Another Half Panel And Let The Sashing Begin


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As you know, I bounce around a lot!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get bored FAST and like to move from project to project. It takes longer to finish up but being able to revisit a project with fresh eyes seems to help me creatively.

That said…

Today, I bounced back to my Stairsteps quilt. Last time you saw it, I had three panels completed.

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Now there are four and one half. With one half to go and then I will begin sashing with my avocado fabric. Only have about two yards of it but that should be aplenty for sashing. 3-4″ between each panel and on the sides. I have been building these strips for a time now and am really excited to finally see the panels sewn together. If I don’t “bounce” around for the next two days, I just might get this quilt top finished this month.

The burgundy fabric I am using is just about used up. I am having to be very protective of it and carefully cut the sashing strips. No room for error. I already checked the web and wasn’t able to find it anywhere. I guess it is out of print. I am hoping I have enough for the border. A long and narrow pillow with the same strips and burgundy sashing would be pretty. But don’t think that is in the cards. I have my fingers and toes crossed that I have enough burgundy for my quilt.

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You can see how long the panels are (77″) in this photo. I am thinking with the sashing and borders, this is going to be a big’in. 😀

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Wish me luck!!

I Need 22 More Wonky HST Blocks


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Each block takes 24 half-square triangles. 624 used.

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Hopefully I will have enough HST’s to finish. I am guessing I had about 1000 created from my Hugs and Kisses blocks. They are different sizes and I didn’t want to trim each one. So I am using them as is. In all their wonky gloriousness.

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I am so glad I took the extra time to sew the seam across the “dog ear” triangle before trimming. Otherwise I would have been left holding the bag. The bag full of individual triangles.

OK… back to sewing.

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Did you have a great Memorial Day? What did you cook? Send me some. 😀


Linking to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/05/linky-tuesday_28.html

It’s SPRING And Everything Is Growing


The month of April was all about digging, cutting and trimming. Nope, not outside. Inside. In my sewing room. Having a love affair with my scraps. Oh how I love thee.

It is so satisfying working with scraps, even the teeny tiny pieces. If you have worked with them, then you know how time consuming the process can be. It takes weeks, even months to “grow” them into a piece large enough for a quilt. I even have names for my latest scrap projects. Hot Pockets. Stairsteps. Wonky HST’s.

Want to see?

This is HOT POCKETS.

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At first I was just piecing together scraps. Mixing up the fabrics and colors. Then to make it more interesting, I decided to add a square of polka dots here and there. Little pockets.

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So far, I have orange, lime and pink sections. Lots more colors to add. Except for the pocket square, it is 100% scraps. Probably a few more months of piecing.


STAIRSTEPS is next. Last month I showed you the beginnings of this project. It looked like this.

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It was made with cut off ends from my Scrappy Trip Around The World blocks. Didn’t have many so I created strips from scraps.

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At first I named this project Dominoes. But after taking about 30 photos, I started seeing little burgundy steps. Stepping down row by row.

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So calling it Stairsteps just made more sense. I LOVE creating these strips. I have pulled from everywhere. Charm packs, scraps purchased on Ebay, fabric from friends, stash. But mostly my scraps. Sashing is 1 1/8″ wide and I get three strips per WOF.

Three panels are completed. They are hanging on my design wall with avocado fabric in the background. I plan to use it for sashing.

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This photo shows how I want it to look when finished.

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WONKY HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLES (HST’s). Except for the white filler triangles along the outsides, this project is 100% scraps.

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If you remember my Hugs and Kisses quilt, all those snowball-type corners created a ton of cut off ears.

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I wasn’t sure what I would do with them but saved them anyway. There are hundreds of them. So far, I have made 20 of these wonky blocks. The HST’s are different sizes, hence the wonkiness of the blocks.

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I haven’t completed the design yet. Working on how I want to connect the blocks. I am thinking 50 blocks should make a nice sized quilt. More details coming. More photos to follow.


You may remember me showing you my 5 by 5 blocks last month.

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Well, they grew too!! From 8 blocks to 18. I added aqua/turquoise (love them!!), red, blue, mauve and pink.

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I will probably do a couple blocks in black/white and maybe gray. Still thinking on this one. The final design hasn’t popped into my head just yet. Maybe add a HUGE border to make it lap size.


Even my Block of the Month quilt from my quilt group grew since the last time you saw it. This is April’s block.

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I now have six blocks completed. Half way there.

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Won’t have the quilt top finished until around the end of November. One block per month. But I have been auditioning fabrics for sashing and borders. Leaning toward more of the purple for the final border and maybe the back.


Not too many finishes for April. Just a few. I will post photos on my sidebar. The little doll quilt I showed you a couple days ago is finished. I ended up using the mauve fabric for the binding.

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Binding machine stitched front and back.

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And the doll pillow I was making turned out human sized so now I have to start over and piece more squares to make a much smaller one.

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Just one of these should do it. Squares are 1 1/2″.

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Well… that does it for me. I had one Heck Of A Scrappy Month. Happy. Happy. Happy. 😀

What all have you been creating? Do tell.

Green Scrappy Braid Quilt Top Is Finished


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Wow, working on and off, this took almost a month. I added the final borders early this morning.

I LOVE IT!!! My first braided Anything. And mostly from scraps. 95%. That’s the best part.

From this…

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To this…

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It is officially the largest quilt top I have made to-date. Right now, before quilting and binding, it measures 90″ by 94.” As you can see, it fits perfectly on this regular sized bed in the guest bedroom which BTW is only used to house my crafting stuff.

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It has enough of a drop that I could remove the dust ruffle. (Do people still use dust ruffles, LOL!! I still do.)

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For the back, I already started making more braid panels. I will probably cut some larger squares from leftover green scraps. And piece together what I can to make it large enough. I won’t spend a lot of time on it, that’s for sure. Already invested too many hours on the top.

After I quilt it, I want to make two pillow shams. I saw the cutest pillows that look like shams on the net (can’t remember where), loved them, will make them.

I am so glad I decided to try my hand at this design and learned to make the braids. If I had never tried it, then I wouldn’t have this to show you. 😀

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If you haven’t tried the Friendship Braid, check it out. Super easy. Time consuming, but easy.

Go here. This is what I used.

http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BraidBlock.html


You can read about the making of this quilt top here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/sashing-is-done-time-for-the-borders/

And here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/starched-and-ready-to-trim/

Sashing Is Done… Time For The Borders


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Seems I have been working on this Green Scrappy Braid Quilt forever. And I HAVE!! For about four weeks. On and off. With a few other projects being worked on in between.

But I have good news. The sashing is finished. And I can now move on to the outside borders.

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Initially, I wanted to use this green fabric. But didn’t think I had enough.

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And to buy more at the price/shipping the seller was asking would have ended up being more than I wanted to spend on a scrappy quilt. Overkill. So “Babble”, the name of the fabric, went back to my stash. (And thank you, Sonnethawk, for your help in locating the color I needed. I bookmarked the site.)

I think this apple green with butterflies works just fine.

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It complements all the various shades of green I used for the braids.

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For the inside borders, I decided on a black fabric with white loopy loops. It is busy. But I like it.

This quilt top will be the second largest quilt I have made to-date. (The American Heroes quilt being slightly larger.) Right now without the outside borders, it measures 82″ across and 65″ down. Borders will be 2″ on the left and right and 4″ on top and bottom. So I am thinking it will end up somewhere around 86″ by 74″.

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I am calling it my Scrap Buster. Except for the sashing and borders, it was made with about 95% scraps. For variety, I ended up cutting strips from a few FQ’s and my stash but mostly it was from my green scrap bag.

Remember the photo I showed you a month ago?

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This is what that bag looks like now. SWEET!!

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I will use even more scraps to make a pieced back. More braided panels. At least two. 92 strips per panel. Then I will piece together leftover scraps and see how close I can come to the measurements for the top. For sure I will need to add from my stash. The same green and black I am using for sashing and borders.

My plan is get the quilting done This Year. Not sure when but this year. I am determined NOT to go into next year with a bunch of quilt tops in need of quilting. 😀

How about you? Are you working to reduce your UFO’s? Have you finished anything yet this year? Do tell…..


Go here for directions to make your own braided quilt.

http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BraidBlock.html

My Braid Block… It’s Beginning To Look Like….


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HEY!! It is beginning to look like a quilt top.

Sewing these strips is soooo addicting. Try it. I bet you can’t just sew a few. Once you start, you end up sewing for at least an hour.

I now have two sections finished. Each with 92 strips. 5″ across and 68″ down. (The sections aren’t sewn together. It just looks like it.)

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I stopped there. Didn’t want to do any ripping out later if I decide to go shorter. I can always add more strips if I want it longer.

What do you think of this fabric for the binding?

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It is green but it does have an unusual design. I don’t think it will get lost in all that green. I have it pinned to the quilt top in the first photo. The green in the center has butterflies. It will be the sashing.

Boy, this design sure uses up lots of strips. Perfect for scraps. I only have about 150 cut strips left. And here I thought I cut too many.

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Hopefully I can get another 150 from my leftover scraps. Then I will have to use my stash. But that’s a good thing. Feels good using up so many scraps.

Well, got to go to the post office to mail off a couple of packages. I will sew more on my braid quilt later today. Maybe even get two more sections finished. 😀

Hope you are having a great weekend. What are you doing?

Added Borders To My String Circle Blocks


Want to see what I have been working on for two days?

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I decided to give my String Circle blocks some love. Last you saw them I was pondering whether to add borders on all four sides of each block.

As you can see, I went with just two. An “L” design. That way I don’t have so much of a color conflict on all sides. Looking at the blocks, one kind of flows to the next without being a standalone block.

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Six blocks across and six blocks down. Each block measures 11″ by 11″. I started off with a 10″ square for the back and added 1 1/2″ borders. For the borders, I selected two fabrics from the circle.

I am thinking I may add a seventh row. I have 10 blocks leftover. But for now, I am going to start sewing the rows together.

Wish me luck that the seams line up!!

Happy Thanksgiving.. don’t eat too much turkey and pumpkin pie. 😀


Linking to…

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/11/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-better-late-than.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/link-finish-friday-42_23.html

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/finish-it-up-friday-112312.html

String Circles: Starting Over… With Applique #3


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Thanks so much for commenting on which of the three applique techniques you liked and why.

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Three, it is… Not only did #3 get the most mentions, my eyes kept scanning all three and I have to agree with you that #3 does have the “cleanest” look. The applique blends with the circle and doesn’t stand out as much.

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It wasn’t the easiest. Sewing-wise. That would be Applique #1. But I took my time and did my best to be consistent. Trying for the same look.

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Those circles done with Applique #1 have been ripped out, redone and finished. I got different results from the various background fabrics. Some I loved how the applique turned out.

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A few others. Not so much. This ivory fabric with black dots acted so ugly. I think it was too stiff for applique.

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I was only able to get two using the ivory with dots to lie flat. I ripped out and redid them so many times, the fabric looks like swiss cheese. For sure headed to the scrap bin. Or the Trash Bin!!

Remember the yellow ones I HATED? Well, I have to retract that. I am liking them more now. Here is one of them.

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It looks OK. Better this way than before.

Now that the applique decision is behind me, I can move on. I have to decide whether to go borderless or with borders. Log Cabin borders.

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And if I go the Log Cabin route, where should the border go. Sides? Top and bottom? Two borders? Four. More decisions. Or I could just sew all the blocks together plain, no individual borders. And do sashing horizontal or vertical under or between the rows. Decisions. Decisions.

It will be more work and more scrap bin diving but I think I like the individual border arrangement.

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A border on each side using four of the fabrics used in the circle. We shall see. It depends on how much time I want to spend working on it. I have so many other quilt designs in my head. Itching to start on something “fresh.”

Thanks again for commenting and helping me make my applique decision. Hope you will stick around and come back to see my progress.

I just might be finished by Christmas. 😀

One last thing to show you from October. My pillowcases. I made the usual charity ones PLUS I also made a few I will put in my Etsy Shop. So please come back to see them. I will post them in two days. Trying to spread out my posts so you aren’t overwhelmed. 😀

Testing, Testing… Dipping My Toe Into The “Applique” Waters


HELP!! I am so out of my comfort zone. Going to applique my String Circles.

I have only done mostly zig-zag stitches around raw fabric edges. I have to rewind back to St Pat’s Day to remember the first time I tried something different. Blanket stitching. Remember? But this time I wanted to try the applique stitch.

Got my sewing machine ready. Cleaned out the bobbin area. Put in a new needle. Swapped my quarter inch foot for the “F” foot and practiced making a few stitches to see if I needed to adjust anything. Nope. Stitch length seemed about right.

The first string circle I practiced on was one of the yellow ones.

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I pulled it from the pile for two reasons. It wasn’t my favorite. Kind of pale looking and I had been thinking it wouldn’t make the cut. Wouldn’t be used in my quilt. And also the strings crinkled when I ironed them. Meaning either bad fabric or bad sewing. So I figured, what the hay, stitch around it to see what happens.

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Not happy. Nothing to write home about.

On to the 2nd one. Turquoise/Aqua. A circle I liked and for sure wanted it to be part of my quilt.

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I got about the same result. Pulling in around the edges of the circle. Not the flat look I was trying for.

OK.. so what gives.. what was I doing wrong?

Ah, Ha. I know!! Something in my head said “stabilizer”. Some sort of backing. Off I went to dig out what I bought YEARS ago around the same time I purchased my sewing machine (which BTW, embroiders).

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Since I was clueless on which did what, I experimented with both, using the same background fabric.

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And they both turned out the same. No pulling, no ruffles. So… that is what I needed. A stabilizer. (It appears I spent WAY too much on one of these.) But glad to know I could achieve a flat look.

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These aren’t the best applique but with practice and perhaps using my embroidery thread, I should get better at it.

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Questions for you applique experts out there.

  • What stitch do you use for applique?
  • Do you use any special thread?
  • Any tips for me, the Newbie?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. 😀

American Heroes Quilt Update and String Circles Status


UPDATE

If you remember from my post back in July, I made a quilt top for charity, American Heroes. It was patriotic themed and would be presented to a wounded American soldier returning from the war. (Original post at bottom)

Just wanted to show you what my quilt top looks like now after being quilted. It was quilted this month by the amazing Nancy, from one of the many quilt guilds around the country working with charities.

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If you look closely, you can see the design. Banners and stars.

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Isn’t it wonderful!!

Pretty soon, my quilt will be headed to one of the hospitals charged with mending our wounded soldiers. It warms my heart knowing it will go to someone who almost gave their life making it safe for ME. To allow me the freedom to write this blog. Craft all day. Do as I wish. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you, American Hero Quilts, for founding such a worthwhile charity. Thank you, Nancy, for giving of your time, talent and supplies. Also thank you for the photos.


STATUS

I haven’t done much with my String Circles since I last showed them to you. BUT… I did decide on how to connect them and make them into a quilt. I am going to top stitch (applique) the circles onto a 10″ fabric square of beige/cream/ivory.

This is what a portion looks like.

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Lots more to do. I am hoping for a this year finish.

Well, that does it for me. Working on more stuff but none at a stage I can share. Soon.

What are you working on? Do tell….


Go here to read my post on my American Heroes quilt top.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/soldiers-quilt-top-is-finished-and-2-new-umbrella-blocks/

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/american-hero-quilt-6-rows-one-to-go/