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It was Spring Break last week, so the kids were all out of school.  It also happened to be the week where a friend and I head off to the LQS for their block party class.  It’s more of a lecture/demo than a class, with a bunch of regulars who have been going forever.  This time I took my daughter with me, bribed that if she wasn’t disruptive she’d get Subway for lunch.  She was good, though I’m pretty sure that Eleanor Burns isn’t used to being ignored for a book.

At the end, I finagled her into showing her quilt off in front of everyone at the class.  It was a pattern from this class a few years ago, so they recognized it.  I made her do almost everything on this quilt.  She did all the piecing, quilting, and binding.  I taught her how to pin baste and rotary cut, though I did most of it.

She showed this quilt in a local show last fall, and we’re planning on entering it in the county fair.  She worked hard on this quilt!  It took lots of perserverence and patience on my part, since she’s big on planning and not-so-big on following through.

But, fresh from having her ego stoked by Eleanor and others, she decided that the time is right to start on her next quilt.  Being a big fan of Eleanor, she picked another QiaD pattern.  I’m thankful she ended up deciding on the 9-patch pattern – her original choice was Turnover Twist, which involves loads of QSTs.  And is bigger.

She picked out the border for her quilt, with consultation from me, deciding between themes of ‘jazzy’, ‘sweet’, and ‘nature’.  She went with ‘jazzy’, which is a huge graphic red/white swirly pattern.  I suggested red/turquoise for her colors, and she immediately agreed.  I guess they went with the ‘jazzy’ theme?  Phew!  The red’s a bit orangey, which we didn’t notice in the store, but just so happens to match perfectly with some of the fabrics I brought home from the quilt show last weekend.

Wish me patience!  And thanks for stopping by!  Deb

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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!

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!

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

I have a theory.  When it comes to school projects, the kid does the work.  I am there to help – at times, to provide inspiration, to embellish or pare down a project, to teach the skills needed.  Not all parents seem to agree with me…at least not if the endangered animal diaramas just done by the 3rd graders are any indication.  I also believe that most school proejcts should be able to be made from items found around the house.  (As a crafty type with a crafty kid, believe me, we’re not going to run out of glue, popsicle sticks, or yarn any time this century.)

So when it came to an end-of-the-year thank you for her teacher and teacher’s helper, it was going to be something that she could make.

About a month ago, I saw the cutest mug rug.  (Of course, I can’t find the link anywhere!) It was quilted to resemble lined notebook paper, and had ‘thank you’ embroidered on it in red.  I showed it to DD8.85 at the time, and she liked it.

Last night, in just over an hour, we (she) knocked them out.  5″ square white fabric, 1″ strips (about 1.25 WOF strips needed for 2), 6″ square backing, batting, thread, and a fabric marker.  I cut the fabric and marked the lines for the notebook paper, she did the rest.  I decided to have her do ‘quilt-as-you-go’ because that way she could run the notebook paper lines off the end and not have to stop them at the seam.  We tried 3 pens – the gel pen was too hard for her, the fabric marker was way too thick.  Then she tried the “tee shirt pen” and it was just right.

One for her teacher, one for her teacher’s helper.  We rolled them up, tied with a ribbon, and she took them off to school this morning, where there were much loved.

You can’t see it, but those notebook lines are spot on.  The red borders are sewn nice and straight.  Way to go, kiddo!

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

I saw a picture of this design in a quilting catalog – Connecting Threads, I believe.  12 Birds in the Air blocks surrounding a medallion center.  Their design was a bit more traditional – dark birds on a lighter background.  Mine, not so much!  I love a good black and red quilt.

Now, I’m not one for big prints, but I happened to have this red fabric with black and not-quite-white flowers in it.  And I had exactly enough to make the quilt as shown in the magazine, if I sized it how I wanted it.  I pulled two black prints from the same line of fabrics (so they also had not-quite-white print).  Then I added four more black prints from my stash (that’s why we have it, right?) and I was good to go. 

Not the best picture, sorry!

I think this one is better.

The quilt finished to 48″ x 48″, nice and square.  I backed it in one of the coordinates, and quilting was inspired by the design – crosshatching in the center, curvy triangles in the black triangles, and a casual flower (inspired by the red print) in the big red triangles.

This quilt is for sale in my etsy shop.

I’ve been quilting for more than a decade, and in that time I’ve never made a patriotic quilt.  This is in spite of the fact that I’d always planned to make one, but as we know, oftentimes the best plans go astray for lack of time, a pattern, or the right fabric.

I’m sewing from my stash right now.  This is partly because my stash is overflowing, partly because it’s a challenge to mix and match from what’s already there, and partly because I’ve got some fabrics that I keep skipping over in favor of other ones.

For intance, I won a couple of patriotic prints at a guild meeting once that were super sparkly.  I don’t do bling.  A metallic thread, occasionally, but no bling.  And my color preferences have changed along with the market.  I have some reds that tend to a bricky orangish color that were sitting there in the bin.

That was my challenge.  Use the patriotic prints.  Use some of my overflowing bin of red fabric.  And get it done by Memorial Day.

I’m not sure what led me to the pattern.  I’ve always liked the look of the pattern, but never made one.  I was going to do white centers, but then decided that they made the quilt too red white and blue, too patriotic, so changed over to the light blue.

I picked my fabrics, cut up *all* of the sparkly patriotic fabrics I was planning on using up, whatever I needed of the other patriotic, red, and light blue fabrics, and started sewing.  I have loads of blocks with the sparklies, one in particular, so it ended up being a chore to get them to the point where they weren’t touching each other, though I did end up with 2 in quite a few blocks.

Quilting was easy – I wasn’t going to over-think it, so I went with an all-over meander or stipple with stars scattered throughout it.  I had a variegated red/white/blue thread, so I went ahead and used that.  (See the blue fabric in the lower left corner with lots of white stars and a few red stars?  That’s the super-sparkly fabric.  The white stars are solid sparkly silver.)

Since it *is* a patriotic quilt, even if it doesn’t scream it, I went with patriotic for the backing – navy blue with white stars.  And due to the size of the quilt, I was able to piece the binding from the leftovers from piecing the back.  Love it when that happens!

And one more shot:

Thanks for reading!  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.



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