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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Scrap taming

I mentioned a few months ago my growing scrap pile. Well you can imagine how big it must be now with all the preparation sewing I’ve been doing recently. It is overflowing yet again. My local quilt shop (and I’m sure many other quilt shops) offer “scrap tamers” or “scrap busters” events where people try to get that scrap pile under control by making quilts and other things. That was the idea behind this quilt (which is still in process) and this one (which I apparently never blogged about?).

I looked at my giant scrap pile and decided something must be done. I took out pattern pieces for the three smallest items I have and went through every last bit a lot of the fabric cutting out lots of pieces. Here is what I ended up with:

a bunch of cup cozies…

My machine has a number of fancy stitches, but I’m afraid most of them are just weird. The few I do like are pretty cool.  I like matching the fabric, thread color, and fancy stitch.

A bunch of sunglasses cases…

and a bunch of mice hot pads.

I ended up with some good ones in this batch. Hard to pick my favorite.

Speaking of these mice, a pair of them will be in an upcoming giveaway! Stay tuned for the details, but I can tell you the contest will be open from August 19 to September 1. I’m not sure if any of these mice will be available – but there will be more and they will be just as cute.

Alright, back to sewing!