You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

I have finished my drunkard’s path quilt!  I started this as part of the quiltalong that was run by Needle and Spatula as well as Obsessive Crafting Disorder  last year.

I did my quilt using my AccuQuilt GO! and the small drunkard’s path die.  I’ve sewed curves for years, but never a drunkard’s path, so this was pretty new to me.  Finished my quilt top in time for the end of the quiltalong, after much obsessing and seam-ripping about the layout.

To continue the trend, there was much obsessing and seam-ripping over the quilting as well.  I ripped out several bobbins worth of stitching – first because I didn’t like something, then because I was trying to not mark when I should have marked and it looked really bad.

I ended up echo quilting around everything, but since I decided how to quilt this quilt one line at a time, it took way longer than it should have.

I used Kona khaki for the background, and after quilting I could see every single needle hole from where I’d ripped out stitching.  So, into the wash it went.  However, the dryer got switched onto ‘heavy duty’, and only this quilt was in there, so it got cooked.  The batting (Warm and Natural) shrunk much more than I’m used to seeing.  The quilt went in at 39″ square and came out at 37″ square – that’s just over 5% shrinkage!

I haven’t decided what I think of it.  I want to love it, and from close up I do, because you can really see the ins and outs.  From a bit further away it looke more like HSTs running in furrows.

I also finished up a few pillowcases that I promised to do for my sister’s kids – they’re off in the mail tomorrow.  Her kids have very specific tastes – baseball, horses, and princesses.  Easy!  One is getting a personalized pillowcase as well…I felt sorry for her because she’s been sleeping on big sis’s personalized pillowcase that was handed down to her.  She deserves to sleep on a pillowcase with her own name!

Thanks for stopping by!

I offered to test a block / make blocks for a group quilt for a designer that I appreciate.  Her style is fun, bright, and whimsical.  I’m smitten.

So…I picked out some bright fabrics.  Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Pink.  Though I could have dug through my scrap bin.  (But it still scares me, and I’m still working on taming it via color sorting.)  You can cut the whole block out of 4 half WOF jelly roll strips (yup, leftover binding strips!)!  And a background fabric.  Sew a few seams and you’re done.  As we say out here, easy peasey lemon squeezy.

You know who you are.

Please hurry up!  (OK, so I still have to get my blocks to the post office, but, still…finish already!  I need to see your setting options before I go crazy making blocks!)

This un-named designer is also sponsoring a quilt-a-long – Drop and Give Me 20.   Comment on her blog, and commit to 20 minutes…or more…of quilting every day in the shortest month of the year!  Just think what can be done in 20 minutes of dedicated sewing every day.  For me, my biggest failing is to plan to quilt, then go and play with fabrics or watch some show instead of actually putting foot to foot pedal and sewing.  I’m in!

For today, even though it’s still January, my 20 minutes is going to be making my 2nd block for Quilt in a Day’s block-of-the-month club.  Now that I finally have the rickrack I need, I just need to cut and sew so I can put the fabrics safely away until it’s time to sew February’s block.

 

I learned an important lesson from my daughter a few nights ago.  Look at what you’re doing, before you get too far into it.

I am making a dresden plate quilt.  9 plates.  20 blades per plate – I’m using my AccuQuilt GO!  180 blades needed.  I had a 5-pack of fat quarters I was going to use, and pulled the darkest one to save for block centers.  Then I found a few more fabrics in my stash to round out the numbers.  A green polka dot, a green damask, a tan floral-swirley thing, and a brown plaid.

I sliced 180 pieces, and I sewed.  Ironed.  Trimmed.  Turned and pinned.  Pressed.  Sorted my 180 blades into 9 block sets, and put them in a bag.  Took them to a sit-n-sew, and sewed 5 of them together.  (See the finish on my table?  That’s 15 years worth of experience showing…)

Nowhere did I lay out my blocks and stand back.

So I showed them to my daughter tonight.  She tells me that the brown is too dark.  So I look again, from a distance further away than the distance between my head and my sewing machine.  She’s right.

(Insert groan here.)

What looked fine in a pile of fabrics looks not-so-fine in the block.  Can anyone else see the hands on a clock here?  The brown looks like a clock hand to me.  And the tan can be another hand.  10 minutes to midnight?  (top middle)  Gotcha covered.  8:00?  top right.  But wait…there’s more!  Rotate the plate, and the time changes!  11:50 becomes 6:20, just like that!

So…I found another green damask in my stash that works like a champ.  So I made the remaining 4 plates with that, and I’m pretty happy.

As for the original 5 plates?  Well, let’s just say that my seam ripper and I have a date very soon.

Thanks for reading!

Earlier last year I made two or three scrap quilts – well, tops, anyways – in girl-ish fabrics from my scrap bin.  My bin went from bulging sides to just full.  I started cutting down blue/boy scraps right after, whacking my larger scraps into 4.5″ wide chunks to piece them into strips.  For months I carried around a storage bag to stitch-and-sews and measured and cut bigger pieces into little pieces.  Then I stuck the bag under my sewing table and promptly forgot about it.  I had started a couple of handwork projects, so why should I take that when I could be piecing?

Well, I found it.  And decided to turn those scraps into a top.  I sewed them together.  Into pairs,  then four-somes, then on and on until I probably had a piece long enough to stretch from the front to back of my house.  At which point I decided on a pattern that only required 14.5″ strips.  So then I cut it back down.  I ended up having enough for 2 large lap sized tops, once I set all those random scraps together with some navy blue, with a couple of feet of sewn together scraps left over.

Now, since I made my pink scrap quilts I’d been topping, and quilting, and binding for quite a long time.  Generating more scraps.  And when I finished my blue scrap tops I realized that my bin was overflowing, bulging sides and all, and I still had quite a lot of scraps that hadn’t been cut down and needed to be put in.

(this is the bin after 45 minutes of sorting fabrics out of it…can you imagine what it looked like when I started?)

Then I got the email.  Quilt in a Day had their large vinyl storage bags on sale for $2.  I love these bags.  I ordered 10 of them.  Red, orange/yellow, green, blue, purple, white/tan, black/brown, pink, novelty, block bits, and random..  (Yes, that’s 11, but I had the bag the scraps were in originally.)  The idea is sound – when I’m looking for scraps, I’m usually looking for a specific color.  This way I can go right for the colors I’m interested in.  And as an added bonus, the clear bags let me see much more than the bin.

So I started sorting my bin into the bags.  It was – is – a pain.  The bin was stuffed, so when I pulled out on a long scrap I was never sure if I was going to get just the string, or if it was tangled into something else and would be like a scrap-volcano erupting little pieces of fabric and tangled strings all over the floor.  After about 45 minutes, I was done for the night.  And had sorted just enough scraps out of the bin and into the bags that I could add the other scraps in and create…a full bin!

Phew.  This will be a few more evenings’ worth of work, because I’m overly inspired right now by sewing and don’t want to sort.  I just finished two baby quilts, and have a drunkard’s path to quilt, and started making dresden plates at a sit-n-sew last weekend.  (Ever seen dresden clocks?  Come back in a few days and you’ll see what one wonky value can do to a plate.)

Thanks for reading!

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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.



Flickr!

Quilt top marking - so tedious!

Two more wonky star blocks!

Deb's wonky star blocks for April.

More Photos