Thursday, February 2, 2023

Quilt Goals 2023 - A Bit Outside My Comfort Zone

I read a post on the Jolly Jabber, the blog of the Fat Quarter Shop, about setting a goal for yourself in 2023 to tackle a new quilting technique or type of quilt you've never made before.  #QuiltGoals2023  I'd like to do it.  

I've been working steadily on my unfinished projects; I should have a second flimsy completed in a few more days.  It is satisfying to get these projects done because I don't like the idea of unfinished projects hanging over me, but after I've completed a few of them I'm sure to be ready for something new.  I really like the idea of challenging myself to do something I haven't done before or am not so confident about tackling.  I have a few quilts on my bucket list that fit this description.

I've been wanting to make a Jack's Chain design quilt.  It is all straight piecing, squares and triangles, but the placement and color contrast gives the appearance of interlocking circles.

This particular version is by American Jane Patterns and is called Squaring the Circle.  I really like it but am not sure how useful a 53" circular quilt will be.  Maybe as a table topper?  There are other versions that use partial blocks to make a square or rectangular quilt.

Another quilt on my bucket list is this one, Mahalo by A Quilting Life Designs.  I've had this pattern for a long time but never made it.

But I also really like Glam Clam, a clamshell design with large blocks that can showcase larger prints.  

And for something completely different...For years, I've been saving my old jeans with the idea of making something out of the denim.  How about this dress from Anthropologie?  The truth is I wouldn't get enough wear out of a dress like this (and anyway, it turns out that it is not real patchwork, it is printed polyester fabric - cheating!) but maybe a tote bag or something.  

So I'll mull this over while I work on the next few UFOs but I'm sure one of these will be a future 2023 project for me.  Is #QuiltGoals2023 in your future?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Just Finish It Challenge - First Finish

While giving my sewing room a much needed clean up, I found so many unfinished projects.  I'm determined to finish at least five of them before undertaking anything new.  Here is the first (sort of) finish.  

It's the quilt I started at the Sew Brimfield retreat in early November.  I made most of the granny square blocks at the retreat, finished the last few when I got home, then the project sat.

Last week, I got the top finished, with the borders on.  And I have the backing ready.  So while not quite a finished quilt, it is ready to go to the long arm quilter.  

This is another made-from-stash quilt.  I need to use up more of my stash before I buy fabric because I simply don't have room for more, short of storing it in the attic.  

On to just-finish-it number 2.

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Friday, January 13, 2023

Sewing Room Before and After

In early December, I realized my sewing room was so messy and cluttered that I really didn't enjoy being in there.  I had been avoiding it and that meant I hadn't been doing much sewing.  I had to give it a good clean out.  Here are some pictures of the room in its "before" condition.

Piles of projects in various states on the bed and bins of fabric on the floor.  

We have a 4-bedroom house and my sewing room is the smallest bedroom, about 10' by 11', and furnished with orphan furniture from our prior houses.  The house was built in 1917 and though the closets were probably considered generously sized at the time, they are small by today's standards so I can't pack everything into the closet and call it a day.  I packed some stuff away, including two tubs of fabric that went up in the attic, and found a place to keep my two design boards when I'm not using them.  

Now much neater and more welcoming.  The challenge will be to keep it this way.

During the cleaning up, I identified nine projects in various stages of not-finished.  To be truthful, some aren't even started; I just have all the materials for the project gathered together.  I've got each one packaged up in a separate zipped project bag or shopping bag and stored away; my goal is to get them out one at a time (to avoid clutter and chaos) and finish at least five of them before I begin anything new.  

Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Pirouette or Dance Party, A Finished Quilt

About 10 months ago, I began the process of making about a gajillion half square triangles out of my collection of 30's reproduction prints to use in the making of a design called Pirouette by Carrie Nelson.  The pattern in featured in the book A Scrapbook of Quilts by Joanne Figueroa and Carrie Nelson (well worth having in your quilting library if you don't own it already).  I finished the top by mid-summer then had it quilted by a long-arm quilter.  I got it bound in time to give it to my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas.  I named my version Dance Party.

I was really happy with the way it came out and they seemed to like it too.  

It is a fairly easy design to make, though the number of blocks needed for a queen bed size quilt means the process can become a bit tedious.  

The quilting design is a panto (edge to edge), a loose feather that softens the linear piecing.  I used a wide back by Lori Holt for Riley Blake fabrics that I bought for this purpose but all the other fabric, including the binding, came from my stash and is from older fabric lines.

I hope you had a merry Christmas or other holiday celebration and are settling in for the new year.  I'll be back soon with my plans for 2023.

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