SIL Works

I have to say it is great to live around the corner from another quiltmaker. It is even better that she is my SIL. We had Craft Night on Monday, as usual, and I got to see some of her new works.

SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt
SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt

In terms of donations, she is on fire. She took one (or, perhaps, more) of the MassDrop fat quarter packs given out at the Retreat and has made two quilts so far from it.

The first one has a self-bordering effect, but the ‘border’ is  is part of the design. I like the larger and smaller squares for the design. She made another version as part of her seasons series using Pointillist fabric that is super cool. I’ll have to take a photo and post it sometime.

The other donation quilt, which I failed to photograph, is brilliant. She is using the stitch and flip method with Jelly Roll like strips, so the piece is quilted at the same time as sewn. The design comes out like a giant log cabin. This technique would be great for a charity Sew Day activity and would produce a lot of small quilts quickly.

SIL Design Wall, October 2017
SIL Design Wall, October 2017

SIL also has the Terrain quilt on her design wall. She has a layered effect going on on her design wall. The right arrow is pointing to it. You can also see some of the large back I made (arrow on the left is pointing to it) for the Terrain .

One of the good things about having a quiltmaker nearby is the almost instantaneous dose of inspiration. I can walk over, see what is on SIL’s design wall, go home and be reinvigorated.

Mostly Manor Lozenge Top Finished

I had an evening of sewing to myself last Friday night while everyone else was at the Cal football game. I started out with a goal of adding a column of blocks to En Provence. I ended up finishing the Mostly Manor top instead.

Mostly Manor Lozenge Top
Mostly Manor Lozenge Top

I made the blocks last Fall, put them together at the recent BAM retreat, cut the borders at Craft Night and now they are a quilt top.

I had the borders cut and when I ran out of Triple Star pieces to use as leaders and enders, I realized I could add the borders as leaders and enders in between sewing the En Provence blocks together.

Once the borders were on, I further realized that the back wouldn’t be much more work. I had some hoops to jump through (making the label), but with that done quickly and a few large pieces of backing fabric on hand, I had the quilt ready to take to Colleen.

I brought the quilt with me to PIQF and dropped it off at her booth, which saves me a drive. YAY! I am so glad this project is moving along. Perhaps it will be ready for the giftee for Christmas or shortly thereafter.

En Provence Progresses Slowly

En Provence - October 8, 2017
En Provence – October 8, 2017

I am slowly making progress on En Provence. You can compare my progress to the previous post’s picture.

I was able to spend time working on it on Saturday night and some of the day on Sunday. I was able to add a short row vertically on the right and put together a row that I will be able to add to the top soon.

You might be wondering why this piece is taking me forever. I haven’t yet put together blocks, so I have to put the blocks together before I can put together the rows. I need to watch placement of the fabrics. While the piece is scrappy, it is not a charm quilt and I’d like to keep like fabrics away from each other as much as possible.

This quilt definitely has fewer colors than I like, but the controlled palette really enhances the curved look of the piecing. I am so pleased with how this piecing is looking that I can’t stop looking at it. That surprises me since it is just a pattern, not much original.

3 Triple Stars

In between working on putting together the En Provence quilt, I have been sewing Triple Star blocks together. I use the blocks as leaders and enders.

While I am concerned that using the blocks as leaders and enders means I am not as engaged with the quilt, I really have to have something in between the En Provence pieces to keep them in order. While I could make make more donation blocks, I want to make progress on other projects as well, so the Triple Star blocks are the leaders and enders.

Unlike Fresh Fruit, I have to pick a lot of colors for the blocks. I also have a lot more seams to sew, so I do pay attention.

Mostly Manor Lozenge Top

I wasn’t able to quilt at the Retreat (which I promise I will write about). This was a disappointment since it would have been the perfect time to get the final Thanksgiving decoration, a table mat I intend to put on the coffee table, quilted.

Mostly Manor Lozenge Quilt
Mostly Manor Lozenge Quilt

Fortunately I had some extra projects in my Half Moon Modern Chubby Charmer, so I was able to put the Mostly Manor Lozenge Quilt top together.

The last time I talked about this project I said I was going to cut the lozenges in half. I didn’t end up doing that, because the one I did do looked awful.

After finishing the Poolside Tote, I took up this project, using the Terrain donation quilt blocks as leaders and enders. The blocks were already sewn, so the top went together quickly.

I cut the borders at Craft Night on Monday, but haven’t sewn them on yet.

En Provence – Almost a Quarter

En Provence - almost a quarter
En Provence – almost a quarter

I made good progress on Saturday. I have nearly a quarter of En Provence sewn together. I probably need another row of the pink stars on the top and one the side to have a full quarter, but progress is being made.

I am pleased with the way it looks. I think it is turning out well. some of the light blues are a bit light and do blend with the text fabric background. I hope that will add interest. The larger squares I am adding in are working well. I am very pleased I decided to use a controlled scrappy palette. I think it gives the quilt a cohesion it wouldn’t otherwise have.

I am not sure when I will get to this quilt again, but I hope to finish it soon. I have to day that I kind of just want this piece done. I REALLY like, but I just want it done.

Triple Stars Again

In between putting together En Provence, I made some more Triple Star blocks. I have about six done and have to cut some more pieces to make more. I have ten more to make. They are sewn together pretty quickly with all the pieces cut.

This pattern is from Scrap-Basket Beauties by Kim Brackett. Frances turned me on to this author. There is at least one other scrap quilt in this book I would consider making.

En Provence Clue 7

Clue 7 of the En Provence Mystery Quilt is a cheap date. It is 4 clues in one. Bonnie Hunter explains carefully why she wrote the last clue that way, so I understand. That doesn’t make me happy about it. I wish the additional QSTs/Peaky & Spikes had been clue 7, the squares/HSTs had been clue 8, the additional 4 patches had been clue 9 and the assembly had been Clue 10. I know she didn’t have 4 additional weeks, but still.

When I realized what was going on, I gathered the fabrics I wanted to use and took them over to SIL 2’s house for Craft Night. I pressed and cut the shapes I needed for HSTs and Peaky & Spikes. I only needed to pin and the HSTs were ready to be sewn.

Cutting Peaky & Spikes
Cutting Peaky & Spikes

The Peaky & Spikes required more work. I was planning on cutting the actual shapes using SIL’s Accuquilt die. I only got the rough shapes cut and then was too tired to continue. I borrowed the die and cut them out over the weekend.

Over the weekend, mostly Sunday since Saturday was the BAM meeting, I ran the Peaky & Spike rough cuts through the Accuquilt and sewed those together. I was short on some of the Peakies and will wait to cut more until I see how many I need.

I couldn’t really complain too much because I had the directions for putting the blocks together. I decided to put some pieces and parts up on the design wall to see what I had.


I really like it. I actually couldn’t stop myself from starting to sew the top together. The images above, from bottom to top, show the bottom left hand corner. I have sewn the bottom pink, corner block and the blue star to its right. They look great and I was tempted to just put the whole thing together last night. Of course, it will take me awhile to put the whole top together, so I slowly backed away muttering soothing noises to my hands, which were itching to sew like a mad woman.

I thought about the quilt a LOT and wonder if I should change the pink stars for orange stars. Yes, it means re-cutting and sewing a bunch more Peaky & Spikes. I might try a couple and see what I think. I like the orange I used in the QSTs and wonder if it isn’t too little.

Background Chaos
Background Chaos

One of the sub clues for Clue 7 is to make more background 4 patches. Sigh. I wonder why she just didn’t have us make all of them in the beginning? This does give me the opportunity to change up the look of my quilt. I sewed one corner and the four patches are great, but I think they would look better with some larger squares interspersed. I think all of the four patches look a little chaotic with everything else that is going on in the quilt. It will also take me less time to cut them.

I have lost the prepped HSTs from Craft Night, which is frustrating. I went on a frenzy of tidying, which is never a good thing. I wanted to have them sewn together, so I could intersperse the previous HSTs I made with the new fabrics. As it stands, I will need to prep more to finish the quilt. Sigh.

I am really liking this quilt so far. I am glad as mystery quilts are always a crap shoot.

Color My Quilt – September

Joelle's Instructions - Color My Quilt
Joelle’s Instructions – Color My Quilt

I realized late last week that I really needed to get busy on Joelle’s Color My Quilt piece. I was prepared to start it early, as in right after the August meeting. Somehow time got away from me.

Like I did for Amy’s piece, I wanted to make something that Joelle could cut up and use to put the other pieces together. She also really wanted solids and the combination didn’t work for me.

I just started improv piecing. It probably isn’t challenging me at all, but I seem to be focusing on the color and worrying less about the actual design. I’d be a lot happier with this project if people were making blocks, but I understand that that is not the idea behind this project.

Joelle's Color My Quilt
Joelle’s Color My Quilt

I am pleased with my piece, especially the colors. I didn’t have enough solid scraps to do the whole thing in scraps, so I tried to keep it to tone-on-tones. When I started to stray, I stopped piecing. I didn’t intend for it to be so long and skinny, but that is the way it turned out.

Stars #3 Donation Top

Somehow I didn’t get to working on any of my other projects on Sunday. I did do some random sewing as well as tidying up. My cutting table was a wreck. It was getting to the point where I had about six square inches in which to cut. Very difficult, I assure you. I started chopping up the scraps that were making the mess into pieces for future use.

Stars #3 Donation Top
Stars #3 Donation Top

One task I did accomplish was finish the third Stars donation top on Sunday.The BAM meeting is next Saturday and I wanted to get that done, so I was pleased. I had been rummaging around in my fabric the day before and was reminded how much backing fabric I have one hand. I made a back from some of the fabric even though it made the quilt more girly than boyish. It was quicker to use a large piece than to piece a bunch of smaller pieces together.

I am pleased with the asymmetrical layout of the top. It isn’t quite ideal, but it is much more interesting than the first version of this design. I don’t know that I will make more of these blocks right at the moment. I have some blue and white 16 patches that have been hanging around waiting for their turn on the design wall that I think I will work on next for a donation quilt. We’ll see.

Clue 6: QST Finished

Finished QSTs
Finished QSTs

I finished Clue 6, which I described last week, and that is really all I got done today. I can’t decide if I am happy with the fabric choices or wish I had gone with the darker blues. I supposed I’ll have to see when I start putting the whole piece together.

That being said, I do like all of the fabrics individually so that has to count for something.

I did use the Marsha McCloskey Precision Trimmer. I bought this ruler a long time ago (see previous references to my love for rulers). I can’t remember ever using it, but it came in very handy for these QSTs. There is a dot that marks the center of different sizes of squares that helped me line up the ruler over each QST in a precise manner. Except for sliding all over the place, I was very pleased with the ruler. It worked like a charm I remedied the sliding with some True Grips.

I am also very pleased with the precision of the 6600. The quarter inch seam allowance is excellent, which makes for easy assembly of blocks. All in all a good day even though I didn’t accomplish much.

Labor Day Sew In Success

I know Labor Day is only a distant memory, but I felt so good after it that I had to prolong the joy by posting.

During the weekend, I prepped, sewed., and finished like a wild woman. I kept forgetting to tag my posts #LDSI over the weekend, but I was creating along with everyone else.

Design Wall, Labor Day 2017
Design Wall, Labor Day 2017

Saturday, as I said, I prepped. After prep comes sewing. I was so glad I prepped, because I didn’t have to keep stopping to mark or cut. I could just sew. I finished the HSTs for En Provence, which, in a roundabout way, led me to the QSTs. I did cut out more Little Cell Phone Wallets, but I haven’t yet sewed any of them. I want to do a big assembly line and just need to take the first step. At least, they are ready to go.

I also made progress on the Stars Donation top #3. I hope to get it done this weekend so I can take it to guild next weekend.

After struggling with the Triple Star cutting, I put a block together.

Sew Day Projects
Sew Day Projects

I sewed a couple of the gift bags I prepped as well. I still have a few more to go, but progress.

I really feel like I got a lot done. I felt really good about my sewing and I am sure some of that is due to the fact I was piecing and not quilting. I can’t wait to get back to the machine.

Triple Star Test Block

Triple Star Test block - half sewn
Triple Star Test block – half sewn

I made another cutting mistake on the Triple Star and decided it was time to make a test block. I laid out two blocks so I could see what I was working on and came up with some great blocks.

I fooled around with the colors until I was happy and began sewing.

I am really happy I made the test block. Even laying it out on the design wall would have been helpful. This block is not difficult, but it is confusing. Still, the effect is really great.

Triple Star - first block sewn
Triple Star – first block sewn

The block came out really well. I am not sure about that mustardy color and may limit it. I am hoping that it will enhance the other colors. Not sure sure yet.

DONE: En Provence HSTs

En Provence HSTs - Clue 5
En Provence HSTs – Clue 5

One of the projects I prepped at Sew Day was Clue 5 for the En Provence quilt. I used my triangle technique, which made the hardest part of the process, pressing and trimming.

I have to admit that I thought I was done and could get to putting the blocks together.


No such luck. I checked out Clue 6 and found I have to make a bunch of Quarter Square Triangles AND I need to introduce a new color. This will require some thought.

At least I finished something, no matter how small.

DONE: En Provence Clue 4

En Provence, Clue 4 - Peaky & Spike
En Provence, Clue 4 – Peaky & Spike

Yep, I finally finished all of those Peaky and Spikes I talked about in July.

I thought I would never finish and while I was taking a piecing break last weekend I put all the rest of the undone pieces together and sewed.

I never thought I would finish this clue. I have to admit that I am getting sick of all of this prep and would like to sew some blocks together. I am fighting with myself about whether to sew a block or two together or to just follow the clues.

I just looked in the folder and I have two more clues, then I will be, presumably, finished.

The next thing I need to do is make a bunch of half square triangles. Now to figure out the colors.