Scrappy Trip-Along (WiP Wednesday)

I’ve got a half-dozen works in progress, but only one of them has been getting very much attention recently.

I’ve been making pretty steady progress on my Scrappy Trip-Along quilt, though I fully expect things to slow down for me now that classes are back in session, and my assistantship starts up again. Thankfully, the scrappy trip quilt is very stop-and-start friendly, and each block doesn’t take too long to go together.

So far I have fifteen blocks, and it’s almost big enough that I’ll have to lay it out somewhere else soon.

Scrappy Trip 15 blocks

I made ten blocks straight off, start to finish, and then I made 20 6-strip tubes, which I’m still working my way though. Once I have all twenty sewn up, I’ll pull out iron and make all their seams lie flat — right now they’re still pretty puffy.

I’ve decided to square my blocks up to 12″x12″ — I had hoped not to have to, but there were enough places where the seam allowance would have been really narrow that I didn’t want to risk leaving the blocks untrimmed. They look much neater, now, and I can live with the blocks being not-quite-perfectly-square on the sides of each block.

If you like this pattern, check out the various projects posted in the scrappy trip-along flickr pool!

WiP Wednesday as the semester first kicks in

The fall semester has been kicking up into gear, so I’ve had less time to work on projects recently. It’s also influenced what I’ve been working on to a certain extent. That said, I’ve still gotten some things done!

I made three notebook covers for classes, following Rachel’s tutorial on Stitched in Color. I’m going to make one more in yellow and red, to match the Plantagenet colors, for my class on the Angevin Empire. And this time, I’ll (hopefully!) remember to add a pocket before I sew it all together!

HST BoM QAL: some progress! I made the second July block & and my first of two August blocks.
July-August HST BoM
-finish second August block (cut and partially pieced)
-fix botched May block already!
-start thinking about how to arrange the blocks & what to back the quilt with.

Knitting lots of progress!
-monkey socks in Persia (Malabrigo sock):
Malabrigo Monkey Socks
The more time I spend on the subway going to and from work/class, the more knitting I get done — I may have to take up hand-stitching things, if the majority of my crafting time continues to be on the subway.

Perk Me Up Bag: some progress.
I finished one side of the bag, which is a patchwork of the various fabrics, and I quilted it, because it’s a lot sturdier that way: I didn’t want to risk knitting needles poking their way through the bag and stabbing someone.
-iron interfacing to back of bag exterior and/or quilt it, too.
-attach pocket to back of bag exterior
-cut strap extender, strap and closure strap, attaching appropriate hardware
-sew lining together with internal zippered pocket in place
-attach lining to exterior pieces
-finish strap and etc.

Simple Math: trimmed a few more blocks!
-finish trimming blocks to 6″ square
-find sashing fabric
-baste, quilt & bind

Baby K’s Quilt: no progress since last week. This one is what’s laid out on my WiP cart right now, but I keep putting things on top of it — I should just get it done! There’s a bit left to work on.
-sew together two more postage stamp panels
-construct pinwheels
-lay out & attach borders
-construct backing
-baste, quilt & bind

Kitchen Window: no progress since last week.
-sort out cut fabrics into groups for individual blocks
-cut black fabric for frames
-cut green fabric for background parts
-start constructing blocks
-fiddle with layout
-make back
-baste, quilt & bind

Spinning: no progress since last week.
-Merino/yak continues to entice me, but I’m not watching much TV, so not much spinning is getting done. Perhaps I’ll watch a move with friends/family one night this week, to give myself some time off before things get crazy. That might be fun.

EZ-Dresden Mini Quilt

This quilt is my entry in the EZ Dresden Challenge:

I considered trying to do a queen-sized traditional Dresden quilt and then decided that, really, I’d like to come out of August with my sanity intact. So I took the little mini-Dresden medallion I’d made up for practice, added a larger one and some fans, and ended up with this:

I’m pleased that this fabric set worked so nicely together: it was a lot of fun to play with it, and I was really pleased when I could cut out a little teacup and have it be just the right size for the center of the medallion.

I’m proud of the way some of the spokes line up:

Though there are spots where they don’t line up quite as well as I might have hoped:

The fans in the corners aren’t perfect, but I think they came out pretty well:

I’m proud of the way the quilting looks on the back of it, though I’m sorry I didn’t go get more fabric: the seam is more distracting than I expected:

Still, it’s going to hang on a wall (see the little corners?) so I suppose the back won’t get all that much attention:

And one more shot of the whole thing:

Now I have a question for all of you who have made Dresden quilts before: do you find rounded or pointed spokes easier to make? I found the pointed ones much easier than the fans, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to round the edges that I didn’t think of.

Mini-Dresden progress

Well, I have to admit to not following my own to-do list when it comes to this one. I decided that I wanted to machine-quilt on the Dresden medallions, and that tumblers on the back would detract from the effect of the quilting. So instead I pieced together two pieces of dark brown, to provide a little bit of contrast from the more chocolatey brown of the front, and machine-appliqued the two medallions on.

Here’s what the front looked like just after that step:

Here’s what the back looked like:

Isn’t the concentric pattern pretty?

Then I finished piecing and ironing the fans for the corners, and attached them, again by machine applique. I’m definitely doing all pointed medallions for my larger quilt, because folding the edges under by 1/4″ on the fans was a huge pain.


Now I need to decide what to do for the center of the circle and the centers of the fans. I may fussy-cut a teacup print for the center of the main circle, and then use quarter-circles of pale blue or dark brown for the corners. I think probably brown: I don’t want something as eye-catching as the blue for the corners, because it would draw attention outwards, when I want all attention on the medallions!

I think that since this is a mini-quilt, probably destined to live on someone’s wall (I’m planning on putting in little hanging-friendly corners when I bind it), that appliqueing the medallions and their centers down should be enough quilting to make it sturdy enough: I can’t think of any way to quilt the border areas without detracting from the clean lines it has right now. I’m tempted to try to quilt a zig-zag line that mirrors the Dresden’s spokes, but I don’t think I could pull it off successfully.

Then I just have to make my mind up about binding!

Blocks of the Month, halfway done.

Hooray for holiday long-weekends: I was able to catch up on the Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month Quilt Along last week. I finished second blocks for January through May and made one block each for June and July — then I ran out of squares of white fabric and had to stop. Poor packing — next time I’ll know better.

These are my January blocks:

These are the February blocks:

These are the March blocks:

These are the April blocks:

This is my second May block: (the first one is still not fixed)

This is my first June block:

This is my first July block:

A number of the points on the blocks aren’t matched as precisely as they might be — it’s visible in the June block, for example. It’s true of a number of the second blocks, which has a lot to do with having sewn them on the Singer 66, with a little less attention to spare for making sure everything lines up, since I’m concentrating on treadling, too.

I’m not a hundred percent happy with the make-up/final appearance of all of the blocks, but I’ve been regarding this quilt-along as a learning process in selecting fabrics. There are some blocks I’m particularly happy with: the all-solid January block and the July block are favorites of mine right now. I’ll have to see how it all comes out in the end. :)

It seems appropriate to link up to WIP Wednesday today, given that this project is almost exactly halfway done: I’ve got twelve of my final twenty-four HST blocks.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Other works-in-progress that I’m working on (or planning, but haven’t cut just yet) are a knitting bag for a friend, using the Perk Me Up fat quarter bundle, which just about yelled her name at me when I saw it. I’ll be using this pattern, with the modification of adding both an inner, zipped divider pocket as in the orange example in the linked post, and a set of flat pockets for knitting needles and other tools, along one of the inner walls of the bag.

I made two Dresden wheels of the coffee fabric — at first I thought I’d applique one onto the bag, but that idea died a swift death. Now I’m thinking about putting together a mini quilt for the EZ Dresden Challenge, with three wheels on the front, one larger and two smaller. I would have pictures, but it was dark by the time I finished the second one on Tuesday evening.

I was going to try to make a large (queen sized) Dresden quilt for the EZ Dresden Challenge, but I decided that trying to make, quilt, bind and finish a queen-sized Dresden quilt by August 31st when I have class, volunteer work, a MA thesis to finish, and plans to go to Europe for eleven days in August (though it’s not set in stone — I don’t have tickets yet…) — well, I figured trying to shove in a complicated queen-sized quilt on top of that was a little bit crazytown.

Still, these are 16 of the 20 colors I’ll use, when I do start that quilt, which I will in September:
Blue Brown Dresden trial wheel

In the meantime, last night I cut up some red Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 and some off-white Kona cotton to put together a Film Strip / Little Plates quilt — inspired by Books Bound’s recent baby quilt, which is based on Crazymomquilts’s Film Strip quilt. I also looked a little bit at the pattern in Elizabeth Hartman’s Practical Guide to Patchwork, which pairs prints with prints in some blocks. I’ve been looking for a pattern that has comparatively large pieces of fabric, to show off the typewriter keys and the larger numbers of the Circa 1934 prints, and this looks like it’ll be fun. It also looks like it’ll be a fast project, which is something I’m really looking for — for some reason I’ve been itching for a finish for the last few days.

Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month

Happy belated 4th of July! I hope everyone who celebrated it had a good time. We watched fireworks over the horizon and met up with. neighbors and friends.

But back on topic! Remember this?

Man, do I feel behind! Jeni just posted the July Block, and I haven’t even made up a single June block yet!

Last weekend I was able to trim all of my half-square triangle blocks for my second blocks for January-May, and two sets for June,, but not to sew them together, because I couldn’t figure out how to change the stitch length on the sewing machine. Why? Well, it’s a Singer 66. I don’t have a picture of it just yet, but this will give you an idea.

This is actually the machine I learned to sew on, but when I was learning (oh, twelve or fifteen years ago, now) my grandmother was taking care of my sister and me and she knew how to make the machine dance. In contrast, my approach to it is “Think really hard: maybe I can logic it out!” and my mother’s is “Turn everything that turns, oops, that’s not supposed to come off!” For some reason, these were not the ideal approaches.

So I’ve done a little online research on the Singer 66. That let me figure out how to adjust the tension and stitch length I oiled all of the various joints and hinges. It works more smoothly now, and I’ve been able to see up my second blocks for January through May. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish my June blocks and one of the July blocks: I didn’t bring enough white fabric with me to make two sets of July blocks. I’ll still be closer to caught up than I was before. :)

Block of the Month Progress

I’m participating in Jeni (of In Color Order)’s Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month quilt along. So far I’ve finished the blocks up through April, and I can’t decide if the pinwheels or the flying geese are my favorites.

I am very proud of the way the pinwheels all line up in their centers, though.

I’m not stopping with April, of course. And I thought I had finished May’s block, before I realized that I had flipped two of the light-blue half-triangle squares. I took the one side section off, flipped it 180 degrees, and thought “There! Now the light blue triangles are facing the right direction!” And then I looked at it, and realized that now the corner blocks faced the wrong way.

I’m not very pleased by it right now, but once I’ve forgotten about the amount of ripping and re-sewing I had to do, I’ll probably be a lot happier with it. I’ll probably fix it over the weekend, and also get June’s block cut out, because it looks like one I’m going to like quite a bit.

I’ve been half-seriously considering doing two blocks for each month, to put together a larger quilt top when this is all over. Of course, that simply highlights the fact that I haven’t the faintest idea what on earth this quilt will be when I finish it: a gift for someone, presumably, but for who? I have no idea.

It’s funny: I appear to be very much a process quilter, while I’m sometimes a very product-oriented knitter or spinner. Who knew?

Mixtape progress and Block of the Month question

First of all, here’s the rather pathetic progress I’ve made on the Mixtape quilt since the last time I posted about it:

I’m looking forward to finishing it up, but I think it’s going to have to wait until the end of the semester: something about the potential finished-ness of it once I sew in the long sashing strips is giving me pause.

In the mean time, however, I’ve changed up the fabrics I’m using for the Block of the Month quilt:

The new one in the dark blues is the cities print from 1001 Peeps; the yellow dotty ones are Ta Dot by Michael Miller, which I’m fond of.

Here the light blue has benefited from the addition of some Ta Dots as well.

And because just cutting them was putting far too much temptation in my way, here are two blocks that I’m almost ready to sew together:

This is the March block, and I think I’m pretty okay with how it looks.

This is the January block. And for this one, I could use some advice: which orange? Or should I pick something else entirely from the fabrics I showed above? I’d love a second (or third, or so on!) opinion, because I’m really not so sure about this one as it sits now.