It's time for the 2018 round of the "I wish I could go too traveling quilt bee" and I'm so excited. For 2017, I chose to have members make me a block to go in my Christmas quilt. (Click here to see a pic of the top.) This year I'm going with another holiday: Valentine's Day! I usually take down my Christmas decorations in mid-January and would love to have some Valentine's Day decor to put out: like a Valentine's Day quilt!
For this quilt I am asking for small (3" - 5") heart blocks. I will assemble all the small squares myself when everything makes it's way back to me. I plan to mix up all the different small heart blocks and intersperse them with square of pink fabric (negative space). I found a couple of tutorials or patterns for small heart blocks. Below are two from Happy Zombie (right - pic from Natalie of Sew Hungry Hippie) and Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew (left). More inspiration pics and tutorials/patterns can be found on my Pinterest page for this project. My starter block is shown above, and can be seen in it's entirety here. I was inspired by a pillow that Cath of Wombat Quilts made and used her paper-piecing pattern.
The inspiration for the color palette for my quilt is Jeni's (from In Color Order) Monochromatic Quilt. I love the deep red on the light pink background I would even add some medium purples for my quilt blocks.
I'm sending my package off tomorrow and can't wait to get it back in 2019! To see the blocks and quilts that we made last year check out #IwishIcouldgotootravelingquiltbee.
We will be posting progress shots for 2018 under the hashtag #iwishicouldgotootravelingquiltbee2.
Thanks for stopping by!
First Fabric Diet post for 2018!
I started January off very excited to make a heart-themed block to kick off the second round of the "I wish I could go too traveling quilt bee" (#iwishicouldgotootravelingquiltbee2). I loved my Christmas quilt from 2017, and decided to go for a heart-themed quilt for 2018. I'll write a separate blog post for the round robin, but I will say that I played around with heart blocks for a while before I settled on the above bock as my "starter" block. This block was inspired by, and uses a pattern from Cath of Wombat Quilts.
While I was working out what I wanted for the round robin, I also had in the back of my head that I wanted to make something for a Valentine's swap with my traveling-quilt group ladies. I can't show the swap projects yet (they haven't been received), but I can say that I ended up with a few extra big red scrappy heart blocks. So I made myself a little Valentine's Day wall hanging.
Making these projects made me realize how small my red fabric stash had become. (See my post from January for a visual.) So...I used my Christmas gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and rectified that problem. (See below!)
Yes - I bought a fair amount of fabric this month, and I am happy about it. In working on projects this month, I realized that I was lacking in a few colors in my stash. So I replenished - with intention!
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 15.75
Fabric Used in Projects: 10.5
Net for the Month: 5.25
Net for the Year: 5.25
I don't feel like I sewed a whole lot this month, but I did have fun with the seasonal projects that I worked on. February is going to also be a month with not a whole lot of sewing - and I'm going to Quiltcon! So there will be not much sewing, and there will probably be fabric purchasing. That means that March is going to have to be a big sewing month to make up for it all!
Last fall, I decided that I needed a few more Halloween quilts. This is the second of two new ones that I made (but the first to be actually bound and finished). Honestly, the purpose of this one was to use up my seemingly never-ending stash of Halloween fabrics.
For this quilt, I simply cut strips from each of my Halloween fabrics and sewed them together in 3 sets that were each at least 64 inches long. Once I had my strips sets all sewn together, I cut them in to smaller sections, flipped them around to have some more variety, and sewed the long pieces together. Voila - quilt top!
For the backing, I treated myself to some fabric from Cotton + Steel's 2017 Halloween line: Lil' Monsters. I love this fabric! In particular, I like how this fabric is lighter than the top with all of its saturated dark fabrics.
This is another quilt that I had quilted by my local long-arm quilter (Quilts by Grace). I knew I wanted an all-over spider web edge-to-edge panto, but I didn't want spiders included with the webs. I searched for a while and then came across this pattern from on the Urban Elementz site, called "Spiderweb".
With all of the crazy scrappy-ness happening on this quilt top, I wanted a pretty solid, visually heavy binding; so I chose this black and white spider web fabric from Timeless treasures. I'm sure this is long out of print, as I feel that I have been staring at it for a while!
This quilt finishes at 60" by 64" and I am excited to pull it out next October.
You know what tho? I STILL have Halloween fabrics left over. This one didn't kill my stash as I had hoped. I don't think that I have it in me to make another one in 2018, so I guess that the remaining fabrics will continue to sit until next year. Who knows.
Here are a couple more quilting pics for you.
Thanks for stopping by!
This is my Bright Sawtooth Stars quilt and it is currently listed for sale on my Etsy site. This guy is 52" square and would look great on the end of a bed, or as a small throw quilt.
The color palette in this quilt is so unlike what I normally gravitate towards, but I really like it! It was inspired by a couple of yards of fabric that I'd had in my stash for a while. One day I was feeling like I needed to use up a bunch of stash fabric, so I went to the shelf that holds my longer cuts of fabric, chose one with bright, fun colors, and began to pull coordinating fabric.
The quilt top was finished in July, but only recently did I take it to my local long-arm quilter (Quilts by Grace). I chose the "modern waves" pantograph by Anita Shackelford for the quilt and love how it turned out. I also used this quilting pattern on my son's pinwheel quilt.
The backing for this quilt contains a section of patchwork squares using the same fabric as the sawtooth blocks on the front of the quilt. The quilting really shows off nicely on the back of the quilt.
The quilt is bound with one of the greige background fabrics from the front of the quilt.
I'm so happy with how this quilt turned out and think that I need make some more quilts with inspiration from my stash of fabrics for backings!
Thanks for stopping by!
In 2017, I really enjoyed the focus that my fabric diet gave me. Purging a lot of my stash, using a lot of it, and attempting to be very deliberate and thoughtful about my fabric purchases was a big learning experience and actually left me with a stash that I like (mostly), but which may not be big enough. Look above - see how much smaller the current stack of red fabrics is?!
I'm a person who likes to pull from stash, and who doesn't like to use bundles of collections for quilts. I like to mix it up, and I like a lot of different fabrics in a quilt. But recently I went to pull red fabric for a project and I found that I really didn't have much.
In 2018, I want to continue refining my stash, and I don't want to spend a ton of money on new fabric, but I do anticipate getting rid of some fabric, and making some new fabric purchases. I am going to once again focus on really making sure that I'm purchasing fabrics that are usable and are "me;" and aren't just trendy or cute. First up: reds! I need more red fabrics.
For 2018 I plan to continue my fabric diet, but I also have a few quilt goals that I want to accomplish this year. They are as follows - in no particular order:
Quilts to make or finish
1. Tangelo Quilt - I want to finish: my "Tangelo" quilt top (pattern by Carolyn Friedlander). I started the quilt at the Sewtopia retreat in New Orleans, and I plan to finish it this year. Maybe that'll happen at the next Sewtopia retreat in April. (A depiction of my Tangelo quilt can be see above, lower right.)
2. Polka dot quilt - in 2017 I really enjoyed making several scrap quilts. This year I think that I might choose to make a polka dot quilt as my scrap quilt. I really enjoyed making a few polka dot blocks for a traveling quilt bee project last year. (Click here to see them on Instagram.) My depiction of a potential polka dot quilt is shown above, lower left.
3. At the end of last year, I purchased several yards of Robert Kaufman Linen, and I hope to use it this year. I haven't used their linen before, but I think I'm really going to like it. My current thought is that I'll make a scrappy off-set star quilt (shown above, top right) - maybe for my own bed!
4. Memory quilts (2). I've never attempted to make a quilt with clothes before, but I have a definite idea, or two, in my head for what I want to do with some shirts from a special loved one who has passed away this year. One idea is shown above, top left.
5. My local guild is going another challenge this year and this year the theme is "Stars." I have an idea for this project which is a little bit out of my comfort zone.
6. Range backpack - I would love to have a completed Range backpack (pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead). At Sewtopia New Orleans, I purchased the pattern from Pink Door Fabrics. Originally my thought was to have it prior to Quiltcon in February, but I have since realized that is an unattainable goal.
7. Tone it Down quilt pattern. For a few years, I've been toying with the idea of making one of these quilts. Currently I'm in love with the idea of doing it in red and green for Christmas. Pattern can be found at All People Quilt (click here).
Whew - that makes 7 quilt/sewing projects PLUS I have four finished quilt tops that need to be wrapped up.
I'm a big believer in goals, and I'm excited the projects I've picked out, but I also really enjoy going off on whim or tangent when it comes to quilts. I hope to finish the quilts and projects listed here, but I also look forward to where this year may take me. Here's to lots of sewing time and accomplishments in 2018!
December is a month of looking both backwards and forwards. I'm one who likes to look back on the year to see what I've done (call it an accomplishment or just a completed task), and start to think about what I want to do for the next year. It's also a time where I scurry to try to wrap up unfinished projects.
Above shows all the quilts that I completed this year (from baby-side to king-size). In addition to these 11 quilts, I also have 8 other quilts waiting to be quilted or bound (shown below).
I also finished 11 mini quilts and/or pillows this year: 2 for fabric challenges, 8 for swaps, and 1 for myself.
One year ago, I spent the Christmas school break sorting my scraps and cutting them in to 2 1/2" and 3 1/2" squares. I used those squares in 7 of my quilts this year and loved having them available and pre-cut. I also really enjoyed tracking my fabric usage and purchases this year. My goal was to donate, sell, or use up at least 100 yards of fabric. I made one last purchase of fabric this December, and this is how my tallying ended up:
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 7
Fabric Used in Projects: 11.75
Net for the Month: -4.75
Net for the Year: -102.0
I made my goal!
I also find it interesting to note that overall, I used/sold/donated 289.25 yards of fabric this year, and I purchased 187.25 yards of fabric. Those numbers seem crazy when you start attaching dollar amounts to them. 187 new yards of fabric cost me around $2,244. Yikes!
Next up I hope to have a post with goals, fabric and quilty, for 2018!
Happy New Years to all of you, and thanks for stopping by.
This fall I was looking for a tutorial to remind me how to make the Scrappy Trips Around the World block, and I stumbled across this similar pattern: Many Trips Around the World. (You can see my first Scrappy Trip quilt here.) The tutorial for this quilt is really nothing more than instructions for a pattern of 2 1/2" squares that you lay out on your design wall. You can find the tutorial here.
My design wall was empty, so my son and I began playing with scrap squares of fabric.
I started this project thinking that it would be super colorful, using all the colors in my scrap bin. However, I quickly began editing and came up with this more limited palette - and I love it!
Once the squares were all laid out, I used the "Net piecing" method (aka 2-D piecing) to piece all the squares together.
When we were laying out this quilt, if we didn't have enough scraps of one fabric to make a complete "round," I substituted in a similar fabric. I love how this only becomes apparent when you study the quilt closely.
I backed this quilt in a wide-back gray and white star print by Elizabeth Hartman, and quilted diagonally through every-other row of squares.
Most of the squares of fabric used in this quilt were already in my scrap bin. I did end up having to cut some navy blue squares for the quilt, and then used that navy blue fabric to bind the quilt.
I wanted a throw size-quilt, so I laid my quilt out with 30 squares x 35 squares. Using my scrap 2 1/2" squares, the resulting quilt is roughly 60" x 70."
Here I am: summarizing November. I've done 11 months of tracking! This month I sewed several quilt tops in the first week or two, and then I sewed several quilt backs - and dropped most of them off at my local long-arm quilter.
I took advantage of sewing time at the Sewtopia retreat in New Orleans and sewed up the football quilt above (and blogged about here), and the wild quarter-log cabin quilt (also above). Once home, I worked with my son to make the red half-square triangle quilt. Remember the fabric that I bought in Madison (blogged here)? This month, I succeeded in sewing all of the fabric that the kids picked out in to quilt tops for them. My goal is to have them finished and under the tree for them on Christmas morning.
My long-arm quilter (Lora Smith from Quilts by Grace) is awesome! Not only did she get that football quilt done in time for me to gift it to my Father-in-law at Thanksgiving, but she also has quilted all three quilts for the boys and now I have them back and just need to get them bound. The kids know that the quilt tops have been made, but I've told them that they probably won't be back from the quilter until January. Sneaky Mommy.
Here is how this sewing month worked out:
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 12
Fabric Used in Projects: 30.75
Net for the Month: -18.75
Net for the Year: -97.25
My goal this year was to use up or donate (or sell) over 100 yards of fabric. I did better this month using up a lot of the fabric that I bought last month. But I still have more work to to. At the Pink Door Fabrics pop-up shop at Sewtopia, I bought several more yards of fabric, and then I won a slew of fat eighths as a door prize (all that added up to 10 new yards of fabric). Isn't it pretty though?
I have only 1 month left, and I have to use up at least 2.75 yards more than I buy or accumulate. It's going to be close, but make it or not, I'm happy that I took on this project. I'm so much happier with the fabrics that I now have in my stash.
Check back at the end of December to see the wrap-up for my 2017 Fabric Diet.
A quilt finish! Wow, it has been a while since I finished a quilt. My ankle surgery slowed me down, but now I'm back to near-normal.
This pattern is called "Rookie Quarterback" and is from Robinson Pattern Company. I made it as a present for a certain mid-western football fan, and had my son help me choose which brown and white fabrics to use. More information on fabrics is included below.
Man does this quilt go together quickly! I cut it out ahead of time, and then assembled it on the first night of the Sewtopia retreat in New Orleans. It took maybe an hour, but I love it's simple graphic design.
I wanted this quilt to be super snuggly and soft, so I backed it in red "cuddle"
fabric. Quilting with this high-pile fuzzy fabric isn't my favorite thing to do, so I had it quilted by Lora at Quilts by Grace. I chose a panto called "Lincoln Logs" that I now can't find anywhere on the internet. Regardless, it had the overall consistent texture that I was after for this project.
I made the lap size version of this quilt, so it finished at about
Size: Lap Quilt 52" x 64."
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Quilting: Longarm quilted using the Lincoln Log Pantograph.
Fabrics: Cream and Cappuccino by Michael Miller
Backing: Red cuddle fabric
Binding: Cappuccino by Michael Miller
October was a big - an epic - sewing month for me. It was like the stars aligned: the kids' school schedules finally settled down (not as many random days off), I had a sewing retreat with my Quiltn' Sisters, and I was preparing to attend the fall Sewtopia sewing retreat in New Orleans (more on that in my November blog post).
I plan to write complete separate posts for each quilt top that I finished this month, but WOW, I pretty much started and completed 4 quilt tops this month. Let's celebrate that for a moment!
In addition to those four quilt tops, I also had fun making some mini-quilts and pillows. All three of these applique cloud projects were done for Sewtopia in some way. I plan to do another blog post this week with more pics and details on these cloud mini-quilts and pillows.
Another fun project I tackled this month was ordering a custom stamp to use to label my quilts. (See the top picture.) I got the idea from my Quiltn' Sisters retreat swap - the item I got had been stamped with the maker's information.
I searched on Etsy and found Tailor Made Stamps, and then I searched Font Space for a font that looked the part. I sent my font selection to the folks at Tailor Made and less than a week later I had my new stamp in hand. I'm so excited to have a completed quilt to use it on.
In addition to all this sewing, this month I think I bought more fabric than any other month this year. I took a trip to Madison Wisconsin, and stopped by Blue Bar Quilts while we were in town. The kids, my mother, and I all had a ton of fun pulling fabric. It has been ages since I've taken any of them to a quilt shop and all of them had fun pulling fabric for projects (for me to make). It was fun to see their enthusiasm, but I ended up with WAY more fabric that I would have, had I gone by myself.
In an attempt to illustrate where all the fabric came from, I came up with the image below.
The fabric in the center is what I actually picked out for myself. My mother also added a pile of fabrics for me to make bags for her, the kids threw in some random (yet oddly fun) novelty prints, then each of them picked fabric for a quilt for themselves (to be made by me). That all made for a whole lot of fabric.
The last thing that I want to mention, that factors in to my fabric totals for this month, is the "Get Your Quilty Wishes" phenomena that has happened each fall for the past three years. It was started by Christiane of @Raven2006 and is an Instagram hashtag. How does it work? People post wishes for fabrics or sewing related items. At the same time, they scroll through the hashtag and see if there are any wishes that they can grant for other people. If you find a wish that you can grant, then you reach out to that person and send them what they wished for. Then you cross your fingers and hope that someone can grant your own quilty wish. This year I went with a long-shot wish: I wished for fat quarters of the tone-on-tone Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet prints. You know what? One of my good quilty friends spoke up, said she had some, and sent them to me! How amazing is that? She sent me an entire bundle of fat quarters. What a treat! I've already happily put them to use.
Here is how this big sewing month worked out:
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 68.5
Fabric Used in Projects: 19.75
Net for the Month: 48.75
Net for the Year: -78.5
Ouch. The vacation fabric shopping this month definitely hurt. But you know what, the memory of shopping with my kids and mother are something I won't soon forget. So I'm OK with being up - way up - for the month. I have two more months to try to get back over 100 yards used, and I have plans for lots of the fabric that we bought all together in Madison.