I am in the process of quilting something with a due date – and it’s driving me crazy because I have several other things I want (and need) to get done, too.  One of which is taking advantage of my daughter’s re-interest in finishing her UFO.

I have three sewing machines and a house full of options!  As well as an understanding spouse.

So while the upstairs looks like this:

2012 qiad quilting process

The family room downstairs looks like this:

sewing annex 1

sewing annex 2

That’s my project on the wall – I pieced the blocks at a variety of sit-n-sews on my featherweight, and am pretty particular about one machine per project.  DD’s project is on the floor in the other room.

I love my featherweight!  It was well-loved when I bought it, and still sewed pretty good, but was great once I cleaned it up.  And the bonus was that it came with a table!  It’s not an official Singer table, but was hand-made by the original owner’s husband.  And the table and sewing machine are still a great pair 64 years later.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

I’ve shared my progress on this year’s Quilt in a Day Block of the Month.  I finished up replacing the olive sashing with something brighter (and am much happier for it).

So now it’s time for an outer border.  The quilts shown in class had a appliqued floral vine or a checkerboard.  Neither one suited my style and my quilt.  So I started considering options.

(all the photos are from my phone and were taken to help me choose options, not blog, but since this is a process report we’ll all work ith it.  The turquoise/red occasionally seen behind is DD’s latest WIP – more on that soon)

First, Hourglass / broken dishes blocks.  Didn’t like them.

Then, a double row of 3″ HSTs.  Nope.

HST borderHST double border

Maybe a single row?  Nope to that one, too.

HST border

Maybe I can rearrange the HSTs – sawtooth border anyone?

sawtooth border

I started messing around in Electric Quilt.  I decided to try some rectangles.  I asked my husband – 1×3 or 1×2?  He was quite decisive.  “1×2,” he says.  “It’s the closer to the Golden Ratio.”  Where my engineer husband ever ran across the Golden Ratio I don’t know, but I like the results.  For reference, a 1.25×2 rectangle would be exactly the Golden Ration (1.61) but the corners wouldn’t have resolved themselves.

So here’s the finished top – which, as of this instant, is being quilted.  In the chaos of traveling for Thanksgiving and then the plague that has invaded our house afterwards, I am running a bit behind.  My goal for finishing this quilt is Dec 11, which looks pretty good since it’s about 40×40 square.

rectangles border

Of course, I still have scads of the fabric (Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda) left – it was hard to find when I picked the line last spring, and so every time I found a piece of it I bought at least 1/2 yard.  Way too much to use on the back.  So I think a simple quilt made of the scraps is in my future…next year…

Thanks for stopping by –

I tried to resist, but the Scrappy Stash Quilt Along over at Ellison Lane Quilts proved too hard to resist.

My friends are impressed.  I’m not even surprised.  Even a bit embarassed, because I know that I made a lap-sized quilt out of blue scraps (plus one yard of fabric) late last year.

There are no rainbows here, even though all of the ROYGBIV quilts are fun to look at.  My entire SSQA quilt is Blue.  The whole thing.  The blocks completely came out of my blue scrap bag, too.  There was no going to the stash and adding fabrics to liven things up.  Please, take a minute to be impressed with my self-control.  There are fabrics in there that should have never seen the light of day again…

I loved how easy it was to make.  Because my blue bag was stuffed-to-overflowing, I’d grab out fabrics a handful at a time to use, and made 3 blocks at a time.  My only criteria in placing fabrics were (1) smallest amount of trimming possible and (2) not touching the same fabric.   Usually I look at fabrics and put them back (even into the scrap bin) becaue there might be a better use for them somewhere else.  Not here!  If it fit it got sewed on.

Those who have been following along know that I decided that a 1″ finished sashing in slate blue was required to calm, connect, and unify things.  In other words, I liked it a whole lot better with a common thread running among the blocks than simply setting them together given all of the chaos in the blocks.  There are 30s, novelties, Civil War, and modern fabrics…something was needed to make things look just a bit more unified.  Then I put a 3″ finished border on it to help it stay together just a little bit more.  My resident fabric consultant said I should use the slate blue for binding, so that’s what I did.

This is not a quilt for the ages.  This is a utility quilt, which means that it’s life will be spent in the garage, where it will be used to make ‘beds’ in the ‘houses’ defined by sidewalk chalk, safe zones for American Girl outdoor picnics, and tents over lawn chairs.  It will be a good life!

Thanks for stopping by!

I rarely win anything.  As I was sitting in a guild meeting just yesterday, I commented this to the person sitting next to me that I’ve won probably twice in three years, from a group that theoretically gives out 200 door prizes a year.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at SewCalGal’s blog last week and I won!  I excitedly sent off my address and was told that since the Fat Quarter Shop would be shipping my prize directly it should come pretty quickly.

And quickly it did – yesterday my husband delivered unto me a priority mail envelope!

I tore into the package this morning to find my very own copy of Simply Fat Quarters from It’s Sew Emma.  I’m sew excited!

Not only did I find a great book with lots of usable patterns, but I found THE pattern.

For months and months I’ve known I have to make a baby quilt for my DH’s favorite cousin.  The baby is now three months old, and I haven’t done anything but fail.  I found the best fabric but when I cut into it and started sewing I wasn’t happy at all.  For the last four months I’ve been looking – for different fabric, for coordinating fabric, for a great pattern, for inspiration.

And now I’ve found it.  Let me introduce you to…Marbles.  The big snowballs are 7″ finished, which is perfect to show off the 3-4″ tall giraffes in my fabric.  I only have 27″ of this fabric left, I can stretch it out among these showballs and still get 15 of them!

Now if I only had time to work on it…my project list boggles my mind…

Sometimes you just need a good seam ripper.  Sometimes, it just needs to be done.

I’d made these blocks through Quilt in a Day’s block party.  All along, I had a vision, even if my blocks didn’t get the oohs and aahs that some others did during show and tell every month.  My vision was to use Sweetwater’s Sunkissed fabric, which I loved, to make the blocks, then set them together with green sashing, then to put on a scrappy outer border.

By the time it came to put everything together, I couldn’t find the solid green that went with the line.  So off I went to a LQS, blocks in hand, to find a green.  In the shop, with the assistance of the owner and a friend (read here that I’m not solely to blame for my decision) I ended up picking a darker green for the sashing.  The green is in the quilt, but it’s not the prevalent green.

So I finished my blocks and put them together.  As soon as I started seeing the sashing between the blocks I thought I wasn’t going to love it, but I perservered.  Pretty soon I had all the sashing done – and didn’t like it that much.

I left it alone, figuring that it would grow on me.  I showed it to a friend – she liked it.  My husband liked it.  Took it to class, showed it off – they liked it.  I even heard comments about the dark sashing really setting things off.

But I still didn’t like it.  So off I went to the largest quilt store in the county.  They have a ton of solids.  They didn’t have *the* solid that came with the Sunkissed line, but I came pretty close to matching it.

Cut a few strips of it, pinned them to the top, and asked my DD/color commentary provider about it.  She liked the new green better.

 

So now I rip it.  And rip it.  And rip it.  I have 40 inches of ripping left to do (the picture is from early last night), then I get to put it back together again.  It will probably take me all weekend, but it will be worth it!

Thanks for stopping by!

First and foremost, a shoutout to my DH.  My quilting mojo has been gone for a little while.  I’ve been overwhelmed by a lot of things, and when it was a struggle to complete the simplest Halloween costume I’ve done in years (last year’s Party City purchase being not included) I knew I was well and truly stuck.  But I got unstuck this week.  And he let me hang out in the sewing room for most of Friday night, a good chunk of Saturday, and a few hours again today.  He even helped me spray baste this afternoon!

The first thing I finished was completely catching up on Quilt in a Day’s block of the month.  There is still a border to add, but I’m completely caught up before Tuesday’s class.  The fabric is Sunkissed by Sweetwater from early this year.

Then I realized that I was possibly able to finish my Ellison Lane / SSQA quilt top.  The blocks are made from everything under the sun that was blue.  There are blues from my early quilts right up to the bee blocks I made last month all in there.  So how to make them all hang together?  A 1″ blue/grey batik sashing.  Then I added a 2.5″ border to finish it all out.  I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I almost always pin baste, but today I decided that spray basting would be just the thing.  I enlisted my husband and we went outside (of course!) and got it done in about 15 minutes.

(Just a comment.  That royal blue fabric with the big white polka dots?  Looks like ellipses stringing otu across several quilt blocks?  That’s from a pair of shorts I made.  for me.  a long time ago.  What was I thinking?)

AND…yes, there’s more!  I took a bit of time last night and did a bit of quilting on my dresden plate quilt.  I plan on densely quilting that quilt so it’s going to take some time.

I don’t know why I let myself get hung up on the things on my quilting list.  It’s all for fun, right?  I let that Halloween costume drag me to a standstill, even though it was super easy to put together.  Well, I also had to tear my quilting room apart because we had a garage sale last weekend.  I needed my card table, which I cut on, out to display items, and the loveseat, which was being sold, out in the driveway.

But since then I’ve been able to get back in the groove.  It’s so nice!

The first thing I did this week is a herringbone block for the SDMQG’s block bee.  We were linked back to Stitched in Color’s great tutorial and given a color palette.  Loved it!  The block went together very easy, and I only had to unpick one seam.   Don’t mind the backlighting in the picture – my design ‘wall’ is more of a window covering.

In the picture you can see part of the 2012 Quilt in a Day Block Party quilt – Quilts from El’s Kitchen.  A few weeks ago we got the LAST BLOCK for the quilt – now all we need is directions on the border, which we will get in class on Tuesday.  This has been a challenge for me.  I chose to do the small – 6″ – blocks, which means that I have had huge struggles with fabric scale.  The fabrics I chose were mostly Moda’s Sunkissed by Sweetwater, with a few other prints thrown in.  This morning I finished re-doing the last block!

It’s actually the Hearts and Gizzards block from February, but when I made it there was not enough contrast in the block.  I decided to wait until the very end to redo it, so that I could have the chance to balance out colors in the quilt.  So now that is DONE!  And I get to move on…

to more applique…because I realized that I never bothered sewing down the flowers on the center block.  I skipped doing this with the best of intentions – I wasn’t sure that I would be happy with the placement in the end, but I’ve decided to not overthink it.

I have four colors to applique down there – I’m most of the way done with the last flower color and only have leaves left after this.

Next up is sashing the blocks.  I’d love to stay glued to my sewing machine this weekend and get the top put toghether, but we’ll have to see what the weekend brings.  The class meets again on Tuesday, where Eleanor will give us instructions on her recommended outer borders.

Because I’ve been so distracted lately, I’m not sure if I’m going to get my SSQA quilt done for the 13th, but there are worse things.  My blue scraps are at the lowest amount they’ve been ever.  I have 30 blocks done and sashing picked out, but switched over to keeping up with the Quilt in a Day project and put them away.

Sometimes it’s better to be doing things instead of talking about doing things.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing!  Several quilts have come and gone without even a thought that I should stop quilting and start writing about quilting.  There were 4 tops for the guild charity efforts, various bee blocks, a baby quilt, complete with personalized embroidery, and more.  It’s been a while of being on the go, dragged in several directions.

So, catching up.

First – there’s a Big Day for kids in just under 2 weeks. Last year my daughter went with Frankie Stein from Party City, but this year she’s requested Greek Goddess from Mom.  Of course, there’s no patterns for that, but we happened on a pattern (99 cents, advertises that the sewing can be completed in an hour) and a fantastic heavy white jersey (in the red-tag section, no less) and I’m off to the races.  Last night I cut it out, and today I sewed the shell together.  Now I’m waiting for my model to get home from school before putting in the lining.

(I love my daughter to pieces.  I do.  But she’s difficult to buy or sew clothes for because she’s two sizes bigger in height than she is in width.)

Every serious sewer/quilter has to have an assistant, right?  McKenna joined me last night should I need any small things done.  But then she got distracted by finger knitting…how just like a 10 year old!

Then I’ve been doing some stress-release / stash-reduction quilting.  When I just want to SEW, I do this.  Usually I grab my GO and the diamond die and go to town, but I’ve been liking equilateral triangles so much lately.  So I grabbed a triangle ruler, a bunch of remnants from a bunch of boy quilts, and I was off.  It’s topped, quilted, and I’ll have the binding done shortly.

I have six other things to work on, but I needed some more stress-release sewing, so as a way of avoiding the whole costume thing I started sewing SSQA blocks.  I have 18 of them done, and my blue scrap bag will be tiny after this!

My dresden plate quilt has been pinned since June or so.  I couldn’t figure how to quilt it, had no idea.  So now I’ve started, but then had to stop because it’s going to take forever and I don’t have any time for it this month.  Not to mention that we’ve been suffering with hot days for weeks and weeks, and if I can help it I don’t quilt large things when it’s hot.

My to-do list is much, much larger than the WIPs shown above.  I have a baby quilt to make for a favorite cousin.  Another large quilt that’s basted and ready to go.  Oh, and in note-worthy news, I’ve finally mom-ed up and finished the embroidery squares that I started over a year ago for a quilt for my daughter.  (Twin-sized minkee.  I don’t see that getting done before it cools off.)

First, a small vent.  Do people really live the lives they show on Pinterest?  Or are they spending hours styling something with the goal being just as much about good pictures for pinterest and the blog as it is about the event the pictures are being taken of?

Now, onto the first cut.

Thanks to the comments on my previous post reinforcing my gut, I went with the triangles.  I think it’s going to be the right call.  I’m varying from the published pattern (not a bit surprise…) by using narrower sashing strips than the original.

Ready, Set…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t seem to pick up my rotary cutter.  I just can’t do it.

I have a baby quilt to make for a really special mother-to-be.  The shower is in 11 days.  I found the best fabric.  I love it, my daughter loves it, my husband loves it.

It’s some pink giraffe love by Michael Miller.  The mom-to-be has picked a girly jungle theme for her nursery, and baby things in pink and yellow, so I’m hoping that she loves it as much as I do.

 

I bought every bit that the fabric – 1 1/4 yards – and it will *just* make a quilt.  I’d planned on one pattern.  Squares and rectngles of giraffes, sashed in the yellow/oranges, then set together.  I hadn’t cut anything yet because I was a bit unsure about the scale.  The giraffes are pretty tall, and the pattern calls for 3″ high (finished) pieces.  I was worried that I’d end up with a 3×3 square with only giraffe butts in it and not enough fabric to set it aside.  (And while my daughter thought it was funny, and the mom would never notice, I’d know…and we all know that we obsess about things that others will never notice.)

But then last night my daughter picked up the book the pattern was in, and I saw on the back another quilt, made up of equilateral triangles that were sashed.  It takes just about as much fabric, but the pieces are bigger – 6″ tall.  On every piece I laid the ruler on I ended up with at least one giraffe head.

So now I’m paralyzed.  I can’t seem to make that first cut.  Ever been there?

I’ve also finished another quilt top for another new baby.  I haven’t quilted it yet, but I need to immediately, since I just decided that I’m heading off to see the new baby next week.  My 96-year old grandpa, who lives halfway across the country, is visiting to see his newest great-grandchild, only for ten days.  So kiddo and I are off to visit him, and see the new baby, next week for a couple days.  (And, lest I forget to mention it, my aunt lives over six hours away from me, so I’m heading off onto a hard slog through the desert without my hard-working husband to share the driving with.)

I haven’t done partial seams in a while.  I don’t know why I avoid them.  They’re simple.  I have a hard time with 3-fabric quilts.  I always want to add more fabrics!  Overall I think the quilt is cute, but if I make it again I’ll probably make smaller blocks.

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About Aspen Hill

Welcome to Aspen Hill! I'm Deb. Quilter, lover of fabric. Fan of completed projects. Quilt Pattern Designer. My blog is my space where I get to share quilting, sewing, and other creative pursuits. Come back often!

You can find my quilts, doll clothes, and patterns on Etsy.



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Quilt top marking - so tedious!

Two more wonky star blocks!

Deb's wonky star blocks for April.

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