Friday, June 27, 2014

Change of Plans

So after I made my Metro Scope block, and had it on my design wall for a day, I decided I wasn't in the mood for a Metro Scope quilt.   I like the block,  the construction was easy, but everyone else is doing circles, so I decided to try some circles too.

So I'm switching to Metro Lattice!  But I'm sticking with Persimmon by Basic Grey for Moda.

The first order of business, piecing and trimming120 half square triangles, my favorite pastime!

Enjoy your weekend, by Monday I maybe will have made another block and moved on to a third pattern!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Metro Scope And QCR Sew Along Update

So I've started making  my Metro Scope.  So far so good.

Right off I'm changing my version up a little.  I'm going through a square quilt phase and if I add one more row of blocks I"ll get a quilt that finishes at 76" x 76", my favorite and perfect size.

Since I'm making 16 Metro Scope blocks, I paired up 32 pieces of my Persimmon fabric for the outer ring and corner squares.

This is my first block.  Before I cut all the pieces of a pattern I make one inspiration block to make sure all the sizes and instructions are correct.  This block is 19 inches, a big block.  But it went together perfectly.  You need to carefully read and follow the pattern directions, but there's nothing tricky about this block, it  was a piece of cake.

So I've picked up several quilt along followers, (what's a parade without some parade watchers?) and some quilt along joiners.  Here are the folks I've heard from that are joining, Lisa and Nicole have heard from some quilters too, let me know if you would like to be added to our list.

Vicky at LA Quilter is starting her project next weekend.
Kristen at Meadowbrook is going to start Metro Lattice as soon as her ruler arrives.
Diana is going to be sewing Metro Rings with a twist which is her third QCR quilt (Diana, send me a link to  your blog or email address, Thanks!)
Dawn is going to start Dancing Churndash just as soon as the pattern is available. (Dawn, keep me posted, I don't have your email address.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's a Red Letter Day

Anytime I can blog about a finish on a Monday it's a Red Letter Day.  But in this case it really is Red Letter Day.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 139
The fabric is Fruit Stand by Jane Farnham for Camelot Cottons.
This quilt finished at 67" x 67"
It has approximately 657 pieces.

The colors in this line aren't quite as garish as they look in the picture, they're summer colors but softer, very appealing and soothing to the eye.

This project was the perfect change of pace, no curves.  I was wanting a little curve break after finishing Gypsy Kisses and before starting on my QCR project.  I think RLD is a wonderful summer project. Grab 16 fat quarters and a 1/2 yard of your favorite colors, throw in  some background fabric and you're good to go.  After seeing all the RLD pictures on Instagram I could not help myself, I had to make my own.

Today is the start of my Quick Curve Ruler Sew-along, are you joining me?

I've decided to make Metro Scope, it was a tough call but I really like this block, it's different.

For my fabric I'm going to use Persimmon by BasicGrey.

Lisa, at Stashmaster,  and Nicole, at Sisters Choice,  are sewing along, and each working on a pattern different from mine.  A couple other friends are "thinking about it".  Drop me a note if you're joining in.  If you don't have a blog share your pictures and progress with any of us.   If you do have a blog drop me a note so I can link to it and follow your progress.    We don't have any rules, but if we get a few joiners we'll have a parade, how about Labor Day?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gypsy Kisses Finish

My version of Gypsy Kisses is done.   One year of planning and only two weeks of sewing.  I maybe stressed over this project a little more than was necessary.

Here's a closeup of the corner background seams I mentioned last time.  Some patterns use one piece of fabric for that section.

The entire time I was collecting fabric and coming up with my plan for this quilt I was worried about the background fabric being too bold and dominating the quilt.  Choosing bright, bold, and large print fabric for my focus blocks did the job of taming my background fabric perfectly.  

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 138
The patterns I used to create my top are Gypsy Kisses from Material Obsession 2 and Pickle Dish from Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance
It finished at 73" x 75"
It has approximately 913 pieces.
The background fabric is by Liberty of London.

I plan to start my Quick Curve Ruler/Sew Kind of Wonderful project on Monday, I hope  you've selected your pattern and fabric and are planning to sew along with me.  I think I'll squeeze in a quick no curves project before then.   With all the Red Letter Day blocks on instagram I'm thinking it will be a Red Letter Weekend at my house.  The pattern Red Letter Day is by Camille Roskelley for thimble blossoms and available here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More Gypsy Kisses

So here is my inspiration for my pickle dish quilt, Gypsy Kisses, from the Material Obsession 2 book.

And here is the actual pattern that I'm using to piece my project, Pickle Dish.

It's from the Kaffe Fassett Quilt Romane Book.

The Gypsy Kisses finished quilt was too big for my liking, and the eyes and outside corners are hand appliquéd.  The Kaffe Fassett finished size was perfect and all the parts are machine pieced, no hand appliqué.

I pieced all the arcs first.

Then sewed the eyes and the background fabric to each arc.

My background centers are made up of 4 pieces, you may prefer those sections to be one unit, if so go with a different template or pattern.  I think you would need to pay better attention to your fabric if you go with the method that I'm using, where the centers are pieced.  My fabric looks OK, I don't even think the seams are noticeable, other fabric may not look as nice, or maybe that kind of thing doesn't even bother you at all.

I'm going to add a border more like the Gypsy Kisses border.

The arcs are paper pieced and the corners and eyes are cut from a template then machined stitched to the arcs.  I traced the eyes and corners on pieces of freezer paper that were pressed onto the fabric, then I cut them out.  Everything came together perfectly and accurately.  (I must have been at an odd angle when I took this picture, all the blocks finished square, this one looks off, it is not.)

There are several methods and tools from which to choose when making a pickle dish quilt.  I hope you'll find one that suits you and add this quilt to your To Do list, it's nothing but fun.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"A Change, Would Do You Good"

"Ten  years living in a paper bag . . . . ."  

I heard the Sheryl Crow song, "A change would do you good" on the radio this week and it's stuck in my head. Maybe because it pertains to what's going on in my sewing room.

Around this time last year I bought the Material Obsession 2 book by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke for one pattern alone, this pickle dish pattern.   Considering what I was making in my sewing room up to that point, this was huge leap in a new direction.  For some reason there was no doubt in my mind that I  needed a quilt like this, even though it was very different for me.

When I was 14 years old I got my ears pierced.  When my dad came home from work and I showed him my ears he said, "I guess you want to look like a , like a,    GYPSY!"  I was confused by his red face, unhappiness, and the use of the word gypsy.  Looking back on it, I now know that gypsy was the nicest not nice word he could think of to call his daughter.  I'm not sure why he was so opposed to pierced ears, but we both got over it, probably because having pierced ears didn't lead me down a road of ruination.  So for this reason I've always associated the word gypsy with being a little wild and a little bad.  So not only was this pattern a little out there for me, it was named Gypsy Kisses!

It wasn't too long after I saw this pattern that I obtained a stack of Liberty of London fat quarters.  

And this print was in the mix.  As soon as I saw it I knew that it would be the background fabric for my Gypsy Kisses quilt.  I was able to find 5 yards online, it was meant to be.

Now I know myself well enough to understand that I needed to work up to this quilt.  It took me a year to collect the right fabric to work with that Liberty of London fabric and to get used to working with more modern prints and bolder colors.

Everything was going according to plan, I had  my mind in the right place and the fabric I needed to piece this top,  I was ready to roll.  Then two amazing Gypsy Kisses tops popped up in blogland.  This one by Jessica at Twin Fibers and this one by Cindy at Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  I loved them both and started rethinking the fabric I wanted to use for my quilt.  In the end I decided to stick with my original plan.  While their quilts are beautiful, I have a couple of beautiful quilts already, I also have several pretty quilts, red quilts, traditional quilts, reproduction quilts, holiday quilts, happy quilts and even one or two modern quilts, what I don't have is a wild and crazy quilt, and that's just what I wanted.

So now I'm off and running!

This is my first block.  It looks exactly in person how I've been picturing it in my head, and in this case, that's a good thing!  So while I'm sure many of you are thinking "that sure is different for you", I'll take that as a complement, because yes, it sure is, but that's not a bad thing.

Are you drooling over all the wonderful summer quilt alongs currently taking place? I love sewing, but it's always more fun when I sew with friends.   I've talked myself into and out of that QuiltJane Nested Churn Dash quilt every day this week.  There are several others, like this Summer Sparkle project.  Just in case you've not found your perfect summer sew along project here are two more.  I've been blogging about that Quick Curve Ruler for months and have finally decided to quit talking and start sewing.  In a couple of weeks I'll be starting on Metro Scope, if you've been wanting to make one of Jenny's curve patterns pick one out, get your fabric, and join the fun.  For this sew along there will be no rules,  just check in with any progress whenever you want. We'll probably have some sort of parade by the end of the summer.

Additionally, as soon as this pattern is available,

Harvey (aka BAB, big blank basket), by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company, I'm stopping whatever I'm working on and making it. If you would like to make this big blank basket quilt too, a layer cake and 5 yards of background fabric are more than enough to get you through.  So think about that too.  I like to make a basket quilt every year, this is my 2014 basket quilt. Who can't use a big blank basket quilt?

And finally, I forgot to mention last week that Cathy at Quilting on Main Street won the Cotton and Steel tote bag.  Thanks to all who left comments with your next project, you helped me add to my To Do List!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Earlier this spring I was the lucky winner of these Quick Curve Ruler blocks from Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful.  Thirty happy and perfectly pieced nine inch blocks!

Jenny made the blocks then decided she didn't want them, that was my lucky day.  I thought it would be fun if I added some blocks pieced by me to the blocks pieced by Jenny.

I thought maybe the same block, only in reverse fabric order, would be a nice change of pace.  But after I made my block I decided I didn't like my idea.

Then I thought maybe just some plain blocks in-between the pieced blocks would be nice, I didn't like that idea either.

So then I thought I would just sew them together, and I liked this setting, 

but decided I liked this one better.

Then I decided some sashing, the same width as the curved pieced blocks, would add just the right touch.  A friend suggested the cornerstones for the circle intersections only, which was a great idea, I think it creates a new block, made up of 4 curved blocks.

And now it's done, and I love it!

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 137
I've named it Roundabout
It finished at  65" x 65"
The fabric is Treasures and Tidbits by Piece O'Cake Designs.
It has approximately 245 pieces.

Jenny made these blocks from a layer cake.  She's going to be adding the instructions to piece these blocks to her blog in July as a freebie!  So pick out a layer cake and get ready to piece your own Roundabout.  I"ll be sure to let you know when Jenny has posted the block directions.