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It ineviteably happens.  Scraps.  We piece, and top, and quilt, and out of these things scraps happen.

Well, Beth over at EvaPaige Quilt Designs has the solution, and it all started with this:

Her new pattern, called Kickin’ Stash ( how great of a name is that?) is it!  It takes scraps – as small as 1.5″ wide – and lets you use them up and make an amazing quilt!  (For those easily intimidated, note that there are no seams to match up except for the center.)

This pattern is so hot off the presses that Beth doesn’t even have copies of it yet!  However, she has placed it for sale on patternspot.com.  You can find it HERE.  Click through, it will be worth it – you can see three different colorways – brights, falls, and purples.  I shamelessly borrowed the photo below from EPQD’s blog – it’s the ‘before quilting’ picture of one of her quilts.  The photos on patternspot are much better – this quilt looks fantastic!

Let me share a little something with you.  The cover quilt?  On her pattern?  (A tiny bit of it is shown in the blog hop button below.)  She didn’t piece the blocks.  Nope, they’re from a block exchange.  40 people each made 4 blocks.  Out of scraps and a bit of background.  Isn’t that a great idea for a block exchange?  Or for a group to make one block per person and then assemble them as a group quilt?  Or for comfort blocks?  Or, if you turn the colors around and have a colored background and white bars, an unusual signature quilt.

I love this pattern.  I can imagine it in any color – so join the fun, hop around, and grab a couple yards of background, an overflowing scrap basket, and get to cutting!

Beth has organized a blog hop to celebrate the release of her newest pattern.  You can find those of us participating at:

Monday 3/12 – Deb (You’re here now!)  www.aspenhill.wordpress.com

Tues 3/13 – Kelli www.thatlookslikeitneedsstitches.blogspot.com

Wednesday 3/14 – Anna www.westthirdstreetdesigns.blogspot.com

Thurs 3/15 – Marianne www.hillsidequiltworks.com

Friday 3/16 – Linda www.thepatchworkpearl.blogspot.com

Saturday 3/17 – Terri www.purplemoosedesigns.com/weblog

And, of course, let’s not forget the official blog of EvaPaige Quilt Designs over at at Quilting Hottie Heaven.  Hop on over there and congratulate her on being a cover girl, will you?  But, by all means, don’t enter the giveaway she’s having over there that closes on Friday…you just might win something!

Even though I don’t have the pattern yet, I’ve cut 12 blocks from my pink scraps and am in the middle of sewing the last piece onto each quarter block.  My sewing machine is calling me!

Thanks for stopping by!

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I’m a week late!  Two years ago I was in a local quilt shop and saw a quilt  that made me stop in my tracks.  It was the first Jeri Kelly pattern I’d ever seen.  It is called Heart Trio, and was designed to be a 6×20 wall hanging.  The hearts were fun, whimisical, and just made me smile.  (Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?)  I bought the pattern, which is rare for me, and started working on it immediately.

The original pattern called for 3 different hearts set in one row.  I ended up making 9 hearts, 3 of each design, using different colors in different places for each block.  I then laid out 8 of them, set them together with an out-of-print red/pink/white print that I got from Quilt in a Day (which also makes me smile!) and ended up with a little quilt that I adore!

(I’m struggling with lighting these days – it’s either too much or not enough…)

Thanks for visiting!

Finished!  Fini!

To recap – for two years, at various quilt shows around the area, I kept looking at the Soda Pop by A Quilter’s Dream.  I finally bit the bullet and bought it in January.  Her sample is made of neutral batiks – a bali pop (in her case) or jelly roll.  As I was staring at my stash I ended up deciding to make the quilt out of light blues and greens.

The colors remind me of vintage Coke bottles – that blue green reminds me of summers when I was a kid – sometimes my sister and I would get to split a Coke in the evenings.  The original quilt was browns and tans – maybe she was inspired by the cola itself?

This is the quilt I should have cut with my GO! but didn’t.  I was working with random bits of fabric from my stash and decided it would be easier to cut them out singly with my rotary cutter.  WRONG!  Ok, for some of the the rotary cutter would have been better, but I ended up cutting enough strips out that it would have made most of the pieces easier.  The whole quilt is made out of 1.5″ squares, 2.5″ squares, and 2.5×4.5″ rectangles…I could have easily cut and subcut with dies I already own.  Lesson learned.

I quilted it with straight lines – not something I usually do, but decided to do this time around.

I think this one’s destined for the guild’s quilt auction in November.  (Pause for a bit of self-criticism here)  I tend to like more value contrast than this quilt has.  I thought I was stretching myself by working in a tighter value constraint that I usually do.   I added some darker fabrics – both in blues and greens as well as some darker blue- and green-grays in order to find some depth.  They’re there, and scattered around, so they’re not doing as much as I’d hoped. In addition, I’m seeing some not-quite-straight lines – little bumps in the straight lines where they intersect, even with use of my Pfaff’s IDT system.  I’m hoping that when I wash it they won’t be as obvious.

On to the next quilt!!!  I have a spiderweb (made of the SAME fabrics, but adding a deep blue for the stars) that I absolutely love pinned and waiting.  Unfortunately, I think it’ll languish for a bit.

Darling daughter is ready to quilt her first BIG quilt ever (at 36×49, it’s much bigger than the doll quilts she’s got under her belt) and we spent some time this morning trying to figure out what kind of quilting she can do on it.  Stipple needs work, stencils are a bit better, and she doesn’t want straight lines.  We’ll figure it out…

While DD and I trial-and-error her quilting styles, I think I’ll work on SewCalGal’s QOV charity challenge – ship date’s coming up!!

Deb

Remember my Soda Pop quilt?  I’m not sure why the pattern is named that.  Battle of geography?  Because you need loads of caffine to keep cutting and sewing and ironing?

Well, it’s been slow progress.  After days of cutting came days of sewing, then a day of ironing.  Then all the quarter blocks were done.  All 224 of them.  I’m sure that you will understand that I didn’t make ‘extra’ blocks so that I could re-balance the color/value of the quilt.

Instead of sewing the quarter blocks into full blocks, I just laid everything out on the floor. 

I will admit that this required me to actually clean the floor…when I’m making a quilt there are fabric piles everywhere – auditioned-yet-rejected fabrics, used-it-but-don’t-need-more fabrics, pieces-destined-for-the-scrap-basket fabrics, and the like.  And since I did such a good job of cleaning off the floor, I actually vaccuumed it!

Then I took some pictures, and re-arranged some blocks, found one that I’d mis-pieced (out of 224, I’m OK with that) and fixed it.  Stared at it some more.

And came up with something like this:

My friend turns everything into a Value vs Color exercise.  This quilt is the perfect example of that.  It’s all lighter blues and greens, but I ended up throwing some darker pieces in that I had to handle carefully – put mediums next to them and they are fine, but put lights next to them and they get jumpy.  (Jumpy is a personal term…for when blocks or fabrics are grabbing more attention than they’re supposed to.)

Now, on to assembling!  I’ve got a few days of this, I’m sure, as I turn 224 blocks into 56 blocks, into 8 rows, and then 1 quilt top.

Deb

So…this is take two at a baby quilt for my cousin’s baby boy.

I won an AccuQuilt GO! last year on a blog giveaway.  (be patient, it makes sense)  One of the dies I requested was the Dresden Plate.  As I was trying to figure out what to make for the baby quilt, I decided to spend some time with that die.  I also had it in the back of my head that I’d like to use one of the stripey novelty prints I had – one is robots/space, the other is pirates. 

I grabbed some larger fabric scraps and cut some of every shape with my new Dresden Plate die.  I looked at the flat-ended ones and thought they could go together like a tumbler.  So I sewed them together (in pink…) and thought they looked interesting.

I ended up doing this –

I cut out about 160 individual fan blades from probably about 8 fabrics.  More of some, less of others.  I kept most in the medium value, with very few darks.

Then I sewed two blades together into pairs, then pairs into foursomes.  Then foursomes into eight-somes, and into sixteen-somes.  (You get it – sixteen blaces, all in a row).  There I stopped, because it was time for trimming and I wanted to be able to cut with my 24″ ruler without folding.

This was where I had planned to stop – I was going to square up the ends, sew them into the quilt, and off I’d go.  I didn’t like the scale, though, of having a 5″ strip of wedges inset into a 3″ strip of pirate ships.  So I took one of the 16-somes strips and cut it in half.  I like the thinner strip better!  It’s a matter of the scale of it.

As you can see, not all the ends are perfect.  No problem!  The width of the strips is 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″.  So I evened up one edge.  Cut a 2.5″ strip, then a second 2.5″ strip, then had another bit of scrap at the other end.  The strips look like they are made of wide and narrow tumblers.  Since I cut at slightly different places on every strip (based on where I had to cut to even up the edge), the patches are not all identical in size, but I like the individuality it gives them.

Then I sewed sixteen-somes into thirtytwo-somes.

Then I took my striped fabric, which happened to have these great stripes.  Very carefully, I cut the strips apart lengthwise along the fabric.  For one, I cut 1/2″ off the bottom of the black stripe.  I wanted to minimize the black and orange stripes, so I buried them in the seam allowance.  For the other, I cut exactly on the line between the yellow and red stripes.  Trust me…do this 12 inches at a time.

I alternated the theme fabric with the pieced rows – I ended up with one extra thirtytwo-some strip and one extra strip of shark fins but that was because I wanted to start with ships at the top and end with shark fins at the bottom.

You could wait to square it up until it’s quilted, but I went ahead and squared it up.  The top is about 40″ x 60″.

What works for me on this quilt is the scale and the value.  The scale of the patchwork strips is similar to that of the theme fabric.  When I laid the full-sized fan strips on there it was too much angled fan blade and the ships and sharks faded away.  Then I tried cutting the strips in half and sewing them back together (to get more of a crazy-quilt effect).  I didn’t like that much, either, because of the scale.  The pieced strips felt too tall for the print.  As for value, I made sure to keep the values in the medium range with only one foray into dark territory.

Deb

You have to know someone with an American Girl.  Or an Our Generation, or a Madame Alexander, or a Battat doll.  Those 18″ dolls that so many girls – or sometimes their mothers – have.  My daughter wanted to have an AG-themed birthday party, with AG-type crafts.

I came up with a no-sew sleeping bag.  I googled and googled and couldn’t come up with anything online.  So I made it myself.  My daughter and I talked about it, and decided that we wanted a sleeping bag with someplace to lay your head, so the bottom of our design is long enough that her doll’s head lays on the fleece.

For TWO sleeping bags you need 27″ (3/4 yard) of 58/60″ wide fleece.

Total time to make?  About 10 minutes for me to cut one sleeping bag and about 10 minutes for her to tie it.  (Though we had girls at the party that took much longer.)

Step 1:  Cut 2 pieces, 24″ x 30″, from the fleece.  These are for your two sleeping bags.  Set one aside.

Step 2:  Fold the fabric in half so that it is 24″ x 15″.  With the fold away from you, cut a 4″ square out of both layers in the lower left corner.

Step 3: Unfold the fabric with the two cut out squares away from you (see them in the top of the picture?).  Cut a 4″ x 5″ piece from the lower left corner and a 15″ x 5″ piece from the lower right corner. 

Step 4:  Cut the fringe.  You want to cut fringe that is about 1″ wide and 4″ deep.  I laid my ruler down and eyeballed it.  Cut along the side and the bottom.

Step 5:  Enlist the girl who will be using the sleeping bag, and have her tie double knots from the fringe.  Make sure she starts with the first pair, and not the 1st on the top and the 2nd on the bottom, because if that happens someone has to pick out all the knots and start over.

Below is the finished product!  Since I had a variety of girls coming and fleece was on sale I got 3/4 yard of several patterns to allow for the girls to choose.  This one was chosen by the birthday girl.

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.

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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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