Thursday, January 1, 2015


"Af" (Off) in Dutch can sometimes mean "finished." Or in English it can mean you are "starting" as in the shout, "They are off!" 

But this new year of 2015 I am "starting" with a "finished" ( well almost anyway) mini-quilt top. Hand-pieced ( no machine stitches on the patches!) by me!

I have given this piece a name. "OFF"

Everything is just a little "off." I carefully cut out the pieces, but never used any measuring device when stitching them together by hand. I did plan to include all of the pockets and "fold and quilt" pieces, but the layout is purely random as I pulled them out of my little plastic bag. Knowledge of the "jelly roll race" and having tried that on other fabric with my sewing machine, I decided this "off" project would also need to be a no thinker.

Here is the story: 
At the end of the summer, my favorite local thrift shop had ladies cotton blouses on sale for 10 cents each. I bought a few cotton ones that had nice, cheerful fabric and planned on cutting them up for use somewhere in my crafts. I think the first day I came home with 20 shirts. When I realized what I could probably do with these cuties, I went back for more. Most of the blouses had never even been worn, but as always my washable thrift buys went straight to the washing machine. 

Then the slicing and dicing began. All of the 40+ cotton blouses were chopped into manageable chunks minus their collars and facings, and then the quilt parts were rotary cut. Since some of the shirts had such snazzy pockets, I saved those for detail. And having recently read about "fold and quilt," I saved a few sheerer pieces for that effect.

Having coordinated my colors and laid everything out on our daybed upstairs, I was ready to machine piece this quilt top. Then we began packing for our fall trip to The Netherlands. There was an "aha" moment. I could hand stitch the pieces on the long plane ride! So I crammed my needle, thread, quilt pieces, and scissors (oops, those somehow sneaked into the plane) into a ziplock bag and spent hours carefully hand stitching while flying over the Atlantic.

Not having the possibility to lay all of my pieces out in the way I had planned, I reverted to the Jelly Roll Race method of sewing each piece end to end. As most of the pieces were cut the same size and not very long at that, my rolling idea is slightly "off." Hence the oddball name ( or oddball quilt top!).

Last night I began adding a border. 

I don't always follow the "correct" way to sew or craft, but I plan to also add a filling and backing and even hand quilt the mini-quilt. 

So I guess that means that 2015 is "off" to a good start! 😉

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

I always believe the creations we actually use the " Fly by the seat or your pants " method always feel best, even the Amish women put one corrected block in their quilts, I think its lovely, what a big job cutting all those blouses! have a great 2015!

Anonymous said...

You are indeed 'OFF' to a good start and hopefully a brilliant finish.

Alie said...

Jullie ook de allerbeste wensen voor 2015!!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Beautiful! You are off to a great start!

Liz Burton said...

Oh go you! What a clever use of both the thrifted material, and your time on the plane.

I love it, love the colour scheme and the clever pockets. Thanks for linking up x

Buttons said...

Oh I LOVE this it is so so pretty. The colours are perfect. Hug B

Pam Kessler said...

I guess you are off to a good start! I made a "jelly roll" type of quilt when I was in high school then. I didn't even know it had a name! Love the colors and variety of patterns in that!