Monday, February 11, 2019

Moving It Forward Monday: Lots of Cutting Going On!

I'm linking up over at Em's Scrapbag because it's time for:

It's been a crazy few weeks so a crazy amount of different things have wound up being pushed forward in the quilt space.  Having  finally finished my "Double Delight" mystery top and backing last week (one of the early Bonnie Hunter Quiltville mysteries), it was time to follow through with plans to use up the leftovers.  I've been piecing string blocks over the last month for another old Quiltville mystery "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" and had already cut up alot of the pinks from "Double D" to add to it:

I had also looked forward to using up the leftover indigo blues from "Double D" and had filed away ideas for other projects and would choose one (or more) depending on how much fabric I wound up having left.

As it turns out, I actually had big enough cuts of the blues to provide the 10" squares needed for "Indigo Weave", a simple lap quilt pattern from McCalls Quilting "America Makes Fast Quilts" special issue (Spring 2013).  While it's fun to immerse yourself in the piecing intensive work of a typical Bonnie Hunter design, following it up with a simpler quilt was an appealing idea!   However, I only had seven blues left from "Double D" and "Weave" called for twenty-four so the question was, did I have enough in-house to fill that out?

Uh, yes!  I was a bit surprised to find that it was no problem because I didn't think I had stashed a lot blue fabrics.  The "Double D" leftovers are in the upper left and the rest came from stash (upper right), a "Haven't Started Yet" project stash (bottom right), an applique fabric stash pack (bottom center) and a few more pieces from the destash giveaway I won from the LA Quilter some years back.  Ok, but the pattern also called for neutrals in white, cream, gold and tan.  Anything around for that?

Guess so!  So this one is now kitted up for future leader/ender sewing!

The other thing I wanted to get started on in February was a quilt called "Emeralds" from a back issue of Fons & Porter's "Love of Quilting" (Mar/April 2013).

Hmmm, it seems that in addition to a serious addiction right now for Quiltville mysteries, I also have a lot of nostalgia for 2013 and a yen for monochromatic quilts!  For some reason, this one always appealed to me and I had realized a while back that it would make a great couch quilt for March in honor of St. Patricks Day.  No, I'm not Irish but if it gives me an excuse to make a quilt, I'm happy to join in!  For this one, I had always planned to take some of the leftover greens from when I made Bonnie's "En Provence" mystery and then add some other greens from stash to fill out the mix.

I also saw a cute design that would allow me to make a pieced design for the back -- who doesn't like a two-for-one quilt?  I cut parts for that too although I'll be adding some other colors besides the greens when I work on that part of the project.

So all the cutting of the green stash for those two is all done now.  Now I have to go shopping for yardage for one neutral background for the blocks for both the top and back so this project will have to sit awhile until that's accomplished.  I wasn't finished with those greens though:  I went back to "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" because some of what's left from the "Emeralds" session could now go into that mystery project for the greens needed there:


Cutting for one of the parts gave me a chance to make good use of my Stripology Ruler (which I blogged about here) because I needed to cut rectangles and squares of the same fabric.  First I cut the strips I needed and then used the ruler to subcut both the squares and the rectangle at the same time:

It should be noted that last year I "kitted" up  yet another old Bonnie mystery project called "Tobacco Road" because I had plans to use it as a travel project.  That one featured browns culled from -- wait for it -- Bonnie's "On Ringo Lake" mystery (forgive me --- addicted!) so if I have some extra left from that, those too will go in "Cotton Boll" when the time comes.

So a couple of projects got moved up to being added to the sewing queue or in the case of "Emeralds" from the "stash shopping to store shopping" stage.  With this cutting session serving as a break from the previous piecing session, now it will be time to get back to finishing up some quilt stitching.  I'm heading back to Em's Scrapbag now to see what everyone else has moved up their "To Do List" ladder!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Continuing the Quiltville Adventures: Double Delight Is a Flimsie!

Well, I may not have  "Good Fortune" but it's a "Double Delight" to bring this to a top!

2/11/19 Edited to add:  The Last "Good Fortune" Link-up is now up!  Lots of finishes -- Go See!!

I managed to stay relatively on task finishing up "Double Delight", an "oldie but a goodie" Bonnie Hunter mystery.  While I didn't get the top completed by the end of January as planned, this is close enough!  I have to admit, I really liked this one as I was piecing it and was actually diasppointed on the days I couldn't work on it.  Had it not been for the recent deadline project, this might have gotten finished even earlier.  I also have the backing ready to go for this as well!

I had ordered the fabric in the center from Quilt In A Day with plans originally to use it as the cheddar in the top along with the William Morris floral print for the outer borders.   However when they arrived, I quickly realized that the two were just not going to work well together.  The Morris print had been an early inspiration in embarking on this project so it was important to me to have everything else I bought work with it.  I also liked the separation of the narrow cheddar border between  the double pink setting triangles and the outer border so also didn't want to change that aspect of Bonnie's design.  I eventually found another smaller scale cheddar to use in the blocks and inner border.

Then I realized that the orginal cheddar fabric didn't have to go to waste and could be used as the center piece for a medallion style backing so had to find something to go with it.   Originally I was going to get a nice indigo print I saw and create a simple two color, two fabric backing.  But you know how it is -- when you go to buy a significant amount of yardage for a backing (I had estimated I needed another five yards), you want to take advantage of the best deal you can find.  When I went to order the indigo fabric, I saw another nicely coordinating one at an even cheaper price point.  I was going to have to take all that was available and even then might need to go through my project leftovers to completely fill out the back.  For the additional savings, I was perfectly okay with doing that.  So I got the stripe you see and what was cool is that it turned out to be by the same manufacturer as the cheddar print (and a company I've never heard of before).

After I placed the order, I thought I almost wasn't going to get the striped fabric!  I happened to place my order while QIAD was also hosting a "Road To California" sale and after checking out, a message popped up on the screen that said "it appears that we don't have what you want".  Uh oh, maybe someone got to it before me?  However, I got a call from them the next day -- it seemed that they had so many orders, their system crashed so it recorded the payment but not what items I had ordered.  The operator updated that information into the system and my fabric arrived a few days later.

In making the back I also wanted to try to piece in an area for a label.  I had a bunch of extra double pink setting triangles laying around and figured that adding a pieced panel between the center panel and the striped fabric would also help solve that problem.  So I pieced in two muslin triangles along with triangles cut from what was left of the neutrals I had used: 

 After this gets quilted, I can just write in the label information on the muslin.  As I noted when I did the Quilt Alliance Label Pledge a few years back, piecing a label area into your backing is one of the easiest ways to make sure you have a way to label your quilt once it's completed -- no additional sewing needed!  It also turns out I didn't need as much of the stripe fabric as I thought:  my original plan was to run the stripe horizontally across the back but I was running out of steam as I got down to the end and doing it vertically was a whole lot easier.  Bonus:  I still have two yards left so when this gets quilted, there may be some coordinating pillowcases, shams or a neckroll cover in its future!

Now that it's done, I have to decide how I'm going to quilt it.  Before I work on that, I'll go back to finishing up the quilting on my Christmas Cobblestones project as well as set up a few smaller projects to work on.   A flimsie finish always feels so good!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Humble Quilts String Along

This is the year for string quilt stitch alongs and both Lori DeJarnatt of Humble Quilts and the staff at MODA are hosting them this year.  While I have an old string project I hope to dredge back out later this year,  I had decided at the end of last year to start something more immediate: string blocks for a mystery quilt.

When Bonnie Hunter's fall mystery "Good Fortune" got under way back in November, I embarked on my own set of  Quiltville projects.  Primarily I've worked on her "Double Delight" mystery and am now putting together the rows of blocks to finish up the center for that one:

I used the the piecing of those blocks as an opportunity to start on the blocks for another mystery:  Bonnie's "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" from her "String Fling" book (you can see hers in this post)

I had always liked the touches of pink in that quilt and figured I could pass along the leftovers from Double Delight to this new project.  For the purposes of participating in all the string alongs, "Cotton Boll" also offered a chance to plow through my neutral strings.  As seen in the picture at the top of the post, I've managed to get 13 blocks pieced up so far while serving as leader/enders for the "Double D" project.

Later in the mystery, all of the blocks made will get split.....

.....and pieced back together into new blocks that will be alternated with the other blocks to be made for the quilt.

I've got another project set to be cut out in February that will be donating more leftovers (this time green fabrics) to add to the "Cotton Boll" project stash.  Isn't it great when one project sets up your next one?

It's always fun to check out what string projects quilters have under way and you can see many more of those back at Lori's Humble Quilts.  Also, don't forget that even more string project inspiration can also be found at the String Thing Along blog too!

Monday, January 21, 2019

First Finish for 2019: Baby Quilt Gift

As noted at the end of my last post, I had a deadline project that HAD TO get done!  DH's cousin held a party for her daughter's first birthday on Saturday.  Of course, as a quilter that meant a baby quilt for a present.  Originally, there was going to be a "Baby's First Christmas" party back in December but the parents decided to focus on doing a big bash for her birthday instead.  That was a good call for me because although I had planned to work on this project back then, there was so many other things I also wanted to get done that I welcomed the deadline extension for this one!  Even so, I still wound up scrambling to complete it.

I think the finished quilt came out quite pretty and great for a little girl.

The back used up a hodge podge of flannels I had in the baby quilt stash.  The solid flannels used for the letters and the white strips came from some yardage that is actually laying around waiting to be made into night shirts.

These two prints were really cute and had been remnant cuts I picked up a while back.

I'm also thrilled I got a chance to use my Accuquilt Go! and the  Alphabet dies to personalize it.  Here's hoping that the Quilt Gods give me an opportunity to invest in the new lowercase letter set they introduced last year.

You can see here that when I cut the "R", I laid it out wrong -- the fusible should have been on top so I had to cut a second one to get it oriented right!  This means the "A" and "Y" are technically also backwards but they don't read that way so I left them as is.

Since the Featherweight  was the machine already in my sewing cabinet, I started off doing all the piecing with it and planned to also quilt this with it as well.  However, since it is only a straight-stitch machine, I had to set up my 401  on the dining room table to do the zig zag work around the applique.

I was able to use up the rest of the jelly roll strips leftover from piecing the blocks to piece together a multi-colored binding.

This project did a good bit to clear some things from the small stash of baby/kid quilt fabrics I have.

Well most of it:  the pastel letters fabric used in the center stars and sashing and the pastel plaid in the second border were actually used in one of the first baby quilts I made a long time ago and I still have a good bit of it left!  I had also sent my MIL two pieces of other fabrics from this stash earlier this month to help along a quilt she was making.  Maybe I can bundle together what I have left in the box that I have them stored in and plan to make a few quick projects for charity to clear it all out.  I don't foresee any other baby/kid quilts needed for family members during the upcoming year.  Should I get a call for that, well it would just mean I'd have an excuse to go shopping!

As always there are things I would change if I had more time:  The pattern I used was "Estelle", designed by one of my favorite designers (and expert domestic machine quilter) Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring for Easy Quilts magazine Summer 2016 (Note:  If you're interested in that issue, a better deal may be to get the 2016 Easy Quilts compilation CD which is on sale right now!) .

I have a file folder of potential baby and kid quilt patterns and had picked this one because it was the one that worked best with the jelly roll and fat quarter bundle of pastel solids that I had in the baby quilt stash.  The pattern had used a dark grey fabric around the sawtooth stars and I had planned to substitute dark lavender strips from the jelly roll for that.  My limited collection of fabric also meant making the quilt in a smaller four block format.  Yet even for that, I needed just a wee bit more than the jelly roll strips alone would provide and the fat quarter bundle only had the light pastel colors in it so light lavender around the stars it would have to be!

I really liked how the walking foot design used over the blocks turned out and welcomed the chance to do some quilting with my Featherweight.  I used a doubled template design from Mary Mashuta's first book of walking foot designs, "Foolproof Machine Quilting".  I had used a design from her second book back in December when making a mug rug gift

Since I used jelly roll strips rather than the 2" cut strips the pattern called for, my blocks were also bigger than patterned.  This meant I could make big templates for the stitching.

I made them out of  freezer paper which meant I could iron them onto the layered top each time I needed to use them and stitch around them to quilt the blocks.

Mary's technique introduced variety in the use of the various template designs she offered by layering different template designs to create more complex finished motifs on quilts.

An example from the book.

I also added a diamond stitched into the center square of each sawtooth star (my results can best be seen in the picture of the back of the quilt at the top of this post).  I was finishing up the quilting right up until the last minute.  So while I really wanted to also stitch a decorative pattern in those outer borders, under the time pressure I couldn't decide on something continuous that could be done free hand.  So in the end, I left them as just stitched-in-the-ditch.

I also didn't get to put on a label....yet.  I realized that the only color from the front not used in the making of the back was green so I cut out a large heart, turning it with a used dryer sheet (my go to stabilizer for machine turned applique).

I took it with me to the baby's party hoping that I could sew it on there but she had a lot of guests (both kids and adults!) and the birthday girl conked out as the party was winding down so they didn't open gifts before we left.  As we were leaving, I let his cousin know I had to add something to the baby's gift later.  They live in our co-op complex not too far from us so I will go see them some time soon and add that important piece.

I'm glad I was able to get this one done and crossed off of the 2018 Year-end List of Leftovers!  Now I'm freed up to go back to my other projects in progress.  It's going to be brutally cold this week so I'm hoping for many opportunities to stay in and quilt!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Quiltville Update: Good-bye to "Good Fortune"

It's been busy on the homefront so it's taken me a while to post.  This past weekend, our refrigerator decided it liked being cool rather than cold so it took a few days to empty and clean it out in prep for a service call.  That was a bit of a bust in that the service tech determined that it needed a new compressor which has to be ordered.  Fortunately for us we have a small back up freezer in the kitchen and it's winter so we're able to use our cooler and "Pioneer refrigerator", a.k.a. our terrace, to store some things short term.  That's why I'm happiest when I'm in my quilty bubble these days!

So on the Quiltville front:  Monday was the last link-up over at Bonnie's for this year's Quiltville mystery "Good Fortune".

There's still time to download the instructions here since Bonnie says they will remain on her website until February 1.  There were a lot of finishes last week and even more this week.  As the year progresses, I look forward to periodically Googling to see even more "Good Fortune" finishes.  For those quilters that haven't finished it yet, many will try to complete theirs before Bonnie's next mystery starts at the end of November.

Regarding my own Quiltville projects progress, I've continued work on "Double Delight":

I started this project hoping to sew along on my clues while all the "Good fortune" folks sewed up theirs.  However, since I embarked on this long after "GF" was underway, it didn't take long for me to realize I'd have to change my intentions to trying to get "Double D" to a top by the time of the last "GF" reveal.  I did get close -- I'm down to making up the last two rows of blocks.

I'm in love with this one and once I get the last of the blocks done, I'll only have a narrow inner border of the cheddar and the outer border to add to it.  For the outer border I have a great Willam Morris print:

That print is bold so I don't know if I'll add the pieced cornerstones Bonnie used in her version.  I'll have to see what I want to do when I get to that point.

I've often blogged about the Quiltville swag I've gotten from Zazzle.  Recently Bonnie did a post highlighting some of the good works that come from the proceeds from the sales of the items.  And yes, I already have my Double Delight pin:

I also have one for another Quiltville mystery "Tobacco Road" because I had expected to travel last year and planned to start on it while away.  Now that I've also started on yet another old Quiltville mystery "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll", I need to get one for that too!

Speaking of which:  "Double D" was a great vehicle for working on the string blocks needed for "Cotton Boll":

I've got ten blocks made up so far just by using them as leader/enders.  It's a good start and with all the string alongs going on this year, there will be plenty of opportunities to make more.

In other Quiltville news there's Scrappy Trips:

Unfortunately, it's still waiting for quilting (along with my Christmas Cobblestones quilt).  When I last reported on this, I was still waiting on a darning (aka free motion) foot for my Featherweight machine that seemed to have gotten lost in transit.  I had ordered it in mid December and thinking it was delayed due to holiday rush mailing, waited until after the New Year to make inquiries both to the vendor and the US Postal Service as to where it was.

The Singer Featherweight Shop promptly sent a replacement (which arrived safe and sound) but since I was still trying to finish up "Double D", had started on my Wholecloth quilt and had another deadline project I needed to start, the quilting had to be put on the back burner.  Guess what?  The original order finally showed up this week a full 41 days after it was originally mailed!!  Fortunately, the Singer Featherweight Shop had told me to just mark it "Refused - Return To Sender" so it would go back to them without either of us being charged for the return postage.

So that brings me up to date for all my Quiltville adventures.  I'm now working on the deadline project which has to be finished up for this weekend so hopefully I'll be reporting on that soon too!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching: Finally Starting on the Wholecloth Quilt

 I'm linking up for the first time in a long while with everyone over at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

The good news is that on my list of priorities for this year was to get back to last year's goal of working on the last of my original Bucket List projects.  Looks like I'm not the only one thinking about this:  American Patchwork and Quilting magazine has issued their Bucket List for this year and will be sharing a new bucket list item each week on their social media pages.

There are many on their list that I've already done in the past so I don't see them as "To Do's" for this year.  There are also a few I see getting to as I work on the things I want to get done for the year like "#16 Creatively piecing a quilt backing" or "#9 Sew a quilt using only my scraps and stash".  At the bottom of their list they made space for "write-ins" --- the perfect slots for my own Bucket List items:

The first of the write-ins is the subject for this post.  After spending March of last year adding  additional motifs to the pre-printed design, hand basting the trapunto batting layer and then the quilting layer, I've finally put it all in the hoop and started the stitching:

I think this will also be the year I finally make an armchair tool caddy!  Since it's been a good while since I've hand quilted, it will take some time for me to get in a groove on this.  I've already re-watched Shar Jorgensen's QHL episode with Jean Brown about using the Aunt Becky tool.  My plan is that this will be a project that I'll be working on for the whole year.

While I hope to get in some stitching time during the week, I can definitely make an appointment to stitch on Sundays (or thereabouts) because every week my DH and I usually sit down at some point to watch "In the Kitchen With David" on QVC.

We love kitchen gadgets (oh, and cooking!) and so this show is a must see for us.  Matt Ragland (the Bullet Journal Guy) gave a good tip this year to team something you want to get in the habit of doing with something you are already in the habit of doing.  I realized that one way to insure consistent stitching on this project would be to plan to stitch while we watch this show which we usually do in the livingroom where I've got the wholecloth project situated.  So Win-Win!!  Hey, if I want to get in even more stitching time, maybe we could also start regularly watching David on Wednesday nights (which for us would actually take place Thursday morning since DH works at night) or watching David's old co-host Mary who has an ITK show on Saturdays.  I'm just not sure our budget would approve of that!

I may not link up every week but will try to post my progress at least once a month.  Of course any milestones, trials, tribulations or cries for help will be posted immediately!!  Hope you are enjoying your stitching this week and I look forward to checking out what everyone else is working on this year!