My Steps Quilt top is complete! I’m really liking this. A perfect sewing project in a stressful time, easy, repetitive and colourful! All I worried about while sewing it was trying not to have two of the same colour touch each other and while I managed for the most part there are 3 or 4 complete fails that I’ve noticed and probably a few more that I have yet to see.
Now off to work on some UFO projects. I really need get a few nicely aged projects moved along to make room for all these new projects.
I have been doing a lot of sewing this weekend – what else is there to do really? Housework? Well, I guess … but quilting always wins over that if I have anything to say about it.
I have enough of my Step Blocks (I decided to name them) to make both quilt layouts that I showed in my previous post. I liked both layouts so much I couldn’t choose between them so I made enough blocks to make both. I decided to make layout two first, which I’m calling the Gathering Quilt because all those small square make me think of people congregating in groups at say a party or a park.
Lessons learnt (learned to me always looks and sounds wrong – it’s my British ancestry) from making this quilt top:
Spin every seam possible
Like colours will end up next to each other no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
Backgrounds don’t have to be white, grey, beige or black.
There are a lot of 2″ squares in this quilt. Each block has 24 and there are 48 blocks = 1,152 in this quilt alone
The last few weeks have been stressful, what with being home 24/7, worrying about family, friends, community, country and indeed the world – why worry on a small scale when you can go big, right? Luckily we are both able to work from home and and so far haven’t been laid off. We are slowly getting used to our new routines, being socially and physically distant from everyone but each other, and going stir crazy.
To deal with these stresses I started a new mindless scrappy project – a situation like this, for me at least, calls for a new project! Something very simple, something colourful and of course very scrappy.
I decided to make 4 patches, as what’s easier than 4 patches and then picked out a background fabric from the stash. I came up with this layout for my blocks.
I know, random bit me with two brown squares ending up side by side. They are going to stay that way as I’m sure in the finished quilt it will not be noticeable unless someone is looking very closely and then they will be awarded a package of Smarties if they point it out nicely.
I’ve made more than 16 squares now but when I had made 16 squares a few days ago, I played with the blocks to audition possible layouts. I came up with two that I liked.
At this point I can’t decide which one I like the best. It’s really a toss up between the two as they are so different.
However, with the number of blocks I’ve made and the fact that I don’t want to make a Queen size quilt from this, this just might become two (or more) lap quilts. I may just keep making blocks until I run out of background fabric so I may end up doing both layouts. Or I may play more and come up with a different layout.
Whatever these blocks become, they are serving their purpose, sewing them is soothing and they’ll end up making a nice scrappy quilt (or two)!
I finished two quilts yesterday! One with machine binding on both the front and back and one sewing the binding to the front of the quilt and hand sewing it to the back of the quilt. This DOUBLES my UFO finishes from 2 to 4 for the year (plus one non UFO finish)! Not very impressive but way better than I was doing.
The first completed quilt is called Big and little patch quilt and was made from an excess of 16 patches and 4 patches:
The second quilt is the Baby sized Idaho square dance quilt that was made from a row of extra Idaho Square Dance Blocks designed by Bonnie Hunter, plus some sashing and borders:
I’m already working on hand sewing down another binding and have another quilt in the queue waiting to for the binding to be sewn down when that one is finished. Plus there is a quilted quilt top waiting for binding to be chosen and sewn on to it. I’m starting to make some traction towards my goal of 24 completions in 2020.
We found out about an online auction two weeks ago. The auction was for a TV series called Anne with an E based on the 1901 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery called Anne of Green Gables. I read the book growing up and it’s many sequels grown up and absolutely loved it. So when I saw the auction I had to go and look at it. The TV serious has been cancelled and the auction was selling off the props and various items used on the show. I think it might still be being shown on Netflix.
I started looking at the online catalogue and was reeled in hook line and sinker when I saw multi ban and bag lots containing fabric and linens that were used on the set going for very little money. We bid on and won enough enough lots to fill up the car. In addition to the linen and fabrics we won some non antique lamps, an antique chest and a very modern tool box.
The lots contained both junk and treasures. Wool blankets, cotton and cotton fleece, upholstery fabric, stuff that could have gone straight to the garbage, tatted handkerchiefs, many spools of ribbons, 20 identical tablecloths, vintage napkins, sets of sheets, a bedskirt and and lace curtains were just some of the things we found. But the most surprising thing we found is a scrappy baby sized quilt top.
I’m looking forward to searching my stash for a suitable backing and making a baby quilt from this. I can see doing some simple but heavy quilting on it. The top is machine stitched so it will be machine quilted perhaps with a crosshatch through each square.
In the meantime I’m sorting the winnings into keep, donate, trash piles and working at making room in my stash for the things I want to keep!
I’ve been great at starting new projects in 2020 but not so good at finishing older projects. That has to change.
I’m proud that in the last week I’ve managed to finish quilting four UFO’s (pre 2020 quilt tops) now just to make binding for three of them. Now to start hand sewing the one that is ready for hand sewing.
Here is my up-to-date list of UFO’s. Ones with and asterisk were started in 2019.
Alletaire – A Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt – Blocks need fixing and top needs to be finished
Marc’s Gradient Quilt in 3 colours – needs fixing then borders – ABANDONED – WILL RESTART OR DO ANOTHER
Blue 16 patch and Happy Block Quilt – top completed*
Happy to be Square – quilted March 10, 2020 *,
Happy all Day Long – top completed *
Colour Blocks (“H” Blocks) top completed *
Light Doggie Quilt Top (VV blocks) – completed and donated to guild *
Dark Doggie Quilt Top (VV blocks) – Needs binding hand sewn down *
Blue and Green “Fourth of July Quilt” – top completed, binding cut *
Blue & Orange “Fourth of July Quilt” – not yet sewn pieces in a baggie*
Big and Little patch quilt – completed March 13, 2020*
Blue stripe 9 patch quilt – March 13, 2020 – binding needs hand sewn down *
Too nice to cut lap quilt – top completed
Chain Link Quilt – top completed, backing obtained *
Posting about this, this morning, to motive myself to quilt this top today:
It’s mostly sitting down and getting it done. It isn’t a big project.
This top is made from 9 of Bonnie Hunter’s Idaho Square Dance blocks leftover from making this quilt (somehow I had made an extra row!?!?):
A little bit of sashing, an outer border and voila a small baby quilt that will be perfect for donation to the guild’s outreach program as soon as I get it quilted and bound. It’s already layered so I have no excuse, other than my talents at procrastination, not to get it quilted today. My talent has at avoiding quilting has been strong lately and my goal for March is overcoming that and getting a number of my quilt tops quilted and ready to be finished. I will do it!
This quilt really highlights a focus fabric nicely. And in my case, helps use up some fabrics I found at a local thrift shop in a way that looks nicely coordinated.
I was wasting time looking for inspiration on Pinterest a while ago and saw a picture of this quilt which I liked enough to pin to one of my boards. So, while going through Pinterest boards today to get some ideas for a quilt I came across the Pin and thought that it looked like an easy enough project and decided to make it.
Here it is before any borders have been added:
I really like how it turned out.
However, I had to do some work to create this as the Pin had no links to a pattern and a reverse image search didn’t help me find one either.
I decided I’d make my blocks 12″ finished. Here is a picture of a block.
The centre blocks are 6.5″ square unfinished, the corner blocks are cut at 3.5″ square unfinished and the narrow strips are cut at 2″x6.5″ unfinished.
For 12 blocks
cut 2 strips of focus fabric (A) at 6.5″ wide and WOF and cross cut into 6.5″ squares for a total of 12 squares (you’ll need more fabric if you fussy cut)
cut 8 – 2″ strips x WOF of each of the two non focus fabrics B & C
Cut 3 – 3.5″ strips x WOF of each of two non focus fabrics B & C, cut 24 3.5″ squares of each of fabric B & C
Sew being careful of your seams (mine could have been a bit more precise) a B & C 2″ strip together, and iron to the darker fabric, do this 8 times, sub cut into 48, 6.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles.
Choose which of B or C will be in the top left hand corner of the square. Referring to the block above lay out your blocks and sew together.
It goes together fast. I did have some issue with nesting seams but I’m not quite sure how I would have avoided it other than changing the construction completely.
Tomorrow’s challenge is figuring out borders for this. I’m not sure I have enough red for an inner border, but I do have enough of the pale yellow for one so I may be using that followed by the floral. I have enough floral for a reasonable outer border.
I wanted to sew something bright and cheerful and straight forward.
So I found a bright fat quarter from my stash that I am almost certain I picked up from the guild’s scrap box. Then I searched my scraps and stash for the colours in the print on that fat quarter. I found pretty good matches for nearly all the colours and as none of the colours directly touch the ones that are off a tiny bit aren’t noticeable anyway.
Then to Pinterest to find a pattern. I found what I was looking for in the Missouri Star Zipper Quilt pattern. Well sort of – this is a variation on that pattern It did me give me the size of the blocks and off I went to the cutting table and then to the sewing machine. I sewed until I had a goodly number of pieces (I could count but that would take away my fun). Then I started laying them out on the spare bed working at “artful” rather than true random. And of course back to the sewing machine to make a few more.
A bit heavy on the yellow and greens and I could have done a bit better with the “artful” random but I had got to that point when if I moved one block to solve a “random” problem I created two more. To me that’s always a sign to stop.
I’m now at the do I border or don’t I border stage. I don’t have any more of the print and and it easily could be quite a few years old (and there was no selvage on it to get information from). Many of the fabrics in the quilt are scraps and I can’t see doing a piano key border on this as I think that would be much too busy. The dark green in the quilt might be an option as I do have more of that. A narrow white and a wider dark green could definitely work. I’ll ponder that for a bit.
Another quilt top made from the Easy Peasy Quilts 3- Yard Quilts booklet borrowed from the guild library.
I have to say while I’m liking the look of the patterns I’m finding them technically not as much to my liking as I’d hoped they would be. They assume a full 42″ of usable fabric, which sadly isn’t always the case these days. And if your cutting is a smidgen off; well you’ll need more fabric than a yard. I ended up on one strip an 1/8 of an inch short and fudging ensued. Given how fabric manufacturer’s are shortening their lengths of fabric these days, this becomes a real concern.
Also the border instructions don’t say how long the borders should be just sew all the border strips together and sew on – lazy and leads to wavy borders. Criticising is easy, but when a pattern is published you expect a bit more than “sew on”. Still the patterns are cute as a button and quick and easy to make. This was started at noon and finished by about 7:30pm with relaxing lunch and dinner breaks.
All that being said this will still make a great charity quilt that some little girl or boy will be very happy to receive.