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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.)
A few months ago I found a cool stripe and thought I’d make a Winding Ways quilt out of it, using my AccuQuilt Go. However, once I got home I realized that the way the die is laid out it wouldn’t work – I couldn’t orient the stripes the way I needed to to get the effect I wanted.
So I had to decide whether to cut out by hand (ugh) or just stop and have more orphan fabric in my stash.
Sitting staring at my AccuQuilt dies one evening, I realized that the stripes would do almost the same thing if I put them into a kaleidoscope format. I had the dies I needed to make the kaleidoscope block, too, so that made it an even easier decision.
I have’t shared anything about this project before. The stripe and navy were bought at the same time. The corners I had a problem matching colors with. I bought and rejected several solid blues before ending up with the navy blue and a cornflower blue for the corners. The top ended up being 40″ x 50″ – a good size for just about anything!
Now it’s time to finish it! I found a fabric for backing it in my stash. I’ve had this great blueprint fabric for quite a while. It’s too narrow, however, so I’m going to piece all of my rejected and leftover fabrics to create a 12″ inset. I’m planning on piecing it, Chinese coin-style, in one 12″ section.
I plan on slicing my leftovers into 4.5″ lengths using my GO and then randomly cutting them into different widths. Hopefully I’ve got enough to get the length I need! I use my rulers/rotary cutters all the time for strips, but when dealing with oddball leftovers like these I find it easier to lay all the bits on the die, place the mat on top, and roll away.
Thanks for stopping by! Deb
A quiltlet is a baby quilt. Tiny. Small. Some might even call it a potholder.
What is it’s purpose? To join together with other quiltlets to make a bigger quilt. One of my guilds has a quiltlet quilt. All members have been asked to make a quiltlet – an 8.5″ block, bound, with apron strings for tying it to other member’s quiltlets.
Seems simple, right? To make an 8″ block that represents you. It could be anything – a traditional block, an invented block, applique, representational, abstract, and any color under the rainbow. As long as it finishes to 8.5″ square, and has strings, anything goes.
Only it’s not so simple. I thought of so many great ideas. Only to find that they were 9″ blocks. Or 14″. I wanted a star, but not a sawtooth star, and bright colors. In order to make sure that I had mine in before next month’s quilt show, I invited some friends over to my house for a quiltlet sewing day. I had two weeks to figure this out, and figured it out at 9pm the night before.
I made it of 2″ finished equilateral triangles. Bright greens with a blue star floating in the center. I love it! I was sad to have to give it up at the meeting, so I made another one, which is right now just a block.
I figured something out that I never knew. I cut this using specialty rulers. I knew I had an equilateral triangle ruler because it’s purple. But I recently won a stash giveaway and in there was a trirecs ruler. At first glance they’re the same ruler. A trirecs ruler is designed to make ‘peaky and spike’ or ‘triangle in a square’ blocks. Fortunately, I only cut about 6 pieces before I realized what I was doing.
If you’re in the area, look for my block on the quiltlet banner in April!
Thanks for stopping by –
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.
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
Scraps bug me. I can’t throw them away, even if they’re too small for most things. Scraps have ages and stages in my house, If they’re big enough to cut a piece out of, they go in with their color. (What’s big enough? Depends on what I feel that day. And how much I love that fabric.) After that, they go in the scrap bin. I share the scrap bin with my crafty kid, so it’s not uncommon to pull a nicely sized piece out of there with a hole cut in the middle. Pieces tend to stay in there until they’re miniscule, at which point I reluctantly throw them away.
These pieces were still in with the colored fabric. They caught a break – even though each was an oddly piece left out of a charm pack (Merryvale’s Zephyr line from a few years back) they were part of a set and that kept them safe.
So I fiddled and faddled and figured out that I could get 4-6 HSTs (half square triangles) from each one if I used the 2.5″ HST die on the value die that came with my AccuQuilt GO. This was a messy and somewhat time consuming process, since I had to individually line up each remnant of fabric. Though, using the GO, what would have probably taken 4 hours of measuring and cutting one piece at a time only took about 90 minutes. With none of that adult language that happens when the ruler slips.
I randomly sewed a darker one to a lighter one. This was kind of relative, since I had more darks than lights, so mediums went both ways…in a good fabric way. I put them all in a basket and picked. I rejected a few pairs along the way, and at the end I always dump the basket and make the best matches out of what’s left.
Finally chosing a symmetric layout that was 8 x 10 2″ (finished) squares in size, I rearranged it for a while then sewed it together. My daughter and I decided that a medium, sage-y green was the best thing to finish it all off. A 3″ cut border brought the size up to 21″x25″ . A bit of straight-line quilting, and this is one for the books!
Thanks for reading! 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.