Saturday, September 28, 2013

And everything else

Sarah did this the smart way and began with a plan in mind. She had a color scheme, borders and backing all chosen and prepared, and now that it's done, it all matches and looks lovely.
I chose to do mine as more of a random sampler. When I looked online at other people's finished quilts, those were the ones I liked the best. But now that I'm finished, the daunting task of choosing sashing, border, and backing fabrics is upon me. Eeek!
I went to Marshall's, Ross, and looked at several stores online for some sheets to use-- the flat sheet as the backing and the fitted sheet sliced into sashing. But to no avail! All I found were ugly or boring, and those weren't quite what I was going for.
Eventually, after spending (ashamedly) two days looking on, I found exactly what will make me the perfect quilt.
I'll use navy blue for the sashing between every square. I've seen some quilts online with light sashing and some with dark, and I definitely like how the dark color emphasizes the quilt blocks! Plus, I've done a quilt in the past with navy sashing, and it looks great with everything-- kind of like jeans, I guess.
Happy Holidays Texture Navy
Then for the cornerstones and a border, I'll use this beautiful floral:
Aunt Grace in a Pickle
And I fell in love with this gold floral pattern for the back and the larger setting triangles on the front:
Camden Blender Floral Gold
I don't want the backing to be so busy that the whole quilt feels like a hurricane for the eyes. But I don't want it so plain that it's boring. I felt like this was the perfect match.
Thankfully, a couple of the fabrics were on sale, I bought enough to get free shipping, I used an online coupon that saved me $10, and then I bought them through my ebates account, which gave me a couple dollars back. So yeah, I'm pretty much the best online shopper ever! (This time...)
Sometimes I make fun of Kevin when he orders something online and then gives me hourly updates on its whereabouts: "Ooh, it's left the warehouse! Ooh, it's on the truck! Ooh, it's scheduled for delivery!" But I did check a few times over the last couple days, and when I saw it was out for delivery today, I ran downstairs to get it, even before the package list was printed for our building. :) I'm so cool!
So I'm excited to wash these and get started on putting this bad boy together!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

#85, 86, 87

#85 Square Dance
I like the Chinese fabric in the center, and since it's such a large square of it, I think it looks nice. This is the only square with such dark colors and burgundy. But at this point, the squares are so random that it's hard to say that one doesn't match. None of them really match!
#86 Squash Blossom
Squash blossoms are orange, and I love that this one looks vaguely like it would fit into a Navajo rug. This makes me happy, since squash was an important staple for the early Americans. I tried growing zucchini squash on my balcony this year, and we've had a couple flowers so far. I'm glad it's not the staple of my diet, though, because I'd still be waiting for my first meal.
#87 Star Gardener
Okay, I'd sworn off all the blocks with a gazillion of the #13 triangles. They take forever, and since there are a million tiny pieces, if you're even a tiny bit inaccurate in your cutting or stitching, it will throw off the size of the whole block (ahem, darting birds!). But I've gotten a lot better at cutting and sewing more accurately. I know that I need to lean towards a scant 1/4" seam, and when I did so, this block turned out exactly the right size! I kind of love it, and it was worth all the cutting and sewing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

#82, 83, 84

#82 Spider Legs
This one is not my new favorite. I like the fabrics together, but I had thought they would turn out a little more 50/50, not so overpowered by the leaf print. And then there are about a gazillion pieces in this square, and it doesn't really look as cool as it should for the work that went into it. I give it a C+.
#83 Spider Web
This one gets an A, though. It's hard to go wrong with red and white, isn't it? They're matching fabrics-- the same design and same colors, just reversed. So I thought this was the perfect square for them. This one kind of makes me hungry for pizza, though.
#84 Spool
This one is simple and simply lovely. If I were going to make a whole quilt of spools, though, I'd definitely use this super cute pattern!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

#79, 80, 81

#79 Silver Lane
I didn't much care for this pattern. The more I looked at it, the more I didn't like it, and I couldn't find colors to change my mind. But when I made it all ONE color, various shades of red, I liked it much better. It's still not my favorite; it's a bit too random and busy. But it will do well enough.
#80 Single Wedding Star
I REALLY like this one! I could make an entire quilt of this design. It really looks circular, but then when you break it down, it's just rectangles and square-within-a-square. I love it when things look really complicated but then are actually quite simple like this.
#81 Snowball
This one isn't a new favorite. A real "snowball" block is just a solid square with little corner triangles. This one has big ol' corner triangles and a "window" in the center, neither of which make me happy. Plus, I was determined to use this pastel floral print, and I'm not terribly thrilled with the combination. Oh well. It will be a busy quilt. I'm sure I won't spend all day looking at this one.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

#76, 77, 78

#76 Sawtooth
When I had cats, I thought it was really hard to keep them away from my sewing. They liked to sit ON my fabric, bat at the thread, and meow pitifully through the closed door when I banished them from my sewing room. Now I have two little daughter helpers, and I realized I had NO IDEA. These girls can use scissors. They want their own threaded needle and some fabric. And forget banishing them outside-- these girls can open doors!
So I try to let them help whenever I can. And that's why Naomi is reaching into the picture to grab my quilt square. At least she doesn't have scissors in her hands!
#77 Seasons
This was-- hands down-- the simplest pattern to sew. Even though it's set on point, it's really just a 9-patch. So, two trips to the ironing board, and I was done!
#78 Shooting Star
This one took a few more than two trips to the ironing board. I keep the ironing board in a different  room than my sewing machine. Mostly it's to keep it out of sight, but it's also because, while I like sitting and sewing all day, I don't want to look like I sit around all day. So I take trips from the bedroom to the dining room, and it keeps me young. :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

#73, 74, 75

#73 Rainbow Flowers
If something's called "rainbow flowers," it should probably have more than one color. But I love these greens, and I realized that since it's my favorite color, there should be more green in my quilt. This is the essence of that realization.
#74 Ribbons
And... more green. I like these colors together, and I already used them in Flower Garden Path.
#75 Rosebud
Okay, for a previous block (I forget which) I cut out a bunch of these purple triangles. But I cut them out wrong or I cut too many or something. So I had a pile of purple triangles and some scraps that worked out perfectly for this block. And what do you know, the background is green! Yay for green week!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

#70, 71, 72

#70 Prairie Queen
I like the idea of this, with a solid and a busy print, but I really don't like how it turned out. The busy print is just busy, instead of being complimentary and busy. I'll probably redo this one at the end.
#71 Puss in the Corner
Wow, 0 for 2. I kind of hate this one too. The solid pink is too boring, and the brown is too stark of a change. I'll probably redo this one. Maybe I'll put the ugly ones together for a quilt of ugliness. Any takers?
#72 Railroad
This one, though, I can get behind! I love these colors together! They match and compliment each other perfectly. I would be happy with a whole quilt of these colors. If I had more of the floral print, that could become a reality. But I only have a teensy bit left. Sad day. 
Maybe I'll remake the first two with these fabrics!
So 1 for 3. Better luck next week, me!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

#67, 68, 69

#67 Every-which-way
If you look carefully, you might notice that this is not a Pine Tree block made up of a hundred tiny triangles. As much as I like pine trees, it wasn't worth it! So instead, I made this block, which is a variation on Ozark Maple Leaf. As I was putting the Ozark block together, I rearranged it a bit, and I really like this layout! Sometimes I see the arrows, and sometimes I see a frame around the X in the middle. And though I've never used it before, I really like the combination of these two fabrics!
#68 Postage Stamp
Okay, this is going to sound super lame, but when I was about 10 blocks away from this one, I started thinking and planning what blocks I would use for my Postage Stamp. I felt like I needed some cool, soft colors, and these just spoke to me.
#69 Practical Orchard
When I was putting these fabrics together, I thought they might look nice together because one is black-and-white, while the other one is grey. Black+white=grey, so it works, right? But then it wasn't until after I cut out the pieces that I realized the black and white fabric DOES have grey in it! I've seriously been looking at that fabric for months and didn't notice it until working with it. Maybe it makes me a complete nerd (which I'm okay with), but I love how working with little pieces in a quilt or a puzzle help me notice the details like this!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

34, 35, 36 by Sarah

Oh, I found a great place to photograph my squares as I finish them! I put a little stool (don't mind the scratches, stains, paint, etc.) by our window in the afternoon and there's some great sunlight. They're so evenly lit. Nope, I didn't use a flash. I like it anyway. It shows off the colors. Aaaaand here we go:

 Flock: The picture is upside down from the diagram in the book. The flock is flying south in the book, and these are flying north. I don't really ever see/hear flocks of birds heading north or south here like I did growing up. It's a shame. I loved hearing the canadian geese honking as they flew by signaling the change of seasons.
Flower Basket: What!? no handle!? I need to get on my applique stuff. Truth is I've never done applique and I'm a little scared to mess it up horribly. This one and "basket" will be posted again once I get the handles on.  The bottom of the basket kinda hides because of the white background to the polka dots. Can't decide if I like it like that or not. I do like the green though. 
Flower Garden Path: Here's what I was thinking on this one. Brick path - striped fabric; Flowers - purple fabric; Foliage - green fabric. Turned out a little funky looking, especially since the points don't line up. Oh well. I think it'll look fine with the other blocks around it. Funny thing is I was reading a book called The Quilter's Apprentice for book club this month when I was piecing this one and one of the main characters said she could always tell which quilts her sister had made because the triangle points didn't line up and how it was because she just wasn't patient enough to line them up or re-do them until they lined up. Yep, me, too!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

#64, 65, 66

#64 Peace and Plenty
I love the name of this block: Peace and Plenty. When we were little, our mom would sing us, "Love at Home," as our going-to-sleep song. It's her favorite hymn. She knew all the verses, and in one, there's a part that says, "Peace and plenty here abide, smiling sweet on every side. Time doth softly, sweetly glide when there's love at home." Love at home was something we tried for as a whole. We were not always good, and we were not always loving. But most of the time we were fairly loving. We knew we loved each other, and we definitely knew our parents loved us.
So I love the title, I love the idea of peace and plenty, but I don't love the block design. So I decided to make it in a low-contrast coupling of prints. I chose purple: my mom's favorite color is purple, and it comes from her favorite song. And since the prints aren't strikingly different, the weird pattern is kind of downplayed. It turned out nicely in the end.
#65 Peaceful Hours
Oooh, I love this one! I love the blue floral print, and I love the sunburst pattern of the block. This is essentially the color scheme from the book, and I really love how it turned out.
#66 Periwinkle
I kind of cheated for this one, making the center flower out of one print instead of two. Oh well. Pretty blue flowers. When I set out my blocks, I realized I wanted more blue and more dark squares. This fits the bill on both occasions.

Friday, June 7, 2013

31, 32, 33 by Sarah

Ugh. I thought I was so clever in scheduling out some posts to seem like I'm all on top of things. Then I go and post the last post and I see that Chelsea has scheduled out posts all the way through June. Over achiever. :-P
 Evening Star: I wanted to try to do a square that had green and red without it looking like Christmas. So I went ahead and picked one to try that out on that is titled "Evening Star." Great choice, I know. I think I pulled it off though by using the frog prince fabric because it has a little of pink in it so it pulled in the red nicely without screaming, "Santa!"
Farmer's Daughter: I like how the fabrics turned out on this one except that I should have picked a better gray because the anchor print doesn't really show up much. I like the bold red bow or star or whatever it is though. 
 Swastika Farmer's Puzzle: I thought I'd possibly be able to make this look less like a swastika if I reversed the light & dark fabrics. Nope. Oh well. I think it'd be interesting to see what this would look like as a whole quilt. I don't think I'd have the patience to do a whole quilt of this though since I could never get the two sides to line up right. Nope, they're still mis-aligned and I don't even care anymore.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hello--28, 29, 30 by Sarah

Well, I was so occupied with catching up on my quilting that I didn't realize I had quite a few blocks to post about already! I took pictures of them all today so I can get caught up on posting about them as well. Don't worry, I'll schedule them out so it's like I'm taking the time every other day to sit and post about them. Whoops, did I write that out loud? Here we go.
 Duck and Ducklings: Not much to say about this one. I like ducks. I used squirrel fabric.
 Economy:  For this one I thought I'd tryout using two off-white fabrics with different prints to see how it turned out. I figured it'd be pretty easy to re-do if I end up not liking it. So far I like it. We'll see what it looks like laid out with the other squares.
End of Day: Yikes, don't look, but the center tips don't line up completely. I love how my camera is so sharp that you can see the weave of the fabric. Don't look but I used some pieces with selvage on them. Whoops. Looks like I was on a gray and green fix these days.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

#61, 62, 63

#60 Northern Lights
I like the delicate pink floral fabric. I'd been meaning to pair it with a green print, but `I never found one I liked. So even though these pinks aren't exactly the same, I think they work together-- and I even matched them in the daylight!
#61 Old Windmill
Oh wait, is that the same pink print as the first block? Oh, yes it is! Because I am awesome, I accidentally cut a bunch of pink triangles using the fabric from #60 and the template I'd gotten out for #61. So I used it and think it works alright. The dark blue was the first fabric I chose for this block, and I literally had just enough to make these four triangles. I'm glad that tiny scrap got to make a meaningful mark on this quilt.
#62 Ozark Maple Leaf
So, is this because there's a different kind of maple tree in the Ozarks? Or is this the kind of maple leaf quilt block that people make in the Ozarks? I found this page that has a whole quilt of Ozark maple leaves, and it's a beautiful tessellating pattern! I would like to make a whole quilt of it someday. Someday in the distant future. Maybe never. But it's still a cool design!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Layout test

It's fun to set out my quilt blocks and see what my final quilt is going to look like. Can we say colorful?!
It's a little intimidating to realize that these 66 blocks in the picture are only 60% of the total number of blocks. Yeah. This is basically half of the quilt! Eeek! Insane! It's going to be huge!
I like seeing the general layout and realizing that all these unmatching blocks fit together in a delightfully colorful quilt. There is one block that I'm DEFINITELY going to redo. And a couple more deserve the chopping block but might make the final cut, depending on how lazy or motivated I feel when that day comes.
Mostly, it's exciting to see the progress and remember the fun of piecing each block together.

Monday, May 27, 2013

#58, 59, 60

#58 Mother's Dream
I've been trying to use more blue and green, and then I realized I hadn't used them together yet. So I like this square, but I don't love it. The colors are soothing and calming together, and calm is, to me, a mother's dream.

#59  Night & Day
So this one is a bit literal. Night: stars in the sky. Day: a cherry picnic. It's a fun block with very pretty contrasts.

#60 Noon & Light
Yellow and grey are really popular together these days. For me, though, the grey feels very drab and dry, even put with the yellow. I love the yellow print, and I am happy to put it in another block!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

#55, 56, 57

#55 Linoleum
If I had linoleum that looked anything like this, I would rip it out immediately-- if I somehow decided to buy the house in spite of it. This would be atrocious as flooring! But isn't it a lovely block?! I still love the orange and green floral fabric, which is beautiful but nothing I would use as wall paper or anything!
#56 Maple Leaf
A maple leaf made of maple leaf print fabric. Ba-dum chhh! This block is so easy and pretty, I think I may do a maple leaf quilt someday.
#57 Morning
When I think of morning, I don't usually think RED and BRIGHT YELLOW. This one might be more aptly named Sunburst or something like that. I love the bold colors, though.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

#52, 53, 54

Moving right along, then, shall we? 

#52 Hovering Hawks
Hovering Hawks is exactly like the previous one, Hovering Birds. I think it's kind of lame that they're both in the book, especially since they show up one after the other. Maybe there were lots of the Farmer's Wife essays that talked about hovering birds and hawks. Though I doubt it.
I'll just be sure and place them separately in the final quilt.

#53 Jackknife
Oooh, didn't this one turn out pretty? I basically copied the colors from the book. I'm not sure how this is supposed to look like a jackknife, though. Is it the blue shapes on the corner of the center square? I guess so.
#54 Kitchen Woodbox
Yeah, I copied this one's color scheme from the book, too. I usually think the fabrics in the book are absolutely atrocious, but for these three, the colors were nice, so I used them. Thankfully, I like my fabrics a lot more than the ones the author chose. But actually, once all the blocks are put together on the final quilt, I really like the effect, even with the individual fabrics I don't like. So I'm excited to see how mine will come together with beautiful fabrics and a fun design!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

#49, 50, 51

#49 Honeycomb
I've been sticking with mostly floral prints-- a few stars mixed in for good measure, and maybe even a cherry print. But for this one, how could I NOT use these honeybees?! I kind of love bees, beehives, honey, and everything about them. My little brother owns a beehive, and how cool is that?! So this block makes me happy.

#50 Honey's choice
Isn't this nice? Pink and green. Yup. I guess I shouldn't feel bad that I don't have a lot to say about every single block.
#51 Hovering birds
My sister-in-law saw some of my blocks when I was visiting her, and she was surprised at how small they were. I guess we never mentioned it, but these blocks are each only 6" square. I left my hand in this one, so it gives a bit of perspective. They're tiny.