September 8, 2015 § 15 Comments
Between trying to finish this quilt, going back to school, and dealing with my rib all summer I know I have been a less-than-present blogger. I’m happy to say that my rib is now A-Okay! Hurray! And… I’m a happy to announce that this quilt is finished! Hazzah! And… the two classes I am taking are falling into a new sort of rhythm in my life. Maybe there will be some resemblance of blogging again. I found a few drafted blogging ideas that I had been working on, so we shall see how this goes. So many ideas, so little time.
The heart blocks in this quilt were made by the ladies in the Faith Circle of the Do.Good.Stitches Flickr group. They did a fantastic job! Thank you ladies! While my hubby is replacing the wood on the deck, there is way too much stuff in front of our shed for a decent photo shoot. So I walked over to the elementary school near us to take some photos. Late afternoon sun makes for some interesting shadows.
I’m quite happy with the way this quilt turned out. Although my quilting is less than stellar, once washed the quilt transforms into that crinkly, cozy goodness that I love so much. I decided to free-motion quilt long strings of hearts on the quilt.
And the plaid on the back was a sale fabric acquired some time ago. It worked perfectly. I even made an effort to match the plaids in the center seam. As always, click on the photos to see a bigger version.
This quilt, as are all made by the ladies in the Faith Circle, go to Restore Innocence, an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
~ Jeremiah 31:3 ~
May 12, 2015 § 14 Comments
Some dear friends recently added a baby boy to their family. And when I saw this quilt made up in a local quilt shop I just couldn’t resist making it for them. The fabric is just SO stinkin’ cute! And it reminds me of my roots, growing up on a farm in Iowa.
The fabric is from Studio E and called Farm Friends. The center of the quilt is a book panel that is cut apart and sashed with coordinating fabric. The pattern is free. I couldn’t find it on the Studio E web site but did find it over at Fabric Depot.
The way that the sashing is cut to frame the book panels is goofy. It wastes some extra fabric. But it works. I recalculated the math so that it didn’t waste so much fabric. In addition, the shop where I purchased the kit gave extra yardage beyond the pattern requirements. So much so that I was able to piece it all together for the backing. I love the back as much as I love the front! And look! There is a black “Charlie” cat in the story that is making me grin.
May 3, 2015 § 14 Comments
A year and a half ago, Sherri Lynn Wood of Dainty Time sent out a call for folks to test out her improv quilting methods for a future book. Thinking that I might learn something, I signed up. As her book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters hits the shelves this week. I thought I might share my experience in making a test quilt.
The improv methods or techniques that Sherri uses to get you started are called “scores.” Something akin to a musical rhythm or classification like polka or waltz. Each of the test quilters filled out a questionnaire that included what they felt their current skill level was in terms of improvisational quilt making. I felt like a beginner, so I was assigned a score that was suitable for beginners.
At the same time that the instructions were being sent for our particular scores, my mother passed away. And my assignment quickly became a therapeutic outlet for processing my grief. I’m a little self-conscious about sharing my process because of this. But, then again, it’s a part of my quilting journey. While my quilt wasn’t chosen to be included in the book, I would really like to try this score again as well as develop my own version of some of the other scores in Sherri’s book. Her techniques for creating improvisational quilts are both directive and freeing. You’ll have to try one for yourself to experience just what I am talking about.
Below are a few photos that I took as I was making this quilt. I started with a limited color palette and it quickly morphed into so much more. Maybe too much for this simple score? My assigned score was called Floating Squares. Our rules included cutting fabric without rulers. That in itself was hard for me at the beginning. But it got easier as time went on. You can see more examples of Floating Squares from other test quilters in Sherri’s Floating Squares Flickr gallery.
As I went along cutting and sewing and remembering my mom, the old hymn It Is Well With My Soul kept running through my head. The first line of the song starts with “when peace, like a river, attendeth my way,” hence the name of this quilt. My sewing became more water-like as I went on. When I shared what I was doing with my dear friend, Letty, she shared a photo that she had taken of rippling water that was so much like the vision for this quilt that it was uncanny.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
April 3, 2015 § 14 Comments
I wish I was a 1 or 2 project-at-a-time kind of gal. But I’m not. There is always another project that draws me away from my current one. Lately, someone has been pinning lots of Dear Jane quilts on Pinterest which prompted me to take at look at what I’ve got. Only 61 out of 225. Sigh.
I started out pretty strong in the beginning, back in 2010. It was my original goal to have it done by now. Five years later! I think the last block I finished was in 2014. But that was the only block made in 2014. And I was using the book as a sort of diary, keeping track of when each block was finished and noting something that was going on in my life at the time.
When I posted the photo above on Instagram this week, we started talking about alternative layouts. So I played around in EQ this morning and drew up a few ideas.
This one uses a contemporary improv style layout and all 61 blocks that I have done. It is tempting to stop with what I have and finish them up! But it doesn’t stay within my original plan of only a red & white themed quilt.
This one uses 77 blocks and wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to finish. It’s definitely an option. And I have always loved the various versions of a plus or cross quilt. Very tempting…
This one uses 116 blocks which makes me approximately 53% finished. This one is tempting because it would give me an opportunity to make a few more of the blocks that make the Dear Jane quilt so unique & interesting. But it also means that I am a LONG ways away from finishing.
I originally started making the Dear Jane quilt with the goal of hand piecing all the blocks to overcome my intimidation of hand work and to improve what little skill I had. I feel like that original goal has been accomplished. But I also started with the most simplest of blocks. So some of the blocks that make Dear Jane so cool and intriguing have not yet been made. Which calls to me to make a few more blocks! Oh the dilemma!
Whatever I decide to do (and I could be persuaded in any direction)… At least they look pretty on my wall at the moment.
February 20, 2015 § 8 Comments
I have become a very lazy blogger. Therefore, I am giving myself a goal to post something at least once a week. Anything! Something!
So…. this is a little bit of the sewing that I have been doing. My local quilt shop is making Moda’s Modern Building Blocks quilt as a block-of-the-month in prints, instead of solids. And I have been making the sample blocks each month. I have really been enjoying these blocks! Above is the first four months worth of blocks. We are breaking each section in half to spread it out over the entire year.
January blocks #8, #19, #44 and #12
February blocks #41, #39, #20, #42, #10 and #17
March blocks #6 and #5
April block #1
As I have been making these blocks, I’ve decided that it is worth the extra effort to trim off all the points. It just seems to make them sew together better. That is a whole topic in itself for another day. But suffice it to say, that as fussy as it seems, it is worth the effort to cut off those scraggly points.
For the half-square triangles I have been using this 8″ Bias Square ruler. I have no idea when or why I bought this ruler, but it’s in with my basket of other rulers so I may as well use it! There are lots of other brands that also square up half-square triangle blocks.
And for the points on 90-degree triangles I have have been using the Precision Trimmer that I picked up with my Star of Chamblie kit. That was going to be my winter project but I haven’t yet had the time or energy to dig into it. Again, there are lots of rulers out there that trim a variety of points.
So many projects… I did clean up my sewing room today in anticipation of a little free-motion quilting. Stay tuned for some finished projects in the near & far future.