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I tried to resist, but the Scrappy Stash Quilt Along over at Ellison Lane Quilts proved too hard to resist.

My friends are impressed.  I’m not even surprised.  Even a bit embarassed, because I know that I made a lap-sized quilt out of blue scraps (plus one yard of fabric) late last year.

There are no rainbows here, even though all of the ROYGBIV quilts are fun to look at.  My entire SSQA quilt is Blue.  The whole thing.  The blocks completely came out of my blue scrap bag, too.  There was no going to the stash and adding fabrics to liven things up.  Please, take a minute to be impressed with my self-control.  There are fabrics in there that should have never seen the light of day again…

I loved how easy it was to make.  Because my blue bag was stuffed-to-overflowing, I’d grab out fabrics a handful at a time to use, and made 3 blocks at a time.  My only criteria in placing fabrics were (1) smallest amount of trimming possible and (2) not touching the same fabric.   Usually I look at fabrics and put them back (even into the scrap bin) becaue there might be a better use for them somewhere else.  Not here!  If it fit it got sewed on.

Those who have been following along know that I decided that a 1″ finished sashing in slate blue was required to calm, connect, and unify things.  In other words, I liked it a whole lot better with a common thread running among the blocks than simply setting them together given all of the chaos in the blocks.  There are 30s, novelties, Civil War, and modern fabrics…something was needed to make things look just a bit more unified.  Then I put a 3″ finished border on it to help it stay together just a little bit more.  My resident fabric consultant said I should use the slate blue for binding, so that’s what I did.

This is not a quilt for the ages.  This is a utility quilt, which means that it’s life will be spent in the garage, where it will be used to make ‘beds’ in the ‘houses’ defined by sidewalk chalk, safe zones for American Girl outdoor picnics, and tents over lawn chairs.  It will be a good life!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sometimes it’s better to be doing things instead of talking about doing things.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing!  Several quilts have come and gone without even a thought that I should stop quilting and start writing about quilting.  There were 4 tops for the guild charity efforts, various bee blocks, a baby quilt, complete with personalized embroidery, and more.  It’s been a while of being on the go, dragged in several directions.

So, catching up.

First – there’s a Big Day for kids in just under 2 weeks. Last year my daughter went with Frankie Stein from Party City, but this year she’s requested Greek Goddess from Mom.  Of course, there’s no patterns for that, but we happened on a pattern (99 cents, advertises that the sewing can be completed in an hour) and a fantastic heavy white jersey (in the red-tag section, no less) and I’m off to the races.  Last night I cut it out, and today I sewed the shell together.  Now I’m waiting for my model to get home from school before putting in the lining.

(I love my daughter to pieces.  I do.  But she’s difficult to buy or sew clothes for because she’s two sizes bigger in height than she is in width.)

Every serious sewer/quilter has to have an assistant, right?  McKenna joined me last night should I need any small things done.  But then she got distracted by finger knitting…how just like a 10 year old!

Then I’ve been doing some stress-release / stash-reduction quilting.  When I just want to SEW, I do this.  Usually I grab my GO and the diamond die and go to town, but I’ve been liking equilateral triangles so much lately.  So I grabbed a triangle ruler, a bunch of remnants from a bunch of boy quilts, and I was off.  It’s topped, quilted, and I’ll have the binding done shortly.

I have six other things to work on, but I needed some more stress-release sewing, so as a way of avoiding the whole costume thing I started sewing SSQA blocks.  I have 18 of them done, and my blue scrap bag will be tiny after this!

My dresden plate quilt has been pinned since June or so.  I couldn’t figure how to quilt it, had no idea.  So now I’ve started, but then had to stop because it’s going to take forever and I don’t have any time for it this month.  Not to mention that we’ve been suffering with hot days for weeks and weeks, and if I can help it I don’t quilt large things when it’s hot.

My to-do list is much, much larger than the WIPs shown above.  I have a baby quilt to make for a favorite cousin.  Another large quilt that’s basted and ready to go.  Oh, and in note-worthy news, I’ve finally mom-ed up and finished the embroidery squares that I started over a year ago for a quilt for my daughter.  (Twin-sized minkee.  I don’t see that getting done before it cools off.)

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!

It ineviteably happens.  Scraps.  We piece, and top, and quilt, and out of these things scraps happen.

Well, Beth over at EvaPaige Quilt Designs has the solution, and it all started with this:

Her new pattern, called Kickin’ Stash ( how great of a name is that?) is it!  It takes scraps – as small as 1.5″ wide – and lets you use them up and make an amazing quilt!  (For those easily intimidated, note that there are no seams to match up except for the center.)

This pattern is so hot off the presses that Beth doesn’t even have copies of it yet!  However, she has placed it for sale on patternspot.com.  You can find it HERE.  Click through, it will be worth it – you can see three different colorways – brights, falls, and purples.  I shamelessly borrowed the photo below from EPQD’s blog – it’s the ‘before quilting’ picture of one of her quilts.  The photos on patternspot are much better – this quilt looks fantastic!

Let me share a little something with you.  The cover quilt?  On her pattern?  (A tiny bit of it is shown in the blog hop button below.)  She didn’t piece the blocks.  Nope, they’re from a block exchange.  40 people each made 4 blocks.  Out of scraps and a bit of background.  Isn’t that a great idea for a block exchange?  Or for a group to make one block per person and then assemble them as a group quilt?  Or for comfort blocks?  Or, if you turn the colors around and have a colored background and white bars, an unusual signature quilt.

I love this pattern.  I can imagine it in any color – so join the fun, hop around, and grab a couple yards of background, an overflowing scrap basket, and get to cutting!

Beth has organized a blog hop to celebrate the release of her newest pattern.  You can find those of us participating at:

Monday 3/12 – Deb (You’re here now!)  www.aspenhill.wordpress.com

Tues 3/13 – Kelli www.thatlookslikeitneedsstitches.blogspot.com

Wednesday 3/14 – Anna www.westthirdstreetdesigns.blogspot.com

Thurs 3/15 – Marianne www.hillsidequiltworks.com

Friday 3/16 – Linda www.thepatchworkpearl.blogspot.com

Saturday 3/17 – Terri www.purplemoosedesigns.com/weblog

And, of course, let’s not forget the official blog of EvaPaige Quilt Designs over at at Quilting Hottie Heaven.  Hop on over there and congratulate her on being a cover girl, will you?  But, by all means, don’t enter the giveaway she’s having over there that closes on Friday…you just might win something!

Even though I don’t have the pattern yet, I’ve cut 12 blocks from my pink scraps and am in the middle of sewing the last piece onto each quarter block.  My sewing machine is calling me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Earlier last year I made two or three scrap quilts – well, tops, anyways – in girl-ish fabrics from my scrap bin.  My bin went from bulging sides to just full.  I started cutting down blue/boy scraps right after, whacking my larger scraps into 4.5″ wide chunks to piece them into strips.  For months I carried around a storage bag to stitch-and-sews and measured and cut bigger pieces into little pieces.  Then I stuck the bag under my sewing table and promptly forgot about it.  I had started a couple of handwork projects, so why should I take that when I could be piecing?

Well, I found it.  And decided to turn those scraps into a top.  I sewed them together.  Into pairs,  then four-somes, then on and on until I probably had a piece long enough to stretch from the front to back of my house.  At which point I decided on a pattern that only required 14.5″ strips.  So then I cut it back down.  I ended up having enough for 2 large lap sized tops, once I set all those random scraps together with some navy blue, with a couple of feet of sewn together scraps left over.

Now, since I made my pink scrap quilts I’d been topping, and quilting, and binding for quite a long time.  Generating more scraps.  And when I finished my blue scrap tops I realized that my bin was overflowing, bulging sides and all, and I still had quite a lot of scraps that hadn’t been cut down and needed to be put in.

(this is the bin after 45 minutes of sorting fabrics out of it…can you imagine what it looked like when I started?)

Then I got the email.  Quilt in a Day had their large vinyl storage bags on sale for $2.  I love these bags.  I ordered 10 of them.  Red, orange/yellow, green, blue, purple, white/tan, black/brown, pink, novelty, block bits, and random..  (Yes, that’s 11, but I had the bag the scraps were in originally.)  The idea is sound – when I’m looking for scraps, I’m usually looking for a specific color.  This way I can go right for the colors I’m interested in.  And as an added bonus, the clear bags let me see much more than the bin.

So I started sorting my bin into the bags.  It was – is – a pain.  The bin was stuffed, so when I pulled out on a long scrap I was never sure if I was going to get just the string, or if it was tangled into something else and would be like a scrap-volcano erupting little pieces of fabric and tangled strings all over the floor.  After about 45 minutes, I was done for the night.  And had sorted just enough scraps out of the bin and into the bags that I could add the other scraps in and create…a full bin!

Phew.  This will be a few more evenings’ worth of work, because I’m overly inspired right now by sewing and don’t want to sort.  I just finished two baby quilts, and have a drunkard’s path to quilt, and started making dresden plates at a sit-n-sew last weekend.  (Ever seen dresden clocks?  Come back in a few days and you’ll see what one wonky value can do to a plate.)

Thanks for reading!

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.

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

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

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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