My Favorite Quilt

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I usually rotate the quilts I use on my bed, but since putting this one on early in the spring, I haven’t wanted to change it out. I love so much about it. And I’ve been musing over the traditional/planned/accurately cut nature of it compared to how I’ve chosen to work in the past few years.

You can see that although its scrappy, it did have a basic color plan–blue and pink with some brown, green, and purple thrown in. Its mostly 1800s reproduction fabrics, which I still love, but I also threw in some of my favorite more modern prints which were in the same color ways.

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I used some of my most favorite “repeater” fabrics–those fabrics that I just couldn’t resist buying a bit more of when I found it in a shop. (That turquoisy blue serpentine print is my most-often purchased repeater fabric. There’s just something about it that fascinates me.)

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I saw the pattern in a magazine, but then I realized that the pattern was much smaller than I had thought. So I figured out how to turn a 4″ finished square into a 6 inch finished square. That made for some funny measurements, but I made little “kits” of pre-cut pieces, and that made it a little easier.

And I especially love that pink border that I was able to include. I still remember where I first saw that fabric–at Greenbaum’s in Salem, Oregon. It was on a tiny pincushion sample and they didn’t have any more of the fabric. Probably more than a year later I found a bit of it somewhere, and have used it in several of my quilts. Its just so perfect, don’t you agree? In fact, I realized after the fact, that the color of my bedroom walls, which I worked with the paint lady to custom mix, was this same perfect color of coral-pink.

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I also love the little patterns that I used to quilt it, and that I kept at it, even though it got so tedious and boring.

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I like that I continued on and made the border as the original pattern showed, even though I was so very done with this quilt by the time I got all the little squares for the middle done. I like this pattern that I figured out for the border triangles.

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Since I sleep alone in a double bed (well, with two little doggies who hog two-thirds of the bed) I like to use a quilt that just hangs over the edge about six inches. This quilt is just the perfect size for me.

I think about whether I will make another quilt like this. I think what helps me is pre-cutting the pieces into those little kits. I put each particular size into little zip lock baggies. And then I chose the pieces in the color combos that I wanted for each block as I went along. I’ve found that I don’t like strip piecing. It actually depresses me. So even though it might be slower, I find it infinitely more satisfying to finish one little block at a time.

 

This Week–In The Studio

A week  or so ago, I became enchanted by a quilt Melody Johnson shared on her blog. I sent the picture to my BF, and asked  why I liked it so much. Her answer: P.I.N.K.

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Ha! I truly hadn’t thought of that. I do like pink just a bit 🙂 I also liked the scrappiness of it, and lately I’ve been attracted to the friendship star. I’ve been thinking about triangles for about 6 months. And I have been thinking about doing a more traditional style of quilt. P.I.N.K. confirmed it. This is the new quilt I would make for my bed! Oh, and I also liked that the original creator used old clothing in her quilt. I had saved some of the fabric from the last few colorful scrub tops I wore as a NICU nurse, and this would be the perfect quilt to include them in.

As you can see in the original, it is based on 3/4 –that is, there are 3 squares across the blocks, contrasting to the 4 squares across the sashing. The simplest equation for this is 12. So the blocks are based on a 9 patch of 4 inch finished blocks, while the sashing would be based on 3 inch finished blocks. I only tell you all of this to tell you something cool that happened quite by accident. I decided to make the half-square triangles for the star blocks by simply cutting 4 1/2 inch blocks, drawing a line down the center, and sewing ON that line. I cut the leftovers off with my scissors. As I looked at those leftovers, I wondered if they would make the 3 inch finished  blocks I needed for the sashing triangles. Sure enough, they did! So I sewed those leftovers together as I went along, and then “squared them up” and cut them down to 3 1/2 inches.

I do not like strip piecing, or speed sewing anything. So I just went through my stack of pinkish fabrics and chose three fabrics for each star block, and constructed each block one at a time. I know this is slower, but I am so much happier working this way. Every day I made a few star blocks, so that by yesterday I had all twenty of them done! I was a little surprised to see that my creation is LESS pink than the original. Maybe it’ll pink up when I add the sashing. I used a combination of contemporary prints and reproduction prints. And added in some stripes and plaids. This will not be big enough for a bed quilt, so I will add some kind of border.

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And returning to the cherrywood fabric and 2 inch blocks creation:  after thinking about how or if I wanted to add the squares to the last border of this quilt, I realized that the way I wanted to do it was to follow how I had done the first round. That is, I added the borders log-cabin fashion, and I sewed the little squares on to each log before I sewed it to the main piece. So I adjusted the little squares to mimic this treatment. Its a small changed, but one that made me very happy. Its ready to be made into a sandwich, but first I have to clear away some pink fabric from my cutting desk so I can turn it into my ironing desk 🙂

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Another Big Quilt Finished

I finished this big quilt before I took my trip. I showed some close-ups of the quilting in a previous blog post (here,) and here is a picture of the finished quilt. I have been enjoying it on my bed. The colors are quiet and peaceful.

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Here is the little quilting design I made up for the large triangles on the border. I like it a lot.

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Oh, and here is a picture of a pillow cover I made for an oversized pillow. I discovered that I sleep a lot better with one of these big pillows! So I bought one at Home Goods, and decided to make a cover for it. I used some blocks that I had been experimenting with. I love how it turned out.

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That’s all for now. I have been having some great creative days since coming home. I’ll share more later!

Finishing Some Quilt Tops

The other day I was looking for an empty plastic tub and I came across some quilt tops that I LOVED when I completed them. One of them was already basted into a quilt sandwich. So I am in the quilting and finishing mode lately. Here are some of the squares from the big one I’ve been working on. I have the center complete now, and still have 2 borders to get done. I’ll show you the whole quilt as soon as I finish it! This was another quilt that I loved the process of making. I had all my favorite reproduction fabrics and a lot of ‘fancy’ fabrics pre-cut into the shapes that I needed. And then I would sit and put together each square JUST SO. Choosing the colors is one of my favorite parts of quilting.

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I’m including this picture as a reminder to myself. And maybe to solve a mystery to someone else. Sometimes when I am quilting/sewing a lot, my sewing machine will start to squeak. It squeaks with each stitch. So I know it is one of those moving parts. The sewing machine repair guy showed me how to take the top off my machine and oil the moving parts. So I do that. Nope. Still squeaking. I take the front off, and try to find parts to oil in there. Nope. STILL SQUEAKING. So finally I take the bobbin out and oil in there, even though I know that’s probably not it. So exasperating. So then I sew a little bit and just STARE at it. And I finally remember. It is this part that squeaks. Just the little shaft on the quilting foot with the spring thingy on it. Ahhh, peaceful silent sewing at last. It probably was a good thing that I oiled all those other parts anyway!

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And lastly, a shot of the girls coexisting peacefully. These two can have some pretty intense “arguments.” But when it comes to comfort, they are birds of a feather.

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