Posts Tagged organic

Quilt With Me, Scrappy Lattice Quilt

As it often happens, I was inspired by several separate sources today.  Heres what happened.

As I am finishing the organization of my studio I am finding that one of the hardest things is deciding how small a scrap of fabric is too small to save.  I do use up small pieces in my applique projects, but I am ending up with a giant bag of fabric scraps that are too small for my new organizer boxes, but feel too big to toss.

I am also finishing a quilt repair today.  This quilt was brought to me by a local man.  He inherited it from his grandmother and it needed a few tears patched.  (Luckily it’s a crazy quilt, so the patches blend right in.)   I admired the way the seemingly disparate fabrics all worked together, this level of scrap quilting is something I have been a bit nervous about trying.

Thirdly,  I was looking at the blog of  Elizabeth Hartman, an amazing modern quilt designer, and my eye was caught by the photo in the banner, not so much the quilt, but the lattice pattern of shadow across the surface.  It reminded me of the lattice I have in my own back yard, and so I went out a photographed it.

These three sources have inspired me to make a scrappy lattice quilt.  I would love for any other scrap hoarder to join me. 

This is going to be a long-term project.  Heres the plan.  Every time you cut fabric, or find some scraps squirreled away, cut some 2 1/2″ squares.  These are going to be the holes of the lattice.  Don’t worry about the colours too much.  You will notice that you seem favour certain colours and tones anyway, so it should sort itself out. 

I intend to sew blocks as I get enough squares to form one, to make a sort of journal quilt, showing the different moods I pass though as a quilter.  So I need to make sure I have enough fabric for the lattice itself (otherwise known as sashing).  I want a soft marbled tan, to give the look of aged painted lattice.  So I am hand dyeing my own organic cotton.  I figure I will need about 3.5  yards for a queen.  (All the seams will eat up a lot of fabric).  Of course if you plan on making some pillows, or a throw quilt you will need less.  I plan on adding a border,binding and backing in a different fabric. 

If you want a custom hand dye too, I would love to make it for you.  Use the coupon code LATTICEQUILT to get 40% off!  (the color I plan on using is the marbled tan in the first image).  Otherwise buy an appropriate amount of yardage, or use some neutrals you have on hand.

So let’s get cutting!  To make one 23″ block you will  need 49 scrap squares and 14″ of solid / hand dye cut into 2″ strips.  A 14″ block will need 16 scrap squares and 6″ of solid.

I am setting the goal of a block per month, and completing this quilt by the end of the year.  If you want to join me, let me know in the comments.  I am happy to help you calculate yardage.

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Organic Quilting For All- The Quilt Top

Perhaps the name should be eco-concious, or sustainable quilting, instead of organic.  Because you don’t need to be using organic fabrics to improve your quilters carbon footprint.  I have been noticing that there is a lot of vauge, unhelpful and plain wrong info available about quilting organically.  So heres to setting the record straight, and helping all quilters get a little greener.

A quilt is basically three layers of material held together with stitching.  Each layer can be approached with an idea of how to make it greener.

The Quilt Top

The good news is that you don’t have to give up designer quilting fabrics.There are some wonderful designers working exclusively with organic fabrics

http://www.harmonyart.com/index.html 

http://www.daisyjanie.com/ 

http://cloud9fabrics.com/

Some larger companies are also adding organic lines

http://www.robertkaufman.com/green/

But adding organic cottons is not the only thing you can do to be more earth friendly.   What about that stash?  Most quilters over purchase fabrics for specific projects, and so a stash is born.  Making every fourth or fifth quilt a stash quilt is a great way to save money and make your quilting a bit greener.

Another thing to consider is trying new fibers.  I am currently loving working with hemp and hemp blends.  Hemp is not generally an organic certified fiber, but is considered sustainable because coventional production is already very low in chemicals.   Hemp Silk is a wonderful luxury fiber to try out.  Make sure you preshrink  if you are mixing fibers in a quilt.

http://www.hemptraders.com/

Did I miss a good resource?  Let me know in a comment and I will add it to the list.

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Tulip Field Quilt

As I am slogging away at reorganising my space (yes still at that), I have been unearthing a lot of unfinished quilts.  I tend to jump around between projects mostly when I get tired of piecing, bored, hit a problem, get a new idea, well pretty much for any reason at all. 

However I didn’t realise I had such a major problem.  I discovered 10 different projects that I have been working on in the last month!  Needless to say this was a bit disheartening, so I stopped and finished one.

  It took me a grand total of 2 hours to finish this quilt, photograph it and list it for sale .

I started this quilt after my dad sent me a link to pictures of Dutch tulip fields, the amazing surreal stripes of colour across the landscape begged to put into a quilt, I immediately ran out to my dye station and dyed the fabrics.  As soon as they were ready to use I dived right in.  I quit when the quilting wasn’t going right.  If you look closely you can see it has a quilted motif of tulips.  When I sat down to finish it up I loosened up the shape of the buds, and it just clicked.

So now I only have 9 current works in progress, but I know most of them are only needing a few hours work, and that makes it seem so much more doable.

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New Year, New Designs

At this time of year I like to spend a bit of time thinking about my product line, and how to improve it. What needs tweaking, or adding to, what should be dropped, and best of all, what new designs should I go with?

I made this little quilt on a whim last year, and it sold so fast I didn’t even get any good pictures of it.  I am revisiting the design and thinking about creating a couple of different variations on the concept.

I am also open to suggestions.  If you have an idea for a quilt, please tell me about it.

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Why Organic Quilting?

A few years back I decided to become an organic quilter.  It was not a sudden decision, or even particularly dramatic, but was rather the next logical step in my lifetime of crafting, and a my love of natural fibers.

As a kid growing up in a farming area of Australia I was surrounded by conventional agriculture.  It seemed crazy to suggest that crops could be grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers.  I had never even heard of organic.  But I also remember the river becoming dangerous for swimming and drinking due to run off from the cotton fields.  I remember irrigation ponds so big you couldn’t see the other side.

At the same time I was learning different hand crafts from my mother and aunts.  I developed an increasing love for natural fibers.  I loved the smell and feel of raw wool, of raffia, of linen, and silk.  I learned more about how these fibers are produced, and of course was gradually exposed to more information about what fibers were more sustainable and easily produced.

Flash forward 10 years and I had quit my job in the toxic wood finishing business so I could have a safe pregnancy.  With more time on my hands, and a new house to fill I began crafting more in general, and quilting in particular.  I, like most quilters began building a significant stash of fabric.  After a while I began selling quilts.  I needed some wide width fabric to use in whole cloth quilts, and as backing, my search led to Harmony Art Fabrics  which was at the time was the only source of organic cotton suitable for quilting.  The prices were a bit higher than conventionally grown cotton, but quality was great and the fabric was 110″ wide.   The rest, as they say is history.

Yes I do still use conventionally grown cotton (that enormous stash remember?) But I have been happy to see the availability of organic quilters cotton grow over the last few years.   So why organic quilts?  Well really why not use the best quality materials available?

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