Friday, June 14, 2024

Meals on Wheels Placemats

Oh, hi there. It's been a minute. Well, a whole lot of minutes. A trip by train to Chicago for the third grade school program of one of our grandsons, a car trip to the Detroit area for a baseball game of another grandson, lots of little bike rides, planting our flowers, and a wonderful week exploring Up North in Michigan (by the little finger of the mitten) all adds up to a delightful spring season of non-quilting activities. That just happens naturally when the weather warms up. I did do a bit of quilting over the last month or so and finished by putting the binding on some little projects while we were on vacation.

Here's the batch of placemats I made for next year's collection for Meals on Wheels. 

The beginnings of these were two Bear Paw blocks from my endless supply made during 2020 and a rejected block from a baby quilt I made early in 2023. I added scraps from my multi-colored scrap bin, one that I'm trying to slowly empty (ha ha) as well as some other solid or solidish scraps and strips, supplemented with coordinating pieces as needed from my fabric supply. 

I thoroughly enjoy making these. I have no idea when I start of what the finish will look like, and I don't really measure or plan, but just use the sizes of the scraps to build the piece. The preferred size for the finished placemat is about 14 by 18 inches, so I try to make the tops about an inch bigger in both directions to allow for quilting shrinkage. I love how the fabrics all coordinate on this one even though they are from several decades of quiltmaking. 

Here's the back of this one--lots of memories of quilt projects. I'm pretty sure the third strip in, and maybe the pink shirting, are from the 1980's. The binding is three different fabrics that all read about the same. 

This next one was a fun way to use up some backings from rainbow colored quilts. They all seemed to have some purple in them, so I pulled that out with the flower block and some solid strips. Most of these are modern, with some digital prints as well as an Aboriginal Australian design leftover from a phone case I made. 

The back is from really narrow strings. There are several different prints, but they look sort of watercolor style, don't they? After I ran out of strips, I added some low volume scraps with purple in them. Again, the binding is three or four different purples. 

This third placemat took the longest. I had a bunch of pieced triangle block cut-offs in my multicolored bin from the quilt you see in my blog header. I decided to unsew them while watching TV so I could recombine some of them with other fabrics. Then I sewed long strips of pieces to fit around the center block. There's one wonky pieced striped fabric that was in my granddaughter's baby quilt; she's now 12-1/2 years old and just a smidge away from passing me up in height. Making scrap quilts is such a trip down memory lane. 

For the back, I made a long strip from all the scraps. They had lots of angled pieces but fit together well. Then I pieced the back jelly-roll race style without regard to how the fabrics met up. It makes for a crazy fun random design. I had to add a bit of fabric to each end to get the size. But what a sense of accomplishment to use up all those leftover pieced triangle bits. Oh, and the dark turquoise that really stands out? That was in my grandson's baby quilt 9-1/2 years ago. More memories... 

I pieced batting from scraps (had a new supply from the cut-offs of the last quilt I made). Quilting took almost no time at all with an easy meander. 

I took my time hand sewing the binding in the evenings during my vacation after watching the sunset at the beach. Sunset is late at this time of year, so there wasn't much evening left for sewing, but I was able to get all three finished over six little sessions. It was the perfect take-along project. In fact, these little placemats are the perfect summer project. There is a bit of a mess involved sorting the scraps, but I have my multi-colored scraps presorted by color and type of design so it's neater than you might think, and the sewing doesn't take up much room or time. Also, I don't have to rearrange my quilting room to do the quilting on such little quilts. I think there should be more of these ahead of me in the next couple of months. And we are due for a really hot spell, so indoor activities will be priorities. 

Before I go, some more stylish photos on my treadle cabinet. I wanted to take some outside, but the planters are just getting started and aren't much of a backdrop yet.

The framed notecard is a souvenir of our view from the beach.

Oh, and why not a few photos of inspiration on vacation? I haven't done that in awhile. First, some quilts. This one was at the Empire Historical Museum (in the town where we stayed.) There were more quilts, but this was my favorite. I just realized that I got the object card in my photo, so I hope you can read it. The blocks are approximately 3 inches square. In perfect condition, even though it is reportedly mounted in a way that might harm it over time.

Here's a close-up.

And the quilt at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Headquarters: Ann Lovelace's winning quilt from 2013 Grand Rapids Artprize. (She won again in 2015 with a different quilt--quite a feat considering Artprize is not a quilt show, but many forms of art.) It is breathtaking. 

Lots of bears in the area where we stayed and biked. (We didn't see any.) This area was destroyed by a huge storm about 9 years ago. Nature is healing itself, and it is becoming beautiful again. 

We had sunsets on five out of seven nights. Here are just a few photos. Always different. Never grows old.

This is not a real lighthouse. It was built as a memorial to a town citizen. The neat thing, though, is that it has a webcam, so we can watch the waves and the sunset from home whenever we need some beach time. We even waved to my daughter on the cam from the beach while she was at work. (I'm sure she appreciated that. Nothing like being reminded of someone else's vacation while you're working.) 
We hiked Empire Bluffs for the gorgeous view of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

These were my favorite flowers there. Inspiration for a delicately colored quilt, yes?

I took lots of photos of old buildings in town and in the national park. This was my favorite for the color inspiration. I wonder what it was/is.

I hope you are enjoying your quilting projects big or small and carefully planned or improv and scrappy. And any non-quilty but special activities. 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

wow Sleeping Bear is such a beautiful place thanks for posting so many photos it looks like a place to enjoy for sure

Lin said...

Three great finishes with lots of memories. Enjoyed your holiday pics too. xx