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I’ve shared my progress on this year’s Quilt in a Day Block of the Month.  I finished up replacing the olive sashing with something brighter (and am much happier for it).

So now it’s time for an outer border.  The quilts shown in class had a appliqued floral vine or a checkerboard.  Neither one suited my style and my quilt.  So I started considering options.

(all the photos are from my phone and were taken to help me choose options, not blog, but since this is a process report we’ll all work ith it.  The turquoise/red occasionally seen behind is DD’s latest WIP – more on that soon)

First, Hourglass / broken dishes blocks.  Didn’t like them.

Then, a double row of 3″ HSTs.  Nope.

HST borderHST double border

Maybe a single row?  Nope to that one, too.

HST border

Maybe I can rearrange the HSTs – sawtooth border anyone?

sawtooth border

I started messing around in Electric Quilt.  I decided to try some rectangles.  I asked my husband – 1×3 or 1×2?  He was quite decisive.  “1×2,” he says.  “It’s the closer to the Golden Ratio.”  Where my engineer husband ever ran across the Golden Ratio I don’t know, but I like the results.  For reference, a 1.25×2 rectangle would be exactly the Golden Ration (1.61) but the corners wouldn’t have resolved themselves.

So here’s the finished top – which, as of this instant, is being quilted.  In the chaos of traveling for Thanksgiving and then the plague that has invaded our house afterwards, I am running a bit behind.  My goal for finishing this quilt is Dec 11, which looks pretty good since it’s about 40×40 square.

rectangles border

Of course, I still have scads of the fabric (Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda) left – it was hard to find when I picked the line last spring, and so every time I found a piece of it I bought at least 1/2 yard.  Way too much to use on the back.  So I think a simple quilt made of the scraps is in my future…next year…

Thanks for stopping by –

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Sometimes you just need a good seam ripper.  Sometimes, it just needs to be done.

I’d made these blocks through Quilt in a Day’s block party.  All along, I had a vision, even if my blocks didn’t get the oohs and aahs that some others did during show and tell every month.  My vision was to use Sweetwater’s Sunkissed fabric, which I loved, to make the blocks, then set them together with green sashing, then to put on a scrappy outer border.

By the time it came to put everything together, I couldn’t find the solid green that went with the line.  So off I went to a LQS, blocks in hand, to find a green.  In the shop, with the assistance of the owner and a friend (read here that I’m not solely to blame for my decision) I ended up picking a darker green for the sashing.  The green is in the quilt, but it’s not the prevalent green.

So I finished my blocks and put them together.  As soon as I started seeing the sashing between the blocks I thought I wasn’t going to love it, but I perservered.  Pretty soon I had all the sashing done – and didn’t like it that much.

I left it alone, figuring that it would grow on me.  I showed it to a friend – she liked it.  My husband liked it.  Took it to class, showed it off – they liked it.  I even heard comments about the dark sashing really setting things off.

But I still didn’t like it.  So off I went to the largest quilt store in the county.  They have a ton of solids.  They didn’t have *the* solid that came with the Sunkissed line, but I came pretty close to matching it.

Cut a few strips of it, pinned them to the top, and asked my DD/color commentary provider about it.  She liked the new green better.

 

So now I rip it.  And rip it.  And rip it.  I have 40 inches of ripping left to do (the picture is from early last night), then I get to put it back together again.  It will probably take me all weekend, but it will be worth it!

Thanks for stopping by!

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 –

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!

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

It took me a while to sew my 224 quarter blocks into 112 half blocks, into 56 full blocks, and then into 1 quilt top.  And a whole lotta thread!

That’s a whole another post, isn’t it?  Thread?

So, back to my top.  My Pop Top.  Only of fabric, not of soda, or another adult beverage.  Ready for it?

I usually don’t work in this softer palatte.  I also worked completely out of my stash.  There are some vintage prints, some ugly prints, and some newer fabrics as well.  One fabric has a copyright from the 1980s on the selvedge!

It was hard, and I’m not completely happy with it.  I’m thinking at this point that maybe it needs a border.  A medium blue border…  I’ll stare at it for a few days and decide.

Right now I’m up to my ears in strings, triangles, and wedges.  All fabric related, of course!  No bikini parts or shoes involved…  And I think I need to go back to elementary school.  My string quilt will be set 6 blocks square.  So, 36 blocks.  Each block will have 2 wedges and 4 string triangles in it.  That means 72 wedges, and 114 string triangles.  It’s a more unusual setting…the stars end up offset from each other instead of lined up in rows.

So…can anyone explain why I ended up 29 string triangles short?  I was counting as I went, marking down each set and tallying up until I got to 114.  115, actually, is what I thought I had.

That’s what I’m doing right now.  Making 29 string triangles out of the bits and pieces I had left.  How on earth could I have missed making about 25% of what I needed?  Maybe I need to check my car?  Or call the quilt store?  I did take the whole kit and caboodle out shopping for wedge fabric last week after I realized I didn’t have enough of my original wedge fabric.  However, I think I would have noticed myself leaving a trail of block parts as I shopped.  See the pile?  That’s a whole lotta blocks that aren’t done!

Happy quilting!  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

Soda?  Or Pop?  I grew up in the midwest, and it was Pop.  Then I moved down south.  It took two years, and I resisted, but now it’s Soda.  Moved west…still Soda here, so Soda it is.

I’ve taken a detour from my spiderweb blocks.  Mostly because the fabric I was using for my ‘scrap’ quit was in fact already designated for a Soda Pop quilt.  I’d looked at the pattern at several local shows, and finally bought it at Road to California.  It’s simple to construct, and can be made from Jelly Rolls if you want.

No Jelly Rolls here…and I wanted to see a completely different look.  I wanted to make something with softer colors.  So I pulled out my light blues and light greens.  Some of these fabrics are true vintage, some are just old, and some are pretty current.  I started cutting strips.  Then cutting little pieces.  Then littler pieces.  Each 8″ finished block contains 8 1.5″ squares, 6 2.5″ squares, and 4 2.5×4.5″ rectangles. 

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.  I figured since it was all rectangles and squares, and since I was working with fabric that was everything from scraps to yardage, it would be easier to cut them all out by hand.  Should have figured out how many pieces I needed…that would have gotten me to use my GO! to cut them!!!  I cut for days.  Literally.  56 blocks in my quilt.  Each with 8 1.5″ squares.  And so on.

Then I sewed little 1.5″ squares into 4-patches.  Now they’re mixed in with some of the 2.5″ squares, waiting to be sewn to other squares, and then to rectangles, at which point I’ll have block quarters made.  Yup, just block quarters.  Which then have to be sewn in to blocks.

So…no string quilts for me.  It’s been put aside until I get this one topped.  But not put away!!!  I’m dying to get back to my string quilt!

Looking for a GO! Baby?  Here are two giveaways out there in blog-land:

Quilt Story – closes May 4

Sew Dang Cute – closes May 7

Deb

I have to make a baby quilt for a cousin’s new baby.  Generally, this isn’t a problem.  But because I just found out about the new baby two weeks ago, and it’s due this month, I’m feeling stressed.  And when I’m stressed I have a hard time making decisions. 

I finally grabbed hold of a star fabric I have, figured I’d use it as the background in a star quilt.  I finally decided on Lucky Star pattern from Atkinson designs, because it goes together in a snap.  I went with blues and greens.

I pulled fabric, and wasn’t in love with it, but started cutting anways.  This is what the blocks looked like as I was laying out the scrappy stars –

I’m having a problem with the way I think the blocks will look, but I forge ahead.  Everything’s already cut out, so what do I have to lose?

Here’s the first block I almost finished:

I’m feeling better now.  Unfortunately, it’s a temporary thing.  I’m under an illusion because it just so happens that the first block had blues and greens of similar values.

Because when I get more put together it looks like this:

See the value problem?  The lights are too light and the darks are too dark.  There’s too much of a ‘gap’ between the shades of blue.

But I’m persistent, and finished it anyways.   The top, I mean.  I pulled out some of the super-dark and super-light blues, but it’s still too jarring for my taste.  I’m really bugged by the ‘missing’ star points.  Maybe I could have fixed it by changing out more of the sashing?

So – what do you do with a quilt top that you really don’t like?  I’ve been quilting for 15 years and have had some real bloopers – though not one as bad as this in a while.  I send them away…which means that I give the top to the Charity table at quilt guild.  Someone finishes it, someone gives it away, and someone gets to enjoy it.  Maybe I should keep this one around for a while, to see if it bugs me less and I do want to finish it and find it a home on my own.

For the baby?  I made another quilt which I like much better.  The only thing is, I don’t know if the parents are into pirates.  Pirates?  I convinced myself that it was OK, because it’s a bigger quilt (40×60 or so), suitable for use into the toddler/preschool years, and what boy doesn’t like pirates?

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.