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State of the Sewing Room - February 2022





How have I never had a quilt cupboard?  You know those inviting looking wardrobe/armoires you see with one door hanging open and stacks of quilts inside?  This cupboard is not deep enough, I realize, but it's a start!  A quilt maker should definitely have one of those, right?  I think I've been pretty ruthless with selling or giving away most of my quilts.  I've always felt like why would I keep them if I didn't need them.  Almost like the act of letting them go freed me up to make more.  Some have been a bit painful to part with, but for the most part, it was a good feeling to think I wasn't attached to them... now I wish I had kept a few more!  So that might change in the future.  I think it wouldn't hurt to have a few more hanging around.  I can still give them away if the moment presents itself, but at least I have the option!



And then this quilt! It was such a happy accident that I immersed myself in this week!   I happened to open my UFO drawer, which I do occasionally, just to see if I have any urge to work with anything in there.  Because of the way I quilt, there are never entire unfinished quilts in there.  I never cut out an entire quilt ahead of time.  I usually try making a few blocks to see how I like it, and then sometimes I'm just not feeling it, or something more exciting comes up.  But I've made a few blocks and can't just throw them away, so they go in this drawer.  And of course after a year I have no desire to finish them exactly as I had thought, so they're pretty hard to work with.

This time tho, inspiration struck!

Starting with the orange and blue/purple triangle blocks... this is a block from Cultural Fusion Quilts.  I love the lively look these blocks have, they're quite improv and the only reason I quit with them was because the color palette I started with overwhelmed me.  It was just looking too bright and crazy for me.  But this time I looked at them and thought they looked like a sunset.  And then I had a couple of these free form house blocks and I thought, 'I could make a scenic quilt with these together!'

And then those log cabins in green and browns would make the perfect ground beneath the houses!!

And those blue stars can fit in the sky.  I mean, stars can always fit in somewhere!

And then everything else just kind of mashed together...I tried to only use fabrics that had been partial blocks in that drawer and not add other fabrics.  I did have to add a few strips to make everything fit.

I love this quilt now though!  I think I'll add a row of blocks on the top to make it rectangular since I'm not a fan of square quilts.  I'll have to make them from scratch though because the drawer is about empty!  

Just one Gwen Marston inspired medallion quilt that I'll finish soon and show you...







Star Quilt





 Here's a simple, cheerful quilt to show you!  It's already long off to it's new new home, but no matter.  

The flying geese blocks that make up the points of the stars had all those little triangle corners that get cut off, so I sewed them together and made the diamonds that go around the outside of the quilt.  Kind of a make work project since they were so tiny and not very accurate!  But I think they make the quilt, so I guess they were worth it!

Since I made my resolution to finish two quilts before I could start a new top, I now am faced with basting and quilting two quilt before I can start another project.  But I've used up my roll of batting so need to order another one!  So maybe I'll just start another top while I wait?....

I'm hoping I'm off to a wobbly start to getting more quilting done.  The last year was a bit lacking in quilting time, but I think I need to work on my efficiency in housework so that I can carve out more time!  

Nine Patch on Point

 







Another recent finish, just a simple nine patch set on point.  I was quite intentional about the value of the nine patch fabrics as I wanted a cross hatch pattern, but a subtle broken one.  So some blocks are definitely high contrast, but not nearly all.  The last photo I included because it shows the quilt from somewhat farther away which helps to see the overall design.  

I love a quilt that looks interesting and attractive from close up, and from farther away.  So this one includes many favorite fabrics that i love.

Its a large twin size, which I find myself making a lot more of these days.  


Norah Quilt

 






I knew it had been a while since I'd written a blog post, but can't believe it was May?!  While my blogging came to a complete standstill in summer, my quilting has resumed, which means I have quite a few more quilts to show you!  

This top was pieced at least a year ago, but since it was one of those that I decided to hand quilt, it took me a long time to finish!  

It's the Norah quilt, which has a basic tutorial at this link.  Its a pretty simple quilt, which you could make as big as you wanted!  I really enjoyed using a bunch of bright and happy fabrics in this one, and then used a Liberty voile on the back.  The black hand quilting gives it a nice edge and keeps it from being too sweet!

Mine ended up being about 48" square.  Kind of an inbetween size, but it was a nice size to hand quilt because it was easy to haul around with me and have sitting on my lap.  (Yes, I baste these quilts the same as one I would machine piece and then just hand quilt with out a hoop.  You just have to be careful that you don't pull your stitching to tight as it could tend to pucker up too much if you do.)  I love hand quilting this way because it's so easy!)

Scrappy Trip Quilt in Spring




Wasn't it time for another Scrappy Trip quilt!  I need to make a couple of these every year it seems.  It's such an enjoyable block to make.  I used a lot of spring and summer fabrics in this one.  


I tried to use the darker value strips as the center of each block which gives it a more defined pattern, although not overly obvious. 


 

Jacob's Ladder Quilt

 




Here's a Jacob's ladder quilt.  I so enjoyed and love the finished product of my nine patch Jacob's Ladder.  But that was a lot of little pieces.  This quilt is a four patch instead of nine patch, so gives a similar effect but is quite a bit quicker!  

To make one the size of mine: 

Cut your 4 patch squares at 2.5".  
Cut your squares for the half square triangles at 4 7/8".  

As for the values:

Always pair a light with a dark.  But be sure to mix in medium values and only compare to the current fabric you are piecing it with.  Don't overly concern yourself if pieces are in a lighter or darker category.  It's those medium value fabrics that are sometimes called a dark because you pair them with a light, and sometimes called a light because you pair them with a darker print, that make for that interesting dynamic.  

If you are too distinct with your dark and light, you won't get that softer look that fades in and out.  It will have a very defined pattern, which is fine if that's what you want!  But I tend to like a less defined pattern, where in some parts of the quilt it's more defined than others.  This comes by using a general rule of lighter and darker but not overthinking it!