You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2012.

We have lots of steps in our quilting.  Picking patterns.  Picking fabrics.  Piecing.  Quilting.

Well, this weekend, I’m in P.B. mode.

Peanut Butter?  No.

Pitney Bowes?  No.

Pacific Beach?  (I wish…)  No.

Pieced Backings?  Yes.

Yup, I spent most of my sewing time for the last three days making pieced backings.  It all started when I realized I had 4 big and 3 little tops that needed quilting.  The big ones all needed pieced backs.  I showed you one of them just getting started here.  But I’ve now gotten all 4 of them done.  Phew!  They’re all done a little bit differently, too.

This one I shared in progress.  3 4.5″ wide rows of blues stacked and sewn together.   The yellow is covering up where I already pieced the label into the backing.  (yeah me!)

This one came next.  It’s the same concept, only I used the leftover background fabric from the front.

This was third, the backing for my black/white twister.  I struggled with picking backing fabrics on this one.  I never thought the back would be black – I had imagined it as a green.  But I found this really cool binding print in my stash and black it was.  Definitely my least favorite backing of the bunch.  (The flash did something really unusual to this picture.  The two big sections are black/grey RJR fabrics, which washed out.  The florals are a Maywood, which brightened up because it’s really dark in person.)

Then the last.  The most time-consuming.  This is the back to my dresden plate.  I was going to use the leftover background/sashing fabric for the backing but then decided I’d like to use them somewhere else instead.  So I found a diagonal stripe in my stash that was the same colors.  And every little bit of leftover fabric I had.  Sliced down and pieced back together, then inset into the backing fabric.  I also pieced the label into this one.

Thanks for stopping by!  Deb

It was Spring Break last week, so the kids were all out of school.  It also happened to be the week where a friend and I head off to the LQS for their block party class.  It’s more of a lecture/demo than a class, with a bunch of regulars who have been going forever.  This time I took my daughter with me, bribed that if she wasn’t disruptive she’d get Subway for lunch.  She was good, though I’m pretty sure that Eleanor Burns isn’t used to being ignored for a book.

At the end, I finagled her into showing her quilt off in front of everyone at the class.  It was a pattern from this class a few years ago, so they recognized it.  I made her do almost everything on this quilt.  She did all the piecing, quilting, and binding.  I taught her how to pin baste and rotary cut, though I did most of it.

She showed this quilt in a local show last fall, and we’re planning on entering it in the county fair.  She worked hard on this quilt!  It took lots of perserverence and patience on my part, since she’s big on planning and not-so-big on following through.

But, fresh from having her ego stoked by Eleanor and others, she decided that the time is right to start on her next quilt.  Being a big fan of Eleanor, she picked another QiaD pattern.  I’m thankful she ended up deciding on the 9-patch pattern – her original choice was Turnover Twist, which involves loads of QSTs.  And is bigger.

She picked out the border for her quilt, with consultation from me, deciding between themes of ‘jazzy’, ‘sweet’, and ‘nature’.  She went with ‘jazzy’, which is a huge graphic red/white swirly pattern.  I suggested red/turquoise for her colors, and she immediately agreed.  I guess they went with the ‘jazzy’ theme?  Phew!  The red’s a bit orangey, which we didn’t notice in the store, but just so happens to match perfectly with some of the fabrics I brought home from the quilt show last weekend.

Wish me patience!  And thanks for stopping by!  Deb

Here in Southern California we don’t get a lot of those days that just make you want to stay home.  Today’s one of them.  Mid-50s and rainy.  We even had some thunderstorms roll through here earlier!

In between doing the laundry and nagging my daughter to clean her room I managed to get a bit of sewing done.  I was able to piece the strips to be used for the back of my kaleidoscope top.  It  didn’t take nearly as much fabric as I expected – I only cut one 4.5″ strip from each of the fabrics and that was enough.

I’ve been a bit bad about finishing things lately!  I have 3 larger tops – Kaleidoscope, Kickin’ Stash, and Twister – that are all done, but I haven’t been able to muster up the motivation to put together backs and pin them.  And my daughter stole half my basting pins.  (They’re currently being used to hold ‘fashions’ on barbies…)  And those are just the large tops.  I also have 3 smaller diamond quilt tops finished – sliced and diced the diamonds with my GO – 82 diamonds and 1/3 to 1/2 yard of fabric makes a wonderful 30×30 baby quilt, just right for donating!

Tomorrow it’s off to a guild show – bringing my umbrella!  Parking is a few blocks away from the building, and hopefully it’s all sidewalks.  There are also vendors and my friend who helped set up said the boutique is full of some beautiful bargains.  And Sunday is a Modern sit and sew where I’m hoping to finish off the top to my Dresden Plate.  I’d love to start cutting another quilt there as well, but with all these tops on my conscience I feel like I need to clear the backlog a bit first.

Thanks for stopping by!  Deb

A few months ago I found a cool stripe and thought I’d make a Winding Ways quilt out of it, using my AccuQuilt Go.  However, once I got home I realized that the way the die is laid out it wouldn’t work – I couldn’t orient the stripes the way I needed to to get the effect I wanted.


So I had to decide whether to cut out by hand (ugh) or just stop and have more orphan fabric in my stash.

Sitting staring at my AccuQuilt dies one evening, I realized that the stripes would do almost the same thing if I put them into a kaleidoscope format.  I had the dies I needed to make the kaleidoscope block, too, so that made it an even easier decision.

I have’t shared anything about this project before.  The stripe and navy were bought at the same time.  The corners I had a problem matching colors with.  I bought and rejected several solid blues before ending up with the navy blue and a cornflower blue for the corners.  The top ended up being 40″ x 50″ – a good size for just about anything!

Now it’s time to finish it!  I found a fabric for backing it in my stash.  I’ve had this great blueprint fabric for quite a while.  It’s too narrow, however, so I’m going to piece all of my rejected and leftover fabrics to create a 12″ inset.  I’m planning on piecing it, Chinese coin-style, in one 12″ section.

I plan on slicing my leftovers into 4.5″ lengths using my GO and then randomly cutting them into different widths.  Hopefully I’ve got enough to get the length I need!  I use my rulers/rotary cutters all the time for strips, but when dealing with oddball leftovers like these I find it easier to lay all the bits on the die, place the mat on top, and roll away.

Thanks for stopping by!  Deb

I’ve started sewing my Jeweled Stars quilt top together.  I still don’t have all the blocks assembled, but I started anywasy!  I figured that I’d save those last few blocks (really, there’s less than 10) for when I needed something I could really fit in my lap.

I decided to set the stars together with navy, which really was the best choice.  I stewed for a few days, trying to decide if I was going to set them together with diamonds between them or space them out and have hexagons between them.  I finally decided that when I put navy hexagons in there I saw the navy hex first, and the stars second, instead of seeing the stars first and the diamonds sitting in the background.

(See where my camera lens is smudged?  Wish I would have noticed it earlier…)

Much to my relief, I’ve found some yardage from this fabric line that I can use for border, binding, and backing – could be some, all, or none.  I’ve had this fabric for 5 years, and I’ve been looking for yardage for about a year.  Somehow my LQS bought out the inventory of another store and got some of this in!  It’s the print of the star in the middle of the bottom row, and the color of the blue in the star on the right of the bottom row.  So I’ll sew up a few stars out of this fabric and then I can use it however I choose – or choose not to – when that day comes.

Thanks for stopping by!  Deb

A few months ago I bought a new-to-me Featherweight 221.  I’m enjoying it, now that I’m figuring out it’s quirks.

I found it really awkward to carry it, though.  The featherweight is the ‘perfect portable’ but when you add the case on that thing must weigh 20+ pounds, and the case bangs against your leg when you carry it, and I’ve heard that the handles on the cases can be fragile after 50 or more years of use.

So I made a tote for my case!  Protects the case.  Protects my legs.  Even protects my car (from the latches).  And I put long straps on it so that I can carry it on my shoulder, but not so long that I can’t carry it in my hand, either.

And check out the fabric – it has fabric words on it!  TieDye, Batik, Fabric, Patchwork, Paisley…I could spend quite a long time looking for all the different words.

I made a few more to put in the boutique at the quilt show one of my guilds is having this weekend.   Hopefully someone else will want to own one too!  Or maybe you?  I listed two in my etsy shop.

Have a good week!  Deb

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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.