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.





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.





Traveling Bee-utiful Additions for April

9 05 2015

I ended up getting two tops-in-progress for the month of April. Not a big deal – I was up to the challenge! Or so I thought…

The first top-in-progress was not a challenge. The original quilter requested a single, sashed block from each of us, with our signature on it. I picked a block I really like from one of my reference books and modulated my usual really strong color choices a bit, to better blend with the previous blocks. I think my color choices were still really strong in comparison, but maybe it’ll blend better as we progress through the year.

Traveling Bee-utiful April for SunseakObviously, acid green had to make an appearance, and I was enamored of the tiling-like print, so they went together. I happened to have that emerald green solid from a clearance purchase, and I thought it made a lovely median between the acid green and cerulean.

It was when I got to the second top in progress that I faltered. The theme for this one was ‘Well Traveled’. I instantly wanted to map out my travels in fabric, but that proved harder than anticipated. To give you an idea… I was born in the Philippines, and, as a military brat, spent time in Italy, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. As an adult, I moved to Illinois, and have traveled to Indiana, and then returned to Wisconsin.

I went through idea after idea, discarding most of them. Mainly because I didn’t want to piece a bunch of buildings, because previous additions to the quilt were all animal related. Also, because they were very complicated, and I wasn’t in the mood for complicated.

Despite saying that, I decided that I had to pay homage to the Philippines, for sure. I ended up drafting a sun block, taking the sun motif from the Philippine flag. The sun symbolizes unity, freedom, people’s democracy and sovereignty. The eight rays of the sun represent the eight provinces that began the 1896 revolution against Spain.

I also decided to pay homage to Texas, and purchased an armadillo pattern on Craftsy. I enlarged it quite a bit, to match the finished size of my sun (14″ square).

For everything, I raided my slim stash of batik fabrics. I’ve never been able to bring myself to get rid of them, and I’m so glad I didn’t now, despite not finding them appealing anymore.

Traveling Bee-utiful April for ForestbucketsI’m still tempted to see if I can iron out ideas for the other places I’ve lived, but we’ll see if my creativity is up to the challenge. Drafting one block was all right. I’m not sure that I’m up to drafting several more.

Anyway, both of these are now in their May homes, and I’m without a swap project for this month. I am, however, already looking toward June…





Sewing Like Mad!

15 11 2014

A quilt-along of the Night Sky quilt pattern by Camille Roskelley is being hosted by the lovely Jana Machado. Since I’m still feeling the effects of having my sewing mojo back, I jumped in.

The milestones of this particular quilt along are to have one row of each quilt done each week, with the goal of having the completed top done by December 5. I’ve not gotten any rows done yet, but I have finished all 44 blocks needed for this top.

Night Sky Progress 01

Night Sky Progress 02

Needless to say, I’m damned glad to be done piecing star blocks. These got very repetitive, and I found myself a little tweaked at the waste generated by this pattern if you followed the piecing instructions exactly as written. I also felt that some things should be explicitly called out, as I needed to go back and cut more fabric after I’d gone through the majority of the piecing.

Still, I was able to use up quite a few of my smaller cuts of grey, black and yellow fabrc – everything for this top was pulled from my stash. Really, it was the fact that the pattern called for so many fat quarters (28) that kind of sold me on participating. I had a ton of smaller remnants that would have just gone into my scrap bags, left over from piecing The Garden Party’s Quadrille.

As usual, it feels wonderful to use stuff that I have in my stash – I have enough fabric to make several quilt tops, and I haven’t held as true to my fabric diet this year as I should have. So, ‘wonderful’ really is something of an understatement.

I’ve also made significant progress on Swirling Sea of Stars:

Swirling Sea of Stars Progress

Last time this top was featured on this blog, I only had two rows done. I’m now up to four, though I know I’ve plenty in my scrappy strips tote for a few more projects. There’s going to be at least one more string top in my future. I just have to decide what, though that’s planning for another day. I’m hoping to be able to call this a completed quilt top by the end of the year – it’s very slow going because of the nature of the project.

Strings and paper-piecing take time, lots of it, and I’ve found that I don’t make significant progress if I use this as a leader/end project. Thus, I work on this one as I feel like expending a huge chunk of time on string blocks.

Now, I’m off to sew more. My plans for today include completing the Night Sky quilt top, making a few more string blocks, and making a return to the Winged Square quilt top.





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.





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 😛

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.





June Swap Blocks, Part 2

17 06 2013

Once I finished the jammy dodger block, I realized that I still had a lot of the fabric that Shelia sent left over. So I made another block for her:

Elegant Teapot

This particular paper-piecing pattern is by Kristy of Quiet Play, available at Craftsy. It went together fairly easily, but the PDF was created overseas, meaning that A4 paper was the print size. So, the first few times I tried to print the PDF, the document ran off the edges of the paper. Luckily, I have access to document creation and editing software, so I was able to get the pattern to 8.5″ X 11″ paper. There’s a bit of an oopsie in it, on the spout. I’m debating remaking it…

Once that was done, I moved on to the last swap block I needed, for the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap. Jodi requested apple leaf blocks, providing instructions and a PDF here. I finally remember to pick up some Wunder-Under on Friday, and took care of these blocks over the weekend. It was a little nerve-wracking, because I’ve never really doe applique, much less machine applique.
My real concern was using the zig-zag stitch and being able to follow the edges of the leaves.

Apple Leaves Block 01

Apple Blossom Block 02

Overall, I think they turned out okay. I really like the selection of fabrics I picked out. I’m not so sure about the technique, but I’m always leery of things in which the stitches are visible. That’s the traditionalist in me, the person who learned from books published at least a decade before I was born. It is, however, a very pretty block, and I’m excited to see Jodi’s finished quilt.

So, that’s all of June’s swap blocks. Now I just have to get everything mailed out.