Finished: Stepping Stones n.2 Top

Stepping Stones Top
Stepping Stones Top

Yes, I worked really hard over the weekend and finished the top!

I also finished the back and binding, so the piece is ready to go to Colleen. Yay!

I started playing around with colors in 2012, so this quilt has been hanging around for longer than I thought. Those first tests were a lot different than what this quilt turned out to be. I am pretty pleased with the colors, though the darker turquoises do stand out. At least they are evenly spaced.

I have another group of fabrics destined for this pattern. Regardless of whether I actually use those fabrics for n.3 remains to be seen, but I don’t think I am quite done with this pattern yet. I’ll need a different border. This one is fine, but not for a second quilt.

As You Sew, So Shall You Rip

I realized that I don’t talk much about ripping out stitching. I do it all the time and this week was no exception.

Stepping Stones n.2 - 1 seam left
Stepping Stones n.2 – 1 seam left

I have been eager to finish the Stepping Stones n.2 top as it has been on my design wall for too long. In my rush, I put a block together wrong and then put it in the quilt. With one seam to go to finish the top, I had to rip out a bunch of seams. Yes, I had to. I looked at the quilt for a long time time, trying to decide if I could live with the mistake. I didn’t want to rip when I was so close to finishing, but I just couldn’t live with the problem.

Stepping Stones n.2 - 1 seam left + error
Stepping Stones n.2 – 1 seam left + error

The look is almost right, but if the viewer looks hard, there is a disruption in the pattern. Also, all of a sudden two like fabrics were placed together, which I really worked hard to avoid all through the piecing process.

I am sure you can’t avoid the big circle, but refer back to the photo above to see the problem. Look down and to the left one row to the see the duplicate fabrics (not circled.

Stepping Stones n.2 - lower right hand corner - ripped
Stepping Stones n.2 – lower right hand corner – ripped

Yep. I ripped. I thought I would just take out one row from one block and sew it back in. I ended up taking part a good portion of the lower right hand corner. The photo with the arrow is before I ripped out some other pieces.

I am in the process of sewing the bottom back together and finishing the top.

Stepping Stones n.2 Painfully Slow Progress

Christa Watson has a new pattern out called Stepping Stones. It looks like a reimagined Rail Fence to me, but who am I to say? I had to stop contemplating the names of blocks, however and get back to sewing.

Stepping Stones Border Block - Left Side
Stepping Stones Border Block – Left Side

I try to make a CrockPot meal for Mondays so that we can come home, eat and I can go to Craft Night in a timely manner. Craft Night was at my house on Monday and the meal was over and done before I even needed to prepare the tea and all. I had about half an hour of time, so I raced up to my workroom and sewed! I didn’t have a lot of time over the weekend to sew, so this was a good way to scratch that itch for sewing.

Stepping Stones Border Block - Right Side
Stepping Stones Border Block- Right Side

I wasn’t able to finish a lot, but every little bit helps. I had cut some fabric, so I could work on a couple of border blocks, which I did. These blocks will allow me to put together another row of the top.

The green and blue HSTs indicate the middle of the quilt and prove I am halfway finished with the top. I know you believe me, but sometimes I need to prove to myself I am making progress as slow as that progress might be.

Aside from cutting more pieces, which I have mentioned, I have to make a few more HSTs. I can’t actually see one corner of the quilt, because there is some stuff piled in front of it ( 🙁 , I know). Once I sew the latest row to the top, I’ll be able to pull the quilt up and really work on the bottom.

Progress might be painfully slow, but I am making progress. It would be really great to finish this top before July 7, but we will see.

Stepping Stones n.2 Half

Stepping Stones n.2 - top half
Stepping Stones n.2 – top half

I made really good progress over the weekend. I had only a few seams to sew in order to finish half of the quilt. The quilt is starting to look like something!

You might remember that I finished the first quarter not that long ago and kind of got on a roll.

I have had to cut a lot of blues and greens for the border, so that is taking time, but at least I can do a few at a time in between everything else.

Looking at this half makes me think that I might have to work on another one of these. I would like to see the framework of the red diamonds more filled in. On the other hand, if I used more red, would the Sawtooth Stars (check the middle, right under the red square) show up? Perhaps fabric with less contrast? Red and pink or orange and yellow? I’ll have to play around.

I also need to work on the border of a new version. This border is ok, but not great. Not sure why, but it isn’t doing much for me.

Color My Quilt: Michelle

Color My Quilt: Michelle- Fog
Color My Quilt: Michelle- Fog

I am still behind on the BAMaQG Color My Quilt project. I decided while I was sewing the Stepping Stones n.2 over Memorial Day that I would slide in the Color My Quilt pieces. I sewed on them in between the Spiky 16 Patches and the Stepping Stones n.2.

Michelle’s theme was fog. I am quite familiar with it, so I pulled greys out of my scrap drawer and put another long thin piece together.

It is simple and straightforward. I hope it works with the other pieces she got.

Stepping Stones n.2 – Top Quarter

Stepping Stones n.2 - top quarter
Stepping Stones n.2 – top quarter

I wouldn’t normally put a quilt together like this (you know I like chunking!), but it is too long to fit completely on my large design wall. I put the top quarter (ish??) together and and then flung it over the top so only the bottom couple of rows are showing. That allowed me to move everything up and work more on the middle. I hope also, to work on the bottom, but I will probably have to move it up again.

I am always amazed at how good quilt tops look sewing together. I really like the top part of this quilt and it took me so long to get to this point. Yes, I have a lot more cutting and a lot more sewing, but I am thrilled, finally, to be making some progress!

Stepping Stones n.2 is Back….Again

I have been in a sewing drought for the past few weeks. Not because I didn’t want to see but because I had no time.

Stepping Stones n.2 Border Block- side
Stepping Stones n.2 Border Block- side

On Saturday, in the late afternoon, I got back down to business. I came back from being out most of the day and started sewing on the Stepping Stones n.2 blocks.

I still haven’t cut all the pieces I need to finish the border blocks. I have been cutting and sewing alternately which allowed me to sew 2 blocks together before dinner and that small amount of progress really made me feel great

HRTs in Process

HRTs in May
HRTs in May

A lot of what I am doing at the moment is prep. Cutting fabric that I can’t sew together now, but will do so later. Pressing fabric that will be cut whose small pieces will eventually be sewn back into a large piece of something. This is the sad nature of Hunting & Gathering.

As I mentioned the other day, I have been cutting clues for more Spiky 16 patch blocks. I have quite a number of 16 patches waiting to be spiked, so there is a never ending need. For some reason that I can’t remember right now, I couldn’t actually get fabric under the machine, but I could cut and I cut a lot.

I have to say and I am really liking the Split Recs ruler by Studio 180 Designs. I can cut gazillions of these pieces without thinking twice. Watch the video!

Weekend Progress- Octagon 9 Patch

Octagon 9 Patch - April Progress
Octagon 9 Patch – April Progress

I worked on the Octagon Nine Patch quite a bit over the weekend, despite the several hours I spent helping clear out my MIL’s house. I am pleased with my progress.

I didn’t want to do a complicated border, but the quilt demanded something more than a plain border and self-bordering is way better than sewing on a plain border any day! This means I am creating more Snowball units with the intention of “finishing off” the Nine Patches. In between the border snowball units I will put squares of grey. I am hoping it will look more woven this way, but I don’t know. You can see some of it coming together in the lower right hand corner.

BAM Pillow Swap

BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry
BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry

I needed to rest at the beginning of March, but knew I had a pillow swap to finish by the April meeting. My recipient’s color preferences were listed as:

  • Green (lime, pickle)
  • magenta
  • orange
  • white

I wanted to be sure my design was modern, fit the desires of the recipient and wasn’t too difficult to piece. I immediately thought of the Alison Glass fabrics I used for the Triple Star. Except for the white, I thought those fabrics would fit well with the desired color scheme.

I had a pillow I thought was made by my pal Amanda stuck in my mind. I asked her about it and she suggested Pinterest. I immediately found the design for which I was looking – the X Plus O block. Once I had the name, I found a lot of examples and spent a happy hour laying on the couch and looking at them.I also found an example that I thought would be good inspiration.

Before I could really sew again, I worked on the design using EQ8. I was able to play with the size and get the elements right.

Maria's BAM Pillow Swap in process
Maria’s BAM Pillow Swap in process

After I could sew again, I went back to working on my Sew Together Bag project. In the middle of that project, I needed a break, but didn’t want to reset my machine for piecing. I knew that if I did, I would have three more UFOs and another year would pass before I could give the gifts. Cutting was a good idea, so I cut out all of the pieces.

One of the helpful parts of EQ8 is the ability to print out rotary cutting directions. I found a bug in the process of doing this, which I reported to the Electric Quilt Company. It turned out not to be a bug; they don’t consider a lozenge shape to rotary cuttable. I was able to figure out the size to cut a square as I plan to use the flippy corners method or the Simple Folded Corners Ruler.

I also used the Spoonflower zipper installation instructions. I acually watched the video and found it to be really helpful. I am pleased with how my pillow’s zipper closure came out, though I had to redo it a couple of times. I think the problem was the zipper foot I used. I used the flat snap on zipper foot. I didn’t feel like I could get as close to the zipper as I like. As a result I didn’t catch the seam allowance, which makes a closed up area around the zipper. I should have used the tall, skinny foot. I am used to it. I didn’t use it because I was sick of installing feet and resetting settings on my machine. I paid the price.

BAM Pillow Swap Recipients
BAM Pillow Swap Recipients

We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.

Octagon 9 Patch Again

Octagon 9 Patch, joining blocks
Octagon 9 Patch, joining blocks

I am working on this project very slightly. Each time I need a leader and ender, but am not working on a donation block, I put one of these through the machine. I have a fair number now.

I am only joining one octagon block to one 9 patch block at the moment. Once I do that, I’ll see where to go next. Design wall, probably, which is full at the moment.

BAMaQG IRR Top Ready for Next Steps

BAMaQG Improv Round Robin
BAMaQG Improv Round Robin

The top is finished and I am on to putting together the back. I don’t think I will make my deadline of having this ready for Big Stitching, but I have made great progress and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There is much more space and lightness in the piece and the solid areas will provide some good spaces for stitching.

BAMaQG IRR 360

Well, so much for squaring it up and getting it ready to hand quilt!

BAMaQG IRR, in 2018
BAMaQG IRR, in 2018

I put this piece up on the design wall and decided that the bottom of the quilt was too heavy. The sections needed space so they could be seen. In order to provide space, I had to unsew some of the quilt, modify and resew.

BAMaQG IRR - midway
BAMaQG IRR – midway

This took longer than expected and the top is no longer in one piece. When it is finished it will be bigger and there will be more space at the bottom. I am more happy as I see the lightness at the bottom develop.

 

BAMaQG IRR - 3/4s of the way
BAMaQG IRR – 3/4s of the way

I am making progress and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. My goal at the moment is to try to get the sides to be same same length (or approximately) as the middle. I am working on the last bit of the bottom, which is sort of improv-y, but more like my normal quilt style, though less planned up front.

I am happier with the piece in general, though I did feel a little bad about messing up others’ work. I do think this is a better piece, designwise.

Stepping Stones n.2 Progresses

I have been cutting a lot of fabrics for this quilt. As a result, I was reminded of why I like Hunting and Gathering. I have not hunted or gathered fabrics for this project, so I have to cut fabric in order to finish. If I had done some Hunting and Gathering, I would have all of the cutting completed and be on to piecing. I don’t really like cutting a lot all at once. For a scrappy quilt, there is a lot of cutting.

Stepping Stones n.2- end of Feb 2018
Stepping Stones n.2- end of Feb 2018

Fortunately, I just got to it, listened to a book and cut away. Since the beast is so big, i can only really work on two sides at a time. In the photo, right, I am working on the top and the right hand side. While only working on two sides, I am still cutting for the left and bottom. Compared to the photo I showed you last week, you can see that this piece is progressing well. You can also see the design coming together.

I finally cut enough fabric so that I could put a couple of blocks together. I just had to do it. I felt like I was making no progress, even though I could see that I was cutting. So, I made the blocks. What a relief. Now I feel like I am making progress. It is just tedious to keep cutting, cutting, cutting all the time.

Stepping Stones: right hand top corner
Stepping Stones: right hand top corner

The block with the green and blue HSTs is one of the corner blocks. With the red 4 patch, you can see how the border integrates into the quilt design as a whole.

 

As mentioned I was able to piece two blocks. You can see the red four patches and the rest of the blocks in more detail above. While there are some duplicates, most of the border blocks are made especially for one location in the quilt. I designed the border this way, so the center motif would be finished and not cut off along the edges.

Stepping Stones n.2 On the Wall

Stepping Stones n.2 in process
Stepping Stones n.2 in process

After FOTY 2016, I put the Stepping Stones n.2 on the wall. I thought of doing the Blue Gradation quilt, but I needed something relatively easy.

HA! I chose wrong. This quilt isn’t difficult and all the center blocks are finished. I need to make all the border blocks and in the design of the border, I am using the self bordering technique. This means that the border is made from blocks that, when viewed together, form a border.

I had completely designed the border, which was good and just needed to make it. I found that I had no green patches, no blue 4.5″ patches and no HSTs. Basically I had to made the whole border from scratch – cutting everything, making the blocks and finally sewing.

No problem, right?

Well, it was a little bit of a problem, because the quilt is too big for my design wall. Sigh. I have to make part of the quilt and then move the quilt over and make the rest. It is a strategy, but not an ideal strategy.

I have about two complete border blocks done, mostly because I needed to see some progress. The style of the quilt requires a lot of different fabrics, so a lot of cutting.