Sunday, February 1, 2015

january



*The collage is of my photos I posted throughout the month on instagram and I made it using the collect app. If you are on Instagram, come find me there - my username is plumandjune. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

lately


I've been spending way more time on Instagram lately. Have you? Find me there at @ plumandjune. Here are some of my recent IG posts. 



[revisiting some old finishes - looking for some inspiration]



[contemplating new projects - tangled yarn and weaving courtesy of my daughters]



[taking out some old WIPs - and hoping I can get rid of those wrinkles]

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scraps, Inc - Autumn Flight



Have you heard of the Elephant and Piggie books? My 3 year old daughter has several books in that series including one called We are in a Book and while writing this post, I keep thinking of Gerald (the elephant) when he finds out he is in a book - because um, I'm writing this post to let you know that I am in a book! 



The book is called Scraps, Inc and is published by Lucky Spool. The book is all about scrap quilts (my favorite!) and includes designs from 15 designers. There really are so many amazing quilts in the book and the photography is gorgeous! You can see some of the other quilts on Lucky Spool's website by clicking here.

My contribution is Autumn Flight (shown above) and includes a bit of improv piecing and triangles. When I get the quilt back, I plan on taking lots of photos and I'll write a longer post about the specifics including my process. I did take a few pics before sending it to the publisher but I was so worried about accidentally ruining the quilt while taking the photos that well, you know. . .  

Scraps, Inc was published earlier this month and Lucky Spool is currently offering the book for 30% off until December 1, 2014 at 11:59EST. You can find it at this link - and the code is SCRAPS30. 

I am so excited to have been included in this book. Working with Susanne Woods and Lucky Spool was a wonderful experience and I think they produced a fantastic book. The book should be arriving at my doorstep any day now and I really can't even imagine what it is going to feel like to open that package. And what is also really exciting for me is how very excited my daughters (and the rest of my family) are for me - I think my 9 year old has told everyone she knows! It still seems unreal to write it but Yikes - I'm in a book! (And is it okay to admit that Gerald's reaction after finding out he is in a book resonates with me too - his next line is "That is so cool!" - um, yep!)



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

blogger's quilt festival


I'm not really sure what is up with my post writing these days - I keep writing and deleting, writing and deleting, stepping away, coming back, writing and deleting. 

Well, this is my entry for the blogger's quilt festival. I really wish I had remembered that the blogger's quilt festival was this month and saved a project or two to post about but - um, well, I didn't. I originally wrote about this pillow earlier this month. It is basically my most recent try at making something for my couch that I'll hopefully like looking at every day. I've had handmade pillows on my couch since I started sewing but I've never quite made one that fits the aesthetic of my first floor. It is kind of like I wrote about in the post about why I'm redoing the removable covers for my dining room chairs. Don't get me wrong - I love novelty prints (or are they called conversation fabrics or illustrated fabrics?) and I will continue to use them often especially when making things for my daughters. And I love my pile of patchwork quilts that we use almost every day for keeping us warm but, hmm, I'm not even sure how to explain this to me, let alone write about it. I just haven't yet made anything that "fits" - well, this might be it, at least it feels like it "fits" the October 2014 me.  So, while this pillow is not an award winning, wow project - it is my current favorite and that is why I'm using it for my entry this year.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Improv Patchwork Quilt (sort of)



I'm not sure why but I have a difficult time starting something new if I know I have a WIP waiting to be finished. I know some people prefer having lots of projects going on at the same time and I definitely see the benefits of that but I prefer to start new projects with a clean slate. So, since I have a couple of projects I need to start, I decided to first finish this WIP from a few months ago.


Well, it is not that I don't like having any WIPs, just none that are as close to being done as this was. For this quilt (which I last wrote about in the beginning of July), I just needed to add several more rows and quilt it since I had already completed the back BUT I knew if I had to add the number of rows necessary to make it the size of the backing that it would continue to be a WIP and I would never start my other projects. So I just added a few more rows so that it would be a big throw size and backed it with some flannel from my stash. Actually, I guess having that finished backing means I kind of, sort of have a lingering WIP then, right?

leah_duncan_improv_patchwork_quilt

Actually, size is not the only reason I chose to make a different back. Um, well, I only have one package of batting in my house right now (and only a very small batting scrap) and I want to use those for my other projects. Yes, I could have just ordered more batting and I considered that but instead I decided to try backing it in flannel without any batting - which I guess makes it more of a coverlet? 



Since I didn't have to worry about quilting it according the batting instructions, I barely quilted it at all - just some random, somewhat wavy horizontal lines spaced very unevenly throughout the quilt.



Then when it came time to add the binding, I'm not sure what I was thinking but I just folded the front over to the back and used that for the binding. I 'm not sure how to describe it but you can see in the photos. I've seen people do this by folding the back over to the front (which I considered) but I liked it better this way. I even got one of the corners to miter the right way!

leah_duncan_improv_patchwork_quilt

Well, it might not be the best quilt I ever made but it is out of the WIP "pile" and will soon be being used so YAY! Right???




Monday, October 6, 2014

quilted applique pillow

quilted-applique-improv-pillow

When you make new pillow covers, do you just buy new inserts? Do you take off the old covers and store them for the seasons? Or do you do what I do and just put the new cover over the old one???

quilted-applique-improv-pillow

Eventually, I'd like to buy more inserts and have more pillows on my couch but my motivation for this pillow was to replace one I recently made that didn't fit in my living room the way I thought it would. I wanted something really simple and I wanted to only use fabrics from my stash so I pieced together the simple two color background and quilted it heavily with light pink aurifil and then added the half circle applique. 


I actually used these fun novelty prints for the back of the pillow. Since I was only using stash fabrics, I figured I might as well choose from my novelty fabrics since I don't use those as often as I used to. 

Just a side note - I used french seams to piece together the bottom panel which was quick, easy, and worked well and I'll definitely use that technique again when piecing pillow backs.

quilted-applique-improv-pillow

And another side note - the light was so great on my couch when I was taking these photos. I seriously should have taken pics of my kids instead!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

improv baby quilt turned sewing machine cover


Have I mentioned that I haven't sewed anything since July??? Possibly I've mentioned that in every recent post - ugh! Anyway, this is another little project I made during the summer. I can't remember how I got started or what my original plan was - though, I'm pretty sure that these fabrics all just came from my scrap drawer.  What I do know is that I didn't use any batting and that I lightly quilted it to an old(ish) flannel baby blanket and that if I just add some binding and ties, that it is the perfect size to use as a sewing machine cover -- and that covering a sewing machine that isn't getting much use these days is a good idea -- and that I'm now hopeful that I will be sewing again soon!