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In December, I picked up a yard of an older juvenile fabric from a ‘free’ pile – I’d seen it when it first came out years ago (like 9-10 years ago!) and even made my daughter a little bag out of it once upon a time.  It always reminded me of a red solid with runts candies scattered all over it.

I took it home with the intention of making a charity quilt out of it.  Not an heirloom, or anything great, just a good quilt that someone will appreciate.  I tried to make this fabric into a quilt I’d love, but was finally able to keep myself reined in – to stop overthinking it.

And when I stop overthinking things, I’ll often end up making a cobblestone quilt.  As this one ended up being.  I love 6″ cobblestone blocks – 2.5″ strips and squares and you’re off.  This one I made probably 85% of the blocks from my scrap bin, as well.  So I’m happy about that – the front is donated yardage and scraps.  The back is another 10 year old fabric, widened with the rest of the border print as well as a weird pink/red that I can never use with pink or with red.  So now it’s on a back.

There are fabrics in there that I have no idea when or why I bought them.  Fabrics that I once loved and used the last few inches of them.  Fabrics that I picked out of someone else’s scrap bins once upon a time.  But from a few feet away, with a tutti fruiti border, it all looks great, and I hope that it brings cheer to someone!

Thanks for stopping by!

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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.

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

A little while ago I posted about to-dos vs temptations.  Well, I was a responsible quilter.  My to-do list is now a done list.  Yeah me!

(1)  3 quilts for Maisonette to deliver to LA to send to Japan.  DONE.  See the pieced backs?  Great for donation quilts, to use up some of those fabrics that have been hanging around for a while.

(2)  Just one star blocks?  Delivered to my group, and received at Moda.  DONE.

(3)  Guild stuff?  Done, for the most part.  A volunteer’s job is never done, is it?

(4)  Avignon Picnic?  Done, blogged, and mailed.

Now, for tempation!

The AccuQuilt isoceles die is first up for me to play with.   The very first thing I did was to run a piece of paper through it.  I know that the pieces finish to 4.5″ wide by 5.5″ high, but wanted to see what that really looked like.  I then took the two triangles and trimmed the seam allowances off of one of them so that I could use it for some drafting.  Yuck, I know.  I tried using EQ7, but I was struggling with funny angles and not being able to get nodes/gridlines where I needed them.  Look for more soon as I get this all figured out!

Deb

Right now, it’s to-do list, (1), temptation (0).  That could change very quickly, though.

This last week I’ve been working on a pretty big to-do list with pretty tight deadlines.

(1)  One of my local quilt shops, Maisonette, is collecting quilts to send to Japan.  They’ll drive them to their fabric distributor, who will then ship them to Japan.  Quilts are due to them by April 27.  Two are pinned, one is not, no quilting started.  I’m going for quick and easy on these – stipple quilting, and machine-sewn bindings.  The green/tan and tumbler quilts were cut out with my GO! – quick and easy!

(2)  My small group has decided to make “Just One Star” blocks to send in together.  Due date?  Tomorrow, April 12.  I made two blocks fairly quickly this morning and think that’s going to have to be enough.  (Note to self.  Press and clip threads!)

(3)   Quilt Guild meetings.  I have board/committee meetings this week, and a (different) guild meeting tonight.  Unfortunately, I’ve got to skip the guild meeting.

(4) Finish my post about the Avignon Picnic (Moda bakeshop) baby quilt so that I can get the finished quilt in the mail to my darling new niece!

Vs Temptation!

The UPS truck visited today.  I have FIVE new dies that I haven’t yet used for my GO!  I’m dying!  The circles, 4 7/8 triangle, 3 1/2″ HST, isoceles, and a 1″ strip die.  I was a smart shopper…a 4 7/8 triangle with 2-3 1/2″ HST will make a flying geese unit, and the 3 1/2″ HST and the isoceles will make a kaliedoscope block.  Way to multitask!

More later…Deb

I do the newsletter for one of my guilds.  This means that I am the first person to get to see all the latest news and goings on for the quilt guild.  Well, this month the president sent out a call for 12.5″ patriotic quilt blocks to support the local Quilts of Valor (QOV) group. 

The timing was great.  I’d already pulled all my patriotic fabric out – I’d been collecting for years, but never really got around to making one.  The meeting was late in the month – I had three full weeks between getting the call to arms – or sewing machines – and the guild meeting.

So I took on the challenge.

I pulled out my trusty AccuQuilt GO!, and the tumbler die.  I started cutting fabric – and before I knew it I had cut more than 100 tumblers out of red, blue, and an off-white with stars.  Laying it out on the floor and measuring it, as well as consulting the QOV website, I figured out that I had more than enough to do one quilt.  90 tumblers, laid out 9×10, with a 6″ (finished) border got me to a quilt top that measured 58×72.  (72 for sure; the 58 may be off by an inch or so)

I had fabric left, lots of it.  I had leftover tumblers, and just enough border fabric for another top.  I mean, exactly enough fabric – I would have less than 2″ when I was done.  It was meant to be.  So I cut more tumblers, out of two one-yard cuts of patriotic fabric.  This time I knew how many I needed – 30 each of blue, white, and red.  One more top – check.

Well, the fabric for the border was gone, but I still had fabric left.  Lots of it, in red, white, blue, and prints.  90 tumblers later, with a different border fabric –

Now, I still had scraps, and 48 hours until the meeting.  What’s a quilter to do?  Make blocks, which was the original request, anyways.  I ran out of time before I ran out of fabric!  The tumbler blocks are made from AccuQuilt’s small tumbler, which is 3.5″ tall.  24 of them, once trimmed, will make a 12″ finished block.  The other blocks are made of 1.5″x4.5″ (cut) strips from the leftovers.  For the record, those, too, were cut with my trusty Accuquilt GO!

Next up?  Avignon, from the Moda Bake Shop, for my sister’s new baby.  I have the fabric picked, washed, and ironed.  I have the AccuQuilt dies to cut it, as well, so it should go together pretty easy.

Deb

A few days I posted about my scrap bin.  I have pictures!

These are the two quilts that I made from pulling most of the pink scraps out of the bin:  (Being scrap quilts, there are tons of seams and they need a still good pressing!)

  As mentioned, I was very surprised to find out that I’d sewn together more than 400 inches of scraps into one long huge strip.  So I decided to make two smaller quilts out of it instead of one great big quilt.  It was a decision of porportions.  I thought with all the scraps in one place I’d need thicker sashing strips to balance it and I just didn’t want to.  I wanted simple and small.

I made the light pink one first.  I am surprised, but shouldn’t be, to find out that I like the darker pink one better.  The light pink in the second quilt is the leftovers from my daughter’s bed quilt.  At night, when I was picking fabrics, I decided that a 1″ finished pink would be fine and determined I had enough scraps to make it happen.  In the light of day, I started cutting for a 1 1/2″ finished pink and really eeked out the last few inches of the border.  But now it’s gone, and I have space for new fabric!  Same for the dark pink.  It was a 1/2 yard piece that I’d hard a hard time using because it was splotchy. 

After the quilts were done, I had them sitting on the ironing board waiting to be pressed.  What did I discover but a HOLE in the white sashing!

  Nice and small, easy to overlook.  Once upon a time, when my daughter was small, she thought that experimenting with scissors on my fabric was better than experimenting on the fabric in the scrap bin.  Every once in a while I’ll come across another piece that’s been sliced at the fold.  I cut around the great big 2″ slice, but missed it’s little brother.

Since the quilt top was done and dusted, and it’s to be a charity quilt, there’s no way I was ripping out that entire strip and replacing it.  I also don’t seem to have any interfacing right now.  So I put a patch on it.  Just like my grandma would have.  And from a distance it looks OK.  (The patch is to the left of the brightly striped fabric in the middle row.)

Well, not everything’s intended to win a blue ribbon!   This is one of those times where done is better than perfect.

Wait, there’s more!  This is my scrap bin AFTER pulling all those pink fabrics out:

More scrap quilts to come!

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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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