Monday, March 26, 2018

Forever in Blue Jeans

About a week ago - more or less - I saw an orphan that was being placed for adoption.  This is not an orphan child but rather an orphan project.  You see, there has been a movement to "adopt out" the quilty orphan projects that you are just "done with."   I think I put in for two orphans and got emails offering both to me.
Then I received the first box from Barb at Mountain Quiltworks.  She wrote in her post that " There are probably about 150 squares here. "  Ha!  I counted about  three hundred and fifteen. So I will probably be making more than one project.  These squares are 6" pieces of denim and twill.  So I started out making two rows of twelve squares.   A friend was visiting and said " That looks kind of plain - why don't you embellish it?"   I said, "It needs to be comfortable not fancy."  Then we talked a bit and decided that I should use my embroidery machine for more than a paperweight.  Except the squares don't fit in the smallest hoop.  Yes, it is a 4"by4" hoop, but that is embroidery area not actual size of the hoop.  I finally decided that I could hoop tearaway stabilizer and use gluestick to hold the squares to it. That works great!  I folded both stabilizer and fabric in fourths to make a placement line.  Several designs that I own but have never sewed out were put on a usb drive and put into use.

Some of them are single-run quilting designs and were "weak" looking.  I realized that I could sew it twice - and just nudge the placement control one tick to the right for a double thickness line.
It sews right next to the first sewing line and looks much more substantial.  If I were using it to quilt a piece, I would never do this.

Here are a bit of the sewn together rows. Do you see Sam fishing up there?  I am trying to randomly place the embroidered blocks so that it looks casual and fun.

Here are a couple of my favorite embroidered pieces.
I could not get a decent photo...but to the right of the sunflower is a music design.

I had decided to make this 12 by 12 blocks which will be a pretty big lap quilt.  I hope it is snug and comfy.  I am only adding fabric to the back as the denim will be heavy enough by itself.

At this point I have four rows sewn and a fifth row sewn into "twosies."  Once the rows are complete my plan is to just sew them onto the backing in a quilt-as-you-go manner and then finish the edges with binding or maybe just use extra backing as binding like my grandmother used to do.

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Rhonda said...

What a cool idea. Both the sharing of orphan projects & your dressing up the plain squares. I need to dig out some of my never going to finish orphans to see if someone wants to take them off my hands.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Your denim quilt looks great with the embroidered designs. I had to laugh at the "use if for more than a paperweight" line - I'll bet we all have some stuff that could/should be put to better use - ;))

Julie Fukuda said...

Adding the embroidery is a great idea. I once went to a quilt show where there was a display of machines and the salesman told me to pick out a design from his little booklet. Then he put it in the machine and pushed a few buttons and in just a few minutes, it was all done in redwork. I think it was a sunbonnet Sue. My old Singer has a disc you can put in the top to get different style stitches and I can't even figure that out.

Debbie said...

Your post title brought Neil Diamond to mind, and he brought the 70's to mind and then I saw embroidered jean "pockets"!!! That is exactly what your motifs remind me of and I think they are just fantastic! Keep going with this because it is working! For a throw I doubt you will need batting either.

Barbara said...

Gene, you are so resourceful! Isn’t it called making lemonade out of lemons? The blocks weren’t exactly lemons, but they needed something. You are the best one to figure out what that something is and make it work!

Marlene said...

What a great project. Some of the embroidered squares remind me of Sashiko embroidery.

Barb Neiwert said...

Oh my goodness, how fun is this!!! And to think I was going to toss them in the trash. So glad I didn't. Your flare to make them memorable is just beyond awesome! Whoohoo!!!!