Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Swell Quilt Top Finish!

I guess when it comes to quilting I'm a debater... are you too? I'm almost always back and forth about some issue, putting projects on hold until I figure out my dilemma, and picking them back up again when it feels right. With that being said, it should be no surprise that this quilt top finish is certainly no exception. 

Just a few stats to bring you up to speed:

Quilt pattern: Camille Roskelley's "Swell" from her Simply Retro book.
Started: February 2014
Fabrics: Various Amy Butler collections and Kona Cotton white
Quilt top: FINISHED! (if I could figure out a way to make trumpets sound at this point, I would. Please imagine them now.)
Current Status: Working on backing, then once basted, under the machine for quilting!
Issues: Completed listed size (
63 x 75), but after much debate decided to make larger. Initially indecisive about whether to put border as shown in original quilt. Decided to leave the border off and extend the design.
Finished quilt top size: 83 x 91 in. (210 x 230 cm)

NOTE: When my 6'5" (195 cm) husband had to stand on a kids chair for this photo, and it still drug the ground... made me realize just how huge this baby has grown to be! (I have to admit I’m a little worried about getting  this thing  though my normal sewing machine to quilt). I am planning very simple quilting on this one, which will hopefully make this happen quickly.

Are you dragging your feet this week on a project? Having any size dilemmas? Any particular quilting issues?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Farm Girl Vintage Blocks

One of the joys of living is Northern Germany is the rain. (I hope the sarcasm is plainly obvious) With that being said, I've got a finish to share, but have been stuck inside these past days wishing for even the slightest little hint of sunshine to snap some pictures. So, if the sunshine won't come to you, then I guess you have to make it yourself.

My Farm Girl Vintage blocks are growing, and it's been fun to dig through my scraps, and even make a few new scraps for these blocks. I have to say that I am pleased with how much easier it has been to find that perfect little snippit now that my scraps are properly organized. I really love adding low volumes with just a little hint of color to these, and paired with these juicy blocks, it just feels summery even if the weather outside is not.

As always, size will continue to be my life long back and forth dilemma when it comes to quilting, and I am actually contemplating a small, little twelve block sampler. Can you believe it? On the other hand, these blocks are not only fun, but really addictive... but one step at a time, right?

While I found the 6 inch blocks to be unbelievably adorable, I really liked the idea of making larger blocks and chose the 12 inch version. It's also been fun looking at other versions of FGV projects on Instagram, and see what others are making.

What are you working on today?

Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday & Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Realistic Quilting

When it comes to my quilting projects, I feel that I am somewhat of a realist. It's never been my goal, or intention, to whip out one quilt after the next as fast as one can blink... in fact I've actually intended my long term projects to be just that, and something that I work on throughout the year. I want to enjoy the process, and be satisfied that a quilt is not something that is just thrown together over a weekend. (well not at least for normal people anyway)  I want the freedom to set something to the side if I am not feeling motivated or inspired, and pick it back up when if feels right. While finishing is so vital, setting time constraints for when is not. I've enjoyed moving at a snail's pace despite the fact that I know that such a pace does not exactly grow blog readership, but my projects are growing little by little, bit by bit... and believe it or not, I'm OK with that. As for the progress on my Facing East quilt... talk about a not-done-overnight quilt, yup, you're looking at the epitome of it!

Last week I shared my Scrappy Windmill quilt top finish, and after peeling all those papers out of the seams, I was more than ready to set it aside. Since it came together so quickly, I gave myself the liberty to do so, not to mention that I am waiting on the batting to finish it. My husband graciously took our two little guys for the weekend, and I was able to have some time to myself. Usually my sewing room is an explosion after being granted such freedom, but I had several things to ponder in my heart... thoughts of change, unanswered questions, and what if's. Things are shifting and moving, and the quiet and stillness was just what I needed. But nonetheless, after working so intensely on the quilt top, I just wasn't ready to pull out one of my tedious, long-term quilts.

You may remember me adding a few,... er, well, ahumm, several... ok, ok, a huge stack of fabrics that I hauled back recently from vacation. And while in the land of fabrics, I found that I simply could not resist the Farm Girl Vintage book from Lori Holt either. While these blocks are a little off the beaten path from my usual style, I found myself gravitating back to it.

You might notice several of those fabrics all sliced, diced, and sewn up together in these blocks. Working with low volumes with a little touch of color has been on my to do list, and up until now, my low volume's have essentially been black in the black/white category.

Somehow I'm still stuck on going for a fresh and juicy look... I really want to have colors that just pop! When I first saw the Word find fabric from Melody Miller's Playful collection, I have to admit that I wasn't too impressed... until I saw it live! Talk about a story change... for me THIS is the absolute perfect shade of pink!

... and my little house block ends up boasting not just one, but several favorites of mine... Alison Glass, Heather Ross, Cori Dantini, and I am just as smitten with the Eric & Julie Comstock Baby Jane in yellow.

What's your approach on long-term quilting? Do you take on year-long (or longer) projects or do you prefer quilts that don't need as much time to finish? 

Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Quilt Top Finish... but which one?!?

I finished a quilt top!!!... it might come as a little bit surprise, but can you guess which one? 

I was able to make a good amount of progress on my "planned creativity" goals during our summer vacation time, and since I've been working on THREE quilts at the same time, there's about a 33% chance at guessing which one is now a finished quilt top... so, what's your pick?

1.) The "Swell" quilt
2.) The "Facing East" quilt? or
3.) The "Scrappy Windmill" quilt?...

If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have a pretty good idea already, but if not, how about a little hint?... the quilt top is the smallest of all three quilts that I have been working on, and it's the one I started last!?!... dromroll, please for my Scrappy Windmill quilt top!

The fact that I had decided to make a baby quilt, which was smaller than the orginal version, really helped things come together so quickly. (wow, can you believe that I actually decided to make a quilt smaller instead of making it bigger?!?) The paper piecing seemd to whiz by, not to mention that I had already gotten a lot finished before I left for vacation. What actually felt like it took the longest was peeling all those papers out of the back once it was all put together! NOTE: this is the point where I discovered the BIG downside of paper piecing.

On my Facing East quilt I just charged through without completely reading through the part of the directions that said to leave the paper in until the blocks are sewn together... it was only first on this pattern that I realized that little, but important detail! On one hand, I understand that leaving the paper in helps keep the shape of the block together nicely without stretching the design, but I have to say, that peeling the papers out of the seams was just downright UNPLEASANT!

I had actually tried peeling the paper away from the outside edges of the blocks before stitching them together, but this was also not the best solution. I did notice a slight difference, and I probably could have pulled it off, but decided to stick with the "if it's not broke, then don't fix it" rule. I also tried shortening the stitch length, but from my opnion, it didn't exactly make a world of difference with the paper removal either. Hmmm... definitely some things to think about before jumping into another paper piecing project!

Size: Finished quilt top size approx. 50 x 60 inches (ca. 125 x 150 cm)
Fabrics: Kona Cotton White, Lizzy House, Heather Ross, and other various scraps
Backing: Planned pieced backing with bright prints, waiting for batting
Pattern: Scrappy Windmills by Judith Dahmen as featured in Issue 10 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine

They say that hindsight is twenty-twenty... do you have any "the picture is clearer" after-the-fact stories to share?

 Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday, Let's Bee Social, and Scraptastic Tuesday.
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