365 Challenge Quilt Sampler – Week 04

28 01 2016

365 Challenge Quilt Sampler Week 0422. Broken Dishes, 23. Small Triangles, 24. Mixed T, 25. Lost Ship,
26. True Blue, 27. Jacks On Six, 28. 28_Shoo Fly

In order to work on this last batch of blocks, I ended up cutting into a bit of my stash – small WOF strips no wider than two inches each. Altogether, it came to be about a quarter of a yard that came out of my stash, so that’s being logged as part of my stash use for the month.

As I work on these blocks, I continue to piece odds and ends of fabric bits together, making what I call ‘found fabric’. Others might associate the words ‘scrap vortex’ with this sort of piecing. I’ve three panels in progress, though two of them are no bigger than my hand. The largest panel is about 12″ X 12″ now:

Found Fabric Progress 05

The bottom half of the panel includes from of my smallest scraps left over from piecing the 365 Challenge Quilt Sampler blocks, while the top portion are larger strings left from cutting my scraps down into easily usable sizes.

It’ll be interesting to see how this grows. I would like to end up with a lap quilt from these odds and ends.

The Fibs and Fables quilt is moving along… I’m at a stopping point until I can starch and press several yards of fabric in preparation for cutting and chain piecing. I did, however, piece together all of the sub-units for which I had already prepped fabric. I also pieced several scrappy four patches for another project that’s been designed for quite a while.

Lots of things in progress and moving, though I need to get off my duff and work on the Fibs and Fables project. My One Monthly Goal for January is still to get that top done, and that gives me through Sunday to get it together. Not sure I can get there, at this late date, but I’m certainly going to try!

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365 Challenge Quilt Sampler – Week 03

20 01 2016

Another week, another set of blocks:

365 Challenge Quilt Sampler Week 03
15. Triple Rail, 16. Maggie’s Mystery, 17. Thrifty, 18. Double Four Patch,
19. Half Square Triangle, 20. Triangle Combination, 21. Broken Wheel

I’m still having a lot of fun playing in my scrap bins, though I am going to have to start pulling from my stash soon in order to supplement. I’m running short of black and grey scraps – which, considering what I sew with, shouldn’t be happening, but that’s all right. It’s an excuse to cut into yardage (not that I need one).

I did end up doing some extra work, and re-made two of the blocks. I just didn’t like the way my first attempts turned out, and I had the extra time, because the last few blocks were very simple.

For anyone working on these blocks with me, I highly encourage you to starch your fabrics. I’m even hitting the completed blocks with another blast of starch. It’s extremely helpful for these small blocks. Also – less fraying of the blocks, so they’ll be nice and crisp when I get ready to sew them together.

I’m still loving the process of putting these blocks together, and am looking forward to being able to start assembly.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday. Also linking to Let’s Bee Social.





WIP Wednesday – The One in Which I Attempted to Post Earlier…

14 10 2015

It was almost 2 AM, very early on Wednesday morning, when I started this post. I’d hoped I could have it done before I had to work eleven hours. I started falling asleep before getting through the post, so now, at 10:00 PM, I’m going to finish.

I received the top-in-progress for my October contribution to the Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Swap earlier this month.

Traveling Bee-utful - October

Unlike previous tops, this one was too big to reside on my design wall, so I didn’t get to ruminate on a design the way I usually do: in the back of my head, while I go about other projects. I like to take a look at these tops, and then go to work. I find that I solve a lot of my creative issues while I’m walking around the sales floor, figuring out solutions to other problems.

Traveling Bee-utiful OctoberNot having the top up where I could see it daily, I felt a distinct difference in how I approached this top. Usually, the design process feels very organic. This time, I had force myself to consider things in a very condensed period – I was late on sending out last month’s top, and I don’t want to repeat that this month. I had today off, so I tried to be very conscious about having a design picked out. I wanted to use my time off effectively.

As I tried to figure out design, I ran into a stumbling block right away. As is, the long sides of the quilt top measure 74.5″.

Try as I might, I found it difficult to create/design borders for that length. No numbers divide nicely into 74.5″ (or even 74″, which would be the finished size to shoot for). However, this top is already fairly busy – there’s a lot going on here!

Ultimately, I decided that less would be more, and thought multi-hued stars would be the way to go. I decided on Martha Washington Stars, because I could sew their center pinwheels using a black background print, to give them some unity. I knew I wanted to make each of them out of a different color fabric – the theme to this top is ‘Rainbow Brite’, after all. I also decided that the stars needed to float on their background, to combat how busy everything else is.

Design decided on, it was a simple matter to decide on background fabric – I have a few yards of a black mini-dot on white fabric, which will coordinate nicely with the other black on white background fabrics used in the top thus far. I also knew that I’d want to use the same fabric for the center pinwheels of the stars. Easy peasy – I have that on hand too.

From there, it was just a matter of hitting the stash for 16 different fabrics for each of the 16 stars I’ll need to make for the two borders. Yes, just two, because I don’t want this thing becoming disproportionately long.

Rainbow Brite Fabric Pull

Fabric pulled, it was a quick job of starching, pressing and cutting. That done, I was able to get all of my sub-units pieced, though not entirely trimmed:

A Good Day's Work

My plan for this evening is to get all of my sub-units trimmed. I’d like to be able to focus on chain-piecing everything on Thursday night.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.





WIP Wednesday – Millefiore QAL

21 01 2015

TNH Millefiore 2015 QAL - Round 1 Done

Round 1 of Rosette 1 for the The New Hexagon Millefiore 2015 QAL has been completed! If you’d like to know what fabrics I’ve used thus far, check out this post. Be warned, most of these fabrics are likely out of print. They’ve just found new life through this project.

It’s not as precise as I’d like in some spots… However, I’m accepting those small ‘flaws’ as part of the process.

EPP is something I’d only barely flirted with before, and actually hated. But then, I was using the June Tailor Simple Shapes hexagon templates to do it. I found the plastic templates too thick, and when I whip-stitched hexies together, I was disappointed by how visible the stitches were. Also, I found thread basting all of these pieces to be tedious.

Now that I’ve changed up my methodology, I can see myself doing EPP far more often. Instead of plastic, I’m using cardstock. I’m also glue basting all my pieces, and using ladder stitch to join everything. I’m finding all of these changes make piecing these hexagons much faster. More importantly (to me), they’re much neater looking. I can’t see my stitches.

I’ve picked out fabrics for the Debbie blocks in Round 2, and prepped those pieces.

TNH Millefiore 2015 QAL - Round 2 Prep

I selected the bird fabric in order to reintroduce blue to the rosette, based on the center hexagon, which is the same reason I selected the yellow print. The purple print chevron print seemed like a natural addition, based on the bird fabric.

I have a coordinating print for the bird fabric that might be introduced in the other half of round two… I’m not sure yet. I need to audition fabrics, but don’t want to do so until I have one of these block pieced. I’m finding I’m having some trouble with visualizing the final hexagons – this method of constructing a block is just a little too new to me.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.





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.





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.