To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
The final block swap meeting for the puss-in-the-corner/uneven nine-patch blocks is later this month (we’ve been postponing and rescheduling for a while).
Since I finished up my signature blocks and piano keys, I thought I’d get a start at piecing the center of the top. It’s going to be twin-bed sized, so too large for my current batting scrap on the wall.
I have half of it pieced, and as usual, its presence on the floor is a magnet to Moof.
The rest is on the wall, sideways and unpieced.
I hope to finish piecing it this week, and am looking forward to getting all the border pieces on the 29th.
I did a bit of sartorial sewing over the weekend, but I haven’t yet managed photos. In the mean time, I’ve been plugging away on additional signature and piano key blocks. They’re quickly filling the design wall. All of the signature blocks are complete; the three that will be in my quilt are at the top of the wall, framed with scraps from my other blocks to build them out into 8″ finishing squares to mix in with the uneven nine patch blocks. I stil have another set of 12 piano keys to finish up, but then I’ll be done.
A note on the design wall
I received an email asking about my design wall. Mine is very low-tech—a scrap of batting (currently what is left from a queen pre-cut after two baby quilts, something around 50″×80″ or so) hanging from Command hooks with safety pins.
I do want a better solution in the long run, but this actually works very well—and I can swap out batting scraps as needed. I know most people swear by flannel or felt for their design walls, but I much prefer batting. It seems to hold on to the blocks much better, and can be purchased much cheaper than flannel if you pay attention to sales (assuming you want something wider than 45″). I also like that it’s not on a rigid board—this way, I can roll it up if I want, preserving the layout on it, and hang up another scrap for another project as needed.
Aside from the baby quilt I finished earlier this week, I’ve spent most of my sewing time lately on the various samplers and block swaps I’m currently involved in. My sewing space is a mess, but my design wall is rather colorful at the moment.
The final swap for this round of my bi-monthly LQS block swap is a 6″ Ohio Star signature block for each member (10) and however many sets of three 6″ piano key blocks we want to use for our final layout. I’ve finished four of the signature blocks and 20 piano key blocks (out of 44 that I plan to make at this point). My other stars will use different fabrics from the four completed ones (seen in the blue/purple/green/orange piano key set), while the other piano keys will be made mostly of the same fabrics used in the previous swap blocks.
Rounding out the wall this week is another block for the Modern LQS sampler, and another for the SYWTQ Amish-esque block. Because we traveled over Easter weekend, I didn’t make it to the other sampler meeting, so I should have two to finish next month.
Proper photographs of the full block sets I made eluded me, but we’ve now swapped three full sets of Puss In The Corner/Uneven Nine Patch blocks in the LQS swapping group.
My January set had these fabrics:
These comprised my third set, which we swapped last weekend:
All told, we have 60 of these blocks, which will finish at 8″
We are also doing one final swap for this project in May—a mix of piano key blocks and Ohio Star signature blocks for a border.
Though it’s not a quilt I would have done on my own, I’ve really enjoyed playing with these fabrics, and love the scrappy result. Here are some of the finished blocks on the wall:
I haven’t decided on a final layout. The swapped blocks and upcoming border swap will allow for a twin-sized quilt on their own. I’m considering building out borders to make it a full-sized quilt, but we’ll see.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I joined a group doing block swaps at the LQS. It seems to be a sort of democratic process, in that there’s not a specific goal in mind for the full quilt, but we meet up and choose a new block after each swap. The first swap is of a very simple Puss in the Corner block (their name; I would probably just call it an Uneven Nine Patch, because I think Puss in the Corner usually has additional pieces around the outside of this portion).
We get instructions and materials requirements for making 20 blocks (in this case, 10 “positive” and 10 “negative” ones), then when we’re done, we turn them in and get 20 blocks back. It will result in a scrappy quilt of 19th c. repro-style fabrics.
You don’t get your own block back (unless for some reason there are fewer than 10 people who submit blocks), but there is enough extra fabric to make a spare pair if you’d like.
There’s also been a discussion of having additional mini swaps of smaller blocks from the scraps for a border or something of that sort.
I like my blocks, but I haven’t decided whether I want to make a pair for myself or use the spare fabric for other blocks in the quilt.
When I picked out my fabrics, I just went with what drew me in. It started with the white vines and pink flowers print, and I picked up on that pink color to try to tie the selections together. Have you ever had a color that you once despised, and then found yourself using all the time? Pink is that one for me, particularly magentas, fuchsias, and shocking pinks. I don’t know what it is, but all of the sudden it’s appearing everywhere for me. In my clothing, in my stash, in my projects. I am still not a huge fan of baby/pale pink, though, at least. If I ever am, you might want to search around for a body pod.
Quick journal of fabrics used for future reference:
More Pink & Chocolate c. 1860-1885 (Windham)
Friendship Collection for a Cause [c. 1855] (Moda)
Leesburg by Jo Morton (Andover)
(I’ll add the other three prints when figure out what they are…)
I can’t wait to get my swapped blocks back and to see what’s next!
Two blocks down, 18 to go for the LQS’ block swap. (Actually, I’m about 80% there, I just need to do two seams on each of the remaining blocks).
You know what would make a better Foto Freitag? A photo of my baby niece who was born this morning! Alas, I won’t be able to take her photo until December. But, that’s the latest news in my world this week.
(which is not going to become a regular thing, but I can’t seem to get any projects to the point of being post-worthy on their own)
Last Sunday, we traveled to Sackets Harbor for the 1812 Reprise show that displayed the 26 quilts comprising the traveling show (which is booked through 2014, wow! My quilt is really getting around). As much as I enjoyed seeing the ~150 or so at the original show, I liked this one more. It gave me a chance to take in details that I’d missed before, and I saw a few quilts that I didn’t remember seeing the first time around (not including the few additional quilts entered just for the reprise show).
I met Diane Shink, a certified quilt appraiser and author. She has a quilt in the show that used antique linen to great effect, and I enjoyed getting a closer look at her quilt. We had a great discussion of knife edge techniques (which I used on my own quilt, in a sort of cobbled way considering that I had no idea what I was doing when I was doing it [an ongoing theme for me, I think]). We even made the Watertown paper. (In other news, I’m extremely jealous that Watertown has a Buffalo Wild Wings and a Chipotle and Utica has neither.)
My own quilt was in good company, hanging next to the wonderfully embroidered quilt that took First Place.
After Monday night, you can count me as another quilter addicted to EPP. This is all I’ve accomplished so far, but it’s fun. I just need to get more fabric pieces cut out so that I can sew over lunches, while watching TV, and in the car when Carl’s driving… it may get out of hand. I also need a nice bag. And better small scissors that haven’t been chewed by Moof.
I joined a block swap that the LQS is doing. We’re doing puss in the corner blocks for this month, and we have to use repro fabrics, which is pushing me out of my comfort zone (a good thing, I think). Here are the fabrics I picked. I haven’t started the blocks yet (we have to make 20).
Last night, I swapped out the HST blocks that were predominately red for ones made with the leftover yellows in the Impressions Baby Quilt, and finished piecing the full top. I should be able to quilt it this weekend.
Finally, my experiment with DWR has reached its conclusion. I’m not finding myself interested in the project. Instead, I’m taking what I have done, doing some cobbled together trapunto-like technique that I’m making up as I go along to make some of the puffiness look intentional, and turning it into a medallion as part of another project. So far, I’ve sewn the rings to batting and turned half the edge under (you can see my basting stitches on the outer edge that hold the batting, and provide a guide for turning). It’s laying on top of the background fabric in preparation for applique. I haven’t decided on a size for the background, yet.
It’s not a total loss of a project; it’s a new direction. I like how the idea is shaping up in my head way more than how I liked what I thought the double wedding ring would look like finished. And, I think I’ll actually finish this one, as opposed to having another project boxed away because I don’t want to work on it.
The lesson: it’s okay to not finish a project the way you initially envisioned it. The world will not implode, your stash won’t suddenly disappear, nor are you promising your first born to the devil by not finishing.