Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Back

I finished piecing the back of the Fresh Cut quilt. The backing fabric was 108 inches and I needed it to be about10 inches wider. I pieced a section that is 13 inches wide and if that is too wide for the long arm it can be trimmed. Working with a quilt this large has been a monumental task quite an adventure for me. Last evening Jack helped me measure the backing to cut for the pieced insert. He held the tape measure in place on the edge while I marked for the cutting line. The piece we were marking was 120 inches long and we spread it out on the dining room table and clamped it to the edges to the table so it wouldn't slip.

Below on the left, is a photo of the insert piece all stretched out in my sewing room on 2 - 4 x 8 ft, tables with a 3 drawer chest in between. The top right shows it stretched out ready to pin to one of the large backing sections. The bottom right shows my stuffed goose that I made about 30 years ago. He is usually hard at work as a doorstop but he did a good job of keeping the fabric on the table. My Lifetime tables have an edge that makes clamping to the edge not possible.

 This closeup is a collage of the individual blocks, more or less in order. I used leftover pieces and strips to make the sections and separated them with strips of the backing fabric. I used 12 inch long backing fabric strips on both ends so that the pieced sections of the strip will not be trimmed away after the long arm quilting is finished.

Top and backing pressed and folded and ready to go the the long arm quilter.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

TA Da!

I finally finished the Fresh Cut quilt top; it is 110 inches square. I have been working on it almost every waking minute for the past week and I am so happy to have it finished. I ordered backing fabric which should be here Monday. I will have to piece the back to make it wide enough but that should be easy compare to the quilt top. I am sending it out to be quilted.
I had a bit of a time deciding how to do the borders. The top without the bordered was 96 inches and I wanted an accent 1.5 inch order. I started to worry that I might get this quilt too large for the long arm. In the end I went with a 3 inch strip in the center and 1.5 inch strips on either side.
 I didn't want to struggle with sewing the border strips on the whole quilt top 3 times so I constructed the borders before sewing them on. I made blocks for the corners to complete the pattern. I probably could have figured out how to use partial seam piecing so that the green strips looked continuous but I gave up thinking about it when I found myself snapping at my husband when he stuck his head in my sewing room to ask me a question.

I did take time out for a couple of days the week before last to make some pot holder/hot pads to exchange at the Basement Diva meeting. It was good to take a break but what was really the best was going to the Diva meeting. Click on the link to see my 2 and  the rest of the pot holders we exchanged. I didn't know how many we were supposed to make so I cut a for a bunch but only brought 2 when I found out we were supposed to bring one. If you know me that makes sense to you. The pot holder that I came home with was the leaf made by Suzie. I can't find the photo that I took of it so you have to see it on the Diva post. That is me with my crown,made by Jan, and scarf, made by Kathy. I missed getting them last month when I missed the Jellyroll Race.

These are 2 of the hot pads, front and back, that I finished from the stack that I had cut. I bought a bundle of fat quarters last fall because they called my name. I had place mats in mind but never got around to making them and they were perfect for the hot pads. For variety, I added a few more left over fabrics from recently completed projects   I found the tutorial here at Sewcanshe blog. They were fun and easy to make and it was a nice diversion. I plan to finish up the rest that I have cut and maybe make some with Christmas fabric.

Friday, April 17, 2015


What do you do when something  is not the way you want it and getting it right is not in sight? You IMPROVISE!
I have been stalling about sewing my blocks together because I really need to see more of the quilt than I could put up on my 4 foot square design space.  So... I hung a 31 x 40 inch portable design board on the wall with Command hooks on one side of the existing design pace. That wasn't wide enough so I taped a 18 inch strip of batting to the wall on the other side. This way I have been able to put almost half of the blocks on the wall.

I will get my design wall right eventually and it is probably my own fault that I didn't get it right in the first place after our move. However, this will work for now.

I really need to make sure that I am distributing the gray patches evenly over the whole quilt. I wish I had taken the gray squares out of the layer cakes before I started but at the time getting out to shop again was not going to happen and after taking out all the white 10 inch squares I needed to keep the gray. They aren't terrible but using them requires more care in placement.

I have been telling myself I could get along without a big design space but the truth is that doing so has almost killed my motivation to quilt. Just having this makeshift design space has made a big difference in my enthusiasm already.

Monday, April 13, 2015


I finished all of the blocks today for the quilt I am working on. I finally feel as though  I am getting somewhere.

This is what I have on my dinky 48 inch square design wall right now; this is only so I could see how the pattern developed with the  "real fabric" blocks.  I am not sure yet how I am going to lay this out without a decent design wall. I am thinking it over. I might have to lay it out and sew it in sections and line them up somehow to see how it looks before I sew the next section. The colors and fabrics are really random so I am not too concerned, but maybe I should be.

There are:
61 - 16 patch blocks (8  x 8  finished size)
60 - X blocks (8  x 8  finished size)
20 - 16 patch half blocks (4  x 8  finished size)
24 - X half blocks (4  x 8  finished size)
2 - 4 patch corner blocks (4  x 4  finished size)

This is the EQ version of the quilt. I have half blocks around the quilt on all four sides  and 4 patches in the corners to complete the pattern. I have the Moda fabrics that I used (Fresh Cut by Basic Grey) in my EQ fabric library s  ,even though I added other fabrics, I was able to have a good idea how it way going to look.
I ordered fabric today for the borders the green for the inner border and and binding and a floral with a pink background for the outer border both from the Fresh Cut line.

Below, on the left, is a box of scraps from ends of strips and narrow strips from fat quarters and other odds and ends of misfits. In the middle there are left over parts from strip piecing and left over strips and 2 1/2 inch leftover connector corner squares. These will all get added to my scrap containers and probably used for "making fabric" and odd scrap projects. 

And then there are the triangles that I cut off of the Connector Corner blocks. I used them for thread  catchers when chain piecing and I will press them and trim the HST's to 1 1/2 inches . There are about 550 give or take a few.  
What will I do with them? 
Maybe I will glue them on my head after I tear my hair out.