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)!
At my guild’s quilt retreat last month, a project I’ve been working on for six years (sort of) finally started really coming together. I’ve tried to save 2.5″ squares of the fabric I use in my quilts to make some sort of meta-quilt patchwork. Last year, I finally decided on how to piece the patchwork squares together and made the first eight, and I’ve kept up with my quilt finishes ever since, so I had the latest 12. The 24 in between were another story.
I dragged my entire tub of scrap fabric to the retreat with one goal: to sort it out and find the scraps for those other blocks (oh, and sort all the scraps by color [done], and maybe make scrap bins [haha, no]). I spent most of a day on the project before deciding I needed a break, and made a lot of progress. There are only nine blocks left, and I have most of those scraps set aside ready for piecing. The solid blocks signify a few unique non-cotton-patchwork quilts—t-shirtquilts and a chenille whole-cloth one. A few 2.5” squares had to be pieced together from even smaller pieces.
I thought I’d share the progress now. After piecing the different blocks together, I decided to put the rows together in a quilt-as-you-go method, so I basted my batting and backing together and started sewing the rows available when I could. The rest of the blocks are just pinned on for show and tell.
I’m not sure how I’m going to quilt this. Some days, I think I should quilt each square similar to how I quilted that quilt, since quilting can make such a difference in the final product. Other days, I think I’d like the fabric and project to stand on its own, and say stitching in the ditch is the right choice. Maybe I’ll add something via quilting or embroidery to mark the different years.
I think I can squeeze in one more row before quilting and binding (once I piece the rest of the rows together), then I’ll start a second panel. If I eventually finish that (another 48 quilts!), I’ll sew the two finished panels together side-by-side and start another. It’ll truly be a life-long project, but I love looking back and remembering each quilt.
I’ve tried to keep a 2.5″ square of most fabrics from each quilt project I’ve done. This week, I finally decided on a layout for a meta-history quilt of my quilting journey and started piecing together some of the blocks.
So far, I have a block for the first eight quilts I made (2010-2011), and one for the quilt I need to baste and quilt this month.
I’m working on a new baby quilt that looks like a very large, squared-off puzzle. It boils down to a bunch of 8″ blocks, but I haven’t yet found a way to batch process them—I have to make each one individually to make sure it has the right fabrics to match up with the next in line, as a piece of each block’s fabric needs to end up in two different adjoining blocks.
But, I did sketch out the whole quilt with fabric placement, so it’s moving along steadily without too much ripping. Here’s a blueprint for the blocks.
A bit of modern design executed in linen and reproduction fabric (Metropolitan Fair by Barbara Brackman) is basted and ready to quilt, while 27 (!) yards of ruffles and Peter Rabbit fabric wait to become two quilts for twins. Deadline: mid-December.
The recent spate of flying geese quilts in quilty blogland (and the various social media outlets) has me both charmed and inspired. I’ve made a few flying geese units for various sampler blocks, but never a full flock of them.
For my next project, I want to use a charm pack for the goose part of the blocks, so how many geese can I get out of a charm pack, how much extra fabric do I need for the sky (outer triangles), and what is the resulting block size?
One standard charm pack (42 5″ squares) and 1 yard of standard quilting cotton cut into 168 2 3⁄4″ squares (four per charm square) makes 168 1 7⁄8″×3 3⁄4″ geese using my preferred method of no-waste geese.
If you sew all 168 geese into 8 columns of 21 geese, you’ll have a 30″×~39″ quilt—still a bit small for anything but a wall quilt, but by adding on borders or making alternate blocks and you can easily grow it to a baby quilt or larger.
Mine are going to fly in a larger sky of white space for a quilt measuring 60″×70″. Time to get started on those 168 geese!
My latest project is a quilt composed of plus blocks that are a bit different from the typical standard-grid plusses. It looks tricky, but once it’s broken down into components it’s not a difficult block to make. Here are the measurements and a diagram to make one like mine, which finishes at 17.5″ (yes, a very large block!).
Fabric 1 ( Corners)
Four 4.75″ squares
Fabric 2 (Background)
Four 4″ squares
Four 3.25″ x 4.75″ rectangles
Four 3.25″ x 7.5″ rectangles
Note: the more obviously patterned the background fabric is, the more obvious your seams will be without fussy pattern matching, so keep that in mind when selecting fabric.
Fabric 3 (Plus)
Two 4″ squares
One 4″ x 11″ rectangle
By considering it an irregular nine-patch, you can see how the sections all fit together without requiring any Y-seams. You can easily string piece the sections, but pay attention to the mirrored placement for the corner components.
If you’re looking for a similar pattern that provides all the details for a full quilt, I recommend this Double Plus pattern. While the proportions of the block may not be exact, I drew my inspiration from it when figuring out my own design.
When I explored Burlington pre-job acceptance, I found Stitched, a fabric shop in Williston, and fell in love. They had me at Tula Pink Nightshade showcased beautifully right as I walked in (one of three of her lines they had in the store!). Each new room in the old yellow house had some new print or designer that I’d previously only seen online. Despite what some might claim, that didn’t seal the moving deal, but it was a strong mark in the ‘pro’ column!
So, of course I walked out of there with a bit of Tula: 6 FQs of Salt Water, tied with a bow.
Fast forward three months. I saw this gorgeous “Double Plus” design come up in the Modern Quilts Flickr group, and was inspired.
So, rather than go back to WIP finishing, I dove into a new project. It’s very handy being able to just meander over to the fabric store to pick up more fabric from the line rather than wait for a shipment. Or dangerous, perhaps. C’est la vie d’une quilter.
I couldn’t wait for Carl to head back to Utica for work next week, so we swung down to Utica for the day last Saturday and picked up my sewing machine.
I cut these pieces out a while back, but originally planned to finish some other projects first (before the move and sewing machine separation). Instead, I pulled them out for a quick project this week.
I wanted to thoroughly test the machine, so I modified my idea to include embroidery: appliqueing the recipient’s name using an embroidery pack from Daily Embroidery and a dog from the same.
The quilt looked different in my head; the solids have taken over the prints (a charm pack of Oink-A-Doodle-Moo) and some of the charms could have been placed more strategically. I think the recipient will like it, nonetheless. My goal is to bribe him to let me have the one I made him before he was born back temporarily so that I can fix it. According to his mother, it’s one of his favorite possessions. I hope this one is as well received.
Now, off to pick out a color of Minky for the back!
Because I’m doing more than one Saturday Sampler this year, missed last month’s meet up for this, and we met a week early this month, I decided to update every four months instead of quarterly this year. So, here’s the first of three updates for one of the shops. All blocks finish at 12″ square.
January’s block was Contrary Wife.
In February, we made Greek Cross.
March brought Friendship Block (one of many with that name). I really think a quilt full of these could be very interesting.
And this month was Clay’s Choice, a block named after Henry Clay, but also known as Star of the West once Clay faded from public memory.
Instead of the whole quilt being a surprise as it was last year, this year they have the top completed and on display already. I’m trying to decide if I want to follow their setting style or not, so there’s still an element of personal choice. I can’t decide if I’m warm or cool about the quilt’s fabrics.
There’s still eight more blocks to help me make up my mind.