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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!

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I’ve been wanting to make a brown, black, and tan quilt for months now.  I couldn’t figure out what I wanted it to be, however.  Simple and modern, for sure.  The pattern?  No idea.

Then I saw it.  The quilt I wanted to make, and it was HERE.  Scroll down, and there it is, on her design wall.  I was smitten.  I still haven’t figured out what the pattern is, or where she found it.  (Though I have one friend who said she’d seen it in a magazine.)

I cut, and cut, and cut some more, because this was to be a queen sized quilt for the local guild’s quilt auction.  Not having a pattern, I winged it, and decided that it had to be made from 2.5″ strips.  To make an 80×88 quilt, I needed to have 440 bricks that were 2.5×6.5, and 440 blocks that were 2.5×2.5.  That was lots and lots of cutting.  I tried using my AccuQuilt and the 2.5″ strip cutter, but ended up using my rotary cutter – I was dealing with scraps, and bits, and all sorts of odd-sized pieces so it was easier to just cut them with a ruler.

There’s most of the top, draped over the railing. Laying it out was a bit of a challenge.  I ended up using the queen-sized bed in the guest room, laying 75% of it out, then adding rows on at the end.

Basting it, oddly enough, went much quicker than I’d imagined.  I’d thought that using spray baste would be the thing for this big of a quilt, but I just ended up with wrinkles everywhere.  So I pulled it apart, pulled in my pinning table, and got started.  I was able to pin baste the whole thing in under 2.5 hours.  My pinning table is great for me – it’s about 40×50 without putting in a leaf, so I did have to shift this quilt a few times, but there are no wrinkles anywhere on it.

Because this quilt needed to be done quickly, and was for an auction that’s known for bargain-hunters, and I needed to do it on my home machine, I stipple quilted it.  Add some binding, my favorite part of the process, and I got it done with days to spare!

I love this quilt…however, I didn’t get to enjoy it much at all.  But that’s OK, because while I wanted to make a quilt in this color way and really love the quilt, it was never intended to stay with me.  I hope that its new owner loves it as much as I did!

Somehow I think I’ll be making this quilt again…it went together so easily, and makes such an interesting pattern.

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’s been a while since I updated on all of my projects.

I’m currently in project overload.  My mind is running faster than my sewing machine can keep up!  It’s a common problem, particularly when I have lots of (household) things to take care of.

I’ve been shepherding DD(8.85) through her first big quilt.  (At DD’s swim lessons they have her age on the schedule…they currently have her at 8.85 years old – and it’s hard to be more specific than a kid when it comes to age!)  She’s on a bit of a deadline – first of all,  because I refuse to let this turn into another kid-sized UFO.  Second, because I (yup, it’s all me) want her to be able to take it to school later this week and show it off to her teacher’s assistant – a quilter.  Third, because she just got it accepted into the local big fall show.  She’s making good progress – 12 seams until the top’s done!  She’s making the Quilt in a Day (Eleanor Burns) Cinnamon Swirl pattern using Moda’s Birdie line of fabric (Me and My Sisters, I think).

Supervising takes a lot of time!  She’s got decent accuracy with her 1/4 inch seam, and is both careful and confident around my sewing machine, but it seems that half the time when I leave to to finish off a set something goes wrong.

So, my projects!

First, I’m almost done with the binding on my Soda Pop Quilt.  I’ve got about 18 inches left!!!  Then I think I’m going to wash it.  This is the woulda-coulda-shoulda cut it out with my AccuQuitl GO instead of my rotary cutter!

After that, I need to bind my Charming Charm Squares quilt.  (tutorial here)  I love this pattern!  So simple to put together, and can easily be put together using charm squares or stash, and the whole thing can be cut on my GO!  This one is made from a 5″ square pack I picked up somewhere, with pure white sashing.  Just for fun, a polka dot binding!

While I’m binding, I need to baste.  My poor Spiderweb quilt has been languishing on the pinning table since last week!  After pinning the last two, my poor fingers needed a break.  But now I need to do it before the callus starts to disappear!

What’s next?  A labor of love.  A few weeks ago I finished embroidering 6 designs onto minkee squares.  (Note – this was a pain!  I don’t recommend it!)  They’re now trimmed and ready to be set into the twin-sized minkee quilt I’m making for DD8.85.  Minkee = stretchy, slippery, and fuzzy = pain in the neck.  But, as I said, a labor of love.  This will take some willpower to get done, since my quilting inspriation is leading me in a dozen different directions right now.

So – next up:

(1)  Quilting the Spiderweb.  I’ve been all over flickr and have found great inspiration!

(2)  Prodding DD8.85 (grin!) to her first finish.  I fully expect to lose my sewing machine for a week for her to quilt.

(3)  Minkee quilt.  I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to do this, but I promised, and it’s been almost a year.  Does anyone have any ideas on what a good batting would be?  Or what the right yarn/floss/whatever is to tie it?  For that matter, what’s the right way to tie? 

That’s probably going to take me the rest of the month to get through.  By then, I could either be completely un-inspired, or inspired by the same things, or have a completely new inspiration list.  Who knows?

Who?  Who? Whoo?  Hoot?  I almost forgot!  I won something!  I so rarely win that it makes my week!   I won a giveaway for 3 patterns at Chatterbox Quilts – and I picked an owl stuffie pattern, an owl applique pattern, and a swan pattern.  I can’t wait to make one of them!

Phew!  But if I update more frequently, the posts will be shorter – right?

Deb

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.

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.



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