Sunday, June 6, 2021

Perplexing Puzzle!

Looks like I found my next big project!  I knew I was going to make a quilt version my latest  table runner:  Endless Possibilities, I just didn't know when it would happen!  After going back and forth on what to make next and not coming up with any good ideas, I decided I may as well get started with this puzzle of a design sooner rather than later!

With no color restrictions or size requirements I began making block after block for several days.  Once you start it's very hard to stop!  I wasn't fussy with the colors I picked for each block which made the process painless and quick.  Plus not having to worry about 'perfect' helps a lot too!

My intention when I started was to make the blocks larger than the table runner version.  For the most part that happened.  The blocks varied in size from 8 1/2" to 5 1/2" in length and the width was all over the place.  It really doesn't matter in the end.  For some reason I aim for large and end up smaller than I planned!  Go figure!

Once I thought I had all the blocks I could ever want I got to start arranging them on the design wall.  I grouped blocks that were close to the same length in rows.  The trick was to place enough in each row that would fill my preconceived size of the overall quilt.  My aim was to have a quilt top that was around 50" x 65".  In the end the top will be about 55" x 70", close enough for me!

I learned that if you think you have enough blocks made...make more!  Until you put the blocks on the design wall you really can't gauge if you've made enough.  The blocks weren't squared up beforehand which gave me wiggle room to fill each row.  

When making these blocks I tried not to worry too much about what colors I used or put in each block.  Some blocks are a combination of three colors, while some may have four.  Not color was off limits, the more the merrier!  I also didn't worry about having too much of one color or like colors too close together when placing the blocks.  That's not to say I didn't tweak the arrangement, but it wasn't a mind bender like many times happens during the layout process.  


The center from top to bottom has the blocks sewn together side by side and I added Kona Nightfall around the sides for a floating effect.  Let's talk about the floating didn't come off as I had planned, but I like it just the same.  I think a brighter background color or less blocks around the edges would have been the better plan for my floating block idea.  By the way, I also added Nightfall on the edges to finish it off.

That being said, I still love how it turned out!  Things don't always go the way we see it in our head, at least that's the case for me!  I've decided the quilt top will look beautiful hanging on my wall for a couple weeks.  I need to take my sewing machine in for a deep cleaning and get it back in tip top shape!  The hardest part is waiting for the 'your machine is ready' call!


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A Whole Lot of Nothing

By a 'whole lot of nothing' I actually mean I haven't had the desire to dive into anything big lately.  It might be a creative block, or perhaps I just need a break.  I have dabbled in small projects though!  Mainly pot holders.  I want to make something so these small projects itch that scratch for the time being!

9" x 9"

I always have fun picking fabrics for my Heart of the Home blocks.  I've had the fabric I used for the house siding for ions and finally broke down and used it.  I makes for a happy set of pot holders I think!

The funnest part is finding just the right window treatments for each house.  This time it was little fairy princesses!  They could be floating around in your just can't see them!

My favorite design to make are waves!  It's a freeing experience to grab the rotary cutter and slice a curve without worrying about being perfect.  Blues and teals/aqua are always worth the cut!

Look at me!  I made a pastel version of waves too!  They might be overshadowed by the scrappy geometric pot holders, but I don't know...there's secret powers in pastels! 

Usually when I dig into pot holders I focus on one color group.  I grab my scrap bins and use as much as I can from it.  It often results in one wave design set and one improv set.  The orange, pink and yellow combination seemed like the right choice and warm me up like the summer heat!  

I'm not sure what or where my adventures will lead me to tomorrow, but I'm anxious to find out!  The ideas are there.  They just aren't nailed down yet!!



Friday, May 14, 2021

Endless Possibilities!

When I started making these blocks I had no idea where I was going with the idea.  Which is the way I like to work for the most part.  The more blocks I made the more excited I got!  In the end I thought the best use of these blocks was to make a table runner.  

My goal at the beginning was to use my scraps and see if I couldn't wrangle them into submission.  Those two things I accomplished.  The size of the blocks ended up being predetermined because of the scrap part.  They would be small and at that time that was perfect!

After seeing how the blocks looked together I started getting that know that feeling...the one where something went so well that you want to do it again feeling!  I think larger blocks, maybe some kind of background color around the edges, floating blocks?!  I'm not exactly sure, but it's going to happen!

I thought about how I should quilt this runner and I kept coming back to one idea over and over again, semi-dense 
organic-ish lines.  Then the thread color.  I would say any color would work well, so I settled on a 40 weight variegated thread.  It's called Baby Blue Eyes (#4663) from Aurifil.  

When I started quilting I thought this is going to be fun, fast and effective!  It was right up until the time I discovered a problem.  Dropped stitches, skipped stitches...a big problem indeed!  I changed my needle and rethreaded over and over only to have the same issue.  It led to having to spend the evening with my seam ripper!  

Fortunately Instagram is a great resource for help, tips and support!  It was suggested that I clean my machine.  I couldn't be that...yet it was!  After a thorough cleaning, the next morning I was able to knock out the quilting and add the binding.  Spending the evening doing what I love, hand stitching the binding on by hand instead of spending the evening with my seam ripper!

I haven't washed this runner yet, but I know it'll end up with some pretty amazing texture in the end!  The backing and binding is Moda Grape.  

When I say I can't wait to start a larger quilt with these blocks, I really day I'll make a larger quilt with these blocks.  As much as I'd love to drop everything and start there are too many other everyday life things that have to happen first!  Life just gets in the way!!


Friday, May 7, 2021

'SPARKLE' PDF :: Pattern Release!

It's been a long time in the making, but the day has finally come!  There has been a lot of indecision, rethinking, tweaking going on behind the scenes, but I think...I think I have all the details and kinks worked out!

'SPARKLE' is ready for release and I couldn't be happier for this day to have finally arrived

‘SPARKLE’ is 52" x 65" bold, bright and graphic lap quilt that features half-square triangles with a little bit of attitude!  

This design has been floating around in my head and I’ve made numerous variations throughout the years.  I seem to ‘follow the rainbow’ when picking my colors, but there are unlimited options if you choose to change it up.   

When making HST’s I prefer to use the Two-at-a-Time method which allows me to use a variety of colors.  I also make my HST’s larger than required, and trim each one to the size required.  The measurement given in the cutting instructions allows for trimming without being overly wasteful. 

You will also use the Flip & Stitch method and nesting seams for the accent squares.  To add to the pattern, all instructions are illustrated.

Half Square triangle magic, flip and stitch and nested seams are some of the highlights of this design.  Simple techniques that make precision easier to achieve.

I just about exclusively use solids my most of my designs, but there are so many options available!  

Check out what these ladies did with their quilts!  They not only make beautiful versions of my design, but their attention to detail, feedback and suggestions are invaluable.  I couldn't do it without them! 

CASSIE @sewshequilts4love

ELLYN @ellynz

JEANINE @milesoffabric

MONIKA @monikahaefeli

KIM @quirkykim

The pattern is a PDF download, full of color diagrams, step-by-step directions and is now available for purchase through my Etsy shop: