Monday, July 1, 2019

so much sewing!

It's been a marathon in the sewing room the last few days.

First, there was the catching up on book blocks.
Then there was the baby quilt that I decided to make after all.
And finally, starting the 100 blocks in 100 days challenge!

I think I mentioned before, with the book blocks, if I had made one per day during the quilt-along, it would be just right for my calculations for the size of quilt I want.  But I started a few weeks late, so I had a few extra books to make to catch up.

No worries, I have like 5 days before the other quilt-along starts that also needs me to make a block a day.  I can catch up.  I had 10 done at my last post.  I got faster (I think?) and made 11 more to catch up!

So many memories making these blocks - where the fabrics for the book covers and bindings came from.  Scrap quilts are always a fun walk down memory lane, but ones that focus on one fabric (or two) at a time, are even better to me!  Some of the fabrics I'd forgotten I have.  Some I realized belatedly that there would be little contrast.  But I'm learning to be more careful in my choices.

I haven't made the block for today, but that's because I was trying to get my iron dried out.  I dropped it a few months ago and I must have cracked something inside because it is SUPER incontinent.  And that wasn't too bad until I realized, while ironing in shorts, that it is spitting hot water out the back.  Onto my bare legs and feet.  That is NOT acceptable.  Thankfully, it's only an $18 iron, so I just purchased a new one.  I will now have a dry iron (suitable for paper piecing and such) - the old, spitty one - and a steamy iron - the new one.  But I'm going to have to label them because they look very much alike!  (Also, just in case anyone sews with me, it would be nice if they were warned!)

The iron was running dry with the book blocks (paper pieced), but I would have wanted steam for the 100 blocks project.  But I put water in there sooner.  Because on Friday I got a text from a former coworker.  Another former coworker is pregnant.  I've known this for a while, and debated making her a baby quilt.  I talked myself out of it because our friendship has been limited to social media posting and figured it might be weird.  Well.  There is a baby shower being planned and I am invited.  This means I can make a quilt!  (Which I wanted to before, but talked myself out of it!)

So I looked through Pinterest and found nothing.  That is usually a dangerous place, but I seriously found nothing that seemed like this gal at all.  So I started digging through books.  And I found something!  For once, my stash of quilt books paid off.

Sort of.

The pattern has lots of problems.  First off, there is no photo of the entire quilt.  So all the units it tells you to make are kind of a mystery where they go.  I drew out the block (which is large and made of many units) and figured out borders based on the slouchy-hanging-from-a-ladder photo in the book.  And decided to make it smaller(ish) and figured out how many units of what and then cutting directions for myself from there.  And that was when I realized the book had some SERIOUS problems.  Like telling you to cut pieces 1/2"x12 1/2", which you are later instructed to use as 2 1/2"x12 1/2" strips that should actually be 2 1/4" strips.  And it calls for almost 2 yards of a fabric that you literally need like 2/3 of a yard of, even making the full quilt.

But, because I know what I'm doing, and because I decided to make the quilt smaller and make my own cutting list, I'm okay.

Whew...that was a long ways without a photo!  Let's see those fabrics, shall we?

Very similar to the last baby quilt I made, but not entirely intentional.  I found the bottom indigo and loved it.  Then found that white and was off and running.  The grey just fell into place, as well as the other blues.  I had trouble finding good oranges and that top green actually came from my stash!  But it's enough to do what I wanted to do, so I'm happy.

I even found something for the back that is pretty much perfect!

Yesterday, I ironed the freshly-washed fabrics early, before the heat really set in.  And then started cutting.

I even cut, pieced and pressed the binding.  AND pieced the back!

And then paired up some strip sets, as this quilt was originally designed to work with a jelly roll and a charm pack.

And then I sewed and sewed and sewed.  And cut.  And sewed some more.  Until I got to this point:

Some of the squares get white borders.  Some do not.  Some of the strips sets with triangle corners get cut in half, some do not.  So at this point, I need to lay it all out and make some placement decisions. iron is nearly empty.  So I took a quick trip to the store.  And now need to get back to the books.  Well, book.

Oh, wait.  The 100 blocks in 100 days started today!  I made that block first thing this morning.  We are posting specific blocks on specific days, but based on our time zones.  Since the host is in Australia, she's basically a day ahead of those of us in the US, so I feel SOOO behind.  So I wanted to get that up as quickly as I could.

But first, I forgot my fabric pull...remember it was based on my shoe collection?

That doesn't seem like a lot of pink, but I removed more than half my pink stash because it was too light, too orange, too whatever.  These made the cut.

And the block:

How's that for funky?  (It's refusing to lie flat, but is actually flat and square.)  This quilt has some blocks that will be really great for larger prints.  And while I don't want my quilt to get all cutesy with focal prints, I thought this was a good compromise.

And a few more photos...

There is a hashtag going around instagram (#midyearroundup) that is prompting folks to look at all they've made so far this year.  I had to pick and choose because I can only get so many photos in a collage.  I've made THAT many quilts already!

And I just keep going!

While I was shopping for baby quilt fabric, this jumped into my cart...

...oh, it's sideways.  Oh well.  My hubby refers to one of our 14-year-old nieces as "Monster" and her mom as "Godzilla"...which he also sometimes calls the niece.  So I thought some pillowcases out of this would be hilarious.  I think the orange check in the baby quilt photo above will end up being the cuff.  I'm pretty sure I have enough extra.

And finally, Emma found the spot on the floor in the sewing room with best fan coverage...

...she was pretty much in the way of everything, but as long as I could move my chair without rolling over her, I let her stay.  I can walk around and over her.  And she's so darn cute!

In making the collage, I realized I'd given away the graduation quilt to another niece and not only did I forget to take a photo of the finished quilt, I haven't shared about it yet!  I was waiting to share until she received it, but that was more than a week ago.  So I'll work on a blog post about that in a few days...

Happy quilting!


Carol R. said...

That 'monster' fabric is too cute!... you HAVE been busy... LOTS of book blocks... it's fun seeing them... I couldn't do anything even close to that - I don't have that many fun prints that would be small enough. The animals around here are more interested in laying in the sunlight coming through windows than laying where a fan might cool them off a little which is probably a good thing since the only fan that gets used much is the small one next to my bed.

Marsha B said...

You have been busy sewing! So much progress and those book covers are just adorable. You have some really fun fabrics to play with! I love the dinosaur fabric. My four year old GD love dinosaurs, she would think that is great fabric, too. What fun, a new baby quilt, too. Hope you can keep up with the challenges, both are very cute!

---"Love" said...

I just love all those little books! Your imagination much be active every moment of the day and night! (Your hands too!) I enjoy seeing what you'll think of next each day. ---"Love"

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Love the "monster" fabric - and your new books! And your baby quilt fabric combo is terrific! Black and pink are nice choices for your 100 blocks, too! I had to laugh at your "incontinent" iron - I use a dry iron and a squirt bottle to avoid that problem - LOL. Hi, Emma - ;))

Ruth said...

You are literally a quilting machine! Wow! Your book blocks are really cute. I decided not to get the pattern and will not be making book blocks. One problem with those is having interesting fabric and picking out good fabrics to do the binding, etc. You have more fabrics that are good for something like that and I don't have the time to be searching and digging through all my stash and scraps for interesting pieces, etc. I've been getting ready for some craft shows coming up and trying to think of some things to make that are easy and cheap to make that people will buy. Some of the things I make are pot holders, trash bags for cars, little purses, doll pillows in lacy trimmed pillow cases and credit card wallet things. And of course table runners and wall hangings. I'm trying to decide if I want to go to the Sisters quilt show. I do want to, but it's usually pretty hot and I don't like hot weather. It's about a 4 hour drive from here.

a good yarn said...

Once those projects get you hooked you are off and sewing. I'm really looking forward to seeing the layout of that quilt - those fabrics are such an interesting combination. I marvel at how the dark grey reigns them in but sharpens the colour. Great start on the 100 blocks and that monster fabric is too cute. Have you really made all those projects in the first half of the year?! That's a fantastic output.