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First, a small vent.  Do people really live the lives they show on Pinterest?  Or are they spending hours styling something with the goal being just as much about good pictures for pinterest and the blog as it is about the event the pictures are being taken of?

Now, onto the first cut.

Thanks to the comments on my previous post reinforcing my gut, I went with the triangles.  I think it’s going to be the right call.  I’m varying from the published pattern (not a bit surprise…) by using narrower sashing strips than the original.

Ready, Set…









I can’t seem to pick up my rotary cutter.  I just can’t do it.

I have a baby quilt to make for a really special mother-to-be.  The shower is in 11 days.  I found the best fabric.  I love it, my daughter loves it, my husband loves it.

It’s some pink giraffe love by Michael Miller.  The mom-to-be has picked a girly jungle theme for her nursery, and baby things in pink and yellow, so I’m hoping that she loves it as much as I do.


I bought every bit that the fabric – 1 1/4 yards – and it will *just* make a quilt.  I’d planned on one pattern.  Squares and rectngles of giraffes, sashed in the yellow/oranges, then set together.  I hadn’t cut anything yet because I was a bit unsure about the scale.  The giraffes are pretty tall, and the pattern calls for 3″ high (finished) pieces.  I was worried that I’d end up with a 3×3 square with only giraffe butts in it and not enough fabric to set it aside.  (And while my daughter thought it was funny, and the mom would never notice, I’d know…and we all know that we obsess about things that others will never notice.)

But then last night my daughter picked up the book the pattern was in, and I saw on the back another quilt, made up of equilateral triangles that were sashed.  It takes just about as much fabric, but the pieces are bigger – 6″ tall.  On every piece I laid the ruler on I ended up with at least one giraffe head.

So now I’m paralyzed.  I can’t seem to make that first cut.  Ever been there?

I’ve also finished another quilt top for another new baby.  I haven’t quilted it yet, but I need to immediately, since I just decided that I’m heading off to see the new baby next week.  My 96-year old grandpa, who lives halfway across the country, is visiting to see his newest great-grandchild, only for ten days.  So kiddo and I are off to visit him, and see the new baby, next week for a couple days.  (And, lest I forget to mention it, my aunt lives over six hours away from me, so I’m heading off onto a hard slog through the desert without my hard-working husband to share the driving with.)

I haven’t done partial seams in a while.  I don’t know why I avoid them.  They’re simple.  I have a hard time with 3-fabric quilts.  I always want to add more fabrics!  Overall I think the quilt is cute, but if I make it again I’ll probably make smaller blocks.

Thanks for stopping by!

I was able to get in the tester’s pool for Kickin’ Stash back in January.  Beth over at EvaPaige Quilt Designs always has great ideas for new quilts, but I think this one takes the cake.

Kickin’ Stash is great for everything…from jelly rolls to layer cakes to fat quarters to scraps.  Real scraps.  Like those that have been collecting in my scrap bin for years.  Earlier this year I undertook the daunting task of sorting my scraps by color.  They may take up more space now, but at least I can see what I have!

Pink and blue are the biggest bags, so after stumbling across a 2 yard piece of an orphaned fabric with pink doodled flowers on it I decided to tackle the pinks.  (An orphan fabric is one that was bought specifically for a project, then not used for that project.  My blog, my definitions!)  I knew I didn’t have enough background to finish Kickin’ Stash to the pattern, so I figured I’d sew and cut until I ran out of fabric.  Which was after the first border.  Which is OK, because I have a quilt top that’s big enough for a toddler, fewer pink scraps, and one less piece of yardage in my collection.

I think this is going to stay a top for a little while longer.  I’ve got things going on, and it’s chilly outside (my pinning table is in the garage, and we’re going through a chilly couple of weeks), and I have a few other sewing projects to prep and/or outright finish before then.

AccuQuilt giveaways seem to be slowly making a re-emergence, though 2 in 2 weeks isn’t necessarily a trend – First Lady of the House is having one that closes later this week.  Have you seen the new zoo animals?  Elephants and Lions and Giraffes, oh my!

Linking this up to Scrap Attack

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Instead of a science fair, my daughter’s school has an Invention Convention whre the kids are encouraged to come up with an invention that solves a problem.  You see everything here that a kid can come up with.  This year my daugher participated, with her Super Small Guard Robot, “Sarge”, the ultimate in home defense.  So we’ve spent a lot of family time this week discussing Sarge – what he looks like, what he does, how to communicate this to others.  And then made a poster and model for her to share at school.  Sarge is the size of a tennis ball, runs around on 6 legs, has solar panels for power, an antenna for communication, a speaker for warning, and an eye to spot bad guys.  He was created from a decorative deck knob (body), 6 restaurant kids cup straws (legs), one googly eye (eye), a snip of pipe cleaner (antenna), markers, and enough silver spray paint that my garage still reeks of it.

I have been working on a few things.  So what’s my Work in Progress?  Probably the Kickin’ Stash quilt, because I’d like to get the top done in time for the Scrap Attack linky party at stitchedincolor.

Kickin’ Stash is coming along.  The blocks are pieced together, and I will probably have this top finished over the weekend.  Another quilt without a cause, just an exercise in stash reduction and true excitement over .  A true scrap quilt – the border was bought 2 years ago for a baby quilt (the babies turned 2 last November) and 80% of the pinks came from my scrap bin.  The rest came from already-cut-into pieces from my stash.

Other than that, here’s the list:

  • Twister – the top is done.
  • English Paper Piecing – long term project, making progress!
  • Dresden Plates – blocks are done, need to sash.
  • 2 BOM blocks – a bit of a struggle of my fabric vs the patterns.
  • Bricks and Blocks 2 – made one, loved it and let it go to its intended home, so I’m making another.  Fabrics are collected.
  • Embroidery – a labor of love.

I’m a bit overwhelmed!  I haven’t actually listed all my current WIPs in one place in a while… (note the word current…)

And, it’s been quite a dry spell, but there is a giveaway for an AccuQuilt over at Annies Ruby Slipperz – hop on over for a chance to win!

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!

I’m a week late!  Two years ago I was in a local quilt shop and saw a quilt  that made me stop in my tracks.  It was the first Jeri Kelly pattern I’d ever seen.  It is called Heart Trio, and was designed to be a 6×20 wall hanging.  The hearts were fun, whimisical, and just made me smile.  (Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?)  I bought the pattern, which is rare for me, and started working on it immediately.

The original pattern called for 3 different hearts set in one row.  I ended up making 9 hearts, 3 of each design, using different colors in different places for each block.  I then laid out 8 of them, set them together with an out-of-print red/pink/white print that I got from Quilt in a Day (which also makes me smile!) and ended up with a little quilt that I adore!

(I’m struggling with lighting these days – it’s either too much or not enough…)

Thanks for visiting!

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.

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.


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!

I have an unnamed quilt.  I have no idea what it should be called.  I have no idea what the pattern is.  I’m sure that I’ve not invented something new, but I’ve never seen a pattern for this quilt. 

I saw a quilt on flickr that just struck me.  There was nothing but a picture there; it had been posted by the longarmer who quilted it, so even following back to the blog got me nothing but closeups of quilted feathers.  In the time honored tradition of quilters everywhere, I copied it.  I had one yard of fabric to use for the sashing/border, and calculated the rest from there.  It ended up being really easy – 3″ finished squares joined into larger squares and rectangles, surrounded with the largest sashing I could eek out of my 1 yard of fabric.  The quilt I copied was probably made with a 5″ charm pack sewn together with sashing.

I ended up with a fun, bright quilt that’s the opposite of what I usually do.  (I generally like the dark frame that a darker sashing or border gives.)  But I like it!

This quilt is for sale on etsy.

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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.