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.
I have discussed the Retreat in passing over and over, so finally decided that I should get around to writing about the retreat itself.
The Retreat started on Friday at 10am. Following along with our year long theme, Scrap Attack, the Retreat followed that them as well.
Before arriving at the Retreat, I went to the gym, ate breakfast and packed the car. I had two days at home alone (YM gone at school, DH on a NSGW trip) in the evenings during which I prepared and packed and organized. After leaving to go to the Retreat, we stopped at Always Quilting and The Granary. I wanted to find an open toe Acufeed foot for my Janome 6600. I planned to quilt the Thanksgiving tablemat and needed to see where I was going. The Acufeed foot that came with the machine is good, but not for seeing exactly where the foot is going or following a line. I didn’t get my hopes up for the foot to be available at Always Quilting and I wasn’t disappointed. I resolved to try to quilt the tablemat anyway.
We went to the Granary, because I like that store and SIL had never been there. I bought a couple of pieces of fabric, thinking I might make an extra Cell Phone Wallet with one of the pinks.
Then we headed the 8 or so blocks to the Wild Palms hotel and to sewing nirvana. We didn’t arrive until about noon, but we set up and got to work right away. Nirvana isn’t easy and setting up took some time.
Once I got set up, my first order of business was sewing together all seven Cell Phone Wallets I had cut out.
Lesson one for quilting retreat is prep your projects. Having several projects already cut out made my output much better than expected.
I had cut out seven Cell Phone Wallets from fabric leftover from dresses and tunics. I spent Friday making them. I didn’t think I would get as far as I did, but I was able to finish all except for weaving in the last two ends from top stitching. I was shocked that I even had time to turn the pieces. Turning these and poking out the ‘corners’ is not for the faint of heart. I rose to the challenge and got the job done. Now I am going to feel a lot more confident when wearing my dresses, skirts and tunics. I made all of these with D rings and will use the same chain for all of them. I also think I can use the black one with other black outfits.
Next, I started quilting the tablemat. 🙁 It didn’t work. I want to follow the lines of the leaves and other Thanksgiving motifs and I just couldn’t see where I was going. I ripped stitching out three times before I gave up. I would really like to get it done before Thanksgiving. Not only to I want to count the yardage as fabric used, I also want to have one less item on my to do list. I have ordered new feet from Sew Vac Direct, a suggestion from Gerre, so we will see.
No rest for the sad or wicked. I was determined to get as much done as possible. So, next up was the Poolside Tote. Not only had it been taking up horizontal surface space for a long time – ever since I cut it out at Scruffy Quilts back in May, but Tim and I had decided to work on ours together. Julie said she would make one as well, but she wasn’t at the retreat and I have only seen quilts coming out of her studio. You can read about the sewing, etc of this tote in the post from earlier in the week. I am not sure if I will make this tote again. I may need to as it is large and popular.
I worked on this all day Saturday and a little bit on Sunday morning. Next on the list was the Mostly Manor Lozenge quilt. I had the blocks made so all I had to do was sew them together. Lucky for me, the raffle prizes had all been given away (I won a charm pack of grey Northcott solids-YAY), so I had a table right behind me to use as design surface space.
I sewed fast and got this top done in a couple of hours. I used the Terrain donation blocks as leaders and enders.
In between everything I made three donation blocks. We received kits for 3 donation blocks in our goody bags. I didn’t have a lot of leaders and enders opportunities, so I rushed at the end to get these done. The Committee gave extra raffle tickets for handing in donation blocks and charity quilts and tops.
I really didn’t want to leave and stayed until the bitter end. The Retreat Committee did a great job organizing everything and I was thrilled to get so much done.
Well, best laid plans. Life, I guess, got in the way of me posting old quilts every Thursday for awhile. I really did intend to do it and here I am again.
She Had to Have Her Latte was my favorite quilt for awhile. It looks a little dated now, but I still like it.
She Had to Have Her Latte was one of the first Improv quilts, but done in a different way than people commonly understand Improv quiltmaking today. In this quilt, I cut novelty fabrics into shapes with the primary focus being to showcase the motifs. Other pieces were put in between those focus pieces so the quilt fit together. There was no free cutting or rulerless cutting.
I made this with a friend and we had a whole story around the quilt about a woman who had to have a latte every morning. We discussed why and what it meant. I intended this to be the first in a series of quilts, but they were never made.
I seem to have a lot of HSTs around. The other day I talked about the Mostly Manor HST quilt. I found the bag of Ta Dots & Stripes HSTs recently and laid them out to see what I could do with them.
First, they didn’t turn out as expected. The stripes are a lot darker than I anticipated and kind of dominate the quilt.
Second, there aren’t as many as I thought, so this will most probably be a lap quilt.
Third there aren’t enough colors of dots to make this really interesting. I don’t remember if Ta Dots come in more colors. If not, they should, but these are all the colors I have.
I laid them out anyway in order see what I could do with them. I laid them out in lines and straight HSTs.
This layout is similar to the one that my SIL did with the Mostly Manor HSTs. It concentrates the colored triangles together and makes them stand out a bit more. The stripes still fairly dominate the whole piece.
The other layout was inspired by a quilt on the Quilts and More Summer 2017 issue. It is straight HSTs in kind of a color order all pointing in the same direction. I thought it would be a possibility for this quilt.
Rhonda brought my BAMQG Round Robin back to me when we met at the CQFA meeting. I had to hunt around the blog for which challenge it came as I couldn’t remember. I also wanted to see the changes. I remembered that Kathleen worked on it and Kelly had it, but I couldn’t remember anything else about it. 🙁 Kelly had it for a long time and since she is much more into quilting than piecing, I wasn’t surprised to see no changes.
The piecing is really good. I have asked for some other volunteers to work on the piece. We’ll see if anyone volunteers. If not, I will finish it and give it to a kid I know, I think. I don’t think I am really interested in working on it anymore.
I am using the Alison Glass’ Sun Prints layer cake I bought for the Layer Cake Explosion QAL. There aren’t enough bright clear colors so I am throwing in some Kaffe and Philip Jacobs fabrics as well. I also have some Alison Glass Chroma coming soon and may add some of that into the mix.I want it to be as scrappy as possible while using supplies I already purchased. I can always adjust as I begin assembly.
I have the charcoal background I bought for the QAL, but I also have white, so we will see what I end up using. I want this quilt to be appealing and cheerful.
This quilt design is from Kim Brackett’s book, Scrap Basket Beauties. You should buy it. There are a number of quilts I have marked in this book to make. I need to get through this time of “must dos” before I can make any others.
I visited the county fair last week and was surprised to see a number of quilts in this pattern on display. I don’t remember ever seeing them in quilt shows or at the fair before and wonder if there was a class somewhere locally.
I love seeing individual variations on a pattern. The fair was a great place to see variations on the same pattern and it was so fortuitous that I am planning the same quilt.
*-images ONLY are copyrighted NOT pattern or versions, ideas by above makers.
The other day I talked about making the two sections of section 2. After I did that it took me a few days to sew section 2 together and then sew that large piece to section 1.
I still need to make and add Section 3. I have barely any 4 patches left for the background, so I have to sew those blocks together first.
I am stupidly pleased with this section. Even more so because the feeling of having crossed a huge hurdle is even stronger now that I can see this section laid out. Of course, I may never be able to see the entire top as it is so large. I might have to move the dining room table and get a ladder to take future photos.
With two more seams, section 2 will be finished and attached to section 1 making one large section.
To get there, I have to sew two seams. Before that I finished all of the section two background blocks. As a bonus, I feel like I surpassed a major hurdle. The feeling of slogging through and never making progress was strong, but finishing this section made the light at the end of the tunnel visible.
It is so odd how I can feel like a project will never end, then suddenly, with no warning, I see the end coming.
I haven’t been happy with the right sides together method of whip stitching my EPP pieces together. I don’t like the stitches showing on the front. No matter how careful I am, I seem to always get a few stitches showing. ERGH!!!
I mentioned recently that I had heard about the Flat back stitch for sewing EPP shapes together. I watched the video thoroughly, eventually, and tried it. I like the technique, although it isn’t without hassle and have modified my stitching accordingly.
One thing the video shows is starting inside a seam. The idea is to slip the needle between the fabric and the paper, catching the knot on the inside. I never thought of that!
I have been using WonderClips to hold my pieces together. It is imperfect at best despite the fabulousness of WonderClips. The video shows using regular transparent tape. Another great idea.
There are a couple of other good things about the flat back stitch. First, you don’t have to bend the paper/card pieces when you insert a piece (Y seam idea). This makes the card last longer. Second, the stitches don’t show at the beginning of the line of stitching, which they can if you are even a tiny smidge not careful. DIY Addict has some info about this after the 2:50 minute mark on her video.
This technique takes me longer, but I like the look and really am not in a rush to get another star attached to this piece.
Hard on the heels of the Peacock was a deadline for the Carpenter’s Wheel. Since I had started thinking of the background for each block in terms of low volume prints, there was a lot of text fabric included.When the text Challenge was announced at my modern guild, I immediately thought of this piece. It wasn’t exactly made specifically for this challenge, but it fit the theme and the blocks were just hanging around, so Text challenge quilt it was.
That meant that I had to get some of it done before the big reveal, which was Saturday. I couldn’t be there due to #politicalwifery. Still, I had options for showing it.
I used some mini charms, which I bought in Oregon, to get the ball rolling, but picked up other text fabrics along the way as well. A few weeks ago, I spent some quality time with the Accuquilt and the 2.5 inch die cutting, what I hoped were, enough squares to make 3 background blocks.
I refused to compromise my vision, which started with the layouts I worked on in the spring of last year. I wanted some good texture int he background, so multiple squares, rather than big squares of fabric it was to be. I began using the 2.5 inch squares as leaders and enders as I finished the back for The Peacock. I made a stack of 4 patches, which later turned into 3 background squares.
I wanted to see how 4 inch squares would look mixed in. I chose the fabrics carefully and fussy cut in some cases. I thought they fit in and didn’t scream, so I used a couple in each block. This make the piecing go a little faster and add a little relief to the background.
I had to sew into the evening on Thursday in order to give it to my SIL on Friday to take to the meeting. I succeeded and still got to spend time with DH. I have gotten some very nice comments on Instagram and hope, even if unfinished, it is well received at guild.
I spent some time over the weekend working on the Stepping Stones. I am ready to just piece without thinking. It never seems to work out, though. I always have to do some deciding or planning or math.
This past weekend required all three. As you might remember from my last update, I had some HSTs to make and was putting it off. I finally made them when I needed some easy piecing. I made a bunch so I would have some choice when I made a few more blocks to complete the top. After I made the HSTs and completed the leftover partial block, the question of the border came to mind.
I sat down to look at the EQ plan I had and found that I hadn’t completed it. I wasn’t 100% happy with the border I designed for the original Stepping Stones quilt. It is in no way terrible, but I wanted to finish off the groups of squares (red 4 patches set in groups of four, above).
I played around with EQ and came up with a new design. I am not sure it is the final for a couple of reasons:
I don’t know that the groups of red 4 patches in the corners add anything
I am not sure about the blue/green HSTs in the very corner. They add a little something, like breaking up a series of squares, but they don’t have any reference anywhere else in the quilt.
I am absolutely sure that I am happy with the red points that go into the border to finish off the scrappy lines of red that are made of HSTs throughout the quilt.
I want to get the border settled so I can start putting the whole top together via chunking. For chunking, I need to start in one of the corners.
I haven’t shown FOTY squares for awhile. Not sure why, but I haven’t been working as much as I like so I haven’t been cutting. I guess. You can see several recent projects in the squares. I am getting a nice stack.
There just really isn’t enough time in the day-week-month-lifetime to do all of the projects I want to do. I saw another one the other day that I might be able to slip in while I do other things.
I went to The Granary before Friend Julie and I had lunch to wait for her. Just inside the door they have books and magazines, so I took a look at a relatively new book by Diane Knott called Scrap Quilt Secrets**. I have a lot of scraps so I am always tempted to see what clever things authors do with them.
This is an interesting book. There were a few projects in which I was interested. Not enough of them to actually buy the book, and my library doesn’t have it, so, at the moment, I can’t do a review.
There was one quilt I thought would be a great leaders and enders project. It is called 4 Patch Plaid and uses 4 Patches plus some strips and cornerstones. I see 4 low volume 4 patches and 5 colored 4 patches. I like this pattern, aside from the 4 patches, because it looks like you are looking through a window at an interesting 4 patch quilt. I can imagine making many 4 patches in between other projects and suddenly having enough to make a quilt.
**Nota bene: C&T did not send me a copy of this book and I have no affiliation with the author.
The last time we talked about the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks I was trying out layouts. One reason these blocks are not next on my list is that I still have not decided on a layout. My mind keeps floating back to the round-ish layout I talked about after being inspired by Scraps Inc.
I think I really want to set these blocks in kind of a round layout and sew a million 2.5″ squares together to make it work. I might have to make a few more blocks.
I haven’t taken a photo of the layout, because my design wall isn’t large enough (I know I keep saying that) so I will really need to figure out how to take a photo and figure out if I need more blocks.