I’m Back, Neighbor.

Several unplanned life events disrupted my sewing schedule so it’s been a couple of months, but finally, I’m back. After crapping out of The Splendid Sampler sew-along (too many hand-embroidered blocks) I found something a little more to my liking… the Moda Be My Neighbor 2016 event. This one is super-cute and it’s mostly machine piecing, so I jumped in with glee.

Here’s my first block.

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Most of my fabric is still packed up in the shed because I had to clean out my sewing room when my oldest daughter moved back home. One of those life events I mentioned. It’s ok though. Really. I love my daughter. (sniff, sniff) Anyhow, I had to run to the store and buy some. Darn it! Since I’m quite a ways from the local quilting store, I just grabbed a few things from Walmart. Don’t judge me. It was an emergency situation. I actually love the colors, and the red brick is especially adorable.

Sometimes you need a new challenge to rediscover your joy in quilting, and this project has done that for me. I can’t wait to do next week’s block. In the meantime, I’m going to get back to my Brother Dream Fabric Frame and finish quilting the orphan block quilt I started.

Mahalo y’all for stopping by.

 

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Posies and Plaid

Throwback Thursday

This little lap quilt is another treasure from my Alaska days. The girls and I spent a wonderful year there while my soldier did an unaccompanied tour in Korea. Between hubby being gone and the bitter cold winter, I had lots of time on my hands, most of which I spent quilting and sewing.

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My 5 favorite things about this quilt are:

  1. The plaid shirting – a freebie I picked up at a fabric exchange. Oh, and that pink floral…I wish I’d bought a whole bolt of it. It goes with everything.
  2. Accuquilt friendliness factor – I cut every piece with my Accuquilt Go.
  3. Color scheme – The pinks and greens are delicious…like ice cream sherbet.
  4. Quick, easy piecing – This would be a great beginner pattern. It went together very quickly, but it still looks great.
  5. Beautiful quilting – My go-to long-arm quilter in Alaska, Mary Lou Frahm of Honeybee Quilting did a fabulous job, don’t you agree?

At about  57″ square, this quilt is the perfect size for the beach, or curling up on the couch. I think it would make a great baby quilt too. I might have to make a few more. 🙂

Mahalo, y’all, for stopping by.

The Beauty of Rejects, Leftovers and Foibles

Meet Annie, the Quilt

When I entered the quilting sisterhood, I did so with boundless enthusiasm and a charming naivety. It was cute how I assumed I would start a quilt, I would finish it in short order, it would be fabulous, and THEN I would move on to the next project. It would be as easy as – say – washing your hair. Lather, rinse, repeat… Hahahahahahaha.

It wasn’t long before I experienced the agonies of poor color choices, unrefined techniques and simple boredom. “Orphan block” and “UFO” became part of my personal quilting lexicon.

First there was the highly ambitious sampler quilt that exceeded my ability at the time. Some of the blocks turned out great. Some, not so much. I finally gave up in a fit of frustration. For years, I would pull the stack of blocks out periodically, shake my head, and put them back onto the shelf.

My most recent failed endeavor was the Splendid Sampler. A great project I joined with much anticipation. Five blocks in, I realized it wasn’t for me. Still, I made a few adorable blocks. I couldn’t throw them away. Onto the orphan stack they went.

There were MANY samples, mistakes and leftovers along the way. My orphan pile would likely have continued to grow, but I recently bought a Brother Dream Fabric Frame and I’m dying to try it out. Lord knows I won’t start with any of my real quilt tops, so I thought it would be a great idea to sew all my orphans together to make a practice quilt. I told myself, “It’s already ugly, so it won’t matter if you screw up the quilting.” Brilliant, right?

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As the idea gathered steam in my head, I began to research Orphan Block Quilts and found a wealth of resources. Books have been written. There are entire blogs dedicated to them. They are called by many names: Everything But the Kitchen Sink Quilts, Scatterbrained Quilts, etc. Some of them are really ugly. Some are more beautiful than my “pretty” quilts. I’m going for a semi-organized look with the black and pink polka dot sashing. I’m very excited about trying out machine quilting, but, surprisingly, I’m almost as excited about finishing this “ugly” quilt top.

Have you ever made an Orphan Block Quilt? Tell me all about it, and I’ll let you know how mine turns out.

I Need a Bigger Bed…

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Current Work in Progress – Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory is coming along nicely, except for one thing. It’s too big to lay out on my queen-sized bed. In fact, there’s not a space in my house big enough to lay out the entire quilt. When finished, it will measure a whopping 96″ square. I don’t know what I’m going to do. For now, I’ll just keep sewing.

I have completed seven of the 16 sections. Only 1,296 small squares left to sew – sooooo – I better leave you and get back to work.

Go Home Purple Geese…

An Original Design

Last night I finished the design for a new project. I’m calling it, Go Home Purple Geese, You’re Drunk. I realize I didn’t use purple for the geese on my first draft, but I decided to change to a different color scheme before I sew it up.

I haven’t bought any quilt design software, so for now I’m doing it old school – graph paper and colored pencils. At some point, I’ll turn it into an actual pattern.

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I’m anxious to start cutting and sewing this one, but I haven’t finished the top for my last design yet, so it’ll have to go on the back burner for now. In the meantime, I need to decide if I’m going super-scrappy on this one or choosing a few fabrics from my stash.

My current design, Chaos Theory, is a monster project. It has 16 sections. Each one is 12 by 12 squares. When I’m done, I will have 2,304 small squares. Here’s a look at Section 13. It doesn’t look like much until you see all the sections together, then the underlying pattern shows through.

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I haven’t finished all of the previous 12 sections. I’ve been skipping around. It’s easier to disperse the fabrics evenly that way. Also, I get bored and skipping around helps.

Here is another section…

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At this rate, I’m not likely to have a finished top to show you for several weeks. I think I’ll try something easier next time. 🙂

Mahalo, y’all for stopping by.

 

Churn Dash Aflutter

Throwback Thursday

I made this quilt in 2011 while living in Willow, Alaska. I had given myself a challenge to make a quilt entirely from fabrics I had on hand, and I managed to do that with everything but the backing and binding.

I started with the butterfly fabric. I wanted to use large-ish pieces to showcase the beautiful colors and pattern. I only had enough for 10 blocks, so I alternated my showcase blocks with one of my favorite traditional blocks, the churn dash.

I consider this more of a utility quilt. It’s small – a lap quilt – and the fabrics aren’t ones I would have bought to use together, but I don’t know… I kind of like it anyway. I used flannel for the backing so it’s super-cozy.

Wondrously talented Mary Lou Frahm of Honeybee Quilting quilted it for me. I love the allover butterfly pattern she used. If you’re in Alaska and need a good long-arm quilter, you can find her here.

I did not use my Accuquilt on this project, but they’ve since come out with a churn dash die, so I’ll probably make another one soon. I do love that block so I think I can justify the cost.

Mahalo y’all, for stopping by.

A Found Treasure

Quilt #2 in the 2016 Year of Scrapfabulousness Series

This quilt isn’t beautiful so much for its fabric or pattern, but for its history. A couple of years ago, I bought a bag of fabric at a yard sale in Falcon, Colorado, and inside I found these Chinese Coin strips.

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There were seven or eight strips, some of them longer than the others. Someone had spent a lot of time sewing them together, but they had run out of time, ambition or ability, so the strips ended up in my hands. It felt wrong, somehow, to let them go to waste.

I dug through my scrap bucket and added enough pieces that I had eight strips of the same length. Then I picked a few low-volume fabrics and added them between the strips using the 1600 jelly roll method.

The finished top isn’t going to win any quilt show awards, but I like it. I enjoy knowing there’s one less UFO in the world. Or at least there will be as soon as I quilt it. 🙂

I hope that when I run out of time, or ambition, or ability, someone will find my UFOs and finish them. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Mahalo, y’all, for stopping by.