Monday, October 22, 2018

magnificent maples quilt-the beginning

I started a new quilt last week. I've had the fabric pulled for well over a year--background fabric and everything. Last Tuesday was a BEAUTIFUL fall day, so I celebrated by whipping up this fun and easy maple leaf block, even though I only had 20 minutes to sew. It was time well spent!
I'm SO EXCITED for this quilt! I'm having a blast making the blocks and I am SMITTEN with this color scheme. I love that most of the fabrics are blenders, with a few louder (but not too loud) prints.
As of this afternoon, I have 25 blocks complete. I'm using Kona Natural for the background and each block will finish at 9".
Here is my original fabric pull. I've already edited out at least 7 fabrics and I've added that many more into the mix. I think it's funny how much my fabric decisions change once I get started. I've learned a long time ago that is usually the case, so I only cut a few blocks at a time to avoid chopping up a bunch of fabric that I won't actually use in the quilt.

Now I have to decide if I will repeat any fabrics or make each block out of a unique fabric. Either way, I think it's going to be magnificent...at least that's the hope! :)

Happy Monday to you!

Monday, October 15, 2018

black licorice-a completed quilt top

I finished my black licorice quilt top! I worked on it quite a bit over the weekend and I was delighted to discover this morning that I only had 2 seams left to complete it. What a way to start a Monday!
Each piece finishes at 1 1/2" x 2". There are 42 blocks in each row and 37 rows, for a total of 1,554 pieces!!!! It's a good thing I did the math AFTER the quilt top was complete rather than before, otherwise that might have been a little daunting. Ha!
I think it's tricky to find that fine line of being out of your comfort zone, but still liking the results. I feel like I was able to accomplish that with this quilt and I'm so thankful!

This quilt is part of my "Salute to Solids" series. I have plans to give it to my daughter when it's complete. She's pretty excited about it!

Happy Monday to you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

etc.-a new work in progress

I've been resisting starting a new project for the past several weeks. After a lovely trip down to Iowa for teaching last weekend (and 500 miles of time to think), I cracked. I HAD to start something new or I was afraid I would explode. SO many ideas. SO little time. I know, it's a great problem to have. I wouldn't have it any other way.
The funny part is, when I went downstairs to sew, I thought I was going to start a specific project that I had sketched out on graph paper. I had worked out the math and everything. This isn't that project! I guess this one needed to come out first. I'm not sad about it! I'm having a lot of fun with this idea already and it will be perfect for my Salute to Solids series, too. (You can read more about that here.)
I'm calling this one "etc." All the solids are from the scrap bins so far. The strips measure about 1" finished and the blocks are about 6" unfinished. I'm excited to see where this goes. It's always an adventure!

Friday, October 05, 2018

two pairs of socks!

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
This is my 25th pair of hand knit socks that I've made to date. They had a lot of issues (like me, hahaha!), so they went into time out for about a week. After that time, I was able to frog back and fix the mistakes that I had made. (This was my first time doing partial frogging successfully, which was a big deal!) I'm so pleased that they are finished, and more importantly, finished well. I LOVE THEM!! They are warm and happy...perfect for these dreary fall days! The yarn is Malabrigo sock yarn. The color is 857 light of love. (I wonder who gets to name these things!)
I finished this pair of socks (my 24th pair) back in August. The yarn is Felici by Knit Picks, which was gifted to me by my sweet friend Suzanne. (I tried to find a link to the yarn, but I think it's either out of stock or discontinued.) I'm pleased as punch with this pair as well! I used my basic sock pattern (available here) for both of the pairs shown.
This pretty much sums up how I feel about hand knit socks. :)

Now, it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the MONTH....if you have multiple finishes to share, please feel free to link up more than one! Thank you, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! I know that some of you miss having a weekly link up, but I have to say, that doing it once a month has been so helpful for my sanity. (I don't have that much to spare. hahaha!) Anyway, I hope you have a FABULOUS weekend!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

a helpful remedy

I don't often wash my quilts right after they are finished, but as I mentioned last week, I washed and dried my broken dishes quilt to get that lovely crinkle. I got the crinkle I was after, but I also discovered that the turquoise dye in one of the quilt blocks bled quite a lot. Ugh. There is a lot of red in the quilt, so I thought that it would be one of the red fabrics that would give me trouble. Nope. I discovered the issue AFTER I had dried the quilt in the drier. Blergh.
I shared a photo with my friend Mary, and she recommended using this method to try to remove the excess dye. I was doubtful that it would help, but I thought I might as well give it a try. At this point, what did I have to lose?
I followed Vicki's instructions, using "All Free and Clear" detergent. I'm very pleased to share that a LOT of the excess dye came out. Woohoo! Thanks so much to Vicki for sharing her methods and Mary for pointing me in the right direction!

I do want to add, that in the first washing I used cold water, 2 color catchers, a cup of vinegar AND I threw in a bath towel to absorb any excess dyes, should there be any bleeding. I also removed the quilt from the washer immediately after the washing, so I thought I was pretty well covered. (That's all my tricks and it still bled!)

I thought I would pass along this information, just in case you are in the same position someday. I hope you find it helpful, too!

Monday, October 01, 2018

mark twain block update

I've been chugging along on my EPP (English Paper Pieced) Mark Twain blocks. As you may recall, I started this project at the beginning of the year. Here it is, October, (already!) and I'm pleased to report that I've been able to keep up with my goal of making 5 blocks per month. It turns out that is a perfect pace for me, consistently. I have found that having the personal goal keeps me on track, which is a very good thing. You and I both know that there are PLENTY of distractions when it comes to new quilting projects and such. (Isn't that the understatement of the year????)
I took some time today to lay out the blocks and see how the colors are playing together. So far, I'm very pleased!!! Looking at this photo, I see that I need to add a lot more green. The background joining pieces will be red-orange, just like the centers of each block, although I really like how they look on the cream background in this photo. My goal is to make 110 blocks, so if my math is correct, I'm nearly 41% done. Not too bad!

The antique quilt that inspired this project can be seen here.

Happy Monday to you!