Thursday, May 30, 2019

Bohemian Churn Dash :: At Long Last!

Let's just say this quilt has been moved from here to there on numerous occasions the past 15 months!  Once the blocks were finished, the top pieced, the back pieced ... I was over it!!  

First I'll give you a little back story about this quilt.  I first made this quilt for myself way back in 2010.  It saw the pattern in an issue of American Patchwork and Quilting 2/2008 and knew I had to make it.  These days I don't make many patterns from magazines or designers, back then it never occurred to me that I could design my own.  This design is one that I've always wanted to make again.  

When I was planning on what projects to take to our Guild Retreat in February 2018, I decided it was time to give the pattern another go!  The plan was to use Anna Maria Horner prints from my stash and solids for the background.  Which I did. 

76" X 93"
One of the main reasons I put of finishing this quilt was the size!  It's large twin.  There is a reason why I love making lap quilts...a lap quilt this isn't!  I do not enjoy quilting big quilts regardless of how simple the quilting design is.  It just isn't fun!

That being said, it's finished!  It's quite the scrappy specimen and my itch to remake it has thoroughly been scratched forever!

The Anna Marie Horner prints are mostly older prints that I have been hoarding for a very long time.  The days of holding on to what I considered 'sacred' fabric was over!  If you think about it, what's the point of having it if you don't use it?!  Preaching to the choir!

The pattern uses four sizes of the Churn Dash block: 16", 10", 6" and 4", and it all magically fits together within the quilt.  It's a puzzle!  With each print I made one of the four sizes of blocks, but used a different color for the background.  Why make it too easy right?!  My goal was to use a different color for each block as to not have any repeats, but there might be a couple duplicates.

Like I said, I did not want to quilt this!  With no alternative in sight, no quilting fairy popping in to surprise me over night with a beautifully finished quilt, I had to suck it up and get to it.  

Since it was literally all on my back (or shoulders!), I didn't try to do anything fancy.  Horizontal and vertical lines were my best friend!  I used my 6" x 24" ruler and marked on each side, from the left line I marked in 3", from the 3" line I marked in 2" which then left me with a 1" line.  I'm here to confuse know that!  Doing that method vertically and horizontally I ended up with a grid of sorts, like a lovely plaid!

With this finish I have my first Christmas gift of the year checked off!  Come on guys...December will be here before you know it!  I am not an early shopper or maker when it comes to Christmas, so you still have time!

I am relieved to have this quilt finished!  My next 'anything larger than a bread box' quilt is certainly going to be sent to a professional!  I haven't got the desire or muscles these days!


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Half Circles :: The Test

I've been thinking about making another circle quilt for some time, but wanted to do something a little different. Usually I make Drunkard Path blocks using print scraps, but not this time!  Solids and half circles came to mind so I set about and started my plan.  Which in reality wasn't much of a plan at all!  

I sometimes have to start a new idea with a test project.  Just in case I can't pull it off as I see it in my mind.  In this case I was drawn to half circles.  Rectangle half circles to be exact.  I figured out the math which is always the tricky part for me.  Latifah Saafir and her Glam Clam ruler came in very handy to make the perfect half circles.

I grabbed my 8" Glam Clam, an assortment of solids and with my fingers crossed...I hoped it would all come together.  I followed the instructions included with the ruler and cut rectangles for the circles and then cut the circle itself.

The outside of the circle was slightly more involved.  As I said I wanted the finished block to be a rectangle with the circle towards the bottom.  By more involved, I mean I had to add an extra two inches to achieve that.  By marking a two inch line with my hera marker, I was able to make sure all the circles were positioned in the same place. 

I think the hardest part or maybe I should say the most scary part was aligning the seams so that it made a perfect circle.  I carefully pinned each seam and for the most part it worked. 

The blocks remind me of beach balls!  After making four blocks and feeling pretty good about my capabilities, I had to come up with a plan for them.  They weren't quite large enough on their own for a decent size table runner length wise, so I made one more.  

Five blocks worked much better for the length, but it wasn't wide enough for my liking.

I certainly didn't want the blocks to gather moss by setting them aside, so I came up with the idea of adding a row of squares along one side.  Right now I have it pinned and ready to quilt.  

Before that can happen I needed to start the project that I really had in mind for the half circles.

Using the 12" Glam Clam ruler borrowed from a friend, I grabbed my Painter's Palette March Madness bundle and went to town cutting!

Sometimes I plan everything from start to finish, sometimes I don't and sometimes I have to roll with the punches and make a few changes.  I wanted the finished quilt to be a decent size and that wasn't going to happen if I only used this bundle from Paintbrush Studio, which was the plan.  No worries!  It wasn't like I didn't have plenty of other fabric to choose from!

The first two 12" half circles I pinned before sewing thinking I'd have better control over all.  That didn't last!  I tried one without pinning and it was much faster and...easier!  And, in order to have perfect, perfect, perfect seams, I glued the seams together before sewing the two half pieces together.  Gotta love glue!  Fun little tricks! 

I'm in the process of sewing all the blocks together with the final layout is to be determined!  And I can't wait!

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!


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.

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 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!  

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'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!!


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!


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)

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?