Sealife Quilt-let

Sealife quilt-let
Sealife quilt-let

This Sealife quilt-let started as a piece of fabric I bought at PIQF. Perhaps I bought it last year?

I bought this piece of fabric to make a quilt for my friend’s grandchild. Since I was giving his granddaughter the BAMaQG Color Round Robin, I couldn’t very well leave her older brother out. I wasn’t up for a full on boy quilt and this piece of fabric seemed to be a good compromise.

I call this a quilt-let, because there is no piecing. I don’t know if there is another name for this type of work, so quilt-let it is.

Sealife quilt-let back
Sealife quilt-let back

After basting it in my hotel room on Friday night, I spent most of Saturday quilting the piece using some flannel for the back. I used the lines on the fabric to guide my quilting.

I have to make a binding and sew that on. I didn’t bring fabric to do that so that is a task for another day.

I am not sure this project was on any of my project lists, which means I can’t cross it off. Still, the fabric has been laying around my workroom and now it will be finished so and off to its new home.

September Donation Blocks

As usual I added to the stash of donation blocks that the guild needs to keep our charities well supplied.

As mentioned, I spent some time with the Accuquilt cutting 2.5 inch squares. I have to cut more scraps as my scrap drawers are overflowing. Aside from cutting with the Accuquilt, that is something I can do it bits and pieces of time I find while dinner is cooking or when I am waiting for DH to be ready to leave.

A number of the blocks were made at the BAM Retreat.

Retreat Day 2

I didn’t sleep well after the first day of the retreat. New bed, weird noises, the usual. Nothing crazy, but I do like my good sleep.

Retreat prizes
Retreat prizes

The Retreat Committee started off the day by giving out retreat prizes. They had amazing prizes this year including a Daylight Slimline standing lamp. I really wanted that, but someone else got it.

After that I was focused on the V&Co Aurifil thread box. We get more raffle tickets when we finish things, so I got some for the charity work I did (described below).

Quilting the Sea Life quilt
Quilting the Sea Life quilt

I am almost never alone now after years of spending a lot of time working alone, so it was a novelty to be in a hotel room alone and I stayed closeted away for quite awhile on Saturday morning. After finishing my tea and writing in my journal, I had very few excuses to stay in bed, so I got up and got moving. After a big breakfast and a small walk, I got busy on quilting the Sea Life quilt-let.

Yep. I did my own quilting. I finished as much as I am going to do, quilting-wise, on it, but I do need to make and apply the binding.

The Sea Life quilt was my major activity. I was ready for some piecing, so I made a charity top and put together some 16 patches. The charity top (bottom right) blocks were made by someone else and I just put them together. Three seams and I was done. I used the charity top and blocks and to get over all that quilting on the Sea Life quilt-let.

The time has really flown by. It isn’t enough and I don’t know that I have accomplished enough. Of course, I accomplished more than I would have at home, but, still, I had hoped to accomplish much more.

 

Thanksgiving Tablemap Progress

Sheesh, October already!

Thanksgiving Tablemap Retreat Progress
Thanksgiving Tablemap Retreat Progress

The last time I wrote about this project was after last year’s Retreat. I can’t believe I have done nothing on this project since then. Well, I really can believe it, because I don’t like to quilt. The Retreat is the only time I seem to be able to tolerate it.

I has some problems as mentioned yesterday, but got the binding most of the way on, so the end is in sight.

I don’t have my binding tool, but there are YouTube videos and other tutorials on joining the binding, so I had some hope I would be able to accomplish that at the Retreat, too.

I have high hopes that this will be on the coffee table for Thanksgiving, if not before.

Retreat Day 1

Cramming my stuff into the little car
Cramming my stuff into the little car

BAM’s retreat started on Friday. I did not go to the gym Friday morning, though I did go for a walk. I could have gone to the gym and that was my plan, but I decided I wanted to relax a little bit and not rush around.

The night before DH decided he needed our larger car on Saturday to ferry people to the football game, which left me with our small car. I pared down projects a little bit, though not much. We packed some of my gear on Thursday night so I would mostly be ready to go. I had space, but used most of the available area to cram sewing supplies in.

BAM Sew Happy Retreat
BAM Sew Happy Retreat

Rhonda was kind enough to save me a seat. I sat between Sonja and Liz while I was across from Gerre and Rhonda. Our side of the room was relatively quiet, compared to the Mary-Amy side of the room, which was hilarity personified. We did talk about the Supreme Court nominations quite a bit. What a fiasco.

BAM pillow swap pillow
BAM pillow swap pillow

One of the first things I noticed was that Maria brought the swap pillow I made for her. She is using it to make the hotel chairs more comfy. Gerre also had a pincushion I made and the EPP kit I made. She was showing them off, which was sweet. I am really glad to see people like my work and use what I make.

The tables filled up quickly as people trickled in throughout the day.

People also started working on charity right away. I made a block as I pieced my MetroScape blocks.  I used my own fabrics, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ll make more tomorrow. Claire finished a Spiderweb quilt that Liz had made.

Peggy's Improv Flying Geese
Peggy’s Improv Flying Geese

Peggy made a really cool quilt top from the additional blocks made when we used the Chevron design. It is kind of improv Flying Geese-y.

Thanksgiving tablemat quilting
Thanksgiving tablemat quilting

After finishing the purple dot MetroScape block, I turned to the Thanksgiving Tablemat. I started quilting the center. I didn’t have the right green for the background, so I stuck to the lines in the center.

As I put on the binding, I saw the back and realized that the tension was terrible. Not anywhere near good enough to salvage, so I ripped it all out, finished putting on the binding (still need to join the ends) and called it good. The piece doesn’t have a ton of quilting, but it has enough for its purpose.

The Retreat Committee is really well organized. Everything is going very smoothly. We have a HUGE array of prizes that will be distributed throughout the weekend. We got a bunch of raffle tickets just for arriving. I put most of my tickets in the cup for a Daylight Slimline lamp. I don’t think I really need it as my lighting situation at home is good, but it would improve the situation so much. It is making me think of reorganizing and revamping my workroom. That is such a HUGE project that thinking about it when I am not anywhere near home is the only way I can deal with it.

On to Day 2!

MetroScape Block n.2

MetroScape Block n.2
MetroScape Block n.2

I should have started a new project sooner then I wouldn’t have felt so bad. I started on the next block and I really like it.

I’m still sticking to dots in the outer section of the block. I haven’t decided if I will try the stripes. The thought of matching stripes makes me a bit crazy.

MetroScape block 2 in process
MetroScape block 2 in process

I worked on this block at the retreat, too, and made good progress. Having a nice piecing project to work on is awesome.

MetroScape Block n.2
MetroScape Block n.2

I did finish the block yesterday and am pleased with the way it came out.

ColorPlay: Windspinner

ColorPlay: Windspinner original
ColorPlay: Windspinner original

I took this photo in Tahoe. I really like those Windspinners.I can’t buy one, because DH gets sick.

There are a lot of colors, if a person is careful with the little Palette Builder circles. I had fun looking for them.

ColorPlay-Windspinners-default
ColorPlay-Windspinners-default

Despite my efforts, the default palette is still a bunch of neutrals.  It is really dark, but somehow strangely appealing. The Kona Earth is a nice brown.

ACK! I can’t believe I said that about brown.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.1
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.1

I went for totally bright and cheerful in the first palette. The green in this palette is really a good addition. I like the Grasshopper with the Papaya even though I am not much of a green person.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.2
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.2

I went for a cool colors palette. Isn’t it fun? I kept the Grasshopper. It is a nice dark with the other colors.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.3
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.3

Palette number 3 is the monochromatic palette that weighs heavily towards turquoise. 😉 I did add in the darks to make it a little different. The Kona Carribean and Breakers are two great darks.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.4
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.4

I had to get out of my favorite cool colors, so I went with warms. This is a nice combinations of pinks and golds, I think.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.5
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.5

I couldn’t get away from the cools, even though I tried. I added some lavender and those greens – more mossy and sagey – add something, especially with the Breakers.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.6
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.6

I dragged myself away from the cools again and went back to warms, though I couldn’t stay completely away and that Jade Green combined with the Kona Cotton Red and the Pomegranate is awesome.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.7
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.7

I did a backwards version of n.6 in that I used mostly cools with a warm.

What will you make?

 

MetroScape Block 1

MetroScape Block 1
MetroScape Block 1

I finished the block and it was very satisfying. I really needed a piecing project.

I also like how cheerful this block is. Those giant dots are great.

I used some Philip Jacobs fabric in the centers of the corners because why not?

One excellent thing about this pattern is that the directions say to trim certain parts. This means that the sections go together really well!

I already started working on the next block!

MetroScape Piecing

MetroScape start
MetroScape start

I wondered about whether I would enjoy making this block after finding the ruler and the pattern the other day.

It has a lot of curves, which can be problematic in general. I also had to use a special ruler. Sometime special rulers create great effects and sometimes they are a disaster.

I started out easy with 4 blocks that create the center. All of the center blocks will be dots and stripes. Sewing four squares together was easy.

MetroScape curves
MetroScape curves

I dove in and started cutting curves. I had some issues but it was mostly operator error. Cutting the first block took me a long time as I attempted to navigate the pattern and fabric choices.

I am planning on using dots on the outer part of the block, but I don’t know if I will have enough dots to differentiate the blocks enough. I am scared of trying to line up the stripes, but I might try one block with stripes to see how it looks.

I did realize that the pattern is called MetroSCOPE not MetroScape. Well, I am going with MetroScape regardless. I don’t have a better name and it kind of reminds me of landscape.

New Donation Blocks

I made a couple of donation blocks over the weekend. Just a couple. I can’t seem to get away from the turquoise, though green is definitely forcing its way into the mix.

I found a whole bunch of Bonnie and Camille 2.5 inch squares leftover from the Stepping Stones n.2 quilt. That means more turquoise, though some red and pink as well.

MetroScape

I felt like I needed a piecing project. I have finished (or prepared for quilting) quite a few projects this year. I decided I could start something new. The project I started was on my Dream/Future projects list.

I looked at a couple of the projects on my various lists, but the Quick Curve Ruler project floated to the top. I looked at the Goodnight Irene project. This is a project from Missouri Star, though it has been around in other places as well. I have a lot of 2.5 inch squares already cut, so I could have started pretty quickly. There was something about it that didn’t grab me.

I also looked at the Thirty Something project. I have been cutting 1.5 inch squares for the center blocks and have enough to make a start. The problem was that there is a lot of other cutting required. I don’t mind doing some cutting, but I didn’t want to have to spend a whole weekend cutting before I could actually sew. I need to add some different pieces to my cutting list so I can make some progress on this project. I have to say that the 1930s fabrics** used in the project in the magazine are not appealing to me.  The fabrics might have been a bit off putting. I don’t know.

I looked in my book and saw the Quick Curve Ruler project. I didn’t have a specific pattern in mind, but wanted to try the ruler. The YM bought it for me a few years ago and it was time to get around to trying it out.

MetroScape pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful
MetroScape pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful

Even though I don’t use patterns much, I have a few for this ruler and thought it would be a good idea to follow one. I chose MetroScape after looking at the two I could find easily.

Stay tuned for some progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Nota bene: I don’t dislike 1930s fabrics; they just aren’t a favorite and this 30 Something project is overwhelmingly 1930s fabrics. The overall look was too….something.

Indulgent and Pragmatic

Accuquilt Go!
Accuquilt Go!

The other day I wrote about using the Accuquilt to cut up some scraps. SherriD asked me some questions about the Accuquilt and it made me realize I had never really articulated how I use my Accuquilt. Perhaps I have and I just can’t find it in the blog?

I bought the Accuquilt on sale in order to cut about 10,000 strips for the Renewed Jelly Roll Race quilt. I felt like it was an indulgent purchase, but also somewhat pragmatic. It worked really well for that type of cutting (as long as I was able to straighten the fabric accurately). I don’t have a large cutting table so cutting long strips can be a nightmare of folding. The Accuquilt works really well for this purpose.

I determined, early on in my Accuquilt ownership, that I was not going buy every die. I also did not plan to buy the applique’ dies. I don’t do much applique’ and I saw no reason to clutter up my shrinking fabric closet with dies I would never use. Having a complete collection is not important to me.

I also decided I would buy basic dies – squares and strips. I want dies that give me as many options as possible, so I buy sizes of squares, mostly, that I can use in various quilts. 2.5 inch squares is the die I use the most for ‘on spec’ cutting. I also use the 2 inch die as I am still collecting blue, green and purple squares for the Blueberry Lemonade quilt I plan to make at some point.

Accuquilt-HRT die
Accuquilt-HRT die

I have branched out a little. I have an HRT die. Never used, but I have it. It is a great example of why I try to be careful about the dies I buy. I bought it thinking I could pair it with 2.5 inch square a la the Spiky Stars quilt. It isn’t the right size. That is an obvious drawback for dies. With rulers, you can cut whatever size you need. The dies are usually limited to one size. I have seen dies with multiple shapes or sizes, but that isn’t always the case.

I often use SIL’s Peaky & Spike die, so much so that I have thought of buying my own. Up until now using hers is fine. She and I coordinate die buying now that we live near each other. That expands both of our collections.

Triangles are a pain to cut, so I either use the Triangle Technique or some other quick cutting method. Triangles are great to cut with the Accuquilt, but I haven’t invested in the dies. I have a few, I think, but I find they often aren’t the right size for my project.

I probably would have bought the electric version if it had been available when I was shopping. If you are thinking of a die cutter, see if a local shop has one they rent. Some shops do and that can be a good way to try them out.

The bottomline is that there is no one way for me to cut. I use rulers, dies, templates and whatever else works for my project. Do what works for you.

 

ColorPlay: Umbrellas

ColorPlay-umbrellas-Original
ColorPlay-umbrellas-Original

I’m always looking for photos with the most color possibilities. This week is no exception. I took this photo in Portland. The umbrellas were hanging down from the ceiling, covering the ceiling.

It doesn’t have as many colors as I would like, but until I start playing with the Palette Builder, I always think the photo I chose has more colors than it really does.

ColorPlay-Umbrellas-default
ColorPlay-Umbrellas-default

The Kona Earth looks like a cocoa color to me. Surprisingly the tool put some color into the default palette. I suppose it would have been really weird if it ignored the pink umbrella completely. It didn’t do much with the green umbrella.

ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n1
ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n1

I took charge of the pink to see how much pink I could get out of the one photo. I was surprised that I got quite a lot. You can see all the dots are only on the pink umbrella.

ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n2
ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n2

I went a little broader in my second palette. I like that Cotton Sage blue. Sage is green to me, but whatever that color is, it lends a brightness to an otherwise neutral palette.

ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n3
ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n3

This 3rd palette is virtually the same as the one above except for a few tweaks. I wanted to just move the circles a little bit and see what came up. The green created Evergreen, which really looks black. I suppose I agree with the Desert Green name. Colors in the desert can be very pale, bleaches looking. The neutral palette is softer, I think.

ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n4
ColorPlay-Umbrellas-n4

The fourth palette reminds me of dessert. The neutrals have a richness to them, especially the Kona Cinnamon.

In general, this photo is primarily generating neutral palettes with me teasing out the least bit of color to make them my own.

 

Column Donation Top Finished

The other day I talked about the column donation top. I was able to finish it fairly simply.

Column donation top - Finished
Column donation top – Finished

The large piece of batik has been burning a hole in my pocket – or whatever the quilt equivalent of that is. I decided to use it for this piece and some of the leftovers on the back. It isn’t an exact match to the turquoise fabrics in the blocks, but I think it works well.

I worried about the Dove block touching the large expanse of blue, but I think it works. I am pleased with the top and am glad to clear up a few leftovers into something that will be useful.

Cutting Scraps

I am in a little bit of a quiltmaking funk at the moment. Not sure why except work is taking a lot of brainpower. One of the results of these feelings is that I tidy. You saw the column quilt I posted the other day. That was the result of leftover pieces and blocks.

Accuquilt work on scraps
Accuquilt work on scraps

At Craft Night on Monday, I brought down a drawer full of scraps and cut them up with my Accuquilt. I made it through the whole, mostly white, drawer and came up with, perhaps, 80-100 2.5 inch squares. I’ll have a good supply for donation block backgrounds.