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 -
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, 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! :-)