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I tried to resist, but the Scrappy Stash Quilt Along over at Ellison Lane Quilts proved too hard to resist.

My friends are impressed.  I’m not even surprised.  Even a bit embarassed, because I know that I made a lap-sized quilt out of blue scraps (plus one yard of fabric) late last year.

There are no rainbows here, even though all of the ROYGBIV quilts are fun to look at.  My entire SSQA quilt is Blue.  The whole thing.  The blocks completely came out of my blue scrap bag, too.  There was no going to the stash and adding fabrics to liven things up.  Please, take a minute to be impressed with my self-control.  There are fabrics in there that should have never seen the light of day again…

I loved how easy it was to make.  Because my blue bag was stuffed-to-overflowing, I’d grab out fabrics a handful at a time to use, and made 3 blocks at a time.  My only criteria in placing fabrics were (1) smallest amount of trimming possible and (2) not touching the same fabric.   Usually I look at fabrics and put them back (even into the scrap bin) becaue there might be a better use for them somewhere else.  Not here!  If it fit it got sewed on.

Those who have been following along know that I decided that a 1″ finished sashing in slate blue was required to calm, connect, and unify things.  In other words, I liked it a whole lot better with a common thread running among the blocks than simply setting them together given all of the chaos in the blocks.  There are 30s, novelties, Civil War, and modern fabrics…something was needed to make things look just a bit more unified.  Then I put a 3″ finished border on it to help it stay together just a little bit more.  My resident fabric consultant said I should use the slate blue for binding, so that’s what I did.

This is not a quilt for the ages.  This is a utility quilt, which means that it’s life will be spent in the garage, where it will be used to make ‘beds’ in the ‘houses’ defined by sidewalk chalk, safe zones for American Girl outdoor picnics, and tents over lawn chairs.  It will be a good life!

Thanks for stopping by!

First and foremost, a shoutout to my DH.  My quilting mojo has been gone for a little while.  I’ve been overwhelmed by a lot of things, and when it was a struggle to complete the simplest Halloween costume I’ve done in years (last year’s Party City purchase being not included) I knew I was well and truly stuck.  But I got unstuck this week.  And he let me hang out in the sewing room for most of Friday night, a good chunk of Saturday, and a few hours again today.  He even helped me spray baste this afternoon!

The first thing I finished was completely catching up on Quilt in a Day’s block of the month.  There is still a border to add, but I’m completely caught up before Tuesday’s class.  The fabric is Sunkissed by Sweetwater from early this year.

Then I realized that I was possibly able to finish my Ellison Lane / SSQA quilt top.  The blocks are made from everything under the sun that was blue.  There are blues from my early quilts right up to the bee blocks I made last month all in there.  So how to make them all hang together?  A 1″ blue/grey batik sashing.  Then I added a 2.5″ border to finish it all out.  I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I almost always pin baste, but today I decided that spray basting would be just the thing.  I enlisted my husband and we went outside (of course!) and got it done in about 15 minutes.

(Just a comment.  That royal blue fabric with the big white polka dots?  Looks like ellipses stringing otu across several quilt blocks?  That’s from a pair of shorts I made.  for me.  a long time ago.  What was I thinking?)

AND…yes, there’s more!  I took a bit of time last night and did a bit of quilting on my dresden plate quilt.  I plan on densely quilting that quilt so it’s going to take some time.

Sometimes it’s better to be doing things instead of talking about doing things.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing!  Several quilts have come and gone without even a thought that I should stop quilting and start writing about quilting.  There were 4 tops for the guild charity efforts, various bee blocks, a baby quilt, complete with personalized embroidery, and more.  It’s been a while of being on the go, dragged in several directions.

So, catching up.

First – there’s a Big Day for kids in just under 2 weeks. Last year my daughter went with Frankie Stein from Party City, but this year she’s requested Greek Goddess from Mom.  Of course, there’s no patterns for that, but we happened on a pattern (99 cents, advertises that the sewing can be completed in an hour) and a fantastic heavy white jersey (in the red-tag section, no less) and I’m off to the races.  Last night I cut it out, and today I sewed the shell together.  Now I’m waiting for my model to get home from school before putting in the lining.

(I love my daughter to pieces.  I do.  But she’s difficult to buy or sew clothes for because she’s two sizes bigger in height than she is in width.)

Every serious sewer/quilter has to have an assistant, right?  McKenna joined me last night should I need any small things done.  But then she got distracted by finger knitting…how just like a 10 year old!

Then I’ve been doing some stress-release / stash-reduction quilting.  When I just want to SEW, I do this.  Usually I grab my GO and the diamond die and go to town, but I’ve been liking equilateral triangles so much lately.  So I grabbed a triangle ruler, a bunch of remnants from a bunch of boy quilts, and I was off.  It’s topped, quilted, and I’ll have the binding done shortly.

I have six other things to work on, but I needed some more stress-release sewing, so as a way of avoiding the whole costume thing I started sewing SSQA blocks.  I have 18 of them done, and my blue scrap bag will be tiny after this!

My dresden plate quilt has been pinned since June or so.  I couldn’t figure how to quilt it, had no idea.  So now I’ve started, but then had to stop because it’s going to take forever and I don’t have any time for it this month.  Not to mention that we’ve been suffering with hot days for weeks and weeks, and if I can help it I don’t quilt large things when it’s hot.

My to-do list is much, much larger than the WIPs shown above.  I have a baby quilt to make for a favorite cousin.  Another large quilt that’s basted and ready to go.  Oh, and in note-worthy news, I’ve finally mom-ed up and finished the embroidery squares that I started over a year ago for a quilt for my daughter.  (Twin-sized minkee.  I don’t see that getting done before it cools off.)

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.

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’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 quiltlet is a baby quilt.  Tiny.  Small.  Some might even call it a potholder.

What is it’s purpose?  To join together with other quiltlets to make a bigger quilt.  One of my guilds has a quiltlet quilt.  All members have been asked to make a quiltlet – an 8.5″ block, bound, with apron strings for tying it to other member’s quiltlets.

Seems simple, right?  To make an 8″ block that represents you.  It could be anything – a traditional block, an invented block, applique, representational, abstract, and any color under the rainbow.  As long as it finishes to 8.5″ square, and has strings, anything goes.

Only it’s not so simple.  I thought of so many great ideas.  Only to find that they were 9″ blocks.  Or 14″.  I wanted a star, but not a sawtooth star, and bright colors.  In order to make sure that I had mine in before next month’s quilt show, I invited some friends over to my house for a quiltlet sewing day.  I had two weeks to figure this out, and figured it out at 9pm the night before.

I made it of 2″ finished equilateral triangles.  Bright greens with a blue star floating in the center.  I love it!  I was sad to have to give it up at the meeting, so I made another one, which is right now just a block.

I figured something out that I never knew.  I cut this using specialty rulers.  I knew I had an equilateral triangle ruler because it’s purple.  But I recently won a stash giveaway and in there was a trirecs ruler.  At first glance they’re the same ruler.  A trirecs ruler is designed to make ‘peaky and spike’ or ‘triangle in a square’ blocks.  Fortunately, I only cut about 6 pieces before I realized what I was doing.

If you’re in the area, look for my block on the quiltlet banner in April!

Thanks for stopping by –

My child is blessed to be the daughter of a quilter.  She’s been around sewing since her youngest days.  When she was 15 months old, she would play with ‘balloon’ pins in my pincushion.  At 2.5, she’d bury herself in fabric.  Before 4, she’d designed a quilt and helped to make it.  She’s been using sewing machines since she was 5.  I always decided that if I could involve her in my hobby(obsession), I could have more time for my hobby(obsession).  And have more quality time, and encourage her creativity, and… the list of rationalizing goes on…

Last summer, she won a pattern at Quilt in a Day’s store – Cinnamon Swirl.  She decided this was going to be her first quilt, because it was her pattern.  Fine by me, because as it’s a log cabin variation, it’s something that she could do.

In the spring, we found a Honey Bun she liked – Birdie by Moda.  It had been out for a while at that point, but we were lucky enough to find some matching yardage for the borders at the same shop.

Slowly, slowly, we worked our way through the quilt.  Learning about WOWies (wiggly seams that must be ripped and/or resewn), and easing fabric, and lining up edges.  Pinning.  Rotary cutting, which still scares me but she does it better than pinning.

At the end of May, her quit looked like this:  5 blocks done, 10 blocks in progress, 5 blocks unstarted.  Quilts had to be turned in Sept 5!

When the day came that the top was done we rejoiced with glee!  And sent it to school.  DD’s teacher last year had a helper that is a quilter.  I was sure that she’d get lots of prasie for it, and I was right.

It took us a while to figure out how to quilt it.  There were a few false starts, and I ripped out several blocks for her while we figured out how she could best tackle the quilting.  We ended up with something that she could do, though it wasn’t either of our first choices.  It was her first quilting project ever, and she did good.  Sure, there’s variability on the stitch length, and there were a few toe catchers that had to be fixed, but she did it.  Herself.

She finished it just in time (with prodding from me).  We’d entered her quilt into the San Diego Quilt Show that was last week.  The night before the quilts had to be turned in she was stitching on the label.  She did everything on this quilt.  She sewed it, quilted it, and bound it all on her own.  I helped with cutting, pinning, and basting, but made her try those skills too.  Pinning seems to be her worst subject!

She got it done, and her entry was hanging there for everyone to see!  They had the kid’s quilts in a different place this year.

But, they backed right up to the featured quilter’s area this year.  Eleanor Burns was the featured quilter this year.  She was so kind to my daughter!  Knew the quilt, and said she’d been mentioning it in all of her Strip Tzzz lectures.  We ended up staying for one of the lectures, and Eleanor recognized my daughter in the audience.  Called her up front.  Then Eleanor proceeded to toss her own quilt up on to the crossbar, tug the drapes apart, and flip my daughter’s quilt through from the back for all to see.  Loved it!!!

Afterwards Eleanor went around the corner with us and had a picture taken in front of the quilt with my daughter.  So great!

My daughter is proud of herself, rightfully so.  I’m proud of her, too!  You go, girl!

I posted a few days ago that I was planning on making some Quilts of Valor blocks for Sew Cal Gal’s QOV challenge (as I can’t tie up my sewing machine doing my quilting while trying to shepherd DD through quilting her first big quilt ever).

I wanted to use my GO! to make flying geese units.  I have the 4 7/8″ triangle as well as the 3″ finished triangle, so it should have been easy.

And it was…only I discovered that the 4 7/8″ triangle die also makes a great 6″ (finished) hourglass block!  It was so quick and easy to cut the pieces out.  The die is arranged so that you can take a strip of fabric, fold it in 4ths (across the WOF) and get 8 triangles (with the straight of grain along the long side).

So in just a couple of minutes I’d cut out enough triangles for 4 12″ blocks.  No fiddling or funky measurements.  When sewing, no lining up tips, or marking sewing lines.  Great fun!

To go back to my original flying geese concept, I’ve got to tell you about my favorite way to make them in any size I need – it’s the no-waste method.  It’s from the patch pieces website, and has been around forever.  Fill in the blanks based on the size you need, trust that it works, and get sewing!  I have to add the trust part…because when you’re at the step where there’s a big half square triangle with two little half square triangles hanging off it, it’s hard to see the geese coming…but they will…

Now it’s time to pack it up and head off to the post office – blocks don’t have to be mailed until the 20th, but I’m heading in that direction anyways…

Deb

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

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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.