Sunday Something

Just a brief teaser: this is a small-scale look at what the back of my scrappy trip quilt will look like. I’ll be doing 7×7 12″ squares on the back, in imitation of the scrappy trip blocks. Of course, the cat just had to help:

quilt backing with help

Happy (early) President’s Day and happy Sunday!

A little bit louder?

I’ve really been enjoying the Scrappy Trip-Along quilt, especially seeing all the other pictures in the flickr group — it’s great to see the different color and fabric choices!

I’ve been planning on making my quilt 8×8, to be a (really large) queen size with plenty of drape, with a narrow solid border around the edges, and a plain binding. But I laid out the blocks I have right now, all 48 of them, and now I’m on the fence. I think 8×8 might be too large!

 

I’m considering three things and I would love opinions: please weigh in!
— 6×8 with a 6″ border = roughly 81″ x 104″ Concern: I worry that 81″ x 104″ is lopsided.
— 8×8 and a 4″ border = a neat 100″ x 100″ Concern: I worry that this is too big!
— 7×7 with a 6″ border = 92″ x 92″ Concern: I have an irrational dislike of odd numbers.

 

I laid the blocks I already have finished and trimmed out on my kitchen floor (after moving the kitchen table out of the way). This is what I had to do to get a picture of the whole thing:
me-ladder-cropped

That’s an 8 foot ladder. But from the top of it, I got this picture:
6x8-before1

And after moving some squares around a little bit, I got this one:
6x8-after1

I tested the layout in black and white, and I think it’s almost right:
6x8-after bw

This quilt is going to be a gift, and I want it to be something the recipients can really use, not something that’s just not quite right. So I have to make up my mind: 6×8? 7×7? Or 8×8? Let me know what you think — please!

I have the fabric all cut for the other blocks, so the time or work involved in making the next blocks is absolutely not a concern: I want this to be as good a gift as it can be, not something I think about later and wonder “what if?”

Scrappy Trip Quilt (& other projects)

Well, I’ve finished 30 blocks for my scrappy trip quilt, and officially run out of floor space in the room in which I sew. Ooops. I’m going for either 7×8 or 8×8 blocks, so I’ve got either 26 or 34 more blocks to go. It’s still fun!

30-blocks

I discovered last weekend that I can strip piece perfectly competently while watching White Collar, if I set my laptop up on my sewing table where I can see it. This is either fantastic or completely terrible for my non-quilting productivity: we’ll see.

I haven’t touched my other WiPs in a while: the semester is getting into gear, and the scrappy trip quilt is the one that’s out, so it’s what is getting worked on.

This means that my New Wave quilt tumblers are still just hanging out on a foamcore board: I’m trying to figure out the arrangement of the stripes, and it’s taking me a while to make up my mind. Any opinions? I’d love to hear what you think about how to re-arrange them: I’m not happy with them right now.

Foamcore-pinned1

As for other projects on my quarterly finish to-do list, I haven’t started cutting for the Pinwheels and Postage Stamps quilt yet, because I feel like I already have enough WiPs out without adding more, and I really don’t have space to lay out the pieces of it without having to move them every time I wanted to work on something.

Finally, for people who live in/near NYC:
The City Quilter is having a 20% off sale on Thursday and Friday! You can bet I’m planning on going over.

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!

2013 Finish-A-Long

This year, I’m going to be participating in the 2013 Finish-A-Long. It looks like a lot of fun, and like a great way to get me to finish some of these projects that have been sitting around forever.

she can quilt

There’s no penalty for listing more things than you can finish, so I’m going to make a pretty ambitious list for myself, and see what happens. (I can predict what happens: I don’t finish all of them.)

Let’s start with the biggest ones and work down:
1) I’m going to finish the Scrappy Trip quilt top. This is a pretty big goal for me, while the semester is going on, especially since it’s going to be a queen-sized quilt, but I’m going to go for it. It makes for really good mindless-sewing, so perhaps I’ll have some luck working on it.
Scrappy trip-a-long

2) I’m going to finish my New Wave quilt. It’s all cut — all I have to do is pick the order of the fabrics, piece it, and quilt it. All. Hah. I’m actually pinning the fabrics up next to each other for this one, and I’ll be posting about that soonish.

3) I’m going to try finish up the 2012 In Color Order Half-Square-Triangle blocks, sash them, and quilt the whole thing. These are one of my July blocks, and two of the March block:
July March2

Finishing this up is a bit of a bigger task than it sounds, because I’m doing 2 blocks for each month, which makes for a twin-sized-or-bigger quilt, not a lap quilt. The main question will be figuring out the sashing, backing and binding fabrics.

4) I want to make a Pinwheels and Postage Stamps quilt using two charm packs and two mini charm packs of Simply Color. I think it will look LOVELY. And I’m not sure how big it will end up being — that’ll depend on how much I can eke out of the fabric I have.

5) I’m going to make a handful of little change purses with keychain rings as gifts for friends using this tutorial on Noodlehead.

6) I’m going to make a trio of fabric baskets to hold my 2 1/2″x2 1/2″ fabric squares and my leaders and enders. The main question for this is picking the fabrics!

7) I’m going to make a weighted pincushion organizer for my sewing table, because it would be nice to have somewhere to put thread scraps without bending over to figure out where I’ve put the garbage can, and I actually don’t have a pincushion right now.

And, honestly, that’s more than enough for me to have on my plate for the spring semester, with all the coursework I have in store!

Scrappy Trip-Along

ScrappyTable

I have enough projects half-done that I really ought not take on another one. But we all know how that works, right? The Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt has been flying around, and I’m afraid I caught the bug big-time.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out photographs on the flickr group, or the tag “scrappytripalong” on Instagram. (In fact, even if you do know what it is, go check out those photos, because, WOW, are there some great blocks and quilts going together! I love how very different this quilt ends up from different people’s stashes.)

The idea for this pattern is basically to use up scraps — you cut strips 2 1/2″ x 16″ and put them together more or less at random. The pattern is really quite ingenious. I’ve really only just finished cutting, so I’ve only made a couple of strip sets so far: I’m going to do at least ten, and then pull out the iron and cut them into proper strips and make up squares.
Two-blocks

Compared to a lot of people out there, I haven’t been quilting for all that long. And I tend to cut fabric as carefully (obsessively?) as I can, so I went through all my scraps pretty fast and didn’t have enough strips cut for the size quilt I wanted.

So I went through my “mistake” fabrics — you know the ones, the fabrics that looked great on the shelf or in the picture online, that showed up and made you wonder what you were thinking. Then I went through my fat quarter box and pulled a ton of Jo-Ann fat quarters that I bought on sale a few years ago, to so “something” with. And then, with absolutely perfect timing, two scrap packs I bought before I was even thinking about this quilt arrived in the mail, so I cut those all up and added them to the count!

In the end, I cut kind of a lot of fabric.
ScrappyTable

Why so many? I could tell you that it’s because Brenda, of Pink Castle Fabrics did the math to tell how many strips to cut for various sizes of quilts, and you need 336 strips for a queen-sized quilt. I could tell you that! I’m certainly planning on a queen-sized quilt.

But, um. I kind of just got caught up in the joy of hacking up scraps. I also tossed in every once in a while something that I really do like, so that I’ll be able to look at the quilt and find squares that I love hiding in all the scrappiness.

Now, this quilt thrives on randomness, and I’m really bad at random. So I cheated. I divided up my fabrics into color groups.
Strip-Piles
In case you’re wondering, I cut 74 Pink/Red/Orange, 74 Yellow/Green, 75 Blue/Purple, 38 Dark Browns, 40 Blacks, 71 Light Neutrals, and 20 OMGWTF ALL THE COLORS strips.

With this pre-color-selected setup, it’s really easy: all I have to do is make sure that each block contains one black or brown, and something from each other pile. Or two from one pile, if I’m feeling in a blue and purple mood. It makes putting together the blocks really easy for me, which it would not be at all if I had to pull from a giant pile on the floor.

I’m trying one new thing for this project: I’m using leaders and enders. I’ve got more than enough 2 1/2″ squares, between my own scraps and some mini-charm-packs I picked up from FatQuarterShop.

I’m using a shortcut for those, too: I’ve divided them into “light” and “dark” and made three piles of each. When I need to pick up another two squares, I match up whatever’s on top of those piles with whatever else is on top and looks best. So far, I’m getting quite a few of them, and it’s really satisfying. Not to mention, not having to hold down the thread ends every time I start a new strip? SO NICE.

LeaderEnderPiles

I’ve still got a few Christmas presents that haven’t made it up here yet, and a finished quilt to show off on Friday, if I can get decent pictures between now and then.

WiP Wednesday, January 2013

New Wave quilt:
I’m using the Sunday Best bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics, but I replaced the two white prints with blue and grey, because I didn’t want white tumblers framed by white sashing.
photo (3)
(I promise, those ones that look white are actually light blue or light grey: I can’t find my real camera, and an iPod can only do so much…)
To-Do:
-Piece tumblers and sashing into strips
-Piece together strips into quilt top
-Figure out a backing (dark blue?) using extra tumblers
-baste, quilt & bind

Strip and Flip Quilt
I altered this one a little bit — I cut the strips 2 1/2″ wide instead of 2″ and I was very careful sewing the strips together, to keep as much length as possible, so it’s a bit larger than the pattern suggests. The cat is thoroughly unimpressed by it, but I’m looking forward to finding my camera and taking proper pictures of it.
photo (4)
To-Do:
-buy binding fabric, bind the quilt, figure out who on earth it’s for.

Simple Math:
This one hasn’t gone much of anywhere since I last posted, because its blocks are sitting on the back of my sewing cart, and apparently out of sight is out of mind. Oops.
To-Do:
-finish trimming blocks to 6″ square
-find sashing fabric
-baste, quilt & bind

Kitchen Window:
This one has only seen a little bit of progress since the last time I posted, too, but I’ve got parts of it halfway done — enough that the next time I have black thread on the machine I can start piecing blocks together to see what they look like. I think part of the reason I keep putting this one off is because it’s for a queen-sized quilt, and the idea of that large a project is a bit daunting. Still, just a step at a time, and I’ll get there eventually.
To-Do:
-sort out the second half of the cut fabrics into groups for individual blocks
-cut the rest of the black fabric for frames
-cut the rest of the green fabric for background parts
-start constructing blocks
-fiddle with layout
-make back
-baste, quilt & bind