August 26, 2010

Progress (on the Roseville) Whoops!

I know, I know.  I wasn't going to start until I finished both tops...

Today I cut out the background pieces for the Roseville anyway. I am quite excited!!  (I am thinking this doesn't count this as actually starting the Roseville--maybe it's just preparing to start?)  In cutting, I came close to having a serious problem, and am mentioning the obvious here just so you don't experience it too. My fabric had a factory flaw in it.  (the pencil is pointing at it)

I was fortunate, since I saw it early in the process, and was able to cut around it.  So the lesson here is to be sure to scrutinize your fabric on both sides before cutting large pieces, then if you have an unhappy surprise, you can work with it.  (You all probably do this, but I usually just make scrap quilts where a bad piece is easily replaced, but not so with the large Roseville Album background pieces).

Also, you can see in the photo above that I used my new rotary cutter pinking blade to cut the pieces so they wouldn't fray as I applique them.  (Hopefully this won't be a problem when putting them together later, but I don't think it will be as the pieces need to be squared up later anyway.)  The pinking blade worked really slick, and I am pleased with it, although I wonder how long it will stay sharp.  Time will tell if it is worth the extra money. 

Tomorrow (??) I'll behave and get back to work on my quilt top.... I will, I really will.  The draw of the Roseville is strong though--I'm not sure how long I can resist appliquing a few pieces.

August 22, 2010

Cleaning is a dangerous thing...

Last week before leaving town, I asked my husband to help me move some boxes in my sewing room closet, so I could get to my box of batting.  Since I rarely finish anything, the box was at the bottom of a full closet.  Of course, with boxes out and reachable, I couldn't stop myself from looking into them and doing a bit of purging and organization, and one box led to another and pretty soon I had a giant mess, which wasn't the plan at all.
As you can see, I don't have the lovely, organized sewing room so many of you do!
Two long days later, I had gone through most of the boxes/bins and most of the rest of the room (except I forgot the upper closet).  But, it was organized (more or less!) and I'd found only a few more unfinished projects.  With a clean work area, I was itching to start on my latest obsession, the Roseville Album quilt by Kim McLean. 

A bunch of talented quilters are making this quilt (or other quilts by Kim McLean) over on the blog, Glorious Applique, and I just couldn't resist joining them.  I spent several days in careful deliberation about my background--these were the final contenders with some of my leftover scraps from the Bordered Diamond quilt:
Peach, Water, Sky, and Magnolia Spots (Kaffe) and Scribbles by Patrick Lose (Kauffman)
I initially wanted to use a black and white spotted background, but they all seemed too overpowering.  The one above had potential since the black was softer, but the overall cast of the fabric seemed too cream-ish for the bright Kaffe colors.  The Peach Spots seemed too strong for the pinks I planned to use.  I liked all of the others, but in the end decided blue (Sky) would be most versatile for the fabrics I have and tend to use.  (I also really wanted a lavender, but couldn't find it, and the blue is close!) 

So despite all the unfinished projects around the house, I ordered the background fabric, the pattern, and a few more fabrics for this and a couple other projects, as well as doing a bit of shopping while away, and so had some lovely fabrics to play with when I got home.

Guess I like pink & red!

As far as any other progress, I've promised myself that I will finish the two tops I've shown on here before seriously starting on the Roseville.  (Ok, I admit I have opened and looked at the pattern and washed up all the fabric.)  But this weekend, I attached the borders to Bordered Diamonds and just have to stitch together its backing before it can be quilted.  Maybe I'll take a photo of it tomorrow to prove there is actual progress!

August 10, 2010

New Wave is a Top

Finished stitching the New Wave together--it was a fast and fun one to make, and now I feel like I've gotten those colors out of my system.  I am thinking about backing it with a minkee-type product, but I've never used it before.  Would love some advice if you've used it--is it something that is quilted or tied to hold it in place?  This top is larger than I expected (51 x 58 or so), so it would seem like the minkee would shift if not secured somehow, but it's such a good size for a cuddle quilt, and the minkee would be wonderful to snuggle in.  Here's the finished (thus far, and probably for awhile) product:

 And now it's back to the things I need to get done like the quilt on my floor that my dog keeps running across--as well as cleaning up the sewing room so there's room to work again.

August 07, 2010

New Wave -ing hello to another new project...

Arghhh...I have NO self control!  Despite my best intentions, I started a new project last night.  First, I saw an interesting quilt project on Elizabeth Hartman's blog, Oh Franson!  She has a wonderful tutorial for her New Wave quilt, and also offers patterns for sale of the quilt in different sizes. 

Then, with the idea for that quilt swirling around in my head, some fabric called my name, and I answered.  How could I not?  After all, I would be using up old stash stuff--well part of it is old anyway...

Last night, I cut out the pieces and started stitching them together. Although the pattern calls for the same fabric to be used for the strips, I had to find out what it would look like with different fabrics between them.  I'll have to play a bit more with the arrangement...

Starting another quilt wouldn't be so bad, but I also have a full size quilt spread out across my living room floor so I can arrange its borders.  Oh well, no one uses that room anyway!   Here's a little peek at it, but it has a longer story of how it came to be that will just have to wait for another post. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

August 06, 2010

Bordered Diamonds

When I saw the Bordered Diamonds quilt in Kaffe Fassett's book, Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts, I knew immediately that it would be a perfect quilt for a thank you gift for my aunt.  Never mind that my stash did not contain many large floral prints.  My first thought was that I would just buy a kit, and Glorious Color has fabric kits to make two different versions of the quilt.  This is their version from the book.  And this is their version from the June/July 2010 Quilt Magazine.

I carefully analyzed each kit trying to decide which would be best.  Then I started thinking about how I liked each version--except for this or that fabric, and how I wanted to use some of my own fabrics, and how I am pretty persnickety about fabric choices, and I finally just gave up and started collecting florals...surely that wouldn't add too much to my stash?

Here's a view of the cut diamonds and border strips and of my lovely white board which has been replaced:

And since the directions call for dark diamonds to have light strips, and light diamonds to have dark strips, and the rows to alternate, I photographed them, then changed them to black and white to determine the values, as shown here by the strips (although these are the mediums to darks primarily):

But after trying to lay them out as directed, I decided to do my own thing when the light/dark thing didn't work, and just evenly separated the colors.  And now, a couple of months later, the blocks of the quilt are all sewn together. Hooray!

I needed the quilt to be larger than designed, so it's now waiting for the border fabric to be added.  This is what I am planning on using:
And, having easily spent twice as much as I would have on a kit (what's an extra 1/2 yard here or there?), I now have a very large bin of floral fabrics.  My stash, like my waistline, only seems to grow in one direction....