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.

 

Earth Song

A Finished Quilt Top (Or Flimsy, If You Prefer)

My other New Year’s Resolution, besides the one involving my scrap tub, was to finish something old and something new every month. It’s a contract I made with myself after realizing my UFOs had gotten out of control and that I was going to die one day with a zillion unfinished projects if I didn’t do something about it soon.

My first instinct was to say I couldn’t start any new projects until I finished all the old ones, but a wise friend suggested I alternate one UFO with one new project to stave off boredom. It’s a system that’s worked marvelously. Thanks, Kelly.

Earth Song is my Something New for March. It was inspired by a quilt I saw on Pinterest by Adrianne Ove of Little Bluebell. It’s a bossy little quilt. It insisted on that hippy name. (Not that I’m denigrating hippies. Far from it. I have quite a few hippy tendencies. My two daughters are named after trees and I’ll tie-dye anything that gets in my way.) However, I’m not that great at naming my quilts, so I let this one have it’s way.

There’s a small scrap element to this project. The yellow center squares came from my famous tub. The yellow used in the sashing was a fresh purchase. 😦 🙂 Everything else came from my stash, which is great because I need to use that up too. Yay, me.

Now, when I say “finish,” I mean I finished the quilt top. It’s not quilted yet. I’ve been saving for a long-arm quilting machine, so for the moment, I’m stacking my quilt tops on a shelf and waiting patiently. Hopefully next year will be my year to really finish all my projects. Having said that, I welcome any and all advice on which long-arm machine I should purchase.

Skill Level: Beginner

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to beginner quilters. It’s not only easy, but it comes together quickly. More advanced quilters can take it up a notch by using a pinwheel as the center block (A) or incorporating a more complex sashing.

EarthSongPattern

Illustration 1, Block + Sashing

12-inch block w/2-inch sashing (finished)

  • A = 4½” x 4½”
  • B = 4½” x 4½”
  • C = 4½” x 8½”
  • D = 4½” x 8½”
  • E = 4½” x 12½”

Sashing

  • Yellow strips = 2½” x 12½”
  • Brown squares = 2½” x 2½”

Layout

  • 24 blocks
  • 6 rows of 4 squares
  • Finished quilt size: 58″ x 86″

Accuquilt Friendly: Somewhat 

I used mine to cut the 4½” squares, the 2½” sashing strips, and the 2½” sashing squares. I used a rotary cutter for the 4½” by 8½” strips and the 4½” by 12½” strips.

Precut Friendly: Somewhat

You can use a jelly roll for the sashing. A charm pack will work for the two 4 1/2″ squares in each block. If I were going that route, I’d probably adjust the size slightly and not trim the charm pack squares. And you could use fat quarters for the other three pieces. If you go that route, you’ll need:

  • 1 jelly roll
  • 1 charm pack
  • 12 assorted fat quarters

This will make twenty-four 13½” blocks. Finished quilt size will be 70″ by 105″.

  • A = 5″ x 5″
  • B = 5″ x 5″
  • C = 5″ x 9½”
  • D = 5″ x 9½”
  • E = 5″ x 14½”

I hope you like Earth Song. Mahalo, y’all.

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.

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Positively Scrappy

Quilt #1 in the 2016 Year of Scrapfabulousness Series

Positively Scrappy, the first in my 2016 Year of Scrapfabulousness Series, is the ultimate scrap quilt. It’s made up entirely of 2.5″ blocks – 1,440 of them to be exact. You don’t need any yardage. It’s ALL scraps. And it’s so easy to customize the look and size of this quilt.

I used my Accuquilt to cut the blocks, but you could easily do this with a jelly roll, fat quarters, whatever. I enjoyed putting it together, from start to finish. Can’t wait to get it quilted.

Skill Level: Upper Beginner

This pattern uses only 2.5″ squares. Nothing difficult about that. Really, the biggest challenge is the layout. I worked in big sections of 12 squares by 12. I laid it all out to my satisfaction and sewed, row by row. There would be unfinished pluses along each edge, so when I moved to the next section, I had to reference the adjoining ones to complete the pattern. It was an organizational nightmare, but the sewing itself was easy.

Accuquilt Friendly: Very

This quilt is comprised entirely of 2.5″ squares. The Accuquilt made cutting a breeze.

Precut Friendly: Very

If you don’t have a huge tub of scraps like I do, precuts are the next best thing. You could use jelly rolls, or charm packs, or even larger cuts like fat quarters.

Fabric Requirements

  • 3 Jelly Rolls – you would have about three-quarters of a roll left. Or…
  • 9 Charm Packs – That doesn’t leave you any wiggle room, so you might want to pick up ten. Or…
  • 26 Fat Quarters – Again, I would recommend a few extra to account for mistakes. Or…
  • 1 heaping pile of scraps – Each scrap should be at least big enough to get 5 squares @ 2.5″ each.

This quilt is 36 squares wide by 40 squares long. The finished dimensions are 72″ x 80″. And of course you can make it any size you like. That’s just what I ended up with.

 

New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt

I did something this year I’d never done. I participated in an online quilt-along. Janet Wickell of About.com hosted and it was super-fun.

It was called the 2016 New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt. That’s right. We didn’t know what the block was going to look like until we’d finished one.

Here’s my result.

I departed from my Scrapfabulousness series to make this one. I used a couple of prints from my stash… and I bought a couple of new ones. It seems no matter how large my stash gets, I never have everything I need to do a particular quilt. Such is life.

At any rate, I think it’s pretty cute, and it’s another quilt top finished. I believe 2017 will have to be the Year of Quilting Tops. It only follows that 2018 must be the Year of Binding Quilts.

If you are interested in making this quilt, you can find the instructions here.