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 ūüėČ

WIP Wednesday – Planned Scrappy Fun

11 06 2014

I have a lot of WIPs to get back to, but rather than finish any of them, I decided to start not just one new project, but TWO.

Yup, logic.

Winged Square II

I’ve been slightly obsessed with making this particular top since making a couple of blocks for a swap last year (see this and this). Staring at the fabrics I have in my stash, I decided it was time. I have plenty of each of these four colors. So, I ordered a bunch of Kona white, and I’m in the process of trimming way too many HSTs. I’ve got the total number of HSTs¬†worked out somewhere. Suffice to say, it’s over 1500 HSTs.

Funny thing, I’d planned to cut enough strips to get 24 HSTs of each fabric I’m using… I ended up cutting enough for 48 of everything, though I need a few more aqua prints to keep it to 24 of each fabric. Rather than just throw the other strips into my scrap bins, I decided I ought to do something with them.

Then I saw this posted to Flickr:

Scrappy 2

My brain latched onto the image in the lower right hand corner and I drew up the following:

Scrap Zigzag

It’s pretty simple, but the idea is to use up a bunch of the neutral and low volume fabrics that I’ve collected and have no destination for. It’s time to use them up and get them out of stash!

So I’ve cut a lot of 3″ X width of fabric strips (for both designs), and some 2.5″ squares (for the zigzag design). I have pieced about half of the HSTs I need for the winged square design, though now I’m trimming them. Yay. Actually, I don’t really mind trimming. It’s something fairly mindless that can go quickly as long as I’m doing something like watching a show or listening to an audio book (damn you, Audible, for addicting me!)

You’ll notice that I tend to design my quilts in solids, or in tone on one. This is because I love to work in a planned scrappy format, and I’m just looking to get an idea of how to arrange the fabrics. I’ll let the fabrics in my stash tell the color story on their own, and I’m too damned lazy to scan my fabrics in, edit them to an EQ7 friendly format, and then import them. On top of that, I tend to buy tone on tone fabrics, or blenders, anyway. I’d much rather have a lot of staples to choose from, then a bunch of focus fabrics that I wouldn’t know what to do with.

Anyway, to give you an idea of what I’m working with:

Strips 01

Strips 02

As I said, I need more aquas… between six and eight. I could just double up on the number of strips. We’ll see if I end up going that route. I’m the type who will always lean toward more variety. I still need to photograph my yellow and pinks. Maybe this evening, assuming I get all of my green and aqua HSTs trimmed.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Chasing a Wild Hare…

8 05 2014

…and catching it!

Since redoing my sewing space, so that it was more friendly to work in:

Sewing Space Redone

I’ve been really happy with my work space. Other than a few quibbles over where stuff was (mostly due to my needing to find new homes for STUFF, or actually putting away said STUFF), it’s been a good space to make in.

However, I’ve been feeling the need for a design wall. At first I thought, ‘Okay, I can put my Fons and Porter design wall back up’. Unfortunately, I was never really happy with that particular item, because it’s essentially a drape. Having the grid on it never meant much to me, so that was a ‘feature’ I could easily do without.

I remembered reading about other quilters making design walls using insulation boards, batting and Command Strips. Since I’d left work early, I decided that there was nothing stopping me from making up a design wall, except maybe cost. So, I took hubby and kiddo out to Menards yesterday, and discovered that I could pick up a pack of six insulation boards for $6.99. Adding in the spray adhesive, duct tape, and Command Strips, covering my wall was about a $25.00 project. (I didn’t count the cost of the batting, since I had some on hand from an old project. Really terrible stuff, too, that I didn’t want to use in a quilt if I could help it.)

Afternoon Project - Design Wall

I had to Frankenstein some batting pieces together to have wide enough strips for all four boards – hence the dark lines you can see in the two panels on the left… I didn’t bother to change out from grey thread in the sewing machine. I just was not about to open a new package of batting for this. And those lines? Not going to bother me when I have blocks up.

As for the blocks already up on the wall… A start on the baby quilt I mentioned needing to make it’s going to be a girl, and the mother has definite ideas of what ‘femininity’ entails. I’m not a girly-girl, so I can’t just make something all out of pastel pinks. So, I’m taking yellow, pink, purple, and red scrap squares and making a quick patchwork. I’m using 3″ squares right now, but I’m starting to think I should have used my 2.5″ scrap squares… We’ll see what I decide tonight.

Finally Catching Up

20 02 2014

I promised this post a¬† bit ago, but then everyone in my house started falling ill. I’m sick for the second time in two weeks, but I don’t want to miss more work, because I have so much to do!

Sewing has been slow, mostly because sitting up without being feverish or dizzy has been a challenge ūüėõ

I did manage a few things last month, though…

I made up a mini-quilt, for Doll Quilt Swap 14:

Sweet Little Dream House
Paper-pieced, obviously. Those log cabin blocks finish at 2″ each, and the house was a 6″ block. My partner was amber_crawley, and I sent along a bunch of charm squares from my scraps stash. I didn’t think to photograph that.

I tried some new things with this mini-quilt: double layer of batting for some loft, and free motion quilting on my home machine. I used the Fabulous Fabric Glide (mentioned in my last post), and it made a huge difference! I’m excited to try FMQ with the Fabulous Fabric Glide and my new SewSlip.

I even remembered to piece in a label:

DQS14 Back
You can see how shaky the FMQ is from the backside, but I’m still pleased that it worked as well as it did.

I also managed to finished something that had been languishing a couple of months:

Plastic Bag Dispenser
Yeah, it’s a quilted plastic bag dispenser. I got really tired of the bag of bags we had, and how nasty it looked hanging in our hall, so I whipped up what was essentially a mini-quilt from my three-inch square scraps, added some fabric I hated to make the elasticized ends and handle, threw on a button, and was done. It could have been one of those ‘done in a day’ things, but I stopped before I put the handle and button on.

It sat for three months, just waiting for that handle and button.

Yes, I do know how sad that is.

Since I was sort of on a roll with finishing things, I decided that I’m not starting anything new until I wrap up all the WIPs I have all around my sewing area. The quilt tops count, too. I will probably spend the next year doing nothing but revisiting projects, but that’s all right.

As part of my new found resolution, I got out the paper-piecing foundations for Swirling Sea of Stars, and started working on blocks. I only actually finished one, but that’s okay. I’ve at least six in progress. They’re not really that slow to come together. I’m just trying to vary the prints used in each star.

Scrappy Star 20
So, one down, and I don’t know how many more to go. I’m going until it’s the ‘right’ size, whatever that is, or I run out of scraps. I’m thinking that it’ll get to the right size first.

Almost Done Swooning

19 11 2013

My son was out of school yesterday, thanks to a cold that left him snotty and sneezy, but my husband couldn’t be home with him. My mother-in-law recently had surgery, and needed to be run to several different appointments, as she’s unable to drive herself for the time being. So, I had to call into work, to be home with Snuffles.

Zeb was ridiculously cheerful, for the amount of snot he was producing. Really, he’s always happy when he gets to spend the day with Mommy. Still, he was pretty low key, which was nice. I managed to finish the last four blocks I need for my Swoon quilts. This was only because I’d been able to finish cutting fabric for these blocks on Sunday.

Swoon 13

Swoon 14

Swoon 15

Swoon 16

I debated finishing the top last night, because that probably would have only taken a few hours, but the truth was, I was sick of looking at my sewing machine by that point. This is now my goal for tonight, as long as Zeb is okay tonight.

Finally Swooning

8 08 2013

A little less than a year ago, a pattern by Camille Roskelley took over quilt blogs everywhere, or so it seemed. Quilters everywhere took this pattern for a whirl, making it up in fabrics as diverse as the quilters themselves.

Having just recently finished the Sunsets and White Beaches quilt top, and still being in the piecing mood, I finally jumped on that train.

I’m always the last one to a party…

Swoon 01

Because I had so many 2.5″ squares leftover from Sunsets and White Beaches, and because I’m apparently not over pink, orange, and yellow together, I scaled the block down from 24″ finished to 18″. This is proving to be a good choice, as most of my fabrics tend to be small to medium in scale. I’m combining scraps leftover from Sunsets and White Beaches with Kona Charcoal, since I have something like eight yards of that on hand.

The block above is a little rough – I need to be careful on the next one about which directions I iron the seams. A little more care regarding that matter here would have resulted in a little more crispness in the points.

While I was working on this block, which felt like it took forever, my Sewline Mechanical pencil broke. It’s a total necessity in my toolkit, so I decided to order another one from Of course, while shopping, I looked at fabric.

I stumbled across this:

Afterglow Diamond Medallion in Cream

I ordered six yards for backing Sunsets and White Beaches.


I should probably feel bad, but look at it! This is the Afterglow Diamond Medallion Print in cream, for Dear Stella Designs. I love, love, love it! It’s a HUGE repeat, almost 10″ wide, but that’s why I’d be using it for backing.