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Asterisk Quilt

My Do. Good Stitches Asterisk quilt is done! This quilt is a little different—a bit more improvisational—than what I usually do, but I totally love how it turned out.

Back in November, I asked the ladies of the Love Circle of Do. Good Stitches to make asterisk blocks based on this tutorial. I left the design entirely up to them—the asterisks could be any size within the block, they could be wonky or straight, the strips could be any width they wanted, etc. I asked for a color palette inspired by a winter sunset—warm oranges and pinks, and cool grays and whites.

I wanted a lot of design variety in the finished quilt, and I definitely got it! Some of these blocks are kind of genuius twists on the asterisk theme, don’t you think? And Kate of Needle and Spatula was even kind enough to write this post about how to adjust the width of the asterisk strips and still keep the strips lined up. Thank you, Kate! Very handy.

I made four of these blocks myself. Of the four, this one is definitely my favorite. Too bad I miscalculated when I was making it, and the block ended up 1/2″ too small! Darn that quilty math. So I added that weird strip of Kona Coal around two sides. It works with the improvisational feel of the quilt, but I still would have liked it much better without it! Oh well.

So this one is off to Wrap Them In Love. Thank you, Love Circle, for all of these fun blocks. I really enjoyed putting this quilt together. And this quilt concludes my participation in Do. Good Stitches for the time being—I’m taking a little break from that bee while I concentrate on other commitments. But I hope to rejoin it again soon!

Quilt Stats
Design: Based on this asterisk block tutorial
Fabric: Various scraps contributed by members of the Do. Good Stitches Love Circle
Back: Flower Garden in Jelly, from Momo’s Just Wing It
Binding: Michael Miller Ta Dot Tangerine

Size: 48″ x 60″
Quilting: Free-motion stippling done by me on my home machine
Completed: March 2012

P.S. I did something a little different with my quilt pictures this time—these were all taken before I washed and crinkled the quilt. While I love love love a snuggly crinkly quilt, I’m not sure they photograph as well—the crinkles tend to obscure the details, especially in pictures. So what do you think? Do you prefer to see quilt pictures like the ones above, pre-crinkled? Or would you rather see the quilt as it will actually look when it’s in use? (Since I definitely plan to continue washing and crinkling my quilts—it’s just a matter of when in the process I should take the pictures.) I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

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WIP Wednesday: The Short List

Wow! I’m down to 6 projects on my WIP list … and it’s soon to be FIVE! What the heck? I clearly need to start 7 or 8 more projects to fill out my weekly WIP posts!Just kidding. It feels pretty darn good to check things off the list. This is the lowest WIP total I’ve had probably since I started WIP Wednesday! I don’t know how long that will last, so I want to enjoy it. : )

Completed projects:



Modern Mini Challenge quilt. Blogged here. And don’t forget to go vote!

Ongoing projects:
 
 
Do. Good Stitches Asterisk quilt – I finished quilting this one today, and the binding is all made, so all I have to do is bind it. I should have this finish to show you tomorrow!
No progress:
• Gen X Quilters’ Charmed Prints QA
• Halloween quilt
• Farmer’s Wife QA
• Figgy Pudding quiltThis week’s stats:
Completed projects – 1
New projects – 0

Currently in progress – 6 (and it’ll probably be 5 by tomorrow! Woo hoo!)Okay, link up those WIPs! Just link up any post from the past week featuring a work-in-progress. Please link back here to my blog and comment on other links. Have a wonderful week!

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WIP Leapday + a Giveaway

Happy Leap Day! We’ve got an extra day this year to work on WIPs—I think that’s worth celebrating, don’t you? So today I’m taking part in the Leap Day Superior Threads Giveaway. Scroll down for a chance to win three spools of King Tut thread.But first things first: I had a (mostly) productive week! Since I finished my solids quilt last week, I’ve been in the mood to check things off the list.

Completed projects:
Bee blocks. See my post here.

New projects:

Log cabin quilt. Nothing like some colorful, quick, easy blocks to raise spirits on a dreary February day, right? I cranked out five of these blocks the other day!

Ongoing projects:
 
Do. Good Stitches Asterisk quilt – I’m making four blocks for this quilt, and I’ve finished two of the four. I’d like to complete this top before switching my focus back to my Challenge mini quilt. (Note to self: Try pressing blocks before photographing them! Yikes!)
 
Challenge mini quilt – I’m sorry to say that this project is making me very sad right now. So I’m avoiding it by working on my Do Good Stitches Asterisk quilt. : )
No progress:
• Gen X Quilters’ Charmed Prints QA
• Halloween quilt
• Farmer’s Wife QA
• Figgy Pudding quiltThis week’s stats:
Completed projects – 1
New projects – 1
Currently in progress – 8The Giveaway!
When Cindy and Elizabeth contacted me about doing a Superior Threads giveaway, I was happy to take part. I have some experience with Superior’s King Tut line, so I already knew it’s good stuff. In fact, at the LQS where I’ve rented a long-arm quilting machine a few times, they actually require King Tut to be used with the long-arm (they say it’s the brand that’s easiest on the machine, which gets very heavy use, as you can imagine). King Tut is beautiful thread for quilting, and it comes in an amazing range of variegated colors!

Beyond King Tut, I didn’t know much about Superior’s offerings until recently. I’m impressed by the wide variety of threads they offer—they have a thread for every type of piecing and quilting out there. I also got a chance to try out Alex Anderson’s Masterpiece thread, which I used last night for piecing my asterisk blocks. It’s fabulous—no snagging, fraying or breakage here.

Want to try some King Tut for yourself? I’ve got three lovely spools of it up for grabs, in the colors shown above. Just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll choose a random winner of all three spools on Friday morning.

I’m not the only blogger giving away Superior Threads today—you’ve got lots of chances to win! Visit the following blogs to enter their giveaways as well:

Elizabeth from Occasional Piece-Quilt!

Sherri from A Quilting Life
Leanne from She Can Quilt
Jeni from In Color Order
Carla from Lollyquiltz
Jennifer from That Girl, That Quilt
Corey from Little Miss Shabby
Terri from Sewfantastic
And of course, don’t forget to link up your WIPs! Just link up any post from the past week featuring a work-in-progress. Please link back here to my blog and comment on other links. Now go spend your Leap Day sewing!

 

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WIP Wednesday: Back In Business

Happy Wednesday! And it is happy, because I have my machine back! I no longer have to use “The Hulk,” as the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild girls nicknamed my Hello Kitty back-up machine. So I’m finally ready to get down to business and knock some projects off this list.New projects:

Asterisk quilt. November was my last month in Do. Good Stitches (at least for a while), and it was also my month as quilter. I asked the ladies of the Love Circle to make asterisk blocks in warm oranges and pinks and cool grays and whites—a color palette inspired by a winter sunset. Here are all the blocks I received, all together, looking fabulous! I just need to make my own blocks (I’m making four) and then I can get it pieced. I had considered adding sashing, but now that I see them all together, I’m really digging the haphazard feel. It really does look like a winter sunset in quilt form, doesn’t it?

Ongoing projects:
Solids quilt. Made some really good progress here, even though I was using The Hulk! Wish I could show it to you, but not yet.

No progress:
• Hexy swap mini
• Gen X Quilters’ Charmed Prints QA
• Halloween quilt
• Farmer’s Wife QA
• Skill Builder QA
• Figgy Pudding quiltThis week’s stats:
Completed projects – 0
New projects – 1

Currently in progress – 9
You know what to do! Let’s see those WIPs. Link up, comment, and enjoy!
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Hexy Quilt for Do Good Stitches

My hexy quilt for Do. Good Stitches is finished and looking great. But it was quite the ordeal getting it there.

I was so happy when I pulled this one out of the dryer yesterday. This is definitely my best free-motion quilting to date—my stitch lengths are starting to even up and my stippling is getting more curvy and flowing. And I couldn’t be more pleased with the design (which uses my Hexing Around block tutorial), not to mention the color palette. The ladies of the Do. Good Stitches Love Circle did a fabulous job on these blocks.

And then …

… I saw this.

And this.

And THIS!

Um, horrified! I’ve never had color-bleeding problems before. Just to be on the safe side, I wash all of my quilts with Shout Color Catchers. And they do often catch some dye. An amazing amount of red ended up on the Color Catcher when I washed my Warm/Cool quilt. But I’ve never had anything like this happen—and the Color Catcher that was in the wash with this quilt only came out with a tiny amount of blue on it! I don’t know how foolproof Color Catchers are supposed to be, but this one clearly didn’t do its job at all.

It wasn’t just one fabric that was the culprit, but appears to be at least two—one of which was in my own block, and it was a Park Slope print from Free Spirit! I am stunned that a high-end designer print like this would bleed so badly. If anyone has any thoughts as to why this may have happened on this particular quilt, please share. Because I’m stumped.

But thanks to wonderful advice from Jeni and several other ladies on Flickr, I’ve managed to clean up this disaster pretty well. Shout Ultra Gel stain remover, a bottle of Oxi-Clean, and three trips through the washing machine later, and the dye stains have faded considerably. In fact, it might be difficult to find them if you don’t know where to look. I hope so, anyway! And this quilt is nothing if not extremely clean, after four launderings. : )

I’m super happy with the back. I love the blue, green, and orange floral plaid from Meadowsweet, but it’s not the most usable print in the world. But on a back? Perfection! And it works great with my palette for this quilt.

This quilt is off to Wrap Them In Love, which distributes quilts to needy children around the world. Thank you, Love Circle, for contributing! I also was conveniently able to do this as part of Lynne’s Hex-a-Long at Lily’s Quilts, which you can check out here. Thank you, Lynne!

Hexalong

Quilt stats
Design: My own—see Hexing Around block tutorial here

Size: 44″ x 61″

Quilting: FMQ stippling by me on my home machine
Completed: September 2011