Sunday, February 25, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Red and White Hourglass Quilt

I have finished the Red and White Hourglass quilt for the Project Quilting challenge for this week . The challenge is to make a quilt that is inspired by an hourglass. It must be started and finished in one week.

I've actually wanted to make a red and white hourglass quilt for a long time, years. I saw one in a museum and the docent would not allow me to take a photo of it, even though it is a simple traditional pattern. I drew it out and shaded in the red parts so I would remember what it looked like, but I must have been on a No New Quilts Until the Old Ones are Finished rule, so I did not start the quilt and it stayed on the To-Do List.

I thought about making a red and white hourglass quilt for this challenge, but I wasn't sure I would be able to make a good one in time. I wanted one with enough blocks that the secondary patterns would show through and I also had the blog hop quilt to finish.

So I thought I would make one with one long hourglass block, and a quote on the other side. I got the bright idea that I could print the quote on fabric and that would make the words easy to get on the fabric.

Then I got the bright idea that I could applique an hourglass. So I looked for a pretty picture, and while I was playing in Canva, I thought I could make the whole design, print it on fabric, and make a wholecloth quilt with minimal quilting, easy peasy.

The printer didn't cooperate. I don't think it is the printer's fault. I think that with new releases of Windows and printer drivers, the printer is becoming obsolete even though it works perfectly fine. Or maybe I don't use the ink fast enough and it dries up before I get a chance to use it. This problem has been happening, so I don't think it is just this ink cartridge. There was some faint picture but not enough to see what it is.

So I went to Plan B, or is it Plan A? I used some solid fabric and decided I wanted a bigger quilt so I added other reds from my scrap pile. I didn't make the block with half square triangles that turn into quarter square triangles. I made stripes and set the squares on point.

I found some more red scraps when I went to look for a backing fabric so I made more blocks.

Since this is a quilt that I wanted to make for a long time, I wanted to make it right, so I quilted on both sides of the ditch so that the hourglass blocks are more apparent. The lines are organic sewn. I am hoping that the flaws in the points get hidden rather than accentuated.

I have always admired lightly quilted quilts and I really like the look of this one.

I trimmed the quilt. My original plan was to birth the quilt, but I decided to use the leftover red fabric I had. I didn't have the time to make the quilt bigger, but I thought it would show the quilt better if the backing fabric could not be seen from the front.

I machine stitched the binding to save time. This is a skill I am learning and have not perfected, but I guess I won't learn it if I don't keep trying.

I'll take some glamor shots later, but I wanted to make sure I got this blog post up. I missed the deadline on one of the challenges because I didn't have the blog post up.

Thank you for this challenge again this year. I finally got my red and white hourglass quilt made!

I will post a Youtube video about this quilt and give you a link here next Sunday.

15 Minutes to Stitch 2024

I I have definitely been quilting every day.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7 days
15 minute days this year -- 56 out of 56 days
Success rate  = 100%

Thursday, February 22, 2024

My Blog Hop Day: Pink Explosion


Welcome to my blog hop day!

Back in October, I posted a video on my YouTube channel where I showed the African Ankara fabric I had just bought. When I folded them into bolts and got them ready to take upstairs, one of the bolts wound up sitting next to another fabric I wanted to take upstairs.

I really liked the combination of the Ankara fabric and the pink fabric and thought that the combination would look good in a quilt.

But I was about to start my daily videos with the 15 Minutes to Quilt challenge where I worked on existing UFOs, so I went ahead and put them away.

I resisted starting any new quilts in December, but the idea of combining that Ankara fabric with the pink fabric still stayed in my mind.

The challenge for the blog hop this month is Love. 
This challenge is to show us what you LOVE. Moose of course are optional!
I was almost planning another quilt for the Moose Be Love blog hop, and was tempted to use a Moose, but I realized that the pink fabric would actually meet the Love theme, so I decided I could combine this blog hop with my idea of using the pink fabric with the black and white Ankara fabric.

Although I had a month to make this quilt since the last blog hop day, the Project Quilting challenges which happened every other week meant that I only had two weeks to make this quilt. I decided that I wanted to make a big quilt instead of a small one. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish a quilt from start to finish, but decided I could at least finish a quilt top by that time.

I'm not sure that I combined the right fabrics, since this Ankara fabric doesn't appear to be in the stack of fabrics in the pile in the top picture, but these work so I am not going to worry about it. I added another pink and a purple fabric to go with the pink and the black and white fabric.

I decided that if I cut properly and sew properly, I will not have to trim the blocks. I cut very carefully. I drew carefully straight lines. Then I zipped them through the sewing machine in what was not straight lines.

Since I had promised myself that I didn't have to trim blocks to make this quilt, I decided the piecing is going to have to be improvised to work.

I placed them randomly on the design wall but it didn't really impress me. This is my first quilt using a design wall and I decided to do some designing, so I placed the triangles in alternating directions. I like how it forms diamonds and pinwheels shapes and keep your eye moving throughout the quilt.

I combined the blocks into four patches, then sewed the columns together. Since this is my quilt using a design wall, I still have a lot to learn about how to use it properly. I understand the concept of webbing blocks in theory, but it will take some practice for me to figure it out in reality. I think the fact that these are improv blocks and not all the same size created more of a challenge in webbing.

It is amazing how much room the seam allowance takes up. 

I thought I would have to add coping strips or do more cutting to get the columns to fit, but they fit all right.

So here it is, my finished quilt top. I sewed one of the columns incorrectly, but I actually like the break in the pattern so I am keeping it that way. It is a nice way for me to combine my original chaotic plan and the more planned design wall strategy.

I am glad I was able to get the top finished for my blog hop day. There is a little bit of waviness which I might have to fix before I quilt it, but I have chosen the backing and hope to get this in the quilting stage soon. I am going to slow down at this stage and be more mindful so that the quilt gets a good finish.  I will post a YouTube video about this quilt on Sunday. I have already posted a couple of videos with leftover fabric from this quilt.

This is Project Quilting Week so I will have to fit that in as well.

Thank you for visiting my blog on this blog hop. Thank you for forgiving me for not completing and for not planning a completed project for my blog hop day. I am trying to be a gentler boss of myself.

The previous post has all of the other people who are participating in the blog hop. I hope you will visit them as well.

Here is the video about this quilt top.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Crumpled Heart

 I finished another journal quilt this week. It is a quick project made with leftover strips of fabric from my blog hop project I will be showing you on Thursday.

When I made the Raggedy Heart quilt last week, I knew it didn't come close to approximating the inspiration, which was the artwork of Marcellina Akpojotor. She takes strips of Ankara fabric and glues them onto canvas. I translated that work onto a quilt and I think this looks closer to her artwork. Only the black, white and pink fabric is Ankara in my work.

It is a great technique that adds lots of texture to the quilt. Since the pieces aren't fused and keep moving, this technique requires some careful work to make sure that the fabric is where you want it to be and doesn't sewn around the presser foot. 

In keeping with the ragged edging I used last time, I used this trim around the quilt to finish it off.

15 Minutes to Stitch 2024

I still want to try to quilt every day this year. I haven't been updating this every week since I have been so busy working as well as making quilts for the challenges and recording and editing the videos to show them, but I have definitely been working every day.

15 minute days these weeks --21 out of 21 days
15 minute days this year -- 49 out of 49 days
Success rate  = 100%

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Raggedy Heart


It's time for another Project Quilting Reveal! This week, the challenge is to:

PQ 15.3 Inside Out

For this week’s project, I want to see what’s normally hidden!
Make a project with exposed seams or a raw-edge finish. Take on a bag pattern or other project that is constructed inside out and then literally “birthed” as part of the process. Or use this as a theme and demonstrate your unique inside-out perspective.

Rule One: Some part of your project must thematically or literally be inside out.

I had decided before the challenge was announced that I would make a journal quilt if it was possible with the challenge requirements. A journal quilt is the size of a piece of paper. Even though I don't think the size of the previous projects were too big, I thought a smaller project might save me some time. I have another quilt I am making for the blog hop which I will show you on Thursday and I wanted to save time to make it.

I started out with a quilt sandwich. The top is a fabric I used for the Improv Portraits quilt. The batting and backing are leftovers from other Project Quilting quilts. I sketched out a heart on it using a heat erasable pen. 

I used strips of fabric that were trimmings from the blog hop quilt and cut some more to applique onto the heart shape I had made. 

After I finished sewing all the strips on, I trimmed them to make sure they combined to make the shape of a heart. This was scary to cut while the pieces are sewn on the quilt. Instead of using the shiny ribbon I had planned to use to cover up the raw edges on the outside, I tried a trimming of the fabric I had used to make the heart, and I really liked it, so I cut more that size to add as a border/binding.

Another quilter had made a raw edge border for the quilt and I loved that idea so the fabric is raw edge. I added the strips of fabric around the edge of the quilt using a heart embroidery stitch, then trimmed away the leftover batting and backing.

I think it looks good as is, and doesn't need any additional embellishment. I loved running my fingers through the ragged edges.

Here's a quote I found for it.
“You awaken your True spirit by way of the broken heart: ragged, vulnerable, fierce and finally compassionate. ”

                                        Jack Kornfield

I created a YouTube video for this quilt if you want to see the entire process. I resisted the urge to put suspense music while I was trimming the heart. It will be published Sunday Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. I am going to go ahead and publish this blog post now though, so that I can link it up right away to the challenge.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

My Stats for 2023 and January 2024

At the beginning of every year, I have been posting my stats for the previous year so that I can compare them year to year. I am running late this year because when I ran the 15 Minutes to Quilt challenge on YouTube, I found more quilts that weren't on my list of quilts in progress, and some of my estimated dates on the spreadsheet were incorrect, so I felt like I had to do more auditing to try to be as correct as I can. This means that my charts this year will look a little different than they did last year, but not by much.

I've shown you this chart before, but it will help with the other charts. I started 11 projects in 2023 and finished 12.

Here is how it looks for 2024. The two starts are more thoughts than actual starts but I have chosen the fabric and will start cutting into it soon, so I went ahead and added them. The Autobiography Quilt will be a long term project and I am editing a Youtube video that explains it. The Pink Explosion is for the February blog hop so you will see it finished (hopefully) in February.

Here is how the starts and finishes chart looks year to year. I am going to ignore the 2024 data since it will change dramatically but it does show that I have more starts than finishes overall, but that I am getting better about making up for 2007 and 2019 when I had so many starts. I am happy that I did manage to finish more than I started in 2023 and hope that I can continue that this year.

This chart shows the cumulative starts and finishes over my quilting life. I did get the two lines closer last year and hope to be able to continue to get more finishes. With the Project Quilting challenges and the blog hops, I know I have plans to start (and finish) lots of quilts, which leaves me less time to finish older projects, but I do hope to get to more finishes. I did make a lot of progress in December, and will try to sneak in more 15 minutes for the older projects one at a time so I can get more of them down the finish line.

15 Minutes to Stitch 2024

The final chart is not on a spreadsheet, but I do want to continue to stitch every day in 2024. I haven't been updating this every week since I have been so busy making quilts for the challenges and recording and editing the videos to show them, but I have definitely been working every day.

15 minute days these weeks --28 out of 28 days
15 minute days this year -- 28 out of 28 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Where Horses Dream Under Endless Sky


It's time for another Project Quilting Reveal! This week, the challenge is to:

Take inspiration from the colors of the sky, but exclude or use less than 10% of the usual blue.

I decided to use my Derwent Inktense pencils (affiliate link) to color the sky so I found a relatively plain background. I knew it would need something in the foreground for interest and decided to find a horse pattern to applique on my quilt. I haven't ever used a horse and I am not so sure why I was intimidated by using a horse. Maybe because it is so intricate with skinny legs. 

I used a pattern for the horse but I cut the rest of the pieces free form and fused most of the pieces on to the background. Then I colored the sky, which is scary. I should have done the sky first in case there was a problem, but I think it looks fine. I don't know if it is a sky after a storm, or dusk or dawn, but it is pretty and fits the theme. Big sky with enough to keep it interesting.

 I secured the applique with a free motion quilting, and I added the wavy lines in the sky.  I bound it with the fence fabric. I hope it doesn't feel like a fenced in horse. I put the fence behind the horse so it wouldn't look too contained. There is space for the horse to get to the other side of the fence, and endless space in front where we are standing. I decided to hand stitch the binding.

It looks like a nice calm scene. Here's a quote I found for it.
  • "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." - Rachel Carson

My quilt was ready on time, but by the time I uploaded the photos and wrote the blog post, it was too late to submit for the challenge. I got distracted while I was waiting for the upload.

I did film the process and will post the Youtube video here after I have finished editing it. 

Linked with: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts