Second Finish of 2016

19 01 2016

I’m on a roll!

Sort of.

In all fairness, this quilt was like, 70% quilted when I tucked it away, and it’s a small quilt. Still, it’s finished, and I feel better for it!

Neutral Star - Finished

Neutral Star is a baby quilt, measuring 40.5″ X 40.5″. I started it on a whim in November of 2015, so it’s a very recent start. It’s another riff of the Made in Cherry quilt pattern, which is available for free via the Lecien webpage.

Rather than piece this out of charm squares, I used pre-cut, scrap, 2.5″ squares from my scrap bins. The background and binding fabric is a Cotton & Steel solid called peacock, which I used previously in Spice Garden.

No photos of the backing – I decided to use up two prints that were languishing in my stash. I’m not counting them against my total for the 2016, because I pulled all of the fabrics for this quilt before the new year even started.

It needs a washing – I can’t wait to see it when everything’s all crinkly fresh from the dryer, but I’ll get to see that soon. Laundry day approaches, lol.

Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings
See my original list of goals here.

365 Challenge Quilt Sampler – Week 02

15 01 2016

In addition to completing a quilt yesterday, I made a delicious pot of soup, and caught up on my 365 Challenge Quilt Sampler blocks. I’d let myself get a bit behind – I was focusing on what felt like miles and miles of binding to stitch down/

It was only almost 400″ of binding. No big. Really. *headdesk*

Anyway – I turned that final corner, took photos, had dinner, and then headed to the sewing machine. I was ready to make!

365 Challenge Quilt Sampler Week 028. London Stairs, 9. Uneven Nine Patch, 10. Double Four Patch, 11. Checkerboard, 12. Plait, 13. Mountains, 14. Six Strips

I needed four blocks to be caught up to current posting, and got them all done today. That allowed me to enter the weekly give-away for those individuals who have completed the current week’s blocks.

I added a bit more color, in blocks Twelve and Thirteen. So far, my favorite block is Number Twelve: Plait. I just love the graphic appeal of the scraps I used.

And, just to further illustrate my insanity…

Super Scrappy Piecing

I’m taking all of the scraps from the 365 Challenge Quilt Sampler blocks, and piecing them into found fabric. Yes, I’m going all scrap vortex on these leftovers. Ultimately, I think I’d like these to become the backing of another quilt top. We’ll see if that ever happens – I’m working with very small pieces here. The sample above is probably only 4″ X 4″.

That’s it for this week. If you’d like to keep up with my daily progress on these blocks, I am posting these to Instagram.

First Finish of 2016!

14 01 2016

This past Saturday, I was able to finally quilt up the top I’ve been calling ‘Charmed, I’m Sure’. This particular quilt top has been waiting for its turn to be completed since March 23, 2013.

*facepalm* Yup, I’ve some ancient quilt tops in my pile.

I’ve spent the week since alternating working on stitching the binding on, or sleeping underneath the thing. This morning, I put the last stitches  into the binding – which used up half a yard of one of the oldest prints in my stash!

I then took my husband and the new quilt out for a photo shoot.

hate taking pictures of my work in the winter – today’s shoot involved some mishaps due to the light, and a slide down a hill on his stomach for my husband. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at the ready with my camera, so I didn’t get any footage for posterity.

First Finish of 2016 - Charmed I'm Sure

This quilt is HUGE at 99.5″ X 99.5″ which is why it waited so long. I couldn’t imagine trying to shove that beast through my domestic machine.

Charmed I'm Sure Backing

The backing was another of my make-do affairs. I very rarely buy enough of a single fabric for backing, unless I get it at an amazing price. For this particular quilt, I decided to use up the rest of the hospital scrub green solid that I used in the quilt top, two ‘ugly’ fabrics that I wasn’t going to use anywhere else, and a feather print that I’d purchased for another project. I ended up needing just a few more inches for this backing to work, so I inserted a strip of charm squares to make up the difference.

It’s so good to have this one off my WIP list, even though it didn’t help me much with my stash usage… I’d had the backing prepped for ages, so it very definitely pre-dates my stash resolution for 2016.

But, it’s a finish! And as such, counts for the:

Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings
See my original list of goals here.
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? since it’s the end of the week.

365 Challenge Quilt Sampler

9 01 2016

Yes, there is a 365 Challenge Quilt Sampler out there, and yes, I’m doing it! Of course I am. It’s a quilt-along – we’ve already established that I’m a sucker for a quilt-along.

Blocks are being posted daily – one block for every day of the calendar year. Blocks are mostly 3″ and 6″ finished, but there will be a few other sizes mixed in. Also, come April, there will be instructions to complete borders, so none of the participants will have to wrangle 365 separate blocks at the end of the year.

It’s a good reason for me to take a few minutes and sit at my sewing machine every day. So far, that few minutes has been just enough to spark me to sewing on other projects.

I’ve already determined that I’m going to work from my scraps and stash for this top. I’ve started with my greys and blacks, but I’m throwing pops of color in as I feel like it. So far, I like the look.

Rather than inundate the blog with a daily post about each 365 Challenge Quilt block, I’m going to do a weekly round up, of that week’s blocks. As of writing this, nine blocks are available, and I’ve nine completed.

365 CQS Week One1. Three Stripes, 2. Easy H, 3. Red Cross, 4. Four Patch,
5. Nine Patch,6. Four Strips, 7. Two By Two

Seven days, seven blocks. They’ve been simple blocks so far. My understanding is that difficulty will increase as we progress through the year.

It’s been fun, revisiting my scraps for these blocks, and more fun to use scraps leftover from the scraps to piece later blocks. Doing this, of course, means that I’ll probably play with the final layout, to spread out the random pops of color, when it comes time to start assembling, but I’m okay with that.

I’m just going to enjoy the journey.

OMG: January 2016 Goal

8 01 2016

Keen observers of my blog will note that I’ve been dinking around with my side bar, and that a couple of new buttons have popped up there. Among those new buttons is:

Since A Lovely Year of Finishes is now retired, I decided to follow along with Red Letter Quilts One Monthly Goal. While I’ll still be doing the 2016 Finish Along, I like the idea of having a monthly goal. I can set smaller milestones for myself.

For instance, this month my goal is to take my Fibs and Fables to a complete quilt top:

A Start

I’ve got all of the large diamonds cut, strips for the small four-patch diamonds prepped, and all of my fabric has arrived. This means that I will have more starching and pressing to do, but the starching is totally necessary for this particular quilt top.

I may be able to make quite a bit of progress on this quilt top tomorrow – it’s my monthly group sewing day. It’s just a matter of what I work on… I’m hoping I might be able to quilt a top up.

We’ll see what happens. Regardless, progress photos soon.

A Stash Manifesto

7 01 2016

Once again looking to the online quilting community for inspiration in quilting, I ran across A Quarter Inch from the Edge’s The Year of the Stash.

While I don’t add to my stash as frequently as some, I do know that I’ve managed to acquire enough to make several quilts.

I also know that though I don’t need more fabric, I enjoy the burst of ‘happy’ I get from acquiring more. So much so, that it’s very easy to acquire fabric faster than I use it.

This year, rather than practice a ‘diet’, in which I refuse to buy fabric, I’m going to attempt to be conscious about keeping track of how much of my stash I use. If I do bring fabric into the house (because that will happen), then it’ll be tracked too.

I’ve added a simple tracker to my sidebar (yay, HTML!), so that it’s transparent to myself and to everyone following along. For total honesty, I won’t count yardage that has already been dedicated to a project toward my ‘used’ totals. If it’s already promised to a project, and binned with that project, then it’s not stash proper.

Estimating yardage used from my scraps will be tough… I think I’ll only count actual yardage. If I have to iron and starch it to use it, then it can be counted toward my usage each month. (I iron and pre-cut all of my scraps for use.)

Will this get me to use my stash more often? I don’t honestly know. I’ve already got several projects that need my attention. I got four WIPs through to completed quilt last year. I’d really like to double that this year.

Ideally, I’d like to do that without immediately replacing a completed project with a new one, but I know myself. I am fueled by feeding my creative beast. I’m actually more stifled and less willing to sew if I’m not playing with fabric. And, yes, that does mean I start an awful lot of projects, but that’s what the 2016 Finish Along is for 😉

And, because I hate the idea of a blog post without a photograph, and because I already have fabric to add to my tally:

January Stash Addition Part 01

From left to right:

1.) Utopia Specks of Rambutan

2.) Ella’s Basics Black and White News

3.) Ella’s Basics Silver and White News

3.) Ella’s Basics White and Black News

3.) Ella’s Basics White and Grey News

January Stash Addition 02

From left to right:

1.) Utopia Amber Lucid Hills

2.) Fibs and Fables Algae Cottage

3.) Fibs and Fables Midnight Escape

4.) Fibs and Fables Snowy Cottage

5.) Chillingsworth Cream Dapper Yardage

That’s 9.5 yards of fabric to start the year off, and to kick off my log.

2016 Finish Along – Q1 Goals

7 01 2016

It’s that time of year again – for me to set some goals, and to plan a bit ahead, with some help from the online quilting community.

Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings

I participated in the 2015 Finish Along with some success – I completed four quilts over the first half of the year, before losing steam and then becoming buried by the holidays.

I’m participating again, because it was a great experience for me, and it held me to some goals. I’m competitive (even against myself) so it’ll be fun to see how this year stacks up against last year.

I’d already done some preparation for the 2016 Finish Along, without realizing it. I took a good, long look at my projects, and eliminated a few that were never going to be finished, because I’d fallen out of love with them. Now, my WIP list for 2016 is updated, even with brand new projects that I started in the last couple of weeks.

Without further ado, my goals for this first quarter of the year:

Charmed, I'm Sure

To finally quilt and bind ‘Charmed, I’m Sure’. This beast has been sitting in my pile for too long. I’d like to get it quilted up and into rotation sooner rather than later.

Quick Quilt Top

To quilt and bind this scrappy baby quilt. I pieced it on a whim, and even started quilting it. I just need to finish the quilting, and then I can bind it.

Swirling Sea of Stars Quilt Top

To quilt and bind ‘A Swirling Sea of Stars’. I’m so excited to have completed this quilt top, finally! I just need to decide on backing it, and figure out how to quilt this monster. There are A LOT of seams to conquer here.

A Start

To complete my Fibs and Fables quilt. It’s not even a complete top at this point, and has a lot more piecing to go. And I’m still waiting on fabric to arrive, so that I can complete cutting.

I’ll leave it at just the four projects for this first quarter… Somewhere in all of those, I’ll need to get a leg up on piecing the rest of my projects.