One More Granny Square {and quite a few thoughts}

feel free to join me as i indulge in a little trip down memory lane!  if you like, you can read this post, which is my original 'granny square post', and then my tutorial, which was a part of Stitched in Color's Scrappy Quiltalong.

i find it kinda funny to look back now on this silly little block.  i really did go about designing this quilt from the direction of making it look like a granny square afghan.

of course i never assumed that this was an 'original' idea, i knew that there was very likely a traditional block similiar to this, although i never researched or looked for any quilts like it.

i finished up the quilt and wrote the tutorial.  i felt happy with the quilt, i thought i had achieved my original goal fairly well.  (my goal being to make it look like a crocheted granny square afghan)

and here's my honest confession.  i was never super crazy about this quilt!  i felt pleased with it because it was a nice mix of clean and simple, yet fun and whimsical.  it was fairly easy to put together, although i didn't really enjoy making the blocks.   (oh, isn't this terrible!  i'm turning traitor on my 'baby!)

all this to say it was completely shocking to see so many people get enthused about this quilt design!  talk about unprepared!  i could/should have taken that time as an opportunity to grow my blog, etc.  but i turned down opportunities to lead quiltalongs, write further tutorials, etc.  i guess i followed my heart instead of my head. (and by that i'm SO not implying that you shouldn't take opportunities like that, it just wasn't right for me at the moment)

as i'm sure any of you who have been happily plugging along at your little blog and then had something of yours become suddenly popular can relate to, this whole thing was a great experience of learning for me.

there was the positive and the negative, although it was 95% positive.  seriously i can say so very many good things about fellow quilters/bloggers!  everybody was so very courteous about linking back to my tutorial and giving credit to my idea.  i can't say what a positive feeling that was!  i'll say it again that i don't feel like i 'own' any design.  i know that all ideas are inspired by something else and i don't claim any 'rights' here.  but in this case, i did actually feel that the idea to make a 'granny square block' was an original idea that i had not seen elsewhere.

i just want to say that when you take the time on your blog post, or wherever you post your quilt, if it was directly inspired by someone else, then link to them!  I try my best to do that, just because i know it makes a difference to that person, even though i think they might never see what i made.

so of course the 5% negative experience is the part where you see something made so very much like yours and then that maker sort of 'owning' the idea.  but even this tiny bit of negativity has been a great growing experience for me.  i've always wanted to live by the philosophy of generosity and sharing.  sort of the idea of having an open palm, rather than a closed fist.  if i can share (ideas in this case), then my open palm will also be able to receive as well.  if i hold things close, then i can keep them safe, but i can't receive anything else!

sounds good, but to mentally give something up and set it free, now that can be harder than it sounds!

another good lesson i learned first hand is to always give the benefit of the doubt.  most likely they didn't now that it was actually 'my' idea to call this a 'granny square block'.  and actually maybe someone else did have a very similiar idea.  it is so hurtful to be wrongly accused of copying someone, and i don't want to be the one to assume that of someone else.

sooooo.....coming up for air...........if you read that you deserve a medal!  granny square fever had died down but when i thought about it, i just had to get that out there.   (and i just want to say that just because this quilt was not my favorite of all time, does not mean that i don't think that you all made some seriously amazing granny square quilts!  and it has warmed my heart every.single.time i see a new one, or a new interpretation of one, or someone has emailed me to say how they enjoyed making a quilt like this.  thank you ♥ )

and all this to say.............

for some strange reason i said 'yes' to a request to rewrite the granny square tutorial in strip piecing, or jelly roll format.  so now you can find it over on the Moda Bake Shop site.  i puzzled over it a bit, wanting to do it right this time.  I wanted it to be simple and fast, yet still look a bit scrappy, and also be constructed in the best way possible.

i knew i wanted to make it with Posy by Aneela Hoey, because i was just envisioning something so sweet and girly.

and ever since seeing this granny quilt (which is possibly my fave granny ever) i knew i wanted to try one with a subtle border and rounded corners.

so here we have what is most likely my last granny quilt.  i like her, actually i love her although i think the biggest reason i like this one is the colors!  these funky pastels in this fabric collection just melt my heart!

if you'd like to make a granny quilt, i recommend this new method, it's faster and better than my old tutorial.  the only reason i'd still use the old one is if i wanted to use up smaller individual scraps.

Really Random Thursday

a few of you have asked if i'm still got this McElligot's Pool fabric stack hanging around.  yes, it's one of the lucky few that has not been pulled apart and used mercilessly in other quilts.  (ok, a few of the fabrics were stolen for other projects, but i did my best to replace them)

i've been thinking and digesting on this one for a few months.  i never could land on the the perfect pattern.  i had a lot of ideas, i had almost decided on a wonky cross quilt, kinda like this or this.  (totally love both those quilts, maybe i should still do it)

in the end though, i settled on something inspired by this and this.  i never intended to interpret the 'fish' theme literally.  i was only thinking of the color scheme.  but i do kinda like how this pattern looks a little 'fishy'.  i think that must be why i went with this design, because i actually really dislike making half square triangles!   it's one of those mind-block things, kind of like cleaning out the dishwasher.  it's a relatively quick and simple task, but i always put it off!

i don't necessarily say that i won't change things up part way through!  i may get bored, which is when things tend to get interesting!

random point number two!

i find it interesting how my taste in fabric evolves over time.  i buy mostly online, since i live in an igloo and my dog sled is frozen in a snow drift.  buying fabric online can be tricky although after a few years, i have less mistakes (aka:  fabrics that i thought looked good online but in person just aren't my thing)

anyways, i tend to just buy what i love and usually that works out great.  i rarely think consciously about what makes me love a fabric and reach for it over and over and feel panicky when it runs out.

the other day i did have a light bulb moment though, and realized that i tend to like fabrics printed on a slightly creamy background more than pure white ones.

hence the above example. the top photo with five fabrics are ones that had pure white backgrounds (or more 'blueish' undertones)  i decided to try giving them a bit of a bath in tea dye.

the second photo shows the only two that had any noticeable change.   (i used an actual  tea bag in water and just dipped the fabrics in and swished around a bit, then rinsed)  they definitely have a different tone now, although i'm not sure if quite the 'right' color.

and my final random mention for the day...  a while back i talked about one of my favorite online fabric shops, you can read about it here.  i just received an order from another fave shop, so i thought i'd mention them as well.

that would be Mad About Patchwork!  


♦ they are in Canada!  this means that for once in my life, the shipping slogan that says 'FREE SHIPPING!!' actually applies to me :)
♦ that also means that if you're in Canada, there's no risk of duty costs and you'll receive your fabric within a week or less!
♦ they specialize in basics, which is really so very good for my fabric diet right now!  they have many of the Kona solids, as well as Kaffe Fasset shot cottons and Essex Linen.  they also have some other lines of fabric, and a nice selection of modern books and patterns.
♦  their yardage prices are just slightly higher than most stores in the US, but when i figure out the price of postage and add in the idea of supporting a Canadian shop, it makes me more than happy to buy from Pam!
♦ last but not least, super duper customer service!  awhile ago i made an order of shot cottons and asked if she could jot the names of the colors on the selvedge, just because i had such a terrible time with guessing which color was which.  guess what she did?  she sent me three sheets of paper filled with samples of all her shot cotton colors!!  and i think she now has those sheets for sale in the shop!


♦ hmmm... can't find too much to complain about.  the selection of new collections coming in is very well edited and a nice selection, but of course i can't find everything i want here, so i end up buying most of my prints elsewhere.  i think i may find myself shopping here more and more in the future with the crazy cost of shipping though!

by the way, i'm not being compensated, this is my honest review!

well, that's all for random Thursday!  i'm linking up with Cindy of LiveAColorfulLife, because i love me some random!

{bigger} pixelated ♥

Little Stars in AMH

this quilt top sat unquilted for at least a year.  this one was NOT neglected because i was feeling meh about it.  on the contrary, i've had a special spot in my heart for this little star quilt since i made it.  i think i was just saving it for something special, and then then finally i decided this January that it was time to finish it up!

Hopscotch in Dream On

i ♥ simple quilts

'fancy' quilting

please excuse these less than clear photos.  i was in a hurry and the only quick spot i could think of was clipped up on my curtain rod.

because these two quilt tops are being readied to send out to be long-arm quilted.

yes!! you heard me right!  i'll admit i never thought i'd try it.  i always thought that the 'perfect' look of all that swirly quilting just wasn't my thing.  most of  the professionally quilted quilts that i've seen online and in real life, had more of the the fancy quilt show type look.  i'm more of a handmade utilitarian simple look.  besides that, i can quilt pretty large quilts on my own sewing machine so why would i send one out?

then one day i realized that the reason i thought i wasn't a fan, was NOT because they were quilted on a long-arm machine, it was simply because a lot of these quilts hadn't been washed yet!!

if you know me, my philosophy is that your quilt is not complete until it's been washed.  no quilt looks right until it has that slightly crinkled washed look.  so that's why i thought those 'fancy' quilts weren't my thing.  then i saw some long-armed quilts that i loved, and realized that the washing was the main difference!

ok, i still am not the swirly flowery type.  i generally like my quilting to be mainly texture and not it's own design.  (although i'm open to being converted from that viewpoint!)

so i've found a quilter who's gonna do an awesome job of these 'big' babies, and once they're back, i'll share more of the goods on them, and the quilter!

meanwhile i have to go make backings, and check for stray threads etc.  i'm just slightly nervous about someone else seeing my piecing flaws!

field of triangles #3