Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm Back!.. And Finished!

So what would the summer be without a few new projects? I have long wanted to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt. It's one of those quilty "most dos". But for a long time I couldn't decide what kind to make or what color or whether to use a fabric theme. Then I saw the quilt "Autumn Wedding" in Quilters Newsletter Magazine #386 (October, 2006). I loved it because it was bed sized (and at the time I had not yet completed a bed sized quilt) and it had a unique color scheme of browns, sage greens, reds and golds that went perfect with my bedroom decor (as you know from my pictures, I have a sage colored headboard).

Then for a long time the debate was what method to use to make it (Traditional piecing with templates? John Flynn's strip pieced method? Cheryl Phillips "Rings That Bind" method?) and most of all how the heck would I find and buy all the range of fabrics I needed in the colors I needed for it? In the end I felt I wanted to try the traditional way at least once (even though I had by then purchased the books and templates for the other techniques as well). To that end there were two traditional template sets: Marti Michel's and Shar Jorgenson's. Both cost about the same and had extra templates (a seperate purchase in Shar's case) to also create Orange Peel quilts. Both were fairly expensive template sets, a bit of a negative for me since I had already invested quite a bit of money in tools I hadn't used and did not want to invest so much money in additonal templates and then only (possibly) make one. As luck would have it, I found someone on Ebay selling Shar's set with the additional template in one auction for half the original price. Needless to say I bid on it and fortunately, I won! But now the fabric was still an issue.

The fabric question was eventually solved when Connecting Threads came out with their "Country Essentials - Fall" line. It had all the colors I needed in one set and at their reasonable fabric prices (great since I needed so much)! I quickly bought a 38 piece fat quarter sampler and brown yardage for the border, I already had a stash of background creams and tans and a few rust fabrics to supplement. I looked forward to making an "all CT" quilt.

It was always on my mind to start this but the push was finding out this year that CT had started chat group section on their website. One of the groups set up was for people making DWR quilts! Cool! Encouragement! Comraderie! Just what I needed! I signed on and made plans to get started.Well, as always it was a slow start but right now I have squares cut for my block centers (they will have applique added before being cut into the curved forms) and I have made three of the five rows of arcs needed for the blocks (each block needs eight and there are four blocks per row). I'm hoping to get the rest of the arcs done by the end of the weekend so I can start the applique next week.

I have two more "all Connecting Threads" quilts planned so I may make these my Fall projects and try to get them all done by the end of this year.

As I talked about in Part 1, I just redid my sons' bedroom and decided it was time for new quilts. Last year I made them quilts with fabrics that related to their favorite things. The pattern was Kaye Woods "Six-Hour Quilt" and was made with a serger and are reversible.

But the challenge was what to make for the new ones. Well, going back to my "must do" quilt list, I've long wanted to also tackle string quilts and denim quilts. I've been saving my sons jeans as they've out grown them for a while now and have quite a denim stash. When I joined the "Quilters Club of America" they offered a free Fons & Porter pattern that I had seen demonstrated on one of their shows (episode 408). One day it hit me that this was the perfect combo of the two: where they used batiks, I could use denim, where they used neat strips, I'd drain the string bag I'd been building up. As a bonus, the design is pieced in a "Tumbling Blocks" layout, not a "must do" for me but one I don't mind trying. Even better the plan was to have my sons piece the strips together themselves - a little project to keep them busy as the summer winds down. Perfect!
So we got started but have been interrupted by another busy week (a death in the family) but I'm looking forward to having them continue to piece the strips when they come home from school over the next month (a little extra homework assignment!).

So that's it for me, I'm up to date.
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