It’s Le Challenge time again.  I won last time (thank you, thank you very much) so of course I had to enter again!

This time the theme was “Wilderness.”  Only one thing popped into my mind when I thought about the wilderness.

Deer.

Happy, pretty, frolicking little deer.

Deer RW

The funny thing about deer is that when you see them on vacation . . . they are happy, pretty, frolicking little deer.  When you move to five acres and see them everyday . . . they are annoying.  They eat your Hostas.  They eat your Day Lilies.  They eat your tomato plants.  They eat the tops off every dang thing you try to plant.  They poop in your yard.  They don’t move when you are jogging down the lane and you have to play a game of chicken over whose gonna veer off first (this actually only happened once to me, but I’m adding it to the list anyway.)  They carry ticks (we haven’t had a issue with this yet, but I’m sure the day will come.)

Once the wilderness theme was announced I rushed right out to the LQS and picked up 3/4 yard (on clearance too, wahoo) of the above deer fabric.  I decided to make another mini quilt, this time to reconcile me with my previous love of deer.  Happy, pretty, frolicking little deer.  It only half worked since I decided to use the deer on the back of the quilt and nowhere else.

I did use it as color inspiration for my fabric pull though and finally landed on this:

Wilderness Full Front RW

I’m calling it “Camp Snuggly.”  I’ll explain that more in a minute.

Side Front RW

These prints are all Cotton & Steel fabric.  I seem to be a one trick pony these days.  It’s just that I have a ton of it, I really like it, plus all the colors go together.  So.  Yeah.   And the lions?  I cannot get enough of the C&S lions!  Makes the perfect happy, pretty, frolicking little tent side.  At least something got to be happy, pretty and frolicking on the front of the quilt right?  Not that this lion has his “frolick face” on or anything.

Let’s move on, shall we?

Lion RW

This was only my second time doing applique and I learned something.  If you plan on dense, matchstick quilting, you don’t actually need to applique.  The quilting holds it all together just fine.  So I ripped out all the applique stitches as it seemed to busy with the quilting over them.

I love that sun.  And the clouds?  It’s one of the few purchases (and by few I of course mean a fat quarter pack, two yards and 7 half yard cuts) I’ve made from the NEW Cotton & Steel lines.  Most of my stuff is older and speaks to me more than the new lines do.  Talking fabric, now that’s WILD.

Wilderness Clouds RW

The trees were completely improv and my absolute favorite part of this mini quilt.  This is my second attempt as I wasn’t wild about the first try.  I’ll post a pic of it later.  My mom liked the first try okay so I’m considering a mini mini quilt for her.  Otherwise it’ll just be an orphan block.

Inspiration for the fabric on the tree trunks came from here, a lovely mini quilt called Winter Trees by Cassandra at The Not So Dramatic Life.  If you like mini’s check her out for sure.  She’s doing an awesome year long series where she makes a new mini once a week.  Plus, she’s super good at what she does.  Way better than me.  So hop on over there (once you’re done here though, mmmm K?)

Tree Trunks RW

 I’ve had several people tell me the trees looked like fireworks.

Trees RW

 I love the binding too.  It’s fun.  And who doesn’t need more fun in their lives?

Binding RW

Doing stellar with my corners still!  If you are thinking that binding looks big . . . you’d be right.  I use three inch strips to make my binding.  I sew to the back, turn to the front, and machine sew down the edge.  I started this for several reasons.  One, I don’t hand sew anything.  It’s just not my thing.  This way the bottom thread from sewing on the binding ends up on the back, not the front. Two, it gives me plenty of room not to catch the back binding when I’m sewing down the front.  Yes, when I first started, I was that bad I did catch the binding a few times even with three inches.  I’m much better now and have considered making smaller binding tape, but I’ve decided I like the larger size.  I think it adds a hefty frame to the piece and since quilts, whether mini or not, are ART, it just makes sense.  You frame ART!  You just do.  It always looks better that way.  It does mean I often have to add borders or leave a little batting showing when I trim down in order to save points so it’s not a perfect solution.

Binding Corner RW

Happy deer frolicking on the back.  I totally forgot to add triangles to the corners for hanging though . . . . grrrrrr.  My new friend Renee from Quilts of a Feather (yes! I have made a few quilty friends!!)  suggested just hanging with clear tacks.  This girl is AMAZING at free motion quilting!  You should check her out too.

Back RW

They can frolick as much as they want, so long as it’s not through my Hostas.  Or my Day Lilies.  Or my tomato plants.

Deer and Binding RW

That fence?  It does not keep deer out.  Not out of my Hostas.  Or my Day Lilies.  Or my tomato plants.

Fence RW

I promised I would mention Camp Snuggly, didn’t I?  Camp Snuggly is the nickname my husband gave to our two person dome tent that we used before the kids.

Camp Snuggly RW

I realize my quilted tent isn’t a dome tent (also, there is clearly no giant lion head on the side of the real Camp Snuggly), but it was a free pattern off Craftsy so I went with it.  This post has a link to the tent pattern if you want it.  Also, Renee crafted a free dome tent pattern (after I sewed this one up, harrumph) which you can find information on here if you’d like.  Fabric is expensive enough, I’m all about the free patterns.

Here’s another pic of Camp Snuggly from this same trip, all rolled up on the back of Rocky (that’s the motorcycle).  Also, my super hot husband.  Swoon.  Rocky has been sold and we don’t travel this way anymore since we had kids.  But I have some fond memories of these trips.

Motorcycle

– Joanna

P.S.  I keep comments here closed.  Thanks for understanding.  I caved and started an Instagram account, so you can catch up with me there if you’d like.  I use it sparingly to keep up with a few quilty inspirations and post the occasional duck picture and WIP.  I probably won’t follow you back though.  Just keeping it real.  Have a great day!

Linking up with Le Challenge, Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday, Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social, Quilt Art Designs for Paper Piecing Party

13. July 2015 · Comments Off on Le Challenge – Direction · Categories: Finish Finish, Le Challenge, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , , ,

I mentioned before that I found this great blog called Le Challenge.  Each month there is a new theme and the challenge is to create something in any media inspired by the theme in the given time frame.  If I can take a moment to be nostalgic, it reminds me a bit of my Foodie Pen Pals Chopped Challenge days.  I still love re-reading those fun blog posts.  I just put “Ratsy” in the donation box (sob), STILL photograph food in trees thanks to this post (also, those were DARN good cookies) and my Big Balls musical parody post . . .  it’ll always be a classic in my book.

Sorry, I’ve segued.

This month is DIRECTION and my first time participating.  Here’s my entry:

Direction 1 RW

Up and Down and Around and ‘Round and Back Again

Finished size: 13.5 x 22 inches

The official title of this mini art quilt is “Up and Down and Around and ‘Round and Back Again”, inspired by a Jim Croce song.  I adore Jim Croce.  A.D.O.R.E.  If he were alive I’d sell the house, buy an RV, pack up the family and be a groupie.  I would.  I seriously would.  I listened to Jim 24/7 in the car when I was pregnant with my son, to the point that when Sweetey Petey was fussy Jim was the only music that would calm him down.

When I read the theme direction my first thought was “do not make any flying geese.”  That’s a quilting term for a triangle made by adding two squares of a background color to the top corners of a rectangle for those of you not in the know (Father-In-Law, Aly.)  Making flying geese would be too obvious a choice.

Direction 7 RW

 

My second thought was to quilt sweeping curves, representing a large permaculture landscaping project my husband has been working on, symbolic of the direction he’s leading our family.

Nope.  Scrapped that thought.  I wanted this project to be about ME.  Sorry, honey.

Direction 6 RW

I decided it would be free form.  Inspirational.  No measuring.  Life really can’t be measured anyway.  It would lead me the direction it wanted to go.  With a quilt from a Tula Pink book fresh in my mind, I cut and sewed five cotton & steel prints in six strips together. Various widths, about ten inches long.  Fabrics from my stash.  Fabrics I love.  Colors that played nicely with one another, that made me happy.  Then I placed the block I had created on a few similarly sized pieces of Moda Grunge Vanilla and sliced away, creating triangle shapes.

Direction 2 RW

 I sewed the vanilla triangles to the Cotton & Steel triangles and arranged them by direction.  Up.  Down.  Around and ’round.

Direction 3 RW

I learned that the direction you press your seams is important to how the quilt top lays.  Whether one portion pops out more than another.  I pressed the seams IN around the “pennants” as my F-I-L called them and pressed all the rest open.  So the pennants popped out.  I also quilted triangles in the negative space, allowing the pennants to pop out even more while reinforcing the triangle theme.  The binding is the same Moda Grunge as the quilt top.  I didn’t want to box the triangles in.  I wanted them to have the chance to continue on and out if they chose.  Up.  Down.  Around and ’round.

Direction 4 RW

 I cannot tell a lie.  

The fact that “North” is written on the pennant pointing north was a happy accident.

As a SAHM there are days when I feel like I’m running in circles.  Around and ’round, chasing my tail.  Dishes.  Laundry.  Breakfast.  Dishes.  Lunch.  Dishes.  Laundry.  Nap (not for me of course).  Dinner.  Dishes.  Repeat.  This quilt is symbolic of those days.  Those days that seem circular and cyclical and on repeat.  But despite those days, each season of our lives leads us onwards and upwards.  Sometimes down, sometimes around and ’round but always eventually up!  I mean, someday the kids will be old enough to do the dishes for me, amiright?!?!?!?

The back of the quilt is a fierce lion.

Le Challenge 1 Back RW

Okay, maybe not so fierce.  Still, he makes me happy.  Look at that face!!!

Direction 5 RW

This quilt now hangs in the guest room, which doubles as my sewing storage room (all official sewing is done at the dining room table.)  I love it.  It reminds me how much I love my kids and my family and my season in life and no matter how many dishes I do in one day we are always moving forward as a family in God’s light according to His will.

Direction 8 RW

If you are new here (Oh hello!  Hi!  Welcome!  Thanks for stopping in and if you like chickens check out my chicken page at the top!  If you just like quilts, well, I’ll get on tech-support aka my husband to make a quilting page too.)  I keep comments turned off.  Here’s why.  Sew more, social media craziness-less.

– Joanna

P.S.  Here’s a sneak peek at a few things coming up:

Backing 4 RW

Chevrons on Wire with Leaves RW

Tetris Close Up Good RW

Blenders 1 RW

Bed Runner 1 RW

Apron Pink 3 RW

Linking up with . . .

Le Challenge

Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts

Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social

Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Quilt Matters for Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday

Richard and Tanya Quilts for Link a Finish Friday

Finish It Up Friday