Friday, June 14, 2019

Hex on the Beach ~ One Year Later

Never again. Never again. I kept saying this to my husband as I painstakingly stitched together hexagon after hexagon, in what is a 1000 hexagon quilt. Each time, he reminded me that I said this after my last English Paper Piecing project, and the one before that, and the one before that ...

I fell in love with Hex on the Beach by Tula Pink when I saw pictures of it surface at Quilt Market a year ago. Throughout the past year, this became my road trip project, my quilt guild project, and my waiting room project. It was super portable, and I just loved having something to do with my hands during those times when I can't be at my machine. This is perhaps why I love EPP.

It was during the final assembly process that I really started to burn out. It would have been good for me to work on something else alongside this project, but for some reason I just couldn't divide myself. And so, I put every other project on hold and after many many weeks of stitching hexagon after hexagon and waking up every morning with my thumb joints in pain, it's finally, finally pieced.

I absolutely love it. Tula Pink's solids & pom poms is one of my favorite fabric collection from last year, so I think this quilt which features all the colors so brilliantly laid out is just stunning. But that being said, I'm still not entirely sure it was worth the effort and the injured thumb joints and all the times I pricked my fingers ...

But it's a lovely quilt top, and I'm sure it'll be lovelier still when I finally get around to quilting it, which at the rate I'm going, means possibly never. But I've come to terms with the fact that I might never get around to quilting all my quilts.

And ... surprise surprise, I already have my next English Paper Piecing quilt all lined up. But I probably won't start it for quite awhile. For the next few months, it's going to be all about machine piecing and machine quilting (with a few accessory projects thrown in), and I'm so glad!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Harris Clutch Wallet

I've clearly been on a clutch wallet kick lately, because even though I only made the Day Trip Cell Phone Wallet a month or so ago, I just finished another clutch wallet: the Harris Clutch Wallet by Diane Spencer Ogg.

What made me particularly excited about this wallet is the fabric I used. While auditioning for this, I found some yardage in my collection that I totally forgot about. I've come to the point in my stash where I no longer really know what I have, apparently. (But that's a problem for another day.) I was very excited to see this fabric, and immediately knew it would be perfect.

This wallet won't hold that much, but it holds my phone and my cards, which really is all I need most of the time anyway. It was a very quick make, even though I had to resew some parts because I misunderstood the instructions. I'm pretty happy with it, overall!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Stargazer Block of the Month ~ Months 1 to 4

Well, I'm quite late in posting this. 4 months late to be exact. Toward the end of last year I surveyed the available block of the months starting in 2019, and I decided to join Rebecca Bryan's Stargazer BOM for several reasons: I thought the quilt was absolutely stunning, I was obsessed with star-themed quilts (still am), and I liked that Rebecca provided multiple sample colorways.

I decided to use the Princess colorway, which is a lovely combination of purples and teals. I would never have thought purples and teals went together ... but Rebecca did. And boy was she right. I also decided to go for the 80" x 80" size, because it was going to be same amount of work as the smaller sizes, and I might as well get the biggest quilt I can out of this!

I had planned to start this in January and follow-along with the class, but then I got really distracted with other things in my life and sort of lost my sew-jo for awhile. But in late April, I feel like I got some (most?) of it back, and so I decided it's time to work on this!

Months 1 & 2 were very, very easy. About the only thing I really had to watch out for was that I didn't end up using the wrong fabrics. Although Rebecca taught freezer paper piecing, I still opted to use traditional paper piecing, because that's what I like most.

Month 3 was quite challenging, and took me a few days to crunch through. My points weren't exactly perfect, but they were good enough for me. Month 4 was even easier than months 1 and 2, and once again the only thing I had to look out for was making sure I used the correct fabrics.

Well, I'm almost all caught up, though not quite because Month 5 had become available recently and I haven't gotten to it yet. But hopefully I won't be quite as behind with this project, going forward!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Mod Mountains Sew-Along

At the beginning of this year I joined 2 sew-alongs. But I didn't blog about them because I had a feeling that I'd fall behind. And fall behind I did. I haven't even started one of them, and the second one ... I'm several months behind too.

So the last thing I need is yet another sew-along, right? Well, when Suzy Quilts started her Mod Mountains Sew-Along, I felt the urge to join in. Suzy has this magic of making everything look shiny, exciting, and fun, and I felt myself being pulled in. I tried to resist it, but the clincher? It's a scrappy quilt.

My scraps are seriously getting out of hand, and Mod Mountains is just perfect for me to dig into my scrap bins. I decided on a palette of hot pinks, purples, and yellows.

Mod Mountains is what I call structured improv, because while there's a bit of improv in the mountains themselves which is what makes them so adorable and quirky, the final blocks are all triangles of the same size, satisfying my need for structure.

Laying them out on the design wall is so fun. I love how Suzy's pattern provides guidance for the color layout, to ensure that even though it's scrappy, it's still balanced. For color-challenged people like me, this is super helpful. When I use my own palette instead of a kit, I'm always nervous if it will work, but I think this does! At least, I love it.

This is my first quilt with triangles and I was a little worried it would be hard to put together. But there aren't any matching points in this quilt, which really helps. I think it turned out really well by my standards. Every time I look at this quilt top, it really makes me smile, because I love the scrappy prints so much!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Cross Stitch

I had been on a swirl diet. I was using swirls too much (or so I thought) so I decided to force myself to not use swirls for a bit. For several quilts in a row, I stayed away from swirls.

Well, the fast didn't last very long, because I missed them too much. At the end of the day, swirls are the easiest and most versatile design in my arsenal. They're a high bang for the buck design because they're fast, forgiving, and they look much more difficult than they really are. So ... I'm going back to swirls!

This quilt uses the pattern Cross Stitch by Zen Chic which features her Modern Backgrounds Colorbox, a collection of low volume fabrics, and for the foreground I used some solids from Art Gallery Fabrics.

I drew out two designs for this quilt, a simple one using geometric designs in the foreground and swirls in the background, and a far more complicated version that emphasizes the negative space and created all sorts of secondary designs. The old me would have gone for the more complicated version for sure, but the new me was willing to recognize that it's not always worth it to go crazy. For one, all that work wouldn't even show up very much in the low-volume prints. So in keeping with my resolution to enjoy the process and and not drive myself crazy doing something really complicated nobody can even see, I picked the simpler design. (I'll save the complicated design for when I have a solid background!)

The cross stitch blocks are definitely the highlight of the quilt, so I used some very simple dot-to-dot designs to quilt them down but also allow all the unquilted areas to stand out.

And of course, I filled the background with lots of swirls. I quilted them bigger than I usually would, just because this quilt is pretty big and tiny quilting would have been lost anyway on the printed background. Ah, how I missed my swirls.

This quilt with its printed background and softer colors is quite different from the kind of quilts I usually make, which is usually high contrast with bright saturated colors. It might not be as me, but I'm still pretty happy with it. Sometimes I just have to step out of my routine a bit.

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Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Powered by Quilting, and Meadow Mist Designs.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Minikins: Day Trip Cell Phone Wallet

I've been on the hunt for a cell phone wallet lately, so I gathered all my patterns and decided that the one that fits my needs the most is the Day Trip Cell Phone Wallet by Sara Lawson from her Minikins Season 2 collection.

However, I was a bit scared to make this because I've heard quite a few comments on Facebook about how this project is challenging for a domestic sewing machine. I even looked into commissioning someone else to make it, but it'd take a few months and I wanted it now, so I decided to try it myself.

A few hours and one broken needle later, it was completed. Was it hard? Actually, it wasn't. But I modified the pattern a bit to make it easier and to fit my needs better. First of all, I didn't want the long strap so I made a wrist strap instead. I also eliminated the front pocket and changed one of the accordion pockets to a regular pocket.

I'm so happy with it! It's not a great sewing job, not by a long shot, but I think it looks nice still (from the outside at least) and by the time it falls apart, I'd probably be ready to make another one. I can't wait to use it on my next night out!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Moonlight

My latest finish, Moonlight, uses Erica Jackman's pattern, Harper. It's a fun and easy quilt using basic Drunkard's Path blocks.

Some quilts are easy for me to to come up with quilting ideas for, and some are really really hard. For me, Moonlight was particularly challenging because of the printed background. Usually my quilts tend to have printed foreground components and solid backgrounds, so when I have a printed background, I really don't know what to do. The usual fillers I like to do in the background would all be too busy for the already busy background fabric.

But I know that dot-to-dot designs usually look good on prints, so that's what I did in the background. And as a bonus, dot-to-dot designs in the background blocks, when placed together, also create secondary designs. But I was also in the mood for some feathers.

I quilted the moons with an alternating design. It's definitely my favorite part of the quilt, it almost has a glow to it next to the indigo fabrics.

There are no solids to be found on the front of this quilt, which is pretty rare for me. But it allows me to quilt it on the lighter side, allowing for a cuddlier quilt than usual. It's really hard to see the quilting on the front though, but the back shows it well!

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Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Powered by Quilting, and Meadow Mist Designs.

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