Top: Forever Fairy Tales

25 03 2016

I finished a quilt top! I’ve posted some small in-progress shots of it here, and at my Instagram, but I wanted to properly share it here.

I sometimes get hand-me-down quilt magazines from my mother-in-law. Her apartment complex is full of seniors, some of whom share my love of quilting, and who are happy to mass their magazines on after they’ve been read.

I just so happened to have been paging through one of these hand-me-down magazines shortly after I received my half-yard bundle of Fibs and Fables by Anna Maria Horner. I already knew that I wanted to make the quilt top out of just that line of fabrics, and I was looking for inspiration. I found it in the December 2006 Issue of American Patchwork & Quilting (Issue 82). Their pattern was called Diamond in the Rough.

I immediately knew that it was the pattern I wanted to work with, despite nearly all the pieces being sixty degree diamonds. A lot of starch, and a lot of pressing, and I was set to cut everything!

Being the ADD crafter that I am, I got so far, and then stopped. So, the top sat for a bit. First, because I needed a little more fabric to come in. Then because I was making sampler blocks. Finally, I determined that I was going to finish the top, and devoted nearly all my sewing time to it.

AMH Diamonds Quilt Top

I got this far and thought… maybe I’ll just stop here. It’s done right?

WRONG!

I slept on the matter, and decided that it absolutely needed another border.

AMH Diamonds Quilt Top with Borders

You’ll notice that there are two fabrics used in the border… I wanted it to be the same fabric throughout, but I really didn’t want to buy more fabric from this line, so I made do with what I had.

Now, I’ve just got to figure out a backing. Binding fabric is on hand – I have enough of the black print that forms the inner border to bind the beast. And, I’ve figured out the name for this top – Forever Fairy Tales.

It’s a nod to AMH’s inspiration for this fabric, and the diamonds that make up this quilt. Because diamonds are forever, right?

Anyway, I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out, barring a couple of prints landing too closely together as I was piecing, but I’m not ripping things apart to fix that.





Swirling Sea of Stars – Completed Quilt Top

24 12 2015

It’s been a long time in coming, but I finally put together enough blocks to call Swirling Sea of Stars a completed quilt top.

With working the holidays in retail again, I realized I needed to sew for my own sanity. I needed something simple-ish, and near completion, so that I could have that pleasant burst of accomplishment.

Swirling Sea of Stars was definitely near completion. I’d stalled out at needing four more blocks, and had even started piecing those four blocks. 16 quarter stars had been languishing under my sewing table for months.

Over a couple of days, I buckled down and got to sewing:

Scrappy Piecing
The sixteen quarters stars on the left were all I needed. The three stars on the right were just waiting for their pale-centered brethren to be made complete.

And then, finally, finally! I had a completed quilt top. I made only as many blocks as I had solid fabric for. My EQ7 design called for 144 blocks, but I may have drawn the design with smaller blocks than what I actually made:

Swirling Sea of Stars

I love how the quilt top actually turned out, with the variations in the widths of the scraps. And I especially love the way the stars actually stand out.

Swirling Sea of Stars Quilt Top

For me, there will always be something wonderful and magical about using my scraps to make something like this. So much of what I used could have just been disposed of. Instead, I’ve made something that I can appreciate for years to come.





It’s Home! My Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Top

23 12 2015

My quilt top for the Traveling Bee-utiful Swap made its way home a few weeks ago. It’s so large that I had to wait until I could take it to work and photograph it there, on our empty floor space. I could carpet my living room with this quilt top.

My Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Top

I’m debating ways to quilt it, but I might make some alterations first. We’ll see.

For the moment, this top is going into my UFO pile, to await the day that I’m ready to tackle it again.





Finished! Sewing Room Quilt Top Additions

23 12 2015

I’m late in blogging about it, but I did actually complete my addition for the last quilt top in the Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Swap.

I had a lot of disparate parts, that I needed to make into a cohesive whole. Making them whole would have been easy – COHESIVE was another matter entirely.

Traveling Bee-utiful - November Part 1

Traveling Bee-utiful - November Part 2

I kept letting myself get psyched out by the project. Frankly, I let myself get stuck on one idea, and couldn’t get myself out of the mental rut. Somehow, I’d convinced myself that I needed to make representational blocks – images of tools, essentially.

I couldn’t find patterns that I was willing to pay for, and I definitely didn’t feel up to designing something myself. So, I got stuck. Repeatedly.

Until finally, I re-read the description for the ‘plan’ for the quilt top, and realized that I could do something else entirely. Up to, and including, splitting the disparate parts that I had into two quilt tops, so that the original quilter would be able to hang her quilts on the wall.

Traveling Bee-utiful November

Ultimately, I decided to piece the words “DREAM” and “DESIGN”, to complement the word “CREATE”, which had been pieced by a previous quilter. I then sandwiched one of the panels between the words, and left the remaining panel (featuring a really awesome seam ripper) alone, to be its own mini-quilt.

In the end, I sent it out, pretty happy with what I’d done. I’d go back and change a couple of small things now, but it’s done, and so is this swap for the year.





Piecing as an Avoidance Mechanism

4 11 2015

I had Tuesday off from work, so I planned for Tuesday to be a sewing day. I thought I’d buckle down and work on the November’s sewing commitment.

Yeah, not so much.

I let myself get psyched out by it again, and instead decided on some easy piecing. Over the course of the day, with several breaks for meals, kiddo time, and napping, I put together a crib sized quilt top.

Quick Quilt Top

I used my pre-cut scraps stash, diving into my neutrals bucket and using a good portion of the 2.5″ squares. I also used more of the Cotton & Steel Peacock solid fabric. Eventually, I’ll use up the entirety of the six yards I bought.

The quilt top measures 40″ X 40″ (finished), and should be a breeze to quilt. I figure I’ll do straight line quilting, to keep it simple, and manageable on my domestic machine.

Apparently, this particular pattern ( a riff of the Made in Cherry pattern by Sarah Fielke) is going to be a go-to pattern for me. It’s a riff, because the original pattern called for charm squares. In addition to using 5″ squares, I’ve previously made this with 3″ squares. The 3″ squares make for a quilt top that finishes at about 50″ X 50″.

Of course, it helps that I can throw one of these babies together with very little math, and a whole lot of variation, depending on the fabrics used.

Linking to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.





3xS Top Completed

7 12 2014

Once again, I sewed until late on Friday night, hoping to finish a top in time to take advantage of the early morning light. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite meet my goal, but I did get up early yesterday to finish the top, called 3xS (Scraps, Stars and Squares).

3xS (Scraps, Stars & Squares) Full Top

I don’t think the picture does the quilt top justice. I took the photo in the middle of the day, and though the winter light seemed weak, it was enough to bleach out some of the colors.

Since I have so many scraps precut now, I’ve already designed another top to take use up some of the scraps and some of the solids that I have sitting around:

Scrappy Project II

Getting to the starching, ironing and cutting of the fabrics is going to be a bit longer, though I still predict that I’ll have this top done by the end of the year. Another, more urgent project is taking priority…

I’m rearranging my sewing space once more. We’re still trapped in our two bedroom apartment, and will be for another year while I recover our savings and get us to where we want to be – having another adult in the house over the summer hit us more than I like financially.

Due to being here longer than I planned, I’ve determined to set my quilting frame back up. It’s a Little Gracie II, and will handle up to a queen sized top. Not as big as my largest projects, but enough to allow me to finish at least half of the tops that I have sitting.

If I plan well, I might even be able to do king-sized projects. I just need to do them in segments, and then join the segments. I’ll figure that out later, after I’ve had a chance to play with the setup, and get my confidence up. I’d try to master FMQ on my domestic machine, but the Brother PC210 just doesn’t handle FMQ well and I spent the money on the frame and the Janome that came with it. I ought to be getting my money’s worth out of them.

So, starting yesterday, I began moving my stuff from the former dining room, and into the living room. Most everything is moved, I just need to figure out a bit of storage space. Right now I’m using an all metal filing cabinet for my fabric. The fabric might have to move back to a bookshelf. Not a big deal, except for figuring out how the hell I’m getting the cabinet OUT of the apartment.

Anyway, back to the trenches! This project isn’t getting done while I’m blogging!





Progress!

17 11 2014

Night Sky Quilt Top

I finished putting the Night Sky quilt top together on Friday evening. By then, due to our shorter days, there was no light to take photos. I had some time before leaving for work today, so I quickly threw the quilt down onto the snow and ran back upstairs to take a photo over the balcony.

My neighbors must think I’m insane.

Granny Square Swap Top Start

In other news, I did manage some progress on the Granny Block top, using the swap blocks I’d received. I still have a lot more blocks to make, but I didn’t feel like digging through my stash last night for aquas, greens and greys. Instead, I dug out of my scrap bucket.

Because the blocks didn’t all trim down to the same size, I’m using the setting triangles to equalize them. The blocks are finishing at 12.5″.

I’m using greys and creams from the scrap bucket, or smaller yardage stash to do the setting – I don’t want to cut into larger pieces for this project until I’ve exhausted my supply of smaller pieces of fabric.

This is also the reason I haven’t yet pieced all of the blocks I need to make up the difference between what I have and what I need. I want to go through the scrap bucket first.

I have a lot of scraps, though.

Because I’ve been lazy, and not cutting them down immediately. Usually, I cut my scraps into 5″, 3″, and 2.5″ squares, and then into strips for quick strip-piecing.

I haven’t done that in a while, so I have a bucket full of pieces that need to be ironed and then cut down, and not just in the required colors. I’m going to buckle down over this evening and next, and focus on that.

And not just for this project. I like to have a scrap project or two going, to use up what I’m generating in scraps.

Yes, that means I started another project.

Another Scrappy Project

I’ve had this EQ7 project for ages, intended to use up the 5″ and 2.5″ squares that I have pre-cut. Since I’m going through my scraps anyway, and starching this batch of scraps (such a difference in how nicely it all cuts down!), I decided I ought to use up some of the solids yardage I have hanging around from deciding to NOT do a Dear Jane.

I bought 20 yards of an ecru colored solid, which I don’t regret. The fabric is a neutral color. I can use it in everything! I just need to use it.

Another Scrap Project

So, it’s become the background solid for blocks like this. Pictured above are actually two halves – I’m attempting to ensure that a fabric is not repeated in the same block. I’m also not letting myself fret too much over the inclusion of creams, and how they kind of disappear into the background fabric. It’s a scrap quilt!

I need to starch and iron a lot more yardage of this solid fabric, so I can start on the alternate blocks, which should use up a lot of what I have sitting around in scraps.