Sunday, August 31, 2014

What was I thinking? Jump?

I never gave much thought to fabric designers. I knew someone had to "design" the fabric. But I made my fabric choices purely by aesthetics. I never cared who designed or manufactured the fabric. That is until I became serious about quilting. And when I discovered Marsha D'yans fabric (art).  I was hooked. I love the whimsy, motion, colors..Well everything about her fabric, all her work. I always keep an eye on Clothworks web site so I never miss a new fabric line. I've already picked out the fabric I'd like to purchase from her upcoming winter collection.

This quilt started with an irresistible piece of fabric from Marsha D'yans Forest Wonder Collection. There are cute frogs jumping around. Water is splashing and the frogs are having one heck of a good time.

I purchased this fabric when it first came out. It's been sitting in my "special fabric" bin for a while.

I knew it found a home when I picked "song" for this year's quilt challenge. I knew I would use this fabric. My first choice was the song "Singing in the Rain".  The more I looked at it I realized the only song that really fit this fabric is Jump by Van Halen.

Jump, Jump, Jump?  What could go with jump?  All of a sudden the thought jumped into my brain. Hopscotch!

Within a few minutes I had the center piece to my quilt designed. The frog would play hopscotch in the puddles in the garden. The hopscotch would be bordered by garden rows of dandelions.

Things began to go array when I made my first mistake. My center block was to be 8.5 inches. I used the wrong ruler and cut 10.5 inch squares. Add 2.5 inch border and the quilt began to grow. By the second row I realized what I had done. Any sensible person would have stopped and taken the blocks apart. Not playing the tape to the end, I thought.."wow this is big enough to actually hopscotch on, what fun that would be", so I decided to keep the larger block.

The problem? The center panel is 84" tall.

Can you imagine how huge it would be with  borders? So I decided to break any quilt rules and go wild..and make a quilt with panels.  So this is a work in progress. I'm using a little (maybe a lot) of imagination.

What we have here is frogs playing hopscotch in a water covered walkway. There are flower beds on each side. Eventually all the panels will be surrounded by some fabric that resembles more water (at least in my mind).

Center panel and outer panels

Next step is to put a 3 inch border around the entire quilt. I am out of the blue fabrics. So the search is on for the perfect fabric to finish off the quilt. I've tried several purples and a aqua. I really would like more of my raindrop fabric. But everyone seems to be out of it.  So I am hoping this unusual quilt will be fun and funky. It is certainly unlike anything I have done before.

The quilting will be the thing that brings this together. I found the pantograph drip. I am sure my long arm quilter

So the quilt has been put to bed for the weekend. I'll be searching sites for the perfect border and backing.  Till next week. Thanks for checking in. Hope you get to quilt together with someone this week.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Projects

After months of working on Delightful Stars I decided to give myself a break. No, the quilt isn't finished. I have not started on any border. I just decided to change pace and do a quick and easy project.

This Happy Trails has been "sitting on the tarmac" in my Quilts in Waiting bin. I selected  fabric and set it aside, but borrowed a few pieces for another project. After purchasing some new batiks from Fabric Shack I decided it was time for this project to take off.

I purchased the pattern Happy Trails at Keepsake Quilting.  It is designed by Connie Keller. I've used this pattern in the past and it goes together in a weekend. The feature sunflower feature fabric is what inspired the theme and fabric selection for the quilt.

The Quilt Inspector Approves
The cat had to get in the picture. The quilt is nearly all batiks, which makes it light weight. He was a little miffed which I folded up the quilt top and put it away. Soon it will be on it's way to my long-arm quilter. I can't wait to see it completed.

Another nice thing about this project is no small pieces. Quick and easy, just what  I needed.

My sewing partner Jana was not here this weekend. My first quilt went together so fast I decide to work a little on the lap quilt we are making for her mother. I have the blocks together. Next weekend it's her turn. She gets to do the border. I'm not sure how I feel about the border fabric. It's what her mom picked. We are thinking about quilting this baby ourselves. Nothing complicated, just stitch in the ditch. This is Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountains Majesty.

Autumn Quilt for Nicole.

I have started my Challenge quilt for the Port Clinton, Ohio Star Guild. My Challenge was a song. I picked Jump by Van Halen.  I like how it is turning out, but I made a fairly significant mistake. I wrote the patten making a 8 1/2 inch block, but used my 10 1/2 inch ruler to cut my squares. Results: the quilt has grown. It's gonna be a biggie, really long. Perhaps I will be far enough along to share later in the week.
Thanks for checking in and everyone have a great week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stars Shining in Ohio

Oh my stars! I have completed the center of the Delightful Stars quilt along. It been a long project.  I have learned so much from Michele Foster's lessons. I must admit that I am was not a fan of sampler type quilts. I always had trouble getting everything to fit together. Thanks to Michelle's lessons and learning to really pay attention to piece sizes, this went together perfectly.

Center of Delightful Stars quilt

I made a few changes in layout by reversing some blocks. This was mostly to enhance the balance of the colors. I also redid one block. My first version just didn't fit. It's did not go to waste and my granddaughter loved it and we are making it into a pillow.

New and improved block

Original block

I also learned to paper piece. I think it is about the messiest thing I've done in a while. I do like the outcome, so I am sure I'll do it again in the future. Here are some of my paper pieced blocks.

Four of these stars are paper pieced.

Five stars in a row, diamonds and purple star are paper pieced.
This is the first time I have used a dark background and I like how the colors stand out against it.
Although I am excited about the progress I've made, I am far from completing this quilt. There are fiveborders.  There is a border of background fabric, then a border of four patch square. Another plain border and a pieced border. I just taking it a border at a time. I worry I might run out of the background. If I do I'm sure I can improvise.

The next lesson is August 26th. Until then I've tucked this project away and have decided to piece a lap quilt with some sunflower batik fabric I've been holding on to. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quilters of all ages get together.

The past week has been busy. I've been sewing, and talking sewing. I've been looking at fabric, cutting fabric. and piecing fabric. Sometimes alone, but also with friends and family.

One of my favorite things to do is sew with my granddaughter, Jana.  She was here this weekend. We worked on a project for her mom.  We put a nice dent in the blocks and also decided on a layout. We want the quilt to look like leaves laying on the ground.  In a reversal of roles, I ended up pressing the blocks and Jana pieced.

Piecing Scrappy Mountain Majesty Blocks

Grandma Irons the blocks

Tentative Layout

Obviously we need more blocks. Four Mountains-make one block. We need  around 10 more. This will be lap size, with about a three inch border.

Earlier this week the Clermont Count Ohio Stars Guild had a picnic meeting.   The group has been working on a charity quilt. At this stage they are picking thread and backing. They have been working on this project the past year (before I joined). It is going to be fabulous.



Of course what would a picnic be without good conversation and food.

After a relaxing evening, it's back to work. I am nearing another milestone on my Delightful Stars Quilt. The next lesson is August 26th. This will result in the center being assembled. Only one more block to do and I will be ready.  These are two of the paper pieced blocks. Isn't the Starlight block on the bottom a pretty block?