Saturday, July 24, 2021

Sewing Saturday... Summer Blues

 Welcome to this week's sewing round up!

I worked on scrap challenge blocks in dark blue, made a whole new piece, and finished borders on last week's piece. Let's get this party started, shall we??

the design wall was exciting this week!

I'll start with the wine bottles in dark blue scraps... here is the mock up, supply gather...

pattern free from Hoffman Fabrics

They are a bit close in value to the "bright blue" month at rainbow scrap challenge but that's okay, at least I got the labels different. 

Lesson learned
1. fabrics look different according to the proportion used...
2. cropping fabric images can really change the finished product
3. with paper pieced weird angles, pin pin pin

Next up is the blue petal scrap improv work from last week. I auditioned a lot of fabrics to finish off the edges and bring ones focus to the center... harder than one might think. 

I added the bright green (more intense in real life) at the top, and it needs adjusting

Then chose a lovely green and blue vintage fabric from the stash to contrast with the busy center but hopefully bring your eye back to the petals. 

I looked through my blue scrap strips til I found a print with blue and green in a flower print to remind the viewer this is a floral abstract. 

I did try this one and it was a close race....

In the end I decided to use the one with a flower print, and cut some curves into it with the idea to start squaring it up on the outside edges

about 15" X 19" now

I'm satisfied. Now to block it, and get it ready to overquilt!! I plan to use some inks to make the center blossom stand out more, and this one is calling out for beading and hand stitching with thick threads. 

I woke on Monday with "the blues" in my heart, and wanted to sew something mindless, as a tonic to my spirit. On a sorting expedition into studio two last week I spied a set of tiny 1.5" squares someone gave me a while back. The kind Keepsake used to send as samples. Okay I thought, let's use neutral scraps to make 9-patches. 

Whee! they make unfinished 3.5" blocks. I have been wanting to use my prints on beige backgrounds in something for a while to showcase them, so I cut a bunch of 3.5" squares from those scraps. Like the Chinese food, spools, stars, donkeys..... then sewed them into a whole center...

Loved the softness of it but it wanted a border. I auditioned a lot of fabrics, then sent the pic to some friends and one said to use more 1.5" blocks in contrast to finish it off. 

No, not going to cut up more of those tiny blocks but I do keep a box of 2" squares laid out in watercolor shades. I went to the  next to lightest squares and created a border. No matching of seams needed and they work beautifully to give the center some room visually! Thanks Linda!

I made this in two afternoons.    Lessons?

1. Even if you think it's just mindless sewing it will need design decisions 
2. light shades and neutrals still have contrast and 
3. low contrast is calming and still interesting
4. a traditional block and setting can feel artistic too
Time to quilt it now! Oh I tried the fabrics again, to border it and like Joy said when she saw it, they are a bit too intense or bright for it, which is why they take your eye way from the center. 
lesson? Even if colors match, and pattern matches, sometimes it doesn't help the artwork
I also made two cute mug rugs for my friend in Florida... she spent the week with her family at the beach so I took the leftover cabana and fixed it up. She is a nurse, so I used some nurse fabric scraps to make a 2nd one too. I'll show those on Table scraps party next week!
I'll end with a quick watercolor sketch on my calendar page done this week while having morning coffee... just a way to see color relationships and it matches my quilting this week. 
Three analogous colors of watercolor pencil... scribbled overlapping, then brushed with water to blend
To me it looks like a water scene, one I couldn't have planned but is one that looks like scenery I've observed over the years. See how similar it is in color and depth from the blue petal piece... purely serendipity.  Just by playing with color pencil... Now I wish it was done on good paper! 

That's the thing with art... there's always something to learn, and something to make 

I plan to watch a lot of Olympics coverage this week... especially dressage, synchronized swimming if I can find it, badminton (can you believe that's an Olympic sport?) and gymnastics. The opening ceremonies were terrific especially the human interpretation of the event icons. 

What about you?

 Linking to

 scrap happy Saturdays



  1. I also will be watching lots of Olympics this week, and thoroughly enjoyed the Opening Ceremonies last night. My favorite part was near the end when they lit up all of those building and locations. I love, love, love the little poodle on the wind bottle label - and of course I've been adoring the wine bottles all along. The petal piece has developed and made me think "jungle" today.

  2. Those are all very pretty and the bottles are super cool!

  3. Love seeing all that you're working on! The wine bottles are so fun, the improv piece fascinating, and I love the calm of the 9 patch piece. You have a great variety of ideas there!

  4. I enjoyed those human interpretations of event icons. But I wished they would have held the pose longer. Your art work this week is inspirational! I look forward to watching the embellishments come on the flower.

  5. Wine bottles and the 9-Patch pieces turned out great LeeAnna!

  6. I like the larger squares - very nice border!

    :) Linda

  7. Cute poodle on the wine bottle. You got a lot of stuff done this week. I sprained a muscle in my left arm and can't do much of anything, but read and scroll through blogs. I should look for some quilting videos to watch.

  8. Your 9patch action caught my attention, love how you are putting these together with all the softer colours! And yes, watching the Olympics here in NZ too.

  9. I love your bottles and thats a nice finish to your improv piece. Nice use of your square pieces too. xx

  10. hej LeeAnna,
    what a nice work- I love your bottles :0) all the blue and green fabrics turn out really nice in your block. hugs from denmark, Ulrike :0)

  11. The nine patches are so sweet. Love the soft colours.

  12. Love, love, love that bottle quilt! Blue is my favorite color so those blue bottles are especially adorable to me.

  13. I love those wine bottle patches. I have a friend that loves wine and I bet she would appreciate those blocks incorporated into a quilt.

  14. Those bottles are gorgeous! #BlueMonday

  15. This is such an interesting post because you cover such a breadth of styles. Thanks for sharing all the photos and your take-aways.

  16. I love all the blue & green in this post. Must be calling out to my Pisces inner self! Ha! We're watching quite a bit of the Olympics too. Love the gymnastics, swimming, & diving.

  17. The wine bottes all in a row are looking good. The poodle on the blue label is pure whimsy. The colors in border fabrics you have chosen for your improv petal quilt are a wonderful frame. They really bring the flower concept to life in the center. I am loving the blues and greens. Thanks for linking up ... :) Pat

  18. Some mindless work can work magic on the soul!

  19. What a fun design wall! I love your wine bottles!!

  20. I really enjoy seeing what you make with the color of the month. So pretty! Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.