Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WIPs: Reindeer and More Strings

It's Wednesday and here's what I'm working on :)

I'm up to 66 string blocks on the design wall. My blue and brown string piles are getting smaller but there are still a surprising number left!

 I also got my Reindeer blocks done for the Fair Isle Quilt Along. Just in time, as the next installment goes up on Thursday.  I would have gotten a bit more done but yesterday was interrupted by a trip to the vet. Wilson has pneumonia (again.) Fortunately a some meds and fluids and he was much improved today. Here's hoping we caught it early and everything will be fine :)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and the Fair Isle Quilt Along, both at Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Strings in Action

If you remember last post I had sorted my overflowing string scraps by color. I decided to start tackling them by taking the two largest piles and making a traditional style string quilt.

I am foundation piecing on top of phone book pages to make 6.5" blocks of my true-blue (not teal) and brown scraps.  I had really hope for bigger blocks, more like 8.5", but I live in a rather rural area and even by bumming a phone book from the nearest city I was only able to get a book just under 7" wide. So far 46 of a hoped-for 130 blocks are done.

The fun part of a quilt like this is deciding on the layout. From the traditional diamonds in the top picture to zig zags or a growing echo-diamond.

At this point I think I like the traditional small diamonds best, but I am reserving judgement until I have more blocks to rearrange and look at. 

Linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fair Isle Quilt Along Week 2

Before this year I had never done a quilt along; now I've done 3!  First the Triangle Quilt Along back in the spring, the Texas Quilt Along in the summer, and now I'm doing the Fair Isle Quilt Along from Freshly Pieced! 

Here are the first 2 weeks worth of blocks up on the wall.  You can see I am going ahead and piecing them into rows as I go.  I originally thought that I wouldn't like QALs because I normally work much faster that that pace. Turns out it's kind of nice to take a project so slow! Plus it gets me to do things I normally wouldn't try.

I also finished this simple strip quilt top this week.   All the colors were pulled from that floral fabric at the top and bottom. Now I just need to trim it up, baste and quilt!

And my strings were in desperate, desperate need of sorting. So last evening to folded them all into color piles. Time to do something with these :)

Linking to Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and Freshly Pieced Fair Isle QAL.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

HST Waves, and There's a Cat on my Quilt!

The HST waves quilt got done this morning. I'm so grateful for the Friday linkups that give me to push to get something done every week.  This one will be a gift for a coworker having a baby soon.

After I got it all washed and dried I took it out in the yard for a photo shoot. Wilson was feeling exceptionally frisky. Apparently "Cat Day" happened this week; someone must have told him!  I couldn't keep him off the quilt so I just shot around him. Of course he knows who the real star of the show is :)

This quilt was meant to be similar to my Gatsby! quilt; I've been wanting to do something with pieced and solid waves blending together for a while now.

The quilting was fun to do. First stitch in the ditch along the curved seam, then just a simple stipple over the pieced parts and this sort of elongated stipple that reminds me of ripples in a pond over the blue parts. I didn't find a tutorial for that one, but I've seen it several places including at Crazy Mom Quilts.

I used the ever-popular IKEA numbers fabric for backing again.  As you can see a bit above, and better in the pic below, I was switching my bobbin thread along with the top thread so the ripples show on the back in blue.

The quilt finished about 42" x 60", a generous size for a baby/toddler quilt.  Here's hoping it will be enjoyed by these 2 little boys for years to come! 

And now that we have all paid homage to the king perhaps he will get off my WIP stack so I can get back to work!

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October do. Good Stitches Blocks

On my design wall this Monday are these two star blocks which will soon be mailed off to Washington. These were my October blocks for our do. Good stitches circle. (Tutorial is here if you want to make some yourself.)  These blocks finish at just 12.5" sq and each one contains (64) 1.5" finished units, many of which are HSTs!  So that was today's afternoon sewing. They look great, and I can't wait to see the finished quilt, but I am so glad I don't have to make any more of these!

Friday I cut fabrics for the Fair Isle sew along over at Freshly Pieced, which was time consuming but not very photogenic. Then yesterday I started cutting and laying out fabrics for a new strip quilt (you can see the focal fabric above the stars in the pic above) but I didn't get anything sewn together yet. And tomorrow I have to go back to work :( Looking forward to Wednesday when I can sew again!

Linking up to Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Distortions do. Good Stitches Quilt {Bloggers Quilt Show}

It's time once again for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, where all of us who wish we were in Houston console ourselves with our own quilt show. Which is totally better that Houston anyway, right? Maybe ;)

Every year it seems I am liking up my latest do. Good Stitches quilt for the show, but they really are usually my favorites and the ones I am most proud of.  This year is no exception. I designed this block based on the Fibonacci Sequence and the final quilt is called "Distortions" after the illusion of curves it creates.  You can read my tutorial for the block with explanations of the sequence and its significance here.

I asked my group members for blocks made in solid, boy-friendly colors and they delivered handily.  I didn't want to detract from the illusion is a lot of quilting so instead I used an invisible thread to try to amplify the curves.

For the backing I used the thematically-appropriate IKEA Numbers fabrics and a couple of stray blocks.

The quilt has since been sent to "My Very Own Blanket" a charity that provides quilts for children in foster care. Thanks, as ever, to my wonderful do. Good Stitches Circle!

I am linking up this quilt in the "Modern" category. You can see my other entry in the "Large Quilt Category" here.

Block designed by me, tutorial here
Pieced by the members of the NURTURE circle of do. Good Stitches
Quilted by me on my home machine
Dimensions 50"x60"

Honeycomb of Hexagons

I got the Honeycomb quilt finished this week after all! Perfect timing as the linky for the Blogger's Quilt Festival opens this week and I can't think of a better quilt to enter. Remember, this is the quilt I based on the "Honey" design from Elizabeth Hartman.

This is really a 60degree triangle quilt which could be assembled in the normal row method. I've done that before, remember the Squirrely triangles quilt? However, this time I chose to assemble the triangles into hexagons first and then sew those together using this technique from Jacquie Gering. Don't ask me why. It seemed like a good idea at the time and, really, it wasn't too difficult.

I made this quit for my grandparents. I always find it extra intimidating to quilt for people who have very coordinated living rooms, do you? Like, if I make a quilt that isn't in their colors it won't "go" with the rest of the room so they'll feel like they can't use it.  I mean, let's face it, highly coordinated limited color schemes isn't my usual style. So, I paid attention last year at Christmas to the colors in their living room and these were what I saw. Let's hope they haven't redecorated this year!

The hexagons are made from a variety of fabrics, prints and solids, and sashed with my all-time favorite manly neutral tan. Obviously there is a honeybee theme going on with this quilt.  This will be a Christmas present for my grandpa who keeps bees. That has been his hobby since retirement and he now has a lively side business selling honey.  The paper pieced bee pattern came from Badskirt.

When it came to quilt I hit up Google and found this cool honeybee FMQ at the Inbox Jaunt. I mixed it in with a stipple for the quilting. After a few practice bees on the lighter colored fabrics where it didn't show as clearly it became a natural pattern to sew and I was ready for the dark reds and blues.

The backing is a mix of a Moda solid and yardage from Basic Grey's Sweet Serenade line.

I decided to leave the edges uneven rather than cutting any hexagons in half or adding some background-color setting hexies along the edges.  Instead I just bound around all the corners. It was time consuming but not very difficult.

The quilt ended up at 66" x 72" or so, decent for a couch quilt.  I'll be hanging onto this one until Christmas I suppose. Hard to wait for the surprise!

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. This quilt is in the Large Quilts Category (just barely!)  View my other entry in the "Modern" category here.

Patterns used by Elizabeth Hartman & Badskirt
Pieced by me using various fabrics
Quilted by me on my home machine, bee FMQ design by The Inbox Jaunt
Dimensions ~66"x72" (the irregular edges make it a tad difficult to measure)