Monday, May 13, 2019

Fig Tree Red and Cream BOM . . . . .


I finally finished my 2018 Fig Tree Red and Cream BOM.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 248
It finished at 68" x 68"
The pattern is by Fig Tree
It has approximately 983 pieces


I pieced the majority of the blocks in 2018 so finishing this one up took no time at all.


Fig Tree is selling the red and cream bom pattern, click here, which is unusual for their block of the month programs, so you can make your own Red and Cream sampler quilt.  I think this pattern would look great in blues too.

This is my last UFO, hurrah!  I don't like having unfinished quilt projects hanging around.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Summer Love Finish . . .

I love basket quilts and try to piece one new basket pattern every year.  When I saw Bonnie at Cotton Way's latest basket pattern I new it would be my next basket quilt.

The basket blocks are ginormous, they finish at 16". 


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 247
The pattern is Summer Love by Bonnie at Cotton Way
The fabric is all Bonnie and Camille for Moda
It finished at 84" x 84"
It has approximately 622 pieces

The quilt top is prettier in person, I've not seen the sun in months which has resulted in dreary photographs.

This is the first block I pieced and it's my favorite.  That doesn't happen very often, more often than not my first block doesn't even make it in the quilt top, but I never could top the fabric combo on this one, even though I tried every time.




This pattern is available from Bonnie at Cotton Way, click here.

I have a Fig Tree Red and Cream BOM that I started last year that I plan to work on next.  I don't even remember how many blocks I pieced or how many I have left to piece, I can hardly wait to open that project box, it's my last UFO.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hope Chest, a finish . . . . . .

When I use a fat quarter bundle for a project, the first thing I do is remove all the low volume prints.  I then use a plain background fabric with all the remaining colorful prints.  Since I've been quilting quite a while, I have accumulated a pretty large stack of low volume prints.  I decided to use a few of those prints on my next project. 

I selected the pattern by A Quilting Life, Hope Chest,  to use of some of low volume prints. 



This is the first block I pieced and I immediately thought, what a pretty block, why have I been avoiding my low volume prints.



The pattern calls for 4 rows of three blocks, but I like a square quilt so I pieced 16 blocks, 4 rows of of 4 blocks.



I enjoyed piecing these blocks and loved the look so much I decided to make my quilt even bigger, 5 rows of 5 blocks.




This is Lifetime Quilt Number 246 - Hope Chest
The pattern is by Sherri at a Quilting Life
The fabric is an assortment from Sherri and Chelsea for Moda
It finished at 83" x 83"
It has approximately 985 pieces.  

I still have a stack of low volume fat quarters, but I don't think they'll be growing at quite the fast pace as they have in the past, after this beautiful finish I plan to use them more often. 




Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Oh Baby - A Finish . . . . .

After steadily working for over 6 weeks on my red and white adventure I was ready for something speedy, and what's quicker to piece than a baby quilt?

The mama to be requested a quilt of navy, turquoise, pink, and coral.  Using an assortment of Bonnie & Camille, Fig Tree, and Sherri & Chelsea fabric I was able to pull together what I think is a pleasing palette for a sweet baby girl.   

The navy on white background fabric is Blossom by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake.  There are several colors in this line, I'm using the red on white for the backing on my red and white quilt.   I'm fussy when it comes to background fabric, I don't like directional prints or any print that looks messy when it's cut apart and then sewn back together.  The random design of this print checks all my boxes.  


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 244
The fabric is an assortment of Moda by Bonnie & Camille, Fig Tree, and Sherri & Chelsea.  
The pattern is Oh Baby! by Heather Mulder Peterson from her book Little Quilts 4 Little Kids
It finished at 42" x 46" and has approximately 99 pieces. 



Oh Baby!  has a couple of fabric choices, I went with the scrappier version,  and I agree with Heather, it's great for a boy or girl.




There are 10 patterns in this book, all of them cute.  The book is available here.

I'm still not ready to commit to another large or time consuming project, another quick and easy is coming up next.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Memories of a Masterpiece - A Finish . . . . .

If you're a regular follower of my blog you know my most favorite quilts are red and white quilts.  I usually make one red and white quilt each year.  When this Red & White Quilts book was announced by Martingale I immediately preordered my copy, and that was based on the cover quilts alone. 


When I received my book and was able to see all the patterns I was not disappointed and knew this would be a book I would use for several upcoming projects.  But one quilt stood out above all the others, Memories of a Masterpiece by Lisa Bongean.  I knew I would make this quilt first. 


Lisa's quilt finished at 76" x 76" and is made up of 3,272 one inch finished half square triangle units.   Lisa used a tone on tone red print and a cream background fabric with tiny red dots.

I love this quilt but the vintage vibe is not my style so I decided to change it up a little to maybe give it a more modern feel.

First off, I used solids for my red and white fabrics. I went with my favorite red, Christmas Red by Moda.  It's a nice bright red.  My next change was to increase the size of the hsts.  Mine finish at 1 1/2", I went 1/2" bigger.   And lastly, since my hsts were larger, I made my quilt top smaller, which meant I only needed 2,296 hsts.

To make my hsts I used the Easy Angle ruler.  I cut my triangle units 1/8" larger and squared them up after piecing.

When I started this project I had the notion of just piecing my hsts until I couldn't stand to piece  anymore, then take a break, making this a project to stretch out over the year.  


 I started making my hsts the beginning of February during a very cold weather stretch when the only thing to do was stay in and sew.  In 4 days I had 1,400 finished hsts.  

Once I had enough hst units to work with I started piecing the quilt top.   I also trimmed 100 to 200 hsts daily.


To make this process easier I set up a trimming station on the kitchen table, allowing me to trim units throughout the day and in the evening while watching TV.  I think getting such a big jump on the volume of hsts the first few days, then cutting back to just a 100 or so a day  kept me interested in continuing with the project and not stopping due to hst overload.


The center was a breeze and a delight to piece.  It felt so good to start taking hsts out of the basket while putting more in.  I pressed all my seams open for this project.

The outside border units came together, slowly.


I just had to take my time and live with the fact that not all my points were going to be perfect.  I did some resewing but not a lot.  I found that my sewing machine was happier and the seams better aligned when I used a bigger stitch length.  I usually drop my stitch length down a couple from the factory preset since I always press my seams open, so the thread doesn't show through.  I just went with the regular length for this project.

I pinned each seam on both sides of the seam.

And in what really seemed like a relatively short period of time I was done, no break required.  I found this to be a relaxing project, it was just simple pinning and sewing.  And as I mentioned earlier, the weather was my best friend, there was nothing else to do but sew and listen to books.


This is lifetime quilt number 243
The pattern is Memories of a Masterpiece by Lisa Bongean from the Martingale Red & White Quilts book.
The fabric is Moda Bella Solid 9900-16 Christmas Red and 9900-98 White.  I prewashed the fabric (the color catchers picked up no red during the wash), dried it in the dryer, then soaked it with starch and let it dry on racks. 
My quilt finished at 90" x 90", the pattern finishes at 76" x 76"
I did not add the outer row of geese, I was happy with the 90" size and loved the fresh look without them.
There are approximately 5,141 pieces in this quilt top.
My husband says this top makes him dizzy.   

My top may not have the wow factor of Lisa's quilt, but I think it makes its own statement, it packs more punch due to the bright red, is more me, and I could not be happier with it. 

For the backing I'm going with this fabric,



it's Red on White Blossom by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake.

If you love this quilt pattern, but are intimidated by the volume of pieces or perceived work, don't be, it's not a hard pattern to piece, you just need start, and before you know it, you're done.  Like my friend Vicky always reminds me, "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time."  Just take that first bite.

Next up, I need to make a baby quilt, I'm really looking forward to working on a smaller, faster project.  That may be my theme for the next several projects.