Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Little Hawaiian Fun


I'm always distracted by something new.  Joined a Hawaiian quilting group on Facebook which reminded me of how long it's been since I made one, and how much I enjoy the process.   Here's a sneak peak.  It's going to be a 60" lap quilt  for a gift or donation with a goal to finish in under 2 weeks. 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Temp Quilt Finish

I started a Temperature Quilt in 2016 when they were all the rage.  I used a thin strip for the low and a wide strip for the high.  I did not anticipate how hot our summer was ant there is a lot of red and orange in this quilt.  I completed the first 30 weeks in 2016 then it got set aside.  I finished the flimsey in 2019. 

Since November, I've spent all my quilting time working on this gigantic Lone Star variation that is hand quilted with wool bating.   I pulled the quilting frame out of the shed for the first time in about 20 years.  

While the frame was out, I  used it to baste 5 tops.  This is my least favorite part of quilting and the frame definitely made it less of a chore.  

I took some of the trimmings from squaring up the qult and made a few mug rugs just in time for iced tea season.  

While there was green thread on the machine, I pulled out the never ending green scrap bag.  This is the 4th donation quilt I've made and intend for it to be the last.  I started with a different pattern in mind and a tan sashing. I didn't have enough of grey/green scraps to make the pattern I had planned.  And I hated the tan so bought some green yardage to finish up. 

I hope to make more quilting progress to post.  I spent 3 months and hundreds of hours making and quilting the Lone Star.  Only 3 corners to finish and I'll be able to post a finish.   I got sidetracked in February & March with an obsession of making miniature Fairy Books to hide in neighborhood free libraries.  Spent April & May helping a family member through a crisis.  June is my donation quilt finish month.   I hope. 


Saturday, October 15, 2022

Strip Twist


I have a new favorite fast quilt.  
Followed a Pintrest post to Blue Feather Quilt Studio. 
I used their EQ7 design as inspiration for the following quilts. 

Round 1 was a donation quilt using lots of leftover strips.  The greens all look different in different light, but the concept shows up with the contrasting zig-zags.  It actually looks better in the photo than in person.  I need to buy poly batting to finish this one since it's for Threads in Faith that ties quilts with prayers.  

So I dug through the batik stash, looking for a transitional color variation.  I am always surprised when I sort the stash and realize how many  orange/pink combinations I have.  
Or Not.   This was my childhood luggage.  Yes, I still have both pieces.  It explains a lot.

Meanwhile, my plan was 10-11 strip sets. 2.5" strips with 5 colors gradation dark to light. Turned out that some of the stash were fat quarters or missing chunks, so things didn't go to plan, but still needed 40 squares. The directions noted needing an A and B square that alternated with dark on the left or right. I cut them as 10.5 blocks, a little proud, for wiggle room on the final trim.

 I'm glad I didn't go to the reference sites before I made my plan as they were far more complicated than necessary. By stacking a light strip and dark strip at the top, I could draw a diagonal line and sew on either side to make a HST without bias stretch.  Which ends up with the A and B variations. 

One thing that 40 years of quilting has taught me is to square up blocks, especially if anything is on the bias.  Final trim was for 10".  I was expecting 9.5", but I think many of my seams were a scant 1/4"
That took off up to 1/4 " on some blocks and nothing on others. 

Finished of the sides with a mid-tone color to match the right and left, but leaving the zig-zag  on the top and bottom.  

Final dimensions are 67" square at the wide spots, but 55" at the inner side of the zigs.

Friday, October 14, 2022

UFO finishes

 I had a day free to sew and planned to start a unicorn dress for my granddaughter. The sewing room needed to be tidied before I could start on a new project.  This flimsy was begging to be finished. It was a scrap bin improv that I gave up making square. Which I still believe was the right decision. 
I had fun freehand drawing giant flowers in the borders. 
And parts of mandellas

With dense quilting on the outside to help tame the flared edge that developed from all the bias pieces in the quilt. 

I added a flannel back to this NICU quilt flimsy that was sitting around. 
I had the X and the waves squares on my design wall.  When I went to sew more HST blocks, I discovered that the pre-sewn squares all needed to be cut down to match the scale of the X block. That was the point that my enthusiasm for these leftover fabrics was gone. I was even less excited when I found a bin of the 4 patch blocks that finish with 1" squares.  My Road To California plan became the Road To The Trash Bin. A decision that caused guilt, but ultimately more relief. 

I hope to get in another day of finishing off UFOs so I can get working on 2 dresses from this Unicorn fabric. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Donation Quilts


I have been clearing random fabrics from my sewing room by making donation quilts.  
I start by aiming for the sizes requested by Threads In Faith.  which are 45-60" size. 
It is a prayer ministry started by friends of mine.  The quilt recipient is someone who is in need of prayers.   A group will tie the quilt while saying prayers for the recipient with each knot. 

A layer cake that I bought for a quilt that I never made because I could never find the llama fabric on a bolt.  (That was why I bought it to begin with.)

Two or 3 super cute lime/pink fat quarters given to me as a gift. 

I don't even know how I accumulated so much brown.  
Autumn colors left over from a quilt for a friend who loves Fall.  With some weird mustardy batik 5" squares my mom bought for me in the Caribbean. 

I started this design as a variation of an Irish chain, but didn't have enough contrast with the colors, so it just looks like squares. 

The leftover extra 4 patch squares (because, apparently, I am bad at math and made too many. 
The border I saw on a FB quilt group by a designer who was looking for testers.  It looked like this, but the directions didn't make it work like the picture.  I worked out a paper piecing version and made this.  I decided that I didn't like it well enough to make 4 more borders in this color version.  I do, however, really like the HST star.  I may become a default pattern for me. 

I have a quilting friend who's a NICU nurse.  Years ago, when I was bemoaning a project I was working on because I didn't like the color combo, she suggested finishing it and donating it to NICU.  Over time the ideal size was deemed to be 30" x 36" with a flannel back and no batting.  That combo wraps well around the mattress. It's also ideal for smaller amounts of fabrics that are too much to throw away, and not enough for a full quilt.  These go together as improv quilts.  I generally make placement decisions on what would show in the center.
Fat quarters of paisley fabrics that were gifted to me and had no coordinating fabrics in the stash. 

Leftovers from the layer cake and coordinating fabrics left after I turned most into aprons. 

A piece of waves fabric, roughly 1/3 yard. 

Now back to the giant bin of scraps...

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Biggs Finish!!!

 You've been following this quilt for 8 years now.  This week, finally finished the hand quilting.  While taking photos, was a bit disappointed in a few bits, so there will be some more hand details added at some point.  Or maybe not.   Time will tell.  25 blocks.  I did the first 15 blocks in 2014-2015. 10 blocks Fall 2020. Swags 2021. Started quilting January 2022.  Finished May 2022