Friday, January 24, 2014

Upcycled - Project Quilting Season 5, Challenge 2 - finished!

I took the opportunity this week to not only be challenged by the actual "rules" / specifications set out for the Upcycled Challenge (read them here) - but I set a personal challenge / goal - to create something FAR outside my "usual" / comfort zone.

My brain is very mathematical.  I have always loved math and science.... I started college studying engineering and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology, with minors in mathematics and business.  So.... it makes me giggle sometimes all the time that I spend much of my days creating / sewing / being "artsy".

My quilting is most often very geometric and.... rigid.  I love to experiment with color, but being truly free-form and artistic with my quilting is NOT my strong suit.

So.... this week.... I tried something different.

Not only does my "quilt" meet the various specifications given by the official challenge.... but it is also VERY abstract / free-form / "unfinished" even though it's definitely finished.

I've decided it will be called "Workin'" - because that's what my 3 year old said when he first saw it ("Mommy.... that excavator and dump truck are workin' hard!"

To make the top, I cut up various onesies / sleepers that the kiddos wore as babies.  I also cut up a paper bag and pages of a kids' book {I had to include at least two items that were NOT originally intended for clothing or quilts}.  Oh... and those excavator tracks?  They are cut from a rubber excavator track for a toy (no clue where the other one is.... or the naked excavator.... such is life with two boys!)

I stitched each piece on, and left the bits of string / tails / etc.  I wanted it to feel / look really scrappy and "raw".  Then I added the dump truck and excavator appliques - by spray basting and then stitching them on.  A little while back a friend of mine gave me a bag of fabric she had on hand and didn't have plans for.  The backing is from that bag - and it looks like it was a table runner at some point.  It is just a solid green (It's a wall hanging, so it won't be seen!).

I couldn't decide if I wanted to "finish" it - but after letting it sit for over 24 hours, I just trimmed it up (again, very free-form, not a set shape / size) and then stitched 3/8" from the outside edge to tack everything down that may have been cut in the process.  There is a low loft poly batting between the top and the backing.

Here are a few close-ups of the funky things included in the quilt

Rubber excavator tracks (was SO excited that my sewing machine went through these as if they were plain ol' cotton) - clothes - book pages - paper bag pieces

See the words from the book pages?  Paper bags, lots of loose threads, that darker blue is a cute "polo shirt" onesie.  The camo fabric is from a cute outfit I bought for Colby when we visited a very special little girl for her first birthday in West Virginia!

The orange / blue stripe is from an adorable striped raglan-style onesie the boys wore.  I love that you can see the "carters" info that is printed on the inside of onesies on that dark brown piece off to the right.

It took a LOT of work to get my brain to think this way..... and it's still tough to look at it and LOVE it.... but it is DEFINITELY growing on me.  It's fun, too, to see the little chunks of each outfit / book page I used.... they spark wonderful memories.

This is now pinned up on the wall in Colby's bedroom - he is SO into construction / trucks.... and it goes great with his new big boy bed, etc.

For more posts about this project, click on the topics below:
Beginning Stages


Janie, Isabellas Whimsy said...

This quilt is so, so, so very amazingly wonderful! I loved it the moment I first saw it. I just keep looking and looking at it and identifying your various materials. That is quite a materials list- Very Clever!! I'm also impressed your 3 yr old son knows "excavator", I didn't know what that was called. You said this is a first for you, well, I hope to see lots more! I feel happy when I look at this adorable quilt. I love everything about it.

Kim said...

Awwwwww - thank you SO much! I love it more and more as I get used to it and allow my brain to accept it! :) I will definitely give more of these "artsy" quilts a try in the future - - - as I often love them when created by others!

And yes.... my 3 year old corrects me ALL the time about the correct name for all heavy machinery. He's known them all pretty much since about 18mos old!