Not So Serious Sewing
Sunday was peaceful, and I'd finished up several projects the week before. I was after something relaxing, low-key, and just fun. I pulled out this WIP that I started early last spring while attending an Amy Butler & Hilde Dunn retreat. It was an exercise in improvisational piecing, and on my list of 2015 Q3 Finishes on the Windy Side. The initial slab was built by a partner blindly picking out pieces of fabric from a pile, and handing them to me. I had little control over the color scheme to start.
The center was done yet needed a frame, and I pulled this muddy pink out of my solids stash. It's an odd color, but it played well with the mishmash in the middle. Then I pulled strips from my scrap bins to make into the next pieced border. I pieced my scraps without squaring up, and it got interesting and more exciting.
TIPS & TRICKS-Mitered Corners
I mitred my corners by creating 4 strip-pieced squares for each corner. The borders were 5 1/2" so I made each square 6". I went 1/2" larger than needed, and cut two diagonally with my stripes vertical, and two with my strips horizontal to create 8 HST's. I sewed these into 4 squares, and THEN I sewed these with to my top and bottom borders. Now I was dealing with 4 typical borders that looked like I spent a ridiculous amount of time making them. Easy peasy!
The narrow dark blue border anchored the multicolored piecing, and I looked around for some serious bling fabric to set it all off.
It's shiny, stripey, and I have lots of yardage. It sets off the center like neon lights, and fits the improv them to a T. Although I don't know the content, it presses well, is a higher grade than acetate, and you'll never believe where I found it!
Would you believe this was an old dress in that wonderful vintage stash I showed you? I asked several people when they would estimate the pattern of the dress, and they guessed late 50's-60's. Tightly fitted bodice and 3/4 sleeves, and close to 5.5 yards of fabric in the fully gathered skirt. The integrity of the fabric is solid with no funky smell--things you need to check for using vintage material, so it's going in today.
I can't help but feel connected to the quilter/sewist that saved this garment for decades knowing it might have another life. I challenge you to add something repurposed, upcycled, reused, or vintage to a project. Hunt your Goodwill, resale stores, and garage sales for treasures. You may be deeply rewarded by the feeling of creating a unique piece while preserving a saver's vision.
Also, I must admit there is something deeply satisfying to really understanding how the first quilters used the resources they had, and weren't able to run off to their LQS for the 'perfect' fabric. I can't wait to see how this turns out today, but what are your thoughts of working like this?