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.
This past month, I realized that my Etsy store was getting a little thin, so I re-stocked with new gift bags!
For the past few years my stash was so large, and I had so many pieces of fabric that I had earmarked for gift bags. When I had the need, or opportunity, to make new bags, I was pulling from a selection of fabric that was 5 years old or more. I kept buying fabric for bags, and yet I still had to much to use up. I couldn't keep up with my own purchasing. BUT...in the past 9 months I've used up, sold, and given away a ton of fabric (spoiler alert) - 127 yards to be exact. That meant that this time around, when I went to make new fabric gift bags, I was pulling from newer fabrics - fabrics that I'd purchased in the last year. It felt great, and I love the new bags. The bags can be purchased on my Etsy site - click here to see them.
I had a couple other fun projects this month. The first one was another sew of blocks for the "I wish I could go too traveling quilt bee." This time the subject was "Party Animals." I had fun putting some of the other blocks together (see below), and then I made two purple party hamsters - complete with appliqued party hats. (Hamster pattern is by Sew Fresh Quilts.) This quilt will be handed off to the next person in the bee at a sewing retreat that some friends and I are holding this month. Expect to see some pics from the get-together in my next Fabric Diet post.
In my quilting life, I am always so pleasantly surprised at the paths that I find myself traveling down. In this part of my life I have so much more freedom to get a whim and totally throw yourself in to following that whim. This month I spent some time cutting scraps in to 2 1/2" squares.
Then while I was investigating tutorials for a Halloween quilt I want to make, I stumbled on some "Many Trips Around the World" quilts that I liked and immediately set about laying out a new quilt on my design wall. This quilt mainly used scraps, but I did use a little navy yardage. It was so fun to immerse myself for half of a day just auditioning colors and fabrics. I also had help from my son this past weekend.
This month I did purchase some fabric (see below). I had been looking for fabric for commissioned wine bags and found it! Since I was placing an order, I decided to replenish my stash with a few more grays and low-volume prints. The fabric for the bags has already been cut and is ready to be sewn in to new fabric wine bags.
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 8.5 yards
Fabric Used in Projects: 21.25
Net for the Month: -12.75
Net for the Year: -127.25
I've got three more months left in my 2017 fabric diet tracking program, and I'm happy where it's gotten me. The first three quarters of this year have been very productive and I'm happy with what I've made and what I've purchased. I can't wait to see how the next three months go!
Another month has come and gone.
At the end of July I had surgery on my ankle, so most of August was spent on the couch. Who doesn't itch to buy fabric when one spends a lot of time on the couch (and therefore on the computer and phone) reading quilty blogs and newsletters?! One day I spontaneously decided that I wanted to make some Halloween quilts. So I immediately set about finding some background fabric for the Halloween quilt that I had in mind.
Then I came up with a plan for a second quilt... and a new set of drapes to hide my fabric stash on the shelving in my sewing room. In all I bought 13 yards of fabric online for these projects. The good news is that all of the fabric purchased was for very specific projects (not just stash-building), so it should get used up in October when I plan to sew these quilts.
Here's the other good news - in a round-about way: the fabric that I originally bought online for the background of one quilt was the skull and bones fabric shown above. When I received it, I was sad to see that the skulls were actually fluorescent orange, not a normal orange color (and I didn't like the combo of the two types of oranges). In the past I would have just put the fluorescent fabric on a shelf and never used it. However this time, since I knew I was going to have to count the fabric in my tally, I reached out to the store where I purchased the fabric and asked if there was a way I could return it. The answer was yes! So I sent it back and deleted it from my tally. I'm so happy that I was motivated to ask about a return option and don't have to stare at the fabric on my shelf for the next 10 years.
Once I started feeling a little better, I hobbled in to my sewing room and started on a scrappy flying geese quilt. The top is now finished and can be seen here.
The flying geese quilt was both a scrap-buster and stash-buster (win-win!)
I used about 288 of my scrap 3 1/2" squares for the geese, and cut up a bunch of low volume fabric for the background. I cut up 7 yards to be exact.
Another project that was easy to work on from a sitting position is folded fabric stars. You can read about the Christmas table runner I made here using these stars. This project used lots of prairie points (and 2 yards of fabric) and was kind-of addictive.
This month I finished (I think) the quilt that I started in my Quiltcon class with Denyse Schmidt. I'm not completely 100% sure it's finished because I may want to make it a little bigger. Regardless finishing this quilt caused me to use up 1.75 yards of Kona silver for sashing. But...it also left 13 yards of previously pulled fabric unused (and therefore put back in to my stash). When I was getting ready for the class I pulled lots of fabrics and counted them as "used" in my spreadsheet. Now that the quilt is done, I re-measured the remaining fabric and added it back to my stash.
Overall, I'm up for the month just about 15 yards (which sounds a bit shocking compared to my past few months). But I'm ok with it. Why? Because I thoroughly currently plan to use up those 11.25 yards that I bought before the year is over. (You know how quilty plans change, right?)
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 26 yards (gasp)
Fabric Used in Projects: 11.25 yards
Net for the Month: 14.75 yards UP
Net for the Year: -114.5 yards
Last fall when I was in UT sewing with some friends, I picked up a project (pattern isn't the right word) for a folded star hot-pad at a local quilt shop. The "pattern" is made by "Plum Easy" patterns and can be ordered from Amazon if you're interested.
It took me until now to actually cut up some fabric squares, iron them in to Prairie Points, and sew them down to the interfacing/template. But when I did, I thought it was kind of fun. You can see the first folded star project I did on my Instagram account.
Once I had done one, I wanted to do more!
At the same time I bought the project for the hot pad, I also purchased a plastic template for folded stars. I figured that the template would be the same as the pre-marked piece of interfacing. But I was wrong. The interfacing comes marked to make a star with 4 different layers of fabric, but the template only lets you do three layers. I'm sure that there's a way to add more markings to the template, but I wasn't in the mood to do math. So the template got filed away and I ordered more of the pre-marked pieces of interfacing.
Once I had more interfacing templates, I made three more stars and sewed them together to make a mini-quilt of sorts. Maybe a table runner?
It's always fun to try something new, and even better if it's clever. I love learning how things go together and this project was unlike anything I'd ever made. Now I'm going to pack this guy away for a few months and look forward to seeing it again in December.
The blocks are each 8 inches finished, so this guy is just under 23 inches long and 8 inches wide. I did use batting and quilted just right around each outer star.
Thanks for stopping by!
This year I've been on a mission to tame both my scrap bins and my fabric stash. Over the holidays I spent a lot of time cutting the fabric in my scrap bins in to 2 1/2" and 3 1/2" squares. When that was done I had piles and piles of fabric squares and wanted to use them. So I drafted the pattern below using the double bear paw block (a take on the traditional bear paw block), and got to work. I talk a little bit about all of my fabric squares here.
I backed the quilt in a piece of "wide back" Sketch fabric by Carolyn Friedlander. This was my first time using wide-back (108") fabric and it was awesome not to have to piece my backing together. The only down-side was in-spite of pre-washing the fabric, the blue backing bled on my gloves as I quilted it, and scared me that it was going to bleed on all the low-volume sections of my quilt.
I quilted this big-guy on my home machine and did simple echo quilting down the sashing between the blocks, and then diagonally thru each bear paw, and bound the quilt with Michael Miller's black and white "Clown Stripe" fabric.
This quilt is a big one!
It ends up at 86" square and is made of 1,849 squares. Do you want to know the sad part? I still have soooo many squares of scrap fabric left over. So many.
I created a tutorial on how to create the double bear paw-blocks and that can be found here.
In July I managed to get a little sewing done - mainly practical things like a quilt backing and quilt sleeves, but I also completed my blocks for two different traveling quilts (#Iwishicouldgotootravelingquiltbee). I made the block shown above (shooting star block by Lee Heinrich) for Jennifer Johnston's Night Sky quilt. Jennifer asked for blocks made with low-volume prints on a solid dark blue background - preferably a background made of several different blue fabrics. The blocks were supposed to be things that one might find in a night sky. Below are all the blocks that have been made for Jen's quilt so far.
The second traveling bee quilt that I worked on was Stephanie Thomas's Hawaii-themed quilt. This is the second of the traveling quilts where I've had an idea for a block and have been unable to find an existing pattern. So once again, I turned to my quilt design program (EQ7) and designed my own blocks. I sketched some surf boards using the program, but in the end I made the surfboards free-hand using improv piecing techniques.
Once I had my surf boards sewn in to a row, I had fun piecing the rest of the existing blocks together until we had a quilt top. These quilts still have several more rounds to travel through, but it was really fun to see one this "put together."
In March of this year I did my fabric destash, but had fabric left over that didn't sell. I was tired of looking at the remaining fabric in a tub on my floor. So a bit impulsively, I put some of it back in my stash, and the rest (the majority) I put in a bag and took to my local quilt group and left it all on the "Free" table (22 yards of it). It feels great to have it out of my house and the tub out of my sewing room. Being down just about 130 yards for the year feels good too!
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: Zero, Zilch, Zip!!
Fabric Used in Projects: 25.25
Net for the Month:-25.25
Net for the Year: -129.25
As I anticipated, once my kids got out of school in early June, I didn't get a whole lot of sewing time. I did take advantage of summer camp one week and get my double bear paw quilt quilted. Other than that, my design wall looks about like it did on June 1. The one exception is the New York Beauty "sunshine" block in the lower right-hand corner. For those of you who know NY Beauty blocks, this is "Block 0." Note: the blocks on the right are all part of a traveling quilt group I'm a part of. I didn't make the other blocks. Search #IwishIcouldgotootravelingquiltbee on Instagram to see more pics of our traveling quilt projects. The theme for this particular traveling quilt is "Hawaii."
This month I also sewed up some "team" flags for soccer camp (below). My boys were (L --> R): Azerbaijan, Madagascar and France.
I used scraps to make the flags, so that didn't help my quest to use up fabric yardage. Scraps were also used to make quilt show ribbons for my local guild's show in August. I'm working on a tutorial on how to make the ribbons (partly just so I remember from year to year how I make them, partly for anyone else who may want to make a fabric show ribbon). I'll share pics of the ribbons when I get the tutorial done.
This month in the process of quilting my double bear paw quilt, I ran out of thread and had to order more. Since I was paying for shipping anyway...I decided to throw the above 1/2-yard cuts in my cart. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the state text print on the left (Heritage by Stephanie Marrott for Wilmington Prints) was actually in dark blue, not black. Sometimes shopping online can be tricky!
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 1.5 yards
Fabric Used in Projects: 3.5 yards
Net for the Month: -2 yards
Net for the Year: -104 yards
I doubt that much sewing gets done in July or August, so I'll have to churn out lots of quilts somehow in September - December if I still want to hit my goal.
I have to say that after seeing my fabric purchases and usage for April, I went on a bit of a quilt-finishing spree. In the month of May, I finished my Lizzy House Mystery quilt from Sewtopia, my jelly roll 16-patch quilt, a fish mini quilt for a fabric challenge organized by my local quilt group (blog post still to come), and my square-in-a-square star cat quilt. I also went to my stash and pulled fabric for a quilt for no reason other than to use up fabric - and made good progress on that quilt! (Shown above.)
For the new quilt, I started with the "I heart to read" fabric from Alexander Henry Fabric that I had always planned to use to back a quilt (purchased in 2013). Then I pulled fabrics to coordinate with that print, including "greige" prints that I've acquired over the years and have never known how to use. Once I had a quilt plan in mind, I went about cutting and assembling very methodically. I'll post the complete story behind this quilt when it is completed, but for now you can see more updated pics on my Instagram feed.
This month I added a low-volume boarder to my double bear paw quilt, and basted it (which was a big feat) once I had some backing fabric on hand. Once again, a complete pic of the quilt top can be seen in my Instagram feed.
This month I only bought 1 piece of fabric: a large piece of 108" wide-back fabric for my double bear paw quilt. I was unsure how to count this fabric yardage in my account system. I purchased 3 yards of the fabric and used most of it. In the end, I looked at the dimensions of the pieces that were left over and roughly estimated that I had 3 yards left over. Man, if you trim 10" off of a piece of fabric 108" long, that makes for a large "scrap." I also returned some pieces of fabric to stash from another project that I finished (fabric I had pulled and tallied, but then ended up not using). So I'm technically up 4 yards of fabric this month.
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric purchases: 4
Fabric used in projects: 19.25
Net for the month: -15.25
Net for the year: -102
Last month I only managed to go down 1 yard. After seeing that, I started to wonder if my goal of using up (or giving away or de-stashing) 200 yards of fabric in 2017 was unreachable. So this month I really went after sewing projects with zeal. It was fun and felt great to pull stacks of fabric off the shelf and sew them up. I also think that I felt (feel!) a bit fear over the approaching end of school for my kids. With summer break here, I think I'm freaking out a little bit over losing my free days where I can sew to my hearts delight. Soooo now that June is here, I'm curious to see how much sewing time I get.
I finished my Lizzy House Mystery Quilt! I mentioned this quilt in my April summary post (here), but at Sewtopia Denver Lizzy House led a class on her "2017 mystery quilt, which ended up being the very traditional "Square and Compass" quilt. The quilt that we would be making was kept secret until the moment the class started, and then we were asked to keep the quilt secret until the end of the weekend (no social media posts!). Both of those things were so hard!
For the class we were instructed to bring 24 fat quarters of fabric of varying tones. And that was it! (A fat quarter = a quarter of a yard of fabric more or less.) Now, I'm a thinker - an analyzer. I like to stare at fabric that I've pulled for a project for several weeks before I cut it. No time for that this time though! I pulled this for the class...
When Lizzy's project was revealed, I have to say that it took me a minute (or 30) to figure out how I wanted to divide up and use my fabrics that I had brought. I decided not to use several of them, and then I ran to the pop-up shop outside the classroom and bought whatever black and white low-volume and limey yellow green fabrics they had.
I didn't love the fact that the project was a mystery, but I have to say that I really enjoyed seeing how these blocks were constructed, and I really like the pattern. I very rarely make a pattern twice, but I am tempted with this one.
In the name of using what I have, I backed the quilt with bunch of red and white fabrics pieced together. While basting the quilt, I scratched my head a bit about how to quilt this one. I settled on diagonal, interesecting lines: it sure creates an amazingly soft texture!
I struggled a little trying to decide what (from my stash) to use for binding. Red? Purple? Black and white? Stripes? I decided that this black and white cross-hatch dot print was the one.
This is another quilt that finishes around 48" square. (My third quilt in a row finishing at that sort-of off size). This quilt is headed for my quilt-stash at home. I like how it turned out, but wish that I had had more green fabrics and would have been able to make it bigger. Alas, I did not have more greens at the retreat (nor did the pop-up shop), so this is the resulting size. There's still lots to love here!
Thanks for stopping by ~