Friday, February 28, 2020

Glacial Melting

When glaciers melt, they move faster. Based on my current progress on my WIGSP, this glacier is running hot!

I got the components for the final row of hexies back from the girls in the bee, and now I have that row sewn together and the top border sewn onto it. All hand sewn. One more long seam and the flimsy will be done.

I've been sewing a little on it every day. Fortunately my hands are not flared up right now so it's not painful. Yay!

The most difficult part of this project, actually, is pressing the seams. Due to the bulk where six points come together, they need to be spun. Sometimes they spin nicely like these, sometimes not quite so well.

One more long seam. The next meeting of the bee is next Tuesday. I'm pushing to get this top done so I can show it to them and thank them for all their work over the past 12 years. It may have crept along glacially slowly, but it's moving along quickly now.

Link ups:
Alycia Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

CSQ Fabric Swap

Last week the guild I belong to held their annual Fabric Swap. Everyone brings what they no longer want, we lay it all out on the hostess's dining table, and everyone selects what they want to take home. No obligation to bring or take anything. The only rule is that no leftover fabric can remain at the hostess's house; someone takes it all to Charity Sharity.

Knowing I'm going to move later this year, I went through my entire stash to see what I wanted to get rid of. My stash is sorted by color, etc. in 18 of these baskets. I keep anything larger than 1/8 yard here.

I was ruthless and unsentimental. I gave away fabrics from previous projects, no longer loved pieces, and cuts I know I'll never use because my tastes have changed. In all, by weight 7.8 lbs, I gave away 23-1/2 yards of quilting cotton. I didn't think to take a photo of the over-stuffed grocery bag I took.

I also gave away all my apparel fabrics and home dec fabrics and fleece, two giant totes full, plus a bolt of interfacing. Someone other than me can make better use of it. Some of the fabric was vintage - some silks from the 1940's which I bought at an auction in the 1980's, and 1980's-90's sample cuts of suitings from sample sales where I worked back then. If I haven't used it by now, I never will. Again, no photos. I had so much stuff and it was so heavy it took two trips from the car to the house to carry it all. Anyone at the swap could take any of the non-quilting fabrics if they wanted, but most of it went to Charity Sharity. The interfacing went to the costume shop at a local theater company.

I swore I wasn't going to bring home any fabric from the swap. I caved; there was one piece that was so "me" I just had to have it. So this one yard coral print came home with me.

The culling of quilting cotton didn't make much of a dent in my stash, but by going through all the baskets I was able to see where I had an overabundance of some colors and lacked variety in others. By getting rid of all the non-quilting fabrics, I cleared three entire shelves in the bottom half of my bookcase. While I was doing all this, I sent all my old cross stitch patterns and fabrics to someone who's into cross stitch and can use them.

You would think after all this my sewing room would look nice and clean. No, it's a worse disaster than ever. I have a big overflowing box of stuff that's not going to be moved, to go in the eventual estate sale or whatever, and it's taking up valuable floor space. Plus the project stuff for the Dresden Fan Medallion is out, plus the leftovers from the Color Spoke project are still out on the cutting table. And I've been hand sewing on the WIGSP so that's spread out, too. More cleaning up needed!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Color Spoke Challenge: a Finished Top

My obsession with this project continued. I couldn't put it down until I got it finished.

It measures about 65" by 75" and it turned out surprisingly flat and square. I stay-stitched across the top and bottom to prevent the seams in the stripes from pulling open.

Some of the blocks were individual monthly assignments from STLMQG for skill building. Some of the blocks were added by me to fill out the layout. I used all but one of the assigned blocks in the final top; one was just too dark, heavy, and dull to play nicely with all the others.

I added a few extra blocks of my own choosing, including a Cut and Shuffle block, and a Scrappy Trips block.  Since the purpose of the challenge was to learn and use new skills, I added an 8-point Lemoyne star made with Y-seams.

Now that this top is done, I can get back to working on other things that have been neglected while I've been so obsessed with this project.

Linking up with
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Alycia Quilts
Wendy's Quilts and More

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

More Stripes

Did I mention I'm obsessed with this project? It's coming along!

It's truly a puzzle to put together, with lots of partial seams. The stripes are lining up surprisingly well, and all things considered the sections are laying nice and flat. I've tried not to seam across the long black and white stripes, but in a couple of places it can't be avoided. The bottom half still needs a few tweaks and needs more stripes added, but I can finally see this coming together.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Revising, Removing, Replacing, Rearranging...

... and a lot of seam ripping...

This is how the Color Spoke project looked on the wall on Feb. 11. It definitely needs some work. There are blocks I don't like, and some units I want to move, and just a lot of rearranging needed.

I've been moving elements around and adding sashing strips. This unit will be turned so the stripes run vertical.

All of the horizontal sashing strips are made of black and white stripes. The stripes will line up from top to bottom on the quilt.

I've been obsessed with this project and spending a lot of time on it. Just when I think I have a section laid out where I want it and I sew the parts together, then I look at it again and decide to change it and end up unsewing those parts. My seam ripper has been getting quite the workout.

What I've learned so far is that small fussy filler blocks aren't working. I made a lot of 3" diamond-in-a-square blocks thinking I'd need them for fillers as I puzzle this together, but they're too busy and their scale is too small.

Here's where I left it on Friday. The Drunkards Path and Scrappy Trips blocks have been switched and the modified Have Faith block has been replaced by a new block that mirrors the diagonal of the Scrappy Trips block. The entire lower half here still needs a lot of work.

I like where this is going. The original challenge was to choose one spoke of the color wheel and use only that hue plus neutrals in the blocks each month. I chose yellow green because I had some of these fabrics in my stash and they worked, but I ended up buying more. Although the yellow green blocks worked for the BOM challenge and they work okay here, a brighter color might have been visually more powerful against the black and white stripes in this concept.

(These dull indoor photos don't help the color any!)

This project is calling me. I need to get off the computer and back to it in the sewing room.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, February 14, 2020


I just found out my Checkerboards and Dresden Plates quilt has been accepted into the Spring AQS show!

Linking up with Whoop-Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Color Spoke Project

Last year STLMQG had a BOM challenge where we picked one spoke of the color wheel and used only that color plus neutrals to make the challenge block each month. A different skill or technique was featured each month. I chose yellow-green for my color and found a range of values to work with, plus black and white. Here's my block from the month we were to fussy cut something; I fussy cut my Dresden center.

The challenge resulted in a random selection of blocks, only unified by color. Now it's time to do something with them. My plan is to puzzle them together a la Gypsy Wife, and fill in with black and white strips.

First step: throw everything up on the wall.

Second step: Run away screaming.

Third step: Make some filler pieces and units.

Third step: Work on rearranging blocks and elements and see if I can make anything cohesive out of this.

Not there yet, but this is the state of the wall today:

Still needs work. I need to make the background black & white strips and spread them around, so I can see where I have contrast and where I need visual breaks. A lot more playing with bits and parts is in order here before this comes together.

Link Ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, February 7, 2020

Have Faith Flimsy

The top I made using Jaime's Have Faith block is finally finished. The blocks were made by the girls in our Sew Bee It bee. I planned to add pieced sashing to create additional plus motifs, and I worked on the components for it at STLMQG's retreat back in October. Finally in January I was able to get back to this project and finish piecing it together. Many thanks to Jaime for the block pattern and the girls in the bee for making the blocks.

The top finished at 62" by 76" for a large throw size.

For the sashing, I used low volume "bricks" cut 2-1/2" by 4-1/2".  The Pluses in the sashing are accent color pieces cut 2-1/2" square and 2-1/2" by 6-1/2". Two bricks plus two accent squares make up the vertical sashing. The horizontal sashing is two bricks and a long accent piece laid out across the row. In this diagram, the sashing bricks are shown in white and the accent pluses are shown in black.

To complete the outer pluses, I added additional vertical sashings of three bricks each to the ends of each horizontal row of blocks before sewing the rows together. Then I added top and bottom borders with the final accent squares interspersed with three sashing bricks, and finished with LV 2-1/2" squares at the corners. (see bottom rows in flimsy photo above)

I'm hoping I'll be able to get this top quilted and finished this spring for a donation, but with all that's going on around here, I don't know if that will happen. I'm glad at least the top is finished!

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