One of the reasons I haven’t posted in so long was that I was flitting from one project to the next without finishing anything! It was really frustrating for me because I’m someone that likes to focus on one or two projects and see them through to completion. If I’m going to put something to the side than I want to leave it to the side for months. And I really try to keep the number of projects I do that with to a minimum. Right now I have four quilts in limbo land….
But that’s the least of my worries. First I got into knitting, made it 2/3 of the way through a sweater and then ripped it all out- have I restarted? Ummm, no.
Then I got really into the idea of making clothes and got as far as purchasing some patterns, planning fabric and even buying fabric. I even got as far as cutting one set of pattern pieces out. I started with the intention of making a couple patterns from Simple Modern Sewing but they have put way to many patterns on only a couple sheets of paper. Since all the pattern lines are in black and they are all overlapping I can’t tell which lines go to which pattern. It REALLY frustrates me because I was really excited by this book and now I want nothing to do with it! I would gladly have paid extra to have a CD with individual patterns I could print out or for them to print the pattern lines in different colors or ANYTHING to make it possible to discern one set of lines from the other! So I switched gears and bought a couple Simplicity patterns but realized I’m drawn to patterns of clothing I don’t wear. I need clothes that I will wear and use. Enter the simple dress shirt pattern from Simplicity (I think…) I’ve cut most of the pattern pieces out and started a muslin but I can’t concentrate.
I finally realized I needed any easy project, something to express my creativity and gain a sense of accomplishment. But I didn’t want to start anything totally new (I have enough in progress projects at this point!) So I pulled out the fabrics I’ve been collecting to make a Christmas quilt. I’ve always intended to make a simple bowtie quilt. Since it’s soo easy it was the perfect project and I finished up this quilt top in a couple days :).
I wanted it to be appropriate for Christmas but not to Christmasy. And for me my favorite thing about Christmas is the multi-colored lights. This quilt reminds me of those lights with all its bold colors.
It features a few of my favorite Christmas fabrics but I won’t feel guilty or lazy if I leave it out for all of January and into February.
Ideally I would have made the back and really finished this quilt but I want to wait until Brrr by Laurie Wisbrun comes out and use that for the back.
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I missed out on the Alexander Henry Ghastlies prints last year so I made sure to purchase them when they were rereleased this year! I even knew when I bought them that I wanted use them with the I Do pattern from Cherri House. I think the large piecing and simpe design of the quilt works beautifully with these fabrics.
The original pattern called for 12 prints and 12 solids but I felt that would look too busy. I’m not a super scrappy quilt type person. Ultimately I used 12 prints, nine from the Ghastlies and three that I had in my stash. I’ve cut way back on my fabric purchasing this year by focusing on buying fabric that I love. Rather than purchase twelve new prints because that’s what the pattern called for I bought the nine prints I loved. And I think the three prints from my stash work beautifully!
Since the color scheme of the Ghastlies prints is fairly limited and I prefer a limited palette I only used six solids- white, black, two shades of gray and two shades of pink. I wasn’t sold on the pink at first but I went with my gut and LOVE the results. I’m not normally a pink person but this is an exception.
My goal is to have this finished by Halloween but between work and school I think next Halloween is probably a more realistic goal!
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In celebration of my recent birthday I’ve decided to clean out the WIP (work in progress) pile. I’m someone that prefers to finish a project before moving on to the next but for a variety of reasons these projects all got set aside.
Except for the quilt tops which needs to be quilted (those are completely out of hand) the pile isn’t really too bad.
Starting from the oldest I have this quilt top from Bee Modern 1 (I bowed out 2/3 of the way through but some of the other ladies went on to finish a second round) which still needs a back. I started piecing the middle strip but couldn’t decide how I wanted to piece the navy blue sections. I thought about piecing a variety of blues in a variety of widths and lengths (the same way I did the border on the front) but that just feels like too much. So this weekend I went a purchased yardage of basic navy blue and I’m going to use that.
Next up is the Amy Butler Weekender Bag. I started this before we moved! I originally got frustrated with the cording and then put it away “for the move.” My new goal is to have this finished and use it on my upcoming trip to Denver. I got quite a bit done on it this weekend but it certainly involved a lot of four letter words! Me and my sewing machine were made for quilting not luggage making.
Third is this quilt made from the Echino bird print. Since it’s small I thought it would be a good time to try my hand at free motion quilting on my regular machine. I made it through three flowers and while I was certainly getting better it was not an enjoyable experience for me and this quilt has sat for months waiting to have the quilting finished. This weekend I admitted that I will never finish free motion quilting it so I ripped out all of the quilting and plan to do random straight lines.
Finally I have
Quilt tops that I paired with quilt backs and now need to take some time on the longarm to complete.
Once all these projects get done the only outstanding work in progress I will have is the hand quilting on my Single Girl but I’m not planning on rushing my way through that.
I’m trying to make myself finish all this before I start anything new but it’s hard! TH got me a framed purse kit for my birthday and since it’s such a quick project I could definitely finish it before Denver. And those quilts…. considering my work travel schedule it will take me weeks to finish longarming them. Do I really want to wait? Of course if I don’t and I do start another quilt I’ll just have that many more to get through. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll try to stick to non quilt projects until I work through my pile. We shall see.
What’s on your worktable today?
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I know that sometimes the fabric can make the pattern and vice versa so I imagine when someone makes a quilt in a pattern that makes people fall in love with the fabric the designers are both very happy. But when someone takes a quilt pattern and goes in the opposite direction of the designers aesthetic I have to wonder if that makes the pattern designer happy or horrified.
This quilt pattern is from Boo Davis’ book “Dare to be Square” and her style can probably be summed up as modern rock and roll with a tagline of “made with hate”. I have to think a rock and roller would not want her edgy mostly solid owl turned into a patchwork of pastel florals copied from vintage sheet designs. But I guess that’s the risk you run when you publish a pattern or release a fabric line.
The designer’s preference aside I think the fabric and pattern work beautifully together. It’s actually not at all my usual style either…. But something about these not to sweet prints were calling my name a year or so ago and I went ahead and purchased a fat quarter set of the entire line! This quilt (in case you were curious) barely put a dent in my stack.
The book was a Christmas present last year and I always knew the first project I would tackle would be the owl. But until now I couldn’t decide on a color scheme and while I like the two-color mostly solid with edited addition of monochromatic prints featured in the book I didn’t have any small scale prints that would suit. So I went to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and fell in love!
I thought about gifting this to my sister if she is having a girl but I think I might just have to keep it instead…
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In addition to working on my swap project I also finished piecing a quilt top/back. It’s my first two sided quilt. There is really is no back to it although I suspect the blue side will spend more time facing up on our couch. I love the curry yellow especially during the dreary winter months but it can be a bit overwhelming on sunnier days.
I went back and forth on how to quilt this. Since the two sides are so different I really had to find a design that would work equally well on both sides. I finally decided to do circles radiating from the center of the wheel (which I intentionally offset to the side and bottom). I’m thinking I’ll space the lines about two inches apart but we’ll see once I get started. First TH needs to make me a giant compass so I can draw the lines to follow. I in no way trust myself to freehand or eyeball it!
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I joined the “Finish It Up!” group on Flickr weeks ago and have finally finished a project. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve made significant progress on a number of quilt tops but I hadn’t actually finished anything until now.
I made this quilt as a way to use up some fabric I’ve had sitting on the shelf for awhile that I was no longer in love with. I’m going to donate it to the local Project Linus group. At one point (back in January) I thought I would make one quilt a month to donate but seeing how it is August and I just finished my first one I think I’ll make a more reasonable goal of finishing one more before Christmas. Hopefully since I’ve actually got another quilt top and back ready to be quilted I will accomplish this goal!
I used a plastic hexagon template and mostly fabric from Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley fabric line with a couple random prints thrown in. I found sewing the hexagons together to be too time consuming and doubt I’ll make another one of these again. In fact I actually prefer the back of this quilt! I free pieced the remaining scraps of fabric and really love how it came together.
I found the red fabric I used for the binding in my stash and honestly I have no idea where it came from! Does that ever happen to you? For the quilting I used my free motion foot, dropped my feed dogs and outlined the sides of the rows. The quilting isn’t all that pretty (it’s my first real attempt at free motion) but I like the look of the quilting.
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After taking so long to find some of these Lush prints and then hoarding them for the “perfect project” having this quilt top done feels a little anticlimatic. I think it’s because there are so many other prints in here that it doesn’t feel like a “Lush” quilt. My intention was to add interest and color with the other prints but now I feel like the deer prints have been lost in the mix…
Don’t get me wrong, I love this quilt and I love all the colors in it. I just think the next time I won’t use anything but solids with the Lush prints and I’ll stick to the predominate color scheme of blues and greys so that the deer stand out. Oh well.
What are you working on this week?
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