Saturday, May 27, 2017

Little stash busting.....

Most of us can relate that we need to do a little stash busting now and again; and what better way to do it but by making some charity quilts.

After working on Hearts and Hands, I needed some mindless piecing.  I needed to make something pretty, but quick.  So, I decided on a baby lone star quilt.  This would probably work well for a NICU quilt.

Anyways, I had a stack of Modern Vintage from Moda that I made a quilt of a couple years back, so I used scrappy grays for the background and the brighter colors for the lone star.

I even had enough for a backing which you can see here hung up next to the Lone Star.

I came across this pattern online  for the lone star quilt when I was looking for something to make up with a layer cake that I had (10" squares).  My layer cake is Strawberries and Lemonade.  From this one layer cake and my stash of whites I got four quilts.

This one was with solid whites.

This one had a swirly white on white.

....and  this one had a scrappy array of whites...dots, swirls and solids.  That about does it for my white stash.

Here's a close up of the fabrics.

With the left over 10" blocks, I just made this one.

Next, I am going to have to do some digging to see if I have backings for the other four and then get them onto the long arm.  

For now, I am feeling pretty good about getting some of my stash busted.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tribute to Hearts and Hands

This "final"block pays tribute to the quilt called Hearts and Hands.  It says it all.  I, also, think that is why I saved it for last.

Although, I told you this block would be my nemesis.  The tiny ring and bracelet  took much thought in how to apply them and the several choices of fabrics for one block was proving to be trying especially after doing this for the previous 116 blocks; and the fact that I had some problems after it was finished.  

I  made it according to the pattern without really checking to make sure it would fit within the required circle.

It did not.

I had to remove five of the little tear drops and move them in.  You can see the problem ones with the pins pointing towards them along with the circle that the pattern was to fit within.

It is fixed.  It is done; and I can now say that Phase I of Hearts and Hands is now complete.

Phase II consists of cutting the background and applying all 117 circle blocks.  

Phase III will be quilting it.  

I am hoping now that Phase I is done, the rest will be easier and much quicker than the eons I spent on those applique and paper pieced blocks.  

So.....stay tuned.  My mission is to complete it before our guilds next quilt show and if I like it well enough upon completion, it just may end up being  entered into the show.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

One more down......

This is the Hearts and Hand block I was not looking forward to doing. 

Not a 100% perfect, but it is done!

I have to admit that I was stymied as to how to go about this one (so many little pieces), so I messaged a friend,  Ardie, who is a prolific appliquer and asked her advice.  

She suggested that I do the heat resistant template method.  All other blocks have either been needle turn or reverse applique to this point. 

I have done the template method in the past but for very large pieces.  You cut a template and starch the seam line and iron it over the template giving you a piece that is ready to stitch down. 

I got my trusty, little  Clover iron out  and in no time I was ready to stitch away.  

Ok.....that leaves me one more block to do.  This one will be a little tricky.  There are a couple of REALLY small pieces on this one, but I  CAN do it!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Two down, two to go......

I am burning out on these blocks, but trying very hard not to let the burn out interfere with my decision making on fabrics for each block.

The last two blocks.....well.....the second to last I am not looking forward to.  I haven't figured out the best way to tackle it yet. 

The last block is crazy intense, but I am trying not to think about it until I get to it.  

Wish me luck.  I am sooooo close.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Swoon for French General

I am not sure how long I have had my Swoon top done, but it was back when everyone was Swoon crazy.

I actually used left over fabrics (French of my favorite fabric lines) from my Beyond the Cherry Trees quilt.

It has been sitting on this pile of quilts designated (by me) to be custom quilted. 

Well, I searched online for quilting ideas; I stared at this quilt for a long time; and I procrastinated doing custom because it just wasn't talking to me.  Also, I think because it is so large (80x80) that doing custom ruler work was just too daunting of a job for me especially when I have other quilts that are "speaking" to me in regards to custom quilting.  

So, I  recently received three new pantos in the mail and one of them was designated just for my Swoon.....Diagonal Plaid. 

I am just getting started on it here.  

Here's a couple close ups of the finished quilt.

I had this fabric from Red Rooster "Whimsicals" set aside for this quilt for some time, too. I think it is adorable.

Here's a close up of it quilted.

Binding has been cut out since the top was done.  So machine sewing it onto the quilt  and then having some evening hand stitching to do makes for some enjoyable in front of the TV hand work. is it I have 6 yards and 7 inches left over of this binding?  Makes me wonder why I made so much.  I usually make a binding for a quilt with just a little left over.  This must have been made for something else? or two quilts? or was I supposed to use it for something else?  I don't know now.  I don't have any other unfinished quilts that this binding would go with.  I am really puzzled by this and what is even more  interesting is that everything for this quilt other than the background was left over fabric from Beyond the Cherry Trees.  So why so much binding?  It's a mystery.

Oh well...... I don't think I am going to remember this one.  I have put a note on the remaining binding so that I know what I have for the next time I do a French General or a red quilt.  

So here's my finished Swoon. arms aren't wide enough!


Here's a close up of the binding.

Nothing like getting another quilt completed on  my APQS Millennium and off my UFO list.  

On to the next one! Woohoo!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cherrywood fabric has arrived!

Thirteen yards !!  Yikes

Ordered over the weekend.

Processed on Monday.

Arrived today (Wednesday)!!  

Now....that's service!!!

.....and to top it off, it's beautiful!

Now the pressure is on to get my Hearts and Hands blocks done.

I did get two more completed.

I am thinking there isn't enough contrast (the little commas) in this one, but will be lost in and amongst the other 116 blocks.

  I like this one but the blocks are getting more intense.

Four more to go.  

I guess there is no stopping now.....not when one is this close.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Decision is made.....

Bronze it is.

I put out the request for opinions here on the blog as to which background worked best and I got a vote of 2 for camel and 6 for bronze.  I, also, asked on a private quilt group on Facebook and got 1  for camel and at last count 29 for Bronze.  

So, the order for 13 yards of Cherrywood Fabric has been placed.  If this order comes nearly as fast as the fat quarters came (four days!), I had better get busy on those last six blocks that need to be appliqued.

Once the fabric is here, I know it is going to be calling my name and I am going to want to cut into it  right away.  

Thanks to everyone who voted and gave an opinion.  Your opinions actually swayed me away from Camel. I know that I like black for backgrounds on other quilts, so it only makes sense to like the dark brown for showcasing my quilt blocks for this one.  

The excitement is building where it comes to finishing this quilt top.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cherrywood fabric auditions..... opinions please!

To refresh your memories, I have been working on Hearts and Hands for some time.  I finally picked it back up with the intention of getting a top finally made.  

There are 117 blocks in total; and I have only six more to make.  

My choices of fabrics for my Hearts and Hands have been in the cream, brown and black families.  With that being said, the name of my quilt is going to be called Cafe au Lait.  So, keeping that in mind, I have chosen three Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics in the brown(ish) tones to use as a background.  

I placed my order for three fat quarters on Tuesday morning of this week and within half an hour I got a confirmation that they had been shipped.  Now that is service!

If you are not familiar with Cherrywood fabrics, I highly recommended giving them a try. They are the most beautiful hand dyes that lend the look of suede but they are 100% cotton.  I am pretty sure there are some Cherrywoods in my blocks and I know for a fact that I have several pieces in my stash that I am having a hard time coming to grips with when it comes to  cutting them out!

Anyways......I am looking for some advice.  Knowing the name that I am giving  to this quilt.... which of these three auditions do you like best?

I am using just a small smattering of my blocks (which I kept consistent on each fabric background), but these blocks are pretty much representative of all of my blocks.

The first one is "Buttercream".

My next choice was "Caramel".

....and the last choice was "Bronze".  

I don't think I have ever felt so much pressure on choosing a fabric for a quilt like I am with this one.  
I think I know which one I like the best, but would really appreciate your opinions and maybe why you chose what you did.  

A decision has to be made fairly quickly.  Cherrywood is already holding two of these fabrics as I need 11 yards and I want to make sure that I get them all in the same dye lot (they only sell in 2 yard increments as their largest pieces).  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Moving right along.....

Still plugging away at Hearts and Hands.

I found that there was one more simple block to do here.  

From here on out though, the rest are getting intense.

This one is four layers thick.

Here's another one.  Not so bad, but those little commas are tricky. 

This one was a doozy with those little fingers. 

Six more to go.

 I've contacted Cherrywood Fabrics to have them send me some fat quarters that I thought might just work out for the background for this quilt.  I was notified within half an hour of ordering them that  they were in the mail. 

Can't wait to see them and audition my blocks.  Eleven  yards are needed to complete this quilt; and now that I am so close, I thought I had better get on the ball and be prepared.

By the next time I post some more of my blocks I will be able to show you my choices for background.  A quick decision will have to be made as two of the colors are already on hold for me.  Since these are hand dyed fabrics and only come in 2 yard increments, they have to set them aside so that there will be enough from one dye lot for me.  

I am getting excited now!  

I said I wouldn't......

I meant it when I said it. But I failed and ended up doing it. I picked up the knitting needles instead of getting back to my pile o...