Monday, February 20, 2017

Quilting is for the Dogs!

As an Island Batik ambassador, this month's project was to make kennel quilts. As you know, I love to support our local animal shelter (see my recent quilty donation to them here). The kennel quilt initiative allows for helping our four-legged friends in another way!


I started my first kennel quilt with a pack of Island Batik 5" squares. These are called "Island Stamps" and the collection is "Lake Life." I added a couple more fabrics from the packs of Island Batik stash builder rolls in order to get enough lights and darks. I made a few HSTs (half square triangles) and cut all the fabrics into 1 1/2" squares. Then I sewed the squares together to create a dog bone quilt!

Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi QuiltsDog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Those squares finish at just 1"!

Kennel quilts don't have binding, so you layer the batting on the bottom, then the backing (right side up), then the quilt top (right side down). Sew all the way around the edge, but leave a 4" or so wide opening. Turn the quilt right sides out, then stitch around the outside edge to close the gap.

Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

For the dog bone quilt, I quilted a single line around the outside of the dog bone.

Dog Bone Kennel Quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

I cut the leftover 5" squares into 2 1/2" squares to make another kennel quilt. Then I used a few more fabrics from the stash builder rolls to cut 5" squares to make some colorful kennel quilts! I used the same fabric on the back of each one (Island Batik Dotalicious in Custard). Of course I used Aurifil thread too! (Seriously, you need to try it!) The dog bone one is the only one that I added additional quilting. For the others, I just sewed around the outside edge.

Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts
Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

In total, I made eight kennel quilts this month. I'm going to mail them to a shelter in Louisiana that has requested them.

Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

The kennel quilts were a great way to use up some cotton batting scraps and were a quick finish!

Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

I love being able to use what I love (quilting) to help others do what they love (care for animals)!

Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

Here's a little more about the kennel quilts project:

In 2016, Island Batik joined forces with an existing group of  industry partners and supporters of the Petfinder Foundation to create the Piece for Shelter Pets (PFSP) initiative. The initiative supports the Petfinder Foundation, a “public charity that works to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets by assisting animal shelters and rescue groups across North America”, through financial contributions made possible by the sale of fabric, thread, and other quilting related products. PFSP sponsors include The Quilt Pattern Magazine, Island Batik, Aurifil Threads, QuiltyBox, Benartex, and Hancock’s of Paducah.

The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM) that springs into action (or should we say "stitches" into action) when disasters strike, sewing small kennel quilts for animals in need while they are separated from their humans and possibly injured. Creating kennel quilts is a way for quilters to help our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team supplies kennel quilts to shelters across the United States. You can learn more here.

The finished kennel quilts need to be 12"x18". It is recommended that they are made with 100% cotton, don't have binding, and are made with a small stitch length. See more about making kennel quilts here.

Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

Do you have any batting or fabric scraps laying around? Maybe a kennel quilt is the perfect solution! I'd love know if you make and donate one - or eight!

Kennel Quilts by Slice of Pi Quilts

Friday, February 17, 2017

Shine Bright

This week's Project Quilting challenge prompt was "Brighter the Better."

I immediately knew I wanted to use reflective fabric. After I couldn't find any locally, I decided to repurpose some clothing items we had around the house. My first choice was this construction vest from the kids' toy bin, but I couldn't take that away from them!

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

My second choice was some of my husband's old work pants that had a reflective stripe down the side. I got out my seam ripper and had a couple stripes worth to work with in no time.

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

The hardest part this week was settling on an idea to pursue. (Do you follow me on Pinterest yet? You can see some of the pins I considered for inspiration.) I actually decided on one idea, made a paper piecing pattern for it, then realized I didn't have enough fabric for it - nor enough time to complete it!

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi QuiltsReflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

The challenge prompt included the directions: "your project must be bright and colorful - the more colorful, the better!" However, the more I dwelled on it, the more I wanted the focus of my project to be the bright reflective fabric. I'm just not a rainbows and unicorns kind of gal!

I decided on solid black fabric for the background and made a quilt sandwich with black for the backing too. Then I sprayed the back of the reflective tape with basting spray and cut the it into squares of decreasing sizes. The largest square is 1/2" x 1/2". I arranged the squares into a pleasing design. The basting spray allowed for the small pieces to stay relatively in place while I quilted over them.

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

I used black thread to quilt over the four sides of the reflective squares.

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts
Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts
Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

Then I used the orange fabric (it is more like ribbon) that was used on the work pants as the binding. (The orange color doesn't photograph correctly unless the flash is on! It was meant to be!)

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts
Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

It's definitely not going to be the most "colorful" entry this week, but it is bright in it's own unique way. Maybe even a reminder to us to "shine bright" among the darkness in the world.
Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts
Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts
Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts

"Shine Bright"
11" x 11"
Raw edge applique and repurposed materials
Made by Laura Piland in SW Missouri

Reflective mini quilt for Project Quilting by Slice of Pi Quilts



Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy Galentine's Day!

I have lots of fun quilty things in the works this year, and one of those happens to be that I am an Island Batik ambassador!




What exactly does that mean? The fabric company, Island Batik, sends me a box of fabric and I get to make things!

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug
I just received my first box of happy mail Wednesday night. And boy was I shocked at what was inside! Not only was there (by my rough calculations) over 30 yards of fabric, but also 9 spools of Aurifil thread and 4 spools of Superior threads!!!! And this is just supposed to last the first six months!

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Each month of the year, Island Batik has different projects that I must complete with the fabric. First up, making a mug rug for Galentine's Day!

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Wait? Galentine's Day? Don't you mean Valentine's Day? Nope! Galentine's Day is a new trend - and it's for celebrating your gal pals the day before Valentine's Day!

Of course as soon as I got my box of fabric and thread, I wanted to start sewing! So I whipped up my mug rugs so I could have a Friday finish - and in time for Galentine's Day!
Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

In the box was a fat quarter bundle of six pink fabrics for this project. I decided to make three mug rugs - I wanted a few more, but time - and I didn't want to run out of fabric!

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

I printed an envelope template off the internet and cut two out of fabric for each envelope. I sewed them right sides together, leaving a small gap for turning. After turning, I pressed well and stitched them to a quilt sandwich.

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Next I raw-edge appliqued a few hearts to each mug rug.

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Next I trimmed and added binding.

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Last, I hand-stitched (gasp!) the two side flaps of the envelope to the bottom flap and added a snap for closing. The finished mug rugs measure roughly 7 1/2" x 9".

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

I absolutely love how they turned out! Super cute, and perfect for my Galentines! Can't you just imagine a big cookie inside the envelope and a tall glass of milk?

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug
Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug
Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Now I'm off to make a batch of cookies so I can add one before I mail them off to my gal pals!

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug

Be on the lookout for some other fun projects each month using Island Batik fabric! Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram so you can see what the other ambassadors make too!

Island Batik Galentine Valentine Heart Envelope Mug Rug



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Here Comes the Fun!

It's time for the third challenge for Project Quilting! This week's prompt was "Tuned in to Texture."

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

I love creating quilts with texture. Some recent examples include my Fruit of the Spirit quilt and my triaxial weaving pillow. In fact, the top quilt on my list of quilts I want to make in 2017 is a fabric weaving quilt!

Quilter's Planner - Slice of Pi Quilts

Of course, I haven't decided on fabrics for that quilt, nor have I purchased any. With the project quilting deadlines of just one week, I knew I wouldn't be able to order anything and get it delivered in time to finish. So I had to work with what I had in my stash.

I recently won a fat quarter bundle of Here Comes the Fun fabrics by Sew Caroline for Art Gallery Fabrics and have been dying to use them. This was my chance!

I decided to try a new weaving design I found on Pinterest.

Weaving example - found on Pinterest

I cut the AGF fabrics into 1/2" and 2" strips. Then ironed the raw edges to the middle of the back, creating 1/4" strips and 1" strips. The plan was to do the same with the solid black, but the thread count/quality of the solid fabrics isn't as high as the print fabrics, so the edges weren't stable enough to turn under to create 1/4" strips (using my makeshift bias tape maker of my fingernails. Note to self: get a bias tape maker). So first change of plans: just cut 1/4" strips of the black and keep them raw edge.

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

I laid out the strips on a piece of cardboard and pinned the ends. (I just saw a weaving class where they used bulletin boards - brilliant! Note to self: get a bulletin board.)

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

After the base was all laid out, I began to weave the 1/4" print strips. I made a makeshift weaving tool from a popsicle stick. I drilled a hole in one end to hold the fabric as I pull it through. It works, but it's not great. (Note to self: get a WEFTY needle.)

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Once the weaving was complete, it was time to transfer it from the cardboard onto a backing and batting in order to create a quilt sandwich. When I made the triaxial weaving pillow, I used interfacing on top of the cardboard, so once done, I ironed the weaving and it stuck to the interfacing, keeping it all together. This time, well, I forgot. Note: that step is important.

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

I decided to use glue to keep the ends of each strip in place. While it worked well, the middle shifted during the transfer and subsequent quilting phase. Did I mention that I learned that the interfacing would help?

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

I quilted with my walking foot on my vintage Bernina 930 Record with black thread. This process caused the raw edges of the 1/4" black strips to fray more than I had originally wanted. Once finished, the lines were a little wonky and not as perfectly polished as I had imagined in my mind. The quilt was also a lot of the same texture. I felt it needed something more.

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

Time for change number two: I decided to add an applique detail to give a focal point to the quilt. I cut some flowers from one of the prints of the Here Comes the Fun line and raw edge appliqued them to the quilt. I quilted over the existing black lines in the flowers to create texture within each flower. The raw edge of the flowers pulls together the raw edge of the black lines - making both look intentional!

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

I trimmed the quilt to 15" x 20" and added solid black binding.

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts

The quilt turned out much different than I had originally planned, but I love the texture that resulted!

This was a great trial run for my future weaving quilt that I want to make sometime this year. Lessons learned, tools to buy, tricks to try next time. That's the whole point of mini quilts for me! And quilting challenges!

Finished mini quilt is approximately 15" x 20", created by Laura Piland in southwest Missouri.

Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts
Fabric weaving mini quilt by Slice of Pi Quilts