Thursday 27 February 2020

Update on memory quilts

 I'm finally adding pictures of the four memory quilts I made from about 20 men's shirts.
Here they are all laid out together.
Check out my link under pages here to see the rest of them.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

Not quite a quilt, but more than a blanket

I'm in the process of putting together three comforters measuring about 60 by 80 inches
to donate to Mennonite Central Committee this month.
This relief and development organization hopes to collect 6,500 comforters in January
as part of their centennial celebrations.
The comforters get baled and shipped to disaster zones or to refugee camps.

For this one, I used up a bag of samples given to me by a friend of a friend,
and added a few fabrics to get it to size.
I machine quilted  along the vertical seams with my walking foot
and hand tied knots every six inches in the middle of the columns.
I have two more tops to sandwich and quilt.
The biggest difference between these comforters and the quilts I usually make 
are the ties and the way I edge the quilt.
Instead of a double fold binding, I cut the backing 1.5 inches bigger than the quilt
and bring it to the front (folded over) and machine stitch it down.
You can see this in the photo below.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@brendasuderman), you may have seen my new deck and railing.
We replaced the deck and the sidewalks last fall,
and I've discovered my new metal railings are also great for hanging quilts.
I use the one-inch alligator clips to fasten the quilts on the rails.

Sunday 13 October 2019

Small things

I've been making small things lately,
like sewing machine blocks.
This is my first attempt at a Singer Featherweight.

Then I went for the mid-70s looks with an orange machine.

I invoked my inner Trekkie to make two sets of tea cozies, 
using my favourite quote from Captain Picard.

The one at the left is made from a linen/cotton blend.

I also embarked on a pouch-making frenzy in September,
finishing up these two I started a long time ago.
I get a lot of love for the nesting doll prints,
but these dolls don't nest, unless of course they are all put together already
and just sitting on a row beside other sets of nesting dolls.

Here's a gang of pouches, most made using a triangle pouch tutorial here.

I like this inch tape measure ribbon, which I bought by the metre in Invermere, B.C. this summer.
Funny how Canadian quiltmakers buy in metres but sew in inches.

Monday 5 August 2019

Global Village

Recently I was commissioned to make a table runner similiar 
to the one above, which I made as a class sample.
I didn't want to sell the sample,
so I started making houses with fabrics that would be special to the buyers.

Here is the finished table runner. It measures about 18 by 40 inches

I used a variety of greens for the trees, and text and novelty fabrics for the houses.
Above are a rainbow house, a love house, and a prayer house.

And a music house, an African hut, a peace and writing house, and a rose house.

Here are the two of them side by side.
The bottom one is my class sample, and I regretted that it was wider than width of fabric,
which necessitated piecing the back.
So I made the new one a bit narrower, since 40 inches is plenty long for a table runner.

I love making wonky houses and trees,
and I plan to teach another class on this in fall.
Let me know if you are local and would be interested in signing up.

Tuesday 30 July 2019

The fabric of our lives

For months my house has been taken over by bits and pieces of men's shirts.
My cousin died in March, and at his funeral, his wife asked us to make a quilt from his dress shirts.
Turns out she found 55 coloured shirts, so the project grew from one quilt to at least four.

I volunteered to take the blue shirts, as well as a few orange ones,
to make quilts for his two sons, one still a teenager, and the other in his early twenties.
This project grew even further when we realized how much fabric is really in an XL size shirt.
My mother made two quilts from the aqua and black shirts in that closet,
my aunt figured out how to make two from the grey and lilac shirts,
and my cousin made a quilt from the pink and grey shirts, and gave me her scraps.

So that got us up to seven quilts, enough to give to the extended family.

Here's a couple of shots of them laid out on a table.
I made the blue and orange one.

I still had lots of scraps, but I'm finding this project emotionally exhausting,
so I handed a pile of cut squares to my mom and she finished another top.
That's eight now.

A photo of the quilted in label in the two blue quilts I made.

Since Sunday, I've been sewing sleeve plackets and yokes with labels and shirt hems
into a string quilt. I'm about 10 long seams from being completed.

This last project seems even more personal, since I'm using bits and pieces from the inside yoke
or the shirt tails that are usually tucked in.

Yesterday I found myself thinking of losing my own loved ones,
and how hard it would be to lose my husband in mid-life
and I had to stop sewing.

There's no moral here,
except I think fabric from clothing carries more weight than yardage off the bolt.
These shirt parts have been speaking to me in a personal way.

We plan to take beauty shots of all of the quilts before we present them.
They are all very different, and all very beautiful.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

String Quilts up for Auction

I'm headed east to see two quilts I worked on be auctioned off for charity
My small guild puts together a group quilt every year,
and we sent off two recent ones to this sale in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada.

We made this Bright Strings in 2015-16 
Check the link in the online catalogue for more details.

We mad the log cabin last year and the catalogue link is here.

This year the sale has introduced online bidding, 
so you can place your bid here.

All proceeds from quilt sales benefit the relief work of Mennonite Central Committee.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Revisiting a UFO and teaching improv

Sometimes quilts weigh on my mind,
like this unfinished log cabin I started in Jan. 2017.

I had a vision of blue starbursts in my head,
but I'm not happy with the contrast.
I used two jelly rolls with some additional fabrics,
and now I'm rethinking the whole project.
I have 36 14 inch blocks, so I may go with the furrow layout on the top.
The biggest obstacle for me is quilting it, since I don't usually machine quilt such large quilts.
And I'm quite hesitant to pay someone else to quilt it when I don't really like the quilt at all.

Recently I taught improv quilting at a local quilt shop.
This was my first real teaching gig, 
but I've been making quilts with improv techniques for more than a decade.
I was inspired early on by books by the late great Gwen Marston,
and by online sewalongs with Tonya Ricicci, who doesn't hang out in blogland anymore.

The piece with the green border is an improv village on a table runner.
I used lots of scraps and the same background fabric.

I showed my students how to make trees and a variety of houses
and they all did great.

I showed them some of my improv house quilts too.
The one at the left is from 2009, and uses log cabins and wonky houses in a variety of sizes.
The made the one at the right last year for a new baby.

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