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

Monday, May 29, 2023

Cosmic Cabin Quilting

I must confess, I envisioned the Cosmic Cabin quilt wrapped up by now, but life, as it often does, had other plans! A different non-sewing project spirited me away, but hey, three days still remain in the month – plenty of time to conquer my goal of finishing both these quilts!

Complete the borders on the Cosmic Cabin quilt ✔️
Create a backing for the Cosmic Cabin quilt  ✔️
Bring the Cosmic Cabin quilt to life!  Nearly finished

I spent a couple days playing with my ProStitcher Studio and devised three different quilting designs, and my husband was smitten with one in particular. It's a blend of feathery swirls and striking geometric patterns. I'll post more details and close-up photos with the finish.

Now, this pattern is definitely denser than my usual style, but I'm all in for a little adventure. Surprisingly, now that I've quilted a few rows, it doesn't look as dense as I initially thought it might, so I'm thrilled I took the plunge.  Chances are, once this quilt is finished, it'll find a new home with my husband's sister as a special birthday present. She's in for quite a treat!

For the coming week, I'd like to:

  1. Craft a backing for the Comet's Revival quilt
  2. Quilt the Comet's Revival quilt
  3. Make Quilt Labels for the finished quilts
  4. Bind the Cosmic Cabin so it can be Mailed
Linking up with:

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Comet's Revival Flimsy

This past weekend was a fun diversion! I got to team up with my husband on a writing project, which was quite the adventure. It did mean I wasn't able to tick off as many quilting tasks as I would've liked, but I did put the finishing touches on the Comet's Revival flimsy – a little triumph right there! (Please excuse the quality of the photo, I promise to snap a better one soon.)

And let's not forget the Cosmic Cabin quilt! I managed to add the first border, but alas, I ran out of the sashing fabric for the second border. It's time for a treasure hunt to find a suitable replacement.

So, what's on my quilting agenda for this week?

  1. Craft a backing for the Comet's Revival quilt
  2. Quilt the Comet's Revival quilt into existence
  3. Complete the borders on the Cosmic Cabin quilt
  4. Create a backing for the Cosmic Cabin quilt
  5. Bring the Cosmic Cabin quilt to life!

I'm dreaming of seeing both these quilts completed by the month's end, but my writing adventures with my husband might stretch the timeline a bit. He's my biggest quilting cheerleader, so when he needs a hand with his projects, I'm more than happy to lend one! =)

Oh, and as a little visual treat, here are a couple bonus photos of our irises in full bloom – aren't they just delightful?

Iris 'Fiery Temper'

Iris 'Avalon Sunset'
Linking up with:
Tuesday ToDo

Saturday, May 20, 2023

May Friday Night Sew-In

Oh, the anticipation was real! The whole week was a lead-up to this Friday Night Sew-In. It was like a pre-party, where I spent several days joyfully snipping and prepping the sashing and corner block pieces to coordinate with the leftover purple comet blocks.
Finally on Friday afternoon, seated at my sewing machine, I was surprised at how quickly things started coming together. Piece after piece, the blocks and sashing were assembled like a whirlwind! 
I even managed to finish earlier than expected. This extra time turned into a little social time with my husband before bedtime.

Up next on my agenda? A matching dark purple border that I'm hoping to add over the weekend! I now have two lovely quilts eagerly awaiting their borders. A bit of a challenge, indeed, but one I'm ready to take on with gusto! I'm absolutely determined to finish quilting these beauties by the end of the month. Here's to a weekend filled with productive fun and plenty of stitches!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Midnight Mosaic Quilted

I just realized I finished another quilt a few weeks ago and totally forgot to post about it. It's another scrap quilt in the Broken Bricks/Zipper pattern. If you remember, I kind of went bonkers for that pattern last year - it's like my comfort food, but for quilting. 

I started with the border print which was a remnant leftover from my Queen's Jewel quilt and then I dove headfirst into my scrap bin and emerged with a colorful medley that came together beautifully in this quilt. This time, it's donned a racy solid black background, sprinkled with a mélange of purples, blues, and greens. It's a kaleidoscope of color in the night sky, hence the name - Midnight Mosaic.

The backing is a black broadcloth fabric I scored from Marshall Dry Goods. It's 60"-wide Prime plus and delightfully meant no piecing. It’s almost like the fabric knew I dislike that part of quilting. Guess who's going on a shopping spree soon!

I've filled it with my trusty Quilter's Dream Green batting, made from 100% recycled bottles. Not only does it make my quilts wonderfully cozy, it also makes me feel a little bit better about my environmental footprint. I also used an inexpensive MaxiLock serger thread in their mint green color to quilt it because I thought it would show up well while still having a green-tone, but it looks almost white on top of the black.

For the edge-to-edge pantograph, I used the Diana pattern from MyCreativeStitches. It stitched out like wonderfully, giving the quilt that perfect finishing touch.

Once I get the label on and finish up the binding, this quilt will join my growing pile of ready-to-gift creations. Who knows which lucky family member or friend will be the recipient of this Midnight Mosaic beauty? The anticipation is half the fun! 

So there you have it! A finished quilt that almost slipped under the radar. It's a good thing I have you all to share my victories with, otherwise, I might forget they even happened! Happy quilting, everyone!

Linking up with:

Brag About Your Beauties
Finished (or Not) Friday
Friday Foto Fun
Off the Wall Friday
Patchwork & Quilts
Peacock Party
Put Your Foot Down
Whoop Whoop

Monday, May 15, 2023

Tuesday ToDo #70

Well, well, it's been a whirlwind week over here in my crafting corner. I made some solid headway on the Cosmic Cabin quilt this past week, which felt like a bit of a victory. I managed to add logs to those salvaged green log cabin blocks and assemble everything with the sashing. I still need to add the borders, but that involves clearing a space big enough to lay everything out. (Oh, to have the luxury of a larger design wall.)

Remember at the beginning of the month, those green Comet blocks were combined with purple in a disastrous flimsy? 

Well, now that the green blocks have a new lease on life in the Cosmic Cabin quilt I find I can not yet declare victory. Those purple blocks? They're still sitting in a pile, waiting for their moment to shine.

Now, I'm not one for spontaneity. I need a plan. So, I spent a good few hours playing with Electric Quilt, trying to come up with a solution for those poor purple Comet blocks. I thought up a whole bunch of ideas, but most of them involved making extra blocks and ending up with a too-large quilt. Eventually, I settled on a simple layout that required just some sashing and corner blocks.

I think this one will be called Comet's Revival,
or maybe Celestial Rebirth

With a plan in place, I went on a treasure hunt through my stash to find more of the original fabrics. Sadly, the green fabric in the center of the block was just about gone so for the sashing I will have to substitute it with a marble print that's pretty close, but not quite the same. And that purple paisley yardage? I only found a small scrap. But, would you believe it? I discovered some of it hiding in a square dance skirt! Talk about a blast from the past!

So, I will do what any reasonable quilter would do: I am going to take the skirt apart for the fabric. I mean, I'm not square dancing these days, so it just makes sense to put that fabric to good use in a quilt, right? Better than letting it languish in my closet, never again to see the light of day.

And there you have it, folks. I'm making progress on my never-ending list of sewing projects. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a date with my seam ripper, trying to recover that paisley fabric. Happy quilting!

Linking up with 

Design Wall Monday
Monday Sew & Tell
Monday Musings
Tuesday ToDo

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Cosmic Cabin Plan

Well, folks, I did it! I finally finished tearing apart that pesky old quilt and have been having a grand ol' time playing with the blocks. After giving the Comet blocks a gentle wash and a nice press with the iron, I realized they were still slightly stretched out. But then - cue the choir - the blindingly obvious solution hit me like a bolt of lightning: Just make the extra strips on the log cabin blocks a smidge wider. Duh!

So, with renewed enthusiasm, I dove back into Electric Quilt and toyed with several options for which edges to add those extra strips. After much hemming and hawing, I settled on this fun layout: 

I'll add the lavender strips to the light side of the log cabin blocks, and then - for that extra pizzazz - I'll use sashing between all the blocks, with two different colors depending on their location.

I've already cut out the lavender strips and started sewing them on. I am feeling quite pleased with my progress. Fingers crossed, I'll have this stellar quilt finished within the next week or two. Here's to hoping my squirrel-like attention span doesn't get the better of me!

Linking up with 
Put Your Foot Down
Finished (or Not) Friday
Friday Foto Fun
Off the Wall Friday
Whoop Whoop

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

May's Cosmic Quest

Oh, the life of a crafter with the attention span of a squirrel! I am a lover of all things fabric and have amassed enough of the stuff to last more than my lifetime. Why then can't I just let some projects go? You see, I'm a hoarder at heart and can't bear to see anything go to waste.

A little backstory: In 2009, I crafted blackout Roman Shades from Comet blocks for our home. But when we moved in 2010, my dear father removed these handcrafted beauties and returned them to me. With their pristine condition, I couldn't resist the thought of repurposing them into curtains for my new sewing room.

Fast forward to 2015, and the great disassembly of the Roman shades began. Alas, there weren't enough green blocks for my grand curtain plan, so I started creating a complementary set in purple. But my fickle focus struck again, and several years later, the project remained incomplete. Looking back, I can't pinpoint the reason for my procrastination; perhaps it was the lack of a solid plan or the project's sheer monotony.

By 2020, my fabric wall had faded from waiting, and finally, I whipped up some lovely curtains for my sewing room - but not from the blocks as originally intended. Instead, I decided to sew those mismatched purple and green blocks together to form a quilt top. Now, the poor green blocks had suffered from their window-hanging days, and their edges stretched out like a cat in a sunbeam. I should have abandoned the project at this point, but no, I persevered, ignoring the rippling, wavy edges, determined to check off the ToDo. The result? A bona fide disaster of a quilt, complete with added borders. What on earth was I thinking?

I couldn't fathom sending this catastrophe out for professional quilting, so it was consigned to the depths of my closet, expecting to be forgotten. But this year I joined my quilt guild's UFO challenge and I put it on the list. Why oh why would I do that? And this quilt was the draw for the month.

What I would have liked to do is just put the quilt on the long arm and quilt it, but my perfectionist self won't let me. Even though I have my own long arm, the high cost of battings and backings still makes it hard to justify. But remember, I'm a hoarder, and I just can't let those blocks go without a fight. So, I'm giving them one last shot at redemption.

I've resolved to pick apart those blocks and see if a gentle wash and iron can restore the green ones to their former glory. If not, I'll bid them a tearful farewell. But if they do make a miraculous recovery, I'll combine them with some green log cabin blocks I rescued from another quilt earlier this year. 

Who doesn't love a good quilt made from leftovers?

So, here's the plan for the coming week: disassemble the quilt, recover the blocks, and figure out the best way to wash them. After that, I'll cross my fingers, toes, and eyes in the hope that my plan will work. Wish me luck!

Linking up with

Design Wall Monday

Monday Musings

Tuesday ToDo