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WIP Wednesday: Lotsa Tops

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Hey, it’s Wednesday again, isn’t it? How did that happen?

You know, I always have a lot of WIPs going. What I don’t usually have are a lot of finished—but unquilted—tops. When I finish a top, I feel like I’m in the homestretch—so there’s no point in letting it sit once it gets to that point! I almost always manage to quilt them right away.

Which is why it’s so odd that right now I have no less than four unquilted tops cluttering up my sewing room. Unacceptable! I might need to have a Christmas vacation quilt-a-thon to catch me up.

Anyway, here’s one of two tops I finished this week—my version of Faith’s Geometric Slide pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival. But instead of using the Double Z block, as Faith did in her pattern, I used one of Katie’s blocks from a different project the book: the Geometric Star block. Geometric Slide + Geometric Star = Geometric Awesomeness. In fact, maybe that’s what I’ll call this one. And this demonstrates one of my favorite things about Vintage Quilt Revival: You can swap blocks within the project patterns, so there are an almost infinite number of ways to make these projects very much your own. Of course, now I just have to figure out how to quilt this puppy.

And here’s another top that’s finally finished after a whole year in the making. I had my friends in the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild bee make star blocks for me, out of Monica Solorio-Snow’s Winterkist line. I gave them all free reign to make whatever star block they wanted, and they really did it up, don’t you think?

My girls are so excited about finally having a Christmas quilt! I guess that means this one should be first on my “To Quilt” list.

My other unquilted tops are Wavelength (above – pattern now available here) and my Giant Vintage Star quilt made for me by the ladies of the Sew Beautiful bee. In fact, maybe I should set a goal to get them all quilted by January 1! Is that too ambitious?

So, what are you working on this week?
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—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

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What You Are Making

The Freshly Pieced Flickr group has been up and running for a few months now, and I love seeing what you all have been doing with my patterns and tutorials! If my graphic design career has taught me anything, it’s that creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So the innovative twists that people have put on my designs very often inspire me right back.

Here are just a few of the beautiful things that have popped up in the Flickr group recently. If you’ve made something inspired by a project you saw here on my blog, please join the group and add your photos!

Ribbon Star from Freshly Pieced
UllaBee’s Ribbon Star block really sings in solids

Hexagon Quilt
Very cool hexagon quilt by CraftyJak, using my Hexing Around block

My Supernova Quilt Top
Brooke’s version of my Supernova quilt using Castle Peeps

Mosaic
Mosaic block quilt by Debbie of Esch House Quilts

my new favorite block
One of Ara Jane’s fabulous Arkansas Traveler blocks

Quilted Herringbone Pillow
Sew Crafty Jess‘s Herringbone pillow

Hexagon mug rug closeup
Hand-quilted hexagon mug rug by Sarah of Fairy Face Designs

Kissing Koi 2011
“Kissing Koi”—Patti (Retired to Quilt) made this take on my Kissy Fish pattern

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your creations!

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Warm/Cool Top Complete

266 half-square triangles. 219 different prints (114 cool prints, 105 warm prints). 6 full bobbins worth of thread. Two rotary cutter blades. One completed scrappy quilt top. : )

I love love LOVE this top! Thank you, Jeni, for your Warm/Cool Quilt-Along—I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to making this without your QA. My girls love the top too. Miss E. is thrilled that we don’t have to give it away. She’s already had a good sit-down to check out all the colors and print motifs. Her favorite is the Sherbet Pips dog chasing his ball.

At the last minute I decided to take out most of the HSTs with purple. There were a couple of reasons for that decision—for one thing, I don’t have very much purple in my stash, which meant that the colors weren’t balanced. And for another thing, most of the purples I do have are fairly warm pinkish purples. So the purples just weren’t working in the final layout, they diluted the warm/cool pattern, and out they went. (I did leave a few purples, like the Central Park print in the far right HST above.)

Working this many HSTs is not for the faint of heart, but here are my tips to make it a little easier:

1. Use a mechanical pencil to mark your diagonals. Somehow marking just seemed to go faster and was more accurate with a mechanical pencil versus a standard one.

2. Use a 4.5″ quilt square for trimming your HSTs (or whatever size your finished HSTs require). Centering is vastly easier with a square. And if you don’t have a 4.5″ square, you could do what Elizabeth did and make one out of template plastic (just be sure to mark the diagonal for easier centering).

3. You don’t have to stand up while you’re trimming your gazillion HSTs! I’m embarrassed it took me so long to realize this, but just in case it hasn’t occurred to you either, you can sit down while trimming—you just need a nice, low table. A coffee table might work, or I found that my daughters’ little coloring table was the perfect height for trimming while sitting on the couch (I have a large ottoman in my family room instead of a coffee table, so I don’t have that option). This discovery made trimming 266 HSTs much more tolerable.

I’m hoping to baste this one in the next couple of days and then try that FMQ again. Can’t wait for this one to be complete!

I’m linking up to Sew Modern Monday.

P.S. Stay tuned – this afternoon I’ll be posting the winners of my Boots fabric giveaway!