Sunday, January 17, 2021

Log Cabin :: Kick Off!

Again this year I plan on using my stash.  Last year was a stash busting year where my focus was on prints.  I still have plenty of prints left and they will make it into a few stash busting quilts throughout the year.  Now it's time to hit the solids!

I mainly buy solids when I buy fabric and I've been steadily building my color stash so I have all the options to draw from.  From light to dark and everything in between.  I never really 'got' there and found that I either buy certain colors too often and rarely buy the colors I need to fill out the rainbow!  So, I've given up and given in!

Amazingly I don't blow through my fabric very fast.  With all the quilts and things I make my stash stays plump.  I chalk that up to my preference of using scraps or as many colors as I can in one quilt.  A piece here, a piece there.

This year will be different...I'm going to change my thought process and quit skipping over certain colors because I love them too much!

With all that bluster here's my first attempt!

Purple.  Log Cabin.  Negative space.  Modern.  The design is a remake from my 'Quarter Turn' quilt that was featured in Quilts & More magazine.  The magazine quilt used 18" blocks, but for the remake I'm using 12" blocks.  Same concept, different layout.  

With my purple stash screaming out to me, I carefully choose a handful of colors that I thought would make a statement.  I'm not one to buy just one brand of solids.  I tend to buy colors that I'm feeling at the time!  Although Kona cotton tends to be my first choice only because they are readily available.  That was true once.  Nowadays there are several manufacturers to choose from that have every color imaginable. 

What do we have?!  Kona Regal, Free Spirit Orchid, Kona Heliotrope, Cotton Supreme Lilac, Kona Velvet, Moda Aubergine, Moda Amelia Purple and Cotton Supreme Verbena.  All the purples!  

One time I made a quilt with purple that had an off-white background and after washing it I discovered some of the darker purples had bled.  This time I took the darkest shades and washed them twice.  I'll do the same thing with the background fabric when it arrives.  Hopefully I won't have any issues with bleeding fabrics!

With this design there are five (5) log cabin blocks that are identical and one that is the oddball.  After cutting out each log the piecing went together quick and was pretty painless!  

When I started I knew I wouldn't have enough yardage for the background.  One of the pitfalls to buying 1/4 to 1 yard cuts!  I have plenty of yardage in grey, off white and white...just not purple!

Now I wait...patiently?  Not really!  I'm working on another log cabin quilt.  I couldn't help myself!  This one will be with solids in three (3) different block sizes and it'll fill up the entire quilt.  I won't have to worry about not having enough background fabric!  

I'm pretty sure I'll have the second one finished before the first one.  Which is pretty ironic since the first one about as simple as it gets!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

It's a Gem :: Rainbow Runner

My first completed quilt of the year!  Thankfully I choose to make a runner which made the finish quick and easy.  But a finish is a finish, and a first is a first!

15 1/4" x 47 3/4"

The fun part was using scraps, making odd inset circles and quilting it.  All in all it was fun from start to finish!

There was little doubt how I would quilt it, which is always a good thing.  I knew I'd add a little color with coordinating thread, but not so much that it became overwhelming.

Matchstick quilting was exactly the way I was going to take the quilting.  Dense lines from side to side using black thread.  I marked a 1/2" section through each circle that was off limits to black thread!  Those sections would end up with matching colored thread.    

Once the hundreds of black lines were finished I could begin the fun part.  Before that happened I had an idea!  Wouldn't it be cool to have the quilting go right off the edge?  In order to do that I had to trim the runner and sew on the binding.  I'll admit that it was a little tricky and that the back of the binding isn't gorgeous, but the front...that turned out perfect!

I also didn't feel the need to do any more quilting inside the circles.  Lines through the center and around each circle was it!  Less is more...except there is the matchstick quilting which is more more more!  

All these photos were taken after I washed and dried this runner.  If I'm selling any of my quilts, I always wash each one beforehand.  The exception is mini mini's and the occasional wall hanging.  Why?!  We all know how a quilt can shrink and change in appearance after washing.  I would be shocked if I were a customer and saw the transformation!  By washing first they get the true measurements and can't be shocked...or even ticked off!  Self preservation on my part too!

Now it's time to move on to another project.  I want to make a quilt but I'm having a hard time coming up with a design.  I know it needs to be purple!  Great first step!  I might be leaning towards log cabin blocks...we shall see!


Thursday, January 7, 2021

First Project of 2021 :: Rainbow

I'm always itching to start a new project and with the new year upon us I couldn't wait.  I usually have my first (whatever that may be) ready to share practically before the sunrises on January 1st.  I missed that traditional first this year!

I decided that this year should start with a rainbow!  I'm optimistic this year will get back on track in many ways...fingers crossed and bring on color!

There are so many things I love about this project.  Rainbow, circles, scraps and improv!  Not to mention it's a table runner which means a quick finish.  Total satisfaction!

I pulled all my scrap bins out and began with one color at a time.  Before long I had my eight (8) rainbow squares (purple somehow didn't make it into this photo!) that varied in size and shape from 5-6".  

I almost always use the six-minute circle method which means pull out the freezer paper!  The tutorial for this method shows how to make perfectly round circles, I on the other hand wanted something a little more organic for this project.  

After cutting eight (8) freezer paper pieces, I placed the improv block on the the square and traced around the outside.  This became my guide to how big I should make my shapes and insured that I'd have enough seam allowance to pull it off.  I drew the shapes and cut out the centers.

I choose to use Kona black for my background and cut eight (8) 17" x 7" rectangle strips for that.  Once I centered the template I ironed the freezer paper to the background. 

Leaving plenty of wiggle room for the background seam, I cut the center out, clipped the curves and with a washable glue stick I adhered the seam to the freezer paper.  

Once that is finished I glued the improv block to the back.  Once all my blocks were prepped in this way it was then that I removed the freezer paper and started sewing each section.  Reducing stitch length a little and using a zipper foot is a must with smaller circles for me.  That and taking your time! 

Pink starts the progression.  Maybe not the typical ROYGBIV standard, but my rainbows require there is pink included!

I can't decided if these shapes are raw precious gems...

...or maybe an Amoeba that has the ability to change its shape?  

Yellow could be an egg.  My son thinks they look like Yoshi eggs!  You have to know your video games to get that reference!

There is a little bit of a challenge when making inset circles using improv.  Inevitably there are thick seams you have to contend with.  It can be done though!

I know in the standard ROYGBIV model the BIV = blue, indigo and violet.  I can't help but switch the blue with aqua/teal, indigo with blue and violet with purple.  

Mine is: PROYGABP!  Pink, red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue and purple.  Not as catchy as ROYGBIV is it?! 

I think creative license or artistic freedom is essential.  I use it in my rainbows, much of my quilting and everyday life!

I'm going to ask...are you a rainbow fan?  I know there are some people who aren't and that's okay.  Diversity is always a good thing!

Now I'm off to finish quilting this runner.  Can you say Matchstick?!  It takes a while, it's worth it and thankfully this is only a runner!