Friday, September 2, 2011

For the Love of Solids- a Modern Swap

I have thing for swaps. It's not like I don't have other things to keep me busy, (I do), it's just that I really like sewing and receiving sewn things. I have completed, the main items for The love of Solids {a modern swap}. I got a partner who prefers more traditional blocks, especially blocks with 1/2 square triangles.  She also requested for her solids color preferences, "shades of grey". Inspiration was swift with the apron, which I made reversible.  (Interestingly, even though I am not a purple person, I thought purple would be a great compliment to the "shades-of-grey" color scheme and I had actually purchased a red-purple eggplant color to work with the greys) but, turns out my partner doesn't like purple as much as she likes pink. So, plan B- one of my favorite pinks, a cerise.
I chose a 1/2 square triangle pattern and quilted the pocket without  intervening batting. I then inset the pocket into the apron, used some subtle topstitching and for a punch of fun, pieced the waist band as well. I have seen many variations for the layout of this block in books and on-line. There are so many ways you can put those triangles together it's dizzying!  I did pay a homage to a bit of wonky with the waist band and put the 1/2 square triangles in offset locations all along the double length ties.
Large pieced pocket and waist band detail. The reverse is a subdued medium grey. The only pop of color for the reverse comes from the waist band.

side view showing the pocket and the pieced waist band. For the quilting I went with an ivory thread to complement the bound pocket.

pocket close-up- I see my ironing skills need some work.

I then continued with the grey/ cerise color scheme and moved to a sewing machine cover that is also reversible. I used as my inspirational block a design I had seen over at Generation Q.

BWS tips button

The article had an original design that looked like this
I selected the "Weeks" block for my inspiration

No directions accompanied this fun block, so with ideas buzzing around in my head, I ventured forth, seam ripper at the ready. (Which I used, repeatedly). (Sorry for the little spot- it's some dew from the plants).
Mine came out more rectangular, than square, which suited my needs, as I was making a sewing machine cover with this "block".  The colors, all Kona solids, clock-wise, starting top left, outer "ring": Charcoal, coal, medium grey, ivory. The "pink" is cerise.

Close-up, pinned and quilting lines marked. Auditioning the threads for quilting.

I quilted with 2 of the colors from the choices above. I'll give you a hint- I used the variegated pink (I had too) in the bobbin. Given the backing was solid Kona Coal, the pink really contrasts and  highlights the quilting, which for the first time ever, I actually drew onto the fabric before I started.  I have no idea what the original designer of this block had in mind for the quilting but I hope she doesn't mind my interpretation. When I repeated the geometric lines into the quilting the process, I ended up repeating the 1/2 square triangles, just bigger! Hope you can see them. They are everywhere. (Needless to say, I was very proud of myself and I know had I just free motioned quilted this, that little, but I think, important detail would have been lost). I truly didn't plan it so I was really pleased it worked out that way. (It was even applicable on the back- BONUS!!!)
The front

The back- the 4- 1/2 square triangles were added for a design element and for additional width. These are on the back, as they are not part of the Weeks original block.  Plus, it make the cover versatile, my partner can have either side forward AND with the interior quilted with the hot pink thread- there are actually 3 options for a different look.  The sides are tied with a hot pink and black polka-dot ribbon. 
This cover fits the 3 machines that live at my house, all sightly different makes and models and sizes, but I have my fingers crossed that it will fit my partners as well. I did hand stitch the ribbons on, encasing the raw ends within the binding and my partner can certainly remove them and have a wall hanging, or a table runner-  if this sewing machine cover doesn't fit the bill. There are a few additional surprises in her package- but I'm not spoiling all the fun! OK partner if you read this and you think it's for you- I sure hope you like them!!!


  1. So your idea of using a bright variegated thread in the bobbin.. I used it to make a flannel and cotton baby blanket for my sister. I think I did a tutorial last Tuesday with pics. Isn't it sad I can't remember? Too many early mornings letting the workmen in!
    And I forgot to offer to make your handbag using Cath Kidston London fabric which I have a ton of in my sewing room. What do you think?

  2. Great job, and love the HST waist band

  3. The apron and machine cover are both beautiful!!

  4. I love it! Its beautiful and the extras were incredible. You really spoiled me!


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