You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

Tomorrow I’m off to an EQ6 class.  Late, I know, but I figure better late than never!  I’ve never, ever, taken an EQ class and have had EQ since EQ3, I think.  So I figure I’ll get a couple of a-ha moments out of it.

I called around today about the EQ7 upgrade – and was stunned to find out that of the 5 shops I called, only 1 would order the upgrade, and that was at list price.  (Not the pre-order pricing that’s on EQ’s website.  The note on EQ’s website is worded to make me think that the preorder pricing is available to shops.)  The shop where the class is tomorrow has promised some sort of discount.  Will it be enough to equal out what EQ’s offering?  Will it be worth the hour drive round trip?  I want to buy local, but please give a quilter some help!

Deb

About six months or more ago I was lucky enough to be able to make a quilt for a new book that was going to be published by Quiltwoman.com.  The book is called Once upon a Time Fairy Tale Quilts by Beth Helfter

The book was going to be at Quilt Market, and also the author.  But the poor little quilts weren’t expected to be shown in the booth due to space reasons.  She told me that all the quilts were coming, though!

I’m looking – searching – obsessively hunting – for blogs and pics showing all of the new goodies from Quilt Market.   Imagine my delight when I stumble across a photo from Quiltwoman.com showing my quilt in all it’s blurry glory!  Here’s it not so fuzzy!

Deb

I’ve signed up for a class at quiltuniversity.com called “Welcome to Getting Started Online”. Seeing as I’m now here, I’d like to make this into a blog I love.

I also signed up to be newsletter editor at one of my guilds. Little did I know that it also involves being webmaster! Not a problem, as a matter of fact I think that the website can use a refresh, and have no problems with doing it. I’m just out-of-touch with creating web pages and am hoping that this class gives me some pointers.

I think the class has been open for 3 days, and so far the only thread is called “Welcome”. I joined late, and am still chugging through the 18 pages of Lesson 1. Here’s hoping that someone chugs through it soon and posts something new – or that the instructor posts a discussion question!

I’ve been a bit inspired lately, and have 2 quilt tops ready for pinning and quilting. I also have one that’s pinned that I haven’t quilted.

There’s also a top that just needs the borders put on. They’d be on already if not for the fact that the designer mis-calculated the amount of fabric needed. Thank you missing fabrics and Esther, the lovely Iowan who had what I was looking for and sold me what I need to finish!

Then there’s the next version of the Charming Charm Pack quilt.  It’s maybe 25% done?  I’ve spent the last couple of days cutting 5″ blocks, laying them out, and have started sewing them together.

Then there’s what happens when you (1) spend Friday by yourself at the sewing show, (2) go to the sewing show with your daughter on Saturday (she sees/likes different things than me), and (3) finally upgrade my electric quilt software from EQ5 to EQ6 (yup, I’m that far out of date; EQ7 releases in just 18 days but I have a plan!).

Ah, inspiration!  I’m going to be finishing up things from this spurt for half the summer!

Deb

This weekend is a sewing and craft fair at the fairgrounds here in San Diego.  My quilting friends went yesterday, but I had to decline as I was waiting for a delivery.

First stop wasn’t even at the show – Quilt in a Day is having a h-u-g-e sale and advertised loads of fabrics at $4 and $5 per yard.  They weren’t wrong – more was on sale in the store than was not, and I know they had loads of fabrics I hadn’t seen before.  I wonder if they shipped them in from Paducah?

I turned right when I got into the show.  Right call!  The two booths with the cheapest fabrics were right there!  I love fabric, but I love cheap fabric more!  I never go to a show without my own tote bag.  It was more than half full after only two booths!  My husband will be happy I slowed down after that.  The usual cast of characters was there, but I also bought from shops based in Oregon and Colorado.  There were some Kenyan hand-painted batik panels that I was in love with, but couldn’t justify the price.

I had to stay home yesterday because I was getting a new, high-efficiency, washer and dryer delivered.  Yeah!  This set is so much better than the old ones!  They clean!  They dry!  They don’t leak humid air!  They are even quieter!  But, the icing on the cake is yet to come… The very first load I did was fabric.  I had a mixed load size-wise – remnants, fat quarters, yardage.  Usually, everything would come out of my old washer thready, twisted, and tied together.  Folds that are as tough as if I’d creased and starched them.   There was NONE of that!  Every single piece came out of the washer as a single piece.  Not one wad of fabric was found!  I’m in love! 

Deb

What to do with a pack of charm squares that you just can’t bear to cut up? 

Over a year ago I bought a charm pack of 5” squares – Swanky by Moda.  I loved them, and still do.  They were a splurge at the time.  How can a pack of charm squares be a splurge?  I’d just gotten laid off, not a surprise due to my company’s overall performance.  We’d just sold our house for less than we paid for it.  Had moved from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  And we wanted to buy a new house, believing in the sell low / buy low concept.  My old job required insane hours and was full of pressure.  I hadn’t seriously quilted in 3 years, so 90% of the fabric in my stash was 3-12 years old.  The colors in this charm pack were bright and clear.  The prints were fun.  And I wanted them.  So I bought them.

And there they sat.  On the bookshelf, in the quilt emporium, just above my book collection.  Waiting for an a-ha moment.

Which came, courtesy of a library book.  I love guilds – I currently belong to three, all different in style.  One guild has a great library, full of new and current books.  One of the books I checked out last month had a quilt that had rectangles bisected with strips.  I think it was intended for layer cakes.  I looked at the picture, looked at my charm pack, and knew what I was going to do.

The little quilt finishes to 27.5” square with 36 blocks set 6×6.  Each block finishes to 4.5” square. 

Fabric Required:

One charm pack.  Mine had 33 squares in it, so I added 3 random squares from my stash for a total of 36 squares.

Quarter yard (full length is better than a fat quarter) of white fabric.

Quarter yard for 3-2.5” strips of binding.

7/8 yard for backing

Cutting and Sewing –

Cut the white fabric into 1” strips.  No picture, I’m sure you can figure it out!

Subcut into 72 1″ x 5” strips.

Take the 5” squares and cut a 3.5” section off.  I cut through about 4 at a time.  Since I was cutting multiple squares at once, I found it easier to have more of the ruler on the fabric, which is why I measured and cut the 3.5” piece and not the 1.5” piece.

Sew a 1”x5” strip of white into the middle of the cut charm squares.  Press to the charm square.  The cool thing about insetting a 1” strip is that you have the illusion that the pattern continues.  This only works if you pay close attention.  To get this effect, make sure you sew the white strip along the edge you cut for both pieces.  In the picture to the left, that would be the edge of each piece with the blue/pink flower.

Cut, again.  Cut the block into a 3.5” section and a 1.5” section.  This time I only cut one piece at a time.

Sew, again  Inset the remaining 1” x 5” strips of white into your blocks.  When you sew, make sure that the seams for the original strip of white will line up when the block is finished.  See how the thread/seam line on the short piece lines up with the fold on the longer piece?  Press to the charm square again.

Lay out the blocks on your design wall or floor.  I laid mine out so that I ended up with continuous strips of white running through. 

I didn’t put a border on mine.  Of course, you can do what you want!

Baste, Quilt, and Bind as desired.  I quilted straight down the middle of the white bars.

Tadah!  Done and done.

Want a teaser?  I’m developing a pattern for this quilt with a shortcut piecing technique – look for it in my etsy shop, Aspen Hill.

I am a quilter and a mother.

My grandmother made quilts for her grandchildren. For a very long time, I was second-to-youngest, with my sister being youngest. I have no idea what my cousin’s quilts look like. Mine? It’s a product of the early 80s and a grandmother who’d already made about a dozen full sized quilts by hand.

It’s velour. Polyester velour. In Turquoise, Fuscia, and White. 6″ squares. Tied with pink yarn. And in the middle are 6 embroidered blocks with kittens, birds, and flowers. Twin sized.

You know what? I love that quilt. (Let it be here noted that my mother appreciated things that were both new and store-bought based on her upbringing.) I took it to college with me, much to my mother’s dismay. Once a year I would lay it out on the floor and re-tie all the little yarn stubbies. I washed it, and put it in the dryer.

My daughter has grown up the daughter of a quilter. I quilted before she arrived, and I’m betting I’ll be quilting after she moves out. Now we’re somewhere in the first third of that adventure. She has always known that there are 3 types of quilts – (1) those that you can do just about anything with, (2) those that you cannot play with under any circumstances, and (3) those that you must consult before dragging around.

My grandmother’s quilt was, to her, squarely in category 2. About a year ago, she needed an extra quilt on her bed. The first bed-sized quilt in the pile-o-quilts was the quilt my grandma made me. I put it on her bed for the night. She told me it was “too special” for sleeping with! Bless her little heart! I assured her it would be fine for a night.

15 months later, she’s adopted the quilt as her own and it’s finally showing it’s age. The ‘velour’ is rubbing off whatever substrate it was sprayed onto for the binding. The embroideries are starting to come apart. And I want my grandma’s quilt to last another decade!

We’ve come to an agreement. The only way that I can get MY quilt back is to make HER one of her very own. This child is not deprived. She sleeps under a quilt every night. And has a backup. Not to mention the play quilts, and doll quilts, and her very own fabric stash.

And it has to be as close to my quilt as possible. So, now that summer is coming (and I’m in a house with no a/c) I’ll be making a twin-sized minkee quilt, complete with minkee backing. It must also have 6 embroidered sqaures. And be tied with pink yarn. (I’ve never tied a quilt in my life!)

So, I ask myself, is it love for my daughter? Or my quilt?

I’m new here, obviously. I’ve been looking to start blogging my crafty stuff for a while and, thanks to the Sew Mama Sew giveaway days decided that today was the today. I expect that this will be all about quilting, sewing, and other fabric-related ventures, so come along for the ride!

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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.