FOTY 2017 Top Finished!

FOTY 2017 Top - finished
FOTY 2017 Top – finished

Well, I did it. After what seemed like a lot of trauma, I finished the top last Wednesday in a couple of hours of free time after I finished my chores and work.

I thought I would just sew more chunks together, but it turned out that the quiltmaking goddess smiled on me and all my seams were straight and there was no (or minimal) ripping required.

Now we can really see the gradation and I make no bones about how hard I worked at it this time. It is interesting to see some areas that appear lighter IRL appear darker in the photo (check on the blues next to the bird in the middle of the quilt). I do like the way it looks like the columns are fading in and out. It also has that skyline effect, which is great.

FOTY 2017 Back - ready to quilt
FOTY 2017 Back – ready to quilt

I buckled down and made the back, binding and sleeve on Sunday. Yep! Even the sleeve. I feel quite virtuous.

This is a really hard exercise and I challenge you to do something similar.

More Progress on FOTY 2017

There are a lot of pieces to sew for FOTY 2017, but I have, slowly, but surely, been making progress. I thought I could finish the top this past weekend. Even if I hadn’t worked with DH to replace our horrendous jerry-rigged, 20+ year old living room curtain rod, I wouldn’t have had enough time. There are just too many seams.

FOTY 2017 - very early April 2019
FOTY 2017 – very early April 2019

I am not being super precious about placement this time. I would never have started if I held myself to that standard this time around. I do still tweak placement as I go along, for better or for worse.

I am really looking forward to the whole thing being together as I want to see if it looks like a skyline.

The creativity posts will resume at some point.

FOTY 2017 Progressing

FOTYY 2017 - end of March in process
FOTYY 2017 – end of March in process

I have been tired all week, but FOTY 2017 is progressing. I am sewing so I can arrange further. As per usual, the design wall is too small, though I think DH is happy otherwise I might make a quilt as large as the house. 😉

The piece shrinks a lot due to some trimming and also the seam allowances.

I hope to finish the top this weekend.

Sewing FOTY 2017

Yes, I started to sew. Yes, I started to sew even though not all of the patches are on the design wall. I don’t have the space and am letting go of a little bit of the control.

FOTY 2017 - Sewing start
FOTY 2017 – Sewing start

I am fairly pleased with the overall layout. I think the colors are pretty much in the right place except for the light blue/blue-green. The gradation seems ok at the bottom, but might not work towards the top. I still have time.

I do end up having to trim blocks. It is fine as I will do it a little at a time. I am still figuring out the math on this one – what size to cut, so I don’t ruin anything.

Mondo Bag Start

You know that I often like to make projects multiple times to get the hang of the process. The other day, avoiding FOTY 2017 and having some time at Craft Night, I started on the Mondo Bag. I bought the pattern at Golden State a few weeks ago when I was in San Jose.

I have been wanting to make the larger size of this bag since I took the Scruffy Quilts Midi Bag class. I like the Midi bag and wanted to cement the process in my head. Recently I was thinking that my, as yet unstarted, new knitting project would fit better in a larger bag. Thus the perfect opportunity presented itself.

Mondo Bag start
Mondo Bag start

The process is that you press 2.5 inch squares on to an interfacing pattern, then fold and sew until you have a panel. Since I was at Craft Night, I pinned the squares to the interfacing. I did this for convenience, but also so I could contemplate the design before I pressed everything down permanently.

I am using Flow and Basic Mixology mini-charms. I had some packs from QuiltCon, I think, and they seem to go together well. Not perfectly, but well. So far, I am pleased with the results. The mini-charm packs have been hanging around for awhile. I was waiting for this project to come along so I could use them.

FOTY 2017 Feeling Better

FOTY 2017-mid March layout
FOTY 2017-mid March layout

I rearranged all of the patches for FOTY 2017 and am feeling much better about the layout. I still have some design problems, but I feel like I am finally making good progress and am not feeling so much design despair.

The white and light patches will fill in the top of the piece to make it square.

Yes, colors need to be rearranged a bit and I need to slip in a column of turquoise, but otherwise I think this is basically the layout I will use. It is much better than my previous idea.

I know Angela loved the subway tile layout, but as a design concept, it wasn’t working. I may try that layout with smaller patches.

Again, my design wall cannot contain this series of quilts. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is. I have to figure out how to add 3 more columns to this piece without design wall support.

Next FOTY?

First FOTY 2019??
First FOTY 2019??

This might be the beginning of FOTY 2019. The pieces are the same size as FOTY 2018 as I have the Ellsworth Kelly idea and I might want to do one with black squares and one with slate squares. I could also combine the two and do a FOTY 2018/19. I am getting behind now that FOTY 2017 is not jelling. I could probably skip FOTY 2017 and get to FOTY 2018, but that seems wrong to me.

FOTY 2017 Back on the Design Wall

FOTY 2017 - second effort on the design wall
FOTY 2017 – second effort on the design wall

I resorted the patches and have started to arrange FOTY 2017 on the design wall. It isn’t going well.

Why? I don’t know. It just isn’t working.

I did some math and am thinking I need to make the piece 18 rows by 18 columns to make it square, though that does not use all of the patches. I could make it a little off square and make it 19 rows by 18 columns, but that would use more patches, which is my goal.

I have another idea to try.

Quilty Birthday

2019 Birthday Gifts
2019 Birthday Gifts

No, my birthday is not in February, but I didn’t have a chance to show off my gifts until now. I am not trying to make anyone jealous.

It was a pretty big quilty birthday, which is not always the case. I got a new cutting mat. I have smaller cutting mats that go with me when I travel or participate in Sew Day. The mat I use in my workroom, however, is the one I got when I started making quilts more than 30 years ago! It was time for an upgrade and I am using and loving the new one. It does make a difference.

I received some new Tula dots. I’ll have to figure out something fabulous to make with them.

Charm square project tote
Charm square project tote

I also got a number of new project totes, which is great! I really like putting my projects in totes and keeping everything together. This little tote (right) fits charm squares. Not sure how I will use it, but will figure something out.

I haven’t tried everything out, but am slowly working my way through all the new stuff. I am so fortunate to have such great friends. It was so nice get things related to my passion.

Green Strips Donation Top

Green Strips donation top
Green Strips donation top

The Green Strips donation top and back is finally finished and ready to take to BAM.

I made it from green scraps and a yard of Kona Cream that Amanda gave me. The scrap bin is right next to my sewing machine, so I can reach in an rummage without even getting up! It would be a bad thing except I have to get up to iron and cut, so I still get steps in.

The block was inspired by Alison, as I think I have mentioned, though she does hers on a foundation. That is probably a good idea, though I didn’t have a lot of problems with bias.

Green Strips donation back
Green Strips donation back

I dragged down the green bin and pulled out some yardage I didn’t think I would use for the back.

What Are Scraps?

Blue scrap drawer
Blue scrap drawer

As I work on the strip blocks, I have been pondering scraps. My scraps are small. Often times they are smaller than 2.5″. Not always, because periodically I get sick of sorting scraps and larger pieces end up in the scrap drawers. I am forcing myself to add more pieces to the bag for filling pet beds, because I have a lot of fabric and I probably won’t get through the yardage much less shreds of fabric. Pet Beds are a good cause. A lot of my fabric does not go to the landfill because of Pet Beds.

When my bins get too full, I get out my Accuquilt and cut up scraps into smaller pieces. One problem with Accuquilt cutting is that I only have certain dies and certain projects that need certain pieces. I need 2″ squares of blue,green and purple but not of white. I need 2.5″ squares of all colors, but not all scraps are large enough to cut a 2.5″ square. The whole scrap management thing is really a headache, which is one reason I have been defaulting to pet bed filling lately.

Alison's Blocks
Alison’s Blocks

A lot of what I keep are strips. I keep them, because they can be useful, but not large enough for 2″ or 2.5″ squares. I am using up some strips making the blocks Alison showed me (right).

Larger scraps, like half a FQ, stay with my yardage. I do that partially because my scrap bins are already overflowing and there isn’t space. I also do it because if I can cut more than a 2.5″ square out of the piece, I don’t really consider it a scrap. I occasionally find something I can use for a large-ish scrap requirement in a scrap bin. If I do, as mentioned, I was probably sick of sorting scraps.

I have used a lot of scraps for journal covers, which is a fun exercise in improv piecing and color combinations.

What do you consider to be scraps? How large are scraps in your scrap bins? Fill out the 1 question scrap survey and I will report back on the results in another post later.

Last FOTY 2018?

FOTY 2018 (December 2018)
FOTY 2018 (December 2018)

This particular grouping looks really nice together – the attraction of a fabric line, I suppose.

My quiltmaking supplies and tools are put away while I care for the YM, so this may be the last group of patches for FOTY 2018. There are still a few days until the end of the year, so we will see.

FOTY 2018 – early November

FOTY 2018 squares - early November 2018
FOTY 2018 squares – early November 2018

I cut all of the fabric that was waiting on my ironing board to be cut. I tend to press fabric when I am stressed, but I don’t always get to cutting up the pieces I need for future projects.

I really should have been packing for two trips I was taking, but instead I cut fabric. Now I have a completely empty ironing board and a lot more pieces to add to my various boxes. Future projects: here I come!

FOTY 2018 AGAIN…Finally

FOTY 2018 -October 2018
FOTY 2018 -October 2018

I finally got enough squares to make an interesting post for you. The last time I posted was in August, so not horrific, but long enough. I am not cutting up fabric and the pace I should be. I keep just piecing.

You’ll notice the MetroScape fabrics mostly missing. I am waiting to finish the top before I cut up many squares, because I’d rather have those fabrics missing from FOTY 2018 than not be able to finish the MetroScape quilt. I think I’ll have plenty.