...my blogging mojo has been lacking. But I have been sewing. The title of this post is a nod to the local Turks and Caicos beer. The lager is called I-Ain-Ga-Lie ("I ain't gonna lie") which is delicious. We enjoyed a couple of cold ones on the deck of a restaurant on the island of Middle Caicos. You can see both shallow, turquoise water and deep, marine blue water in the background. Lovely!
A stack of long quarters in sherbet colored homespuns has been kicking around my studio, getting in the way, so I cut them up and pieced this top. I was inspired by Rose's Ernie quilt for the combo of solids and stripes, and wanted to try a little bit of transparency play. I offset the solid and pattern rows by a half block, which was a bit fiddly and tedious to keep track of. I think this quilt is one of those that will look a lot better quilted and I'm planning to play with some fun long skinny FMQ motifs when I get around to it.
And speaking of transparency, I pieced up this Five Alarm Chili top using Sandra's Playtime Plus pattern. She's having a quilt along that just started so feel free to jump in! The piecing went really fast so I got ahead of the QAL even faster than usual. I chose mostly hot chile pepper fabrics for the small pluses, with a few other veggies and blenders for variety. The cream and red solid backgrounds make another ginormous red cross, a nod to our years as volunteers for the American Red Cross. Or possibly it refers to the medical attention you'll need if you eat cousin Christopher's homemade hot salsa.
While taking photos, the wind gusted up quite strongly and I ended up hanging onto the corner of the chiles while it flapped noisily. I didn't notice until later that all the motion had actually started to disintegrate the fabric! Good thing I have more of this cream so I can replace this frayed corner.
This little piece isn't a quilt, technically. There isn't any batting between the top and the backing, so I'll call it a blankie. The fabrics are the fun, fish-themed scraps from Hugs and Kishes Covered with Fishes that I made for my newest baby cousin. I actually pieced the top at the same time as H&KCwF, so it's nice to move this UFO along. The backing is a thick cotton corduroy in similar colors, and I used pre-packaged satin blanket binding. It is quilted using wavy lines of stitching about 2" apart. The corduroy didn't slide well along my machine bed, so I ended up quilting most of it with the corduroy on the top, using my walking foot. I'm calling it Through the Reef and we'll see how it washes up. I'm hoping the corduroy will shrink up and add some crinkle.
Similarly, this piece is just the top with a flannel backing, no batting, and purple satin binding. Streak of Lightning was pieced ages ago with the scraps from our bed quilt, which is the big checkerboard one in my blog header photo. It's been languishing as a UFO for several years but now it's a finish! Woot!
Here's the backing, a cute blue giraffe flannel with a bit of green to make it big enough. The quilting on this one is kind of a FMQ sampler with 8 different motifs in the 16 rows. Without the batting thickness, the fabric moved much more smoothly/quickly under my quilting foot, which led to some distorted shapes. It's funny how my hands are so used to the drag and resistance of a regular quilt sandwich! I think all the cottons will shrink in the wash and hide any little oopsies. Again, I decided to use satin binding to give it a little extra pizzazz to make up for no batting.
I had to pull out my other sewing machine to put on the satin bindings because that requires a zig zag stitch. Once I had The Little Kenmore That Could set up, I figured I might as well use up the rest of my stash of satin binding. I had nice big pieces of this pink giraffe flannel and a coordinating cotton pique, and put them together as a whole cloth blankie. Kind of like a receiving blanket, but big enough for a toddler who really, REALLY likes pink.
These blankies will be donated to Little Lambs as part of the Hands2Help challenge. Little Lambs provides a backpack full of hygiene and comfort items to kids who are in transition from temporary places like hospitals, emergency shelters, and foster care. These children can be any age from newborn to teens and often have no way to carry their few belongings. I got to thinking that the really little kids might struggle to fold and pack a bulky quilt into their new backpack, so I decided that these thinner blankies might be a good alternative. The flannel and corduroy are soft and fuzzy and the satin bindings feel smooth and soft against little fingers and faces. Although I prefer making quilts with batting, it was interesting to try these alternatives and I think they will still wrap three little ones in warmth and comfort.