Sunday, February 19, 2017

En Provence - Top is Done!!

Well, apparently the only reason I blog is so I can do a Link-Up to Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog!  But unfortunately, I just missed the deadline to link by 30 minutes!  Oh well!

Anyway, I did finish my En Provence top:

I made it 3/4 the size, and used up every inch of the dark purple fabric I had!  I also used up almost all of my neutral fabric, and the light blue is diminished to the point that I don't think I have enough for the binding like I had planned.  Guess I'll just need to piece together the remaining green & lavender to make it scrappy! :-)

I am so proud that I finished this!  There are like a bajillion pieces in this thing, but I kept with it.  This is also made entirely of stash fabric, except for a little yellow, so I'm really happy with that!

At this point, my top is folded and "marinating"...although I love it, we need some time apart! :-)

So HERE is where you can see all of the final En Provence progress of the Quiltvillians (even though mine didn't make it)!  There are so many gorgeous variations in color and/or design, I'm truly amazed and inspired!  

This was the first mystery quilt I've ever done, and I will definitely be doing this again!

Friday, January 13, 2017

En Provence Revealed!

Well, that was quick!  Bonnie revealed Clue 6 for the En Provence mystery quilt on December 30, 2016 and then posted Clue 7 and the Final Reveal on New Years Day, 2017.  Isn't the finished quilt gorgeous?  That Bonnie is a genius!

Photo Credit: Bonnie K Hunter - Quiltville.com
So Clues 6 and 7 are hourglass units comprised of 2 green sides, 1 neutral side and 1 light purple side (Clue 6) or 1 yellow side (Clue 7).  Okay, but I've never done hourglass units before, and they look awfully complicated and mathy.  Lucky for me, I got Bonnie's Essential Triangle tool and her wonderful tutorials to get me through!

Here's my progress on Clue 6:

Cut the 2" strips:

Sew them together:
 As you can see, I had some technical difficulty with thread tension at first because I'm using my Singer 15-91 for the first time.  She's about 70 years old, so I cut her some slack, re-threaded and fiddled with the tensioner, and she was good to go after this!

Look, half hourglass units!

Sewed those together, pressed, and voila!
Clue 6 DONE!

Clue 7 process pics look the same, except with yellow, so here's what I got:

But the fun part is putting this bad boy together!
Sorry about not editing this pic.  Also, I ended up swapping out those gold squares for ones more the color of the hourglass unit yellow.

Following Bonnie's diagram, here's what I got:
Woot Woot!  It looks like a block! :-)

I'm not too crazy about the subtleness of the contrast in the purples, but it should be okay in the quilt.  I think.

So I made a few blocks and sashing units, and mocked it up:


I think it looks pretty cool!  But I've also realized that I need more width to make this a good-sized lap quilt.  So I'm going to make more units for 4 more blocks to make a 3x4 block quilt.  I'm hoping I have just enough of these fabrics (especially the dark purples!) left to pull it off...

Final Link Up for Clues 6 and 7 is HERE!  A bunch of peeps have already finished their entire quilts, and some have just absolutely fantastic versions!  Good thing it's not a contest, because, seriously, there's so much awesomeness out there! ;-)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Year! Use What You Got!

Although I've only been quilting for almost 2 years (since April 2015), I've managed to accumulate quite a fabric stash, and not just a few quilt tops.  So IG is all abuzz with peeps clearing off crafting room space, organizing stashes and resolving to use up their stash and to finish what they started.  

So they've motivated me to do some organizy-type stuff.  So here's my stash: 

  

I'm playing along with @projectLeasa and hashtagging #sewmystash2017 in an effort to...er, um, sew my stash!

And there is a lovely group of bloggers hosting a Finish-Along.  I found out about it from @shecanquilt, and I think it will be helpful for me to finish some projects.  Part of the deal is that I have to link up a list of things that still need making, and then quarterly post a link a finish.  So without further ado, here are my unfinished tops:

From top left to right:
1. My son Cameron's Skateboard Quilt (2016)
2. Five and Dime Quilt (2015)
3. Figtree Farmhouse Bonus Quilt - Leader/Ender (2016)
4. Halloween Quilt (2016)
5. Stars and Stripes (2016)
6. French General "Bon Voyage" HST Stars (2016)
7. Aquarium Attic Windows (2016)

Also, my 8. Bloom (2016) quilt by Lori Holt is still on the Grace frame, languishing because I'm having frustrating thread breakage issues I can't troubleshoot, and I'm also trying to do custom quilting with rulers for the first time.  It's on indefinite time out, although I do seriously need to get if off that frame soon so that I can do some of those quilts above!

And, also my 9. Cozy Christmas (2016) quilt, also a Lori Holt sew along, is my first try at hand-quilting.  I'm hoping I can get it done by Christmas 2017! 

So I realized that although I love piecing, and that actually quilting is fun, I loathe the basting part.  Like, a burning, passionate hate.  It's such a wrestling match to get the huge piece of backing smooth on the floor and taped down (not to mention actually frankenstein-piecing the unwieldy thing together), and then getting the batting to lie flat on top of it, and then, at the very end when you're disgusted and sore, layering the top on so that it's not crooked.  Then crawling around on the hard floor with pins, or trying in vain to keep everything smooth while spray-basting it together is absolute hell.  Yes, I've realized that is why my poor quilts get stuck at the "flimsy" stage.

But will I send them out to a professional?  Heck no, I want to be able to say that I made the thing, from start to finish!  My Grace frame was supposed to help me with this basting issue, but I have already mentioned Bloom, so...

I'm much better at keeping my current piecing WIPs in check!  I only have these going on:
  

10. Treenware & Berries Leader/Ender (2016)
11. Swoon (#SwoonAlong/#SwoonQAL2017) - 2016
12. Sweet Sugar Swirls (#FigtreeFriendsQAL) - 2016
13. En Provence - Quiltville Mystery (#enprovencequilt/#quiltvillemystery)
14. Vintage Sheet Dresdens - Leader/Ender (2016)

Whew!! So there are my unfinished projects!  I know I won't get them all done this quarter, but I'll try to tackle a few.  We'll see how far I get! :-)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Clue 5, and I'm Still Alive!!

I'm keeping right up with the Quiltville "En Provence" Mystery Quilt!  This week's Clue is making some 3 1/2" half square triangles with our dark purples and neutrals.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am running super-low on my dark purples.  So, of course, I did not have enough for this Clue.  I went stash diving, and came up with 2 more dark purple fabrics that I didn't originally include because I felt they weren't dark enough.  Well, good news, boys...you made the cut!  Now get in there!

Bonnie is using her new Essential Triangle Tool for this clue.  I did order her tool, but it is in transit, and I want to do some selfish, non-gift sewing NOW!  So I'm going to bust out my Easy Angle ruler for this:

Yup, the wrapping is still on it!  I found a written tutorial by Bonnie on how to cut strips with this ruler HERE.  She also did a super-helpful video tutorial making HSTs with this ruler for her Celtic Solstice mystery quilt HERE.

Okay, so here's where I freak out.  I hate math.  Like, I really HATE math, because I'm generally not very good at it.  But I put on my big-girl panties, stopped whining (after a while) and figured it out.

So we need 3 1/2" HSTs so that they will end up 3" finished in the quilt.  Alrighty.  Based on Bonnie's info, you need to cut the strips 1/2" larger than your finished measurement (3").  That means I need to cut 3 1/2" strips, one neutral, one purple, right sides together for each HST unit:

That wasn't really too bad!  Of course, once I get Bonnie's Essential Triangle tool, I won't need the Easy Angle ruler, but I'm glad I know how to use it.  Just in case of a triangle emergency.

And TA-DA!  I have 32 units ready to sew (I'm making 1/2 of the required 64):


So, as always, I chain-pieced them through the Featherweight:

And then pressed them in to perfect little units:

I clipped the one little dog ear on each little square, and I'm all done:

I think the new fabrics fit right in, and I'm really digging the reproductions!  I'm off work for the next 2 weeks, so I should have no problems keeping up.  Woot woot!! 

Head on over to the Link Up to see everyone else's progress!  Bonnie used my pic in her collage on the link up page again (the center middle one)!  I'm so giddy! ;-)

But seriously, check it out!  Some of these creative quilters are "guessing" at set ups with the blocks we've made so far, and I'm totally loving some of them!  I need to plan a leader-ender project, and I already know how to make these blocks, so hmmmm...

Monday, December 19, 2016

"En Provence" Clue 4, and a Finish!

I'm so proud that I'm keeping up with this year's Quiltville Mystery Quilt "En Provence" by the amazing Bonnie Hunter!  This is Week 4, and I'm still chugging right along.  

Bonnie is having us make more Tri-Recs triangles, this time with our neutrals and scrappy dark purples:

I only had to make 40, instead of 80.  It's a good thing, too, because this is all that is left of my dark purples...I sure hope we don't need much more:

So after some chain-piecing, I got mine done:

These are so cute and pretty, and I really love using those Tri-Recs rulers!  I see a Storm at Sea in my future!!

Check out the other participants' progress at the Mystery Monday Link-Up on the Quiltville blog!  I love seeing others' creativity with the colors and fabrics!

And in other quilty news, I also finished a quilt for my friend's son:

This is pre-wash, so it's not as magical as it will be once it gets all crinkly!  My friend's son is in cub/boy/eagle scouts, and has a bunch of patches.  She wanted something so he can display and use them for years to come, and she came up with the idea of a quilt.  Only she doesn't know how to quilt.  But guess who does? ;-)

I really should not have volunteered to take this on, especially during Christmas-gift-making time.  But it's done, and she'll love it, so there you go!

Monday, December 12, 2016

And Then There Were Three...

Our third clue in the Quiltville Mystery Quilt "En Provence" is a repeat of the first clue...only this time the four-patches are in our PURPLES!!  Okay, tons of four-patches it is!

Sewing, sewing, sewing:
 

And spinning the seams:
 

And DONE:

There are some that I'm not sure have enough contrast, but they'll probably work.  I hope!

But check out these Quiltvillians who are really gettin' 'er done at the Monday Link-Up Party!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

"En Provence" Quiltville Mystery Quilt - Clue 2, er, Deux

The Second Week's Clue involved the Tri Recs rulers, neutral fabric, and your chosen constant fabric.  I actually bought these rulers a while ago, but have never gotten around to learning how to use them...you know, with how scary-mathematical they look and all! :-)


I don't know about you, but I love learning through watching others, so the fact that Bonnie included some how-to cutting & sewing vids for the Tri-Recs in her post was totally awesome for me!


So after letting Master Bonnie teach me the Tri Rec ways with her fantastic tutorials, I ended up with what I think I was supposed to have:

It was actually pretty easy, and I daresay, kind of fun!  At the very least, it was WAY easier than I had thought it would be.  I've always wanted to make those star blocks with these units, so I'm really excited to have this little skill in my back pocket...or at least I know where the videos are for future reference! 😉 So, let's sew these suckers together!

And through the magic of chain-piecing, and with some help from a mind-numbing movie like "Legally Blonde" (I know, right?), I got a lovely pile of 50 units (I'm making my quilt half-sized):

And after a little starch and steam:


In her Tuesday Link up post, Bonnie says that we are done with this fabric, so I'm kind of sad because I think it's so pretty, although she tossed around the idea of using it for binding, which I just might do...or maybe a thin border?  Who knows?  I guess it's a mystery (har har har).

Speaking of Tuesday Link-Up, check it out HERE to see what all the other crazy-talented Quiltvillians are doing.  I'm super-stoked b/c Bonnie used one of my pics in the collage on her post!  And yes, I'm a total geeky fangirl! :-)

 I'm only a tiny bit concerned that my "constant" fabric is blue with magenta-ish spots, instead of all-magenta, but I think it stands out from the purples I've chosen, so I don't think it will look too wrong.  Only time will tell!