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