Friday, October 31, 2014

Miscellaneous Random Finishes

Lots of projects seem to be at about the same stage around here - finished tops ready to be quilted. I actually got a lot done this past week, including some finishes, but it's all pretty random.

First, a local bee I belong to held a Sew Together Day last Saturday. I took along several things to work on, and during the morning it was very frustrating because I ran into a few issues. After making a pillowcase for donation as part of the event's purpose, I tried to work on some piecing, but encountered problems requiring the use of the seam ripper. Grrr!!!!!  Then I realized that I had forgotten my walking foot and was planning to work on some SID quilting, so I ended up running home and getting it. Once I had the walking foot, the rest of the day went well.

This little quilt will be a donation. It came about from the Ugly Churn Dash quilt (check it out, it's bad!) Per reader suggestions, I ended up adding some red churn dashes; then I cut up all the blocks DNP style, and reconfigured the pieces. I was able to get it quilted and bound at the event on Saturday. It's now finished and in the donation pile. Something about it kind of reminds me of feather-stitch embroidery stitches.
Salvaged Ugly Churn Dash, Reconfigured

Once I had the walking foot, I was able to work on this secret project a bit, too. It's finished. And that's all I'm going to say about it, and this is all I'm going to show.  ;-)   For awhile, anyway.
Secret Project

And finally, I was able to finish getting my Broken Chevron top together. I started it over a year ago, but it had to take a back seat to some other higher priority projects. Now I can get back to it. I have the backing pieced and the binding prepped. And I have a plan for quilting it, so hopefully I can get that done soon. (Pardon the plastic on the deck - it was damp here yesterday when I was taking pictures.)
Broken Chevron Top

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another Successful Pattern Test

Joanne at Quilts by Joanne volunteered to test my Plus Dash pattern to make the baby size for Project Linus. You can read her post about it here. She described my pattern as "delightful and easy to follow." I love how cute her version came out in the bright colors she chose. Thank you, Joanne, for testing my pattern and for your kind words!
Plus Dash pattern test made by Joanne at
Quilts by Joanne

Here is my Plus Dash tutorial that Joanne followed. Now I just need to find time to make a Plus Dash quilt of my own so I can finalize the pattern!

Linking up today with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

BQF: Mega Medallion

I'm participating in Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side - check it out!

I'm entering Mega Medallion in - what else - the Large Quilt category.
Mega Medallion

The piecing was actually very easy - it's all just isosceles triangles,cut 8" tall.
This quilt measures approximately 90" by 90" and was designed and pieced by me. Custom long-arm quilted by Sandy Etheridge of St. Louis MO.

Check out all the other outstanding entries in several categories in the virtual quilt show.

Friday, October 24, 2014

30 Circles

A picture-heavy post...

30 Circles

I can finally reveal my 30-Something challenge entry, made for Circle in the Square Quilters 30th anniversary. We had 12 entries, an excellent showing. The challenge had only the following rules: Be inspired by 30 something in recognition of 30 years; have fun; be creative. The variety was amazing. CSQ is a small guild with a lot of art quilters/fiber artists as well as mostly traditional quilters.

At first I wasn't inspired and wasn't going to participate, but then I figured I could at least make 30 circles in squares, right? The problem was finding a suitable layout that wasn't your basic 5 x 6. The one I ended up with required 32 circles, a problem. But what if two of then were not circles? Look closely, the two shapes in the corners are octagons, so this really is 30 circles.

I planned it so that lighter background and frame colors in the center would become darker toward the edges, and I really like the luminous effect this created.

 I took it with me to work on when I went to Florida in September, and finished it there, so we took some photos on the beach. These were taken on a sunny morning so the colors are a little washed out by the brightness.
And one more just because it was such a pretty fall day here the other day when I was taking photos.

I'm keeping this one for me, for a sofa quilt. This quilt measures 60" by 60" and there are at least 55 different batik fabrics used.

Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, October 20, 2014

DWM 10/20/14 and Belated Stash Report

Finally, progress! After all the sewing at Sew Me St. Louis last weekend, plus some focused effort in  the sewing room last week, I finally have some finished tops. Backings, too. I've pinned them all to the design wall so I won't have to press them again.
Here's what my design wall looks like this morning:

At left, partially showing, is Broken Chevron, which has been in work for over a year but had to take a back seat to priority deadline projects. Then it required some layout revisions and time spent with the seam ripper. Now it's finally a finished top. Hanging on top of it is the backing for it, and draped over the stepladder is the binding, all prepped and ready to go.

On top of the backing for Broken Chevron is a baby quilt top and its backing, and the binding for this one is also ready to go, in the baggie at the upper right.

The blue print at the lower left is backing for another baby quilt, whose top and binding are in the lower baggie at right.

That's a lot of tops, backs, and bindings! I ordered batting, and when it comes in I can get these all layered and basted. It may take me awhile to get them all quilted, since I'll be quilting them myself on my Bernina. This is the last you'll see of those two baby quilts on the blog for awhile -- they need to remain secret until they're gifted.

So, the stash report:
Nothing in since last week's report.
In September I forgot to count yardage used for bee blocks, 5/8 yards used which I'll count in October.
Plus Dash test block, 3/8
Broken Chevron top, 4-1/2 yards
Baby quilt top on wall, 3 yards
Baby quilt top in baggie, 2 yards
Total out, 10-1/2 yards. Yay!
I'll wait and count backings and bindings out when the quilts are completely finished. But at this rate, maybe I can break even for October.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Successful Pattern Test!

Jo Butterfield graciously offered to test my pattern Plus Dash (see post below).
She provided excellent feedback which enabled me to make one small correction. I've edited the instructions below accordingly.

Here's Jo's version. She writes,  "I chose to do mine in a neutral colour for a cot quilt size.... It was a great pattern. Very easy to follow. And yes, the best part was, it was QUICK, LARGE BLOCKS and EASY.  Jan gives you directions for a variety of sizes. The blocks measure 14" so they go together very quickly. The instructions are easy to follow.... I did have a few fat 1/8ths in Browns so I used them instead of fat 1/4s. I didn't have any trouble with not enough fabric.... I am very impressed with this pattern as I can see how it would adapt to using up scraps or a feature fabric instead of the background. I will be doing this pattern again."

She also mentioned that "the best part was there wasn't really any seams to match to make all those crosses."
Jo's Test Version of PLUS DASH

Thank you, Jo, for testing my pattern and for sharing your positive experience with it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Plus Dash Tutorial Draft, Pattern Testers Wanted

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

(Edited 10/17/2014: Top & bottom outer border assembly instructions edited to say to start and end with 2-1/2" B&W squares. Thanks to pattern tester Jo for calling out my error.)

A couple of weeks ago I showed several options of churn dash variations and asked which one you preferred for a tutorial. After a tie in the voting, I decided on this one, Plus Dash, because of the popularity right now of both Churn Dash and Plus designs.
Plus Dash, size shown 70" x 86" Twin

Over the weekend I made a test block, very easy:
Plus Dash Block
Here are the components laid out. The block finishes at 14 inches.
Above: components for center Plus unit.
Right: All components
I've drafted a tutorial for this quilt (in several sizes) but beyond making the one block, I have not tested the instructions yet. I'm looking for someone to test the pattern for me and give me feedback. This block and this quilt should be quite easy to make. If you can make a half-square triangle, you can easily piece this quilt.

Fabric requirements are from EQ7. Measurements are from my layouts drawn in EQ7.


Optional sizes noted in yardage chart below:
For each block, cut the following:
-        White:
o   2 (two) 5” squares
o   4 (four) 2-1/2” by 6-1/2” strips
o   4 (four) 2-1/2” squares
-        Black & White Print:
o   1 (one) 2-1/2” by 6-1/2” strip
o   2 (two) 2-1/2” squares
-        Colored Print:
o   2 (two) 5” squares
o   4 (four) 2-1/2” by 6-1/2” strips
Block Assembly: All seams are ¼” unless otherwise noted.
-        Make HST Corners:
o   On the wrong side of each 5” white square, mark diagonal.
o   Pair print and white 5” squares right sides together.
o   Sew ¼” on each side of the marked diagonal.
o   Cut on the marked line.
o   Open HST and press seam open.
o   Trim to 4-1/2” square.
-        Make center plus:
o   Sew a white 2-1/2” square to each end of a B&W 2-1/2” square. Make two units.
o   Sew each unit to one side of a 2-1/2” x 6-1/2” strip of B&W print.
-        Make strip units:
o   Place white and print 2-1/2 x 6-1/2” strips right sides together and sew along the length. Make four units.
-        Assemble the units:
o   Lay out the units as shown in the photo above. Stitch rows together.
o   Press seams of all rows toward the strip unit (top and bottom rows, press toward center; middle row, press toward sides).  
o   Join top and bottom rows to middle, matching and aligning seams.
o   Press seams toward strip units (outward).
Arrange blocks on design wall, leaving 2-1/2” space for sashing between them.
-        Queen size: 6 blocks wide by 6 blocks high
-        Twin: 4 blocks by 5 blocks
-        Throw: 3 blocks by 4 blocks
-        Crip: 2 blocks by 3 blocks
-        Baby: 2 blocks by 2 blocks
Number of pieces needed:
-        Vertical Sashing:

-        Horizontal Sashing:

Sashing and Assembly:
-        Vertical sashing:
o   Join a B&W print square to each end of a 2-1/2” x 10-1/2" strip. 

o   Attach these units to the right sides of the blocks in all columns except the last column on the right.
o   Join sashed blocks together to form rows.
-        Horizontal sashing:
o   Starting at bottom of first row of blocks, lay out B&W print and white strips on design wall, starting with a 2-1/2” B&W square, 10-1/2” white strip, 6-1/2” B&W strip, etc. across, ending with a 2-1/2” B&W square. Number of units per row varies according to quilt size. End sashing layout above the last row of blocks.
o   Sew pieces into rows.   
o   Attach sashing rows to block rows to complete top center.

Inner Border:

-        Cutting:

Top and bottom border assembly:

o   Lay out patches exactly like horizontal sashing rows, starting and ending with B&W squares. Join together into strip. Make two.
o   Attach strips to top and bottom of quilt center.
Side border assembly:
o   Lay out patches starting with 4-1/2” x 2-1/2” B&W pieces. Join into strips. Make two.
o   Attach strips to sides of quilt center.
Outer Border:
-        Cutting:
-        Top & bottom border assembly:
o   Lay out patches on design wall beginning with a 4-1/2”   Edited, should be 2-1/2" square  B&W print, then white 14-1/2” strip, then B&W square, etc. ending with a 4-1/2”   Edited, should be 2-1/2" square  B&W print.
o   Sew strips together.
o   Attach borders to top and bottom of quilt.
-        Sides:
o   Lay out patches starting with white a 2-1/2” square, then B&W square, then white 14-1/2” strip, etc., ending with a white square.
o   Sew strips together.
o   Attach borders to top and bottom of quilt.
(Sorry about the poor formatting - blogger is giving me trouble with alignment and spacing. )
 Here are images of the size options:
Queen 102 x 102"

Throw, 54 x 70"

Baby, 38 x 38"
(not shown: Crib size, 38 x 54", six blocks)

Please let me know if you're interested in testing the pattern. The smallest option is fine for testing.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the inspiration on everyone's design walls over there.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stash Report & Sew Me St. Louis

The stash report took a couple of hits this week. First, I bought everything I needed for a baby quilt, top, back, and binding, for 6-1/2  yards in. I know I'll have some left over of a couple of those fabrics....

Then, I won a cool door prize yesterday, 8 FQs for another 2 yards in.
FQ Bundle of GRAMERCY by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics

The event where I won the FQs was called Sew Me St. Louis and was a workshop & retreat with the STL Modern Quilt Guild. I had lots of fun and got a lot done.
Open Sew room at Sew Me St. Louis retreat

I was able to make a test block for the Plus Dash quilt #1 shown in this post.
Plus Dash block

And I was able to get rows together for a flying geese chevron quilt.
Chevron rows of flying geese

All in all, a good day, but nothing completed that I can count out. So, yardage in, 8-1/2 yards; out, 0.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Stash Report Sunday.

Monday, October 6, 2014

DWM 10/6/14

I took projects with me on vacation, so I'd have something to do in case of rainy weather. We actually had great weather except for a couple of days. I was able to finish everything I had prepped and taken with me: the quilting and binding on my 30-Something Challenge quilt; three sets of bee blocks; and dozens of flying geese, which will become part of a future project.
Flocks of Flying Geese

Now that I'm home, I have massive cleaning up, laundry, etc. to do. No sewing happening here today!

Tomorrow I'm working with guild friends on assembling our fund-raiser quilt for next year. That should be fun! All I know about the quilt so far is that it's red and white, and lots of people pieced lots of Peaky & Spike units for it.

Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's design walls over there for some great inspiration.

A few vacation pics:
Good Advice, Big Lagoon State Park, Perdido Key, FL
Favorite Restaurant in Destin,
Best Ever Blackened Amberjack Sandwich
View from the Aptly Named Sunset Grill, Perdido Key, FL

Live Oaks & Spanish Moss along the Trail in Orange Beach, AL

Rainy Day Visitor; View from our Balcony at the Mariner

View from the Flora-Bama Yacht Club
(Bayside, across the street from the famous Flora-Bama Lounge)



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stash Report 10/5/14

Nothing in and nothing I can count out, although I did make good progress on a project this week.

DH made good progress on this project, too.

Suckin' heads at Cubs Crawfish, Lillian AL

I opted for shrimp. With the heads already removed.
We were in Perdido Key FL for two weeks. Mostly we ate, and ate some more, and hung out on the beach. Perdido Key is like a second home; we go there at least once or twice a year. Nothing special, just very comfortable, and the beach is beautiful. For the first time, I took my sewing machine and some projects along, and I was glad I did. I got everything done that I brought with me.

I haven't found an LQS in the Perdido Key FL/Orange Beach AL area, so I wasn't tempted with any new fabrics. Easy to resist when you're not shopping!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash management progress over there.