Sunday, June 6, 2021

Perplexing Puzzle!

Looks like I found my next big project!  I knew I was going to make a quilt version my latest  table runner:  Endless Possibilities, I just didn't know when it would happen!  After going back and forth on what to make next and not coming up with any good ideas, I decided I may as well get started with this puzzle of a design sooner rather than later!


With no color restrictions or size requirements I began making block after block for several days.  Once you start it's very hard to stop!  I wasn't fussy with the colors I picked for each block which made the process painless and quick.  Plus not having to worry about 'perfect' helps a lot too!


My intention when I started was to make the blocks larger than the table runner version.  For the most part that happened.  The blocks varied in size from 8 1/2" to 5 1/2" in length and the width was all over the place.  It really doesn't matter in the end.  For some reason I aim for large and end up smaller than I planned!  Go figure!


Once I thought I had all the blocks I could ever want I got to start arranging them on the design wall.  I grouped blocks that were close to the same length in rows.  The trick was to place enough in each row that would fill my preconceived size of the overall quilt.  My aim was to have a quilt top that was around 50" x 65".  In the end the top will be about 55" x 70", close enough for me!


I learned that if you think you have enough blocks made...make more!  Until you put the blocks on the design wall you really can't gauge if you've made enough.  The blocks weren't squared up beforehand which gave me wiggle room to fill each row.  


When making these blocks I tried not to worry too much about what colors I used or put in each block.  Some blocks are a combination of three colors, while some may have four.  Not color was off limits, the more the merrier!  I also didn't worry about having too much of one color or like colors too close together when placing the blocks.  That's not to say I didn't tweak the arrangement, but it wasn't a mind bender like many times happens during the layout process.  

 

The center from top to bottom has the blocks sewn together side by side and I added Kona Nightfall around the sides for a floating effect.  Let's talk about the floating effect...it didn't come off as I had planned, but I like it just the same.  I think a brighter background color or less blocks around the edges would have been the better plan for my floating block idea.  By the way, I also added Nightfall on the edges to finish it off.

That being said, I still love how it turned out!  Things don't always go the way we see it in our head, at least that's the case for me!  I've decided the quilt top will look beautiful hanging on my wall for a couple weeks.  I need to take my sewing machine in for a deep cleaning and get it back in tip top shape!  The hardest part is waiting for the 'your machine is ready' call!

LINKING:

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A Whole Lot of Nothing

By a 'whole lot of nothing' I actually mean I haven't had the desire to dive into anything big lately.  It might be a creative block, or perhaps I just need a break.  I have dabbled in small projects though!  Mainly pot holders.  I want to make something so these small projects itch that scratch for the time being!

HEART OF THE HOME
9" x 9"


I always have fun picking fabrics for my Heart of the Home blocks.  I've had the fabric I used for the house siding for ions and finally broke down and used it.  I makes for a happy set of pot holders I think!


The funnest part is finding just the right window treatments for each house.  This time it was little fairy princesses!  They could be floating around in your home...you just can't see them!




My favorite design to make are waves!  It's a freeing experience to grab the rotary cutter and slice a curve without worrying about being perfect.  Blues and teals/aqua are always worth the cut!


Look at me!  I made a pastel version of waves too!  They might be overshadowed by the scrappy geometric pot holders, but I don't know...there's secret powers in pastels! 


Usually when I dig into pot holders I focus on one color group.  I grab my scrap bins and use as much as I can from it.  It often results in one wave design set and one improv set.  The orange, pink and yellow combination seemed like the right choice and warm me up like the summer heat!  

I'm not sure what or where my adventures will lead me to tomorrow, but I'm anxious to find out!  The ideas are there.  They just aren't nailed down yet!!

LINKING:


 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Endless Possibilities!

When I started making these blocks I had no idea where I was going with the idea.  Which is the way I like to work for the most part.  The more blocks I made the more excited I got!  In the end I thought the best use of these blocks was to make a table runner.  


My goal at the beginning was to use my scraps and see if I couldn't wrangle them into submission.  Those two things I accomplished.  The size of the blocks ended up being predetermined because of the scrap part.  They would be small and at that time that was perfect!

After seeing how the blocks looked together I started getting that feeling...you know that feeling...the one where something went so well that you want to do it again feeling!  I think larger blocks, maybe some kind of background color around the edges, floating blocks?!  I'm not exactly sure, but it's going to happen!


I thought about how I should quilt this runner and I kept coming back to one idea over and over again, semi-dense 
organic-ish lines.  Then the thread color.  I would say any color would work well, so I settled on a 40 weight variegated thread.  It's called Baby Blue Eyes (#4663) from Aurifil.  


When I started quilting I thought this is going to be fun, fast and effective!  It was right up until the time I discovered a problem.  Dropped stitches, skipped stitches...a big problem indeed!  I changed my needle and rethreaded over and over only to have the same issue.  It led to having to spend the evening with my seam ripper!  


Fortunately Instagram is a great resource for help, tips and support!  It was suggested that I clean my machine.  I couldn't be that...yet it was!  After a thorough cleaning, the next morning I was able to knock out the quilting and add the binding.  Spending the evening doing what I love, hand stitching the binding on by hand instead of spending the evening with my seam ripper!


I haven't washed this runner yet, but I know it'll end up with some pretty amazing texture in the end!  The backing and binding is Moda Grape.  


When I say I can't wait to start a larger quilt with these blocks, I really mean...one day I'll make a larger quilt with these blocks.  As much as I'd love to drop everything and start there are too many other everyday life things that have to happen first!  Life just gets in the way!!

LINKING:

Friday, May 7, 2021

'SPARKLE' PDF :: Pattern Release!

It's been a long time in the making, but the day has finally come!  There has been a lot of indecision, rethinking, tweaking going on behind the scenes, but I think...I think I have all the details and kinks worked out!

'SPARKLE' is ready for release and I couldn't be happier for this day to have finally arrived


‘SPARKLE’ is 52" x 65" bold, bright and graphic lap quilt that features half-square triangles with a little bit of attitude!  


This design has been floating around in my head and I’ve made numerous variations throughout the years.  I seem to ‘follow the rainbow’ when picking my colors, but there are unlimited options if you choose to change it up.   


When making HST’s I prefer to use the Two-at-a-Time method which allows me to use a variety of colors.  I also make my HST’s larger than required, and trim each one to the size required.  The measurement given in the cutting instructions allows for trimming without being overly wasteful. 


You will also use the Flip & Stitch method and nesting seams for the accent squares.  To add to the pattern, all instructions are illustrated.



Half Square triangle magic, flip and stitch and nested seams are some of the highlights of this design.  Simple techniques that make precision easier to achieve.



I just about exclusively use solids my most of my designs, but there are so many options available!  

Check out what these ladies did with their quilts!  They not only make beautiful versions of my design, but their attention to detail, feedback and suggestions are invaluable.  I couldn't do it without them! 

CASSIE @sewshequilts4love

ELLYN @ellynz

JEANINE @milesoffabric

MONIKA @monikahaefeli

KIM @quirkykim

The pattern is a PDF download, full of color diagrams, step-by-step directions and is now available for purchase through my Etsy shop:

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Something From Nothing

It's been a while!  Between the beautiful weather, yard work and helping my daughter make her first quilt in a couple of years and putting the final touches on a PDF quilt pattern...I haven't had much time for blogging or making!

The good news is my 'Sparkle' quilt pattern will be ready to release in a week!  It's amazing how much work goes into writing.  I have been second and third guessing myself for two weeks, but at this point I have to just let it go!

When I say I didn't have much time to quilt, I mean I haven't been able to sit and get serious about it.  I have taken a little time almost every day to make some fun blocks using many of my scraps.  At first it was an experiment that quickly turned into 'this could be something'!


You know I'm a big fan of color, the more the merrier!  These blocks have it all!  They were fun to put together using random color combinations, and of course scraps.  I kept making and making until I had to make a decision.  What am I going to do with the blocks.  The best answer:  a table runner!


This is where it begins.  Color combinations using three colors.  I tried to be as random as possible with the colors, but I there were times when it seemed like I was going back to the same colors over and over.


From the above pieces, comes this lovely group of blocks!  The center of the blocks and the size of the blocks vary in size and shape.  


The blocks are at least 3" wide and 6" long.  You can't tell from this block, but I did try to limit my use with the ruler!  


Just a few of my favorite things...


I'd love to say my scrap heap was depleted...


After making what I thought would be enough blocks for a table runner, I had to figure out how I might puzzle together all the random sizes.  


My first idea of adding a strip on one side or the top or bottom was a failure.  The second idea was to add another color round on the blocks that needed beefing up.  That idea worked very well!


Hopefully in between making a quilt with my daughter I can squeeze in time to quilt this!  I'm not complaining...It's been so much fun making blocks and spending time with Britt!  My quilting can wait because I know she couldn't possibly want to make another quilt...how wrong I was...she has the quilting bug!!

LINKING:

Sunday, April 11, 2021

It 'SPARKLES'!

I couldn't have taken any longer to share my latest HST quilt version!  Few quilts excite me like a quilt made from HSTs.  When the idea of this version came to me, I couldn't wait to make it!  

'SPARKLE'
46" X 57"

I really love it!  Rainbow, gray, HSTs...all my favorite components.  In fact I'm so enamoured by it that I decided to write a pattern!  Not my favorite thing to do, but I think it's worth it!  

Hopefully by the end of the month or early April it'll be tested and ready for public consumption.  The pattern will be slightly different than this one, but it's essentially identical.


What I like about this design is all the color.  The HSTs have four different shades with the background in the center, and the 'sparkle' are the gray with the single color centers.


It's very similar to my Color Explosion quilt except that one has a zillion colors!  'Sparkle' is perhaps more refined.


I machine quilted the design using a light gray thread.  It was fun and tedious, but worth it after it went through the wash!  The size ended up being 46" x 57" after all was said and done.  The new version is a little bit larger.


I debated about adding a plain border or a gray border with the edge triangles extended.  In the end I didn't do either of those ideas!  The original design is exactly how I wanted it, so why mess with it?!


To call it 'Sparkle' or not to call it that...that is the question!  Why do names have to be so hard?  I'm really not creative in that department!


Let me just say that pattern writing is hard.  Hard for me!  If it wasn't for the encouragement from so many people in the social media arena and the support of my family, I probably would never take the pattern writing leap!   And I have to give a huge shout out to 
Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl)  for the Technical Editing!  Her editing magic makes me feel much more secure and confident when it's all said and done!

Anyone who writes patterns...do you stress over it?  Do you have any tips to help ease the anxiety some of may feel when it comes to pattern writing?  Asking for a friend...šŸ˜‰!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Color Explosion Finish

While making this quilt I had the urge to change up this design and give it a make-over.  Which I did, but I couldn't show that one until this one was quilted, bound and washed!  That's jus the way I work!

COLOR EXPLOSION
51" x 62"

Many of you know that I make this quilt often, either in a lap size or baby quilt.  And you might know that I have a suitcase full of HSTs to pull from.  It's so much easier to have the HSTs at the ready where I can pull from when the mood strikes me!

I also love to quilt these using lines...a lot of lines!


This is a breakdown of how I quilted this recent quilt.  I section off the quilt either before I start or more often than not I'll quilt a section and figure out the next section on the fly.  Each quilt like this has its own quilting design as well an color layout, which makes each one unique.  I use 1/2", 3/4" and 1" lines every single time though!


By doing that it also feels like it's a new design and keeps it fresh and much less repetitive.


Another way to keep it new is using different colors of thread.  A small change, but if it inspires me that is always a good thing.  For this quilt I used the last of my Gray variegated thread.  And by last...I mean literally the last inch was used on the last line!


By adding the center squares you get a chance to see the intended design of the squares that are like colors.  Blues, greens, yellows.  Same color family, different shades.  


I'm always drawn to the 1/2" lines the most!  For some reason they hit all the highs for me.  Especially after the quilt is washed and the crinkle comes to life!  You might think the dense quilting would make a quilt stiff and uncomfortable, but that is just not the case!  I use Warm & Natural cotton batting and have never felt the quilting I do was too much. 


 As for the new and different design...it's finished!  I'll share that in a couple days.  Right now I'm remaking it, writing a pattern and hoping I don't go crazy in the process!  Wish me luck!

On an entirely different subject, I received my second Covid shot a couple days ago!  If nothing else it gives me a sense of relief.  I will continue with all the safety protocols when I go out as a precaution, but at least I can go out!

LINKING: