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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

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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.

Whoops!

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 was able to get in the tester’s pool for Kickin’ Stash back in January.  Beth over at EvaPaige Quilt Designs always has great ideas for new quilts, but I think this one takes the cake.

Kickin’ Stash is great for everything…from jelly rolls to layer cakes to fat quarters to scraps.  Real scraps.  Like those that have been collecting in my scrap bin for years.  Earlier this year I undertook the daunting task of sorting my scraps by color.  They may take up more space now, but at least I can see what I have!

Pink and blue are the biggest bags, so after stumbling across a 2 yard piece of an orphaned fabric with pink doodled flowers on it I decided to tackle the pinks.  (An orphan fabric is one that was bought specifically for a project, then not used for that project.  My blog, my definitions!)  I knew I didn’t have enough background to finish Kickin’ Stash to the pattern, so I figured I’d sew and cut until I ran out of fabric.  Which was after the first border.  Which is OK, because I have a quilt top that’s big enough for a toddler, fewer pink scraps, and one less piece of yardage in my collection.

I think this is going to stay a top for a little while longer.  I’ve got things going on, and it’s chilly outside (my pinning table is in the garage, and we’re going through a chilly couple of weeks), and I have a few other sewing projects to prep and/or outright finish before then.

AccuQuilt giveaways seem to be slowly making a re-emergence, though 2 in 2 weeks isn’t necessarily a trend – First Lady of the House is having one that closes later this week.  Have you seen the new zoo animals?  Elephants and Lions and Giraffes, oh my!

Linking this up to Scrap Attack

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Instead of a science fair, my daughter’s school has an Invention Convention whre the kids are encouraged to come up with an invention that solves a problem.  You see everything here that a kid can come up with.  This year my daugher participated, with her Super Small Guard Robot, “Sarge”, the ultimate in home defense.  So we’ve spent a lot of family time this week discussing Sarge – what he looks like, what he does, how to communicate this to others.  And then made a poster and model for her to share at school.  Sarge is the size of a tennis ball, runs around on 6 legs, has solar panels for power, an antenna for communication, a speaker for warning, and an eye to spot bad guys.  He was created from a decorative deck knob (body), 6 restaurant kids cup straws (legs), one googly eye (eye), a snip of pipe cleaner (antenna), markers, and enough silver spray paint that my garage still reeks of it.

I have been working on a few things.  So what’s my Work in Progress?  Probably the Kickin’ Stash quilt, because I’d like to get the top done in time for the Scrap Attack linky party at stitchedincolor.

Kickin’ Stash is coming along.  The blocks are pieced together, and I will probably have this top finished over the weekend.  Another quilt without a cause, just an exercise in stash reduction and true excitement over .  A true scrap quilt – the border was bought 2 years ago for a baby quilt (the babies turned 2 last November) and 80% of the pinks came from my scrap bin.  The rest came from already-cut-into pieces from my stash.

Other than that, here’s the list:

  • Twister – the top is done.
  • English Paper Piecing – long term project, making progress!
  • Dresden Plates – blocks are done, need to sash.
  • 2 BOM blocks – a bit of a struggle of my fabric vs the patterns.
  • Bricks and Blocks 2 – made one, loved it and let it go to its intended home, so I’m making another.  Fabrics are collected.
  • Embroidery – a labor of love.

I’m a bit overwhelmed!  I haven’t actually listed all my current WIPs in one place in a while… (note the word current…)

And, it’s been quite a dry spell, but there is a giveaway for an AccuQuilt over at Annies Ruby Slipperz – hop on over for a chance to win!

I’ve joined, in spirit anyways, EPQD‘s Drop and Give me 20 challenge for the month.  It’s been going pretty good for me so far.  I’ve committed to myself 20 minutes of actual sewing every day.  (Note that it’s actual sewing, not sitting at the sewing machine watching Storage Wars on OnDemand.)  Seems like a good way to work my way through the projects on my mental to-do list.  It’s working pretty good, I’m 5 days in and have gotten at least 20 minutes in every day.

Wednesday, 2/1, I did some handwork on my long-term English paper piecing project.  The day got away from me, but I did sew instead of play games on my phone while waiting to pick DD up from school.

Thursday I cut out fabric for a top.  It probably took about 30 minutes, but when I was done, everything was cut.

Friday I sewed some of the top.  And spent almost 2 hours picking up the results of a leaning tower of fabric tumbling to the floor.

Saturday I sewed some more of the top.

This morning I finished the top.  And then made a pillowcase.  And then during the SuperBowl decided to work on my dresden plates  (note that they are now plates and not clocks!).  The plates have been done for a few weeks and need attaching to the backgrounds.  So I spent all night tonight doing that.  9 plates have been attached to 9 backgrounds.

Next up?  Sewing the 9 circles to cover the 9 block centers.

Thanks for visiting!

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 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!

When I saw the button on both Obsessive Crafting Disorder as well as Needle and Spatula, it caught my attention.  You see, I’d had a drunkard’s path on my short list ever since seeing this one at Canoe Ridge Creations.

The three blogs helped me to get my very own project done!

I have an Accuquilt, and had gotten the mini drunkard’s path die back in September.  For fabric, I grabbed some leftovers of an older Moda line and paired it with Khaki Kona.  Since my original inspriation was Megan’s quilt, I cut squares out along with the drunkard’s path pieces.

Unfortunately, after I had sewed every loose block into 4-patches, I didn’ t like it.  And I couldn’t make more blocks because I’d started with remnants.  I stewed for a couple days, then ripped.  Blocks were arranged and rearranged on my floor for days.  (With suitable warnings to my family to step carefully when walking in the area!)

I finally came up with a setting that I liked – diagonal lines running across the length of the quilt.  I must have tried and abandoned 6 different ideas before I came up with this one.  A bit more ripping, some strategic re-arranging, and I was back at the sewing machine.

I love it!  I think I have found an ok backing for it in my stash, but I might not get around to quilting it until after the holidays.

Well, I’ve finished sewing all my tops together.

And realized that as a result of my sewing frenzy I now have 4 tops to finish.  Looks like my pinning table and I will be seeing a lot of each other next week!  Should I admit that I do have enough pins to pin baste 4 quilts at once?  (When I basted my queen sized Bricks and Blocks quilt I probably used only 60% of my pins – I have two containers full!)  But I can’t pin until after I make backs, and 2 of the 4 will require pieced backs.

When I look at the photos, I notice 2 things – the first is that I need to press everything!  (I have a new iron and don’t like it – it seems to not press as well as my old one.)  The second is that the colors seem off.  I’ll try to get better pictures when the quilts are finished, but the light does feel very ‘yellow’ in my house today.

First finished, but not first started, is the tumbler quilt.  I started with a yard of a pink print I’ve had for years and started cutting up bits and pieces of pink fabrics to go with it with my mini tumbler die.  This quilt will end up being a NICU incubator cover at a local hospital, so I need a backing that’s bright and fun to go with it.

Next up is the hidden stars quilt.  Same drill as before only the theme fabric was a pink/black/white/aqua cat print that I made my daughter a skirt out of 4 years ago, and the die was a 3″ HST.  I’d intended a normal set, with all the triangles oriented the same way.  As I laid it out on the floor, I realized that if I rearranged the blocks, I could make stars.  If you look, there are sawtooth stars, friendship stars, and pinwheels all over the quilt top.  This one’s for charity also – the guild wants 30×36 for crib quilts, so I made this one 30×39.  Perfect!

Third to finish was the monkey quilt.  I had all of the fabric out from my last venture, so I started stripping again using the leftover bits and pieces.  I added a few new fabrics, but it will be nice to have one more fabric (the monkey print) gone out of my stash.  (I know some people track yards in and yards out – I feel happy when I completely finish a fabric and all I have left are bits for the scrap bin.)

First started, and last finished, is the Drunkard’s Path.  This one was put into 4-patch blocks at a sit-n-sew last month.  When I laid it out on the floor I didn’t like it.  So, after staring at it for a few days, trying to avoid the inevitable, I ripped them all back apart again.  A few more evenings playing with the layout, and I came up with something I’m happy with.

Thanks for following along!  This weekend I’ll be piecing backs, and maybe quilting on the littlest one if the weather cooperates and I can spray-baste it.

I’ve been wanting to make a brown, black, and tan quilt for months now.  I couldn’t figure out what I wanted it to be, however.  Simple and modern, for sure.  The pattern?  No idea.

Then I saw it.  The quilt I wanted to make, and it was HERE.  Scroll down, and there it is, on her design wall.  I was smitten.  I still haven’t figured out what the pattern is, or where she found it.  (Though I have one friend who said she’d seen it in a magazine.)

I cut, and cut, and cut some more, because this was to be a queen sized quilt for the local guild’s quilt auction.  Not having a pattern, I winged it, and decided that it had to be made from 2.5″ strips.  To make an 80×88 quilt, I needed to have 440 bricks that were 2.5×6.5, and 440 blocks that were 2.5×2.5.  That was lots and lots of cutting.  I tried using my AccuQuilt and the 2.5″ strip cutter, but ended up using my rotary cutter – I was dealing with scraps, and bits, and all sorts of odd-sized pieces so it was easier to just cut them with a ruler.

There’s most of the top, draped over the railing. Laying it out was a bit of a challenge.  I ended up using the queen-sized bed in the guest room, laying 75% of it out, then adding rows on at the end.

Basting it, oddly enough, went much quicker than I’d imagined.  I’d thought that using spray baste would be the thing for this big of a quilt, but I just ended up with wrinkles everywhere.  So I pulled it apart, pulled in my pinning table, and got started.  I was able to pin baste the whole thing in under 2.5 hours.  My pinning table is great for me – it’s about 40×50 without putting in a leaf, so I did have to shift this quilt a few times, but there are no wrinkles anywhere on it.

Because this quilt needed to be done quickly, and was for an auction that’s known for bargain-hunters, and I needed to do it on my home machine, I stipple quilted it.  Add some binding, my favorite part of the process, and I got it done with days to spare!

I love this quilt…however, I didn’t get to enjoy it much at all.  But that’s OK, because while I wanted to make a quilt in this color way and really love the quilt, it was never intended to stay with me.  I hope that its new owner loves it as much as I did!

Somehow I think I’ll be making this quilt again…it went together so easily, and makes such an interesting pattern.

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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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