Monday, March 30, 2020

A New Project on the Wall

Once again, I've signed up to participate in Hands2Help organized by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Plus quilts are always a good choice, quick to make and positive, uplifting in spirit. I'll make a Plus quilt using some scraps given to me by others. A couple of the prints inspired the palette.

The one on the left was an actual sleeve from a blouse. Just the one sleeve...
The one on the right was a lengthwise strip, maybe an off-cut from backing.

To maximize the available fabric in these and some other scraps, I decided on squares cut 4" (finish 3-1/2"). I pulled all the scraps I had that could work, and raided my stash of fat quarters. I added a few pops of color from the inspiration prints to keep the palette from being boring, and a selection of low volumes for value contrast.

Of course I ended up cutting extra in order to make the layout work, so I have a baggie of 4" squares that can become the seeds for a future project.

A layout of 16 squares wide and 19 squares long will come out to 56" by 66-1/2", throw size, which fits in the parameters of one or more of this year's charities.

I snuck in a little surprise, too.

This should go together quickly.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, March 27, 2020

Corona Medallion, A Finished Top

This was supposed to be a goal-of-the month long term project with my First Saturday buddies. My goal for this month was to finish making the blocks. The blades had been appliqued down but the corners needed to be snowballed and there were still some details that needed to be taken care of.

Well, with time available I was able to finish the blocks before the end of the month, so I went ahead and assembled the top. I added a 2" border all the way around because the outer points needed some breathing room.

The finished top measures 68-1/2 by 68-1/2".  When possible, I'll get it professionally quilted. I want wool batting so it'll be soft and drapey. This one's for me, to replace the sofa quilt I've been using for awhile.

Given the crown-like shapes made by the fan arcs, as well as the times we're living through right now, I'm naming this quilt Corona Medallion.

Awhile back someone asked if I was planning to write a pattern for this quilt, and at the time I was undecided. After working on it and having to revise the sizes of some pieces, I've decided not to pattern this one. Sorry!

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Corona Medallion

As I'm sewing together the rows of my fan medallion project, it occurs to me that the fans look a bit like crowns.

It's only fitting that I should name this quilt Corona Medallion since we're all focused on that other corona-thing these days.

I'm liking the way this is coming together.

The center - gotta love that negative space!

Link Up: Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Monday, March 23, 2020


...Because anyone who knows me knows I'm detail oriented. But it's the little things that make for a more successful result.

Last post, I had all the fan blocks appliqued to their backgrounds and had snowballed the corners to create the inner point shapes.

The points of the fan blades are machine appliqued down but the tails have an actual seam, not appliqued. So, where they'll come together, part has visible stitching and part doesn't. I fixed that by topstitching across the snowballed corner, so that when the blocks are joined the stitching will appear continuous.

The top stitching is purely decorative; it serves no structural purpose. Here's what the back of the block looks like now. You can see the topstitching parallel to the seam where the snowball corner is attached.

There's a lot of bulk where those corners are snowballed: the background of the block, the tails of the blades with their seam allowances, and two plies of the snowball square.

A friend of mine is an award winning applique artist and she always recommends cutting the layers away from behind applique so the batting will fill it out. I did so on my Checkerboards and Dresden Plates quilt and was pleased with the results. I'll do the same on this quilt.

In the snowballed corner, I trimmed away the backing, the tails of the blades, and the inner layer of the snowball square, leaving only the top layer of fabric. The seam allowances are graded so there won't be any visible lump. Then I trimmed away the background fabric from behind the blades. Lastly, I trimmed the facing layer of the points of the blades. Here's what's left; the batting will fill in nicely.

There's the tiniest strip of background fabric where the snowball seam and the topstitching are, not a problem.

The shape I cut away from behind the blades is too large to go to waste. Each piece is large enough to fit on my 3" HST die on grain and cut two triangles, so I'll save all these cut-aways for a future project. There's 56 pieces in that stack.

With all the blocks prepped, I can now sew them into rows. Here are the rows on my design wall:

Oh, yeah, I'm liking this. Totally worth all the attention to detail. I love that interesting negative space!

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Monday, March 16, 2020

On the Wall Again

The Fan Medallion

I'm really glad I chose this background - I really like it even though it's not the vision I originally had in mind for this project. All of the fan blades have been machine appliqued down to the background fabric, 56 fan blocks.

The next step will be to deal with the corners where the blade tails end. 

In a traditional Dresden plate design, there would be an appliqued circle there, or quarter-circle for a fan block. That's not what I'm going for. I plan to snowball those corners across the blade tails to make an angled shape in the negative space.

Since I'm creating this pattern as I go along, I don't have measurements or a template for the size of snowball corner I need. My first attempt used a 2-1/4" square, stitched on the diagonal, and it came out a little too big. Those blades need to align at the precise point where the seams cross. I'll have to remeasure and try again with a slightly smaller square for the corner. 

A 2-1/8" square stitched on the diagonal seems to be working better. 

Below, four blocks are basted together to see how well the blades match. I think this will work. (Note, these seams are only basted and there's a lot of bulk because none of the blade tails with their seam allowances, extra snowball layer, and background have been trimmed away yet.)

Yes, 2-1/8" squares for the snowball corners will work. Next step is to cut the background squares for the corners and stitch them to all of the blocks.  

In other news, we've cancelled our upcoming trip to AZ to find a house. With the coronavirus and the state of the stock market, now is not the time to travel and not the time to buy a house. We will reassess in a few months. We still want to move to Pebble Creek and enjoy the lifestyle there, but now is not the time. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Chunky Churn Dash

This is the Chunky Churn Dash I made using the precut squares gifted by Wanda of Exuberant Color. I finished it at the very end of February but haven't had a chance to post about it yet. I still need to get some better photos, but these will have to do for now. Sorry for the poor indoor lighting.

I quilted it with a simple meander ising a pale lilac-grey thread. 

At 43" by 51" it's just the right size for a comfort quilt for a tween. 

Thanks, Wanda, for the squares and backing for this donation quilt. 

Link ups:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Friday, March 6, 2020

A Finish: No Longer a WIGSP

Now known as "How Many"

How many:
33 Piecers stitched components
345 different batik and hand dyed fabrics in the top
126 hexies with 18 pieces each
756 pieced triangles
2268 little kite shaped pieces
420 black triangles and 56 black half-triangles including borders
2744 total pieces in the top
About 96 x 98"
12 years to piece the top over 8 go-rounds of Piecing Group, all hand pieced (running stitch, not EPP)
Many, many thanks to the wonderful girls in Piecing Group, now and former members over the years, who helped piece this project.

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

On to Operation Shower

The traditional guild I belong to supports Operation Shower which provides baby showers for expectant military families. As part of my downsizing and destashing efforts, I've given several small quilts to the friend who collects our donated quilts and takes them to Operation Shower.

Small quilts that I made just for the enjoyment of making, or that were potential pattern prototypes or whatever, that have been hanging in a closet for years, are now going to new homes where I hope they'll be loved, or at least used.

Craving, 1997
Made because I had been hand quilting on a black Amish-inspired project 
 in black thread for months and craved some color. 
Won Honorable Mention ribbon, The Quintessential Quilt 1997. 
Unfortunately the purple border looks much too neon bright in this photo;
should look the same as the dark purple within the quilt. 

Modern Strip Quilt (later renamed Blue Strip Tease)
Pattern prototype

Pink Strip Tease
Pattern test and cover sample for printed pattern

Flying Four Patch, 2013
Pattern prototype, never published

Linked, 2012
Pattern prototype using a jelly roll, except that the strips were 2-7/8" wide and I had to 
trim the width of every strip in the roll. It would have been easier to cut from yardage! 
It turned out to be a two sided quilt because I thought the original light side was kind of 
ho-hum so I remade it with brown sashing using the rest of the same jelly roll. 

Celebrate, 2013
Using a very traditional book about value to make a modern quilt. 
This was exhibited in STLMQG's first quilt show in 2017. 
Named because it reminds me of confetti streamers. 

Hexies from Leftovers, 2013
Using leftover and rejected triangles from making from this quilt, trimmed down to half-hexies 
for the front.  More of the unused black and white whole triangles make up the back.

These quilts will do far more good out in the world than stuffed in a closet somewhere. And since storage space will be at a premium in my new home, it's better to give them away now than to continue to store them. I hope they become useful for the families that get them. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

February Stash Report and Goals Update

Ever had one of those projects that's so compelling, it just takes over everything else you're working on? One project completely consumed me this month. I thought I would just start playing with the Color Spoke blocks while quilting on a couple of other projects, but that's not how it turned out.
Color Spoke top

The Color Spoke project called to me and I couldn't resist puzzling the pieces together, rearranging them, adding striped sashing and filler strips, and revising and moving parts around until I had a completed top.

My stash report looks better than anticipated not only due to the yardage used in the Color Spoke flimsy, but especially because I destashed a lot at my guild's Fabric Swap.

February Stash Report:
IN this month: 3 yards (One yard Kona white. One yard from STLMQG. One yard from CSQ fabric swap.)
OUT this month: 31-7/8 yards (23-1/2 yards out to CSQ fabric swap. 1-3/4 yards backing and 1/2 yard binding  for purple CCD. Estimated 6-1/8 yards (by weight) for Color Spoke top.)

IN YTD: 16 yards
OUT YTD: 46-7/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 30-7/8 yards out

I haven't counted the leftover parts and scraps from the Color Spoke top. I'll offer them at the next meeting of STLMQG and count them out then. Also not counted: a bit of stash replenishment. After all, if my order hasn't come in yet, the fabric isn't in my stash yet, right?  I'll count what's on order after it comes in.
Unused blocks, filler pieces and parts for Color Spoke project

February Goals Recap:
1. Sew remaining row of WIGSP together and to top; add final top border if possible, DONE!!! After 12 years in the making, it's now a completed top. Sneak peek below; more photos to come this week. 
2. Start figuring out how to put together the Color Spoke BOM blocks from last year. DONE! Top completely puzzled together into a finished flimsy.
3. Layer, baste, and quilt the purple chunky churn dash. DONE on 2/29 - thank goodness for that extra day this month! Photos to come asap. 
4. Layer, baste, and start quilting Have Faith. Not touched. I might have been a little distracted by and focused on another project. 
5. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE
Other: continued to sew fans to background to make blocks for the Fan Medallion project. 

March Goals:
1. Thoroughly clean up the sewing room.
2. Get Checkerboards and Dresden Plates appraised; ship it to AQS.
3. Gather up small quilts for donation to Operation Shower.
4. Finish making blocks for Fan Medallion.
5. Layer, baste, and quilt Have Faith.
6. Start something new.
7. Keep up with bee blocks.

Yes, I'm giving myself permission to start something new even though I still have UFOs and WIPS. Have Faith is both a WIP and a UFO and I plan to tackle it this month, so that can count toward working down the UFO list. If time permits, maybe I'll also work on something else on the list.

I've included bee blocks on the goals list for probably the last time.  For Piecing Group the March meeting will be the last time I attend; I've been a member since 2000. I won't be able to attend the April or May meetings and we hope to be getting ready to move in June, so last month when I hosted Piecing Group here, I told the girls I'm resigning from the group. I will miss it.
The March meeting may also be the last time I'll be able to attend STLMQG and the Sew Bee It bee, mostly due to the guild's schedule. I'll miss that, too.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt