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WIP Wednesday: Kaleidoscopic

Wednesday again? Okay then, grab some coffee, settle in, and let’s talk WIPs!

Having finished Preppy the Whale, I’m moving on to the other baby quilt on my to-do list—this one’s for a girl. After starting with a bunch of HSTs, I decided I wasn’t loving the direction it was taking, and I’ve switched to a kaleidoscope quilt instead.

I’m liking it so far. I think. Also, I think I’ve gotten too much done now to change my mind again. : )

Oh, and. Sleeves. It’s the grain of salt in any quilt show acceptance. You’re soooo crazy excited to have your quilt in a show—and then you realize, that means you have to make a dang hanging sleeve. And hand-stitch the thing onto the back of the quilt. Not my favorite part of the process, I have to say, but at least I can watch lots of brainless TV while I’m working on it.

So who’s our sponsor this week? Why, it’s the lovely Cuts of Cotton! Cuts of Cotton is a great place for basics, and they’ve got some fab new ones in stock, including Doe, Prisma Elements, and new Architextures colors. Crosshatches, anyone?

GIVEAWAY: Emily from Cuts of Cotton is giving away a pack of Kona pre-cut hexies to one random winner! You can make a hexie quilt without having to worry about all the cutting—and yes, you can machine piece these babies! Here’s a great tutorial for doing just that.

To win the bundle, do any or all of the following (each gets you one chance to win):
1. Comment on this post
2. Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #wipwednesday
3. Link up your own WIP Wednesday blog post or Instagram photo below

LINK-UP RULES:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

 

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WIP Wednesday: Guest Hosted by Stacey from The Tilted Quilt

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Hi everybody—I’m Stacey from The Tilted Quilt. I am really thrilled to guest host WIP Wednesday for Lee this week. This was one of the first blogs I ever stumbled upon when I started quilting and I remember even being nervous the first time I linked up to share a project. If this is your first time or your thirtieth, welcome! I love browsing the projects from all of the talented quilters each week—what an inspiration and a wonderful place to share our passion for quilting with each other.

My to-do list is ever growing, but a few recent finishes have made way for a whole set of new work.

Here’s what’s going on in my sewing room this week:

 

I’m working on a quilt for Moda Bake Shop that should (fingers crossed) be completed mid-July. It uses the totally adorable S’more Love line that just came out. This is going to be a family quilt to take on our camping adventures. I can’t wait to show you the finished product—it will be a very simple paper-pieced block, great for beginners.

 

On my cutting table you will find these three fabrics which will make up Block #5 of my Swoon quilt.  I’ve just joined a Flickr group of other Swooners with the goal of finishing this up by the end of the summer.

 

 ♥ Hexagon  block tutorial

 

These blocks were made for me by my Get Your Hex On! hive mates. It would be an understatement to say that I am a hex-aholic. I started a bee this year dedicated to all things hexie and it’s been such a blast so far. My month to host was February and I hadn’t really made progress on laying out these gorgeous blocks yet. This past weekend, my hubby (aka my design consultant) and I put up the blocks on the design wall and started playing around with layouts for these blocks. Eventually, the quilt will be called “Falling in Love.” I snapped a quick pic of what I want to do.

 

Now, I’ve got to figure out a way to implement the vision.

So, what are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab the WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links.

P.S. (from Lee): Hey, would you like to guest-host a WIP Wednesday post? I’m looking for guest-hosts with beautiful projects, a unique style, and an entertaining writing voice for the first Wednesday of each month. Drop me a line at freshlypieced *at* gmail dot com and include a link to your own blog. Priority will go to those who have regularly linked up to WIP Wednesday in the past.

 

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Bloom Bloom Pow: Finishing the Top

Welcome back to the Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-Along! Today’s an exciting day, because we’re going to take all those triangles we cut last time and sew them together into a finished quilt top! You’ll finally get to see some results after all this work, which is always a good moment. : )

 

Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing

The very first thing we’re going to do is sew like-colored triangles together into groups of three. We’re going to do this before we worry about our layout, which is unusual, of course. But like colors will be together in the final quilt layout anyway, so by piecing them into groups of three first, we’ll have fewer pieces to worry about when we put the quilt up on the design board (or down on the design floor, in my case).
Piecing equilateral triangles really isn’t hard once you get the hang of it, and if you know a few tricks, which fortunately I’m about to share with you today. : ) So grab a group of three same-colored triangles and let’s jump right in.
Piecing the half-hexagons:
IMG_21Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing00
1. Arrange the three triangles so that the darker “petals” radiate out like spokes, as shown.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
2. Working from left to right, pair up the triangle on the far left with the middle triangle, right sides together, as shown. Just line up these first two triangles neatly, corners matched.

Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing

Any time you’re matching up a pointed corner with a notched corner, it should look like the picture above. The sides of the pieces should still line up—the pointed corner should just look like a continuation of the notched corner.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
3. Sew a 1/4″ seam along the right-hand side of the matched-up triangles, as shown.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
4. Press seam allowances open. Now it should look like this. You’ve sewn your first two triangles together!
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
Hey, see these little triangles that are sticking out, now that you’ve sewn the first seam? They’re called dog ears. Don’t trim them off! I know it’s tempting, but you’re going to use them as a guide when you add the next triangle.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
5. Next, add the third triangle by laying it on top of the middle triangle, right sides together, as shown. You’re going to line up the bottom corner of this triangle with that lower dog ear.
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
6. Sew a 1/4″ seam along that right-hand side, just like we did for the first seam. If everything was cut and aligned correctly, your 1/4″ seam should go right through the intersection where the dog ear meets the straight edge of the first triangle, as shown above. See that? If your seam hits right at that sweet spot, your triangles will line up perfectly. (If your seam didn’t quite make it to that spot, no worries. This is actually a pretty forgiving block, since there are so few seams that actually need to line up. Close enough is good enough!)
Bloom Bloom Pow Triangle Piecing
7. You should now have a half-hexagon that looks very much like this. These half-hexagons will be sewn together in straight horizontal rows to make up the quilt top. So whatever you do, do not piece these triangles together into full hexagon groups of 6! You’ll make things a whole lot harder on yourself if you do—half-hexagons allow you to piece the top together in rows, while making full hexagons would require Y seams. Nobody wants that. LOL.

8.
So just keep sewing those triangles together into groups of three until all the triangles have been turned into half-hexagons. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to actually lay out your quilt top!
Piecing the rows:
Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
This is the fun part! You’re going to take all those half-hexagons and come up with a final layout. This part is really up to you—if you’re using Pearl Bracelets, you can follow my color scheme above, or you can do your own thing. It’s up to you!
Whatever you do, here are a few guidelines for deciding on a layout:- There’s no wrong answer! Much like the light and dark value/color pairings that you decided on earlier in the quilt-along, this part of the quilt-along is entirely personal preference. The ideal layout is the one that you like. : )
– I tried to distribute light/dark values and warm/cool colors as evenly as possible across the quilt. I also tried to keep like colors from touching each other. That’s not always possible, but I tried my best!
– Take a picture and convert it to black and white to check value placement—much like we did in the design strategy post when we were deciding on our light/dark value pairings. Darker and lighter blocks should be scattered evenly across the quilt top.
1. Once you’re satisfied with your layout, it’s time to sew the top together! (You might want to snap a picture of your layout before you start, just in case the layout gets mixed up, your dog walks across it, etc.) You’re going to work your way across the quilt, piecing straight horizontal rows.
Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
2. To piece two half-hexagons together horizontally, it works very much the same way as piecing the triangles did earlier. Grab your first two half-hexies from the top row.

Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
3. Lay them out, right sides together, along the seam to be sewn, as shown. Again, align the corners of the triangles and sew a 1/4″ seam along the raw edges (where the pins are in the photo above).

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
Again, your seam should hit right where the straight triangle edge meets the dog ear. Sometimes, if you’re dealing with a notched triangle edge (as is the case in the photo above), there won’t be two dog ears to line up, but it still should be fairly obvious where the dog ear would have been if it weren’t for that notch. That spot is where the seam should go through.

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Piecing the Triangles
4. The pair of pieced half-hexagons should look something like this when you’re done. Keep on piecing those half-hexagons together to create the horizontal rows.

 

Putting the rows together

Bloom Bloom Pow: Sewing the rows together

Now that your rows are pieced, all you have to do is put the horizontal rows together to create the top.

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Sewing the rows together

1. Put two rows together, raw edges aligned, right sides together. When the two rows are neatly lined up, I pull back the top layer just a bit at each place where seams come together in a point, as shown above. I do this to make sure points are matched up, as shown above. Ideally, you want your points to touch, and when you sew the seam, your seam should go right through the point. Pin right through the points when everything is lined up the way you want it.

 

Bloom Bloom Pow: Sewing the rows together

2. I highly recommend using a walking foot or dual-feed foot to sew your rows together. There are two reasons for this. One is that you’ll find there is a lot of seam bulk in certain spots along the rows, so a walking foot or dual-feed foot will help you get over that bulk. The other reason is that a walking foot doesn’t push the fabric as you sew, which makes it easier to force seams to line up in certain places along a long seam like this. I have the quarter-inch dual-feed foot for my Janome 7700 and use it for piecing in situations like this all the time. Another hint is to leave the pins in place as you are sewing, taking them out at the last minute (or don’t take them out at all—I sew right over pins and have never had a problem with it).

 

And that’s it! Keep sewing those rows together until you have a completed top. Next week, I’ll show you how to trim the top so that it has straight edges, and we’ll talk about different quilting, finishing, and binding options. And that’s it for this QA! I can hardly believe we’re already almost done already!

 

It’s been so much fun quilting along with you lovely people, and I can’t wait to see all of your finished creations. In fact, I’m planning to feature some of your projects here on my blog—I may run photos of finished tops and quilts, or I’ll host a linky so that people can show off their work and check out others’. I haven’t decided exactly how to do it just yet, so if you have any thoughts, please share! In the meantime, enjoy piecing your triangles, and I can’t wait to see you all back here next week for the final QA post! : )

 

Quilt-Along Schedule
March 28Design strategy (we’ll just be talking about the big picture here, so you won’t need your fabric yet for this post)
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WIP Wednesday: Guest Hosted by Heidi at Buttons and Butterflies

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Guest posting at Freshly Pieced? I am sure Lee is already regretting that she asked me…I cannot be trusted.
Hi, I’m Heidi! *huge grin and wild waving* I blog over at Buttons and Butterflies. I am always good
for a laugh, especially at my own expense! I blog about quilts,
crafts … you name it. And sometimes I pretend to be professional and do a tutorial or
two. On occasion, I shamelessly and blatantly plaster my cute little Button over there.
He is the youngest of my four boys and can usually be found in my studio. Santa just brought him this adorable wooden sewing machine and I can’t get him out!

 

I
am so excited about being here because ever since I linked up my first
WIP post, I was hooked!  It keeps me accountable. No stress, just
refocused each week! My google reader is filled with posts from
ladies I found here! I adore the blog community because it
keeps me connected with like minds.
Without further ado, my WIPS!
Finishes:
Doll Crib Set
A doll quilt, pillow cover, and a mattress cover. I
was really excited to finish it this past Friday. I like to think it is the delicious lemonade I made out of lemons!

It is my
first finish of the year and it is my favorite so far!

 

To find out the details on the actual quilt and the before of the doll crib, you can go HERE! I don’t want to clog up Lee’s space with my glee over this project.

 

Kiddie Kitchen Dishtowel
For my little Button. Santa delivered a sweet little kitchen set for him. He has been
struggling with my large dish towels on his tiny plastic dish set. I had
some UFO blocks from my Dots and Checks quilt at hand and since I had
already sewn four blocks to make a throw pillow cover that I didn’t
really love?

 

A dish towel for Button's kitchen from Santa! he is thrilled. Four leftover snowball blocks.
I simply folded it in half
and … voile … a dishtowel for a little tike! I know it isn’t a
traditional towel, but the kid doesn’t seem to mind, so score!
Coasters
I still had eight blocks leftover.  I just made them into quilted coasters.

 

Four coasters made from leftover snowball blocks. Putting them away for Memorial Day/fourth of July!
I know, I know. Not a WOW! project. Do me a favor and don’t yawn too hard, okay? Hey, sometimes you just have to get things out of the way to de-clutter for more important things!

In Progress:

Something Folded
I
always manage to get myself in a pickle. You would think I would learn
to just do things simply, but instead I make it quite complicated! Amy at
the cute life asked if I would contribute to her Something New Sampler Blog Hop. Naively, I agreed to take on a folded block. Of course, I couldn’t adapt a
folded star block to the unusual size for the sampler, so I have decided to
do something different.
My
something different might end up being something awful. We shall see.
Feel free to check in and see if it is something disastrous or something
brilliant. Low expectations right now around here!
Scrap Attack
No,
not the infamous #scrappytripalong on twitter, instagram and flickr! I
am going to march to my own tune and sing “la-la-la-la” every time I
see it! It is amazing, but I just cannot allow myself to be distracted
from the many projects I need to get done this year! I hope I have time this summer to take it on!

 

My
scrap attack involves panels which will be future throw pillow covers. I am using a rip
and stitch method to bring some blues into my very red/gold/green/orange family room.

 

Definitely going to make a second one.
   I am at the “hmmmmm….zipper or buttons?” stage right now!

 

Turtle appliqués
One
of my Butterfly Kisses moms who was so thrilled with her embroidered
blanket she thought of me when she had a dilemma. She found a turtle
quilt set at Pottery Barn that she fell in love with for her newest
arrival. Unfortunately, she could not purchase it because it was no
longer available.
I
have finalized my turtle sketch and have my fabrics all
chosen … seersucker and Kona solids to liven up the pink quilt she
purchased. All I have to do is find a little time!

 

Stars and Stripes Hexi Quilt
I
am determined to do a holiday quilt other than Halloween this year. I
don’t want to stress myself out and try to attempt a Valentine’s quilt,
so I thought I’d be generous and give myself seven months for this one. However, I sometimes amaze even myself
that I can’t stay focused. I thought I would spend the holidays getting
templates cut and the fabrics chosen and pre-cut.
Instead,
I already have 300+ hexis basted. This was supposed to be my “on the
go” project because I spend quite a bit of time sitting in the car.
Carpool line, lessons, practices, you name it!  However, I have been home
for two weeks and I can’t keep my hands off of it! Whoops!

No progress

I have three quilt tops completed and one top very close to flimsy status. They are officially UFOs.

 

Christmas quilt (sew my appliqué trees on, piece the two halves, and quilt)

Baby Sean’s Quilt (piece the backing and quilt)
Do. good Stitches (quilt)

Spiders and webs, part deaux (piece back and quilt)
New Projects
I
have a few projects that I organized last Thursday, but they are not
worthy to introduce yet, however this one is taking some serious shape.
Button’s Twin Quilt
It’s  the last BIG sewing project I have for Button’s nursery. Considering
he is turning two in February, I feel this needs to take top priority. It isn’t necessarily “new”, but it is actually no longer a “in my head”
to do.  You know the ones, right?  The ones you know you have to do,
but can’t seem to start. I can officially say this one is finally taking shape!
I have a pattern designed and fabric chosen.  Now I just have to get to work!
 I can’t wait to visit all the link ups today!
Thank you Lee for having me!
 I am sure you can’t wait for me to leave, I am such a blog hog…..
So what are you working on this week? Whatever you’re sewing, link it up here! Just remember the rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments?
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WIP Wednesday: Sewing Summit Prep

It’s been all about prepping for Sewing Summit around here this week. And I’m not even talking about all the work Elizabeth and I have done for the class we’re teaching together!

Soon-to-be lounge pants

I got this adorable flannel for half-off at Joann’s the other day. Can’t wait to make myself some foxy lounge pants in Jana’s class.

Maxi skirt fabric

This charcoal heather knit will soon become a maxi skirt in Leanne Barlow’s class. I’m just glad to finally have this fabric in my hot little hands—I ordered it from Fabric.com on September 21, and they didn’t ship it until yesterday. And that was only after I made a threatening phone call demanding that they overnight it, or else. What is up with them lately??

Curves mini quilt fabric

I picked out this happy stack for the Curves Mini Quilt class with Christina of The Sometimes Crafter. Most of these prints are from Art Gallery’s fun new line, Floressence, paired with a texty background print from Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater.

Shapes and Angles pieces
Last but not least, I can’t wait to learn how to machine-piece hexagons, partial seams, equilateral triangles, and more with my friends Kati and Faith. For their class, I’m using some of the yummy new Kona colors, like Carrot, Citrus, Peapod, and Azalea.

I’m off to Salt Lake City later today, and I’m really looking forward to seeing friends both old and new! So if you’re attending Sewing Summit, I would love for you to introduce yourself. I’ll be hanging out in the sewing room during open sewing time most nights, and I would like nothing better than to see some of your WIPs in person instead of on a computer screen for once! So don’t be shy. 🙂 For those who didn’t get into my Foundation Paper Piecing class with Elizabeth, I’ll be doing a short informal class on foundation piecing in the sewing room on Thursday night at around 10 p.m.—come join in!

And even if you won’t be at Sewing Summit, you can still share. Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments? : )

Can’t wait to see some of you in Salt Lake City! Safe travels!

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WIP Wednesday: Guest-hosted by Rebecca

Hi there! My name is Rebecca and I blog over at Pieces and Cream. I’m delighted to be guest posting at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
Lee and I are friends from the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild.

I live in Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I mostly spend my time tending to my two sons under 4 and trying to be a good wife. I teach science at a small college part-time and in my leisure time I sing at my church, ride my bicycle and make things, mostly quilts.
Summers in Wisconsin are very short, therefore we cram all our
festivals and fairs into about 3 months. That means I’ve been outside enjoying
the weather, have all sorts of things in progress and am way behind on BOM’s
and QAL’s. Oh well, got to enjoy the sun whilst we can.
I’ve been working on this quilt for a year because it’s been
put on the back burner a lot. I thought summer was a good time to bring it back
out and finish it. Some of you may remember the Dead Simple QAL at Lily’s
Quilts. The idea was to learn how to use a color palate, then match up the
colors to a fabric color palate, such as Kona Cotton Solids. I wasn’t overly
excited about the finished top, which is probably why it stayed a WIP for so
long. Well now that it’s quilted, I totally love it again. I tried “organic
straight line” quilting and it really added a ton to the finished quilt. I am
half done with the binding and hopefully will have it finished by next week.
 
I am a huge Malka Dubrawsky fan and used her Stitched in
Color line to make her Whirligig quilt from her book Fresh Quilting. I recently
basted this quilt and have decided it will be used to teach myself to
free-motion quilt. You’ve probably seen that Angela Walters wrote a book called
Free Motion Quilting. I picked up a copy after seeing a review and it’s got
awesome pictures that will really help me visualize how to start/stop and which
direction to go while quilting. I’ve just got to get over my fears and try it!!
This might remain a WIP while I give myself breaks from tackling such a huge
new skill.
Another project that is going to take me a long time is a
hexagon quilt. I FINALLY cut into my Echo by Lotta Jansdotter and what better
way to show off the large-scale prints than with 6.5” hexagons right? Even
though I won’t be hand piecing these together, I have to cut out around 150
whole and 50 half hexagons. That’s going to take me forever, making it another
one of those projects that remains a WIP for several months. If I try to do
this all at once, I’ll go crazy. I’ve been drooling over hexagon quilts and
Echo for a long time so this quilt will be well worth the wait.
Besides some bee blocks, the only other WIP that I have lying
around that I haven’t made progress on is the BOM over at Sew Mama Sew. I’ve
got 3 blocks done and have 3 more cut out. Even though I totally love my fabric
choices, I always forget about this before making plans for another quilt.
Speaking of that, there are no lack of plans for more quilts and there really
never are enough hours in the day, especially hours spent quilting! I bet most
of you can relate.Now it’s your turn to link up. Here are the rules:

1.
Link up any post from the past week that features at least one
unfinished work-in-progress (WIP)

2. Somewhere in your post, link back here to my blog. (Or grab
my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other links—because what fun is a linky
party without comments?

 

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WIP Wednesday: Rolling Along

Unfortunately I don’t have much to show this week. I accomplished a ton, but it’s all on one project that I can’t show here yet. So you’ll have to take my word for it that I’m firing on all cylinders these days. : ) And that’s a good thing, because this week I need to whip the house into shape for some really fun company! Yes, Elizabeth is headed up toward my neck of the woods—we’re going to hang out, party with our kiddos, and of course, do some sewing. Which means that this time next week, her and I might just be working on some WIPs together! How fun is that?Ongoing projects:
Solids quilt. The top is now complete! Woot! So it’s not a finish, but it sure feels like one. Can’t wait to get quilting.

No progress:
• Do Good Stitches Asterisk quilt

• Hexy mini quilt
• Gen X Quilters’ Charmed Prints QA
• Halloween quilt

• Farmer’s Wife QA (hoping to get back to this one soonish! gasp!)
• Skill Builder QA
• Figgy Pudding quilt

This week’s stats:
Completed projects – 0
New projects – 0

Currently in progress – 9
You know what to do! Let’s see those WIPs. Link up, comment, and enjoy!
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WIP Wednesday: Recovery Mode

Really, Wednesday again? I accomplished very little this week. My excuse is that we’ve been in recovery mode around here. Recovering from colds, and recovering from that creativity block I talked about last week. It’s taking longer to get back to full form than I would like, but I think my mojo’s coming around. Slowly.
Ongoing projects:
Progress or lack thereof

Bee blocks, bee blocks, and more bee blocks.
It basically took me the whole week to get my 4×5 Bee blocks done. Now I’m moving on to my other bee blocks, of which there are shockingly many this month. Here you can see my progress on several of them: Yes, I’ve taken the fabric out of the packages! Go, me!

Hexies

Swap mini-quilt.
I can’t you tell you how rare it is for me to actually cut and start piecing something without a fully-formed plan in my head, but that’s exactly what I’m doing here. I hope I figure out where exactly this is going, and figure it out right quick.

No progress:
• Gen X Quilters’ Charmed Prints QA
• Halloween quilt
• Farmer’s Wife QA
• Skill Builder QA
• Kaleidoscope QA
• Figgy Pudding quilt
• Wonky Log CabinThis week’s stats:
Completed projects – 0
New projects – 0

Currently in progress – 10
Link ’em up, ladies (and gentlemen). Let’s WIP those WIPs into shape!
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The Sewing Summit: Swaps

My two favorite things about Sewing Summit: Friends and fabric (in all its many forms). Happily, the weekend offered plenty of opportunities to combine the two!

Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy, AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters, and I arranged a little in-person roommate swap. How often do you get the chance to exchange swaps in person? It was so fun to receive things made by my closest blog-friends-turned-real-friends. : ) From Elizabeth, I got this adorable hexagon zippy pouch with hand-quilting around the hexy. I’m determined to learn how to embroider someday soon, and this pouch will be perfect for my supplies!

The back is one of my fave blocks, the x and + block!

AnneMarie made me this gorgeous paper-pieced pillow from Heirloom. I LOVE Heirloom, so she definitely nailed it with this. It looks great on our couch too, as you can see. And guess what—there’s a zipper in this, too. You ladies are totally putting the pressure on me to figure out those darn things! : )

Speaking of AnneMarie, here’s something else she made me a while back, that I have yet to share, and which came in handy at the Summit. This sweet linen lingerie bag! How could you not love that underwear print? And the linen and decorative stitches are the perfect finishing touches.

And here’s what I made for AnneMarie—yep, I’m still obsessing on the paper-pieced stars from Carol Doak’s book 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars. Since all the stars in the book are named after states, I thought it would be symbolic and meaningful and just plain cool to use the Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and Utah stars in my mini-quilts for the girls. One star for each of our home states, plus a star for the state where the Summit was held. (No, that’s not my awesome carpet in the photo. That would be the carpet at Little America hotel.)

I wanted Elizabeth to get the same thing, but in different fabric. Sadly, this plan was far too complicated to execute in the time I had available before leaving for the Summit. I knew I should try to come up with a simpler plan, but once I thought of the state-stars idea, I couldn’t unthink it. I had to do it. But I’m hard at work finishing up Elizabeth’s and I hope to get it in the mail to her in the next few days. Thanks for your patience, E!

Moving right along, Kristie of OCD gave me this insanely cute framed clutch while we were at Summit, as payment for creating a couple of blog buttons for her recently. LOVE the fabric, the flower, and the blue doodads on the frame. Also, this particular clutch is famous, because it’s straight from Kristie’s framed-purse tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop! Click here to see my clutch’s 15 minutes of fame (and learn how to make one yourself!)

The inside of the clutch, with Kristie’s cute label.

Here’s a stack o’ goodies I scored at the Summit FQ swap, organized by Kaelin of the Plaid Scottie. We were all expecting the swap to be a full-contact sport, but everybody was super calm and orderly. After the swap, several of us used our FQs to test Elizabeth’s Rain-Man-like knowledge of fabric lines. That red and orange print in the bottom-right corner was the only one that stumped her! Anybody know it?

Yet another swap I participated in was the Color Wheel charm swap organized by Kati of From the Blue Chair. I would love to make a pixelated color-wheel quilt like Kati’s, and with these charms, that should come together nicely.

I think that about covers the swaps. Come back tomorrow for my final Summit-related post: The swag, plus a swaggy giveaway!

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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