Friday, March 29, 2019

Dr. Seuss's Pickle Dish - Finished

a picture-heavy post...

I couldn't be more pleased with how my Pickle Dish quilt turned out. I started working on it in November 2017 as a personal goal-of-the-month project, and finished it this week, so it was 17 months in work.

I started with paper pieced arcs. After awhile, when my husband saw some of the arcs on my design wall, he said it looks like Dr Seuss.  Um, okay, I guess I see the connection. Hence the quilt's name.

I really enjoyed making this quilt. So much so that I'm seriously thinking of making another Pickle Dish in a different color combo. Meanwhile, I'm keeping this one for me.

I quilted it myself, with topstitching on the arcs and stippling in all the background areas.

Borders at the top and bottom, so it wouldn't be just a square quilt. The total size is 66" wide by 78" long.

This quilt is so not photogenic! It's so much more vibrant and prettier in person than it looks in photos. The background print always looks greyed out. The background of the print is actually a dark hunter green. When you see it up close or in real life, you can see how pretty the fabrics are.

The arcs were laid out to form rings. Starting in the center: light coral, then two different yellows, then two different blues, two different green rings in the corners, medium coral arcs around the edges, and dark coral arcs in the corners. 

The backing is a coordinating crosshatch print. The binding is the same floral print as the background, because I didn't want the distraction of another color around the edge of the quilt. 
Most true-to-life colors in this photo

The backing also looks washed out in photos. It's hard to show the quilting but here's an attempt: 

If I say so myself, I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out. It was definitely worth all the time and work!

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF at Alycia Quilts, and Peacock Party at Wendy's Quilts and More. Updated: Linking up with Favorite Finish at Meadow Mist Designs. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Not So Bad After All

I didn't like Pup Top 1 because I thought it was boring and the light strips should have been narrower to mix up the proportion of light to dark a bit.

I showed it to friends when we were discussing a similar color scheme, and they thought it wasn't so bad. I have to agree, it's grown on me. Still a boring layout, but if the piecing is boring, maybe the quilting can improve it, right?

Can spiral quilting redeem a ho-hum top?

 Definitely! And of course I had to start the spiral off-center, so I chose a tiny heart motif to center it on.

Successful quilting, a quick binding, and this quilt is finished.

This quilt will go to CSQ's Operation Shower baby quilt drive. The finished size is about 36 x 45", perfect for a baby quilt.

I'll count this among my Rocking Chair Quilts (tab above).

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Tutorial for H2H

Today is Tips and Tutorials day for Hands2Help over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. One of this year's charities is Jack's Basket, and they're looking for small quilts, about 36".

I have a 36" quilt called Framed Nine Patch that's fun to make, using a technique similar to that in my book Cut and Shuffle Quilts. You start with a simple framed block, cut it into parts, scatter the parts around and reassemble nine patch blocks, and voila, a fast and easy little quilt. Here's a soft version in sweet pastel corals for a baby girl:

And a version in blues made back in 2005 for a baby boy:

The tutorial starts here and includes my recommendations for fabric selection.

The tutorial continues with Part 2 here. There's also an option for a border if you'd like to make the quilt a little bigger.

Check out the other fun tutorials and tips - and treats, too! - over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thanks, Sarah, for once again organizing Hands2Help!

Friday, March 22, 2019

"Goodnight, Darleen!"

My version of Kevin the Quilter's pattern "Goodnight, Darleen!" is finished. While I'm still not sure string piecing is my thing, I definitely enjoyed the challenge of making this quilt.

We finally had some good enough weather that I could take some outdoor photos. Murphy helped.

For backing I cobbled together leftovers from the backing of a very special quilt from my pre-blogging days. The soft green and white print is perfect! And for binding I used a bias-printed stripe from stash.

A few days ago I was able to get together with Kevin. He's been so supportive of my venture into string piecing, and he was blown away by my finished version of his pattern. Mine is smaller than his actual pattern so it came together faster, but it's still a challenging departure in technique for me.

I'm petite so when we were taking pictures there was a bit of a height discrepancy.

Ah, much better!

Link ups: Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Wendy's Quilts and More, My Quilt Infatuation

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


The challenge is to pick one "spoke" of the color wheel and use only that color, neutrals, and possibly one accent color. We'll be directed to make a block each month in accordance with the skill or assignment of the month.

My color is yellow-green, and I can use all values ranging from Chartreuse to Olive. This month's assignment was to make some sort of a Plus block. For my main 12" block this month I chose the Have Faith block by Jaime at L'Fair Quilts.

I made a few extra smaller blocks. My plan is to combine them all in a sort of Gypsy Wife type layout, so each month I make a few filler blocks.

February's challenge was triangles:

January's theme was Nine Patch (anything using a nine-patch grid):

It should be interesting to see this project develop as the year progresses. I have a beautiful bold  magenta picked out for my accent color if I decide to use it; so far I haven't needed to, but it's available in case I want it. My yellow-greens are actually much brighter and prettier than they look in these gloomy indoor winter photos.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pup Top Two

I didn't like Pup Top One because I thought it had too many light pieces in it, and the proportions were too regular, even, and boring.
Pup Top One

So I thought I would try again to feature the cute pup print with the leftover blue and taupe strips.
Pup Top Two

This time there's not enough contrast. Sigh. Oh, well, these are donation quilts for babies or kids, it doesn't matter that they're not the most artistic.

I'll try to get some outdoor photos of them when they're quilted and finished. At least the colors will look better than in these dull indoor photos.

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Pup Top

Last week I showed the cute pup print for my March donation quilt. Those little guys are about an inch across.

This week when I needed a break from quilting my Pickle Dish quilt, I pieced a baby quilt top. 

Meh - It's fine, a bit boring. Too many lights, and too even. It doesn't feature the cute print as much as I would have liked. It'll still work fine for a donation quilt for Operation Shower or Project Linus.  I have enough of the pup print left for the backing, but maybe I'll back this top with something else and try to use the cute pup print in another top. 

Not every quilt is a work of art. At least figuring out what's wrong is a learning experience. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Invisible But Effective

I'm back! I've been under the weather with a virus, but I think I'm finally starting to get better now. I didn't even set foot in the sewing room for a week. That's got to be a record for me!

Before I got sick I was working on FMQing my green & white quilt. While I had the machine and table set up for free motion work, I decided to work on my Pickle dish quilt. All the SID work and outlining the rings is done; the next step is to stipple in all the background areas. Here's how it looked with the rings done:

Stippling the background areas isn't hard, it's just a lot of starts and stops. Plus I still don't have much energy, and wrestling this quilt under the needle is tiring. I've been able to get four of the big diamond centers and several of the "eyes" done.

I'm using dark green thread to match the background of the floral print. The quilting hardly shows up, but it provides great texture. You have to look closely to even see the quilting.

The diamond areas are big, about 13" point-to-point and 5-1/2" side to side, much too large to leave them unquilted. The stippling flattens the background and allows the rings to pop. It does add stiffness and diminishes the overall drapiness of the quilt, but that's okay.

As you can see in the top photo, there's a lot of area that needs to be stippled, so it'll take me awhile. No rush. This quilt has been in the works for about 18 months now, with progress each month. However long it takes, it'll be worth it. This quilt is for me to keep.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Quilting "Goodnight, Darleen!"

Putting a New Skill to Use

Much of the quilting is easy walking foot SID or Organic Wavy Lines which I can program my machine to do so all I have to do is sew straight and the lines come out wavy. For the corner assemblies, I think this will work well.

For the medallion portion, I'm quilting spirals in the circles and squares in the Economy blocks. There was a method to my madness of learning to quilt spirals on the Paddingtom Bear baby quilt last week; I knew I would need a spiral motif for this quilt.

Simple stippling for the background, to flatten it and let the green areas pop.

I may come back and add more wavy lines in the corner areas; the quilting is less dense there than everywhere else. We'll see when I get it the whole thing quilted if it needs any more.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The March Donation Quilt

It's still my goal to piece and/or quilt one donation quilt a month. For March, I've pulled a selection of fabrics for a boy baby quilt which will go to either Operation Shower via CSQ, or Project Linus via STLMQG. I'm glad both of the guilds I belong to are supporting kid quilt charitable endeavors this year.

Awhile back the shop that has the FQ sales also had select yardage marked down. I got the last of the bolt of this cute coral pup print.

A few of the sale FQs were combined with some pieces from stash for this fabric pull:

It was fun to pull together; now let's see what I can do with it. I plan to have a top pieced this month, and maybe quilt it if time permits.

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

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Red Project: Monthly Update

The goal for February was to get the top and bottom checkerboard borders assembled and attached.

March goal: add the narrow navy 3rd border to all four sides.

This quilt still needs a name....

Friday, March 1, 2019

Finishes Old and New

After quilting the spirals in the Paddington Bear baby quilt, all that was left to get it finished was the binding. Voila, a newly finished baby quilt:

The spirals are far from perfect, but they're a new-to-me skill, so I'll consider them good enough.

This quilt will be donated to CSQ for Operation Shower, which supports expectant military families.

I finished another donation quilt recently but haven't blogged about it yet. I had an old UFO top, pieced in 2008, and had the backing for it already pieced, but it sat in time out for a decade.

I designed in in EQ5 (yes, that long ago) and called it Bricks and Mortar.

The hold up, the reason this remained a UFO for so long, was that I didn't have the skills to quilt it back then. I hadn't yet heard of "organic wavy lines" as a type of quilting and I didn't have any FMQ skills at all. I also didn't have a walking foot back then.

Finally last month I layered the top and backing, gave it simple organic wavy line quilting, added binding, and now it's done.

The colors and prints were already very dated back in 2009; they're mostly 1990's-ish. Some of the fabrics were from my mother-in-law's stash, and she died in 2008, so I know most of the fabrics are earlier than that. That calico on the right - a 1980's VIP print from MIL's stash.

The trefoil print was from before 1996. The tiny rosebud print was from MIL's stash and feels like it may even be a cotton/poly blend. They were all used in the backing which was already pieced when this project became a UFO.

At the time, my sewing room was primarily the guest room in our house, and these colors coordinated with the already dated decor. They also matched my mother-in-law's home.

This quilt measures about 58" x 62". Since the colors would appeal more to someone elderly, I'll donate this quilt to Bernie at Needle and Foot for her Mercyful Quilts, where it will go to a hospice patient.

Now that this quilt is finished, it's no longer a UFO, no longer a basket of guilt. It sure feels good to cross this one off the list!

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict