French generals part deux

I started the Estrella quilt last week.  I’m trying to use up the scraps from my last French General quilt, all the lovely reds and beiges.  Of course as with any of my attempts to use up scraps, I needed to buy more fabric.  I bought the jelly roll, to see the full line of colors, a few of the pinks and a couple of the reds. Only half yards though, which made it a bit easier on the pocketbook. There may be enough for another red and white French General quilt. In this pattern there is pink, which I feel really ties the reds and beiges together.  After finishing the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Frolic, Estrella is like an easier version.  Lots of chain piecing and units and smaller blocks.  On the design wall I have all the colors hanging and labeled with their letters.  when I am making a unit, I see if I have the same fabric called for, or if not I can use a similar shade of my left overs.98D166C1-11AC-441A-BD1D-AD55B5281737

The first nine block parts are underneath the strips.  I really like the way these units go together to make a very large block with secondary and tertiary patterns that evolve.Instructions_Estela

I think this pattern would make a great scrappy project as well, although it would drive a person batty to try and keep the shading and values in control. I think one could make one block at a time, rather than sewing all the units and then putting them together.  Not the way I prefer to work, but it could be done.

This week I have finished quilting the feathered star (yay!) even got the binding on.  Which opened up the frame for the Live Simply quilt.  It is large, 96″ X 96″, I am using a linen backing, which is soft and drapes nicely.

I’m using a block design I got from One Song Quilting, called Feathers and Pearls 1.  I resized it to fit the 10 inch log cabin.  They stitch out in about 8 minutes, so 8 minutes x 64 blocks = about 8.5 hours.  Not too bad, and probably about the same amount of time to do a pantograph. I like the density of this design too, I think that it will help the quilt maintain its shape once it is washed.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for “Put Your Foot Down”, lots of log Cabin-y goodness going on over there with the Island Batik Challenge.

 

Fra-la-la-la

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Layout with out sashing

I spent my weekend working on Frolic.  So many pieces, so many times I was ready to quit.  There are about 3400 pieces, a bunch of extras were made because it made the instructions easier to give/follow.  There are 25 whole blocks and 14 half blocks and 4 quarter blocks.  On point settings with sashing to make up the secondary design.  Wow, this quilt has A LOT going on.  I am pleased with how my scrappy approach to the stars turned out.  Due to a bit of over zealous chain piecing, I had to make them mixed.  I matched the tones so from far enough away they look like solid stars.  I wasn’t going to un-sew all those pieces.  I am going to do the saw tooth borders, looking at the Quiltville Facebook posts, many people aren’t doing Bonnies style borders.

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Half done with sashing

This photo popped up on the FB site for what to do with the extra pieces.  This quilter made a backing with them.  I think I may do a small quilt, or maybe pillow shams.  5E58B5C1-F28B-4A41-AC5A-729E62E82EF4

 

Today I want to finish up the top and go do some work on the Feathered Star quilt.  This weekend I also finished knitting all of the pieces of the Oak Cardigan, and got them blocked.  Hoping to get them sewn together and then get knitting on the collar and button bands.  I was all excited to start a new knitting project, but then I realized that I needed to do the collar and bands.  Once the base row is on, it’s pretty mindless knitting, no cables or counting.

 

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.

Missus Miller

I worked on fixing the Mrs. Miller’s Apprentice quilt top this weekend.  Last week I ripped out most of the stitching that connected the columns together, I was able to leave the webbing connections in most of the rows.  So I wasn’t really taking the whole thing apart.  I spread it out on a spare bed, that way I could clearly see all the mis-placed blocks.  I then stuck bright yellow headed pins in each block that needed to be switched out.  You may recall from a previous post that I made a mistake of not using the correct blue and tan squares because they were made from really similar fabric prints.  Bending over the bed to un-pick the blocks wasn’t the best thing for my back, but I think it was easier to see the top as a whole than having it on my design wall where I can only see about 2/3rds of it at one time.  I would pick a block, un-stitch it and put it where it should go, un-stitch the block that was in that spot and pin the correct one in.  I checked the layout four times to make sure every block was in it’s spot.  Then I sewed the row parts and columns back together.  Big sigh.

Okay, now onto the four borders.  Two plain narrow ones, one pieced and one wide outer border.  Since this is a BOM, I had limited fabric, I think it’s still available, but not widely.  The pieced border first, as I wanted to make sure I had enough to do all 88 split cats cradle blocks, ugh.  I wish I had been able to make these throughout the whole preceding year.  Instead, each month, I was instructed to cut four blue squares and put them aside.  This pattern uses the “sew two diagonal seams a square and cut in between on the diagonal” method to make half square triangles.  Not the way I like to make HSTs, I’ll use my EZ-angle thank you.E7AA7A51-1319-43E9-9504-5F50ED23CA1C

I made the 88 HSTs and got them sewn to rectangles, then put two together.  Next I sewed them to contrasting rectangles, then cut them apart.  Pam Buda, the pattern designer came up with this technique.  She doesn’t have a web tutorial, but sells it as part of one of her books.  I googled it, and found that Creative grids makes a Cats cradle  specialty ruler for the blocks. The ruler uses this same technique as I used, but it’s a bit more accurate.  I might want to get one.3D8C6504-EE49-4459-B09B-8B32E4039C1D

 

I spent a few hours yesterday assembling the top. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the quilt blocks are 6 inches finished and the Cats Cradle blocks are 3 inches finished.  I left the final border for today, it’s a simple 6 inch wide one, I think some swirling feathers might be called for on it.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

 

 

Tops

I did some mindless sewing this week.  Putting together the Live Simply top and the last baby quilt tops.  Looking at the picture I realize that it is a whole row shorter than the last two.  Looks like there will be some ripping and resewing in the next few days.69B5C60D-7338-4878-87A7-DABA5A940D44

I finished the eighth clue for Frolic.  Which wasn’t very easy/fun.  I got a bit over zealous sewing clue seven, and sewed the all HST’s together.  I discovered this when I needed them to attach to my QST’s for the flying geese.  So instead of all matchy- matchy 16 of my sets are sort of matchy,  Nine sets are perfect 👌.  I wasn’t going to unpick all those HST blocks. 4C7EB2CE-DB1B-4CBC-A9AE-92E2E3DE7D5D

I’m making head way on quilting the Feathered Star, it’s not as intimidating to me as the Fire Island Hosta was.  I saw a finished one on Instagram and I am getting “inspiration” from it.  Doing a bit of texture quilting and a lot of ruler work.  This quilt is a bit smaller than the Hosta one, with no curved lines, which also makes it a bit easier.

I found some cute (?) or rather appropriate backing fabric for the Halloween quilt I made a few months ago. It was in the clearance pile at Joann’s, 2.50 a yard, couldn’t resist.  I want to get the backing together this week and add it to the TBQ queue. Next up is Live Simply and the Christmas tree quilt then the halloween quilt or I have been thinking of doing Berties Year.  I really need a new quilt to hang in the main room of my house.  I switch them out every month or so. 9B51AE00-FA45-4682-B513-35117C64D9EB

Also this week I’d like to use up some of these scraps of minky for backings or small quilts.  I have seen kits that use six inch wide strips to make a striped quilt.  I don’t want to buy a pattern,  some internet research is needed.  I’m thinking its sort of a quilt as you go type of project.  That was easy I found just what I was looking for Row By Row Minky and this one looks easy too Self binding baby blanket .  The self binding one is the easiest, I especially want to try the one with double gauze on the top and minky on the bottom.

Finally I got this kit from Bluprint that is made with simple quarter square triangles.  The fabric is really pretty, its called Heritage.  I was impressed with the quality of it, usually the Boundless brand isn’t quite up to A-1.  I used my AccuQuilt cutter and was able to cut the twenty fat quarters into triangles (960!) in about an hour.  There are 240 QSTs to make now.  I love chain piecing – it’s so mindless.C33B1EDE-B612-494C-9B0F-3DD37277557A

 

I am ending this post with this beautiful photo my friend Liz took the other day.  This was taken with an iPhone, out at the coast near Santa Cruz CA. EECEFD51-6D35-401B-86FE-FE9920D2C1D9

Linking up with Denise at For the Love Of Geese for Put your foot down #34 today.

Finish line

I finished the three baby quilts yesterday and got them mailed.  I crossed the finish line at the post office when I handed over the package.  Yay! I was so busy yesterday afternoon doing things unrelated to sewing, it was like a reward for binding those three quilts in the morning.  I thought I was done sewing for the day, but I made myself work on the Frolic pieces.  I sewed “just one more” until I was done with all the cut pieces I had.  Im about 2/3rds done with clue 7.  Hard to believe I have been working on this quilt for seven weeks.  I think I average two weeks for a top finish, a little less for smaller ones a little more for larger.B809CCCB-DD46-44C5-9EDE-C3D9E6E8EB8C_1_201_a

All my block parts/pieces are in this zippered bag, funny how this is a queen sized quilt in a gallon sized bag.

@0@0

Or 2020.  I’ve been busy this past week.  In my spare time I’ve been scrolling blogs and admiring the to-to lists, the UFO lists, the best of lists, the must do lists, and the recaps.  Lists, lists and more lists.  I think I did a list post a week or so ago, 2020 Aspirations  yep.  Then I started sewing the four baby quilts, the Bonnie Hunter Mystery, the Live Simply quilt and Mrs. Millers Apprentice.

I got the baby girl quilts quilted, there were two, as one of the babies turned out to be a boy, and I had already made a “girl colored” top.  I was able to fit two across on the long arm and quilt them together.  Just to make it interesting, I used two different pantos, daisies and hearts & bubbles.  The blue quilts are on the frame, waiting to make/finish one more top.

My Frolic pieces are coming together, the sneaky 1/1/20 clue threw a wrench into my keeping up routine.  I have been trying to make 10 sets a day (40 Geese) which is manageable, but I have not started Clue 7 yet.  There seems to be a lot of sets of 41, so I’m thinking 41 blocks.  But she always has a pieced border, or maybe she’s doing medallion style this year? Usually she does on point settings, although Good Fortune wasn’t, was it?Soon we’ll know.

The Live Simply, the amish inspired/colored quilt is webbed and the borders are pieced.  It’s hanging on the design wall, not too pretty at the moment.  I’m auditioning quilting pattens in my head.  Thinking all over feathers, or feathers to go in the cabins. F1BD198D-81EF-401A-AE3D-2F1499BDF999

Last on the to-do list is Mrs. Miller,  I am upset with myself about this top.  I was so careful in putting it together, it’s an on point setting with HST’s setting squares in a diamond pattern.  I did misplace one, near the center, but otherwise everything was going the right direction and in the right place.  Then I noticed the blue triangles were made from two different fabrics.  They are the same shades, but one has flowers and the other has dingle berries  cherries.  These are not where they are supposed to be, there is an inner diamond of one type and an outer diamond of the other.  There were many expletives uttered when I held up the top for a look.  I webbed this top, so I unstitched all the columns and now I’m going to lay it out and remove/replace any blocks not in their right row/spot.  Needless to say the missus is in timeout for a while.

That wraps up week one of this year, only 51 more to go.

 

Organized Chaos

I walked past my sewing room today and was amazed at the mess of it.  It is a big mess of projects, fabric, bins and boxes of fabric, piles of fabric, rulers, papers/patterns, and…more fabrics.  I am working on three main projects right now, Mrs. Millers Apprentice, Live Simply and Frolic.  All are large and all are in various states of done-ness.  I am at the put-together stage of MMA, all the blocks are done, the setting blocks are done too.  The borders need to be cut, but I can’t do that until the main body is sewn together.  I also need 88 more 3-triangle blocks to do one of the outer borders.  Yesterday I worked on months 10 and 11, today I want to get the center part together.  It’s sort of a mini quilt, using nine, 3 1/2 inch blocks that were made each month.  The background story of this quilt is Mrs. Miller (farmers wife) teaches her neighbor’s daughter to sew.  These little blocks are supposed to represent her work.  I like the blues and tans of this quilt, it is one I am making for me.

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Mrs Miller’s Apprentice

The Frolic pieces are coming together too, although I am a bit low on Aqua colored scraps.  I was forced to buy/order more fabric to alleviate this deficit.  While looking through my current stock of scraps for more aqua, I came across a large bag of mixed solid scraps.  They had fallen behind some other piles and had been quietly multiplying themselves for the past few years.  These scraps are from my Amish with a Twist 2 quilt (circa 2015),  I think if I combine them with the scraps from my Gravity quilt and the Live Simply quilt, I’d have enough for a bed size quilt. The colors are compatible in “real life”, what I have in mind is similar to this leader ender quilt that KatyQuilts is making.  I am hoping all the jewel tones will sparkle and shine, AND there will be three less bags of scraps.

I have a scrappy top made from 2 ½ inch squares, from Wedding Dress Blue called Growing Up Odd.  I thought I had a picture of it, but not on this computer.  Not sure if I want to do something with the sashing strips or just go free range squares.

This is my design wall today, it is the least chaotic area in my room today.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.  She has a post about finding calm in December.  I think I need to read it now.

 

2020 Aspirations

End of the year compilations are starting to appear on some of the Quilter’s blogs I follow.  I am impressed with the amount of finishes, but also the numbers of UFO’s (completed and resting).  I’m trying to get a list together of what I want to accomplish next year.  I get stymied though, it’s like an avalanche of images that crashes in my mind.  Too much input.  I’m going to start small, how about January goals:

  1. Frolic
  2. Mrs. Millers Apprentice
  3. Live Simply (log cabin)
  4. 4 Baby quilts – commissions
  5. Finish peppermint poinsettia quilting
  6. Quilt Feathered star

That’s easier.  Goals for the next six months, rather general:

  1. Quilt tops that were completed last year, and before
  2. Keep on top of current BOM, Botanica Park
  3. Start wedding quilt (sept. wedding)
  4. One UFO from Last List 
  5. Construct quilt kits bought in 2019

Number four is the list from last January, I got one of them finished.  There are still three from that list will be included in Number 1.  Looking back on that post there were also some other 2019 goals:

  1. Work on To-Be-Quilted Pile
  2. List/Sell More Quilts in Shops
  3. Design and Make Applique quilt
  4. Use Stash
  5. Make BOM’s
  6. Explore Social Media, Blog

I accomplished All except 3 and 6.  Although I did design quite a few quilts including “Sew She Did”, but the appliqué masterpiece is still just an idea.  Then there’s number 6, I can’t seem to make the leap to social media promotion.  I resist FB postings, although there are a few people that I follow, I just don’t have the enthusiasm nor the follow through to properly use it to my advantage.  Yep, that’s it in a nutshell.  Finally, what about using up stash and quilt kits?  This is going to be a priority this year for me.  I’ll be interested in how this all turns out next year.😁  

 Other Quilty accomplishments from 2019:

  1. PIQF/RD2CA quilt “Sew She Did”
  2. Finished Christmas Fig BOM top
  3. I finished 30+ quilts
  4. I Donated a bunch of quilts
  5. Sold a bunch of quilts

 

That’s all I have for today, I’m going to print this and hang it where I can review it, with regularity.

prefab

On my design wall today are log cabins, these are for the Live Simply quilt.  I spent last week cutting, and cutting all the pieces.  I did it in a very organized way, and separated each color way, size and final destination (block or border).  Four different flat boxes, that can be stacked and relocated easily.  It has been quite helpful in the construction, as I only have to pull out 5 strip sets at a time.  I then sew nine blocks, assembly line style, together.  It takes about 75 minutes to do nine.  I have 56 blocks to make and 27 done so far, I want to get another set done today. Friday another clue for “Frolic” comes out, so I’d like to have room for that to happen.

I have fallen behind on Mrs. Miller, the BOM I am doing for 2019.  The last month should be arriving today or tomorrow. I have two (ten blocks) sets left to make and the last installment is the borders and finishing instructions, I’m not sure if there are more blocks though.  I want to get this top together soon, because I signed up for another BOM that starts 1/15/20.  It’s called Botanica Park, a Wing and a Prayer design, all batiks, medallion style.  You may remember the Forest Floor pattern quilt I made by them.

 

It’s a big (107″ square) quilt too. I’ll be busy with these four projects for the next few months.  Oh yeah, and an order for four more baby quilts.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put you foot down #31 today.

Cutting it up

This past weekend I started cutting fabric for a log cabin quilt.  It was a kit purchased from Craftsy Bluprint a while ago.  There are over 1300 pieces, and four shades of seven colors.  Once I get it cut, it should go pretty quickly.  I noticed after the first day of cutting that my upper bicep on my ruler holding hand/arm was tender.  The next day I realized that I was pressing down with way too much pressure on the ruler as I cut.  Sort of an unconscious attempt to keep the ruler straight.  So I consciously released the pressure and had a better time.  The next day of cutting I started to think about lessening the pressure and what was causing it and realized that my rotary blade was dull.  I had to use more strength in my cutting arm to push it through the fabric.  I switched it out and had a better time of it.  New rule: before starting a large cutting project, change out blades and release the urge to press the ruler through the table. 4EC4F210-180C-48C6-8A29-C67F623889C0

I have a Christmas gift that came to me a bit early, and I’m trying to wait to use it until the day of the holiday.  It’s a Standing Desk Converter I found at Amazon, (no affiliation) in a box in my sewing room.  What is so great about it is that the top of it is the same size as my cutting mat.  My cutting mat is on the table that is also my sewing machine table.  I had an office conference table modified to hold my machine.  It’s a good height for me to sit and sew, but really hard on my lower back to stand and cut.  With the flip of a lever I’ll be able to elevate the mat to a more comfortable level to cut at.  Usually what I do is bring my cutting mat to the dining room table and cut there.  So I’m looking forward to the option of not having to lug all that stuff out to, and then fit it all back into my sewing room.