Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Scrappy Too :: Stacked Wiggles

As promised, scrappy quilt number two is finished and ready to share!  I was determined to use as much unloved fabric as I could and made a good dent in the stash with my first scrappy quilt 'Magic Circles', that I couldn't help myself and designed one more quilt!

EQ8 to the rescue!  Stacked quilts are a good way to make a dent in the old stash, make it fun and its simply simple!  There are a good number of patterns available for stacked quilts and all are very good, but I decided to make it harder for myself and design my own.  Why not, right?!  

45" X 60"

I ended up with 'Stacked Wiggles'.  Stacked to the hilt with 110 different prints!  I'd call that crazy!  I used Kona Snow as a way of taming the madness, which I learned from the Magic Circles makes all the difference!  I was able to use tons of fabric from the smallest of scraps to largest on hand.  

It all began with the design.  Many stacked quilts use repeat rows stacked together to create the flow of the stacks, or have you trim the sides.  I on the other hand didn't do that, perhaps I should have to make it easier, but I didn't.  Instead each of the left and right side pieces are different sizes.  I was able to use scraps that were all sorts of sizes for those filler pieces.  I'm sure I have totally confused you now!

Here's a close up of my chicken scratch and maybe that will convey better what I'm trying to explain.

I started by cutting all my rectangles.  The prints are 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 4 1/2" x 7 1/2", and the Kona Snow sections are 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 4 1/2" x 5 1/2".  It took a while only because I had to decide which scraps were going to be cut to which size and I was trying not to use duplicate prints.  Once I had that sorted out I was able to stack pieces and cut 3 or 4 rectangles at a time.  

The side pieces were cut from the smaller scraps when the pattern called for it.  The rows went together so fast, which I loved!  I should state that for the side pieces, you could very easily use any length and then trim after the rows are sewn together.  That might make it even quicker, but I'm a glutton for punishment and did not do that!

Before long Viola! a flimsy is born!  And I couldn't have been more pleased with the results of this one too!  My mission of using my stash is in full swing and I can just about give it a rest for a while.

The magic of white, right?!  I love scrappy quilts, but I also need a place to rest my eyes!  

I choose to keep the quilting quite simple.  I went with horizontal straight lines from top to bottom.  The 2" rows have 1/2" lines, 3" rows have 3/4" lines and the 4" rows are 1" lines.  Simple and done!

Oh, let's not forget about the back!  Scraptastic!  Another thing I learned from Magic Circles, is the back was so crazy, this time I added white and like it much better.  I also kept the 'wiggle' action from the front.  I'm learning!

I've been making a quilt diagram with the left and right side piece measurements for future reference.  That way when I make it again I won't have to think any harder than necessary! 

I said that my scrap busting is temporarily halted, but that isn't entirely true!  I cut more rectangles for a future scrappy Baby Stacked Wiggle quilt!  By future, I mean when the mood strikes me...I'll have everything ready to go!  I had the scraps out and took advantage of the situation.  I killed two birds with one barbaric as that is!

Stacked quilts can be as easy or as hard as you want.  I think I made it a bit harder than it needed to be by making and cutting all the side pieces in varying sizes!  Live and learn! 

Do you tend to take the easy route, or do you think it through first and make it easier?  I usually think of easier options after the quilt is finished!


Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Couple Mini Mini Quilts

After finishing a couple quilts I sometimes like to end the session with something quick and small.  Before I start my next quilting adventure I decided a few mini mini quilts were in order!  

You know I love a rainbow and paper piecing, so the logical choice for me was a star.  The other bonus is I get to use small scraps and templates that I printed long ago.  I'd hate to see the paper and ink go to waste!

3.5" X 3.5"
It's always fun making these!  There's nothing quite like a rainbow in a mini!  When paper piecing normal size pieces we always try to minimize the waste of fabric, because frankly...there can be a lot of waste!  With a mini mini it's the one time I really don't give a care!  It's already tiny, why stress myself out worry about fabric waste?!

I posted my star mini on Instagram and asked which was your favorite:  Rainbow or Pink.  The overwhelming consensus was the Rainbow!  Not a big surprise!

3.5" x 3.5"
Which brings me to the pink star.  Nothing fancy here, just some lovely pink!

When making mini mini quilts another challenge can be quilting.  I mean...they are tiny and quilting something elaborate would be difficult at best!  The stars received the simple quilting treatment.

4.25" x 4.25"
One more for good measure!  As I was digging through my templates I came across some tiny geese.  Since I was on a roll I decided to throw together one more.  This time I used shot cottons, 17 different colors including the binding!

I pretty much quilted the heck out of it!  An organic grid worked well for this one.  I like putting the pedal to the metal when organic quilting something this small! 

The playtime has come to an end...or has it?!  I might have another trick or two to share!  

Mini Mini fan or not?  Do you like to make them or just look at them?


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Magic Circles :: Scrap Busted

I have my first stash busting scrappy quilt finished.  The quilting and binding went off without a hitch and as always, it's full of fabulous crinkles after washing!

When I started this quilt I was determined to only use my unloved fabrics that have been lingering in my stash for years.  I did just that!   Not only did I use stash fabric on the front, but I pieced together the back which helped to whittle down the pile even more.

50" x 64"
I decided to call this quilt Magic Circles for the simple fact that it feels like magic when something this scrappy doesn't look like a hot mess when it's all said and done!  The credit has to go to the white circles.  It seems to have tamed the madness.

Each block was 4.25" unfinished and 3.75", there are 48 circles which are made up of 192 Drunkard Path blocks, which comes to a grand total of 252 blocks!

It's still scrappy, there's no denying or getting away from that, but it feels more grounded and contained.  I don't know if that makes sense to anyone other than brain works in mysterious ways at times!

With a million quilting possibilities running through my head, I stayed in my lane and went with straight lines.  Horizontal, vertical and diagonal.  The lines intersected in the middle of the circles and made a pie!  Wedges for the win!

I used 40wt Aurifil thread (2024) for all the quilting.  I felt like it was the best option, plus I didn't want anything to interfere with the white circles.

I'm slowly learning that by staying in my lane I can achieve better results.  That doesn't mean I'm not going to veer to the left or right on occasion!  I may be getting old, but I like to spice up my life if only in my quilting adventures!

Wanna see the back?  

Isn't it totally bonkers?!  It made a dent in the stash, I'll tell you that!!  I don't think I'd do a back that was this crazy on any other quilt except a scrappy quilt.  Let's just say I was keeping with the theme and leave it at that!

With all the talk of scrap busting and using your stash, I will say that regardless of how I feel about a particular piece of fabric or 40...I love scrappy quilts.  And I love this one.

I'd like to say I've been more strategic in my fabric purchases in recent years, but sometimes I slip up and fall off the wagon!  It's an addiction, right?!  Which is why I buy and love solids!  It's so much easier for me to pair solids than prints.  Prints nemesis!   

I have another scrappy quilt I'll be sharing soon.  Same scrappy fabric, different look!  After which I'll give it a rest!  The stash is smaller and I won't feel the need to bust it for a while!


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bee Inspired 2018 :: Continues

I'm not the only one who got way behind on my bee blocks!  Everyone in our group is playing catch up and for me...I have one more prompt to complete and 2018 will be only then be a complete success!

It has been a challenge interpreting the prompts!  Our group has come up some amazing prompts that have pushed me, inspired me and nearly kicked my butt!


Shelby @godshomemovies picked Substrate/Lichen.  I was at a loss until I threw myself into it and immersed myself in the process.

The color palette threw me for a loop to be sure!  Shelby did include several Lichen pictures which was very helpful.  The background for each block needed to be a textured fabric such as a cross weave or linen.  To be honest I don't have much of this type of fabric in my stash, but I had just enough to make these blocks.  

I did what I could with these 8" blocks!  Like I was so hard!

I wanted each block to have a different color for the main Lichen and I pretty much did that.  This one is an 18" block and has what I'm going to refer to as layers of rock with bits of lichen.  

When I saw the prompt from Shelby, it said now raw edge applique.  I took that as no applique should be used, when in reality I think I could have and it might have made for a better representation of the prompt.  My goal for this year is to pay attention!

I moved on to the next prompt from Shelagh @stuartmooretextiles Migrating Birds - A Birds Eye View.  This one I knew I could handle, or so my mind told me so!

I don't fly often, but when I do I'm always mesmerized by the view from above.  I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking it would make for an interesting quilt!

The color palette is full of green and brown and I was sure I wouldn't have a problem finding the right colors for this one! 

We were asked make one block with rectangle shapes and the other with at least one circle.  The other requirement was each block needed an odd number of geese flying south. And so I did! 

I loved making the circle block!  I enjoy a good circle or Drunkard Path!  One more prompt!  The next one is going to be full of color and I can't wait!

It's not too late to start thinking about my next idea...I gotta get creative this time!

You can check out my previous Bee Inspired posts here:

You can check out all the blocks on Instagram here:  #beeinspired2018

My Bee Mates are amazing! 

Shelby @godshomemovies 
Jayne @twiggyandopal 
Audrey @artandstole 
Kathryn @kupitis
Heather @quiltachusetts 
Christine @ccpquilt 
Jenny @pappersaxsten 
Shelagh @stuartmoorestextiles

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Drunkards Path :: SCRAP Busting

This is going to be the year I work through my unwanted and unloved fabric stash.  In fact it, I'm blowing through it with not one but two scrap projects so far.  I've gone from two totes to one and I couldn't be happier about that or happier about the scrappy quilts that are the result of scrap busting.

The first one is a good old fashioned Drunkards Path quilt.  I had these white sections from a previous Drunkard Path quilt in 2017 and instead of tossing them, I held on to them knowing full well I'd come up with a good way to use them.  It may have taken a while, but you never know when an idea is going to come to mind.

My daughter Britt has numerous boxes of 'treasures' stored in our basement.  She was rummaging through some of boxes and came across this set of drunkard path templates which I quickly snatched up.  One day they will come in handy I told myself!

That day came!  The dots were connected when I was cleaning my sewing room and found the templates, found the white scraps and put two and two together.  The templates make 4" blocks and with a little trimming the white sections were ready for some scrappy action!

Dragging out the unloved fabric totes, I started by making four blocks using the same print.  The plan was to pair all four together for one large block and then piece the quilt together.  

That plan went out the window pretty quickly!  I added more prints to the mix for a true scrappy mishmash concoction!

I like to sew curves, but I always have issues with drunkard path blocks.  They never come out perfect.  With the blocks being 4", I took the time to glue first and then sew.  It takes a lot more time and still they have to be trimmed.  I ended up doing all of the work (glue, press, sew, trim) in the evenings.  

Look at that pile!  I love a nicely trimmed and pressed stack of blocks!  I trimmed the blocks to 4 1/4", threw them on the design wall, tweaked, turned and adjusted until it felt right.

AND then the fun began?!  It isn't easy getting the centers to line up perfectly, and truth be told, not all were.  

My answer to that is:  Que Sera Sera, Whatever will be, will be...the future's not ours to see...

And you're now have that song flowing through your mind, as do I!

In order to increase the size of the quilt, I added a scrappy border around the outside.  Once it's quilted I plan on using white for the binding.

Another way I drastically decreased my stash of unloved fabrics was to use larger pieces of fabric for a lovely pieced back.  I didn't take a picture, but once it's quilted you will most certainly get to see that.  

While I was on a scrap busting roll and all the fabric was out, I couldn't resist one more quilt.  I quickly drafted a design using EQ8 and it should be a lovely flimsy by the end of the day.  

This my lovelies, is to be continued...stay tuned!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Last Britt Quilt :: Bittersweet

This finally happened!  I finished every single WIP my daughter Britt started that somehow managed to land in my lap.  She had some beauties that were long overdue to be finished, each one more than worthy of taking the time to do so too!

Now that I finished, I'm left with feelings of happiness, joy and sadness.  In case you don't know this, Britt was the one who introduced me to quilting...reluctantly at first.  She guided me through everything in the beginning.  Which blocks to try, fabric knowledge, tricks and techniques and color combinations.  We would collaborate on quilts, design quilts, make quilts together.  Eventually her interests changed leaving me carrying the quilting bag!  

I miss the days we spent together sewing.  Two machines humming along on the dining room table, fabric flying, steam from the iron blasting, laughing and being together.  So while I'm excited and relieved that this last quilt is finally finished, it also leaves me feeling sad that this is it...the last quilt!  We've made a quilt of two together in recent years, mostly she says I have an idea, would you make it?!  The progression of life!

57.5" x 57.5"

She pieced, pinned and started quilting and then it was in limbo hanging on my quilt ladder for a couple few years...literally!  I pulled it out a few times and quilted a few places, but it always ended up hanging on the ladder.  

I was more interested in the scraps from this quilt!  In January 2016 I made a small version and a mini with them in what I called 'Take Two & Three'.  

The fabrics are a combination of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton, Gees Bend Solids and the print is Anna Maria Horner.  I don't think I could have come up with the color palette, that was all Britt!

The four center squares were free motion quilted with pebbles and lines before I took it over.  I added FMQ  zig zag, funky triangles and kept the pebbles for the remaining square-in-a-square blocks before it ended up back on the ladder.

The next go around of quilting ended with 1/2" straight lines in the solid stripes (or logs, I guess), more zig zags and ending with loops around the border.  

I could have done something more interesting with the quilting, but at this point having it finished was more important. 

The backing is woven stripes and it's glaringly clear that it is not straight!  I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that it's woven stripes, it's been hanging pinned for years and not pinned as good as it should have been and the batting is silk, bamboo or a combination.

The good news is this quilt will be staying in the family and no one will have to know! 

The quilting detail in all it's glory!  Tiny pebbles take center stage in this one!

All I did was fill in with any design that was quick, easy and painless!  When I look back at quilts I've made through the years, I see so many more imperfections than I did at the time. Some are more glaring than others, but it shows growth.  

I don't think it would be very fun or rewarding if every single quilt was perfect.  Imagine if that were true.  Isn't half the fun of quilting learning, growing, experimenting and testing the waters?    

Once this quilt is washed it will be perfect!  I might be a little sad that this is the last Britt quilt, but I'm more happy that I've finally reached the end.  The monkey is off my back and I get to concentrate on other projects now!