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.
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.
My second mindless sewing project is Long Tall, a pattern by Cozy Quilt Designs. If you are ever looking for a pattern that leaves very very little scraps, I would recommend this one. I an piecing the twin-sized version and the only scraps left were four or five 2 1/2″ squares.
Here are two blocks – one a mirror image of the other. I laid them all out on the floor to make sure that there were different fabrics in each block.
There are two tricks that I would offer to anyone making this pattern. First is to press half the blocks in the opposite direction of the first half and second is to assemble the quilt center in columns. By assembling in columns you only need to match 10″ worth of seams at a time instead of 40″ or 60″ across rows.
I am waiting on the inner and outer border fabrics to arrive, but once it does I will finish the quilt top.
Also I found this applique kit at my local quilt shop.
The name of the kit is Colorado Range and it is part of the Quilters Trek. The blue fabric for the mountains is perfect and adds a lot of dimension to the applique wall-hanging.
So, I wonder what kind of quilty distractions are headed my way in August or if – for once – I will be able to make a list and stick to it. Maybe I should get busy on that list.
Two non-quilting project – fabric weights and crocheted ric-rac – have enn made.
The fabric weights ( https://weallsew.com/fabric-weight-tutorial/ ) were a quick and easy sewing project once I figured out the fusible interfacing issue. All I have is sew-in interfacing and this project was a use-what-I-already-have project. My solution was to use a glue stick to adhere the sew-in interfacing to the fabric and it worked. The tags were cut from the ribbon around a Moda jelly roll. Isn’t it fun to do something different once in a while?
My current UFO project is Space Invaders. This quilt project had been packed up in October 2019 because I was unhappy with the color choices. The solid black was too predictable & boring and the focus fabric had a small print that wasn’t playing well with the center. Frankly I just didn’t want to take the time to unstitch all those dang rectangles.
Well, now it is time to get this quilt top finished. Here is my progress so far.
I like it – the focus fabric brightens up the quilt top and is worth the time of unsewing and resewing. The border may be a bit of a challenge since there was only a yard or so of the focus fabric, but I will worry about that when I get there.
So the Simply Sixteen didn’t get lonely, I loaded a quilt onto the frame. The panto-graph is spiders and webs which is the most detailed panto-graph I have attempted to date.
To keep on track, I made a list of 12 goals for May. I have three vacation days in May and the list is divided between quick items and more time intensive items. Finishing the Space Invaders quilt top and machine quilting ShortLine are the top two goals, so I am off to a good start.
I was hoping to have this table topper completed last weekend, however it was not to be. Amaryllis was my first machine applique project which ended up stuck in a box for years. At first glance everything looks good,
however on closer examination the issue with this quilt top becomes apparent. Being new to quilting and machine appilique, I thought that the edges would fray even with the buttonhole stitch.. Since I had sewn clothing for 25 years before quilting, my solution was to Fray Check the edges – without testing this solution on a scrap first. What was I thinking? – the Fray Check discolored the fabric!
For the longest time I thought I would remake the center, but a couple months ago I came up with a better solution – couching the edges.
The thick green yarn did a good job on the stems, however the purple yarn is too thin to cover the edges well. Plan D – or is it Plan E? – is to do a single crochet chain to see if that will be thick enough to cover the discoloration on the flowers.
Amaryllis is machine quilted with the binding already sewn down, so once the couching is done the table topper will be complete. I didn’t anticipate the amount of fussing around I would need to do to get the yarn couched down, but since I am so close to finish I want to have it look as good as possible.
One thing I do have to admit is from quilt top to finished quilt, this table topper has taught me quite a few new lessons.
I will start off with a warning – the next couple of blog posts may be boring! My goal is to make 31 SBS blocks in March, so there will be a lot of pictures of sampler blocks.
When all 31 blocks are completed, it should bring my total of finished blocks to 83. That will be over half of the blocks needed, but still leave 60ish to make. Just whose idea was it to make a Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler quilt – oh yeah, mine.
Sampler quilts are not my favorite style of quilt to make, so I can’t understand why I have so many sampler quilt patterns in my library. I just need to remember that the tortoise won the race and as long as I keep moving forward eventually it will be finished. Does anyone else have such mixed feelings about sampler quilts?
Part 4 – the green turquoise chevrons – are completed. I was able to sew on these during the week, so it was easy to finish them up this morning.
For my quilt I decided to have all four chevron units in each block from the same fabric. Of course, once the decision was made I needed to make a star block to verify. And yes, I am happy with that variation for my quilt.
I still have all the green turquoise/background HSTs for one of the borders to sew, but that can wait until the center is completed. Now the blue turquoise/background HSTs need to be cut and sewn.
My goal is to have the center of Good Fortune together by the end of the month.
When I first started Bonnie’s mystery quilt Good Fortune, I was going to make 1/4 of the units and change three of the colors. But that plan flew out the window – now I am making all the units and changing four colors.
The first clue for Good Fortune was 4-patches of red & neutral. With the new plan the red was changed to coral/salmon, so I had to begin again.
And I had a bit of good fortune discovering that part 4 units and part 1 units combined to make one of the blocks. As I was sewing the 4-patches I was also assembling blocks.
First there were a few, but by the end of the day all these chain blocks needed for Good Fortune were completed.
Changing the orange to gold produces a bit more contrast between the 4-patches and strip sets which I like. I am looking forward to making the star blocks and see how all my color changes play together.
I started Good Fortune – the 2018 Bonnie Hunter Mystery – the day after Thanksgiving. At the time my plan was to make 1/4 of the units until I saw the final reveal, but you know how plans go.
Swing Your Partner consumed my sewing time because I was determined to have the quilt top finished by the end of the year. That goal has been crossed off my list, so now it is time to start in on some serious sewing for Good Fortune.
Bonnie’s color for the Part 4 string units is orange which for my quilt I have changed to gold.
My method for making the Part 4 units is a combination of string blocks and strip sets. I used an Accuquilt die that cuts 1″, 1 1/2″ and 2″ strips which were sewn together into strip sets then cut to width.
I also decided to make all the units for each clue to have a finished quilt at 72″ square, so here are all the units needed for the quilt.
Now that Part 4 is completed, I am returning to the beginning to redo Part 1. Originally I made 1/4 of the total units in red & white, however since I changed my color choices I need to resew all the units in coral & white.
It is a work day tomorrow, but hopefully by Tuesday night all of Part 1 units will be completed.