Thursday, June 8, 2023

Cricut Convenience

Usually, when I'm cutting out quilt pieces with my Cricut , I gloss over that part in the blog. However, with this particular Diamond Lane pattern quilt, I found the process noteworthy, primarily because I think it actually improved the sashing block design. The original design had sashing comprised of multiple pieced squares, but I managed to consolidate them and then utilized my Cricut to carve out the shapes. The outcome? A more seamless and visually pleasing grey gingham strip!

I won't deny that turning the block design into an SVG (cut) file can be a bit challenging, but over time, I've found a method that works for me. (One can only hope that with the rising popularity of cutting machines, Electric Quilt might soon integrate a straightforward SVG file exporting option.) 

Once you have the block SVG file ready, you can upload it to the Cricut design software, and from there, it's quite easy to merge pieces and eliminate unnecessary seams. Often, I take the time to organize the pieces on the mat to avoid wasting fabric in between. This usually requires a bit of rotation to ensure the pieces nest nicely and attaching them so the Cricut machine respects my carefully planned arrangement. (I regret I forgot to take any photos of the uniquely-shaped pieces, though.)

I've been genuinely impressed with my Cricut's fabric-cutting performance. 

Initially, I was a bit apprehensive the consolidated shapes might complicate the assembly of the sashing blocks. But, to my delight, everything went smoothly. I just built the units progressively, leading to the final assembly. The sashing blocks were turning out so well last night that I couldn't resist pressing on until they were all sewn up, even if that meant crafting until the early hours of the morning!

Linking up with:

Monday, June 5, 2023

New Project Started

Since last week, I've made significant strides on my to-do list. The Cosmic Revival quilt? Quilted and done!

Creating a backing for the Comet's Revival quilt  ✔️

Quilting the Comet's Revival quilt ✔️

Make Quilt Labels for the finished quilts  ❌

Bind the Cosmic Cabin so it can be Mailed  ❌

Instead of tackling the binding of my pile of quilts, I felt an irresistible urge to embark on a fresh project from my UFO list. For June, my aim is to wrap up the flimsy for this Diamond Lane pattern from Wilmington Fabrics. For my take on it, I'm weaving in Farmhouse Chic florals along with a duo of complementary rose-colored prints.

Since finishing my quilt last Wednesday, I managed to piece together the corner blocks and the uncomplicated large blocks.

Now, it's time for a couple of dozen of these sashing pieces to take the stage.

So, for the week ahead, my game plan is:

  • Draft the Cricut files for the sashing units.
  • Cut out the needed pieces.
  • Piece together the sashing units.
  • Assemble the central quilt section. 

I'm ready to dive in and stitch up some progress!

Linking up with:

Design Wall Monday
Sew & Tell
Monday Musings
Tuesday ToDo

Sunday, June 4, 2023

2nd Qtr Sunday Stash 2023

Boy, did I have a thrilling escape this past weekend! I was on Hancock Paducah's website, filling up my online cart with delicious fabrics. I was so close to clicking that order button, but guess what? I triumphed and resisted! The secret weapon in my arsenal? A peek at my overflowing tubs of fabric. So far, this strategy has worked like a charm, though I'll admit, it's going to take all my strength to keep this up for the rest of the year. 

Whisking you back to April 2nd, my last fabric report had my net fabric use at 16¼ yards out. And hold onto your hats, folks, because I've been busy since then!

Including all the not-yet-sewn-on bindings, here's what's been happening in my craft room:

My Bordeaux Violette quilt got its matching pillowcases, snatching up 3 yards of fabric.

Sweet Louisa got a new dress, calling for 3¾ yards. (Got that figure straight from the pattern envelope, I was too caught up in the process to jot it down.)

Flower Paths is now finished, with 8 yards gracing the front side (a figure courteously provided by electric quilt), and 5 more yards decking out the backing and binding. 

And there's more: Midnight Mosaic demanded 2 yards for its backing and binding fabric.

Cosmic Cabin feasted on 3¾ yards for the front-side sashing and borders, and an extra 3 yards of extra-wide fabric for its backing plus ¾ yards for the binding. (To be frank, I'm still figuring out how to report extra-wide fabrics...)

And last but not least: Comet's Revival: 3¼ yards for the sashing and border, and another 4½ yards for the backing and binding. 

Phew! That's a whopping total of 37 yards since my last update. I can hardly believe it.

The grand total for the year? Drumroll, please... 87¼ yards used! Net, that means I've used 53¼ yards this year. I'm on cloud nine with this result! Let's keep this fabric party rolling!

Linking up with Sunday Stash

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Jun Friday Night w/Friends

My jump into the project experienced a bit of turbulence when I realized my original plan would result in a whopping 99" square quilt! With my 10-foot long arm frame, that size is nothing short of a hassle – imagine wrangling a bulky quilt onto the frame with the long arm in your way. Plus, I don't really have a need for another queen-size bed quilt. So, I decided to downsize.

I devoted 3 to 4 hours to tinkering with different options to trim it down: eliminating rows of blocks, reworking the border, you name it. None of them hit the mark. For a fleeting moment, I even considered changing the pattern entirely. Ultimately, I decided to simply reduce the block size from 6" to a more manageable 4.5".

Of course, this meant all the effort I'd put into devising a Cricut cutting plan had to be scrapped and reworked, leading to a bit more delay. But, after some adjustments, I finally started making headway.

Progress was slower than anticipated, but hey, at least it's a start!

Here's a snapshot of my chosen fabrics. The lighting isn't the best, but they look delightful. 

During my reshuffling of the plan, I reworked the colors. Originally, I had a rust tone in the mix, but it didn't gel with the rest of the fabrics upon a closer look. So, I brought in these rosy hues from my stash, which harmonize perfectly.

Usually, I wouldn't cut out squares with my Cricut, but with the resized blocks, some squares landed at rather awkward dimensions.

Here's the fruit of last night's labor. I'm eager to carry on with the project today. My goal is to complete these checkerboard squares and the nine patches. Then, come next week, I can dive into the sashing and border units.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June One Monthly Goal

According to my Quilt Guild, this month is supposed to be finishing my Aged Elegance bonus crib quilt. But guess what? I've got that one in the bag already – I finished it back in February. So, I've got the freedom to dive into whatever project my heart desires.

Sure, there's the Easy Street quilt that I prepped a couple of months ago. But, I ran into a little hiccup; it turns out, I made the blocks larger than the original pattern. Now, I'm in a bit of a pickle – do I go ahead with the supersized blocks, or do I take the extra step to trim them down to the size that Bonnie Hunter had in mind?

Instead of dwelling on that conundrum, I've decided to shift gears and dive into my Diamond Lane quilt using the Farmhouse Chic fabrics. These were an impromptu pandemic clearance fabric binge, and it feels good to finally put them to use.

Today, I've been knee-deep in creating the Cricut fabric-cutting files. Cutting out triangles isn't my favorite pastime, and this quilt demands plenty of them. But come tomorrow, during our Friday Night With Friends, I'm aiming to kick off the cutting stage.

So, what's my game plan for the month? My sights are set on finishing the quilt flimsy. Quilting it completely would be a bonus, but I'll be perfectly content if I manage to put the finishing touch on the flimsy.

Linking up with One Monthly Goal.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Comet's Revival Quilted!

Get ready for a comeback story – the tale of my second finish from the Comet blocks of my May UFO goal! It had a rough start; a quilt flimsy riddled with pleats and puckers that was far from perfect. I can't even imagine what possessed me to finish it in such a state (though, honestly, I probably just couldn't wait to be done...LOL).

Now aptly named Comet's Revival, this quilt breathes new life into the purple Comet blocks with fresh sashing and corner blocks. I'm thrilled that I didn't purchase a single new fabric for this revival! Instead, I used only fabrics I had on hand and I recovered the purple paisley fabric from a square dance skirt I made years ago for the sashing corner blocks. It was a small sacrifice to make, considering the skirt was gathering dust in my closet. For the backing, I unearthed a hefty piece of green marble-look fabric, a relic from the early 2000s.

For the quilting, I experimented with various feather blocks. Admittedly, I'm not completely in love with the result, but the idea of disassembling the whole thing never really took a serious hold. After spending an abundance of hours earlier this month unraveling the quilt stitch by stitch, I simply didn't have the heart for another round! The main culprit of my dissatisfaction is the large square feather block – it lacked symmetry, and with a nine-patch design, it's all the more noticeable. Nevertheless, I decided to stick with it.

But it's not all bittersweet! I adore the outer border feather from mycreativestitches; her Midsummer Dream Simple Border and Corner worked wonders. For the sashing, I went with a pantograph called Flipped on Feathers that came with my long arm. And the adorable corner blocks are the Funky Feather block by Anita Shackleford, another that came with my ProStitcher software.

The batting is my go-to – Quilters Dream Green 100% recycled batting. I paired it with another MaxiLock serger thread, this time in a Churchill green shade. For these low-stakes leftover block quilts, I see no need to splurge on pricey threads.

What a relief it is to have completed my May UFO before the month's end! There were moments of doubt, but I pulled through. And now, with a quartet of quilts piled up, I'm considering dedicating a few days to creating quilt labels and binding them all. A perfectly productive way to celebrate the completion!

Linking up with:

Midweek Makers
Needle & Thread Thursday
Brag About Your Beauties
Friday Foto Fun
Off the Wall Friday
TGI Finished Friday

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Cosmic Cabin Quilted!

I was on a real roll from Sunday afternoon straight through to Monday evening, only pausing for a well-deserved sleep break! I've been absolutely set on completing these two quilts by month's end, and that resolve has turned me into a quilting powerhouse. It's been all about stitches, patterns, and fabric - until these quilts are done, my world revolves around them!

It's 92x92 so a little large for one person to hold it up

Here's a glimpse into my quilting strategy...

I employed Donna Kleinke's Spiral Pantograph (slightly tweaked to make it a block design) on the Comet blocks, while her Simone's Gems Corner block brought the log cabin blocks to life. The border was adorned with her Simone Feathers Border and Corner Set, and oh boy, did it turn out beautiful! It was rather thread-hungry, practically devouring a whole 3000-yard spool, but it was worth every inch.

The backing of the quilt sports the 108" Dream Cotton Solid in a rich Hunter Green from Marshall Dry Goods. The quality-to-price ratio is just stellar, and I'll likely incorporate more of their fabric into future projects.

As for the batting, I opted for Hobbs Heirloom 80-20 Premium Cotton Batting. It was the perfect width, so no piecing necessary! I bought a 15-yard bolt several years ago and I've been slowly using it up. After this quilt, there is just a remnant left, freeing up some much-needed space in my long arm room.

And let's not forget the stitching! I used a budget-friendly MaxiLock serger thread in a delightful Tea Rose shade. It was conveniently on hand, and this year, I've been on a mission to finish projects without splurging on extra supplies.

So there you have it, the cosmic journey of my Cosmic Cabin quilt. I should have just enough time left to finish quilting my Comet's Revival before the end of the month!

Linking up with:
Wednesday Wait Loss
Brag about Your Beauties
Friday Foto Fun
Finished (or Not) Fridays
TGI Finished Friday
Off the Wall
Peacock Party