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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 –

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!

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.

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!

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

We Interrupt This Post for a Blatant Plea. 

Help me win!!!  I’ve posted several times about AccuQuilt’s Barn Quilt contest.  Entries were due Sunday night, and already, today, they’ve narrowed their choices down to the top 100 and opened up voting!  Well, I got a block in the top 100!  Click HERE to vote for my block!  You can vote in two ways – by hitting the ‘like’ under the block or clicking on the block and giving it a stellar 5-star review.  VOTING CLOSES APRIL 19!  If my block wins, I will be having a party that they can hear at AccuQuilt Headquarters in Nebraska!  (And I’m a SoCal gal!)  If I win, I will be sharing my joy and excitement with giveaways for both AccuQuilt and non-AccuQuilt users!

Now, back to the post.  Thank you for your patience!

My sister has had her first baby – a girl!  All babies in my family – and extended family – get quilts when they are born.  No registries and shopping (at least in the baby deparment!) for me.  Quilting!  Fabric Stores!

I bumbled around for a while trying to figure out a pattern.  Months, actually.  Then I saw a quilt on flickr and knew I’d found it. Lucky me!  The quilt I saw is from a Moda Bakeshop pattern, Avignon Picnic.  I love the rectangles, and the links, and the flow across the surface of the quilt.   I decided to make it a bit smaller – the pattern’s for a 64″ square quilt, set with 4 16″ square blocks.  Mine is 48″ square, with 3 16″ blocks.

It’s a jelly roll pattern, but I didn’t let that stop me!  I shopped my stash, supplemented from the store, and away I went!  The nursery is pink and brown, kind of whimsical, so I let that guide me towards what kind of colors to choose.  I thought about a bright white background, but then changed my mind.  I went for a pink.  It’s something I’ve had for quite a while, a pale pink with lowercase letters printed on it in white.  My sister is a first grade teacher, so I thought it somewhat appropriate.  I had a few qualms about the directionality of the print, but let go.

Cutting was a breeze.  2 1/2″ strips, sewn together, then cut apart into 4 1/2″ blocks.  I used…drumroll…my AccuQuilt GO! to cut the squares.  Pulled out my 4 1/2″ strip die, laid the fabric across the blades (using a ruler to make sure that the fabric was perfectly perpendicular to the blades) and away I went!  It took some time to lay everything out, making sure that the seams were staggered and I was never cutting more than 6 layers of fabric, but in just a few big cuts I got 144 4 1/2″ blocks.

Laying it out took a bit more time.  And do you know what happens when you lay 144 blocks out on the floor, then your child decides to build a zoo?  Plop.  Poof.  Float.  No more nicely arranged blocks on the floor.

Once I got into the rhythm of it, the quilt top came together pretty quickly.  Then I pinned it, quilted it 1/4″ out of the ditch, and finished it.

I made too many blocks, so I used them to widen the back – the quilt finished to 48″ wide, so two rows of 4″ blocks made my backing fabric just wide enough!

I’m happy with it.  I hope my sister will like it!  All it needs is a label and washing instructions.

Deb

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.



Flickr!

Quilt top marking - so tedious!

Two more wonky star blocks!

Deb's wonky star blocks for April.

More Photos