Project 48 Quilt: Block 4 (and Block 3 redo)

Like lots of people doing the Project 48 Quilt, I wasn't completely satisfied with my Block 3.  Couldn't seem to leave well enough alone!  I felt it didn't have enough text prints in it.  So back to EQ7 and playing around with layouts and fabrics.  Here's my new choices.
All cut and ready to sew.  I'm hoping it comes out more like this when I sew/cut it.
Or this.
Guess I need to decide which I like better before sewing!
Then it's on to Block 4: Dot.  I have the fabrics selected and cut.
It should look like this when I'm finished.
I think this version is too scrappy.
Will update tomorrow after they're sewn!


OMG: February--Pink Ribbon Heart Quilt

I've been really excited about quilting during this first month of 2016, and I'm already looking forward to setting my goal for February.
Last month I finished my Marina's Garden Quilt.  I went through the usual love-hate-love-hate-LOVE with that quilt as I was working on it.  I also started the Project 48 Quilt, and look forward to the new block release every week--thank goodness the hosts are in Australia, so I only have to wait until Thursday night!  And the Finish-a-Long Q1 goal setting has gotten me to take a good hard look at some of my UFOs and quilty plans.
I will say that I am in love, love, LOVE with Electric Quilt 7 again.  Why, oh, why did I not install that on my last laptop.  But then I'd have a hundred more UFOs in the mix by now.  EQ7 has really help me visualize the ideas in my head, and realize when some of them aren't as good as I thought.  And it's also pushed me in directions I never thought I'd take.  My Paradiso Layers-of-Charm quilt ended up going in a much more modern direction than anything I've done in the past.  And while the coral pink may not have been the best choice for a solid, I'll learn to live with it (that love-hate-love thing again).
Anyway, enough rambling about other projects.  On to February's goal!
So many of my projects these days start out with "this is something I started so long ago, I've forgotten when," or "these are blocks I bought off eBay so long ago, I've forgotten when."  Well, February's project is no exception.  A long time ago American Patchwork and Quilting had a charity auction of pink heart blocks on eBay to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  I can't remember if you knew what blocks you were bidding on, or if it was the luck-of-the-draw.  I won 9 blocks.  One of them is a abstract pink heart appliqued on a white background.  The other 8 are pieced blocks meant to be a heart with a border/corner blocks.  I really am not crazy about the 8 blocks.  They're two pale to show of the heart shape, in my opinion.  But they're in my stash and I feel I owe it to them to do something with them all.  February and Valentine's Day (and my anniversary) seemed like the right time to bring them out and turn them into something.
Which of course had me playing around in EQ7 tonight.  I love actually working on a project to learn new things in the program.  I (re)learned how to upload a picture and trace it to make an applique block.  When I dug the actual blocks out of my stash, I came across some fabric yardage that I had bought years ago to go along with the blocks.
I first created the layout that APQ more or less suggested in the instructions they sent with the blocks.  That's the one in the upper left.  But of course I couldn't stop there.  I got the idea of maybe a medallion quilt or some other not-as-traditional arrangement for the blocks.  Combing through the EQ7 Library, I came up with the other 8 ideas.
The scrappy sort of not-quite-log cabin in the lower left appealed to me, so I explored that one some more.  Adding in more fabrics (purples I saw in my stash), and elongating the main blocks so that they would be 15x20 to make a 45x60 lap quilt (I seem to be all about turning things into lap quits this past month).  I'm leaning in the direction of the larger blocks, with pink and purple fabrics added around the heart blocks in an improv fashion to get to the finished 15x20 size.
My goal for February is to at least get the quilt top pieced.  Quilting will have to wait until I can figure out a space large enough for basting.  (So I can get my Paradiso quilt basted, as well.)
Seems I've gone back to writing long, rambling blog posts, too.  Forgive me.


OMG: January--Marina's Garden Quilt

I met my January goal of completing my doll quilt mini called Marina's Garden Quilt. This was a long-standing UFO project that I started years ago, fully intending to hand-quilt it. But then I decided I didn't like that idea anymore, and went for machine-quilting it instead. I used three colors of Connecting Threads Essential thread (marigold, mauve, French blue) and did a sort of wavy plaid pattern. I then decided to bind it using a Timeless Treasures crosshatch fabric in blue that I had bought for a pouch swap last year. The fabric almost mimics the quilting with its wavy lines. The backing was a low volume fabric that never seemed to work on the front of any quilt I tried, but I think it works perfectly here with the fabrics from the front. Here are some photos of the finished mini. 


Project 48 Quilt: Block 3

I was planning to spend an hour at my local library doing some adult coloring, but my car won't start.  So I've decided to stay home and write about my Project 48 progress!
First up, my finished Block One: Churn Dash--
A few mistakes were made with trimming and sewing, but I'm not doing it over again.
And Block Two: Disappearing Nine Patch--
And as a reminder, how they looked in EQ7.  Not bad!
This week's block is a Wonky Disappearing Nine Patch.  First I played around in EQ7 as best I could (hard to do when they are suppose to be wonky cuts).

Since we just did the regular version, I decided I wanted to go a bit scrappier for my wonky version, so I started playing around with ideas similar to the lower left, changing the colors a bit.
  The upper right layout appealed to me the most, so I based my fabric placement on it.  Fabrics all cut and ready for stitching!
Next, it was time to make some wonky cuts.  Definitely the hardest part of the whole process.  They couldn't be too wonky, so that there was enough fabric to square up the block in the end.  I figured the safest thing to do would be to pivot my cuts more or less off the center of the black middle fabric.
Then I flipped and rotated until I matched my EQ7 layout (not realizing until later that my wonky cuts were probably angled in the opposite direction).  Then I tried to line up the top edges of the top two blocks and bottom edges of the bottom two blocks.  And stitched.  (After staring at the finished block, I realized I probably should have trimmed the four blocks down to 5" square before sewing, but hindsight and all that.)
Then I trimmed off the middle edges to have a straight line for sewing, making sure I had at least 5" of width to the two strips.  Was cutting it a bit close.
Then I stitch down the middle seam without regard for matching up the center seams.  Because then I wouldn't be able to square the block up to 9.5" in the end.  As you can see, I barely made it!
And the finished Block Three: Wonky Disappearing Nine Patch--
Close enough to my original EQ7 plan...
Because I didn't line up the center seams, I didn't get the original desired pinwheel effect I was going for.  If I had it to do over again, I'd probably make the center black square 4.5" instead of 4", and the blocks touching it 4.5" x 4", with the corners remaining 4" square.  I think that would leave a little more wiggle room for wonkiness.


Project 48 Quilt: Blocks 1 and 2

I know I don't really need another quilt project, but this one came along and I couldn't pass it up.  It's called Project 48 Quilt.  It's a year-long mystery quilt-a-long with 48 9" blocks.  Instructions for a new block come out each week.  I had a little trouble deciding which fabrics to pick, since it is a mystery quilt.  I needed about 6 yards of fabric (24 fat quarters), but didn't want to buy new fabric.  I wasn't sure I wanted to go into my old calicoes.  Then I settled on my batiks, since I have well over 24 of them in a rainbow of colors.  I was planning to make something with them anyway.  But I wanted a non-batik for the background fabric.  I thought of solid black or solid white, but that didn't feel right.  Then I decided to dig into my new text fabric stash and use those, since I was also planning to make a quilt with the text fabrics.  I figured the blocks would be small enough at 9" that I wouldn't make too much of a dent in my stash.
The first block will be a churn dash block.  The second block is a disappearing nine patch.  I went to EQ7 to play around with color placement before cutting into anything.  I settled on something like these.
I've cut the fabrics, but haven't pieced anything together, yet.  That will come later in the week, probably after Block 3 comes out.

I know the second one doesn't look anything like the finished block, but that's the beauty of a disappearing nine patch.
I'm looking forward to this project, and maybe learning a few new skills along the way.  In the end, I should have another nice lap-size quilt, depending on how it's finished.


Paradiso Layers-of-Charm Quilt

This project has been my #selfishswap project for a few months now.  Something I'm making totally for myself.  It started as a charm pack and mini charm pack of Paradiso. I used the Layers of Charm pattern from Fat Quarter Shop.

Thing is, it ends up about 27" square, so a not-so-mini mini quilt.  I've really been wanting a lap quilt, and kept looking at this to see how I could turn it into one.  I needed backing fabric anyway, and when I found four 48" cuts of the dark gray on Etsy for a really good price, I jumped on it.  Not my first choice for a backing fabric, but it's getting harder to find stuff from this line.  Now I had tons of gray fabric, but what to do with it?  I went to Joann's today, and picked up some solid white and solid salmon/coral pink (yeah, can't remember the color name now).
I kind of liked the way a smaller white border, larger salmon border, and still larger gray border look.  But since I don't want it to get too wide, the gray would only be on the top and bottom.  I decided to play around in EQ7 (my new/old favorite thing to do for quilt planning), and came up with an idea that also incorporates the 6 or so leftover charms and mini charms from the quilt top.  (Note to self: find leftover squares).  And because I don't like to waste anything, I also have 36 teeny, tiny half-square triangles left from trimming the blocks.  I think I'll put those on the back somewhere.  Maybe in a line or two with the salmon, between the large pieces of gray.
Or maybe get rid of the white border.  A couple more ideas...

I already have some idea of how to quilt it.  But that could change until I actually get this put together, since the plan itself could change.  Again.


Books-for-Baby Quilt

My local library marked its 25th Anniversary in 2015.  Somewhere along the way, I thought it would be neat to make a quilt for the library for it's celebration.  And I thought the Books-for-Baby quilt from Patchwork Please would be a great quilt.  Only one problem, I didn't have enough (meaning hardly any) child novelty fabrics that would work as the 25 book covers I was hoping to make.  So the project got put on hold.
Right before the holidays in December, someone started a "Get Your Quilty Wishes Granted" movement on Instagram.  It was the chance I was looking for to get some novelty fabrics, so I posted my wish.  And had it granted, several times over.  I received fabrics from around the country and across the ocean.  Now the hard part is going to be selecting which 25 I put into the quilt!
Today I spent some time playing around in EQ7, drawing the block, dropping in stock fabrics, and thinking about background, accent, and border fabrics.
The finished quilt may look something like this.  And it may not.  But I think I like the idea of scrappy backgrounds for the blocks, rather than solid white or black or another color.  Partly because I'd have to buy 25 solids I don't have.  Now I need to decide whether to use batiks for the backgrounds and book accents (since I have a fair number of those collected, too), or to use something else from my stash.  Hoping to not spend too much more on fabric for a while.  I'm also trying to decide whether I want to attempt to paper-piece the library logo for somewhere on the quilt, or whether to just print something out on fabric.  But I feel like I have a little more direction than I did a day ago!


Finish-a-Long: 2016 Q1 List

Besides the OMG: One Monthly Goal link-up, I also decided to make a list for the 2016 Finish-a-Long.  For my year-end wrap-up of ALYOF, I started scribbling a list of the things I'd like to focus on this year, but I've added more from my long list of projects.
So here's my UFO list for the Finish-a-Long (ones in bold are my main focus for the first quarter--but since I tend to be circular in how I finish things, meaning I go around and around, I can't say what will come next):
  • Paradiso Layers-of-Charm mini (selfish sewing project--backing/binding fabric is shipping)
    Paradiso Layers of Charm Mini Quilt Top
  • Pinwheel quilt (quilted--just needs binding) 
    Marina's Garden Quilt
  • Orphan Block Mini (bind)
    Quilted Orphan Block
  • Purple/Yellow/Green Star (mini top done, need to baste/quit/bind) 
  • Batik Pinwheel quilt (decide whether to turn into lap quilt by adding more blocks) 
  • SueBeeStar quilt (have the design, need the fabrics)
  • SueBee Stat Quilt
  • T-Shirt Quilt(s)
  • T-Shirt Quilt(s)
  • Charm Quilt "Sister Quilt" (have the top done, just need to hand-tie or quilt)
  • Charm Quilt "Sister" Quilt
  • Tulip Quilt (do something with tulip blocks from eBay) 
  • Tulip Quilt
  • Homespun Plaid quilt (something with all the homespuns I collected)
  • Homespun and some Batiks
  •  Fall Leaf quilt (just needs layered and quilted; have the backing fabric)
    Leaf Quilt
  • Heart Runner Quilt (finish borders and quilt)
    Heart Runner Quilt
  • Rainbow Batik quilt (not sure what, but I have a nice collection of batiks now)
    More Batiks
  • Books-for-Baby quilt for my local library (have started collecting fabrics) 
    Possible layout for quilt
    Some novelty print for Books-for-Baby Quilt
  • Elementary quilt (not sure what, but I have a layer cake of this fabric line that I really want to create something for me with; finally found some backing fabric for this old line) 
  • Elementary Fabrics
  • Square-in-Square Quilt (do something with S-i-S blocks from eBay)
  • Square-in-Square Quilt Project
  • Mystery Quilt (have the top done from years ago, just need to quilt)
    Mystery Quilt
  • Denim Quilt 
  • Hexies (make into quilt top; more long-term goal because I need to trade more hexies)
  • Hexie Friends Quilt Project
  • Text quilt (something with all the text fabrics I've been collecting) 
    Some of my text fabrics
  • Daysail Quilt (need to come up with a pattern for the charm pack/fabric I have) 
    Daysail Fabrics
  • Yellow Brick Road Quilt Kit (bought it long ago, but never assembled) 
  • Blue/White "All Star" BOM Quilt (blocks down, assemble top and quilt) 
  • Green/White "My Favorite Things" BOM Quilt (top done, quilt) 
  • Teal/Green "Mystery" BOM Quilt (quilt top done) 
  • "Threads from the Heartland" BOM Quilt (some blocks finished) 
  • "Century Quilt" BOM Quilt (some blocks done) 
  • "Sunny Days" BOM Quilt (some blocks done) 
  • Bright Floral BOM Quilt (top finished) 
  • Pink/Green/Tan BOM Quilt (top finished) 
  • Blue/Red/Tan BOM Quilt (top finished) 
  • Breast Cancer/Pink Heart Blocks 
  • Windmill Quilt (pieces purchased off eBay long ago)
  • do something with my stash that is scrappy (maybe cut them into pre-cuts--not a FAL goal, but I'm leaving it here for me)
  •  and do something with all the charm packs/mini charm packs I've acquired the past two years (ones I bought and ones given to me as swap extras; probably a half dozen projects in there) 
    Some of my charm packs

Quite a list, I know.  And that's only a small part of the projects swirling around in my head or that I have in my UFO pile.  I'll add more photos as I find them again.