Monday, September 16, 2019

CCD Blocks

I can't believe it's halfway through September already! Time to get to work on my next donation project. Recently Wanda of Exuberant Color sent me some precut squares of bright kid-themed fabrics to use in donation quilts. They've been calling to me. Here are some I've picked out for a new project, along with some purple solids I picked up from the free table at STLMQG. Thank you Wanda and guild donor for making this palette possible.

Aren't they pretty?!!! Purple is so not my usual color, but I seem to be working with it a lot lately. I have another pale purple project kitted up to sew at retreat soon.

Have you seen all the cute little Chunky Churn Dash blocks popping up everywhere? I couldn't resist. I found a white-on-white with a text print in my stash that works, although it's hard to see in this photo. The 5" squares were easy to cut into quarters for the corners.

These little blocks are so easy but so cute.

Even better to chain piece them. They're kind of addictive....

I'll keep making blocks, and see how this project ends up.


Link ups:
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Moving it Forward Monday


Friday, September 13, 2019

To Whoop? Or Not to Whoop?


About my hand-pieced Work In Glacially Slow Progress, that is.

On the one hand, it's in one piece after 11+ years in the making.
You could call it an almost finished flimsy, which would certainly be whoop-worthy, especially after all this time.

And I still love it, especially the luminous effect created by the lighter colors at the center shading to darker ones at the edges, and how all the pieces in the hexies sparkle like faceted jewels. .

On the other hand, it's too short for the bed. Some not so nice words were uttered when I put this top on the bed and saw this. Here you can see the bottom of the mattress and a gap at the head of the bed.

The bottom will get one more row to finish the black border, which will then cover the bottom of the mattress/top of the bed skirt. However, the top is about 8" away from the headboard. Gaaaaahhhh!

So it's not as close to a finish as I thought. I will need to take the top border off at the seam indicated by the arrows in the photo below, and make and insert another row of hexies.

This has been a Piecing Group project, all hand pieced by friends in the group. There's not one machine stitch in this project. My turn to hand out at Piecing Group comes around every 18 months or so; my friends have worked on parts of this project for me for 8 go-rounds already. My next turn to hand out comes in February. Guess what my friends are going to be working on????

I have plenty of batik fabric in a wide range of colors and brightness. I also have enough of the black batik used for the borders and setting triangles to cut more parts. I have until February to cut and mark enough pieces to create another row. Thank goodness I still have the templates in the project box.

Once my friends help piece another row, I'll add it to the top rather than to the bottom to push the palest portion, the luminous part, down a little more toward the center.

So, what do you think? Whoop or lament?


Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, September 9, 2019

Basting

Well, actually, prepping for basting.

The batting was a 36" x 108" remnant that I cut across and Frankenbatted together to create a large enough piece. Because it was the end of the bolt, it had some serious wrinkles and deep folds. I spread out and pinned down the backing, laid out the batting, lightly steamed it and smoothed the wrinkles, and placed the quilt top on it.

I have a lot of other stuff going on, and this is in an out of the way spot where no one will step on it, so I'll leave it like this until I can get a chance to pin baste it. By then the wrinkles will all have relaxed out of the batting.

For backing I used some very vintage stash, a tan and blue "ethnic" print and a navy textured stripe print that I've had in my stash since my house was decorated in Country Blue in the 1980's and 90's. These were two of my very early quilt fabric acquisitions but were never used. Time to put them to good use.


Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt
Em's Scrapbag


Friday, September 6, 2019

Roman Road, Finally Finished

It's nice to have this one off the UFO list!

Roman Road was originally a BOM from a local shop called the Quilted Fox. Each year the owner offers a mystery BOM inspired by her world-wide travels. This one was inspired by her trip to Rome and features the colors of stone and roadways, and her name for the BOM was "Fox Travels the Roman Road."

I diligently made the main block and the alternate block from the kits provided each month. The main block is the star block, and the alternate block is the one with the hourglass center

Then the project stalled because I didn't have an immediate need for it.

My friend Cherie was also participating in the BOM that year. She had the most brilliant suggestion to change the alternate block. The original alternate block looked like this, with four pieces in each side unit:

Cherie suggested changing it to three pieces in each side unit. I drew it up in EQ for her, and I liked it. No center seam and points to match up, and a more symmetrical result, not spinning.

With Cherie's approval I used her alternate block in my version of Roman Road. Here's the main block outlined in orange and the alternate block outlined in yellow.

Since I had already made all of the alternate blocks from the kits, this meant I had to buy more of the specific white Grunge used in the kits, and make replacement side units. I chose to use a light brown blender from stash, making it a constant in the quilt instead of each block different like the kits.

I totally changed up the border; it's nothing at all like the shop owner's original design. Again, more of the white Grunge, and I added black triangles to finish out the illusion of diagonal ribbons. I even went back and took apart some of the alternate blocks again and replaced one side with white so the light brown pieces didn't stick out into the borders.

Then the top sat for a couple of years. I wanted my friend Sandy to quilt it. For a lot of reasons including the fact that she's a fantastic quilter and had a long wait list, it didn't get quilted. Then she moved to Mississippi. Finally after she was settled in and taking quilting work again I was able to send it to her and she returned it when we were together in Paducah in April. I love the quilting she did on it! I asked for "masculine, not very dense so it would remain soft and drapey" and other than that, anything she chose would be great.

I think she nailed it! Nice texture but still drapey.

Since getting the quilt back from Sandy in April, it has been moved from one surface to another in my sewing room, waiting for binding. I finally got the binding added this week, the same light brown fabric I used in the alternate blocks. Roman Road is now finished!
Roman Road, 72" x 72"

I plan to give it to friends who live in Arizona the next time we go out there. The colors are perfect for their home. And the last time we were there I noticed that they're using an ugly old flannel car quilt from college in their family room. They need something nicer than that. No worries, they don't read my blog, so they'll be surprised when I give it to them.

So, finally a finish!
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Wendy's Quilts and More, TGIFF,  My Quilt Infatuation

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quilters Meet and Greet

Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs is once again hosting Quilters Meet and Greet, and I'm happy to participate.

Quilters Meet and Greet is an opportunity to get to know quilters, pattern designers, and bloggers who share our love of fabric and all things quilty. Visit Quilters Meet and Greet throughout September for the links to all the participants, and for a chance to win the Great Grand Prize.

So, let me share a bit about myself.

I've been interested in fabric and sewing all my life, and like many quilters today, I started making doll clothes as a very young child. From age 8, my ambition was to become a fashion designer.  I attended Stephens College in Columbia Missouri, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design.

I worked professionally in apparel, textiles, and footwear product development for over 35 years. My jobs have included pattern making, designing apparel, color and trend research, technical color approval, and color and material library management.

A quilter since the early 1990’s, I'm mostly self-taught, drawing on my sewing and professional experience to figure out patterns and piecing. Now retired, I'm focusing on quilting as a new chapter in my life. In 2015, my book Cut and Shuffle Quilts was published by AQS. I design patterns, blog, give trunk shows and workshops to guilds, and teach my Cut and Shuffle method.

Benita asked us to share our favorite quilt. As I was looking through photos of my quilts, I couldn't find just one that's my favorite, so I decided to share my readers' favorite. This is Broken Chevron. It's my best selling pattern* and it gets the most attention on Pinterest.
Broken Chevron

But I couldn't resist sharing a few other favorites: 
Dr. Seuss's Pickle Dish, April 2019

Charmed Snowballs, Fall 2013

Seasonal Migration,
July 2017, 78" x 90" 

Loop in Motion
Pieced, 2006, 60 x 60

Dancing Plus
June 2016, 60" x 75"

Heat Wave, 2014, 60" x 72"
from Cut and Shuffle Quilts (now out of print)

Celtic Lullaby, 2011, 96 x 96
pieced and hand embroidered

* Check out patterns and free tutorials in the tabs below my blog header. If you're interested in a pattern, send me an email at ochterbeckj@gmail.com. 

Don't forget the giveaway! Visit all the other quilters participating in the meet and greet, and enter to win the Great Grand Prize. More info about the prize can be found here. Thanks to all the great sponsors. Click on the image below to take you to the entry. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

August Stash Report and Goals Recap

August was a major milestone month - the Checkerboards and Dresdens project was finished to a flimsy. I also participated in Kevin's mystery and finished an abbreviated top, so there should be some good stash usage numbers.

August Stash Report:
IN this month: 4-1/8 yards (4-1/8 yards special girl baby quilt fabrics)
OUT this month: 22-1/2 yards (19-1/4 yards for Checkerboards + Dresdens top (includes leftover strips). Est. 3-1/2 yards for Kevin's mystery quilt top.)

IN YTD: 88.5 yards
OUT YTD: 86-1/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 2-3/8 yards added to the stash.

Moving much closer to my goal of breaking even for the year. I anticipate having some finishes this fall so if I don't go overboard with fabric purchases I should be fine.

Goals Update:
August Recap:
1. Finish the checkerboard borders and make backing for the Red Project and get everything ready to give to the quilter. DONE; gave everything to the quilter on Aug. 10.
2. Start planning a special girl baby quilt for my niece's baby and kit it up for future off-site sewing. YES - purchased fabric, pre-washed it, cut triangles, laid them out and kitted it up for off-site sewing later. 
3. Work on Clue #2 for Kevin's mystery. DONE - made neutral four patches and cut extra pieces. Also completed Clue 3 and assembled a smaller top.
4. Work on hand stitching WIGSP Piecing Group project. YES!!! Finished sewing two rows, leaving only one bottom border row to be added. 
5. Continue working on the collaboration project with friends if possible. NO. I don't know if this is ever going to happen so I'm not going to put it on the list any more.
6. Look through UFOs and work on one of them; try to get it finished. Partially: chose Roman Road, prepped the binding, and basted the label on. 
7. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs. DONE

Other: Made award ribbon for CSQ's quilt show. Put sleeves on two quilts to hang in the show.




September Goals:
1. Finish the WIGSP flimsy and prep backing to take to the quilter.
2. Find out if STLMQG wants me to do demos at Sew Me STL and if so, start prepping materials for them.
3. Make Bat pillow for grandson.
4. Plan the next donation quilt using pieces from Wanda at Exuberant Color.
5. Bind and finish Roman Road.
6. If time permits, quilt and finish Kevin's mystery quilt for donation.
7. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs.

I have some other non-quilty stuff going on in September so my list is a little light, but I can always find something else to work on if time permits.


Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, August 30, 2019

Enough

OK, I admit, I'm tired of playing with little four patches. I put them up on the wall per Kevin's mystery reveal, but in a smaller layout since I made fewer units.

I got them all sewn together. With the sides trimmed, the area in the photo above measures 40" square. No, I did not save all the little triangle off-cuts from squaring up and trimming the sides. I have lots of blue and neutral four patches left over, but not enough to finish out the borders like Kevin's design, and I don't want to cut more pieces and make more.

I could leave it at this size for a baby quilt, but I don't like all those bias edges so I decided to add borders. I'm calling this a finished flimsy.

As shown, it measures 48".  I'll quilt it, bind it in blue, and donate it, maybe to Project Linus. It's a good lap size for a kid.  This keeps me on track toward my goal of piecing and/or quilting one donation quilt each month. 

I put the leftover four patches in my "parts" drawer; maybe I'll find a use for them someday. Or maybe I'll give them to a friend who's a scrap quilter.