My Teacup


Block Magazine

I was once a subscriber to Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Block magazine. The magazines I received are still resting on the reclaimed cabinet in my office. Shown below are some of them.

Block-Magazine
Some of the Block magazines that I own

I’ve spent many hours browsing the pages of each one of those books. On the back covers I wrote the names of the quilts I might oneway like to make.

Back-of-Block-Magazine
Back of Block Magazine

One of the many quilts I fell in love with was the Teacup quilt, published in the Fall Vol 1 Issue 5 magazine. As you can see by the above photo it was one of the projects I listed on the back cover.

Teacup Quilt Pattern
The Block magazine that has the Teacup pattern

Let’s Make It!

Having fallen in love with the Teacup pattern I set-out to make one for myself. After browsing the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s website I chose a grouping of fabrics to purchase for my project. Buying the fabric, for me, is always the easy part. Finding the time to make it is what’s hard.

I had the fabrics for the quilt sitting in a tub for more than a year. Last summer, on one of my sewing retreats, I finally was able to get started. The quilt was a fun and easy quilt to assemble. Unfortunately the pattern has an error. It wasn’t until I had all of the blocks made that I discovered it.

A Pattern Error!

As I laid out the blocks to decide on their placement I realized I only had half of the blocks the quilt pattern called for. Being puzzled by this revelation I went back to the book to figure out where I went wrong. As I studied the pattern I realized that the quantity of fabric called for in the pattern was incorrect. The pattern listed only one package of 10 1/2″ squares (aka layer cake). In order to make the correct number of blocks I should have purchased two packages.

Letter to the Company

I contacted the company to point out the error.  They thanked me for the information and credited my account for $5. I guess the $5.00 was supposed to make me feel better. $5.00 was not going to make it possible for my quilt to ever be the size I was anticipating.

No Longer Available!!!

Since I waited so long to actually start making the quilt the fabrics had since gone out of print and were no longer available. On top of that I had purchased enough fabric to make the quilt backing to the correct size. Obviously I can use the extra fabric on another project, but that’s not the point. Had I known that my quilt would be much smaller I obviously wouldn’t have purchased as much. Thus, their $5.00 compensation paled in comparison to my level of disappointment and the amount of money spent on this quilt.

MSQC’s Pattern Corrections

Missouri Star Quilt Company publishes a list of pattern corrections for its subscriber to refer to. As of today the error that I found is not listed on that Missouri Star Quilt Company’s pattern correction list. I’m disappointed that my revelation has not been shared on their website. If you decide to make the quilt yourself make sure to adjust the amount of fabric that you purchase. Otherwise you too will be disappointed.

Ok, enough about my disappointment! Let’s get back to my very pretty quilt.

Moving On

In December of 2017 I was able to finally find time to finish my Teacup quilt. Using a straight-line geometric pattern, swirls, a paisley design and white thread I quilted my Teacup project on my longarm machine. Here’s how my sweet little quilt looks now.

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My Teacup Quilt Top
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A closeup of the geometric meandering
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A closeup of the binding, and border quilting
Teacup-Backing
The back of my Teacup Quilt

Conclusion

Throwing aside the disappointments associated with my experience, I must say that this darling little project sits very high on my list of favorite quilts. I am so pleased to have it in my arsenal of finished quilts. 🙂

Thank You so much for visiting with me today. I look forward to our next encounter.

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Note: At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I was once a subscriber to the Block magazine. My experience with one of their patterns and the company’s failure to correct the issue had nothing to do with cancelling my subscription. I made the decision to stop receiving the magazine because I felt I had more than enough ideas for possible quilts to make in the future; let alone finding the time to make them all. I’ve also found improv quilting to be my preferred avenue to follow. I’m not saying I would never make a pattern quilt again; it’s just not as likely as it once was.

I Present Art Quilt # 33: Bits and Pieces


Handbloom Batik Scraps

From A Bag of Scraps

From a bag of scraps to a finished item this project has had quite a ride. The top, all by itself, is gorgeous. I just love the soft feel of the fabrics as my fingers lightly stroke their surface. The visual impact of the colors is equally as pleasing. Their varied hues entertain my eyes with an explosive pallet of color.

With three of my senses already engaged, how could this quilt get any better? The answer just has to be quilting! Being the creator of the quilt means I am in-tune with every fiber and every inch of its surface. This connection gives me an advantage when it comes to finishing it. From day one my mind was day dreaming about how I would quilt it. For Bits and Pieces it seemed only natural to compliment its design with straight-lines and geometric shapes.

A Tour

Lets take a look at my Bits and Pieces to see how it turned out.

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Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

I think you will, agree after seeing the above photo, that this is a warm and earthy art piece.

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Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33, Closeup # 1

There are so many of my favorite colors represented in the above photo. The bright orange and gold the calming blue and lively green. All of them work together to create a grouping that will continuously draw your eye from one area to another.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 2
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #2

This photo was taken  just slightly east of the previous one. The black and white floral fabric is another of my favorites. I like how the author used only two colors to create this striking, organically flowing design. My love for the fabric can be evidenced by its repetitious placement throughout my piece.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 3
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup # 3

Many of the blocks within Bits and Pieces morphed drastically from their original versions. The two blocks on the right are great examples. Unfortunately since I failed to document their journey I can’t prove it to you. You will just have to believe me.

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Art Quilt # 33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #4

The area captured in this photo can be found north of the previous snapshots. In the bottom left corner is my reformulated log cabin block. I spoke about the block in more than one of my previous posts. Finding a design that the block and I could agree with was a lengthy process. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. This final version is spectacular.

The other blocks in this photo went through their own versions of reincarnation. They too are far more interesting now than their original versions.

AQ #33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 5
Art Quilt # 33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #5

I love all of the blocks in Bits and Pieces…but if I had to choose a favorite or two, I would nominate these two for that honor. I just adore the bright orange alongside the cooling mist of the blue in the adjacent block. The blue adds pizzazz with it’s bursting white images. Strutting through it’s center is a section of my original strip-pieced fabric.

Bits and Pieces_Stitched Together
Bits and Pieces Stripped Pieced Fabric

The orange block, with it’s unevenly pieced borders, sports an interestingly pieced center section. Smack-dab in the center of the block is another section of my strip-pieced fabric.

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Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Backing with its artful quilting

The back of a quilt is not typically something that would draw our focus. From a longarm quilters perspective it’s often the best place to observe our work. With this quilt the solid color allows the abstract stitching to take center stage; there are no patterned fabrics to distract from the design. I’m quite pleased with the reflection I see in my stitching. From this photo can you see that my quilting was just as earthy as the fabrics I aimed to accentuate.

Privilege

I had so much fun photographing this quilt. The fabrics are just so rich and inviting. I know I went way overboard with the quantity of photos that I took. Because I kept my shutter rolling it was so hard narrowing down the number of photos to share. I know that I have only scratched the surface of the possible angles I could have taken. Thankfully, I’m so very proud to have Bits and Pieces hanging in my entryway where I can see it everyday. Anytime I want to get a closeup all I have to do is pause and allow my eyes to take in the beauty of my Bits and Pieces.

A Slow Rendition

Well, there you have it; the finale of my story about Bits and Pieces. It has taken quite a while to get us to this point. Well-thought-out art develops slowly and so too should the telling of its story. There is no need to hurry along. Hasty renditions loose sight of the many important details and as a result the reader looses touch with the impact the author desires to portray.

Handloom Batik Strips
Handloom Batik Fabrics

Enriched Experience

I have been so enriched by the journey Bits and Pieces and I have taken. My exposure to the world of improv art has been enriched through this adventure. Having successfully created another art piece, the experience has fanned the flames that fuel my desire to continue on this path. I hope one day to share my enthusiasm for this piece with the owner of Handloom Batiks. She is ultimately the spark that is responsible for the birth of Bits and Pieces. Without her fabrics my piece would not be as rich in texture and interest.

Woohoo! What a Ride!:)

Your Participation Means A Lot

I hope you have enjoyed following along! I love sharing my time with you and receiving your comments. Thank You for being a faithful follower!

For those that just joined in or those that would like to relive my quilt’s journey I have provided links below to the posts that have woven this story. Please enjoy!

Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

Bits and Pieces: Part Two

Bits and Pieces Part Three

Bits and Pieces Part Four

Bits and Pieces Part Five

Bits and Pieces Part Six

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Bits and Pieces Part Five


L O N G    S L O W    P R O C E S S

Who knew that I would still be working on AQ # 33: Bits and Pieces after five days? As I have said before this is a very l o n g, s l o w process. At times it almost seems painful. But to coin a famous phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”

For those that just joined me let me provide links to the other four posts.

Lets Begin Again

Bits and Pieces-End of Day Four
Bits and Pieces-End of Day Four

At the end of day four this is how my art piece looked. Day five presented itself a bit differently. I still did more, “What if,” manipulation but I focused most of my time on actually stitching the blocks together into sections.

Bits and Pieces-Beginning of Day Five.jpg
Bits and Pieces-Day Five-Step One

Shown above is another version of my block arrangement. If you compare the two photos you can see that most of the rearranging took place in the bottom half of the art piece. The changes were pretty subtle.

Bits and Pieces-Day Five Version Two.jpg
Bits and Pieces-Day Five-Step Two

By the time I got to this stage I had begun stitching blocks together. This too takes some thought. Obviously the blocks are all different sizes. Their variety of measurements makes it interesting to fit them together. It is kind of like assembling a puzzle. The only difference is that I don’t have a box cover to refer to. I have to make it all up as I go.

Bits and Pieces-End of Day Five.jpg
Bits and Pieces-Day Five-Last Step

By the time I had reached this point my piece had been stitched together into two separate segments. The one on the left takes in the majority of the individual blocks. The one on the right has not yet been attached because it is a different size. I also still have to figure out how to attach the gold block with the thin center strip.

The made-fabric to the left of the gold block and the gold, flashy fabric below are being auditioned as possible candidates. I also have another possible add-in below the right section. (Does that all sound like mumbo jumbo?) I hope I haven’t lost you?

Lots of Progress

Today was a day filled with loads of progress. By the time my piece had reached this stage I was exhausted. I needed to take a break to ponder my next step so day five ended here.

From Trash to Treasure

Hard to believe this all started from one bag of scraps!

Handbloom Batik Scraps

Isn’t it amazing how someone else’s trash can become another person’s treasure!

This brings to a close another day in the life of Bits and Pieces. Stay tuned for another adventure.

Thank You!

Thank you for showing your support by visiting my blog. Your interest is the jewel that makes my journey meaningful! See you next time!

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Bits and Pieces Part Three


Let’s Recap

We last talked about this art piece in my post called Bits and Pieces, AQ # 33 Part Two. By the end of the day I had finished stitching together a grouping of fabric strips. Even though I was eager to continue, family activities took precedence. I’m back in my studio and ready to work on my project again. Let’s not waste anymore time!

One of Many

These stitched together fabric strips were the starting point for today.

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Green Block for Bits and Pieces

The above block is an example of one of the units I made. In this photo (besides the shadow of my camera, 🙂 ) you can see the center red, green and black unit. The unit is temporarily resting on a background of green fabric. The strips extending beyond the sides were waiting to be removed. The green background was eventually cut into strips and added to all four sides of the main block.

Bits and Pieces-Blocks Blocks Blocks.png

In this photo you can see that I kept going and going and going. I was on quite a roll when I paused to take this picture. I can’t tell you how pleased I was with my progress.

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Using some of the scraps and a few added solid colors I created a Log Cabin block.

Bits and Pieces-Faux Log Cabin
Bits and Pieces-Faux Log Cabin Block

I wasn’t particularly fond of the outcome so I decided to slice it up, spin some of the pieces around and stitch them back together. You will also note that I have added in some solid colors. Gasp! I know the solid colors were not included in my recently purchased bag of scraps. Even though my mantra was to use all of the scraps in this piece I never said I wouldn’t add others to the mix. 🙂 A girls gotta to do what she has to make a spectacular work of art.

Bits and Pieces-Scrappy Log Cabin RedoMy faux Log Cabin block still wasn’t quite up to par so I sliced it again and asked myself, “What if.” What if I added this jazzy gold fabric in a couple of places. Hmmm! I kind of liked that but I wanted to make sure it was repeated in at least three areas. Time to do a little more adjusting.

Bits and Pieces-Finished Log Cabin.jpgIn this photo you will notice several things. First of all in the bottom right corner you will see my finished faux Log Cabin block. You will also notice that I have been very busy making more units or blocks. This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating improv art.

Take a closer look at the photo and you can see there are hints of the original strip fabric in many of the blocks above.

Bits and Pieces-The End of Day Three
Bits and Pieces-The End of Day Three

By the end of the day this is what my conglomerate looked like. The difference between this photo and the one above are the fabrics I am auditioning as potential additions. These would be used as fillers for some of the gaps. I’m not sure if they will stay but at least for now they add a nice touch.

Let’s Call It A Day!

Even though I wanted to keep going I was exhausted by this point. After all this work it was time to call it a day. There’s always tomorrow!

Thanks so much for reading my post! I’m so glad we got to spend the time together. See you next time! 🙂

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Bits and Pieces: Part Two


Let’s Recap

Not long ago I began a series on my newest art piece AQ # 33: Bits and Pieces. On our first visit I opened by exploring the scraps I purchased from Handloom Batiks. During the visit I emptied the bag of its contents, sorted each piece by color and size, then treated each to a steam bath from my iron. Before departing I shared photos of my harvest. Today I will begin the process of transforming these luscious pieces of woven fabric into the beginnings of my newest art piece. With my mini recap behind us let’s get started.

Time to Start

I’ve set a personal goal to incorporate all of these fabrics into one art piece. Whether or not I will meet that challenge remains to be seen. I know I’m up for it, but you just never know.

Below are photos of my organized scraps.

The first thing to do today was to cut a strip from each of the fabrics. These strips would be used to create the units or sections that would serve as building blocks. Many of them went from selvage to selvage. In order to be able to use the fabrics as many times as possible I decided to cut them in half. This meant I had two strips approximately 20″ in length. From there it was just mixing and matching the different colors until I found combinations that pleased me. The strips were then stitched together. The end result was this super cool strip of new fabric.

Bits and Pieces_Stitched Together.jpg

By the time I had lightly starched (note: the fabrics are really soft so I starched them to provide more stability) and finished pressing the fabrics my husband had arrived home. Normally I don’t pause from my projects just because he has returned. Once I get into a creative mood it is hard to abandon my work. Given that I had just begun to make visible progress it was tough to stop. In this instance though, the two of us had planned on running errands so it was time to call it a day.

Thank You

Thank you for visiting! I hope you are as excited as I am to continue on this journey. See you next time.

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