Monday, October 31, 2022

Four Patch Shuffle, Part 1

 I always need to have a piecing project going, something to work on at social sewing. Usually it's some sort of donation quilt for one of the charities PCQ supports. That's the case this time, with a new project I'm calling Four Patch Shuffle. Here's the EQ rendering: 

My construction method is similar to my Cut and Shuffle method except that the parent blocks are smaller and I'm cutting them into four patches instead of nine patches. Each of these starter blocks will be cut in half vertically and horizontally, to become quadrants for the final blocks. 

Parts from multiple starter blocks get shuffled to create four finished blocks. 

Blocks are 8" finished. The layout is 7 x 9 blocks for a top size of 56 x 72". My design wall is occupied so here are the blocks I've finished so far, laid out on the table:

Oops, I see that the green/orange blocks in this photo are oriented opposite of how they are in the drawing. There are multiple possible layouts. I'll continue making blocks, four at a time, at social sewing. When I get all the blocks made - and have design wall space to work with - I'll play with different layouts. I particularly like the strong diagonals created by the alternating placement of black and white blocks, but I may find something I like even better. 

The black dot print here is the last piece from the generous gift from Quilt Diva Julie. The rest of the fabrics were from my stash or purchased for this project. These are boy colors, refreshing after all the girly pinks, corals, and purples I've been working with lately. This quilt will go to the local family services agency, where they occasionally have a need for a boy quilt. 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at  Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Friday, October 28, 2022


 When I realized I had more strips than I needed for my Hot Race quilt, and they were already sewn into sets of four, I knew I'd have to do something with them. The leftovers were long lengths I had reserved for borders, and 8" cut off the side of the race quilt top because it was too wide. Given the sizes I had, I could cut them into sections 6-1/2" square. 

I framed them up in black or white, and laid them out at social sewing,  The girls suggested moving some around to balance the colors, and now the blocks are sewn together into a top.

The black and white "stoppers" from the original race quilt fell randomly in the new blocks. I was short a few pieced blocks so there are a few plain blocks placed randomly in the mix. The blocks finished at 9" and the quilt top finished at 54 x 72" for a nice throw. 

When I get a chance, I'll find backing for this in PCQ's stash. I'll prep the backing and batting for quilting and let someone else quilt this one. Snowbirds are returning and need to be recertified on the long arm so they'll need something to quilt. This will eventually go to the local family services agency. 

It's finally fall here - temps in the 60s at night and in the 80s during the day. Beautiful! No need to run the AC, and we've even had the windows open. I love living here!

Link ups: Alycia QuiltsConfessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, October 17, 2022

Progress on Cube Challenge and CandyLand Quilting

My cube challenge project is coming along...
Only three more long seams, then borders. 

Quilting continues on CandyLand, too. 6 more rows and the grid will be complete 
at the 1-3/4" stage. That will be the halfway point because it will take just as many 
rows of quilting to divide it down to the 7/8" stage. Just gotta keep going...

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts,  

Friday, October 14, 2022

Hot Race Finished Quilt

 A true DrEAMI (story here), I had so much fun with this that it didn't take me long to finish. It helped that I already had time booked on the club's long arm. I gave it an all-over meander because with all the color, stripes, and confetti going on, it didn't need any special quilting. 

No special quilting, except that somewhere in it I quilted a heart about 3" across. Just a little something for the recipient to find.

This quilt is pretty big - 72" x 96" after quilting. It's intended for Natalie's House and they require twin bed size quilts. PCQ has a cabinet of backing fabrics available, and there were two dot prints, micro and jumbo, in the same shade of pink. I was able to piece them together for a large enough backing. 

And as if it wasn't already hot enough, I finished it off with flame-orange binding. Binding this monster required "octopusing" it - bunching up and tying the middle so the weight of it would stay up on the table. The big blob at the center looks like the head and the spread out edges look like the arms of an octopus doll I had as a child. 

Ta-Da! My finished Hot Race quilt:

I just love this - it's one of my favorite charity quilts ever. The fun thing about a race style quilt is that you never know how it's going to turn out. The strips and "stoppers" just land wherever they happen to fall when you're sewing the long seams together, so there's no predicting what it will look like. 

And one last image to show the effect of the sunlight here. I had a rare partly cloudy day for taking photos. At times the clouds were heavier and everything was totally shaded. Other times, full glaring sun. But I caught a few shots when the clouds were thinner and the light was bright but filtered and balanced. What a difference! Left to right below, cloudy, filtered, full sun.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Race Leftovers

In my last post (scroll down) I mentioned that I had calculated that my race quilt would come out at 96" long and 60" wide, and I wanted it wider than that. I wanted it to be 96" by 72" for a twin size bed. So I used enough strips - I thought - to get extra length at the two-seams stage so I could cut lengths for side borders. At that stage it was 6" wide.

 I cut off two 96" lengths. And still when it was finished it came out wider than anticipated, 80". (Shown here sideways because it's so big.)

Since it was already wider than necessary, I cut an 8" strip off one of the long sides. Now I had leftovers, two 96 by 6" strips and one 96 x 8" strip. What to do with them? Not dog bed filler, they're too pretty for that. 

So I trimmed, cut, and unpicked seams to end up with 6" blocks. I'll frame them up in black or white, and end up with 8" blocks for a throw size quilt. 

There's not quite enough block parts here. I need 48 blocks and I'll have 42 or 43, I think, using these leftovers. My plan is to cut plain squares of coordinating pink, orange, and purple fabrics, frame them up, and scatter them among the pieced blocks. 

That'll keep me busy at social sewing this week; we'll see how far along I get. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts Laugh Quilt

Friday, October 7, 2022

Drop Everything and Make It

Last month I posted about a UFO finished from several years ago, a race-style quilt, photos here. I was inspired to make another race-style quilt. Drop Everything and Make it, aka DrEAMi, as Sandra from MMM Quilts would say.

I had some 2" wide coral, pink, and orange strips left from when I cut too many for another project, but not enough. So I raided my stash and found some yellows, purples, a little red, and more coral, pink and orange fabrics. 

I wanted the quilt to be twin bed size. After calculating how big I wanted the quilt to be and figuring how many strips I'd need and what I'd need to do to modify a race-style quilt to come out the right size, I cut more strips. Here's the palette I ended up with.

I liked how the black and white "stoppers" looked in the old UFO quilt, so I used them again for this project. Then began the process of stitching a stopper to the end of every strip. Most of my strips were WOF, some half WOF, and some just random lengths, so I knew the stoppers would just fall wherever when I assembled the top. Next step, sew all those strips together end-to-end. 

After that, it was the first lo-o-o-ng seam. Because of twists in the long strips, I occasionally had to stop, open it at the stopper seams, untwist, and sew it back together. The first long seam took more than five hours. The second seam went quicker but still took more than two hours. Now the body was 6" wide. By my calculations, the eventual length sewn race-style would be 96" long, and 60" wide. I would need it wider than that for a twin bed and I had more than enough length, so I cut off two 96" pieces to use as side borders later. 

Another long seam, now it's 12" wide. Another, 24" wide. And another, 48". And finally the last seam, and it's 96". This is now the lengthwise dimension for the quilt. As expected, the colors played nicely together and the stoppers landed wherever they fell. In only a couple of cases did the same fabric end up overlapping with itself. 

But wait - This thing is huge! Instead of the 60" wide I thought my measurements and number of strips would yield, it came out 80" wide!!! How did that happen???  Clearly I was way off in my calculations. 

Here it is on my wall, hanging sideways because it's so big. 

When it's on the bed the strips will go across, like this:

I really want it to finish 72" by 96" for a twin bed. So, I sliced off about 8" from the width. I have time booked on PCQ's long arm and the backing (pink polka dots) and batting are already prepped, so this will soon be quilted. I can trim it up further after quilting if it's still too wide. 

This quilt will go to Natalie's House, a home for girls transitioning into foster care. It'll be on the bed to welcome a girl when she arrives, and will be hers to keep forever.  Could the colors be any more girly?!!! I love it! 

Linking up with Alycia Quilts, TGIFF, Wendy's Quilts and More,  Confessions of a Fabric Addict,  and Oh Scrap!

Monday, October 3, 2022

Cube Challenge Progress

My project for PCQ's 2022-23 challenge, something based on the cube that looks three dimensional, is coming along. All the background strips are pieced in at the top and bottom, and about half of the long vertical seams are sewn. 

The long seams require a lot of careful matching and pinning to get the points to match, very tedious. But I made good progress in September and I expect to do the same in October. Wide borders of the background fabric will finish out the top to 96" square. 

The challenge is due by the end of February 2023. I'll need to have this quilt professionally quilted, for sure.  My long armer friend is having health issues and is currently not taking in quilting jobs, so I need to find a new long arm quilter. Recommendations welcome. 

I'm thinking ruler work in the Y motifs to emphasize the shapes. But what about the background? I'm torn between grafitti-style quilting, or feathers. Or something else??? Opinions and suggestions are  welcome. This huge quilt will either live on my bed, or hang in my foyer.  


Link ups: Small Quiils and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt

Sunday, October 2, 2022

September Stash Report and Goals Update

Well, September was a busy month, but not good for my stash report. Really, I'm not complaining. Sometimes a refresh is needed. And when a quilter's estate is offered and there's good stuff, you have to take advantage, right? 

I finished a top, and I usually count fabric out of my stash when a top is finished, and then when the quilt is completely finished and bound. But the fabrics for this quilt were donated so I don't count them as mine. And the mini charms and scraps were never counted into my stash so they aren't counted out, either. 

 I also finished two UFOs, but the backings came from PCQ so I'm not counting that, either. 

Stash Report: 

IN this month: 20-1/2 yards (Connecting Threads order, 6 yards.  Quilter's estate sale, 14-1/2 yards.)
OUT this month: 8-1/4 yards (Hot race quilt,  8-1/4 yards. Story coming soon)

IN YTD: 78-5/8 yards
OUT YTD: 71-7/8 yards
YTD Net Change: 6-3/4 yards added

I'll need some finishes using my own fabrics to break even for the year. 

I spent a lot of time this month working on long term projects and moving them forward. The quilting on CandyLand is slow going - a lot of long lines with the walking foot, with lots of starts and stops. Eventually the grid behind the "snake" will be about 7/8". At the rate I'm going, it will take a few more months. The small squares here are at the 1-3/4" stage and I have a lot more passes to finish this stage. 

I also made good progress on the Cube Challenge project. All the rows are fully pieced with their backgrounds, and I've sewn about half of the long seams. Lots of careful matching and pinning in those long seams! There will be wide side borders of the background fabric added later to make the quilt 96" square. 

Goals Update: 

September Recap: 

1. Continue quilting Candyland.  Progress. 

2. Continue piecing the cube challenge project. Progress.

3. Work on a charity quilt from Quilt Diva Julie's donated black and white fabrics. Done - Top finished.

4. Write and post a tutorial for So Inclined. No, I've abandoned this. 

5. Quilt something on the long arm. No, couldn't get on the long arm schedule this month. I'm booked for Oct. 7.

Other:  DrEAMi * - Hot Race top, story coming soon. 

October Goals: 

1. Continue quilting CandyLand

2. Continue piecing the cube project; start looking for a long arm quilter to custom quilt it.

3. Quilt the hot race quilt on the club's long arm.

4. Piece a charity quilt top from the race leftovers.

5. Plan a new charity quilt to work on at social sewing.

There are some charity sewing events scheduled for a couple of the Wednesdays I go to social sewing, so I'll be working on those projects instead of my own project. Technically Wednesday is Sewing Club day in the Fiber Arts Room, but quilters are welcome. Since I usually go hang out there on Wednesdays (and go to lunch with the girls), I feel an obligation to participate in the Sewing Club's charity projects. We're making felt Christmas stockings and Little Dresses from the Heart. 

Should be a busy month!

* DRop Everything And Make It, hosted by Sandra at MMM Quilts