Saturday, May 18, 2019

Pink! Pink! Pink!

I've been dabbling, dawdling and slowly getting things in order so far this month.  Nothing earth shattering is in the works, but I'm finding my way and coming up with a couple new ideas.

When the mood strikes me I like to make pot holders!  They might be small, they might not be every ones cup of tea, but I do like making them.  When I can use scraps of any kind I do get excited.  I've made numerous red, black, blue, teal, yellow, orange, green and rainbow pot holders, but it never crossed my mind to make pink ones.  Pink isn't a classic kitchen color combination by any means.  Far be it from me to tamp down an idea or go classic when it comes to pot holders!!

8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
My pink scraps were getting out of hand, now not so much!  Bits and pieces of pink sewn together haphazardly, or are they!  I built the improv sections first and then added the curve lines at the end.   

With all my pot holders, I use a layer of cotton batting and Insul-Bright in between the top and back.   



Because I love pink and gray together, this set ended up with the best of both worlds.  Another bonus of making pot holders for me is quilting them.  You don't often hear me say I like quilting, but in the case of these...yes I do!  They are easy to handle, I can get as crazy as I want and they are fast!  

8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Another design I like to use when making pot holders is curves.  I tend to have a 50-50 split of odd size scraps and skinny strips.  The curve style is a good way to use the long strips regardless of width.  

Normally pot holder sets are exactly the same.  Two with the exact same design.  I don't know why they have to be, but they are.  I like to have my sets in the same colors, but each one is unique and different.



When I'm making my curve pot holders I use the same number of strips and same colors for each pot holder, except I mix it up so each one is unique.  That way they are similar yet different. 

Another plus to making pot holders is you can use large scraps for the back, colors that aren't your favorite or stray layer cake precuts.  

Do you have a favorite color combination for your kitchen decor?

I've been slowly making progress on my Neon Pink quilt!  I'll make a block or three here and there, which was the plan.  


I have about 50 more blocks to make for a queen size quilt.  We'll see how accurate I am with my calculations!



When it comes time to add the sashing, I think I might sew half a dozen of the rectangle blocks together to make one big block and then sew the bigger sections together.  That step is a long way off and how it comes together will be determined at that time!

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Ruffled Feathers

Another installment of aimlessly wandering through my quilting adventures!  I'm semi focused on quilting these days.  Mostly by making things that I've made in the past that I've wanted to make again, yet time didn't allow me to do so.  Now I have bits of time that I can use for those kind of projects.

Feathers.  I've always enjoyed making the Anna Maria Horner feather using woven stripes and thought it was a worth another visit.  You can get the free PDF pattern here:  Feather Bed Quilt.  I've made these feathers many times and really enjoy the simple process of piecing them together.  For my table runner I reduced the size from 9" x 18" to approximately 10" x 6".  That size varies depending on what I'm making with the feathers.


FEATHER RUNNER
15" X 49 1/2"
In this case, I made a runner!  Combining four feathers with chevrons made from Half Square Triangles.  The background I used for this runner is Kona Khaki.  I've always liked this neutral paired with the woven stripes.  The chevrons are made with Peppered Cottons.

  

I have a stack of woven stripe strips in various lengths that I used for my feathers.  It's a good way to use some scraps and make each feather unique.  The AMH feather pattern has you sew long strips together and then cutting the sides by flipping the template as you go.  If you are doing a large quilt, then this might be the best way to go.  I like each of my feathers to be different, so I generally make my sections large enough to be able to cut half of a feather from.



I'll use the same color stripe several times in each feather, except you won't see any repeat sides...I don't know if that makes sense!  



Before I started I had to make sure I had enough background fabric on hand for the front.  There is nothing worse than being just a tad bit too short, or having two dye lots of the same color yet they are just 'that much' off from each other!



With the front finished, it's also a good time to use some scraps for the back.



This Espresso brown has been hanging in my stash for years!  It wasn't big enough for much, but paired with a strip across the back of stripes...it works!  It does feel good to use what I have on hand.  

And so, you know how this story goes.  I was on a roll, my stripes were already out and strewn across my table, so I may as well make something else!  


FEATHER WALL HANGING
11 1/4" x 17 3/4"
A wall hanging was calling my name!  Gah!  I can't tell you how many times I've made a quilt and end up making one, two or three different things from the same fabrics.  It's something I cannot help.  I don't think it's a sickness, perhaps it's a desire to use every scrap so that I don't have to look at them for a while!



I just think the feathers are gorgeous!  





Of all the times I've made something 'feather', I've never used a black binding to finish it off!  After I did on this wall hanging, I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner.  I really like how it frames the piece!  Next time I revisit this pattern I'll be sure to keep that in mind for the binding!



Each feather was quilted in a different thread color and in between each feather I did a little match stick quilting.

If you think this is the end of those pesky stripe projects...you'd be wrong!  



One last...and I mean last...project was using some of the scraps that weren't long enough for a feather.  Pot Holders.  I made log cabin blocks to start with and pieced four together for each pot holder.  I know what you are thinking.  I think the same thing!  Overkill.  Over achiever.  Enough is enough.  Get a life!

What the next while has in store for me I can't say.  My daughter is moving home and it'll certainly change the every day dynamics of my life.  I'm staying positive!  I also know she hates living at home and loves her independence, which means she won't be here long!!  I'm just happy were able to help her out.  Hopefully I'll still be saying that after week one!!


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Sunday, May 5, 2019

Baby Bow Ties :: EPP

I found another project!  Another English Paper Pieced project that I putz around with in the evenings!

Bow ties have been on my must make list for a couple years yet I've never quite gotten around to making them until now.  As much as I'd like to make a large quilt using these blocks, realistically I just can't seem to fit it in with all the other 'wanna makes'!  The next best thing for me is baby blocks.  



I've been collecting Liberty of London fabric by buying scrap bundles from various places.  The pieces range in size and are never large enough to make a substantial sized block.  Believe it or not, that was my plan.  Small works for me and anything large would be a waste.  In fact, many of the pieces are still too big especially when I make small blocks like these.  I'll have enough Liberty scraps to last a life time!



Each Bow Tie when finished is 2" square.  You can see why I'll have scraps forever making something this size!  The center square is 1/2" with 1" squares for the corners.  Besides Liberty, I used Kona White for the background.  I figured it would be the best way to accentuate the delicate designs in the print and highlight the colors.  And it seemed like a good idea to use a complementary solid for the center square.

I'm trying to bring harmony to these little bow ties!



This is an example of how the blocks will come together once I get a batch done.  I won't sew these together until I determine the size of whatever it is I'm making. 



The plan is to use one print and one print only for each block.  How big will it be?  Certainly not a full size quilt!  More than likely a mini quilt that will indulge my need to stitch and become something that is irresistible!

This is slow sewing, so don't expect a finish anytime soon!  I'll share my progress along the way just to satisfy your curiosity...and mine!



I completely gave up on my Lucy of Boston EPP blocks.  These blocks use 1/2" honeycomb shapes and I couldn't figure out how to use the prints I have to make them look amazing.  My favorite blocks happen to be the solids, which isn't a big surprise to many of you!  I like the black, pink and white block, yet not enough to pursue it any longer.  

Back burner, back of the closet...that's where these will end up!  Maybe one day I'll pull them out and figure out a way to use them.  It's okay!  My intention was always to have something to keep me busy and these did just as planned!  Now that doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy to gift them to someone if they ever wanted them...just saying!

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Slow Going :: But it's Something!

Some days (or weeks) it feels like I've done nothing in the way of quilting.  You can call it a creative block, lost mojo or whatever you like.  It happens to all of us at some point.  I feel like I haven't accomplished much of anything, yet I've done a few things.  They just don't feel like much an accomplishment!

The results of no mojo also impact my blogging.  I hate to not blog!  We all know that the art of blogging has steadily decreased over the years with the introduction of other social media platforms.  I feel it's important to carry on with blogging when so many others have abandoned it.  So, when I can't or don't blog, it feels like I've let myself down whether or not others read my posts.  I'll just say I'm going to work on that!  

One small finish I can share is this bonus half square triangle wall hanging.  This quilt was make from the bonus HST's from the baby Esme quilt I recently finished.  (New Baby :: New Quilt)


BONUS HST'S
18" X 18"
The baby quilt used many fabrics from my Cotton + Steel stash, which I was more than happy to finally use!  My main goal with the quilt was to use my stash, use my X-Squared block and make a lovely quilt.  All those goals were accomplished!  

  

Not one to waste even the smallest of pieces, I saved the HST's and threw together a mini quilt.  After trimming the HST's to 2", I then had to figure out a layout.  Easier said than done!  There are so many options available, but leave it to me to make it harder than it really needs to be!  The easy way would have been to go totally random with the placement of the blocks, but I choose to group like prints together.



I don't know how many times I rearranged each 2" square!  It snowballed and I couldn't stop myself!



My mind was set on starting with a focal point, in this case this cat skeleton print.  From there, I branched out mindful to keep the prints together.  Eventually I got there and it was time to sew the rows together.

 

With so many (144 to be exact) blocks to piece together it seems inevitable that there would be one or two that were accidentally flipped or turned during the process.  As was the case with the teal Sprinkles fabric.  Of course I didn't see it until all 144 blocks were sewn together!!



I thought about letting it go but in the end I just couldn't!  Fixed and happy about it!!  



























I pulled out my 50wt Mint (#2830) thread and quilted 1/2" lines starting at the center of the focal point blocks.  The mint is pretty subtle and blends nicely with the prints.  



I have to say...I love this mummy fabric!  It's worth a close up so you can see what I used for the binding!  



I'm not a theme or novelty print kind of person, and Halloween isn't my thing whatsoever...but these guys are 'all that and a bag of chips'!

Hopefully I'm on my way to a full recovery from the dreaded mojo-itis bug!  I've asked this question a time or two:  what's your solution when you can't find your mojo?  


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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Bee Inspired :: Building a Bridge

First...big news!  We have a baby!  Saturday little Esme Eloise decided she was ready to enter the world!  A whopping 8.2 ounces and 19 inches, Mama and baby are doing well and happily at home!  Were so happy and excited for the family!

I say it every time, but some of the prompts my Bee Mates come up with are amazing!  

Last year was an amazing year of challenging prompts from my Bee Inspired mates, and so far this year is no exception!  We've had a couple of changes in the 'mate' department and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.

Our new line-up with links to their Instagram...Drum roll....

Kathryn @kupitis
Heather @quiltachusetts 
Audrey @artandstole
Christine @ccpquilt 
Daisy @warmfolk 

Our Hashtag if you want to follow along and see what were up to:  #beeinspired2019 

And of course, the original Bee Sewcial group:  #beesewcial  #inspiredbybeesewcial

Kicking of a fresh new year, Audrey started us off with this prompt:



Bee Inspired 2019 starts this month and I hope to make a quilt that encourages people to do things that bring relief and maybe even joy to others. Let’s make bridges to represent reaching out, and positive words that have personal meaning to you.

Block 1: a bridge span side view, blacks and dark grays on off-whites

Block 2: a word or phrase that represents or describes how you reach out to others in your own life, in blues and greens on off-whites.


I have to say I put off making this block for as long as I could!  Luckily I have understanding bee mates, and it seems I wasn't the only one who waited so long.

Finding a bridge for inspiration wasn't hard at all.  When I think of bridges I always think of Portland Oregon where I use to live.  Back then I didn't care much about bridges, other than the fact that my daughter Britt and her best friend Anne were crazy about them.  They were 8 or 9 years old and I remember my husband taking them on a day trip to visit all the Portland bridges before we moved to Tennessee.  


FREMONT BRIDGE, PORTLAND OR
24" x 15"
There were a couple things that I knew had to be included in my block to accurately represent the Fremont bridge.  The rainbow arch, an upper and lower deck for traffic and the iconic flags on top.  



The Fremont Bridge is the second longest tiered arch bridge in the world, it was built in 1973, it's 2152 feet long, the rainbow arch is 381 feet above the water of the Willamette River and the lower deck is suspended from the upper deck.  Fun facts!  



Back in the day when I wasn't a quilter...I had no idea that this bridge has Flying Geese spanning the arch!  While looking for inspiration pictures I discovered that fun fact and knew then and there that this was my bridge!  I briefly contemplated trying to figure out a way to add the geese to my bridge, but quickly realized I'd be crazy to try!  

And now the reality of the 'prompt'!  I had to figure out how to construct my bridge!  I started by making an off white slab thinking it might be the best way to start.  I though of it as a solid piece for the background.  



The first cut was the scariest part.  I had to cut the arch!  I made sure it was large enough to work with and where I could easily add the vertical strips.  I sliced off a piece for the lower tier of the bridge and then was free to add my road ways.  I feel like that was the easy part!!



I hadn't thought about how I would include the flags until right before I added the fabric for the arch.  I settled for one flag and miraculously was able to seam rip a small section and add it with very little frustration!

Where I struggled was the arch!  The first try was a disaster!  My strip was too skinny and it didn't allow me wiggle room.  The second try was much better and the arch was born.  

Which left me with the sides.  Matching the sides to the top section wasn't easy either!  Somehow I managed and was able to complete my bridge.  

It looked like the Fremont Bridge to me!  However I wasn't fully convinced so I asked Britt if she knew what bridge it was and without hesitation...she named it!  Whew!

The background colors in these pictures are actually lighter, much more subtle.  And we were given creative license with our bridge color.  I wanted to use neon pink, but settled for Kona Prussian blue.


Since I was on a roll, I figured I may as well get my word finished too!

EMPATHY
23" x 10"
Bear in mind that all of our blocks are meant to be improv, so using rulers for straight lines isn't part of the process.

I had a hard time up with my 'word'.  When someone says to describe yourself, I go blank.  I thought long and hard about it and decided Empathy was my word.  

Empathy:  to understand or feel what another person is experiencing, the capacity to put yourself into others position, caring about other people.

In someways there seems to be a lack of empathy these days, then again I'm inspired and amazed at how much empathy there is.  I don't know if that makes any sense!



Using the same background for this block as well, I began by pulling blues and greens for the letters.  I wasn't sure what I was doing, but it was so much fun figuring out each letter!  All by the seat of my pants and some better than others, but there is a consistent theme!

Audrey certainly pushed me with both of these blocks!  I know we are suppose to interpret the prompt as we see fit, but one thing I know for certain...I want it to be right for my queen!

Last, I thought I share my very last 2018 block made recently for Jenny @pappersaxsten .  Jenny is the queen of curves and when she asked for 'Cogs, thistles or caterpillar wheels'.  Sounds easy enough, but you know that can't be!



This is Jenny's quilt.  I was lucky enough to see it at QuiltCon and was even more in love with it after seeing it in person.  

The concept I could easily grasp, the execution was a bit more difficult!  The double circle came together with little trouble, but when it came to the cogs that's when I started to struggle.



Eventually I worked it our and was able to semi-easily add the extended row of cogs.  Hopefully this block and the others made for Jenny will come together in a quilt!  

So far no one in our Bee has assembled a quilt from blocks collected.  I imagine it will be soon though!  I hope to share the Morse Code blocks I requested and share them soon!

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hot Pink :: A New Quilt in the Works

In case I haven't said it enough, pink is my favorite color these days!  The past couple of years I've been collecting Cotton + Steel fabrics that include fluorescent pink in some degree or another.  I knew one day a design would come to mind where I could use the prints and finally cut into these beauties!



I think it's a good combination, so much so that this quilt is going to be for me!!  It's time to brighten up my bed!  You might need sunglasses, but so be it!

Most of the background of the prints is almost a natural muslin.  Then of course there is two shades of gray.  Do you think they all go together?



Of the 12 prints only one isn't Cotton + Steel, the top right floral print is Alison Glass.  It is a perfect fit and had to be included.  

 

I bought a couple yards of Burlap by RJR Fabrics when I first started collecting the prints, in hopes of using it for the background.  Back then it was easy to find, not so much these days!  However I was able to locate more and wasted no time in ordering 5 yards!  I certainly don't want to run out in the middle of making my quilt!

Trying to match the pink was the hardest part.  I have plenty of solid pinks, just nothing that could stand up to the pink in the prints.  Luckily I was able to find the perfect match at Purl Soho!  Michael Miller Neon Pink works for me...and I just noticed it's on sale...and I bought more...just in case...it's on sale!!



Of course I didn't want any grass to grow under my feet, so I immediately started cutting!  My plan is to make a queen size quilt and if I calculated correctly I will need 84 blocks.  We'll see how that plays out in the end, but it's a good start.

 

These pieces were sewn together in WOF strips and subcut.  Quick and easy for sure, yet I need a lot...like 168!  Still, and easy process that is rather satisfying to do.

You might be wondering what the design is?!  For now I'll show you the block I designed.  I may or may not change the original design once all the blocks are pieced. 



It's a rectangle that is 13 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished.  It might not look like much now, but my hope is it will be a beautiful (bright) quilt when it's finished!



Yes, there is a lot of hot pink and for some it might be way too much!  My husband is playing along and being a good sport about it.  It isn't his favorite color, but I promised him that with the Burlap background it won't be too bad.  I'm not sure that's true, but he bought it!

I'm planning on taking my time making this quilt.  It's more of a project I can grab and make a few blocks here and there.  That being said, it's so hard to do that!


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Saturday, April 13, 2019

New Baby :: New Quilt!

Baby quilts are so much fun to make!  Based on the size and design they can be a faster finish than larger quilts.  That's always rewarding!  When you make a baby quilt, or any quilt for that matter, that is specifically for someone that amps up the fun in more ways than one!

When I found out that my 'adopted' family was going to have baby #3 I couldn't have been more excited and knew that there was a quilt to be made.  I patiently waited until the sex of the baby was announced before I committed to colors and design.

I decided this was a good time to use my 'X-Square' block and also the perfect excuse to finally use a stack of Cotton + Steel fabrics.

Once I grabbed the teal, aqua and mint Cotton + Steel fabrics I had to decide on what color I'd use for the four squares in the middle of the block.  With a bit of pink dispersed throughout the prints, I went with...pink!  White was the final choice and that meant I could start cutting and piecing!



With all the sections completed, I was able to start placing them on my design wall making sure every print was evenly dispersed and that there were four different shades of pink in the center.



The size of each block when complete is 10 1/2" unfinished.  The more blocks you add, the better it gets!  



With the due date rapidly approaching, I knew I needed to kick it into high gear.  Plus, I had the feeling that this baby was going to make an early arrival!

And, it seemed that was about to happen.  On Thursday afternoon, everyone was on high alert!  Pat was off to give birth or so we thought!  Turns out it didn't happen last night, but it's just a matter of time.  It could happen any moment...or not!

I hadn't taken pictures of the finished quilt and thought I had better get to it before the big event really does happen. 

X-SQUARED BABY
38" x 47 1/2"

Long story short, no baby yet, photos taken and quilt has been gifted!  Now we wait!



One thing I love about this block and quilt is when it's time to quilt it the possibilities are endless.  With all of the shapes and points dot to dot quilting is a breeze.  I've made three quilts from this pattern and each one has a different quilted design.  



I used Aurifil 50wt thread in a Mint Green 2830) and Baby Pink (2423), but it's a bit hard to see from this picture.  



I'm so glad I decided to use the Cotton + Steel fabric...finally!  I was getting tired of having them in my stash and never using them.  I'm kind of at the point where I just want to use my stash.



In an effort to use every last scrap, I pieced a strip of squares to go across the back.  The gray piece section of fabric was also a piece that has lingered far too long in my stash.  I could almost feel a weight lifted from my shoulders from using my stash!

The binding is Kona Splash and frames it nicely I think.



Now it's a waiting game.  When will she make her debut?  Time will tell!

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