Sidetracked Again

Every once in a while I come to the surface after being inundated by quilts, scraps, binding, etc. Most recently I took a class at Studio Stitch to make this little clutch.

Of course I’ve made lots of bags, pouches, etc, etc, but I’d never used a frame closure, so I wanted somebody to show me how it’s done. Hint: It was a lot easier than it looks!

Also recently I dug up the pattern for the Celeste Dress, bought close to a year ago.

Celeste Dress, courtesy of Itch to Stitch

I figured the pattern had waited long enough so I made the dress. I studied the size charts carefully, and the fit is perfect (well on me, maybe not on the hanger)!

Pockets! That’s what sold me on this pattern!

I recommend the pattern for those who have some garment construction experience.  It’s a nice pattern and turned out well. I bought the pattern through PatternReview.com for two reasons: first, I could read about how it worked for other people before deciding, and second, I was able to order it already printed on full-size paper so I didn’t have to print at home and the tape the pattern together! (Been there, done that.)

Caveat: rayon probably wasn’t the easiest fabric to make it from.

Now back to the quilting…

 

Why Does This New Quilt Count as Finishing a UFO?

I hate the recursive nature of most social media, including Pinterest. You don’t dare click on what looks like a good pie recipe, because you’ll be fed pie recipes for at least 6 months, probably longer. HOWEVER, I do remain a fan of Pinterest, where I still find a lot of fun quilt ideas. Recently I found this pattern via Pinterest and just had to have it:

The pattern is available on Etsy, here.

I had just the place for the quilt, having decided a while back I wanted to make a “summer rain” quilt to go over the stairs. We’ve had this lovely Japanese silk scarf over the stairs, but it was time for a change.

I got the blocks made. Oops, I got the blocks made following her directions and then made a number of my own design. Anyway, I liked the way they all looked together.

This is a small quilt, so I decided to use a sort of baste-as-you-go construction by sewing rows down to the batting and backing, sort of like you’d do if you were making a QAYG place mat using strips. Then I quilted it in vertical lines. Not my favorite thing to do, but it worked fine.

I think you can see the vertical quilting here. The lines were marked with blue painter’s tape, and are at pseudo-random distances apart.

Oh, and why does it count as finishing a UFO? Because I had started an improv quilt with this in mind but never finished it! I got out the blocks I had completed for that and combined them with blocks made using Maryline’s pattern, and got rid of another UFO 😀

Quilt Stats

Name: Summer Rain

Pattern: City Quilt by Maryline Collioud-Robert, plus some blocks I improvised

Made and quilted by me

Finished size: 39″ x 50″

And BTW, I recommend this pattern. It was a lot of fun!

 

Interview: Sherry of Powered by Quilting

I recently ran across this quilt by Sherry Shish, of Powered By Quilting, and I’m very impressed with it. It’s a great mix of traditional and modern looks

Simply Cornered, as shown on Sherry’s website

I contacted Sherry and asked a few questions, which she graciously answered. Here’s The interview:

Q:  How did you get into quilting, how long have you been doing it, and when did you decide to make it professional?

A: I had been hand sewing and doing other crafts for many years before I learned how to sew on a machine.  I’ve been quilting for just over 5 years now and I fell in love with all the different aspects of quilting.  I started pretty early designing patterns since I really love seeing my ideas and my style of quilts.

Q: Where do you get your design ideas?

A: Everywhere… but I find it easier to put self constraints on what I’m designing to help narrow the focus.  I really love secondary designs (like really love them) so a ton of my patterns have a secondary design.  I create, iterate, rotate, recolor, and repeat several times before I land on a design that I love and want to make.

Q: You’ve got a lot going on with social media. How much time does it take?

A: Social media is hard… It’s necessary, but sometimes I’d rather just be me and pretty pictures are not reality.  I should spend more time on social media, but I find I give what I can and that has to be good enough.

Q: What are your goals for your quilting business? What are your goals for your quilting art?

A: I would love to make it my main source of income, but I have a good day job that makes it very difficult to balance time and commitments.  There are things that I would love to be able to do such as kit more of my patterns, teach, lecture, etc. but time is precious and there are things that I’m still prioritizing over adding to the business side to make sure I keep my sanity and don’t burnout in life in general.

Back to the quilt that impressed me: It certainly does have a great secondary design. I drew it in EQ8 and re-colored it because I think it would be striking if done all in one color.

My EQ8 drawing based on Sherry Shish’s pattern “Simply Cornered”

It appears Sherry has made the pattern available already to her Patreon subscribers, and she also sewed it on her Twitch channel in January. It will be available through her PayHip store in March, and you can pre-order here.

I will be making this pattern and following Sherry’s blog. Please join me in wishing her luck!

 

Cheater stripes!

Studio Stitch has had this beautiful striped fabric for several months and I’ve been wondering what I could do with it.

Then I found this pattern: Oriana by Alison Glass. It’s intended to be made with strip sets, but it was just perfect for this fabric!

Those sharp points weren’t the easiest thing to do, but I love the way they worked out.

I made this quilt with just part of the number of circles called for, and it finished at 47″ x 48″.

I’ve loaned the quilt to Studio Stitch to display, and I’ve written a “cheat sheet” for them. If you  want to use striped fabric instead of making strip sets, they’ll give you a copy when you buy the pattern, which they have in stock. (I’m not sure it’s on their website, but you can phone them at 336-288-9200.)

And here’s a money saver: Alison had intended to have templates available, but COVID has held that up. This means all you have to do is trace her printed templates (in the pattern) onto LARGE sheets of template plastic and make your own. That really was pretty easy.

So of course when I went to Studio Stitch to show them the quilt, they had this new fabric in…

Just sayin’ 😀

More Stars

Lucky Stars by Atkinson Designs is one of my all-time favorite quilt patterns because it is so clever. It uses fat quarters and makes lovely stars without the need to worry about cutting off the points!

I don’t recall how many quilts I’ve made from this pattern, but here’s another one. It’s made with the fossil fern fabrics I’ve collected over the years for no particular reason other than a love for those fabrics. Hoping to use them up, I made the back out of my scraps.

Julia Madison quilted it with stars and loops–perfect!

Quilt Stats:

Pattern: Lucky Stars by Alex Anderson

Fabric: Benartex Fossil Ferns

Finished size: 59″ x 44″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

Pattern available here. As always, this is not an affiliate link; it is just for your convenience.

A Fun Fabric Bowl

Recently C&T sent the book shown below for my review, and included a package of Fast2Fuse in the same shipment. What’s a girl to do? I made a bowl!

Photo courtesy of C&T

Here’s how it went, in case you’d like to do the same.

The first thing I did was read the book, and this was important because the organization of the chapters is unique.  Each step in the process of bowl making has its own chapter; e.g., one chapter tells how to make the outer shell, another chapter gives instruction for the inside of the bowl.  There are multiple options for several types of bowls, which adds another layer of complexity and many more options.  

The instructions are clear, but it’s important to have a handle on where the various types of instructions are before starting.  Of course, with any project it’s important to read the instructions through first, so this is nothing new.

The author discusses options for various materials to stiffen the bowl.  She discusses different fabric options as well, including special instructions so you can use directional fabric successfully. 

I thought I’d better do the first one with non-directional fabric!  Fast2Fuse worked great as the base for the fabrics.  I hadn’t tried it before, and it made a significant improvement on my previous bowl making attempts.

The whole thing went together without difficulty in about half a day.  This is the 9″ size, but the book has options for multiple sizes including an 18 inch bowl!

I enjoyed this project and, as noted above, it was easier to get right than my previous bowl-making attempts.  

Here are links to information on the book and on Fast2Fuse:

Modern Fabric Art Bowls

Fast2Fuse heavy double-sided fusible.  This comes in several sizes and in light, medium, or heavy weight.  I used the heavy weight and it worked well for this project. I would choose it for structured bags in the future.

Note: The links in this post do not provide income for me; they are for your convenience only.  C&T provides books and products for me to review, and I choose the ones I like best to present here.

 

Serendipity Quilt

Due to a series of fortunate events, I made this quilt:

Here’s how it happened.  You may recall that C&T sends me quilt books and products to review, and if I really like them I write about them here.  So a while back I received this book:

Photo Courtesy of C&T

Then a couple of weeks later, I entered a contest sponsored by Pineapple Fabrics and my project was a runner up.  They sent a wonderful box of pre-cuts, including a jelly roll.  So the only question was which quilt to make!  The book had many attractive options, including these:

Photo courtesy of C&%

Photo courtesy of C&T

I eventually chose the lattice quilt because it looked so do-able.  And it was!  The instructions even suggested designing your own spacing for the border, and you know how I like doing my own thing, so that was great.

Here’s a picture of the pretty flowers quilted on it by Julia Madison:

If you are thinking of making this quilt, know that it was fast, easy, and fun.  I did flip some of the seams when joining the pieces so the seams would match up well at the intersections.

Quilt Stats

Name:  Serendipity

Pattern source:  Love Jelly Roll Quilts, pictured above

Finished size:  51″ x 61″

Quilted by:  Julia Madison

Candy Cubes

Remember this? I started on the quilt on page 34 soon after I got the book

I didn’t like the first background fabric I chose:

So I took the quilt all apart and put it together again, this time with the background fabric matching the centers so that the blocks look like square lifesavers.  I’m calling it “Candy Cubes”.

To be honest, I’m not sure I like the new background fabric any better–the value is too close to the value of the cubes, even though the color is different. But a done quilt is a good quilt, so I’m on to the next project. 

I still like the pattern and enjoyed making the quilt.  And I still think it would be a great “make your second quilt” class.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Candy Cubes

Pattern SourceNew Patchwork & Quilting Basics by Jo Avery

Finished size: 53″ x 77″

Fabric:  Cubes are Moda Grunge.  I don’t know what the background fabric is.

Quilted by: Julia Madison

What I might do different next time: Change the cube fabric rather than the background fabric.

I love the fabric on the quilt back, too!

2020–Yikes!

My blogging friend Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery  posted a while back that she is making a temperature quilt for 2020 because–what a year!  I liked that idea. I certainly feel that this year deserves to be memorialized in a quilt, but I do not want to paper piece a picture of the COVID virus, or make the quilt I designed to represent the ICU, or quilt anything else directly COVID related.  Making and wearing masks is a sufficient reminder, thanks!

In addition, Velda linked to a free pattern that I liked the looks of.

Here’s a link to the free pattern.

Any temperature quilt will require a lot of research (high and low temps for every day of the year for your location) and organization.  Here are a couple of things I learned along the way.  This pattern is clearly written and she has some good suggestions regarding fabric choice.

First, of course, I pulled fabric from my stash.  I was happy to see that I had everything I needed, since quilt shops were closed for browsing and I thought it might be difficult to order by phone. 

The colored blocks in the pattern are cut 2″ square (yikes!) so I decided to try something new to cut down on fraying.  I recently purchased a product called “Terial Magic” at A Stitch in Time.  It is a “fabric stabilizer” and has several uses.  It kind of glues the fibers in the fabric together to decrease fraying and also makes the fabric stiff.

After talking with the lady at the shop, I mixed the Terial Magic 1:3 with water and put it in a spray bottle. I will say that I was happy to have to prepare only fat quarters of the fabric, as the process was kind of time intensive.  However, the fabric came out very crisp and wrinkle free and did not fray at all when I cut it.  Actually it was easier to cut than usual.  The stuff is supposed to wash right out once the quilt is finished, and I’m trusting that it will 🙂

When I got the squares all cut and started sewing, I discovered that I had somehow tricked myself into believing there was enough contrast between these two shades of green!

Luckily there was an adequate substitute in the stash!  Here are the strips for the first quarter.  Each strip is sewn together, but I have not joined them yet.

One final hint: I cut up the January calendar page and pinned the numbers on the blocks to keep them in order until they were sewn together. 🙂

Are you making a temperature quilt?  Another quilt to commemorate 2020?

 

Don’t Try This At Home

Sometimes I feel that there’s an unspoken rule in quilt-blog world against showing our mistakes or talking about patterns or tools that we didn’t like.  In fact, I often write about patterns or books I love, but skip over the others.  Well, here are a couple of things I won’t do again!

First, a pattern that just did not work for me, though you may have better luck.

 

I’ve had this pattern a long time and really like the quilt on the cover.  However, I found it involved matching all those seams.  I first modified the pattern so the strips were of varying widths, eliminating the need for matching.  However, when I started making the last set of triangles, they just didn’t fit!  At that point I made a few more modifications and completed enough blocks for a donation quilt, and DONE!

It’s entirely possible the problem is with me rather than with the pattern.  I still like the look, so I may design my own version later on.  Alternatively, it appears (on Pinterest) that Zen Chic had an almost-identical design called “Fractured”, but I can’t find it on the Zen Chic website now–perhaps it was too identical and they withdrew it?  Don’t know.

Anyway, if I ever make this again I’ll re-design it completely so it works for me.  I do still love the look.

Has anybody made this quilt from either pattern?  How did it go for you?

Second, a pattern that worked out exactly right, possibly because I did it in a class!  It is beautiful, but it is paper piecing (of a different type, but still).  In this case, the pattern is perfect and the instructor was great.  I just did not care for the process so I won’t make the other 11 gems in the series!  If you want to try it, here’s a link to the site for all the gem patterns and classes.

I do like this, but it finished the size of a large block or a wall quilt–what shall I do with it?  All suggestions that don’t involve paper piecing are cheerfully invited!

And what have you messed up lately? 😀