31 December 2019

Plans for 2020!

Every year Shelly Paglai of Prairie Moon Quilts does "the final countdown" at the end of the year. The tasks are meant to get you into a more organized place before the new year. Organizing your sewing space, finding unfinished projects and deciding if you want to finish them/downsize them and turn them into table runners, that sort of thing. The final challenge for 2019 is "Make some quilting plans for 2020." So here goes!

First, to finish the baby quilts that are sitting and waiting for quilting/binding/finishing. I have two tops in this state and one that just needs embroidery on the label before washing it up.

Second, there are seven babies born in the last year-ish (the oldest is about to turn one) who I would like to make quilts for.

Third, I want to start blogging about my quilts again. I do post pictures on the quilting subreddit as I go, but that's not a good write-up and will be hard for me to find in the future.

Fourth, I want to find at least a little time to work on my longer-term works in progress. The hand-quilted quilt for my bed, the English paper piecing quilt for my dad, the Civil War Love Letters blocks languishing in their bin...time to keep slowly working on those.

I want to do a better job picking patterns that use blocks I have leftover. I've got a stack of over 60 blue crumb blocks and 22 blue string blocks thanks to using them as leaders and enders for almost six months. I've got some leftover 9 patches from a bunch of quilts I did with those. I have some blocks I got from an estate sale. I need to use them somehow, not just let them sit around.

My leader/ender bounty

Progress on my newest niece's quilt (with canine helper)

Happy 2020!

09 November 2019

Last Catch-Up...of 2018

I managed to squeak out one last finished quilt before things got really hectic (understatement of the century) and then we moved across the country. Here's the last one I finished in Texas:

More strings!
 I keep waiting to run out of strings. It hasn't happened yet.

I didn't get a clear overall shot of the back of the quilt, but you can see the print better here anyways. The dots are another Thomas Knauer print.

Playing With Color (More Catching Up!)

I've made several Mod Mosaic quilts (back between 2010-2012), though I apparently only blogged about one of them as a WIP. Still, it's a super fun block to do with scraps. When my quilt guild put out a call for quilts to auction at the quilt show in February of 2017 I made two mini mosaic quilts. The theme for the show was the color red, so I did both with my red scraps and did one with white spacers and one with black. I backed both with a plain unbleached muslin, nothing special, and bound them in the same fabric that I used as spacers.

Stash report (2017):

Fabric Used This Week (in 2017): 2 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 51.5 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 9 yards used

Catch-Up: More Strings!

A third baby with no nursery theme...colors it is! Scrappy strings are really just a fun and easy block to do. Do a bunch as leaders and enders and you can have a free quilt without too much time!

I added black and white to the quilt as a neutral to break up the bright colors and I rather like the effect.

Backing is a polka dot I found at JoAnns.

Binding is from Thomas Knauer's fabrics from Andover, I don't remember which line it was in. It's the Trivial Pursuit fabric.

Stash report (2017):

Fabric Used This Week (in 2017): 5.5 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 49.5 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 7 yards used

Catch-Up: Poppies!

"So, what's your nursery theme or color scheme?" I asked this mother, unsuspectingly.

"Pink, red, gray, and poppies," she said.

I was a little surprised by how specific it was. Then I went shopping for backings and found...well...the perfect thing that shocked me. And without further's the next of my 2017 finishes.

Courthouse steps block again. I played around with how to do my colors in the block so it didn't look messy. Pink and red intermixed in the block looked just messy. I decided in the end to make the pink the center of the block and do color gradients with the red and gray. Darkest reds would be the outside of two sides of the blocks and the lightest reds (not easy to find, let me tell you) were at the center by the pink. Lightest grays were at the center and darkest on the outside.

The PERFECT Backing

Stash report (2017):

Fabric Used This Week (in 2017): 5.5 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 49.5 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 1.5 yards used

Catching up with a nautical quilt!

When there's a nautical themed's time to have some Fun With Flags. Especially when the baby's name is six letters. Nautical quilt ahoy!

I drafted the signal flags to finish at 6" square. I framed them in brown to ensure that I didn't lose any of the definition with a dark blue or white flag against the navy and white fabrics. I then surrounded those with alternating bands of navy blue and white courthouse steps-style. Each block finished at 16" square.

The signal flags are made out of leftover solids from Niece Quiche's quilt. I bound it with the same brown as the frames in the blocks. I think the combination of solids with the extremely controlled color palette turned out rather striking.

Biggest blocks I've made

Closest to the actual color of the backing

Quilting detail and closeup of backing/label
Stash report (2017 catch-up):

Fabric Used This Week (in 2017): 5.5 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 44 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 4 yards gained

Catching up, Part 2: Oops, these are out of order!

My next door neighbor in 2017 had a grandson born in the spring of 2017. I made a scrappy string quilt for him. I let a random number generator decide color placement just to see how it would do...hence the blues all being at the bottom.

So hard to get colors right in old pictures from my old phone.


I originally bought this dinosaur fabric in Korea intending for it to back a different baby quilt. But that baby quilt was too wide and instead the dinosaurs got to be used now!

I bound it in cowboy boots and lassos, because it seemed fitting for a Texas baby.

Stash report for 2017...I think I managed to come out ahead for that year! More quilts to follow...

Fabric Used This Week (in 2017): 5.5 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 38.5 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 9.5 yards gained

More Catching Up...

Catching up is always a bear, but let's get into it anyways.

I had three friends at church whose babies were due within...a month of each other? I thought it would be fun to see how far I could stretch a single block design and still make the quilts look totally different. I decided on a Courthouse Steps block as the basis for the quilts...jokingly calling it "Church Steps" as all these ladies were friends from church.

The first baby's nursery was vintage school themed, since the mother was a math teacher before having him. I bought school-themed fabrics to be the block centers - letters, numbers, school supplies, blackboards with math equations on them, chemistry equipment, etc. I wanted the quilt to have balls of color across it so I spent a while planning out which color would go where in the quilt.

Graph paper is my friend!

I really loved how the quilt turned out, and so did the recipient. It's bright and colorful and matched the nursery decor perfectly. The backing I chose was a blueprint of a model airplane that I found at JoAnn Fabrics. (Colors aren't totally accurate as they were taken at night, and while I've tried to correct them a bit it isn't quite worth it to chase down the perfection. The quilt has long since been given away, oh well!)

Fun, bright front

More muted but fun back

Label and closeup of backing and binding

And, of course, I had a wonderful binding helper.

Fabric Used This Week (in 2017): 5.5 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 33 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 15 yards gained

Getting closer!

Jade, Binding, and...Did I Buy More Fabric Again? [An unfinished post that I have just now found, two years later]

I finished and delivered a quilt! Now called the Jade quilt, this was the pink and green quilt I mentioned in my last post. I chose a split 9 patch design for the blocks. This quilt took me forever, as I got hit with some severe exhaustion for a while there, but I finally got it done and delivered!

My block layout - with a helper!

Finished quilt

The layout of the front was fun to play around with. Looking at it once it was assembled I realized that there were a few places where two pieces of the same fabric ended up extremely close to each other, but I still love the overall effect.

Slightly blurry backing and label shot

I absolutely love how well the backing paired with the top. Thank you, JoAnn Fabrics, for having this beautiful butterfly print this spring! I had completely forgotten what fabric I'd picked for this quilt, and when I pulled out my purchases and found this one I about exploded. It ended up being perfect! I chose a shirt out of my bag of shirts to be de-boned and turned into quilting fabric for the binding, and I love the way it looks with both the front and the back. I didn't even need the entire back of the shirt for the binding on this quilt, so I've got more for future quilts.

I've also finished the top, quilted, and done the machine portion of the binding of my next quilt. I'm still working on the hand sewing portion of the binding, so it isn't *technically* finished yet, but it's coming along nicely. I'll do a full post on it when it's done. I'm not going to count the fabric for this quilt yet, since it's not finished.
The colored pencil binding stripes are perfect!

And then...I started cutting pieces for the next quilt after this one. However, once I made my plan for this quilt I realized I had barely any of the fabrics I'd need for it. I love scrappy of course I needed to buy more fabric. I swear, I'm trying to use more than I buy this year!

Whites for the next quilt

Fabric Used This Week: 5.5 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 27.5 yards
Fabric Added This Week: 11.5 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 48 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 20.5 yards gained

I've got some serious quilting to do if I'm going to end up out of the red by December! I guess it's a good thing that I still have...10 quilts on my list for people I know who have had or are going to have babies between now and April. Eep! 

Oh, and public service announcement: change your rotary cutter blades and machine needles. I know I don't do it often enough (I'm finding that changing the cutter blade every project is about what I need to do to keep it running smoothly and not skipping) so here's your reminder!