Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Poster Child for Make-do Scrappy Quilts

Finish #13 for 2018. And only seven years in the making.


In 2011 I did a block swap for Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville) Chunky Churn Dash block. I blogged about it here on March 1, 2011. I decided to set it with alternate blocks inspired by a Kim Diehl quilt. I've had the top made (except for the outer piano-key border) since April 2011.

In fact, I had misplaced the top and found it a week or so ago while sorting through a pile in my sewing room.

I decided it needed something more than the two inner borders, and remembered that I had lots of 4 to 5-inch long strip sets from my checkerboard quilt (blogged about here). I only had to make six extra segments and I had enough for the complete outer border. How's that for making do and using up scraps.


Each of the alternate blocks is made from prints that don't appear anywhere else in the blocks. None of the fabrics in the piano keys appear in the center of the quilt (although they are repeated in the border). 


To add to the scrappiness, about 60% of the chunky churn dash blocks came from the block swap and use fabrics I don't have in my stash. 

I estimate that there are between 130 and 150 different fabrics in this quilt! I think that's a record, even for me.




Friday, April 13, 2018

Modern Baby Quilt -- Finish #12


Twelfth finish for the year! This one is another baby quilt for the daughter to be born to my niece and her husband later this year. I had a different quilt planned for her, but while I was working on this quilt I decided it was perfect for them. It just seemed to fit the mom-to-be.


The Kaffe Fassett fabric combined with the black and white prints is such a classic combination, and one I used for my Wizard's Chess quilt that was on the cover of the June/July issue of McCall's Quick Quilts. 

And, in keeping with my goal to use up stash, the border fabric for this quilt was left over from the backing used on my Which Way To Go? quilt that I designed and made for the September/October issue of Quiltmaker magazine. It was technically also a UFO (unfinished object) because I had done the house blocks in September 2016. I have 15 more house blocks that are done, so I'll likely make another quilt pretty much like this one for a friend. (I had originally been working on this one for her when I decided to earmark it for the upcoming baby instead.)

Here are a couple more pics of the quilt:






Friday, April 6, 2018

Finish Number 11 for 2018


Last week as I tried to organize my sewing room and fabric stash, I ran across a stack of Jovial Christmas fabric by Basic Grey for Moda. As I took stock of the fabric, I realized I had 15 yards of it! Yikes! I must have had something specific in mind for the fabric, but I don't have any idea what my plans were.

According to the Moda United Notions website, this fabric came out in June 2011, which means it's been waiting to be put into a quilt for nearly seven years!

Since I've never made a Christmas quilt, and I'm focused on using fabrics I already have, it was time to get busy. After looking at Christmas quilts on Pinterest, I found a free pattern called Pinwheels and Patchwork, by Andy Knowlton, at abrightcorner.com


In the original pattern, the pinwheel blocks finish at 12 inches, but I decided to make blocks that finish at eight inches instead. Since I have the AccuQuilt die for the triangle-in-a-square unit in the pinwheel block, I made it easy on myself and cut the fabrics with my AccuQuilt Go! Baby rather than buy a Tri-Recs ruler.

This quilt is truly "a quilt in a day". I got it all done (except for the outer borders and quilting) in one day.

I did buy some black Minky for the backing rather than piece the backing. I had plenty of Jovial yardage, but most of it was 1-yard cuts.

I made a small dent in my Jovial fabric, but still have enough fabric for a couple more wall quilts. I'll probably make this same pattern again for a gift, and then use whatever remains for a different Christmas quilt.

I quilted it using a digital design from Wasatch Quilting called Waves and Pearls. Since I loaded the quilt sideways on my frame, the waves quilted out vertically -- a look I quite like for this quilt.



Year-to-date finishes -- 11 quilts and one quilt top
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 7 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)
  • Finished quilt tops: 1





Thursday, April 5, 2018

Another Quick Stash Buster Quilt

Still on my mission to use my scraps and fabric stash.

I have a huge pile of Woolies Flannels by Maywood Studios and Wool and Needle Flannel by Moda. I've made three quilts using these thick and cushy flannels. As a result, I have plenty of scraps and even decent pieces of yardage left over from backing and borders.

While looking through a Keepsake Quilting catalog, I noticed a quilt designed by Villa Rosa Designs using Woolies Flannels. I decided to draft my own version of the quilt and hopefully make a dent in my flannel scraps. Here's the result:


It's a throw that's about 56 inches by 68 inches. I even had enough flannel in my stash to use for the backing. 

I love it when I'm able to make a quilt from start to finish without having to buy any additional fabric.


I still have a stack of these flannels, so I'll be on the search for another quick design that will be appropriate for these cozy fabrics.

I quilted it using a digital design from Wasatch Quilting called "Square Pegs in Round Holes".


So here's the update on 2018 projects:

Year-to-date finishes -- ten quilts and one quilt top
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 6 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)
I also completed a quilt top for a wedding quilt that I'm not showing yet and needs to be quilted. So I'll add another category to my finishes.
  • Finished quilt tops: 1

Monday, April 2, 2018

Quick Baby Boy Quilt

I was doing some organizing in my sewing room and ran across a novelty panel and some yardage, intended for a quilt for a baby boy. Although baby Samuel was born yesterday, I had already made his quilt -- the Pony Express quilt I blogged about previously.

I decided to go ahead and make this boy quilt knowing that there will likely be another boy born into the family at some point in the future. (The next two births are girls -- one within the next couple of weeks and one in July. I'll share their quilts soon.) And except for backing fabric, everything else came from my stash!



This was a snap to make, since it includes a panel for the center of the quilt. I had yardage for the borders, binding, and corner four-patches. In fact, it took longer to fussy-cut the border print than to sew the entire quilt top.


Sometimes the right quilting choice IS a straightforward meander/stippling pattern. I think it actually complements the construction theme. And it also quilts up quickly.

To make it even quicker to finish, I bought 60-inch wide Minky for the back. Perfect for a baby quilt -- and no seams to stitch or cotton to iron. And I only needed to purchase the length of the quilt plus eight inches.


Loaded the selvages to my leaders -- which meant the stretch of the backing went across the frame. It also meant I needed to load the quilt top with the length of the quilt sideways. Luckily the meander quilting isn't directional, so that worked like a charm.


Now just need to wait until another baby boy joins the family!

Year-to-date finishes -- nine quilts
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 5 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)


Friday, March 16, 2018

Oxford Star

I am making my version of a quilt my grandmother made. It is the Texas Star quilt -- a six-pointed star with a hexagon center. I've named it Oxford Star because my grandmother was born and lived her whole life in the town of Oxford, Idaho. This is one of the six quilts she gave to my mother.

Here's my grandma's quilt (made probably in the 1950s). 


She machine pieced the stars and hand quilted the quilt. 

I am making my version using Lollies fabric by Jen Kingwell for Moda. The fabrics I chose have eight prints in the width of fabric that all coordinate with each other and that are separated by the gray stripe. So it looks like I've combined multiple fabrics in each star -- but it is kind of a "cheater cloth". 



Some of the blocks use the same fabrics for all six points:


Some blocks use two fabric selections for the star points:


Like my grandmother, I'm also machine piecing the stars. I've completed 25 of the 46 full star blocks. There will also be six half-size blocks. I will be setting the stars with charcoal gray diamonds. 

Lots of Y-seams, but they have been pretty easy to do. I'll be an expert at them by the time this quilt is done.

My blocks are about an inch smaller than my grandma's stars, but that was because I'm using Perfect Patchwork Templates set H by Marti Michell to cut the hexagons, diamonds, and star points.

Over the past year or so this has been a popular quilt made using English Paper Piecing techniques. You can see a fabulous example at Red Pepper Quilts; her quilt is named Daisy Chain. Her finished stars are a bit smaller than mine.

My goal is to have this quilt finished, quilted, and bound by our family reunion at the beginning of July. 



Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stash-Buster Quilt

2018 Quilting Goals:

  • Goal #1: Make a dent in my huge fabric stash.
  • Goal #2: Finish some UFOs (more than I want to admit)
  • Goal #3: Quilt more of my "flimsies" (better known as unquilted quilt tops -- I've got 27 of them!)

The checkerboard quilt I recently finished was a UFO, but to finish it I used some of my huge collection of traditional fabrics. Each 10-inch block uses two fat eighths: one neutral and one color. I also use yardage in my stash for the backing. And this quilt was only a flimsy for one day before I put it on the frame and quilted it.


It's not too big -- 50 inches by 60 inches. The perfect size for a throw and the perfect style for a utility quilt.

Here are some more photos:




This is the perfect advanced-beginner quilt who is ready to do some serious chain piecing, as well as strip piecing and sub-cutting into units to be reassembled.

Because the quilt has an old-fashioned look, I decided to wash it to give it a slightly worn feel. It will definitely get used, so hopefully future washings will add to the cozy look and feel.

Year-to-date finishes -- eight quilts

  • UFOs: 1 (the checkerboard quilt in this blog post)
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 (see also A Couple Random Quilt Finishes and Pinwheels for Caroline)
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): Another Pony Express Quilt and three quilts for magazines that will appear in the July/August issues of McCall's Quilts, Quiltmaker, and Quilting Quickly. (I'll blog about them after they appear in the magazines.)

Not too bad for the first ten weeks of the year!




Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another Pony Express Quilt

I thought I’d share the quilt I made using Northcott’s Pony Express fabric. It is for baby Samuel who is due to be born in the next couple of weeks. 


My sister and I did the Northcott Pony Express Block Party shop hop and collected the patterns for the blocks the shops did. But I’m not a fan of sampler quilts and wanted to do something different with the fabrics. 

So I decided to use the fabric to make a baby quilt for a great nephew, Samuel, who is due to be born within a couple weeks. (Yes, that means I finished the baby quilt BEFORE he was born – which doesn’t happen very often for me.)


Samuel has several family history connections to the Pony Express.

Absalom W. Smith is baby Samuel’s fifth great grandfather. His property in Draper, Utah was the Pony Express sation Traveler's Rest. Below is the backing fabric, which shows the names of all of the Pony Express stations. You'll notice "Traveler's Rest" in the center of the photo.


On a different ancestral line, two brothers (John and William Fisher) and a brother-in-law (Richard Erastus Egan) of Samuel’s third great grandfather were Pony Express riders.  I think that makes them his fourth great uncles. John and William ("Billy") immigrated from England. I always thought it was interesting that these two young men with British accents were part of the Pony Express.

Here's a close-up that shows the quilting:


Believe it or not, this is the second Pony Express quilt I've made. The other one used the Pony Express fabric designed by Jodi Barrows for the backing, and I designed the front of the quilt to represent Pony Express stations. 




I also designed a cross-stitch design as part of my Family History Sampler to pay homage to John and Billy Fisher. 


Now I just need to get the quilt sent off to Laredo, TX in time for Samuel to be born!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Quilt Finish: Pinwheels for Caroline

Another long forgotten quilt top is finally quilted and bound. 



I finished the top in June 2011, blogged about it HERE, and am glad to move this from the UFO list to the DONE list. It has 930 pieces to make a quilt that is 51 X 60 inches. It was designed by Lori Smith (From My Heart to Your Hands) and is named Pinwheels for Caroline.

This is a great quilt to use up scraps. I used a variety of methods for making all of the half-square triangle units, depending on the size of my scraps. If I had strips, I used the Easy Angle HST ruler. If I had miscellaneous square scraps, I used triangle paper. You can read about the methods HERE.


Gotta love scrappy quilts! And quilting them with an all-over, edge-to-edge design is the perfect way to complete them. (Good thing, since that's really all I do!)

Enjoy!


Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Couple Random Quilt Finishes

Although I've been busy making quilts, I can't show them on my blog yet. They are for a variety of quilting magazines and I need to wait until the issues are published. But I did get two small quilts finished.

The first quilt top is from a book of star quilts by Alex Anderson. I probably made the quilt top in about 2005 or 2006. I made it on a whim, completely from scraps and fat quarters in my stash. Even the backing was pulled from my stash. But it never warranted paying a longarm quilter to quilt it.


Flash forward about ten years when I had a Handi Quilter HQ Avante equipped with Pro-Stitcher for computerized quilting. This became the perfect quilt top to practice digital quilting with Pro-Stitcher. It was the first top I quilted with Pro-Stitcher.


There were a few missteps and boo-boos, but when I looked at it a few weeks ago, I realized the mistakes aren't all that obvious. So I decided to bind it and call it DONE!

My other finish was a Schnibble pattern by Carrie Nelson (aka Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.).


I had previously used this fabric to make a baby quilt for a nephew's new baby (she's now about 10 years' old). I had enough leftover fabric to take it to the Winter Quilt Fest several years ago where I was taking classes from Carrie Nelson. (NOTE: I try to NOT buy new fabric for retreat classes since unfortunately there's often no guarantee that I'll finish the quilt when I get home.)


But, I did finish this one -- at least the quilt top. Then last fall, probably six or seven years after finishing the quilt top, I decided to quilt it. I knew that there would be baby girls born to nieces and nephews that would need a new quilt. (And three babies are due this spring -- one of which we know for sure will be a girl.) So, last week I finally got the binding on the quilt and my mom happily hand-stitched it to the back of the quilt.

Add these two random finishes to the three quilts for magazines I've finished, and my year-to-date quilts number five. Not too bad for the first six weeks of 2018.



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