I don’t think I’ve EVER had as much trouble with design as I’ve had with this pink/black/white quilt, honest to goodness. You’d think that something as simple as a color scheme wouldn’t be such a roadblock, but here it is! Design Number Six!
This one comes from Lots of Scraps, It’s Time to Quilt, which has some very nice scrappy and FQ designs that I’ll be using for future projects.
The project calls for 6 light and 6 dark FQ’s, and since I have half-yard cuts of 4 or 5 black/white and pink prints, I should have plenty. The only remaining design decision is whether to do the sashing and border in black or pink, but I think that I have enough of a pretty, not-too-busy black print to do the border with.
So now, it’s time to get my nose to the metaphorical grindstone and get over this crafty dry spell to get some stuff DONE! And it’s gonna be darn pretty when I’m finished
With the publication of “World of Geekcraft,” I’ve come up with the harebrained scheme to come up with an ENTIRE BOOK of geeky math-and-science related patterns. My parents, both geeks (obviously) have been great resources for coming up with ideas. My dad, however, went above and beyond the call of duty to work on a design we called “Escher’s Chainmail,” though I think it would be better called a “triple wedding ring.” Dad drafted up a rough pattern in Visio and sent it to me last night, and the more I look at it, the more I think that A) it’s a killer design; B) I think I could pull it off if I made plastic templates, approached the design sensibly, and sewed carefully; C) it’s definitely a unique take on a traditional pattern; and D) This might be a good option for publication as a small book, especially if I could pitch it to Omnigrid and have them make a set of acrylic templates.
The construction would be done very similar to a double wedding ring, with circles and a series of “wedges”, plus there’d be a three-sided middle piece (as opposed to a traditional four-sided curved square shape) in the middle. In my head, the drafting would go something like this:
- Start with the green circles (outlined in purple), and piece those using a series of wedges: one triangular, one sort of rounded/slanted, and one rectangular.
- Then, you’d move on to the “melons” (outline in yellow on the top-left block), which would have a pieced center with triangles, rectangles, and TEENY rectangles at the sides.
- Then you’d piece the red curve the same way you did the green circles and add it to the side of that unit.
- Next up would be the middle of the green rings; you’d start with the curvy-edged hexagon and add the two pieces to the end. That would let you piece all of the green circles.
- Then you’d need to piece the “Z” units (light yellow), which would operate pretty much the same way as the orange pieces.
Ok, I think I’ve FINALLY narrowed it down to two patterns I’m going to use for my QFK sample: “whirly wheels” from the Moda Bake Shop is the first..
The second is called “Building Blocks” and uses a layer cake:
It actually only uses 20 layer cake squares, so if I got some extra fabric for binding and borders (or dug them out of my stash), I could even put together two of them!!
I bet I could make something super cute if I did either of these in primary colors, since, again, QFK really needs quilts for boys.
The LQS’s are hit-or-miss when it comes to charm packs, so I think I’ll head to Hancock Fabrics today. They have a new line of coordinating strips/squares/etc. so hopefully I can pick up a few of those and get myself started!
A friend from graduate school, who is also a fellow quilter, came up with the fabulous idea of starting a local sewing group that would focus on at-risk youth. There’s a lot of planning to be done, but at this point, we’re thinking of starting a local chapter of Quilts For Kids, since there’s no group here in the Tucson area.
It’s a national organization that donates quilts to sick kids in local hospitals, and they’d be a great group to organize under; they’re officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and they’ll handle our books, give us some national publicity on their website, provide designer fabric at half-off, and most importantly, give us a sense of legitimacy. (After all, two ladies going around and saying “hey, we’re random people who want to teach sewing classes” doesn’t sound as good as “we’re affiliated with a national non-profit organization.)
In order to get going, we need to do two things:
- make up a sample quilt to make sure our skills are up to par
- fill out a bunch of paperwork once the sample is approved
Unfortunately, I don’t have any quilts in the requested size (about 38? x 45?) so I get to make one up from scratch this weekend. I found a design that I love on Flickr, so I’m using the same block (“Lady of the Lake”) but with a different quilting design. The quilting pattern is a little more complicated than I’m used to, but I figure it’s nothing but straight lines, or maybe something a little curvier, and I might be able to find a stencil for the border too. Additionally, the quilt is small enough that I wouldn’t have to roll it up, so I should be able to get it under my sewing machine arm just fine.
I think I should be able to knock it out over the weekend, even though I won’t be able to get the 1.5? Thangles (which will make all of these little HST’s a TON easier) until the other quilt shop in my neck of the woods opens up at 10:00.
Overall, I’m really excited about the possibility of getting this group going. Our first plan of attack is to send in paperwork and the sample quilt, and after that we’ll have paperwork to fill out. Then, we’ll need to recruit volunteers; the instructor at last night’s quilt class said that the shop owner is likely to let us put up a flyer in the shop with contact info. We’re also going to have a website (once we’re approved as a chapter), which my mom the web-designer has offered to create for us, so that will help with our advertising efforts.
I think this is a great opportunity for us, as well as the community, and I can’t wait to get started!
Good news: After many months of unemployment, I got a job this week! While this means I’ll have less time to sew, it means I’ll have money for my crafting budget, so I did a little bit of celebratory shopping.
Once I’m finished with a wedding quilt, a baby quilt, and a project for Quilts of Valor, I’ve decided that I’m going to try shifting my focus to doing table runners.
I sent a table runner to a family friend a few months back, and she thinks they’d be great sellers. She sells her handmade dolls at craft shows, and she’s offered to put out some of my quilting pieces for sale at her booths. (How sweet of her!) I think I could easily work up a few simple patterns using fabric from my stash and sell them for ~$25, since most of the ones I see on Etsy are going for at least $35.
I ordered a couple of kits from my favorite online shop, Connecting Threads, to get myself started. I figure I can use this fabric to make a few, and then use the patterns with some other fabric combinations to come up with a wide variety. They only take a few hours to make, from start to finish, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I could put together half a dozen for her and get started with my business on that end. Initial investment for four pieces, including three patterns, is about $35, which means a potential profit of almost $70 if I can successfully sell all four. The rest is pure profit if I can work from my stash (which takes up two 40-gallon plastic tubs, so there’s plenty there)!
I also ordered a kit to make another baby quilt. I think the one with the turtle fabric will but cute, but it’s probably a bit more bold than the mom-to-be would like (just a guess), so I picked up this kit for cheap, and I think it’ll be super-cute. It looks like it uses pieces of folded fabric, which should give a neat effect, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.
I’m taking a “mystery quilt” class next month. Basically, I bring in fabrics from a supply list, and I have no idea what the finished quilt will look like until it’s finished! Neat, huh? I picked up my supply list today (apparently the shop owner just finished it this morning!) and dove into Fabric.com to go shopping, since I wasn’t feeling super-inspired at the shop at the time.
I picked out the following fabrics for my quilt. The white/pink/blue is for the blocks, the green is for the sashing, and the blue print is for the outer border. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this comes out!
Another one of my best friends from high school is having her first baby, and I’d like to work up a quilt for her before her due date in January. My only direction was that she’d like neutral colors, like yellow and green, so that the quilt can be used for future babies as well.
I poked around my favorite pattern websites, and came across this pattern, which I think would work fabulously for a baby quilt. But instead of buying a book to do the patterns, why not use my computer? I’ve got a ton of fonts, and I can easily download more, and I can make appliqué patterns just by printing letters off to trace.
So the finished project should look a little something like this. Scrappy beige prints for the background and three or four different shades of green for the appliquéd letters. EQ only has one font for overlaid letters, but I’d like to use as many different fonts as I can, as well as a mix of upper- and lower-case letters.
I’m really excited to work on this one, but I have the one-block wonder still hanging on the design wall, waiting to be assembled, plus a wedding quilt that’s taking me far longer than it ought to. Priorities, priorities!
Wow, has it been a month since I posted last? I knew it’d been a long time since I touched my sewing machine, but I had no idea it’d been quite that long. I guess I just needed some inspiration and motivation, and luckily I found some on clearance for $2.99/yard at my local Hancock.
This fabric will be cut up and reassembled into a “One Block Wonder, which is kind of like a “stack and whack” except there’s nothing setting the blocks apart from one another. I love this style of quilt and the amazing designs you can get from a single fabric!
Unfortunately, this will be my fourth attempt at this kind of quilt. The last three tries just didn’t work due to fabric: one had too much background, one was too busy, another wasn’t busy enough. Fourth time’s a charm, though, and I think the colors in this fabric will really “make it.” I think this fabric will work since I’ll be able to have several “clusters” of blocks in each of the bright colors, but there’s enough blue in the background to tie everything together. Or so I hope. I’ll start cutting it apart here in a few minutes and we’ll see how it turns out!
Still have two projects on the backburner, but I’m not abandoning them or anything! I’m still working on the wedding quilt for a friend from grad school, all I have left to do is to assemble the blocks with sashing and I’ll be ready to finish the top. I’ve sort of given up on the Lone Star, at least for now; I ran into a bit of a snag in the assembly process, and I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll be able to salvage.
It’s 2:30 AM, I’m awake, and I can’t get back to sleep. What do I do? Why, I get up and goof around with my quilt software for two hours, that’s what! My husband suggested I make a quilt for our bed, since the one we have has gotten fairly torn up, and I’ve practically been dreaming new designs; I haven’t been this motivated to do a quilt in a long while.
I “borrowed” this design from a pattern I found online and worked it out first on graph paper, and then in Electric Quilt. The smaller half-square triangles will be 4″, and the finished top will be 100″ square, which should be plenty big for a queen size bed.
I think I like this color scheme, though I’m messing around with a version in all different shades of blue. My husband doesn’t share the same quilt-color tastes as me (he thinks most of my projects are WAY too bright), so something subtle like this should work nicely for the both of us.
Next step: counting pieces and figuring out yardage. EQ can supposedly calculate fabric amounts for you, but it assumes that long pieces, like those for borders, are cut in single pieces parallel to the selvedge rather than being pieced by strips along the fabric width. I think I’ll do it by hand, just to make sure I’ve got things right.
My husband is going out of town for the weekend, leaving me at home to go on a quilting spree. I need to put the binding on my table runner and do the piecework for a baby quilt, but since I should finish those fairly quickly, I decided to pick up fabric to do another lap quilt once those are finished. This design is from Creative Two Block Quilts by Trice Boerens, and I really look forward to making it.