Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Scrappy Quilt Entry: 3xS

18 05 2015

I have a second entry for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival! This one is for the Scrappy Quilts Category: 3xS (Stars, Squares, and Scraps).

3xS Completed Quilt Front3xS (Stars, Squares, and Scraps)
61″ X 61″
Started: 11/20/2014      Finished: 01/27/2015

This was a very quick project for me… I’ve made a habit of managing my scraps by cutting them into 2.5″, 3″, and 5″ squares. I decided finally to put some of them to use, and put the top for this quilt together in very short order. I know that the background fabric is a Connecting Threads solid, but I don’t believe that it’s produced any longer – I’d had 20 yards of it in my stash for quite a while.

I started piecing on November 20, 2014, and completed the top on December 6, 2014. As per usual, the top sat for a while, until I could arrange for time to use a friend’s mid-arm. This was the second quilt I’d done on that frame, and I decided to play.

3xS Quilting Detail

I used a wool batting, another first for me, and found it quite wonderful to work with. As I quilted, I started with three leaf clover designs in an all-over, free-hand movement. As I got more comfortable, I tried outlining some of the clovers, and found that to be successful, so I incorporated those throughout the quilt.

3xS Completed Quilt Back

The backing ended up being scrappy as well, as I started running out of larger pieces of yardage at this point. I didn’t want to order something specifically for this particular quilt, because it was scrappy to start with. Everything, including the binding came from my stash, which makes me really happy. I have a lot of stash that has been sitting, and I do want to work my way through it.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Modern Quilt Entry: Embers

17 05 2015

For the first time ever, I’m able to participate in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy’s Creative Side. It’s been a very good year for me to be finishing projects. For the Modern Quilt Category, I am submitting Embers: Embers - Front

75″ X 75″

I started piecing the blocks for this top just as Swoon fervor was quieting down, in August of 2013. I re-drafted the block, bringing the finished size to 16″, down from the 24″ called for by the pattern. I wanted more blocks, and more variety in fabric. I’d decided early on that the blocks would all have some combination of pink, yellow, and orange. I also knew that I’d use Kona Coal as my background fabric – it’s my go-to neutral, and I loved the way the colors glowed against it.

I pieced as I felt the urge, and had a completed quilt top by November of 2013.

The top languished from that point on. I’d been frustrated by attempts to do FMQ on my home machine, and didn’t feel any ambition to get past the mental block.

This year, however, I am following along with the 2015 Finish Along, and A Lovely Year of Finishes. Just the impetus I needed. In February, I made arrangements to use a friend’s mid-arm machine, and FINALLY quilted this up.

Embers - Detail

I decided to play with the quilting, and tried a meandering flame design.

Embers - Back

The backing ended up a touch more scrappy than I planned – I’d ordered the same print in two colors. Upon receiving the yardage, I discovered that the red was actually in two separate cuts. Rather than try to match the pattern, I decided to piece in a panel of orange fabric.

The backing didn’t quilt up nicely – I ended up with a sizable pucker that I didn’t find until I’d finished quilting. I used a black batting, and the batting was very heavily textured. The texture resulted in a lot of friction, and the batting clung to the backing, even on the frame.

So, the quilt isn’t perfect, but I’m very happy with it. I learned a lot about my batting choices, and about quilting on a mid-arm. I gained a lot of confidence, and feel like I might be ready to tackle more complicated quilting.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival

31 10 2012
Amy's Creative Side

CotFW, Part Deux  - From EQ to Quilt

Cheating on the Farmer’s Wife, Part Deux
Finished quilt measures : 72″ X 72″
Designed, Pieced and
Quilted by: Grey Cat Quilts
Best Category : Scrap Quilt

I’d been working on the Farmer’s Wife Sampler for almost a year, when I felt the need to take another break from it. So I did, and I started work on a project I called ‘Fun with Free Piecing’ for a little while. I just wanted a break from the very precise work I’d been doing with the Farmer’s Wife.

I had a spark of inspiration when looking over my scrap baskets, and decided to use some of them in an a series of free piecing sessions. I set about using snippets of things that had ended up in my scrap basket, grimacing at some fabrics, smiling at the memories produced by others.

So I sewed, snipped and trimmed, eventually realizing that I was sewing scrappy little bars of free piecing goodness that measured 2.5″ X 6.5″. The challenge then came in using what I had on hand to make a full top. I quickly decided to set the bars into a square of Kona Charcoal – it’s hands down my favorite Kona solid when in color doubt, as it has a lovely warm undertone to it that makes color positively dance against it.

Fun with Free Piecing

Then I turned to another favorite, EQ7, and set about playing with the blocks, trying to decide on a layout. I very quickly decided on alternating the orientation of the blocks, but felt that it was very ‘blah’ without a border. Thanks to EQ7, I was able to decide on a board fairly quickly, so I went into another frenzy of scrap piecing, producing the border blocks over the course of two or three days.

I went from the germ of an idea to a finished top in two weeks, practically a miracle for me. I think my poor sewing machine was smoking at the end of it! Then, of course, came the question of how to quilt it. I knew immediately that I wanted to use multiple colors of thread on the top. I digitally auditioned three possibilities, before figuring out just what I wanted:

FwFP Quilting Plan 1

That settled, I spent about twenty-four hours quilting the top on my domestic machine, after piecing together a backing out of what I had on hand. Two weeks later, I had a completed quilt!

Cheating on the Farmer's Wife, Part Deux

CotFW, Part Deux - Backing

I changed my quilting plan a little, after I’d done all those blasted rectangles… I quilted diamonds around the edges. I also experimented, and used two shades of gray and black in my bobbin as I quilted. It’s a decision that I’m extremely happy with, as the three different neutrals help give movement to the backing.

I love cuddling up in this quilt. I think my only regret is that I didn’t make it bigger – Right now, it’s a generous lap quilt. I’d be much happier if this was big enough for my queen-sized bed. Still, it’s in daily use, which is even better. I’m thrilled to have some quilts on hand to curl up on the couch with.