Look another little quilt headed to Jack’s Basket! As a result of my cleaning efforts in the sewing room, I put some scrappy nine patch blocks together that had been sitting in a pile for quite some time. It felt so nice to use up the blocks and make this sweet little quilt.
It is so bright and cheerful. I quilted straight lines on the diagonal. At first I was stitching across the wonky stars but it looked funny so I took that out. I think the stars look best without any quilting. The lines were just freehand with the corners of each square guiding me. Because the quilting is very light, the quilt has a cozy drape to it.
Purple flannel on the back makes for a soft, cuddly quilt. For the binding, I used a bit of a yellow print from an older line by Jeni Baker, back when she was designing for Art Gallery Fabric. I even had the right size scrap of batting for this. Isn’t it great to use up some fabric that has been sitting for a while?
I had not yet mailed the You Are My Sunshine whole cloth quilt yet so both of these will go out together next week. I am not positive, but I think this is either the seventh or eighth quilt I have finished this year. Most of these were were made with flimsies that have been sitting which is super satisfying! Still another month to go this year. Will I have time to finish another quilt? Time will tell!
Well all this time at home is certainly allowing for lots of time in the sewing room. Last June I started sewing these charm squares I had accumulated into blocks. The charm squares are from a variety of sample packs from Benartex. Simple, prints in soothing colors that wanted to be made into something rather than live on the shelf in the closet (where they had been for at least two years or so).
I saw this idea on Julie’s blog, Me and My Quilts, around that time. She was making something similar and I absolutely copied her!! I cut 2 1/2″ strips and sub cut them into five inch strips. Each was sewed to a charm square, then sliced vertically. One piece flipped around and then I sewed them back together.
I did lay out the pieces in a random order first but decided I wanted something a bit more organized so I started putting them in collections by color.
Finally making up my mind, I got the rows put together and added a few borders (it is a bit on the long and skinny side).
I used this purple print from the shop for the outer border. It is from the Ginger & Spice line by Missy Carpenter and looks great with the neutral sashing. I chose purple because there are only three purple blocks in the quilt and I thought it just needed more!
Now I am looking through choices for the backing. I have decided to keep this one. It is time for me to set up a hand quilting project to work on in the evenings. I have never hand quilted anything larger than a pillow or a mini so this is a big undertaking for me.
I have so many questions since this is a new undertaking for me! Once I baste it, I am thinking of stitching in the ditch along the sashing lines. I was thinking if I had it anchored in place, it would be easier to quilt. Of course one might say after stitching in the ditch it is basically quilted already. Is this a normal progression? I need all the hand quilters to give me lots and lots of tips and tricks in the comments please!! I am thinking of using Perle cotton. Yay or Nay??? I really don’t know what I am doing here so would love any and all hints or referrals to good places to read up on this.
I appreciate the help. Hope everyone is doing well as can be. These are trying times so let’s all stay connected even if virtually. Take care all of you. 🙂
Linking up with all the usuals. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
I started a new project! Over a year ago I received a stack of Kaffe Fassett florals from somebody. It was during the first round of #getyourquiltywishesgranted on Instagram. I wish I could give proper credit but I just can’t remember which kind quilter sent them. She had offered them up if anyone wanted to use them and I was the lucky recipient. Then, as often happens, they sat on the top shelf in the closet for about 18 months!
At the April guild meeting, they announced a class to be held for using up scraps. I have no shortage of possible ways to use scraps but this pattern looked cute and what is better than a day sewing with friends? I signed up. Yesterday was our sew day. A woman, Doris Javier, from a neighboring guild, had designed the pattern and she was there to teach. The pattern itself is extremely simple to construct; basically cut lots of rectangles and sew together in pairs. Then arrange in one of a number of designs and stitch into blocks. When I first started joining the rectangles, I was not consistent about the direction In which I placed the floral fabric and the background. Of course, it needs to be consistent so that the angles run the correct way. Luckily, I was eager to see how the block would come together and tried to lay some out right after I pieced the first couple. So I have a few that are slanting the wrong way and will have to be used in something else. Maybe I will piece the backing and use them for that. Because the rectangles are sewn together on the bias, much like binding strips, I now have a large stack of triangles to use up. They are all stacked in pairs and I will chain stitch them into HST’s to be used at some point down the road. Love those little bonus HST’s!
It has been a long time since I have sewn with a group and I had forgotten how much fun it is. Even with people you aren’t well acquainted with, there is already a common bond with our shared love of stitching. One of the best things about making a particular pattern with a group of people is seeing all of the different fabric combinations created by each of us. Each unique combination gives the quilt a whole new look. When I gathered my fabric together, I based the pull on the Kaffe Fassett scraps but didn’t have quite enough of them to make the whole top. It was very easy to add other brightly colored floral scraps to round things out. For the background, I selected a textured solid made by Red Rooster – it was the last bit I had in my shop and works perfectly with the florals. The look is so summery.
I made significant progress yesterday. I have a large stack of rectangles made and paired into blocks. It takes four of these to make a full block. I didn’t sew too many complete blocks together because I want to lay them out and check the distribution of color. At this point though, it shouldn’t take too long to complete the quilt top. I would estimate I have half of the rectangles pieced. With one more session in the sewing room, I should be able to chain piece the rest of them.
The group in class yesterday agreed to try and get at least the quilt top finished before the guild meeting in September. I am sure I can complete the top but would be even more pleased to get the quilt itself completed. We shall see how my projects go this summer!
Quick side note: I am thrilled with the number of readers joining in with the sew along that is just beginning. If you haven’t read the post yet, click here. We will be making a simple shirt to wear and I will break it down into a few simple steps. We are just getting started so I t isn’t too late to join in. Read the post, order your pattern and select your fabric. The next post will be up on June 15th! Let me know if you have any questions.
Oh, how I love this finish! I’m not positive, but I think this quilt (so far) is the one that I have spent the most time on. I don’t track hours or anything like that, but I feel like this one has many hours into it. For RSC15 I made a row quilt by following along with Mari and her Classic Stitches BOM. Each row consists of a set of blocks that root back in quilting history. Mari chose an excellent sampling of blocks and I was able to complete nine of her eleven tutorials. A couple of them were too challenging for me and I substituted easier blocks those two months.
Overall, I absolutely adore this quilt. I love the bright, crazy, scrappy look, the traditional blocks that change row by row, sampler style, and the quilting that I did on each row. It was a great experience for me in a couple of different ways.
First of all, row quilts are a challenge in that it is tough to get each row to come out the same length. My supposition is that with all of the handling of each block and each row, month over month, they stretch a bit and become distorted. This quilt is absolutely not going to be entered into any juried shows! it is not even close to square. I sashed it because I wanted lines separating each row to give the eye a place to rest; this is a busy quilt. Additionally, the blocks are not accurately pieced enough to match row upon row. Did I cut off any points? Oh yeah. So by sashing them, I was able to deal with a lot of those issues. Cutting 60″ rows of sashing allowed me to ease the rows in and deal with any rows that were slightly longer than 60″. Really, sashing hides a multitude of issues. 🙂
I had a great time quilting this project. At 60″ by 70″, it was a reasonable size to FMQ on my machine. I chose a different motif for each row which was a great way to quilt it without getting bored half way through. Some motifs were easier than others but for the most part, I am very pleased with the result.
Lazy little flowers meander over the blue Water Wheel row.
I quilted meandering hearts over the pink row. They turned out decent but they were harder than I expected.
The orange Dutchman’s Puzzle blocks made for my favorite row. With these tiny pieces, my row had a fair-sized ripple to it and I was concerned about quilting it. After consulting with one of my favorite quilters, Janine over at Quilts From the Little House, I decided to use a tight meander. She felt like I could quilt the row into submission, and it worked. Yay Janine! Definitely good advice.
The yellow row of Double Stars is another favorite. I decided to quilt each individual star, rather than cruising over the entire row and I am very happy with the resulting flower contained within each star.
The green row of Crosses and Losses blocks is quilted with little swirls. These were tough. They are a bit more herky-jerky than I would like but this is where I am at this point in my quilting. With each row, I worked right to left, preferring to begin with the bulk of the quilt bunched into the throat and then feed the quilt out. So the right side of the rows are a bit rougher than the left. I improved as I went along. I plan to only look at the good half. 😉
The brown Pennsylvania blocks are sporting a Baptist Fan motif. Since I rarely get around to labeling a quilt, I also put my initials on the very far right corner. (On this row I did work left to right. It seemed easier to get the fans moving in that direction.) Again, these turned out ok – they look better from a distance than up close. Curves are tough.
Here is a peek at the back. I love the simplicity of the back since the front is so raucous. With the tiny floral print, the quilting really doesn’t show but that is fine. Crazy on the front and calm on the back! I used the backing fabric as binding too. The little floral has a vintage look to it that works with these traditional blocks.
Yep, I love this quilt and learned so much from the process of making and quilting it. It was a wonderful project and I am so grateful to Mari for all the time she took to create the tutorials each month and her patience with my whiny emails about how hard the blocks were! Her bit of history behind each block was an added bonus each month.
Linking this week with Linky Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion Mavericks and Finish it Up Friday.
So pleased to show this week’s finish!! I love this quilt for a variety of reasons. The colors are just what I wanted for one. I have always loved a basic pallette using neutral colors. As I mentioned earlier, I then decided I wanted to put a pop of red it. The more I played with this, the more I liked that red. Thus the addition of the large red heart!
The biggest reason though is that it is my own. The design is simple but it came from me; I didn’t use anyone’s pattern and that is absolutely a first. I used straight line quilting going in several directions. The hearted was densely quilted with lines about 1/2″ apart. I used the edge of the walking foot as my guide for that. The body of the quilt has straight lines going through each square, both horizonally and vertically. I started out marking each line with my Hera Marker but after a while, I got used to the patterns in the fabric and used those to guide me along and just freehanded it. Much simpler and very freeing!
I took my time with this and didn’t rush to finish it. I did get antsy when I was quilting it and again when I was burying the threads around the red heart. I reminded myself to relax and enjoy the process and it was so nice. I loved every bit of it – even the annoying tasks like cleaning up the myriad little threads all over the back before sandwiching it. Even (and especially) sewing the binding to the back. I do love the process. I think part of the issue is that I feel like I should crank something out so I have “something” to write a post about. This was in the back of my mind but really, even though this blog is something I truly enjoy, I don’t want to be cranking out finishes just so I have a post. That doesn’t make any sense to me.
After I got the quilting finished up, I was looking at it trying to decide how I wanted to bind it. I had enough of the fabric from the backing to use as binding but I was torn between using that and using the red fabric from the heart. Finally I remembered a post I had read a long while back over at Persimon Dreams. She had placed a very narrow flange on the quilt before binding it to add a pop of color. Yay-it was the perfect solution. I commented on that particular post and Kim was so kind to send me a quick email explaining how she did it. (So, actually part of this quilt was inspired by another but that’s ok. I want to give credit where credit is due.) Adding the flange took very little time and I think the effect it provides is wonderful.
If you haven’t ever done a flange, it is very easy. I cut strips that were one inch wide of the contrasting red fabric. Then I sewed them together, just as one would with a binding strip. Fold it in half and press so you are left with a 1/2″ wide folded strip. (Kim used a 3/4″ strip ending up with a 3/8″ folded piece but I wanted something a little bit wider.) Once you have the flange prepared, attach it to the quilt’s raw edge on the top side. Sew it to the quilt using a VERY scant 1/4″ seam. I used a longer stitch (my Janome was set to 3.5 stitch length) which made attaching it a breeze. Then attach your binding as usual. Be sure to hand stitch the binding to the back. If you machine stitch it, those stitches will show on the flange. Easy peasy! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Yep, this was a great finish and I will be gifting it to someone soon. That is the best part – giving it away and giving someone the joy of a cozy quilt. Hope the recipient loves it.
Linking to Sew Bittersweet Designs as this is my March finish for ALYOF. Yahoo for setting a goal (I had better plan my projects for April soon.) Also linking to Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social.
This week has started out with a productive bang. Yesterday I completed my neutrals/red heart quilt top. Today I finished up our taxes (never a fun task). Wow. If I don’t do anything else this week, I’m ok with that!
I got on a roll with the neutrals quilt and it all came together so quickly.
The fence wasn’t quite tall enough to photograph the whole thing but this is most of it. Pretend I ironed it – the wrinkles are really showing in these pictures!
I pieced one little random block. When I was trimming the HST’s to be used in making the big heart, I had little bits and pieces leftover. I used a few of them to make this little guy.
Tomorrow I will get the backing assembled and pin baste the layers together. I haven’t quite decided how to quilt it. I know I want to use straight line quilting but not positive of the pattern. Also thinking about quilting the heart separately or different somehow so it stands out more.
Making good progress on my March goal! Also got started on the yellow scrappy blocks for RSC15 and they are going to be adorable. They are a double star block – finished the first of ten blocks today . At least all of the pieces are cut though so they will go together quickly.
Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, Linky Tuesday and Let’s Bee Social. Links to all of these great sites are located at the top of this page under Link Ups.
Yay!! Got my second UFO of three finished up this week. Completing these three quilts is on my list of 2015 goals. Going well so far. I’m very glad to be done quilting this one. It didn’t take long either. I don’t know what the deal is. I think I get bored about 1/2 way through the quilting process. It looks great though. It was a bit narrow so I added a green border to each long side for width.
To quilt it I free motioned large, loopy flowers all over the top. They reminded me of the flowers girls would draw in the margins of the notebook when you are supposed to be taking notes in junior high but your mind is wandering. Anyway, I mean I’m pretty sure I saw the other girls doing this…..
Oddly enough, the flowers also brought to mind a weird memory of this PE teacher I had when I was probably 8 or 9 years old (so we are talking 1968 or 1969 here – hippy days). I went to a parochial school through 8th grade. Mostly we had nuns for teachers and usually the classroom teacher/nun was also your PE teacher. But for a while, we had a young woman that as our PE teacher. I bet she wasn’t more than 21 or 22 and I thought she was SOOO cool. For one thing, she wasn’t a nun and she was young. (To me, the nuns seemed old no matter their age since I couldn’t see their hair.) For another, her name was, get this…. Flower!! Looking back, I’m guessing that wasn’t her legal name but that was what we called her. Shocking, right? It sure was to me. Ahh… the 1960’s.
I also quilted flowers along the gray borders. Once I got to the green, I switched to a medium sized leaf. Kind of wish I had switched to green thread when I quilted that portion. Oh well. I also attached the binding by machine on both front and back sides. Not sure I like that as well but I gave it a try.
In my on-going resolve to upcycle, I used a duvet cover for the backing. I found it at a thrift store for $7.00 and it is huge. I will easily back a couple a quilts with it. One side of the duvet cover is a green stripe and the other is a green floral print. I had the green binding sitting in my stash so this quilt is all scrappy and used a good portion of my stash. The only piece I purchased directly for this project is the gray print that I sashed the blocks with. Not too shabby.
Trying to start the new year out right with better scrap management habits. (Wow, “scrap management” sounds so quilty-dorky!) But really. When I trimmed the excess off around the perimeter of the quilt I actually trimmed the scrap into usable pieces. This is definitely a first for me. Three inch and 2 inch strips plus a stack charm squares!! It hardly took any extra time and it’s done.
Not exactly sure what I will work on next. I want to do some piecing. I need a break from quilting for a while. I have some blocks that have been sitting around for a while. I don’t love them, know what I mean? I think I am going to create a quilt to donate to a fundraiser at my daughter’s middle school.
The lighting on this picture is horrible. (I took it at night with my phone.) I think I will set the blocks on point and sash them with black. I have a cute black and white print for the backing and maybe I can find a jewel toned batik to use for a border and binding. Hopefully that will jazz this up a bit.
Linking to Freemotion at the River, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Links to these amazing ladies are found at the top of the page under Link Ups.
Will also be linking this post to A Lovely Year of Finishes as this completes my January goal. Hurray for that – three days before month end.
We are home. Fall break is over and my daughter went back to school today. We got back from our vacation on Saturday. The trip was fun but not exactly what we expected. All three of us; me, my daughter and husband got sick over the trip. Yuk. Nothing worse than traveling across the country only to come down with a nasty virus. We felt awful bringing our California germs to our Delaware kids. (So far they haven’t come down with it. Maybe they will get lucky!) We also felt bad about the fact that we probably infected all sorts of people on the plane. If you were on our flight from Delaware to Dallas to CA on Saturday, my apologies. I hope you are well soon!
We had intended to take Julia to Washington DC to see all of the monuments and do some touring of Smithsonian. Well, that didn’t happen. We did go to Philadelphia one day, between illnesses, when we were feeling good. That was a great day. We also toured the Amish country in Lancaster County, PA (more about that in this post.) We spent an afternoon having lunch at a little town on the Chesapeake Bay, the name of which completely escapes me at the moment. Best of all was spending time with my son and daughter-in-law in their cute home. They were so gracious as we dropped like flies, polluting their home with germs.
It isn’t hard to guess what I did as soon as we got home. Ditched the laundry and unpacking and headed for the sewing room. I felt lousy yesterday so I didn’t trust my brain functionality enough to work on anything very challenging. Instead, I pulled out the RSC14 blocks that I have been working on. I was still catching up on my blocks since I didn’t begin this challenge until June. I made one each of the yellow, brown and dark green blocks. So far I have 16 blocks made, each measuring 10 inches. I clearly need more of the brighter colors.
Laying them out on this lovely old white sheet, I think the colors are leaning heavily toward the blues and purples. I am not positive how I feel about the brown block. That was the October color. Should the brown block stay or should I take it out?? I think I will make one more of each of the orange and yellow blocks. Not sure yet what the November color will be, but I know I want one more row of four blocks. If I do an orange, a yellow plus the November color I will be close. Then I can do the last block in whatever colorway is most needed. Definitely going to sash it with white and put some bright cornerstone blocks with the sashing. Should be pretty.
In closing for today, I will just shout with joy – IT’S RAINING! So thrilled to have some rain this afternoon. Hope it sticks around for a bit.
Linking to Anything Goes Monday, Freemotion by the River, Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social and finally, WIP Wednesday. All of these lovely sites are listed at the top of the page under Link Ups.
This quilting obssesion is such that I am always, always, always thinking of what’s next? I have two quilts in progress and two projects that I am in the process of finishing up the binding. Isn’t that plenty? No, not even close. If you are reading this, you probably understand. I don’t know what drives this. Is it all the amazing fabrics out there? Do they create this continual desire to start the next thing? Maybe it is the satisfaction of creating something? The peacefulness that comes over me when I am piecing something?? Honestly, it is almost always in the back of my mind; the next project.
So, here is “what’s next”, for today anyway. On a whim, I purchased a bag of scraps from Southern Fabric. Have you taken a look at their on-line shop? It is filled with a huge assortment of really nice fabric. I follow them on Instagram and Facebook because they are always having a sale on something. One day it was bags of strips. They were half off (regular price is $12.00). The only thing guaranteed was that the strips were from a coordinated line from Moda. Good enough for me. Really, is there any line that I really wouldn’t want to work with? Doubtful. (By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just love their shop.) With rapid speed, I received my bag of surprises in the mail. (I love a good surprise too!) I was so thrilled. Look what I got:
The strips are from the Lexington line designed by Minick & Simpson for Moda Fabrics. I love it. My favorite pieces are the text prints that just repeat the alphabet. Really sweet. I think I need to order some yardage in that text print. Two strips just isn’t going to do it for me.
It was easy to come up with a project for these strips. I decided to make a string quilt. The tutorial that I liked best was found on Quiltville.com. The blocks are strip quilted on a rectangular piece of fabric and then triangles are added to the sides to create the block. First I trimmed the selvages off and cut my strips into various widths between 1 1/2 inches to 2 1/2 inches. I used a sheet that I cut into rectangles for the foundation fabric. For the triangles, I have some low volume fabrics that work perfectly. Check these out:
These are such pretty pieces and I love them with the blues and tans of the Lexington line. Here are the blocks that I have thus far. As I have mentioned before, I lean toward the precise side (that actually is a bit of an understatement) so I’ve decided to sew some of the strips slightly wonky and try to enjoy the freedom that allows. Not so bad to relax and accept a little intentionally crooked piecing! If nothing else, it is kind of freeing.
The blocks are fun to make – they require almost no concentration. The only (small) downside is pressing the strips each time one is flipped over. Usually I will sew one from each end, starting at the center so I can press two at a time. Kind of a hassle to do the pressing. Other than that, easy peasy.
I am taking off this afternoon to go visit my son for a couple of days. He just got his first job after graduating college so I am looking forward to hearing how things are going. I suspect I might be able to find a few local quilt shops during my travels! (a given, right?) Hope you are all enjoying your fabric craziness as much as I am.