just chose my favorites for the rest. 

Trying to weave but my dog thinks it's her seat #rebeldoxie

When I was making the weavings, I just sat down with all the ironed strips and made each block as I felt.  My only goal was to make them look like X’s.  The weavings take twice as much fabric as regular piecing does so I cut and ironed a ton of fabric.  I cut the selvages off of the solids first before cutting all of my strips and included them within the weavings.  They give this wonderful soft and furry texture which I love.  

Texture with selvages

I originally thought that I would make the entire quilt in the weaving and Pyramid Wheel alternating blocks but soon it started looking super busy (and felt so heavy) so I took some time to think about it and decided to add the black on both sides, creating the negative space and putting all the focus on just the off center strip of blocks.

I machine quilted each block individually as a quilt-as-you-go quilt block and then combined the blocks with sashing and the large black panels, machine stitching the sashing and edges of the panels to the backing.  I added the binding and then hand quilted each block differently. It is much more enjoyable to hand quilt a finished quilt with no fraying edges or safety pins poking.

This was actually a weird time because I was fixing my house up, selling it, moving, all while trying to work on and finish this quilt.  But it was so worth it and I really did enjoy it all.  I think it gave me something to focus on during all the craziness.

My parents had a surprise snowfall the day I was going to their house for our monthly family dinner so I decided to take some photos there.

I had an extra woven block which I felt didn’t really fit with the others. It wasn’t looking like an X the way I had hoped so I turned it into a pillow. I think I was channeling @misterdomestic when I made the misfit block.

Thank you to Rachael and RJR Fabrics for allowing me to participate in this fun blog hop, my first! Come see me @mandyandydesigns and @rjrfabrics on instagram for a giveaway of these amazing fabrics and then see what I did with all of those strips I cut but didn’t end up using!

Monday, October 17, 2016

More Weaving Projects

It started with the Mister Domestic Weave Along and Lillyella Undercover Maker Mat Sew Along projects on IG.  I didn't think I had time to make either but then I had the idea to combine them and of course, I can always fit one more project in.

And then my daughter wanted me to make her a mini quilt because I'd made her brother one which you can see here.  We had picked the fabrics together but then I was stuck on what to do with one...until I made the Undercover Maker Mat.  So here is her mini quilt, all pinks, purples, cats and flowers...
...which led to my son asking why I didn't make his mini quilt like hers.  So I pulled his favorite colors and started here:
...but  I hated it.  It was too plain for me.  In the meantime, I had made a bag for Dylan to take to his grandparents but it ended up super tiny.  I guess I should have paid more attention to what size it was but I don't typically follow patterns. I ended up seeing the Cargo Duffle Bag by Noodlehead and decided to proceed with that for something different.  I loosely followed the pattern, as is per usual and this is what I came up with. 
It is the tumbling blocks weave made from lots of Cotton and Steel with Kona Cotton Highlight and some V and Co Ombre and some Libs Elliott True Love Fabric.  I cut two inch strips, ironed them into 1/2 inch double fold bias strips, which makes this two sided with no need for lining on the inside.

I made a matching zipper pouch out of the leftover bits from the Cargo Duffle Bag.  I improv pieced the one side and made a simple weaving on the other.  My son said that he didn't like the bag because it didn't open and lay flat.  Um, what?? Kids, right?  I think it's fabulous and want to make one with some red and pinks.

And as it turns out, I won patterns from Lillyella's Undercover Maker Mat Sew Along and then I won the whole shebang from Mister Domestic's Weave Along which included some weaving books and a set of fat quarters.  How cool is that?  I didn't even realize there were prizes with either one.  Now I'm hooked on weaving and must weave all the things.

In case anyone is interested, changes I made to the pattern are the handles, I don't really know what the pattern says, I just made them how I felt; I used a 36 inch zipper instead of the 26 inch one; I excluded the pockets for obvious reasons, how could I cover up that tumbling blocks weave; I pieced together the zipper gusset because I didn't have enough of the one fabric I wanted; I put the zipper gusset and bottom gusset together so I didn't have to add a binding to that part; I sewed everything with a 1/4 inch seam out of habit but realized too late that it was supposed to be 1/2 inch but it actually worked out by rounding the corners, which also meant making the binding on the bias, first time for that.  I think that's it.  See what I mean by loosely following a pattern?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Selvage Weaving...

is totally a thing now.  There's a hashtag #selvageweaving.  They're all mine.  I have been saving my selvages for a while, not that I need more projects to save fabric for.  It all started with the Selvage Challenge 2016 by Stash Builder Box. I'd been seeing some awesome weaving projects in my instagram suggestions and it clicked. And so it started with this tote...
...then became a bag...
...which was suppposed to be a quilt but my dog peed on it and I didn't really want it sitting around that long with pee on it.  As it was, it really stunk while I worked on it because obviously I couldn't wash it yet since I hadn't sewn a single stitch to it but didn't want to throw it away either.  She has a habit of peeing on my quilts so I knew it would wash fine, which is why I went ahead and worked on it. I left the selvage on the lining as well and included some Kona selvages, which have no writing but have a nice fuzzy edge. The bag is actually quite large.  Which all led to making a Cotton & Steel selvage only quilt...
...but I quickly realized that since the weaving takes twice as many strips as a pieced quilt, I was quickly running out and substituted with some Cotton & Steel Sprinkle in Counting Stars, which I also ran out of and had to buy more of, and then the color wasn't quite the same, ugh! A few IG friends sent me some selvages and I bought even more fabric and then a quilt was born!
I didn't draw any lines and realized that one section was extremely short and had to redo that whole section.  I had tried to make it work by adding a big piece of Sprinkle but didn't end up liking it. Really, so many things went wrong and I kept procrastinating on it. Also, the dog peed on this one too.  But in the end, it was totally worth it because it's way awesome and I think it might just find a wall to hang (in our new house, one day). The finished quilt: 

Now, I've started on another one with the rest of my selvages, but the blocks are on a smaller scale. I think this one will take up all the selvages from my whole stash.