Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Baby Drunkards Path

You can take the girl out of the sewing room, but you can't take the sewing out of the girl!  One thing I was sure to bring with me on vacation to the beach was a bit of hand sewing.  I love early mornings when I can sip my coffee and take in the quiet of my surroundings.  Where better than the beach?  The quiet peaceful lapping of the waves puts me in just the right state of mind.  Combine all that with a little hand stitching and this girl is in heaven!

One of my goals before leaving town was to quilt my little baby Drunkard Path quilt, add the binding and take it along to the beach.  It was stressful trying to finish it, but I knew that once I was at the beach all the stress would be alleviated and I could chill and relax. 

29" X 40"
 Once I had a basic idea of how I was going to quilt this wee one, I focused and went about the task at hand. 

I picked a spot and began with 1/2" curved lines going one way and then the other.  The remaining 1/2" lines were added randomly throughout the quilt, except there were some strategically placed spaces left wide open.  

I've been trying to expand my quilting horizons by using quilting rulers.  They aren't easy to use, but as I've been reminded ... practice, practice, practice!  

When we had our Guild destash last month I was able to sell off enough fabric to buy a set of circle quilting rulers.  With many options for circles, I went with a set by Amanda Murphy called 'Every Circle'.  There are five (5) rulers with circles ranging in size from 1/2" to 7" and the rulers have a nonslip back that helps to keep them in place.    

There are times when I want perfect circles and often wondered how a person does that!  Let's hope these rulers do the trick!  I still struggle with keeping the foot right next to the ruler, but I'm still learning.  

The circles on this quilt are 1 1/2" and fit inside the spaces I left open for them.  I still have a hard time figuring out how to use some of the lines on the rulers, they are confusing to me, but it's coming along as best as it can with the time I've devoted to ruler work.  

In the end the quilting turned out better than I expected it would!  There might be a few imperfect circles here and there, but I can't complain!

I'm anxious to give it another try!  I went with a scrappy gray binding in an effort to use some scraps, plus it fits with the scrappy gray in the quilt.  I like when I can make use of bits and pieces left over from other projects.  

You might be seeing more of this color combination in the future.  I'm slowly working through my scraps but they are never ending!  I've decided to retire them to the closet!  

14 1/4" X 54"
My first project using the circle rulers was with this table runner.  Let's just say it was interesting and leave it at that!! 

I wasn't able to add circles to all the half circles, mostly because I was getting frustrated!  In the middle of quilting I threw in the towel, thought of a simple easy design for the remaining half circles and moved on!  

I may have hit the threshold of frustration for my first circle try, but it did encourage me to try, try again!  And I did!  And I'll do it again!  But first...I'll have to make another quilt!  Now I have a valid excuse to start a new project!


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Let's Call it Done!

I promised I'd share my humongous finish (Humongous Finish) after the long arm quilting, and here it is!  It's quilted, binding stitched, washed and being slept under!

101" X 90"
Truth is, it's been finished for weeks now!  It's been a whirlwind of life events going on and I barely kept my head above water.  The photos aren't the best, so if you can look past that and share in my excitement of having this monster finished...that would be sweet!

Part of the awful photos is because the quilt is already on my bed and my room isn't the best for photo taking.  The other reason would be I was on vacation and I'm having a hard time getting back in the swing of things!  A trip to the beach will do that!  My husband surprised me with a nearly last minute surprise trip to celebrate a monumental birthday. Mine!  It made the fact that I've hit another bracket much easier to take! 

One of my Guild members quilted this for me and I love it!  I choose the design and couldn't be happier with it.  

Circles are always on my mind these days, so it's no surprise that I kept that going.  The quilting also has geometric shapes.  I thought the design would work well with the design of the front and it does.

The quilting also fits well with the strip of circles I added to the back.  

For some reason I cut far too many 2 1/2" neon pink strips when I was making my blocks.  I always wonder how I manage to miscalculate so often!  Since the strips were cut, I trimmed them to my usual binding size of 2 1/4" and a neon pink binding was born!  It took a while to hand stitch the binding on as you can imagine for the size of the quilt, but I loved every second of it!

The backing is Kona Ash.  It's much grayer than the front solid of Burlap, but it was the best option for me.  

While I waited for the quilting to be done, I decided I may as well make a couple pillow cases!  They were a quick finish and something I could do while I patiently waited for the quilt. 

There was some worry that the quilt would be too pink (if there could ever be too much pink), but much to my surprise it really isn't.  I led my husband to believe that when I started making it even when I wasn't sure that would be the case!  

In the end, we have a gorgeous new bed quilt.  Which is a good thing because I may never ever make another quilt this size again!  The blocks were simple, the colors I love, but the size pushed me to the limit!

This is the view we had for seven blissful days!  Gorgeous sunsets, beautiful weather and a lot of rest and relaxation!  Ahhh...the beach life!


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Tied With A Bow (Tie)

I might not be a huge fan of prints, but I am a fan of English Paper Piecing!  Or maybe I should say I'm a fan of having some sort of hand stitching to do in the evenings.

I really wanted to use my Liberty of London scraps for this project so the hunt was on for the perfect block.  Enter the mini Bow Tie Block!

20" X 20"
I started back in May making 2" blocks:  Baby Bow Ties EPP, and by July I had a pretty good stack of blocks finished:  Baby Bow Ties Getting Closer.  

The tiny Liberty floral along with the size of the block is irresistible!  It was so much fun making each block.  I was surprised, excited and delighted with every block.

I had been collecting Liberty scraps for quite sometime and knew the time was right to finally dig into them.  My goal was to make one block in each print.  And with a little help from a couple of dear friends, I was able to accomplish that goal.  

That means there are 100 blocks, 100 different prints and hours of hand stitching!  You might be wondering who in their right mind would need 100 different prints of anything?!  

Certainly not me!  I don't know how or why I got started collecting Liberty, but I will say I only bought scrap packs that were on sale.  

I used Kona white for the background and all kinds of solids for the center squares. 

The quilting is quite simple, orange peel all the way!  There were a lot of threads to bury, but worth every second!

I almost forgot the best part!  I decided to add a little extra loft in the white spaces!  I almost always use Warm & Natural cotton batting and this was no exception.  However I did add little circles of lofty wool batting in each white area.  It gave me what I was after!

What this means is I'm on the lookout for yet another hand stitching project...the madness never ends!


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Drunkard's Path + Scraps = Baby Magic

After finishing several Black & White quilts I was in the mood for some color!  What better way to feed that hunger than with this group of gorgeous colors?  

33" x 44"
I have been trying to work my way through the pile of scraps I accumulated from a previous project.  

This one might look familiar to you.  I haven't made any progress on quilting it, but it is pinned and ready to quilt as soon as I get up the courage!  

Scraps are inevitable when making circles, half circles or quarter circles.  You could consider it to be a waste of fabric.  I think of it as possibilities.  

With each project I try to design something different.  The basic shape might be the same, such as curves, but half the fun is figuring out how to use what I have in front of me and how to make it different.

Each DP block was trimmed to 3 1/4", which means the finished blocks became 2 3/4".  A little bit small!

In the beginning I decided on a Drunkards Path block.  With the curves at hand I decided to neutralize the color by adding light gray.  Once again I had scraps in different shades that weren't large enough for much of anything.  But they certainly were the right size for this project. 

After I made all the blocks I considered sewing together four and making circles.  Its the logical layout, but I wanted something different.  That's when I decided to add squares along with the DP blocks.  Not only was it a different shape to me, but it created twice as many blocks.  

Even with more blocks at my disposal, I still need a few more in order to make an actual usable sized quilt.  Four square blocks to the rescue!!

I like the addition of the four square block!  It adds a little surprise to the mix!

You'll notice I also added some blocks without the gray.  When working with specific size and shapes of scraps you often have to work with what you have.  I'm very happy I did and love how this quilt turned out!

I explored several different layouts, okay...I was flipping blocks like pancakes!  There are so many options!  In the end I decided random was the way to go.  

Then it was border time.  I used 3" strips in four different colors.  It was all about using those scraps!  You can see in this picture that I have a dark pink border on the bottom.  After I had sewn all the borders on I wasn't happy with the pink.  Out came the seam ripper and it was replaced with orange.  Much better!!

The quilt that started all this used 12" half circles and there were inverted, convex, concave...whatever you want to call them...scraps left over.  Big pieces, but scraps nonetheless!  From the 12" scraps, I made a table runner which is being quilted now, that uses 8" half circles.  I also made a small wall hanging, and now this baby quilt.  If you thought that would be the end of the scrap heap, sadly you would be wrong!  There are more, many more, way too many more!  

I might have to put an end to this madness.  Perhaps I'll shove it in a dark corner of the closet and one day I'll rediscover it with a renewed sense of excitement!  

Why is it that sometimes scraps seem like they multiply?!  I'm about out of new ideas at this time!


Sunday, August 18, 2019

I Could Resist :: B & W Mini

I hadn't intended on making another black and white mini quilt, but here we are!  Resisting the urge to make another one would be like telling me not to breathe any longer.  The 
Black & White Mini Quilt Challenge by Curated Quilts has inspired me more than I expected!

Black and white quilts can be quite striking.  The contrast between the two colors is about as graphic as it can get.  

Don't Stop Me Now
10 1/4" x 10 1/4"
This time I had three goals in mind.  One was to make it as close to 10" x 10" as I could.  The second was to use more white than the last quilt  (Spot On).  And the third goal was to use improv and make it graphic.  All three goals were met!  

I started with a simple half circle and pretty much every thing else fell into place from there. The black triangles in the white set the tone for the remainder of the quilt.  

It's so easy for me to take improv to a ridiculous level, but I wanted to keep it clean and open.  Negative space.  

Machine quilting something this small excites me!  I know I can go a little overboard because I can handle the size.  

Match stick quilting using white thread in the large white section is more than rewarding...but, I could help myself and leave one black triangle untouched.  The black circle has pebbles, and for the most part the black sections received 1/4" lines.  I made it up as I went!

Thank you Curated Quilts!  I love inspiration!  Just when I thought I was in a creative slump!

Mini Quilt Submission
I promise I have something other than mini's and black & white quilts to share!  There are a few things on the horizon!  


Monday, August 12, 2019

Mini Quilt :: Curated Quilts

Since I've been in the black & gray mode of making lately, I decided I may as well toss my hat into the Curated Quilts Mini Quilt Challenge.  Yes indeed!  The call for submissions is open and going crazy with entries!

Mini Quilt Submission
Submissions are open to everyone.  Each mini must be square from 10" to 16", it must read black and white, have a sense of motion through piecing or quilting, solids or prints, and lastly, submitted by August 31st.  

My entry started with one idea that ended up being horrific, so I changed gears and came up with something that was right up my alley!

13 1/4" x 13 1/4"
You all know I've been on a circle obsession lately and resisting is pointless.  Pair that addiction with another of my favorite techniques 'Textured Twists' and lo and get 'Spot On'!  The perfect storm in terms of creativity, technique and artistic license for me.  

The starting point began with an inset circle measuring 3 3/4" across.  From their I added a few more circles making sure they were organically imperfect, if that's a thing.  As much as I love making perfectly round circles, I thoroughly enjoyed not having to be quite as precise and accurate.  It must have been my inner improv voice coming out!

This is a true black and white mini using Kona Black and White fabric.  Once the center was finished I felt like it needed something else, so along came the idea of adding half circles on the top and bottom.  Truth be told, I didn't want to stop once I started!  Maybe it's my mature age or a moment of clarity, but I stopped before things got out of hand!  It's a mini challenge for pete's sake!

The 'textured twists' along with the organic circles create the movement required for the Curated Quilts challenge in my humble opinion.  Just to be safe, I decided to add more movement with the quilting.

With about 1/2" between each twist, quilting can be interesting to say the least.  I kept it simple and added wavy lines.  Around each circle I quilting organic lines with not a care in the world!  Pedal to the metal, round and round, and a thread color change here and there.

After it was quilted I fell in love with the back immediately!  I wish I could say the white strip on the back was intentionally placed knowing how it would look after the quilting of the white thread...but it was just dumb luck!!   


It would be nice if I could get a clear photo of the front in all it's quilting glory.  I just couldn't!  It wasn't happening with my photo skills!

After I made my Because Quilt, and before I made my Simply Complex Quilt, I also made another mini mini quilt.  Yes, I did it again and most likely will do it for the rest of my life.  One project leads to another and another, and so on and so on!  

5 3/4" x 5 3/4"
Scraps inspire me!  A mini mini using left over stripes and semi larger pieces of black and dove gray.  

I sometimes feel the need to use every piece of every project.  It's a challenge and I like that!

It's also a fun way to see just how much quilting you can cram into one tiny space! 

Are you going to submit a quilt to the Curated Quilts Mini Challenge?  Maybe two?  Luckily there's still plenty of time, so you better get hopping!  

I just might make another know...for the fun of it!