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.

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First Finish of 2015!

23 01 2015

I have a completed quilt!

And it feels amazing!

Night Sky Completed Quilt - Front

Night Sky Completed Quilt - Back

Quilting was done on Sandi’s mid-arm machine – my Janome is being a PITA. I’ve determined I’m just going to sell that beast and invest in an alternate mid-arm machine. The day I was using the frame, Sandi had on hand a medium dark grey for top thread. We dithered a bit on whether or not it would be all right, but I was very much of the mindset that finished was the most important thing.

Once we stepped back and looked at the quilted sandwich (done up in a large, fairly dense meander), we were quite happy. It turned out beautifully!

In keeping with my determination to use up as much stash as possible, this quilt ended up being very scrappy toward the end. For my backing, I used five different prints, three of which were from the same line, Habitat by Jay McCarroll. I had quite a lot of this fabric leftover, due to using it for a swap. I also used two cuts of Urban Garden by Erin McMorris, and a larger cut of a Heather Bailey fabric (Freshcut, I think, but the selvage was long gone).

The binding even proved out to be scrappy. I’d originally been planning on using a strong yellow fabric for the binding. With the backing ending up such a hodgepodge, however, I chose to pull two graphic black and white prints from my stash, and used what was remaining of those two prints to make the binding. It was quite serendipitous, actually. When I’d finished attaching the binding, I only had eight inches left over after. I truly had just enough of those two prints, which was good, because I just eyeballed the yardage I had and said, “Meh, it’ll be enough.”

Our front lawn is chewed up, due to the snow plowing that took place in December, so I couldn’t do my usual overhead shots. I’m sure the neighbors walking their dogs wondered at the crazy lady throwing a quilt over the wood fence.

Marking this for the 2015 Finish Along! My list of goals is here!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts, for Finish it Up Friday. Also linking to From Bolt to Beauty, for Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday. Also linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.





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.





WIP Wednesday – Sewing for Sanity

9 07 2014

It’s shortly after 1:00 AM – I was awakened by a call from my father’s night nurse in the ICU. It is suspected that he is experiencing a bleed unrelated to his surgery yesterday – since being admitted, his blood pressure has been low, and not responding to medication. Tonight, they are doing an emergency CT scan of his abdomen to try to determine where the bleed is occurring.

I have suspected an ulcer – hopefully after tonight, we’ll have an answer.

In the meantime, to distract myself and hopefully quiet my mind enough that I can return to sleep, I will share what I’ve been working on this week. As mentioned in my earlier post of what feels like today yet, but is actually Tuesday… I’ve been sewing myself into a sense of peace, to keep myself from fretting myself into a state over the events of the last couple of weeks, since I had to have my father taken to an emergency room in Milwaukee.

Winged Square - Top in Progress

I completed the twelve pink and green blocks necessary for the Winged Square quilt top. My piles of HSTs are dwindling, slowly. Next up, pink and aqua blocks for the next ring. I haven’t been able to bring myself to start these. Yesterday, there proved to be too much repetition and stringent adherence to pattern for my tired, tired brain.

Completed Top - From an Unquiet Mind I

The need for a change in fabric scenery resulted in pulling out the scraps of solids leftover from my Farmer’s Wife Sampler setting. I made a huge error back when I was cutting the pieces for the setting, and couldn’t bring myself to throw away the too-small pieces.

This proved fortuitous – I was able to open the plastic shoe box of scraps and just start sewing. Over the course of an evening, I had most of a crib-sized quilt top done. Today, I added 5″ (finished) borders. I’ve settled on the fabric that I would like to use for the backing. I just need to determine how to quilt this. I’m still thinking of zigzags – I want the quilting to reflect the often jagged nature of my thoughts over the last few weeks.

Likely, this will be one of the few quilts I seek to sell or otherwise move out of my home. I am not sure that I want to retain these particular quilted memories.

Tomorrow, I will either baste and start quilting this particular top, or I will start another, using the same pool of scraps. I have plenty left, and plenty of reason to seek escapism in stitches. I suspect that the next quilt top to come out of these will be far less structured.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.





The Sum of Its Parts…

28 06 2014

Almost 1600 HSTs pieced and ironed later (though trimming is now taking place on an as needed basis), I’ve started piecing Winged Square Blocks. Despite the number of sub-units and the need to be careful of how I press my seams, these go pretty quickly. I’m estimating about twenty minutes per block.

Winged Square 01

Winged Square II

Winged Square 06

Winged Square 05

Winged Square 04

Winged Square 03

Six blocks in, and I’m feeling very good about how this is turning out so far. Too keep myself on track, I’m working from the center out, and taking breaks to flirt with the different color combinations.

WS Top in Progress 01

This morning, I said down and put the center together. I’m eager to keep building on this, and to get started on the scrap zigzag.





Holy HSTs, Batman!

14 06 2014

HST Attack 01

Today was Stitch ‘N’ Bitch. Unfortunately I didn’t do much sewing at all. My rotary cutter and cutting mat were my friends today. And no, what you see above is not today’s work. It would be awesome if that was today’s work, but no, I’m not that skilled and awesome.

What you see above are the 600 HSTs I chain pieced, cut, ironed and trimmed over the last week.

Today, I spent Stitch ‘N’ Bitch doing this:

Box of Work

That’s approximately 800 HSTs that now need to be ironed and then trimmed to 2.5″, for a 2″ finished subunit. I say approximately, because I’m still debating trying to find six more aqua fabrics or just making up the rest of the needed HSTs from the aquas I already have on hand. It’s much easier to use what I have, and I know I’ve got the extra strips cut.

I think I’m going to spend the rest of today on these remain HSTs. I might even get ambitious and cut and piece the rest of the HSTs  and 2.5″ squares for the scrap zigzag quilt top. Tomorrow can be spent piecing then.

Should be a lot more fun than trimming 😉