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!
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.
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)
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.
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.
We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, I am reporting on another quilt top/back ready to quilt. The last one was the Triple Star.
Fabric of the Year 2016 is ready to take to Colleen. I spent enough time on gradating the colors together, but quickly realized that there were some prints that weren’t going to gradate and I needed to not beat my head against the wall.
I am pleased with the way it came out, but those blacks and browns are just a PITA and really, really irritating.
This quilt is affectionately called ‘Year of the Duck”, thanks to SIL#2.
I really wanted to use a certain Philip Jacobs fabric for the back, but I restrained myself, because I want to use it for something I can see or use more often. I compromised and used a lovely peony-old fashioned rose-some other kind of random flower print.
FOTY 2017 is coming up in the queue. Not next, but soon.
I finished the Triple Star top and back. The package is ready to go to the quilter, which will, once I get it there, make 4 quilts she will have of mine. I am waiting to finish another top before I take this one to her.
I used Sarah Goer’s Planned Improv technique to lay the quilt out, as I mentioned. It worked well, though I would have made some adjustments if I had a larger design wall. Some of the stars needed a bit more space. I just didn’t have the room I really needed to work.
Still, I am pretty pleased with the way it came out and am on to the next project(s). 🙂
I am behind a couple of pieces, but found the directions for this one that is due in March for Sue and decided to go for it.
Except for the colors, these were all fabrics and scraps that were laying out. Her idea was to highlight one color or a color group that represented us by neutrals. I thought this was a cool idea. I used the leftover greys from the Triple Star and Planned Improv pieces as well as some blacks for the Black and Red quilt.
There is a little bit of red in one of the prints, which doesn’t quite work with the rules, but it will have to do. I always think a little red in life is good (except during Big Game week).
I wasn’t quite happy with the piece I did, so I made a small one with some primarily white prints instead of just darks. I didn’t feel like mixing the darks and lights so Sue will get a bonus.
I spent some time last week sewing like a demon. It was a stressful week and the only way I could keep from yelling at fewer people was to hide in my workroom and sew.
It really was that bad, but we all have weeks like that and things are improving as they do.
This piece was on my small design wall and I really didn’t know what to do with it. It was a freebie, as I mentioned, but I didn’t want to waste it.One problem was the size. For a nephew’s quilt (all the nieces have theirs), it would need to be bigger. The Ta Dots and Stripes quilt is probably the smallest I can get away with for an actual adult person. That would mean more fabrics. I didn’t want to buy more Mostly Manor fabric and I probably have fabric that would look fine with the line.
I found a print that would go with the reds that I could use to make that one line longer and that was hopeful. It turned out, however, that I wasn’t in the mood to try and find other prints that would also work. I finally decided that I would turn it into a donation quilt. That meant the size was fine, I could sew it together, make a back and hand it off.
I sewed it together as leaders and enders and then found a piece of batting the right size. I hacked off a piece of one of my background fabrics and voila! Done.
Tim and I had lunch and I handed it over to him to quilt. He has a mini quilt pileup, but will get to it soon. Another project off the list.
This is a very preliminary layout for the Triple Star. I had planned to use Kim Brackett’s straight layout from the book, Scrap Basket Beauties, but the thought of that type of layout just became too boring for me*.
I decided to use Sarah Goer’s Planned Improv method to layout these blocks. I thought it would work with a quilt in addition to just blocks. I got out some graph paper, taped it together and began drawing in the blocks.
Unlike the blocks for my Planned Improv Quilt, there will be spaces in between the blocks. I am also not starting in the middle and working out, which complicates the design. I had no trouble drawing out the design, but I think this quilt will be primarily made up of partial seams. Partial seams are not hard and some people equate them to Y seams (also not hard, check my tutorial), but they are really different. I have a tutorial on partial seams if you don’t know how to do them.
*I am not implying that the layout Kim Brackett shows is bad in anyway. I just didn’t want to lay my blocks out that way.
I decided on a layout for the Triple Star quilt and needed one more block to make it look mostly balanced.
I made it mostly from the leftovers that I didn’t use in the other blocks. This makes it heavily made from warm colors. I decided not to worry about it as it wouldn’t stand out with all of the other blocks.