Lucky 13 – as in 13 finished string LeMoyne star blocks. The last one was pieced Friday night and Saturday’s project was to get the top completed.
This quilt top was a project of mood swings – I enjoyed making the string diamonds, but it was getting pretty boring by the time I was doing the last few. And the 104 diamonds did not make a dent in my string bin, but that will be something to consider later.
I really like the look of LeMoyne stars, however the block sewing is all sew a short seam, cut threads, sew a short seam, cut threads, and repeat which can get very monotonous. Then there was all the steam & spray starch to get the blocks to lay flat. String diamonds – bias & bias. Of course there were block volcanos to be pressed into submission.
The top and bottom string border was added to lighten the quilt top and add some length. The finished size of the top is 70 1/2″ x 74 1/2″.
The hexagon butterflies have been sewn to the background and the fabric from the original butterly quilt has been located.
Isn’t this going to be cute? Now I need to take the time to decide on quilt size so that I can figure the strip width. Maybe next weekend. This project is turning out exactly how I had envisioned it in my head. Yeah!
With seven weeks left in the year, I need to be brutally honest with myself with which quilting projects I can finish before the close of 2020. I have been cleaning up and organizing my sewing space in preparation for 2021 while I have considering this issue.
So, what are projects are on your “Get Done This Year” list?
I have realized that my quilting personality requires a plan when starting a new quilt project whether that is following a quilt pattern or designing my own layout. I am not able to just make a bunch of blocks and then decide on a layout later. As soon as I start making blocks my brain kicks in forming and rejecting a setting until it settles on a Plan A. Now Plan A can go sideways and end up as Plan C or D or maybe even K, but I start with Plan A.
The Butterflies Fly With Me quilt top was made in 2018.
While I was piecing this project, I had the idea to make a wall-hanging to coordinate with it. However as my brother always tells me “Anyone can have an idea, but the person who does something with that idea is the one who can claim credit”. I can tell you right now that I am claiming credit for my idea since the wall-hanging is in process.
My plan was to have the same layout, but make the butterflies out of hexagons. What do you think? Aren’t they so darn cute?
The hexies are 1/2″ per side with the butterly measuring 5 3/4″ x 4″. The final butterfly is in almost done, so this week I will locate the scraps from the original quilt. Hopefully by next weekend I will have a finished wall-hanging top.
It only took a year, but my wall-hanging of Emerson’s Snail is now finished. I smile everytime I look at Emerson’s Snail.
The snail is the same, but the setting is totally different than the wall-hanging gifted to Ms Emerson. Twins, but different.
A couple of years ago I was sorting through a bin and came across the Wheel of Mystery templates and fabric from a class with John Flynn in 2007. I must have been very interested in this block, since I also found 3 or 4 template sets in different sizes along with an Accuquilt die.
I used the die to cut the remaining fabric into block parts and then packed it all back up. Now it is time to get this pieced together. There is no note stating how many blocks were cut and I am not going to count them. It will be a surprise once all the blocks are pieced.
The next piecing project is a string diamonds for a LeMoyne block. Bonnie Hunter has a free pattern on her website for string diamonds called Out On a String which I have been looking at for the last 4 -5 months. Now is the time to get busy on this. My diamonds are 4″ per side instead of the 3″ per side in Bonnie’s pattern, but my thought was a larger diamond – more strings used.
Right now the plan is to make 9 String LeMoyne blocks and then decide if more are needed. I don’t need to make any decisions at this time, so I won’t – time enough for that later.
I do however need to decide what I want to accomplish by the end of the year. A little over three months and we can say good-bye to 2020.
This cute daisy wall-hanging was finished last week. After seeing the pattern in the current Quiltmania magazine, I went on the hunt for a kit which was found on the In The Patch Designs website. The Do A Daisy wall-hanging is completely hand stitched except fot attaching the front, back & batting together. It was fun although a bit difficult to make good stitches in the center of the wall-hanging.
The leaves and petals are attached with a running stitch through the middle of the wool. This gives them a subtle 3-D effect which is one of my favorite parts of the wall-hanging.
The Multi-Print Strata top is also completed. It is the largest strata at 55″ x 58″ and does have some fullness which I will need to ease in during the machine quilting process.
All my curiosity and what-if questions regarding the Strata quilts have been answered at this time, so on to something else.
Time to load another quilt top on the quilting frame. The winner – Black, White & Gold pieced in 2016.
This quilt rquires custom quilting, so more practice with rulers is coming my way. I will probably start work on it sometime in October. In the meantime a new scrappy project and an old UFO are jumping up & down and waving their hands. I guess it is time to give them some personal attention. More on that in a later post.
I am a bit behind in my posting, however today I have a couple of finishes to share.
African Courthouse Steps is now a completed quilt. This quilt top was pieced sometime before 2008 and is one of my oldest projects. It measures 54″ x 71″ and – if I remember correctly – was an Eleanor Burns pattern. Yeah! There are only two more pre-2008 quilt tops to finish before the end of the year.
The second quilt finish is the Purple Strata (40″ x 42″). I don’t care for this one as much as the Green Stata. Maybe it has to do with the concentration of solid purple in the center. But that is okay since this one is intended as a charity quilt; I am sure that someone out there will love it.
My new piecing project is the third strata using multi-colored strips.
The 1 1/2″ strips were divided into light, medium & dark piles and starting with the lights in the center. I think that this one may be my favorite of all.
Every year, Bonnie Hunter posts a new leader & ender project on her blog. The 2019 challenge was Shoo, Fly, Shoo blocks. I chose the 4″ finished size and pieced a few of them.
When I didn’t have time or take the time to cut out the HST triangles, I sewed Uneven 9-Patch blocks instead.
And then a surprise – the 2020 Leader & Ender Challenge is Easy Breezy which also finishes at 4″.
This gave me an idea for a layout. I would have dark gray/black fabric in every Easy Breezy block, making a strong diagonal.
By combining two Shoo, Fly, Shoo or Uneven 9-Patch blocks with two Easy Breezy blocks and sashing, an interesting 9″ finished block was created.
Isn’t this fun? I will have so many layout options to choose from. My plan right now is to make 20 or 25 – 9″ blocks before deciding on a final layout. I suspect that the quilt will end up with 35 blocks (5 x 7 layout), but will make that decision later.
I will also need to decide on the sashing color between the larger blocks. The sashing width will be 1 1/2″ and I will use a different fabric & color than the smaller sashing. For fun, I pulled out two Kona cotton solids to audition for the larger sashing.
Hmm I don’t think that either of these is quite what I want. Maybe a light green? Time to dig through the stash again.
Hope you have time & fun digging through your own stash.
The border fabric for the Long Tall quilt arrived in the mail, so that was the first thing on my quilting to-do list.. That plan got blown to bits – I really didn’t like the border fabric – so it was on to Plan B. The Kaffe print that was planned for the border was too busy and chaotic for my tastes.
Luckily I had enough of the dark gray that was used as the accent, so off with the green and on with the gray. Much better
Long Tall quilt top is 71″ x 90 1/2″ which is taller than my design wall,. The photo does give a good idea of how it looks. Now that the borders were on, this top went into the to-be-quilted pile and I was on to the next project.
Purple was the color choice for the next Strata quilt which would be testing my theory regarding the walking foot issue. I pulled out the purple 1 1/2″ strips bin and started sewing end-to-end
and then round and round.
Victory! It does has some waviness, but nowhere as much as the Green Strata. No more walking foot while making a Strata quilt.
A couple more rounds and then two rounds of 2″ gray strips for the border. Purple Strata will be smaller than the Green Strata which is okay by me.
I have been thinking about making one more strata quilt using multi-colored strips. My current plan is to divide the strip pile into light, medium & dark and then sew end-to-end starting with the light pile. The lights will be the center rounds, followed by the medium and ending with the dark on the outside. I suspect that this will be the largest Strata of them all since there are a lot more multi-colored strips.
There will also be some machine quilting this weekend. The quilt top that was just loaded on the frame is this one made before 2008.
It should be a busy quilting weekend. What are your plans for the enxt two days?
My third mindless sewing project is Helter Skelter by Abby Lane Quilts. It turned out to be mostly mindless sewing, not totally mindless sewing.
The technique used in this quilt is stack, cut & shuffle – Buggy Barn quilts use the same technique.
The blocks finish at 10″ x 12″ in the Helter Skelter quilt, so a layout 5 x 5 will yield a rectangular quilt. My problem was that I had 10 fat quarters that I wanted to use in this quilt and each FQ makes two blocks. With 20 blocks my layout will be 4 X 5 – a skinny rectangle.
The blocks are fun and cheerful and that was exactly the feeling I wanted for this quilt.
Oh no, we have a runaway!
Another added challenge was the limited amount of background fabric. I was determined to make it work since I really liked the background with the color of the blocks.
However skinny rectangles are not my favorite, so I decided to add side borders only. This is where the “mostly” mindless sewing into play.
In my opinion my version of Helter Skelter achieved the goals of fun, cheery and airy. The finished size is 48″ x 64″ so the dreaded skinny rectangle was avoided. I like how the colors pop out against the background.
The issue of the limited amount of background fabric – the leftovers were one short 2 1/2″ strip, one 1 1/2″ strip and a couple of 6″ squares. That was way tighter than I like, but everything turned out well.
The next and last mindless sewing project is a Purple Strata quilt. The long string of purple 1 1/2″ strips sewn end to end is gathering under my sewing machine.
Green Strata is finished – binding and all. Due to the waviness, it was a bit of a challenge to machine quilt. And yes, I did have to add pleats to get it to lay flat. Unless it is closely inspected, I don’t think that many people will even notice.
An added bonus was using some orphan blocks to extend the width of the backing. Green Strata was machine quilted with a spiderweb panto-graph using green variegated thread.
I have a theory on why my Green Strata had so much waviness. The quilt top was pieced on my Juki with the walking foot attached instead of a regular 1/4″ quilting foot. I think that the walking foot may have contributed to the waviness issue. Hmm it seems like a purple strata experiment may be in my future.
The way the strips wobble up & down and around the quilt appeals to me – maybe it is my inner child drawing outside the lines. My perfectionist adult likes the fact that the quilt is flat and square, so both parts of me are happy with Green Strata.
Wishing everyone good health and some quilting time,