Monday, August 8, 2022

Cube Challenge Progress

The triangle strips for my cube challenge project are all pieced and up on the design wall. This will be a queen-size quilt when finished, about 98 x 98 inches. It looks a little wide for its height now but the width will shrink in when all those vertical seams are sewn, and it will be symmetrical. 

The next step will be to cut strips of the background to piece at the top and bottom of the triangle strips. I waited to cut them because I wanted to verify the size to cut based on the actual sewn width of the triangle strips. 

After that, just vertical seams, but a lot of very precise matching of points with lots of pinning. And careful pressing with all those bulky seam allowances to manage. 

Link Ups: Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

A side note, I'll be taking a blogging break for a couple weeks due to some non-quilting activities going on. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

An Older Finish: So Inclined

Last week when I posted about my Dresden Medallion top in shades of green, I looked for photos of other quilts I've made in this palette and discovered that there's one I never photographed and posted about. Well, let's fix that here and now. 

This is So Inclined hanging in STLMQG's 2019 quilt show. 

The palette is one of my favorites, analogous hues ranging from yellow green to blue green, all shades from light to dark.

This started as a project for the Sew Bee Its, the bee I belonged to in STLMQG, when it was my turn to hand out sometime in 2014. Each person made a block and a border segment. I named the block So Inclined because of its shape against the background. Here are four blocks:

I provided a handful of precut wedges, the background fabric, and a template for the wedge. I asked the girls in the bee to stick to the palette represented by the swatches I gave them, and they did a wonderful job of following the color scheme.  

After the blocks came back to me, they sat for awhile. Finally a couple years later I assembled the top and put it on my long armer friend's wait list. I asked her for modern quilting, no feathers, and she did amazing ruler work. This quilt was finished probably in 2018 or maybe early 2019. 

At the time I didn't post about So Inclined because I thought I would write and submit a book proposal featuring this block and some others related to it, with several quilt patterns using the Inclined concept. But my book Cut and Shuffle Quilts was in work at the publisher at that time and there were some frustrations with the publishing process so I didn't pursue the book idea. 

So, this is an older quilt that's never been shared on the blog before. So Inclined, twin bed size. 

If there is any interest in a tutorial for the block and some layout ideas, let me know and I'll post one here. It's a much easier block than it looks. 

Since I usually photograph quilts against the wall in my backyard, I couldn't resist this shot with my baby lemon tree. See it's one little green lemon? Pretty foliage against all those organic greens in the quilt, I love it! 

Monday, August 1, 2022

My "Cube Challenge" Project

 The challenge for PCQuilters this year is "The Cube." The project can be anything, quilt, pillow, tote bag, whatever. It's due in March 2023. 

I found inspiration and how-to in a book purchased at the AQS show last April, Stunning 3-D Quilts Simplified by Ruth Ann Berry. I modified one of her designs in EQ and made my own version.

It's pieced in columns and here are most of the columns on the design wall. I pre-cut the triangles and kitted them up, and started the piecing at retreat. A couple more columns are still needed to complete the design, then the background needs to be filled in. 


The background will be very dark green Grunge, almost black. Rather than continue to piece the columns in triangles, I'll cut strips of the background fabric to the appropriate lengths and piece vertical columns that way. 

When finished, it should look like this EQ rendering. It'll be about 98" square when complete. Huge!

It's planned for my bed or to hang in my foyer. My husband likes it and it would certainly be a statement piece in the front hallway. 

I've seen a couple of projects others are working on for the challenge, and all I can say is Wow, there are some talented quilters in this group! 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Dresden Medallion Progress

One of the projects I took to work on at retreat was my Dresden Medallion. I wrote about kitting it up  back in June, and I've made good progress since then. 

The first round is Shoo Fly blocks. The HSTs were die-cut and the blocks were kitted up in baggies, so these blocks came together quickly.  

Next came a border, then appliqued Orange Peel blocks. Since applique is not my thing but this quilt needed it, I made test blocks ahead of time at home to work out the technique that would suit me best. I also paired up the fabrics ahead of time and cut the background squares. There are 28 Orange Peel blocks and I made them in pairs, alternating with other piecing because I just couldn't power through 28 applique blocks. 

Another border, then Friendship Stars. Again, these were die cut and kitted up so they were quick to piece. And piecing them in between appliqueing Orange Peel blocks helped. 

Although the Friendship Star blocks were pieced at retreat, I didn't get them sewn on. Ran out of time. And I had one pair of blocks I wasn't happy with; the fabrics didn't play as nicely with the others as I would have liked. So when I got home I replaced the rejected blocks, sewed the Friendship Stars into rows, and added them to the quilt. 

Now it's a finished flimsy, measuring 48 x 66", lap quilt size. It would have been nice to add a final border all the way around, but I don't have enough of that fabric and can't get any more. 

I have no particular purpose or recipient in mind for this quilt; I'm just making it for the pleasure of playing with fabric and color. The girls at retreat suggested I think about donating it to the fund raising efforts for the expansion of PebbleCreek's Creative Arts Center. We'll see, after it's quilted. 

The colors look much better in person than in these photos because my phone's camera distorts yellow greens, making them look brownish. The palette looks much prettier in person.

There are 34 different fabrics in this top. I've had many of them in my stash for years. I've used them in other projects, here, herehere and for a couple of donated tops that I don't have photos of. Since I started this project with scraps, partial FQs and small bits of yardage, and I die cut more triangles than I ended up using, there were lots of little bits left over. My friend loves to work with the tiniest scraps, so my leftovers have already started to become her next project. 

Now to come up with a plan for quilting this. I may ask for some advice; the friend who's using the scraps is an excellent quilter and I'm sure she'll have some suggestions. 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and TGIFF

Monday, July 25, 2022

Ritter Ranch Retreat Recap

A photo-heavy post...

Last week I spent a few days at Ritter Retreat Ranch with a few of my Pebble Creek friends. Since it's located at about 4600 feet elevation, it was much cooler there, a welcome respite from the heat in the Phoenix valley. We had comfortable accommodations including a spacious sewing room with all the amenities, gourmet meals, a shop exclusively for us, and a delightful back patio where we enjoyed happy hour each afternoon. 

Did I mention gourmet meals? Lunches includes homemade soups and salads:

The sewing room was spacious, and we had plenty of room to spread out.  The lighting was excellent and we had ample design wall space. 

So what did we do? Take a look...
Robin's 3-Yard top

Dawn and Jonnie at work.
Sadly, I didn't get a photo of Dawn's amazing triangle quilt made 
entirely of chintz fabrics she got in Amsterdam. Sorry, Dawn.

Jonnie's finished top

Edna's table runner blocks. She also got several placemats
 made and this table runner finished.

Nancy's top with Quick Curve border

Nancy's table runner

Jean's pumpkin themed 3-Yard quilt, from a kit she purchased there.
I didn't get a photo of her other pumpkin project in tradiditional 
autumn colors. 

Linda's modern project that will look terrific with her decor.
Linda also taught a class in how to make little schnibble baskets
 to those who wanted to make them.

Karen's batik triangles. This batik palette is so Karen, 
and looks even prettier in real life.

Karen's paper pieced project, a Judy Niemeyer pattern.
She got several colorways of these parts done. 

Jonnie's blocks on the wall, ready to design the layout.

Robin made lots of One Block Wonder blocks

My Dresden Medallion progress. You can see 
the beginning of this project here, and I'll 
post more about this project later. 

My Cube Challenge project, more about this in a future post also. 

As you can see, we were all very productive. All this in 3-1/2 days of sewing! 

Although we worked hard and we all got a lot accomplished, we had a really good time. I didn't think to take photos of our happy hour gatherings every afternoon. We enjoyed beverages of choice and snacks on the patio, where is was so pleasant to sit outside. At home the temps were in the 110s in the afternoon. We enjoyed being outdoors! and enjoyed the conversation. 

Convivial activities and sewing continued in the evenings. We played games a couple of nights; Jean won the fat quarters and Robin won the dollars. Will she spend them on fat quarters? 

The woman who runs the retreat ranch has a small shop and she opened it to us each morning. Some of the girls got kits which they've already started working on. I found backing for my oldest UFO; I hope that will motivate me to get it done. 

I'm glad I got to go to Ritter, for the wonderful company, the sewing and creativity, and escape from the heat. Those of us who went this July are first on the list to go next July. Count me in! 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday and  Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, July 15, 2022

A Quilt for Natalie's House

 Natalie's House is one of the charities PCQ supports, a group home for hard to place foster girls ages 7-17. They can accommodate 6 girls who will transition into foster homes when they're ready. Each girl gets her own twin bed quilt upon arrival and gets to take it with her when she moves on. The staff at Natalie's House is expecting some turnover in August or September, so they have requested some new quilts for the anticipated new arrivals. 

With the addition of a border, one of the prototype quilts I made for PCQ charity projects is the right size, 72 x 92. The challenge was to get it quilted. I wanted something much nicer than I could achieve with my skill level on the long arm, so I asked for help. Mary H of the PCQ charity committee offered to quilt it with my help. We used a cute panto called Daisy Duo, and it quilted up without hiccups.

I chose blue thread, a little bolder than Mary would have chosen, but I really like how it turned out. 

I bound it - note how the bulk of the quilt is tied up to keep it from falling off the sewing table. There was teal binding left over from something else that accented the teals in the piecing.

So now we have a finished quilt for Natalie's House that will soon be delivered, ready for a new resident when one arrives. 

It may not be girly colors so it'll probably be given to an older girl, but it will be all hers to keep forever. Since most of the girls who come in have only the clothes they're wearing, if even that, I don't think it matters too much that it's not pink and girly. 

Link ups: Alycia Quilts, TGIFF

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Computer Problems

Hello friends, 

My laptop is acting up and I'm leaving for retreat Thursday. I'll see about getting someone to look at the computer and hopefully fix the problem before I leave. 

This means no blog posts for awhile until I get the laptop fixed. Wish me luck!