Thursday, March 26, 2020

Quarantine Squirrel Moments

So the good thing about a pandemic is that it forces you to "shelter in place" giving you more guilt-free time in your quilt space.  The bad thing is that there are sooooo many quilt designers doing daily online videos and posting special projects online and through social media to help us quilters find something to keep us busy while we have to stay inside.  Although how many quilters really need something new to keep them busy?!?

Yeah, so this happened:

Remember back in my last post I mentioned that Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs was going to host a free Quarantine Quilt Along for a new pattern called "Elvira"?   She hosted the quilt along live on Facebook (with delayed airings on her YouTube channel) this past Sunday.  The pattern was free over the weekend and would you believe:  16,000 (!!!) quilters downloaded the pattern!  If you like it, don't worry, it is now available to buy on her website.

So what prompted me to make this?  I've made one of her patterns before so knew I liked her design and instructional style.   I initially hadn't planned to participate since when the quilt along went live I was still going to be catching up on my BOM work.  However, after downloading the pattern, I realized I had a fabric stash already compiled that's been waiting for just the right project and thought it'd be perfect for this.  It also looked like it was going to be a quickie quilt and right now that appeals to me greatly.

However, when I went looking for the HSY (Haven't Started Yet) stash I had thought of, I found another one:  I had purchased a fat quarter bundle back in 2017 from Turning Twenty from their "Specials" page.  I had hoped to use it to make a new Spring quilt to replace my "Fabric Gal" quilt that I had gifted to an ill family member in 2016.  I'd packed a few quilt ideas in with the stash but none had been ready for "boots on the ground".   When I saw that stash, I knew it was also perfect for this project and was even better suited for the simple but fun look of the "Elvira" design.  I needed to add a few more pieces to it to have what I needed for the (generously sized) lap quilt and wouldn't you know it, a few stash injections and some leftover cuts from the BOM I was working on perfectly rounded out the fabric pull.

From this....
To this!

So at that point, I committed to working on the quilt once I finished the current round of BOM work.  However, I did watch Gudrun's live streams on Sunday during which you got to see some of the inspiring fabrics, blocks and tops that other quilters were creating.  During the QAL, Gudrun also interviewed other quilt designers including three of my faves, Bonnie Hunter, Terry Atkinson and Pat Sloan.   All the designers she spoke to also participated in the QAL and made tops (well, except Pat who is still working on her blocks which you can see the progress of in her daily "Crazy Quilt March" YouTube videos).

"Elvira" is a pretty easy pattern and my favorite type of technique -- it uses a gadget!  If you own or have thought about buying Gudrun's Stripology ruler this is the pattern for you!

This replaced my (beloved) June Tailor Shape Cut ruler. 

It really makes great use of the ruler for all aspects of cutting the fabrics and trimming the block units and finished blocks.  In the videos, Gudrun teaches you some advanced tips and tricks for getting the most out of the ruler.  I highly encourage you to watch the videos even if you don't plan to make the quilt but have a Stripology ruler and have never used it.  Also take a look if you've been considering buying one and would like to see if it's worth the money.  I have the original ruler which is now discontinued so is cheaper than when it first came out and now there is a new, larger Stripology XL.  Gudrun shows how to cut the fabric for this pattern using either ruler as well as using regular rulers.

The video sessions where Gudrun walks you through the making of the quilt are still up on both her Facebook and  QAL You Tube pages.  Its helpful to get to see exactly how the pattern steps are done and to get answers to common questions quilters had about making the pattern.  She even had a Spotify playlist on the bottom of the QAL page if  you needed a little background music while you sewed!  I didn't get to start on it until Tuesday but once I did, I really appreciated having the playlist for when I wasn't watching the tutorial sessions!  I finished the top this morning and loaded the picture of it to the quilt along Instagram page (#quaratinequiltalong) where you can also see all the other tops that have been completed by the quilters who participated in this around the world.

Gudrun, like most of the traveling quilt teachers, is grounded for the foreseeable future so in her latest "Tipsy Tuesday" video (Elvira Wrap-up Edition) she announced plans to offer her annual "Strip Along" pattern for half price on Friday through her "Gudrun's Quilt Crew" Facebook group and will be announcing it during her "Facebook Friday" live feed.  So here's another chance to get in on the Corona-cation ground floor!

Updated 3/30/20 to add:  To get all the scoop on the Strip Along go here!

Soooo, not only that happened but this will happen:

Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts started a Mystery 2020 QAL last  Friday.  This is a another designer who I've longed to make a project with.  Edyta's quilt style is sort of  "Repro Shabby Chic" which I realized was perfectly suited for that first stash of HSY fabric that I thought of using for "Elvira"!  I originally envisioned using this collection of Creams, Tans, Browns, Blues and Pinks to make a "Blended" style quilt or maybe a Turning Twenty.

I also thought I had more Pinks set aside with these but I think I raided some to make Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight.  I also added some grays to the neutrals pulled because I like using those now too.  Well, this mystery is going on for fifteen days so I have some time to both join in and augment the stash.  What I really appreciate is that as she is releasing the parts of the mystery, she is showing where the blocks will end up in the quilt.  That helps me decide which of my fabrics to use since I'm not using the fabric bundle she is working from.  Sweet!

I'm going to try to start setting up the blocks to be leader/enders for the block work I still have to do for the remaining two BOMs  I have to work on before this month ends.  And on that note, back to the machine!


Kim Sharman said...

You are obviously having the best time in quarantine. Aren't those fabrics in your Elvira quilt gorgeous. They all look so happy together, Love that pink. I have never heard of a stripology ruler. Obviously I don't get out much. =) It sound like a great quilting tool. Enjoy your stitching!

Claire said...

Your version of Elvira turned out great!Love your color choice.

Vireya said...

There are so many sew-alongs to get involved in now! Bonnie Hunter has just announced she is doing one too. It is hard to resist them, but I really need to catch up on some unfinished projects. I am going to have to download the Edyta Sitar one, though. That is looking gorgeous so far.

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