Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Blue Wave :: Textured Twist Finish

I can finally cross this quilt off my list!  There is always a big sigh of relief and satisfaction when a quilt is completely finished.  Especially one that you have put a ton of time and work into.  

36" X 50"

Once I was sure the concept would work, I could barely contain myself!  Having that spark of confidence propelled me forward and finishing the piecing was pure pleasure. 

With the top finished my usual reaction to quilting is 'now I have to quilt it, but how'!  There really wasn't I could do with this quilt because of the 'Textured Twists'.  You can't quilt over the twists or it would ruin the texture and the illusion.


Seriously, I struggle with quilting ideas!  So when a quilt presents itself with the obvious and only solution I jump on it.

In this case dense curves were quilted between the waves.  While not a remarkable design, it suits the quilt and works for me.  

The next phase was what to do between the twists, or should I do nothing at all?!  Because some of the curve panels are quite wide, I choose to free motion quilt between every...single...twist!  I swallowed my fear of FMQ mostly because I knew it would be much quicker and easier than using a walking foot.  And, I'm happy to say it isn't too bad!

All of the quilting fits with the vibe of the quilt, and in my humble opinion it doesn't detract from the design.

The very final step was binding of course!  Again, I feel like it was predetermined just like the quilting phase.  A faced binding was added that lets the waves flow freely from edge to edge.

Honestly, I'm pretty proud of how this quilt turned out!    

I've tried to keep the 'Textured Twist' technique alive and well by bringing new ideas/designs to the table.  What will be next?!  I haven't a clue, but I'm pretty sure I'll come up with something!


I picked the most obvious name for this quilt...Blue Wave!  Too obvious?  I was also thinking about 'Solitude', or 'Reflections'.  What do you think?  


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Re-D0, Re-Work, Re-Think

Every once in a while I like to revisit one of my designs and see if I can make it better.  I'd like to think that once a pattern is written, it's set in stone.  It's so good and perfect that there isn't anything I could do to make it better!  That's what I get for thinking!

The first rendition of this quilt was six years ago.  It was one of the first patterns I wanted to put to paper, but it didn't quite get there.  I had rough measurements and block placement, but it always fell short of the 'worthy' category.

Here are a few posts featuring my brilliant idea:
Feverishly Finished, Finished and Loved, Pattern Revisited

I guess the reason I keep going back to this one is because it's unfinished business to me.  I know I can make it better, do better.  And so I did...again!


One thing I added were sashing pieces.  They not only made the quilt 6" wider, but they staggered the main blocks.

The idea for the new version is not to have any of the Shoo-Fly blocks touching.  Which ended up being a bit more difficult that I thought it would be!  There are five (5) different Shoo-Fly block sizes that combine together to make one large block.  Two sashing strips are added per row for the off set factor.  

I decided it was time to bust out the Alison Glass fabric for this version.  I have it, why not use it?!  

3" & 6"
I'm using Kona Silver for the background fabric.  It's a very light gray and frankly...I had a ton on hand!

I did get the top pieced together, but I need to tweak a few things before I can write/design/make the pattern.  

One thing I LOVE about this pattern, besides the blocks, fabric, design...Is how forgiving it is.  Quarter inch seams?  Scant 1/4" seams?  It doesn't matter how careful I am, which 1/4" seam I use or how careful and precise I try to be, my blocks are never perfectly square or the size they are suppose to be.  This pattern isn't going show the so called 'fatal flaw'.  Make your blocks, piece them into the large block and if you have to trim here and it!  I love that...did I say I love that yet?!  

The Shoo-fly block doesn't have points or precision piecing to worry about.  It's still going to look like a Shoo-Fly in the end whether you have to trip 1/8" or 1/4" off!

So, that being said...I'm working on it!


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Hexie Heart Wall Hanging

Let's see a finish!  I've had a few quilt tops finished and spent some time on finally quilting them.  It feels good to cross them off the list.  Without further ado...

20 1/2" x 21 1/2"
What I love about small quilts is they quilt up fast!  I guess that depends on how detailed you make it, but in general...they are faster!  The reward is having a lovely little quilt and the feeling of accomplishment.

I started this quilting journey by stitching approximately 1/8" along the edges of the hexies.  Because the hexies and hearts were laid on top of a piece of fabric, I needed to make sure they were secure.  I guess you would call this applique!

The next move was quilting a circle around each heart and hexie circle.  I love how the circles on the hexies overlap to create a little more interest. 

I did stitch in the ditch around each heart, but left the inside of the heart free and clear of any quilting.  I felt if I did any quilting there I'd feel the need to use matching thread, and I wasn't feeling that at all!  Call me lazy! 

Maybe lazy with the hearts, but I did free motion quilt around each one!  I'm calling it filigree quilting.  That sounds much more interesting than stipple quilting which is really what it is!

The lines around the outside of the hexie circle are 1/4" and 1/2" wide.  A simple design that adds a little texture I suppose!

The back is a piece of Alison Glass 'Artifact' fabric that I've been saving for no reason whatsoever!  I've been getting better about letting go of certain pieces of fabric, which is a very good feeling.  

I'm pretty happy with this quilt!  I told you when I first blogged about this (Rainbow Love) just how quickly it went together and that I was going to make another one.  

I haven't actually made another one, but I have one ready to go!  This time the hexies will be solids...and the hexies will be 1/2"!  I'm super excited about that!  I'm saving it for a trip we have to make back to Oregon to visit the in-laws.  I don't think it'll take long to whip it together once I start it.  Another stay tuned project!


Monday, October 7, 2019

Mass Production :: HST's

With a couple quilts quilted but not photographed, I decided to take a break and make my annual stack of Half Square Triangles (HST's).  This seems to be something I do 
en masse on occasion.  For me it makes sense.  The process of selecting, cutting, sewing and trimming seems much more efficient to do all at once.  One time...BOOM...done!


It's a daunting process of picking the fabric and colors, but one that is the key to having a huge variety of HST's.

I mainly work with this six color combination:  Yellow, Green, Pink, Blue, Orange and purple.  This combination will give me all the colors I need for my baby quilts that I plan on making throughout the year.

So I cut and cut and cut!  Some colors I may only have one block while others I may have five.  In the end they will be paired together and give me the randomness I want.


This is the reason why I make so many HST's.  As you can see I arrange the center blocks by color.  Each block needs four (4) different shades of the same color.  Which is why I make so many!  

Once all the blocks have been cut I get the pleasure of making the pairs!  I enjoy this part!  It's the beginning of where the magic starts!  

This part I don't enjoy quite as much!  After I cut the squares I also mark the diagonal line with my Hera marker on every block.  It's part of the being efficient process.

And then I sew and sew and sew!  A 1/4" seam on one side of the diagonal line and then 1/4" on the other side.  Over and over!  I kind of get in a mental trance during this process.  It's anything but exciting.

Another payoff is getting to slice the blocks in half and two identical stacks of beauty!  At this point I take one stack and put it away for later in the year.  The other stack is more than enough to work with now.  But there is more work to be done!

Pressing.  Yes, it's a necessary evil.  When I press my blocks I press the seams to one side.  Why you ask?!  

I use one of my favorite tools the Bloc-Loc.  With this ruler there is a groove on the back that locks on to the seam.  It makes trimming so easy and fast!  There's that efficiency part again!

And now I have something to work with!  

Any guesses how many HST's I ended up with?  I will say this was my biggest mass production in one sitting!  

I started with 308 squares.
I made 154 block pairs.
And ended up with 308 HST's.

I might be having separation anxiety with my trimmings!  You don't know how badly I want to keep these...but I won't...not this time!

While I was cutting my squares I had no idea how many I had.  I was quite surprised at the final count!

You might be asking why I would make the same quilt over and over and over again.  Well, it's been a very good design for me.  People love it and it's the kind of quilt that will never go out of style. 

Do you mass producer of a certain block for future quilts or am I just that crazy?!