Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tempted: Smile at the Rain

I'm trying to be good, really I am.  I'm trying to finish the projects clogging up my sewing room instead of starting New! Pretty! projects that are just begging me to adopt them.

While trying to be good, I was stumbled upon This Pattern and I need to make it.  I really, really need to make it.

Would it be less like cheating if I made it from scrap fabric?

I was thinking patriotic fabrics as a Quilt of Valor.

Or maybe this happy-scrappy collection?


What fabrics will you use for your Smile at the Rain?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lament

Pat Sloan releases her 182 Day Solstice Challenge free quilt block today and every Wednesday until the summer solstice.  This is the first Wednesday I won't be home to stitch up the block and stay current.  I'm a little stressed about that.

Today I am on my way to Quilt Con, the Modern Quilt Convention, in Savannah.  Being there will make me forget all about my stress!

These are the Solstice blocks I've made so far:


I promise to catch up as soon as I get home next week.

Are you quilting along with this challenge?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cutie Quilt: Irresistible

I am tickled to announce a new Cutie Pattern -- Irresistible!


This quilt was inspired by a spool of thread.  This spool of thread:


It is a simple four-patch quilt that can be made with a Cutie Pack (16 fat 1/8th cuts of fabric).  The pattern includes four sizes and I made the queen sized one.

The quilting on this four-patch quilt really changes the look of the quilt:

Close-up:


Even closer:


Since folks are going to ask, I kept track of how much thread it took to quilt this queen-sized quilt.  Here's the result:


I used about 1 2/3 spools (700m) of FabuLux and 7 DecoBob bobbins.  So now we know!

So many people chimed in with a "This quilt is MINE!" when I was making the sample.  My daughter saw this quilt on my binding chair while she was cat-sitting during my Harry Potter trip.  She sent me a trip that said "For future reference, this quilt is mine."  I had to send her a "Too late!" answer because the quilt already has an owner waiting for it when it finishes its time traveling as a sample.  I will make my daughter a copy of this quilt and she'll get it even sooner!

I can't wait to make this quilt in other fabrics and sizes.  It is so fun to machine quilt and watch the quilt transform from "meh" to "WOW!" before my eyes!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Place: The Waiting Room

Last week I wrote about how I've been cleaning out my sewing room and donating unneeded craft supplies.

As I'm digging through, I'm finding scores of projects in various stages of incompleteness.  I can't work on 100 projects at a time (trust me: I've tried it), so what do I do with all of these found projects while they patiently wait their turn?

They go into large ziploc bags and then into holding bins:


Isn't that just a delightful mess?

For scale, here's a side view:


I really wish I could say that I only had one of these overflowing bins in my sewing room.  I have never finished counting the number of in-process projects I have;  I usually give up hope as I approach 200.

In a perfect world. all of these bins would be empty and I would only have a few projects in process at any time.  This sewing room isn't in that perfect world, so the projects just sit and wait for now.

Sigh.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Living With Quilts: Chunky Churn Dash Pillow

I love living with quilts.  One of the quilts that lives in my home is a mini-quilt-turned pillow:


The fabulous Joanna Figueroa designed the mini quilt and I turned it into a pillow.  Read about that journey HERE.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Update

This was my last week at home before my quilt travel season starts and boy was it a full week!

I had a few sewing room mishaps like extensive sewing after the bobbin ran out:


I also misjudged my binding by (((this))) much:


I managed to do something right, though, when I pieced a quilt backing:


If you don't know how to invisibly seam a backing, I wrote a quick tutorial HERE.

I had some kitchen mishaps, like sugary bubble tea coating every surface of my kitchen:


In between the comedy of errors, I managed to make progress on my Block of the Month quilts:

This was the final week for the free Splendid Sampler blocks.  The book will be available in April.

Family Affair:

Pieces of Friendship:


I made a pillow using this block pattern and filmed a machine quilting video about it. Check it out HERE

Family Stars:


Lina's Gift:


I'll pick up the Splendid sampler again once the book is released.

This is the last week I'll be current on Pat Sloan's 182 Day Solstice Challenge -- Among the Stars:


I pulled out another old block of the month quilt.  This one is an original design from my local quilt shop from 2013 or so.  I'm not a huge batik lover, but I want to finish this one up and send it along to its forever home.

Block 1:


Block 2:


I had a full last week at home.  Next week, my adventures begin with Quilt Con.  I hope to be able to keep up with my "block a day" habit while I'm on the road.  Stay tuned.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Quilt Finish: Yellow Brick Road

Hurray!  I finished another old quilting project.  This isn't my oldest UFO, but it is far past the "decade" mark.  

I pieced this Yellow Brick Road top at a retreat at Sturbridge Quilting and Sewing Center last month:


I quilted it with FabuLux Midas Touch thread:


And this is when my projects typically come to screeching halt because... Binding.

I am practicing machine binding using Pat Sloan's method.  I used the same threads for the binding that I did for the quilting.


I like how the Midas Touch looked on the black binding!  How did quilters ever live without these binding clips?

In a little over an hour, the entire quilt was bound:


The back of the quilt shows the blanket stitch and I still prefer the look of hand binding, but I will keep working on my machine bindings to get these UFOs finished and to their forever homes!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tempted: Thorn Quilt

I need to make This Quilt.  Need.  This Quilt.  Now.

It is for sale until February 18, so I'm going to buy the pattern now and make it later.

No really, I will wait until I finish more projects before I start this quilt.  (famous last words)

Maybe I'll use these fabrics?



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

So Close

And yet so far.


Why I hate binding: Reason #4971.

I have more fabric, but still...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Splendid Anniversary

A year ago today Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson launched The Splendid Sampler, a year-long quilt along with 100 blocks from 80+ designers.

Have you been quilting along?

I have, but I have am quite behind with only 18 of 100 blocks completed:


The Splendid Sampler designers are celebrating this anniversary with some fun giveaways.  Go HERE to enter to win some fun prizes.

I've pre-ordered the book and can't wait for my copy to arrive.

My quilt won't remain a UFO forever!  Follow me on Instagram @debbybrownquilts to see my daily progress on my backlog of Block of the Month quilts!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cleaning By Attrition

I think it will be easier to clean and organize my sewing room if I have less stuff in here.

I have been hard at work for the last six weeks finishing quilts to move them out of my sewing room.  I've also moved other things out of my sewing room to make room for the all of the Happy that I want to live in there.

I had a huge roll of high-loft batting.  Why?  I have no idea.  It now lives with my local library's quilt group.  They make bedrolls for the homeless and the batting will be put to good use:


I realized that I am a quilter, so I got rid of everything that isn't related to quilting.

I am no longer a:

  • knitter (I did keep 4 projects)
  • crocheter
  • rug maker
  • rubber stamper
  • scrap booker
  • candle maker
  • a few other hobbies that I've likely forgotten about
All of the supplies that support these hobbies have been given to charity groups or individual crafters, or have been recycled.  

Have you re-evaluated any hobbies and decided they were no longer for you?  Did you regret it or did it make you feel a little less burdened?



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Living With Quilts: Future Perfect Tense

Even though I give away most of my quilts, many still grace my home.

One of my favorite quilts hangs in my kitchen.  I can see it from where I stand to cook and also every time I walk through my kitchen to my sewing room.  It just makes me happy:


This quilt tells the story of a very difficult time in my life and quilting my story helped me through it. I tell the story of the creation of this quilt HERE.  

For the observant among you, yes this quilt is held to the wall with tacks.  I did this because I am lazy.  I felt less guilty about doing so when I discovered this was how they hang the quilts at the Tokyo Quilt Festival!  Seen with my own eyes:


This tack is at the bottom right corner of this quilt:


Have you every quilted a deeply personal quilt?  Do you treasure the result, or did you need to make the quilt and leave it behind (I can see both sides of that one)?


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Block of the Month Weekly Summary

I have over 20 block of the month quilts in process.  That is overwhelming, to say the least.  It is my goal to finish one block a day.  It's a big goal (BIG!) and I don't know that I'll succeed, but drastic times call for drastic measures.  I have finished all of the blocks for one BOM so far this year, but haven't yet finished that quilt.

I'm working on my Splendid Sampler blocks.

Crocheted Thoughts:


Checkerboard:


Scrap Stars:


Flying High:


I also worked on my 182 Day Solstice Challenge.

Never Ending Love:


Oh how I love this block!  I've never done much machine applique, and now I wonder why!

I have videos showing how I quilted Venice from Pat Sloan's Globetrotting quilt:


I am making this quilt in two colorways.  The second version is softer:


I wonder which BOMs I'll work on next week?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Quilt Finish: Just Because You Can

My goal for 2017 is to clean out my sewing room and finish up as many UFOs as possible.  My friends, however, conspire against me to sidetrack me.  They show me pretty fabric that I just "have" to buy.  They show me new quilt patterns that I just "have" to make.

Pat Sloan is one of the people who try to derail me.  I am making her 182 Day Solstice Challenge quilt and her Children's Library quilt.  What more does she want from me?  Apparently, she wants me to make even more quilts because she sends out bonus quilt layouts based on her individual blocks, like Cobble Stones.  I saw the bonus quilt challenge there. My resolve to not start any new quilts wavered but I held firm...

...until...

my friend Joliene (a fabulous longarm quilter) sent me photos of her Cobble Stones challenge quilt.  After seeing her gorgeous quilt, my resolve completely broke and I dove into my scraps to make my very own quilt.  Thanks, Joliene.  Some friend you are.

Here's my Cobble Stones quilt, made entirely against my will:


Joliene asked me what I was going to name it.  I named it "Just Because You Can."  Some of you will know why I named so (hint: it's a song lyric.  And you are welcome for the earworm).  

I quilted this entire quilt with ribbon candy, just because I could.  


This is a total scrap quilt.  All of the fabrics were from my stash.  I sewed together bits of flannel for a cozy backing.  I joined a bunch of wool batting scraps together for the batting.  I pulled out bright binding strips from my leftover bag.  Knowing that by making this quilt I removed fabric from my sewing room makes me feel more righteous about breaking my resolve to not start any new quilts.

Pat Sloan, however, is at it again. She sent a bonus layout with her Tidy Rows block.  I like the "X" variation rather than the "O" variation.  I was thinking green, black, and white until I started reading this book yesterday:


It looks like I'll have to make yet another black and yellow quilt.  I'll actually have to buy yellow fabric because I have none left!


Thursday, February 09, 2017

Tempted: Canning Season

I am tempted by the fruit of another new quilt!  Click HERE for today's earworm.

Do you know Shelly Pagliai?  She is talented.  She is fun.  She is a temptress!

She is leading a quilt along of her Canning Season quilt.  I saw it and desperately want to make it.  Desperately.

Sadly, I have several other half-square triangle quilts in the works.  They are my 'leader and ender' projects.

These blocks are made with leftover trimmings from one of my bed quilts:


My Summer's End quilt also yielded some leftover triangles.  I've made two copies of the quilt.

Mostly Manor:

and Gypsy Dance:


I'll be teaching this quilt at my local guild's Super Saturday and will likely make another copy.  Which Cutie Pack should I choose for the next one?  They are all so pretty!  And will make even more leftover triangles.

Once I finish these projects, I might make Canning Season.  I'm thinking about baby blue background fabric with black and white triangles:


Which fabric will you choose to make Canning Season?


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

In Process: A Tuffet

I am finally making a tuffet!  I have wanted to make one for a few years but it never worked out.  The class was always a two-parter and I was only ever home for one of the classes.  I finally found a local class that fit my crazy life,, took one class, and am working on my tuffet homework:


I can't wait to show you my finished tuffet next week!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Cutie Quilt in Progress: Picnic Patch


A few weeks ago, my bin of Cuties (fat eighths) was overflowing and wouldn't close.  I had to pull some out to make a quilt.  I pulled these:


My fingers were itching to piece this quilt and here's what it looks like so far (on my New Design Wall!!!):


I will use solid cream fabric for the squares and border and then... the quilting!  Picnic Patch is probably my favorite quilt to quilt.  I plan to use a barely pink thread (mostly cream) for the quilting and I will quilt row after row after row of lovely ribbon candy.

I plan to give this as a wedding quilt to someone I don't know very well.  Is this too girly?  Too much of a style?  Or do you think it reads as a generically pretty quilt for a wedding?

Monday, February 06, 2017

Happy Place: Journey Toward a Design Wall

One of the biggest frustrations in my sewing room, next to the sheer messiness of it all, is the lack of a design wall.

I don't have walls in my sewing room; I have doors and windows and a fireplace.  I tried portable design walls, but had nowhere to put them.  They were useless to me so I passed them along to folks who could make better use of them.

The only wall space in my sewing room that is wider than two feet is behind this rack (warning messy sewing room photo):


That rack is filled mostly with thread.  I needed to get rid of the rack and everything on it (given away or stored elsewhere) to clear that wall for a design wall.

Slowly:


Little by little:


I finally found new homes for everything on the rack and had a clear wall:


It was time to make the design wall.  I bought a sheet of foam insulation and covered it with extra-wide white flannel.  Instant design wall: just add quilt blocks!


I love this design wall more than I can possibly express.  When I'm working on a block from my never-ending supply of block-of-the-month quilts, I place the units on the design wall and take them down as I stitch them.

Where has this been all of my life?  And how did I ever live without it?

I think I need to add lights to this part of my sewing room.  They would help me see while sewing and also help see the design wall better.  That is a problem for another week, though.