First big quilt in awhile

Elsewhere on this blog I’ve posted pictures of one of my favorite quilt patterns ever – the stained glass quilt. (I’m not sure what the pattern is actually called.) I’ve made three of these now in the past several years and actually managed to sell two of them.  I just love the way they look.  They are relatively easy to make and a good way to use up some colorful scraps.

stained glass quilt detail

I’ve had the quilt itch now for several months. I’ve been looking through my quilt books, looking at my towering stack of scraps, thinking, dreaming.  I was going to make another small art/wall hanging quilt. I even got going at one point with an idea…but it seems to have failed.  I folded that project up and hid it away. It will come out again someday when I’m ready to face it again. It just didn’t work the way I thought it would.

Somehow, out of the blue last week, I decided I was going to make another stained glass quilt, but a big one this time.  I dug through my mountain of scraps looking for big enough pieces to cut up.  I ordered a few yards of tone-on-tone black spotty fabric for the black part.

I had the color pieces cut out by Friday (the 22nd) and then the black fabric arrived that day. So I spent the whole weekend working on this quilt.

It will be stunning when it’s done (it already is stunning!) but it kicked my butt and I’m definitely over the quilting itch now.  Nothing speeds that along like making multiple, and I mean multiple, mistakes!  First I did my math completely wrong. You’d think it would be very easy – this design is about the most simple there is – but somehow I managed it. After every single last piece was put together I realized they were too big, so I had to cut about 1/8 inch off two sides… of every piece. Grr.

I got that straightened out and then started sewing the squares together. First it’s one to one, then those groups of two to each other, then groups of four to each other, etc.  With the smaller quilts I always laid out the whole quilt and then sewed the blocks together in rows.  It was small enough to do that and I didn’t want any similar colors/patterns touching so it made sense. But this quilt is so much larger that it didn’t make sense to lay it all out first. There were enough colors/patterns that I knew I could avoid that (for the most part).  After sewing the two-patches together though, I discovered that it matters which side is sewed together as I sewed roughly HALF of them wrong! So I had to tear those all out and resew. Argh!

But I kept at it.  In the end I was just four individual squares short so I found some pieces to make those last squares. I had adjusted the math on my pattern so future pieces would be cut right. But wouldn’t you know, I adjusted wrong so those pieces were too small! I cut them apart, cut new black pieces and did it again. FINALLY, I had my last few pieces in and the inner part of the quilt was done.

I just finished putting on the last two borders and then I’m totally going to have someone else quilt this beauty!

 

bigstained1

I feel the need to make quilts is totally gone for now and I’m quite excited to get back to all the other projects I’ve been putting off!

 

 

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Just in time

I’ve been working away the past few months preparing for the Powderhorn Art Fair, which is THIS weekend!  Just in time, I finally finished that scrappy rainbow quilt I’d been working on. I like how it turned out, though I kind of wish now I’d had a friend machine quilt it. The hand-quilting is fine, it does make for a more pillowy finish – but it takes forever!

I also got these chubby little chick quilt hangings done. I don’t think I’d even mentioned I’d been working on them. My mom sent me the chubby chicks pattern and I’ve been working on them on and off for probably a year. I have another half dozen chicks in process somewhere. But at some point I decided to make two small wall hangings instead of a bigger quilt and I like how it turned out.

Oh, and for those of you who were interested, I’ll have a pair of my mouse hot pads up for grabs, in a giveaway, in a couple weeks. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how you can enter to win!

All you local folks, I hope you can drop by and see me at the Art Fair this weekend! It’s in Powderhorn Park and I’m on the lake, space #17. If you don’t want to drive, you can take the bus for free!

in progress

As I’ve been working on projects lately I’ve been eyeing my scrap pile growing ever bigger. It used to fit in two small boxes, but now it’s heaped up high and spilling out left and right and forward. I started thinking of ideas, once again, for how I could use some of this up. I thought of the scrappy quilt I made a year ago or so, and decided to make another one – but with more of a pattern.

It’s progressing, but not done by far yet!

winter projects

I’ve been working on a lot of things since I last posted a few months back. I usually post pics of the Christmas presents I make, but I managed not to take pictures of any of them! Too bad too, there were some good ones. =)

I’m trying to get back into making baby quilts for friends who have babies. No sooner do I say that then three friends all pop out babies! I’m afraid only one of them got a baby quilt. The fabric is from the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar.

Front of the quilt:

Back of the quilt:

and a close-up:

I made this adorable penguin for my niece’s third birthday, just a few weeks ago.

I like how it turned out; I made her an elephant for Christmas and that was even cuter I think. This kid is going to have so many stuffed animals!

Of course in addition to gifts I’ve been making tea cozies, pot holders, and other things.

I found out recently that I did not get into the Mill City Farmers Market for this summer, which I’m kind of bummed about. But, there’s always next year right?
I guess that means my first potential sale of the year is in August, at the Powderhorn Art Fair.

New quilt

I just finished this lovely quilt on Tuesday. I was an election judge for a special election. Read: very few voters, 14 hour day, lots of time to kill! Too bad I didn’t have another quilt to get started on!

This quilt will be FOR SALE tomorrow! I’ll be at the HandmadeMN Fall Market in uptown from 10a to 5p.

This is a pretty cool sale. For starters, various artists who are part of the HandmadeMN Etsy team (which puts on this show) have donated various things which you can WIN when you come to the market. The first 25 people in the morning (and there will be a line!) get grab bags with lots of donated goodies. Then, everyone who comes by during the day can enter to win one of two giveaway baskets. If you check out the blog (in the link above) you can see some of the things that have been donated.

And of course it’s great because all these artists are from Minnesota!

And I like the location – just a hop, skip, and a jump from my house!

So come on over and check out this cool market – and maybe buy a lovely quilt while you’re there. Oh! Look for me in the basement, er, lower level, of the building. Don’t let me spend my whole Saturday down there alone!!

New quilts, another market, and plans

Oops, I guess I forgot to post here that I was going to be a the Powderhorn Art Fair! I did mention it a couple times, so I’m sure none of you were caught off guard. The fair was amazing: great weather, lots of people, great artists. It was really fun and I look forward to doing it again next year.

I took a little bit of a break after the Fair was over. I had been sewing like a maniac for weeks in advance and it sure felt nice to not sew for a couple days. But of course it didn’t take more than that for me to feel the call of the fabric. First I realized I needed to make more sheep cozies because they are flying like hotcakes! They sell almost as fast as I make them. I’ve got five made up right now, and they’ll be at the Farmers Market this weekend.
Second, I was thinking about our local coffee cafe and the art installations they always have on the walls. I’ve thought a few times about whether I could do something there, but they usually have photography or paintings or other paper-based art. A couple weeks ago a show went up of fabric art and it looks pretty good. I felt inspired! And I’ve got plenty of time to create things because they have a waiting list till 2013 for showing on the walls there! I’ve really enjoyed the two “stained glass” quilts I made last year so I decided to make a different one, all with bright batik fabrics. I really, really like the way it has turned out so far!

The day before the Art Fair I finished this next quilt. I started this months ago with leftover bits from a similar quilt I made last year. I like the way this one turned out too.

Come find me at the Midtown Farmers Market this Saturday (August 20) and see what all I’ve got!

Two down, one to go

I got the second of three quilts done that I mentioned earlier.

I love how it turned out. Thank goodness for the women at my local quilt shop. They are so good at helping people find just the right fabrics to coordinate with any project. I found the green border color and couldn’t figure out what to use for the outer border. They turned up the cute blue fabric with all the multi-colored squares. Perfect match.