Mostly Mindless Sewing Project# 3

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.

Happy quilting,

Marlene

Green Strata Experiment

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,

Marlene

Mindless Sewing Project #2

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.

Take care and stay healthy,

Marlene –

Hazel & Mindless Sewing

Hazel is completed – binding, sleeve & label. In fact I was a bit behind on attaching labels, but now I am all caught up. There is only one more birthday gift quilt for this year, however that one needs to be finished by December, so I have some time. Without deadlines, I can pursue whatever quilting projects captures my attention.

I have been in a mindless sewing mood for a couple of weeks, so when I saw the Strata Squared quilt tutorial on the My Quilt Infatuation blog (http://www.myquiltinfatuation.com/2020/07/strata-squared.html) I knew it was my next project. I decided to make my Strata quilt green with a three row gray border and much smaller.

My plan was to make the a 38″ square, add three rows top and bottom and then three rounds of gray. Just pushing fabric through the machine was exactly what I wanted and it was fun to watch the square grow. At first I thought that I was going to have leftover green scraps, but as the square got larger and the pile diminished faster, I wondered if I would need to cut more green strips.

And that is exactly what happened – more 1 1/2″ strips were cut and sewn together to complete the green rectangle.

My best guess from counting the rows is that this quilt top is 44″ x 50″. As you can see the quilt top is wavy and Kelly talks about that in her tutorial. My plan is to put it on the quilting frame next weekend, contain the wavy borders and get it quilted next weekend. Wish me luck!

The process of machine quilting will determine if I will make another Strata quilt, although I did enjoy the sewing process. My next two piecing projects also involve mostly mindless sewing, but once they are completed I hope to ready for more of a challenge. Everything in its time.

Have a good week,

Marlene

Mini-Metro

Yeah! Mini-Metro is completed – well, almost. Today I will add the label, then it will be officially completely finished.

I knew that this quilt top would be a bit of a challenge to machine quilt and I was correct. The tags needed to fly free and the pockets needed to be usable, so no panto-graph. I wanted something more than meandering, so I decided on Baptist Fans – and enjoy the texture they give the quilt.

Leaving the pockets open while following the curve of the fans was a stretch of my machine quilting skills, but stretching is a good thing – right?

Today’s projects include labels and binding for Hazel Hedgehog.

I hope everyone is enjoying a safe quilty weekend.

Marlene

Hazel Hedgehog

Hazel Hedgehog – pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

Isn’t Hazel cute? Once finished, she will be adopted by my oldest daughter as her birthday gift this year.

The pattern was very well written with clear cutting & sewing instructions. The only method change that I made was using Doug Leko’s Simple Folded Corners ruler instead of the stitch-n-flip method.

It didn’t take that long to cut the corners off and I feel that my sewing was more accurate. The corners needed to be trimmed whether it was before or after stitching, so why not?

Once all 9 bodies were constructed, I auditioned the fabric for the spines. The requested colors were pink, purple and robin-egg blue.

The blue may be a tad bit darker than robin-egg, but I like how these fabrics play together. Are they sporting Mohawk haircuts here?

Much better – getting a trim.

Ta-Da – quilt top completed. Now you may be wondering about the one hedgehog wearing purple glasses. Ms Hazel with the glasses is in honor of a very special granddaughter.

Ms E is a fan of all things purple and is holding a purple carrot that she (with some help from her mother) grew this year. What a cutie! And I swear that I am not biased or anything.

Now it is time to get this quilt top on the frame. The top finished at 36″ x 39″, so I am hopeful that I can finish the machine quilting tomorrow.

Marlene

PS The template for the glasses was found on Elizabeth Hartman’s website.

Little Bit of This & A Little Bit of That

I didn’t make as much progress on my quilting projects in June as I had hoped. However small progress is better than no progress and perhaps I will do better in July.

The picture didn’t lie – Diamond Stars quilt top was 1/2″ wider through the middle. I am blaming those long skinny side triangles, however they have been pruned to the correct width. It is a subtle difference, but I felt it was worth the time to fix the issue.

The next project on the UFO list was Emerson’s Snail #2. Last year I made this wall-hanging for Emerson from her drawing.

I always intended to make a second wall-hanging for me and now is the time. Once I decided on the border, it was a quick piecing project. It will take longer to machine quilt the snail than it did to complete the quilt top.

I want this hanging on my wall sooner rather than later, so it is on my July to-do list right after two birthday quilts.

First up is Mini-Metro which is currently on the frame. It is being quilted with Baptist Fans and the most challenging part is not sewing the pockets shut.

Mini-Metro is a birthday gift for my brother and needs to be finished by the end of July. I am also working on a 39″ wall-hanging as a birthday gift for my eldest daughter. July is full of birthdays in our family and this year seems to be full of quilty gifts.

Marlene

Diamond Stars

Another UFO bites the dust! The first Diamond Star block was made in December 2018 and now it was time to make a quilt.

For the last week or so I have been piecing the other diamond blocks. They are easy to piece and so much fun watching them come together.

Five of the six diamonds completed with the orange star left to be pieced. The fabric on the right was auditioned for the background, but was rejected – too busy.

Instead I went with this light gray background with amazing texture. Since I was setting my diamonds totally different than the quilt pattern, I needed to draft a pattern for the background pieces. It actually wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. The two triangles are 1/2 diamond with seam allowance and the four corner pieces are full diamonds with one side extended to make a square corner.

Looking at the picture of the finished quilt top (46″ x 51 3/4″), it appears that the center bows out. I will need to check into that and make any adjustments needed.

The next UFO project is my wall-hanging of Emerson’s Snail. I have finished 8 UFOs this year, but there are still over 30 projects on the list. Isn’t that depressing? Just remember – the turtle won the race.

Happy quilting,

Marlene

Finishes for May 2020

Space Invaders and the Tea Towel Placemats are completed.

I wasn’t really planning on machine quilting Space Invaders this soon, however I had the perfect backing, a piece of batting the correct size and the dark gray thread on the machine.

Connecting Threads had their backing on sale a month or so ago, so this piece jumped in my cart and demanded to be the backing for Space Invaders. I think the name of it is Lava Lamps and it is perfect.

Up close you can see the dark gray thread on the black background, but when you step back it all blends in nicely.

I am very pleased with the two Tea Towel Placemats. The applique on the top placemat was made during the booth demo at the Quilting Expo last year while the bottom applique was created with an Edyta Sitar Accuquilt die. It was also a good project for me to practice Baptist Fans using the Westalee ruler.

What a wonderful finish to the month of May. Now it is time to decide what June’s goals will be.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Reign of Dragons

My goal over the Memorial Day weekend was to complete a project that required no decision making efforts from me. Most of my UFOs acquired that status due to the fact that they needed decisions made and I just wanted to sew. The obvious answer was a kit and the Dragons kit by Jason Yenter was the winner. At 76″ x 92″ this is a large quilt, but it contains panels with only 6 pieced blocks, I was confident that it could be completed in 3 days. Saturday evening most of the center was completed.

I don’t have a picture of the quilt top on Sunday night, however the center had been completed and the four border lengths had been cut. Monday afternoon the quilt top was completed.

I underestimated the amount of time it would take to sew the borders, but I am very pleased with the end result.

I read the pattern instructions regarding the mitered corners, read the border print mitered corners information from the Jinny Byer book and then did my own thing. The pattern directions did not match the print at the corners and Jinny Beyer said to match the print & cut the 45 degree angle. My way matched the print, marked the angle, sew, verify that all was correct and then cut. I was not committed until everything looked good.

This is the first time I have used digital print fabric. The pros are the amazing details of the dragons and the soft feel of the fabric. The con side for me is that the fabric panels did not lay as flat as printed panels. I wonder if there are any special considerations for machine quilting a digital print quilt top. That is something that I will need to check out.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene