Icy Waters Quilt Top…Almost Finished

I say almost for one reason.  There is one more row to add based on the pattern.  However, I like the quilt just the way it is.  I think more dark gray will change the look.  When I pulled the fabrics I liked the idea.  Now I want the quilt to be a bit softer in the gradient of color.

Would you add the row or just leave it?

Maybe I’m too lazy to continue?  That could be part of the challenge.  Paper piecing gives amazing results within a quilt, but is so much work.  You can’t chain piece with this method, or I haven’t figured out a practical way to do it yet.

I have pieced the backing and now I just need to baste this quilt.  Well PRESS the heck out of it with starch so it lays flat, then baste it.

While this quilt may look complex Amy makes it easy to create this wonderful piece.  She has a great selection of paper pieced patterns in her book, Paper Pieced Modern:  13 Stunning Quilts.  It’s a book that I recommend to any quilter to add to their collection.  The technique she teaches will help you with your paper piecing as well.

You can read about the workshop the IMQG hosted with Amy back in September in this post.  Basting this quilt is part of my March action items.  I’ve got this, now bring on the starch!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, but the recommendations are my own.  

 

 

My Charming Plus Finished Quilts

If you’re having a bad day or need to see some amazing colors, take a look at the #charmingplusquilt and #charmingplusqal tags.  Those that participated created delightful versions of the quilt.  Go check it out when you have a chance.

Scrappy Version

Can I be bias for a minute?  This is one of my favorite versions of this quilt so far.  These are my colors.  Go look in my closet, most of my clothes are in range of this palette.  Best part is that I had forgotten about this scrap stash I found hiding in a box.  It’s the perfect baby size and is available for a new home.  It’s available on Etsy.

I pondered what to back this quilt in and remembered there was an Amy Butler gray print in my destash box.  It was the perfect size and really compliments the front.

Kona Navy makes for a binding that coordinates well with all the colors.  Quick and easy straight line quilting and machine binding.

Bundle Version

At first I was scared to dig into this bundle and put it to use.  However, it feels good to have finished something with the bundle and know it’s waiting for a new home.  This quilt is currently available on Etsy as well.

The backing on this version was a bit tougher to select.  I almost went with the golden yellow, but couldn’t find the right shade.   Crimson Tate had this Follie print in stock and enough to piece a back.

In my stash was less than a fat quarter of the black and gray dots.  Seriously, when I was adding the binding the last bit had just enough to make a seam.  Cut that one close :).

Overall

Having made this quilt a number of times I’m digging the 3″ square size for blocks.  I have some 1.5″ squares in my scraps.  Wonder what they would look like in this quilt?  Or mixed together with larger squares?  Guess that means I will be making more in the future.

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

This was one of my last projects in 2016.  The binding was finished on New Year’s Eve.  Since then I have been working on some items around the house and projects.  Plus, I really wanted to wait to show off this quilt after it had been gifted.

More geese made from stash and scrap fabrics.  Ahhh….except

There are a couple of OOPS .  Can you find them?

It could have been the burn out from working on a bagillion geese blocks between the two quilts.  See the previous quilt here.  Maybe it was the fabrics that were “straightened up” on a random day.  I think it’s important to be honest note not every project is “perfect.”  I’m okay with that as a maker.  Honestly, you probably wouldn’t notice unless I mentioned it and you did zoom in on the above photo.

The last 5-7 sets of geese on this quilt were just a creative roadblock.  In the end I love how it turned out.  For the backing I dug into my vintage sheet collection.    It’s a great selection especially if you knew the parents, they may be into sports.

Orange solid binding was a great way to wrap up this quilt.  That is hand sewn binding on the back.  No machine binding this time.

It’s now gone to our friends that are expecting a boy very soon.  I hope they use it and enjoy the quilt.


Another Flying Geese quilt click here

December Fabric Budget

I did it!  I did it!  Honestly, when I set out with this crazy idea I didn’t know if I could meet it.  There have been outliers to the budget for various reasons during the year.

After gift it some thought and reflection, I want to push forward with this and challenge myself again.  My friend Katie, brought up an idea to add another $100 for completing a year.  Then I went to clean up my sewing room.  I found more projects and fabric than I care to admit.  UGH!  There are some colors and small things missing that I would like to have.   I think the best bet for now is to move forward with the limited budget to keep my original intent in place.

USE WHAT I HAVE

Clean sewing room?

Should I be embarrassed that this is cleaned up?  Also what do you do with scrap batting?

I can make this work and maybe will renew my focus.  My goals for 2017 are not solidified yet.  There are some details I need to work out before they can be shared.

 

PS…I barely avoided the post holiday fabric sales

How To Work On Multiple Quilts At Once

The headline isn’t just click bait.  It’s the truth.  These are my tricks to work on multiple quilts at once.

  1. Keep the plan simple

  2. Similar color palettes are helpful

  3. Batch work for cutting and sewing

  4. Optional:  wine or adult beverage of your choice, along with something to binge on Netflix.

If you have been a reader for a while, you may not be surprised by my tricks.  However I wanted to highlight the process for those that may be curious.  Currently, I have a commission for three baby quilts.   Here are the details:  all are for girls, simple patchwork, and two are for twins.

After discussing with my client, she wanted something similar to this.

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I had a bunch of pink and purple already cut into 2.5″ squares from this quilt.

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She opted to go with the smaller squares which makes more seams and work but the overall effect will be great.  The color choices for both quilts are very similar:

Lilac, gray and white (1)

Pink, mint, gray and white (2)

Keep the plan simple

All 2.5″ squares.  First, I head to my scrap bins and pull any 5″, 3″ and 2.5″ squares already cut in these colors.  Then head to uncut scraps and start pulling out larger pieces in the various shades.  I pulled a variety of purple and pink colors since I’m not sure if I want to add more variety to the layout.  In digging through the scraps there were some softer shades of orange that I thought could play will with both color palettes.  Prepping everything now into 2.5″ squares will save time if I need to add more later.

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I did also select a few new fabrics during a shopping trip to make sure the quilt had enough variety.  It was important to pick out fabrics I knew would compliment my stash and be able to use again.

Keep a few prints, solids, and colors nearby in case you need them.  I had pulled out some khaki/tan prints thinking I wouldn’t use them with the twins’ quilts, but they added a nice break up in the colors.

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Similar color palettes are helpful

To complete these quilts I will need big stacks of white and gray. Scraps were sorted through first, then on to the larger cuts of fabrics.  To assist with color selection I spent some time at Crimson Tate picking out backing fabrics.   I was able to get the backing and binding options selected for all three quilts before I started sewing.  This helped me with planning colors to pick and draw from.  Full disclosure:  the fabrics purchased were not apart of my fabric budget for November.

Batch work for cutting and sewing

This is truly the secret right here.  However, I needed the first two steps to prepare for this.  As noted above everything is cut to 2.5″ squares.  Each color is sorted and stacked.

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Tips:

  1. Put in a new needle, clean your machine, and oil if recommended from your manufacturer

  2. Have a few bobbins wound

  3. Keep a small pair of scissors nearby

  4. Turn on a movie or show

  5. Relax your shoulders and stretch a bit

Get sewing.  Keep it random and don’t overthink combinations.  You have already picked colors that work together, just sew and worry about the placement at the end.  When you think you’re done, sew some more.  To make a baby sized quilt you need about 320 squares.

Take breaks if needed.  Break it out over a couple of days or sessions so you don’t overthink it.  I have found overthinking my selections really slows the batch sewing down.  If you feel like you want to add in something else, grab from your extras you already have set aside.  You can always remove them as you are laying out the quilt.

Once you have completed all your squares, I find it helpful to press the seams open to help everything lay flat during layout.  From here I just start sorting into piles.  I sorted any pieces with gold metallic into a pile and then broke that into two.  In the end I had three piles, one for each quilt.

During layout of the quilt, I grab some batting and just start laying out pieces.  Generally I put the top row middle(ish) piece in first and then work my way down in a zig zag.  Then I just begin filling in the quilt with my 2 block sets.  Moving pieces around and exchanging for others if needed to complete the look.

Using my left to right sewing method I stack up each row and continue chain piecing until all the rows are finished.  I do label the rows as I’m sewing them for ease later on.  After each row is completed I press the seams in opposite directions to nest easily in the next piecing steps.

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Quilting in simple straight lines takes no time.  Plus machine binding.  Throw those quilts in the washer, with a Shout color catcher of course, and dry.

Three baby quilts done at once.

Excuse me while I got stretch and move for a bit.

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Finish It Up Friday

November Fabric Budget

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Another month down and still in the green.  Over the year this experiment has really encouraged me to dig back into my stash, go through scraps, modify ideas and make it work.  It’s refreshing.  It’s hard at the same time.

There have been some gorgeous fabrics that have been released this year and lots of amazing sales.  I have been able to resist.  It really boils down to how long can I keep this going?  Another three months?  Another six months?

Right now my balance going into December is $31.39.  I don’t think that’s realistic for the long term, but definitely a good challenge.  There are plenty of fabrics I could further destash and there are a few commissions in the works.

At this point, I think I continue forward.  Challenge myself to create with what I have and be resourceful.