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.


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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