Jun 28 2017

Gray & Purple Hexagon Quilt

This quilt top was pieced in 2011 and I started my blog in 2012, so this is the first blog photo of the Gray & Purple Hexagon quilt.  It shrunk an 1″ with the machine quilting and now measures 38″ x 48″.

I am so happy with the machine quilting on this quilt and – as you can see – all the chalk washes away.  My 2017 goal of 25 finished quilts is on track with Gray & Purple Hexagon as my 14th finish.

Next up is Long Time Gone.  The plan is to start the machine quilting by the end of the week, so I had better get started on the quilt sandwich.

Marlene

Jun 26 2017

Design Wall Monday 06-26-17

Today is actually more of a Design Table Monday and a Design Lap Monday.  On the table is the new leader/ender project Wild Child by Bonnie Hunter in String Fling.

Wild Child was started last fall during my big string busting phase and all the middle blocks were sewn then.  Next up are the 800 HST – 400 blue/scraps and 400 neutral/scraps.  I have the Accuquilt die for the triangles which has made the sewing of the HST quick and easy.  The little bin has 200 of the blue/scrap HST, so I am half done with that color combination.

Bonnie used a turquoise fabric for her quilt, but while shopping my stash I found this sky blue fabric for my quilt along with the red with blue flowers for the border.

I haven’t made any progress on it last week because I was busy machine quilting the Gray & Purple Hexagon quilt.  This top was made in 2011 and has been hanging around my sewing room as a quilt sandwich for over a year.  I just couldn’t decide anything to get started with it – what color thread to use? an overall quilting design? custom design? if so, which one and where?

Since I was so overwhelmed with all the decisions to be made, I did nothing.  I think that this overload of decisions is why a project becomes an UFO.  Anyway, last week I realized that I didn’t need to make all the decisions at once – I just needed to make the first decision.  So the first thing I did was stitch in the ditch with monofilament thread inside and outside of the inner border.  Once that was done the second decision was easier, I stitched around the hexagons.

Just like so many other things, once I got started the rest of the decisions became easier.  I found a stencil for the middle of the hexagon and continued with the monofilament thread.

I have tried many different marking methods for stencils, but using chalk and a sponge brush works the best for me.  It is faster than following the lines with chalk or water soluble pen and easily seen on both the lighter and darker sides of the hexagons.

Most of the chalk comes off with the vibration of the sewing machine and the rest will be removed when the quilt is washed.  The Gray & Purple Hexagon quilt is small (39″ x 49″) because it was made with leftover fabrics from a kit named Ruby in the Sky so there weren’t that many hexagons to mark.

Once all the hexagons were quilted, I just needed to find a border motif.  Angela Walter’s book Free-Motion Quilting came to the rescue and I used her Scroll Swirl design.   Wow – I am almost done with decisions and this is almost a finished quilt.  The last two decisions were for the binding and sleeve fabric.  Since I had made the quilt with leftover fabrics, I had none of the original fabric for the binding.  Stash to the rescue!  I found a violet batik for the binding and a dark gray for the sleeve.

The handwork should be finished in the next couple of days, so then I will have a finished quilt to show off.  I just need to remember that not all quilts need all the decisions to be made before you start, sometimes all you need is the decision to start.

Check out all the other quilt inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Jun 19 2017

Design Wall Monday 06-19-17

Well I don’t think that you would be interested in seeing a picture of the jeans I mended yesterday, so how about this?

I took a little bit of a break from Long Time Gone last week and cut the units for Ripples.  There are three rectangles and one square from each jelly roll strip.  I have them clipped together to keep everything organized until the background is added.  Isn’t this going to be a fun quilt?

The directions for the throw size call for a 48 strip jelly roll, but the one I used only had 40 strips.  Since the extra 8 fabric strips were for the half blocks top & bottom, I decided to use a light gray.

Over the weekend all the background strips were cut and pinned in columns.

The quilt is all squares & rectangles, so it is a very easy quilt.  The hardest – well, not hard, but time consuming – part is making sure that the layout is correct.

Everything is nice and organized for piecing the units in each column together.  I plan to use the same quilt-as-you-go method as I used on Rainbow Braids.

This design wall is on a short angled hallway wall.  I use small command hooks with a metal hook for utensils, bulldog clips and a piece of flannel for my design walls.

The command hooks are placed 7″ – 9″ apart along the ceiling edge.  This is also a great way to hang quilts without doing any damage to the walls.  It is also easy to slip the bulldog clips off the hooks, fold up the flannel along with quilt pieces and attach another flannel for a different quilt.

My largest design wall was constructed the same way using a flat flannel sheet from a twin bed set.  I cut down the fitted sheet to size for the newest design wall.

Check out all the other quilt inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Jun 17 2017

I Did It!

The borders are on the Long Time Gone quilt and the top is finished.  Yeah!

My first thought was that the outer border would be cut at 3 1/2″. Since I had enough of the focus fabric, I cut the borders at 4 1/2″ thinking that I would trim down after the machine quilting was finished.  But you know what?  I like this border width, so no cutting off will be necessary.

And after all that fussing about the black – I think that it is a perfect picture frame and focuses the attention to the blocks in the center.  The conclusion is that sometimes your first instinct is correct and second-guessing is just a waste of time.

I would like to get this machine quilted soonish, but before that there are a couple of projects that just have to get done including a book bag and some mending.  Soon, I promise.

Happy quilting,

Marlene

Jun 16 2017

Long Time Gone – Pineapple Block

The last Pineapple block is completed.  I wanted to use all the tiny bits and scraps that were covering my cutting table, so this one is very scrappy.

Now that the center of LTG is finished, I need to decide on the borders.  Jen Kingwell used leftover fabric to make a scrappy border, but my plan from the beginning was to use my focus fabric.  However the background of the focus fabric is black and the center of the quilt is so light & airy that they doesn’t play together.

At first I considered shopping for a new border fabric, but decided on a different plan instead.

The striped fabric as an inner border makes a nice transition to the darker outer border.   So that is the plan now and the goal for today.

Happy Friday,

Marlene

Jun 12 2017

Design Wall Monday 06-12-17

The center of Long Time Gone is so close to being finished.  Nine Pineapple blocks will fill the hole on the right, then borders and done.  It took several days to cut out all the pieces (using Marti Michell’s templates) for the Pineapple blocks, but the sewing will go fast.

I realized why these are the last blocks to be made – it is to use up all the little scraps and bits from cutting the earlier blocks.  Thanks to Marti Michell, Angie at GnomeAngel, and Nicole at snips snippets for hosting this sew-a-long.  It was wonderful encouragement to start and continue the Long Time Gone quilt.

Hopefully this will be a completed top by the end of the week.

Check out all the quilting inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Jun 05 2017

Design Wall Monday 06-05-17

Triangles (on top),

triangles,

triangles,

and more triangles.

All the triangles have been made for the Long Time Gone quilt top.  I do have to confess that I changed the direction of the Flying Geese in the last block.  My goal was a green center surrounded by the yellow, orange and red geese and I also liked the look of the green pinwheel in the middle.  Once this block was completed, I sewed together the parts for Section 6.

The sections go together so quick and easy since the sashing had been added to blocks where possible and all the checkerboard blocks were completed.

All that is left to do is 12 Pineapple units for two blocks.  The Pineapple blocks are the last one in Jen Kingwell’s instructions and I have come to the conclusion that she did that deliberately to use up all the little bits & pieces left over from all the other blocks.  I am still playing around with the color placement and plan to start these on Wednesday.

Check out all the quilty inspiration at Judy’s Design Wall Monday.

Marlene

Jun 02 2017

Long Time Gone

The next unit for the Long Time Gone quilt is Flying Geese.  Yesterday I made enough to make these two blocks and finish section two.

Once this section was completed, I was able to attach it to sections 3 and 4.

It is so fun to put the pieces together and see the quilt take shape.  My plan is to have section 1 completed this weekend and attached to the top.

Marlene

Jun 01 2017

Rainbow Braid

Rainbow Braid is completed – this is the 13th quilt finish for the year.  All the fabric for this quilt came from my stash (happy dance, happy dance) and the Thermore batting has a nice soft, drapey feel to it which I did not expect.

I am already planning the next quilt using this quilt-as-you-go technique, but before I can get to distracted with it I need to finish the Long Time Gone quilt top.

Happy Donut Day,

Marlene

May 31 2017

Long Time Gone Week 12

The Long Time Gone block for week 12 is completed – actually I finished it yesterday morning, but had problems getting the picture from my camera to my computer.

I have decided to sew ahead and get this quilt top finished.  All the bits & pieces for Long Time Gone are yelling at me.  They want to get together and be friends, so that is what will happen.

Flying Geese are up next, some of which will finish Section Two.

My goal is to finish by the middle of June.  Wish me luck!

Marlene