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It’s been a while since I updated on all of my projects.

I’m currently in project overload.  My mind is running faster than my sewing machine can keep up!  It’s a common problem, particularly when I have lots of (household) things to take care of.

I’ve been shepherding DD(8.85) through her first big quilt.  (At DD’s swim lessons they have her age on the schedule…they currently have her at 8.85 years old – and it’s hard to be more specific than a kid when it comes to age!)  She’s on a bit of a deadline – first of all,  because I refuse to let this turn into another kid-sized UFO.  Second, because I (yup, it’s all me) want her to be able to take it to school later this week and show it off to her teacher’s assistant – a quilter.  Third, because she just got it accepted into the local big fall show.  She’s making good progress – 12 seams until the top’s done!  She’s making the Quilt in a Day (Eleanor Burns) Cinnamon Swirl pattern using Moda’s Birdie line of fabric (Me and My Sisters, I think).

Supervising takes a lot of time!  She’s got decent accuracy with her 1/4 inch seam, and is both careful and confident around my sewing machine, but it seems that half the time when I leave to to finish off a set something goes wrong.

So, my projects!

First, I’m almost done with the binding on my Soda Pop Quilt.  I’ve got about 18 inches left!!!  Then I think I’m going to wash it.  This is the woulda-coulda-shoulda cut it out with my AccuQuitl GO instead of my rotary cutter!

After that, I need to bind my Charming Charm Squares quilt.  (tutorial here)  I love this pattern!  So simple to put together, and can easily be put together using charm squares or stash, and the whole thing can be cut on my GO!  This one is made from a 5″ square pack I picked up somewhere, with pure white sashing.  Just for fun, a polka dot binding!

While I’m binding, I need to baste.  My poor Spiderweb quilt has been languishing on the pinning table since last week!  After pinning the last two, my poor fingers needed a break.  But now I need to do it before the callus starts to disappear!

What’s next?  A labor of love.  A few weeks ago I finished embroidering 6 designs onto minkee squares.  (Note – this was a pain!  I don’t recommend it!)  They’re now trimmed and ready to be set into the twin-sized minkee quilt I’m making for DD8.85.  Minkee = stretchy, slippery, and fuzzy = pain in the neck.  But, as I said, a labor of love.  This will take some willpower to get done, since my quilting inspriation is leading me in a dozen different directions right now.

So – next up:

(1)  Quilting the Spiderweb.  I’ve been all over flickr and have found great inspiration!

(2)  Prodding DD8.85 (grin!) to her first finish.  I fully expect to lose my sewing machine for a week for her to quilt.

(3)  Minkee quilt.  I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to do this, but I promised, and it’s been almost a year.  Does anyone have any ideas on what a good batting would be?  Or what the right yarn/floss/whatever is to tie it?  For that matter, what’s the right way to tie? 

That’s probably going to take me the rest of the month to get through.  By then, I could either be completely un-inspired, or inspired by the same things, or have a completely new inspiration list.  Who knows?

Who?  Who? Whoo?  Hoot?  I almost forgot!  I won something!  I so rarely win that it makes my week!   I won a giveaway for 3 patterns at Chatterbox Quilts – and I picked an owl stuffie pattern, an owl applique pattern, and a swan pattern.  I can’t wait to make one of them!

Phew!  But if I update more frequently, the posts will be shorter – right?

Deb

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Scraps bug me.  I can’t throw them away, even if they’re too small for most things.  Scraps have ages and stages in my house,  If they’re big enough to cut a piece out of, they go in with their color.  (What’s big enough?  Depends on what I feel that day.  And how much I love that fabric.)  After that, they go in the scrap bin.  I share the scrap bin with my crafty kid, so it’s not uncommon to pull a nicely sized piece out of there with a hole cut in the middle.  Pieces tend to stay in there until they’re miniscule, at which point I reluctantly throw them away.

These pieces were still in with the colored fabric.  They caught a break – even though each was an oddly piece left out of a charm pack (Merryvale’s Zephyr line from a few years back) they were part of a set and that kept them safe.

So I fiddled and faddled and figured out that I could get 4-6 HSTs (half square triangles) from each one if I used the 2.5″ HST die on the value die that came with my AccuQuilt GO.  This was a messy and somewhat time consuming process, since I had to individually line up each remnant of fabric.  Though, using the GO, what would have probably taken 4 hours of measuring and cutting one piece at a time only took about 90 minutes.  With none of that adult language that happens when the ruler slips.

I randomly sewed a darker one to a lighter one.  This was kind of relative, since I had more darks than lights, so mediums went both ways…in a good fabric way.  I put them all in a basket and picked.  I rejected a few pairs along the way, and at the end I always dump the basket and make the best matches out of what’s left.

Finally chosing a symmetric layout that was 8 x 10 2″ (finished) squares in size, I rearranged it for a while then sewed it together.  My daughter and I decided that a medium, sage-y green was the best thing to finish it all off.  A 3″ cut border brought the size up to 21″x25″ .  A bit of straight-line quilting, and this is one for the books!

Thanks for reading!  Deb

I have occasionally tested patterns and quilts for a few quilt designers.  It lets me try out new patterns, see how other designers think and write, and lets me edit something other than my own writing.

I was quite surprised to get an email out of the blue for someone I’d tested for before, almost a year ago.  Three of us took up the challenge, and a challenge it was because she needed edits and a finished quilt top in a week.  All zigging and zagging aside (see my post on Murphy’s Law!) I got it done in 6 days.

While I can’t show you the whole quilt (yet!), below is a super close-up of part of the middle.  The multicolor yellow print does have sequin-y things on it…your eyes are not decieving you. 

I like this pattern – I think it’s really flexible…it can be made in loads of sizes, colors, and from any type of fabric – charm packs, layer cakes, jelly rolls, FQs.  Just add a yard of this and a yard of that to all those scraps and watch it come together!

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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