Monday, September 18, 2017

Katy's Jelly

My friend Katy text me late this afternoon asking for a fast Jelly Roll pattern.
I never let something like...I've never bought a Jelly Roll....stand in the way of a challenge.
I have actually been cutting and saving a 2.5" strip of each piece of batik that I buy, so I have been collecting ideas.

After a couple rounds of "that would look cool" vs "keep it simple stupid", I came up with a 2 tone spiral based on ideas I'd saved of others work.  This is the simplified version of my favorite. This tutorial is for Katy.  But I won't complain if you decide to make one too.

Katy, sort your jelly roll into light and dark.  If there isn't a lot of contrast, consider adding a strongly contrasting set of strips. I really like the blue strips you showed me.  It could look great with pink, lime, black, white contrast...or orange if she's a BSU fan.  The other set had some dark and light, but may need some extra cream for filler.   For my demo, I did 20 strips of white-on-white in 5 variations and 20 of 3 different greens.  I'm starting with the darkest green in the center. Sort all of your strips darkest to lightest and use them in that order.  If you aren't sure, take a black & white photo and it will help you sort out that tone.

With your darkest strip and your contrast, cut the following lengths:
2.5   4.5   6.5   8.5   10.5
You should end up with about 9-10" left of that original pair of strips.
Use scant 1/4 seams.
Here's how it goes together.  2.5's together, finger press to the dark.  Add the dark 4.5 to make a square. Add the white 4.5 to the opposite side. Press. 
Add the 6.5 of each side of the center rectangle. 
Press and trim.  I'm not kidding.  If you don't press and trim every time I tell you to, it will be a total disaster.  This piece needs to be 6.5 x 8.5.  If it isn't, rip or start over. 
From this point on, you'll be adding a dark and light on each side.  This is the last of the pre-cut sets.
At this point, I found also that it is big enough to be able to do some continuous stitching by bending the piece around to stitch the opposite piece instead of doing one seam at a time.

Press every time you add a pair of strips.  Press to the dark side. (Sorry Luke, I'm not your father)
Each time you add a round of strips, press and re-trim.  Line up the ruler on the 2.25 line of the contrast. 
I am pretty good at straight stitching, but even mine were wonky.  Yours don't stand a chance.
Instead of pre-cutting the pieces at this point, I just sewed them on, then trimmed after each pair of dark and light.  So much easier than math.

This is also the point where you will run out of fabric from the first strip.  I recommend stitching your strips together in a continuous strip in the order of dark to light that you started with. 
Move the placement of the attachment strip so it looks good (like the previous picture, not this one).

Keep doing this until you run out of strips.  I'm not sure how big that will be as I stopped the planning to make this tutorial. 

Yes.  You owe me wine.

Monday, September 11, 2017


I have been busy hanging out with this cute thing this weekend.  I decided to start a project that I hoped would be pretty easy and allow for ease of stop and start.

I opted for the 3 Dudes Quilt.  While watching the tutorial, my alarm bells did go off when I realized that the design was going to end up with bias edges.  Then I got distracted by babe and decided to do it anyway.

And then I started laying out the design, and realized something wasn't quite right.  Seems that when I walked away from the project at one baby break, I didn't realize I'd omitted an entire series of blue strips.  At this point it was too late to fix it, so I have a different pattern.

The bias blocks were every bit the horror I had imagined.  As careful as I was, the points are frequently off, and my error make for sections with 8 points that are of course, difficult to sew through.  I altered the outer section to accomodate the left over bits, and added 2 blue borders I hoped would stabilize the edges.
Despite my heroic efforts to keep things even, there are still going to be a couple darts one one edge to make this relatively flat.

I decided to use some of this pink print that I bought on sale for the backing in case all that fuchia batik decides to bleed.

I spliced some batting remnants for a "free" batting.
And did some marking an pinning at the same time.

I'll be starting with some walking foot, close parallel lines on the blue sections, then will wait for inspiration on the pink

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Stash Survey

Step 4:  Survey the Stash

What do you have that would work for these books?

  • brown, green, blue for classic book spines
  • small scale prints
  • prints with words
  • Novelty prints that represent your interests
  • Novelty prints with 1-2" images that could be fussy cut and included on a book spine
  • Stripes
  • Stripes with a repeating design that could make good picture frames

What do you have that would work for appliques? 
  • Large scale prints for "Broderie Perse" applique
  • Embroidered patches
  • Orphan blocks
  • Photos to scan and print out to put in the frames
  • Patterns you have used before


Step 3: Adding the extras

 What non-book things will go on your shelf?

My previous posts had pics of several ideas: clock, globe, candle sticks, bird house, tea pots, pictures.

 More pictures from around the house.  
A mantle clock.  Baby pictures of my husband and me.  On the wall is my mom and her 2 sisters. 
Our mantle has our South West American Indian pottery & basket collection. 

Go back to your reading list and think about things that would be fun additions to the books on your shelf.   Here are a few ideas:
Birding = bird, binoculars
Crafts = crochet trim
Gardening = bouquet of flowers
Kids books = teddy bear
Palentology = Native American Pottery
Medical Reference Books = Sugar Skull

Next step: Stash Survey

Shelf Inspiration

Step 2:  What do your shelves look like?

This will be good inspiration, not only for the type of books you have (keep/ hoard), but also a bit about your decorating style.  Here are some un-staged pictures of some shelves in my house.

The classic books on the top shelf:  a collection of nutrition and health books that are originals and reprints from 1968 and older.  Clock that belonged to my Father-in-Law who was born in 1912.  Globe & candle sticks.  Shelf 2: Native American art, stories & history.  Field guides.  coin collection.  Shelf 3: genealogy, children's books 

This mess is gardening and scrap books. 

A shelf in my dining room.  It includes my collection of pottery from art/craft fairs, Newborn pictures (the 2 daughters and our wedding pic).  Wine related chotchkies that I tend to be gifted.  Cool rocks that my hubby collects.  

The sewing room:  notions, instruction books and patterns, fabric, wine purses.
Sewing room.  Patterns, idea books, notions bins

Snap a few pictures for inspiration.

Next step:  Items to add to the shelves besides books. 

Reading List

Bookshelf Quilt Step 1.

Start a list of books for your shelves.  Thinking through what I want on my quilt, I decided on first a list of interests & hobbies:
Nature, Travel, Science / Health, Gardening, Motorcycles, Mountaineering, Sewing, Quilting

Then I went through the the types of books I do have on my shelves:
Children's classics, dinosaurs, geology, field guides, cookbooks, references, classics, children's books, quilt/craft patterns, gardening.

I started this project for a friend, but now that I have some momentum, I will certainly need to make one for myself.  And maybe some panels to swap with other quilter friends.

Next step: Looking at your shelves for inspiration.