November 15, 2018

Walk With Me . . . Fall Into Winter

Two years ago this month I started a blog series called Walk With Me. My intention was to post photos of my daily walks. I walk everyday. I love taking photos when I walk. I love looking at different details along the way. Something different catches my eye everytime. Sometimes it's color. Sometimes it's the details of nature or even manmade things. There was never a plan or schedule for posting, but I didn't intend for the posts to be so far apart and sparse.

walk with me

I'd like to get back to sharing some of my walks and today it's all about the beautiful details from a recent fall walk. I came across a concrete bowl of water full of both leaves and ice. The patterns of the leaves floating on the surface and also partially submerged into the ice was beautiful.

walk with me

walk with me

walk with me

walk with me

walk with me

Most of the leaves are off the trees here now and we are expecting our second decent snow tomorrow. One day it's fall, the next it's winter. Soon enough it will be all winter, so I'm enjoying the warm days when we have them.

If you'd like to see my previous walk posts, go to the tab at the top of the page.

Give thanks for all the beauty in the world. It's all around us if we just take a moment to stop and notice.

Happy Thanksgiving.  : )


October 3, 2018

Quilt-As-You-Go Summary

In September I did a presentation about Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) for my local quilt guild, the BoulderMQG. The intent of the presentation was to give an overview of different QAYG methods
and briefly cover the basics of each technique.

Over the past week, I did a series of blog posts highlighting each of the QAYG methods
I covered during the presentation. Check the tab at the top of the page for all the posts.

Today I'd just like to say a few final words on the topic and pull all the links into one post for you.

There are a lot of variations to the QAYG methods I covered. There are also several other ways to QAYG that I didn’t cover. What I learned is that it’s definitely something I will try more often.

My biggest tip is to think about using QAYG when you're starting a new project. Many of the methods require the commitment from the start which is the hardest thing for me to remember. But, If you've already started it's still not too late. Look back over Methods 2-4 which can all work after the project has been started. 

When considering QAYG, select the method that will work best by asking yourself these questions:
  • What size project are you making? Small or large?
  • What type of quilt design are you using and can it be adapted if necessary for QAYG?
    Does the design include sashing? Could the design work with sashing?
  • What type of quilting do you want to use? Straight line? Free Motion?
  • Can the backing be included up front or added later?

  • Sewing directly on batting produces more lint. Clean your machine frequently. 
  • Use a press cloth when ironing to avoid getting any residue from fusible batting on your iron.
  • And last, but not least . . . try it . . . you just might like it!

Batting I used: (note; not all fusible batting is two sided)
  • Hobbs Heirloom Fusible Cotton 80/20 Batting (2 sided fusible) 
  • Fairfield Fusi-boo, a fusible blend of cotton and bamboo (2 sided fusible) 
  • Warm and White (not fusible) 
  • Pellon Fusible Fleece

Link Summary

Here is a summary of all the tutorials I used for my presentation

Method 1:  Stitch and Flip tutorial for QAYG placemats and the wonky pink floral log cabin here.

Method 2:  Block by block without joining strips tutorial by Maureen Cracknell.

Method 3:  Block by block with joining strips tutorial by Marianne plus this separate video.

Method 4:  Row by row with backing tutorial by Candy.

Method 5:  Self binding hexies tutorial here and self binding blocks with Jenny here and Terry here.

Gallery of QAYG quilts by Melody Johnson can be found here.

In addition to these links, search for QAYG online and you'll find numerous tutorials and videos. There are some good books available as well.

Don't forget to check out my QAYG Pinterest board for pins of these and other tutorials on QAYG methods. I also have pinned quilts that I thought might work well with each method. I will continue to
add to these boards as I find new things.

I hope you found these posts informative. I'd encourage you to try a few of the methods featured
and search for others that suit you needs.

I will continue to post about QAYG projects as I work on them, so follow along.
Thanks for reading.   : )


October 2, 2018

Quilt-As-You-Go; An Overview Part 5

I'm back with Part 5 of my Quilt-As-You-Go overview sharing the final method I presented to the BoulderMQG at our September meeting. Don't forget to take a look at all the previous posts too.

Just a reminder that these posts are not QAYG tutorials but they do include links to the tutorials I used. My hope is that you will be inspired to give QAYG a try. I know I certainly learned a lot and will definitely be using them in future projects.

Method 5: Self Binding

The last QAYG method I’d like to touch on is what I’m calling Self Binding. It’s basically done on a block by block basis by layering the block, batting and an oversized piece of backing fabric. Once the quilting is done, the backing is double folded over to the front to create a finished edge similar to binding. 

I found tutorials for both hexies and squares that share a similar approach.

Self Bound Hexies

Start by cutting the front hexie and batting to the exact same size. Cut the back hexie 1” bigger around all sides. Next, center the front hexie and batting in the exact center of the larger backing hexie. Then it's simply a matter of folding over the backing to the front using a double fold just like you would binding.

Once all the backing is folded to the front, you can stitch the binding down with machine top stitching, hand stitching or big stitch quilting.

For a larger hexie project, join multiple hexies by hand or with a decorative machine stitch that crosses over both edges to join the sides securely.

I liked this approach for making the hexies and think it's a great way to make hexie coasters. It would be more of a challenge to make a whole quilt this way but it has been done with beautiful results. See the Pinterest link below for more examples.

I used this tutorial for the above sample.

Self Bound Square Blocks

Basically the same method can be used for square or even rectangular blocks. The block and batting are cut to the exact same size with the backing fabric cut 1" bigger all around. Next, center the block and batting directly in the middle of the backing. Quilt the block as desired but do not quilt into the excess backing around the edge. Notice that I did quilt out to the edge on a couple of the blocks to see what would happen. That extra quilting shows in the binding when it is folded over. In retrospect, I think free motion quilting might be a better choice for these blocks as I found it hard to stop the quilting right on the edge.

Once the blocks are quilted, they are joined by placing two blocks back to back and sewing the backing only using a 1” seam following right along the edge of batting. A zipper foot is best for this. The blocks are sewn together into rows and the backing is double folded over to the front and top stitched in place. The rows are sewn together in the same way and the backing is again double folded over to the front and stitched down. In the photo below you can see the left and right sides already joined and the binding folded over and sewn. The top and bottom sections are sewn but not yet folded over.

I am intrigued with what could be done with the square self binding method. It would need to be a design that included sashing as an integral part of the design. I might even explore making the sashing wider by using a larger piece of backing. That would require thinking through the block style so that the design isn't covered up by the wider sashing that is folded to the front. I have some ideas but probably won't be trying this method in the near future.

Here are two different tutorials that I referred to for this method.
This video by Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilt Co which features vintage centers instead of quilt blocks.
This video by Terry of Junction Fabrics with a technique called called Fun and Done.

Method 5 Summery

  • It’s a fun and easy way to create a two sided hexie or square project.
  • It’s an interesting method for framing things other than quilt blocks like vintage needlework as shown in the Missouri Star link.

  • For the square method, there’s a lot of bulk at the intersections of the sashing.
  • It’s a little harder to get clean quilting stops and starts that go all the way to the edge of the batting so it may not look as good on the back. 

  • Low loft fusible batting or even fusible fleece work well.
  • For the square block, use a zipper foot to join the blocks and rows.
  • For the square blocks, consider free motion quilting that doesn't need to stop at the edge.
  • For the square blocks, also consider making the backing oversize and trimming to 1” beyond the block after quilting is done. This may be more accurate than trying to keep the block/batting evenly centered as you are quilting.

Check out my QAYG Pinterest board for pins of these and other tutorials on QAYG methods.
I also have pinned quilts that I thought might work well with each method.

I'll be back one last time with a very brief summary that pulls all the links from these posts into one place for you convenience. Hope you've learned a few things and feel inspired to give QAYG a try sometime.


October 1, 2018

Quilt-As-You-Go; An Overview Part 4

Three posts down, three to go. Today is Part 4 of my Quilt-As-You-Go overview sharing the fourth of five methods I presented to the BoulderMQG at our September meeting. Go to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to read the earlier posts.

Just a reminder that these posts are not QAYG tutorials but they do include links to the tutorials I used. My hope is that you will be inspired to give QAYG a try. I know I certainly learned a lot and will definitely be using them in future projects.

Method 4:  Row by Row with Backing

A QAYG technique that works well for larger quilts is what I call Row by Row. It would also work for quilts made from panels rather than blocks. There are no bulky seams from the batting and it doesn’t require joining strips.

This QAYG method can be used for almost any quilt. And the great thing is you can decide to try it even after your quilt is under way. Most of the other methods require making the decision to QAYG at the time the project is started.

The basics of this method are as follows. 
Sew blocks as usual and piece together into rows. Do not sew rows together. Next, layer the first row with batting and backing and quilt. Include 2” extra backing and batting all around so you have something to hold on to while quilting. Here you can see the first row after quilting. Notice I didn't quilt all the way to the edge where the next row will be added. This is a crucial part of this method.

Once the quilting is done, trim the batting / backing flush along the edge where next row will be joined. Then align and sew the next row and the backing with 1/4” seam. Below you can see the quilted first row with the backing fabric layered on the bottom and the next row layered on top ready to be sewn. Press top and backing open.

Next, fold the new row back and position a piece of batting on top of the new backing making sure it butts up against the batting from the first row.

Fold the top back over the batting, fuse and continue quilting. Repeat the process until the top is done. The quilt grows row by row.

Below you can see the first row already quilted in the top part of the photo and the second row added and ready to be quilted on the lower part of the photo.

I know this all sounds a little complicated, but trust me, it's an ingenious concept. You never have more than one block's worth of bulk to the right of your needle at any time.

I used this tutorial by Candy of Candied Fabrics. It was an entirely new method to me and I like it for several reasons.
  • It works for any quilt. Plus, I can decide later in the process to QAYG. 
  • It's so much easier for me to quilt in these smaller chunks and not have to deal with maneuvering all the bulk under my limited arm space.

Method 4 Summary

  • There is never more than a single block width within the throat space of the machine so it’s easier to maneuver. 
  • You don't have to piece a large backing or baste a large quilt.
  • It’s easy to create a two sided quilt because each row can use a different backing fabric.
  • The quilting is the same on the front and back.

  • The quilting needs to cross over the row to row seams to insure the batting is secured where it butts together. Choose the quilting design accordingly.

  • Low loft fusible batting is very helpful. Or at least use spray basting.
  • Quilting should cross the row seam to secure the batting where they butt together. Some tutorials even call for stitching or fusing the batting pieces together.
  • Leave extra batting and backing along the edges so you have something to hang on to while quilting. The edge will be trimmed before the next row is added.

I will definitely be trying this method for future projects. For now, I need to finish the Disappearing 9-Patch that I used as an sample for the presentation.

I'll be back tomorrow with Method 5: Self Binding. In the meantime, check out my QAYG Pinterest board for pins of these and other tutorials on QAYG methods. I also have pinned quilts that I thought might work well with each method.


September 30, 2018

Quilt-As-You-Go; An Overview Part 3

Back again with Part 3 of my Quilt-As-You-Go overview sharing the third of five methods I presented to the BoulderMQG at our September meeting. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 by clicking the links if you missed them.

Just a reminder that these posts are not QAYG tutorials but they do include links to the tutorials I used. My hope is that you will be inspired to give QAYG a try. I know I certainly learned a lot and will definitely be using them in future projects.

Method 3: Block by Block with Joining Strips

Yesterday, in method 2, I discussed joining quilted blocks without joining strips. This method results in seams with a double layer of batting which means bulky seams. The extra bulk is manageable but even so, it's there. One way to eliminate this bulk is to use joining strips between the blocks. When joining strips are used there are never any areas where the batting is doubled up. There is no extra bulk.

The basic process involves sewing your blocks as you normally would. Once the blocks are complete, they are individually layered with batting and backing and quilted, block by block. It's like quilting several mini quilts. Then the quilted blocks are joined together with strips that are sewn to both the front and back side encasing the seams.

Standard joining strips finish at 1/2” so that it just covers the seams when two blocks are butted together. The photo below shows a 1/2" joining strip.

However, these joining strips can be any width you want. Wider strips just mean adding strips of batting to fill the gap.

Whether the strips are narrow or wide, they will appear as sashing between the blocks. But they can also be cleverly blended into the block to eliminate the appearance of sashing. This Bento Box design is a good example of how the strips are camouflaged and appear to be part of the block. Notice the additional quilting lines that have been added to the joining strips. This secures the batting in place.

My favorite tutorials for QAYG using joining strips is by Marianne of The Quilting Edge.
She does amazing QAYG work and in many cases you would never know how the pieces are joined.
Here is her tutorial which covers both narrow and wide joining strips.

Another good resource is YouTube video which covers the basics of both narrow and wide joining strips.

Method 3 Summary

  • Works really well for large projects.
  • Seams are flat because there is no batting in the seam allowance.
  • It’s easier to machine quilt smaller units like blocks or sections.

  • Not all designs look good with sashing between the blocks.
    Look for ways to camouflage the sashing so it appears to be part of the block.
  • Requires more batting and backing fabric.
  • Working with long joining strips to join the rows can get more cumbersome
    but is still quite doable. 

  • I prefer fusible batting which makes quilting the individual blocks easy since
    there are no pins to deal with. 
  • Before joining blocks, sew 1/8” around the edge of the rimmed block to secure any quilting that might be cut when the block is trimmed.
  • Batting and backing fabric should be at least 1-2" bigger all around to provide something to hang on to when quilting the blocks.
  • When adding joining strips, especially narrow strips, check your 1/4” seam to be sure the seams butt together and there is no gap in the batting. I strongly recommend doing a small test join before cutting all your strips to ensure you have the right strip width and the right seam allowance.

There are many different tutorials out there. The cut width of strips varies. Some require pressing an edge under while others use a double layer folded over. This double fold uses more fabric but creates a much cleaner edge to stitch down and is much easier to do. Read several tutorials and see which one makes sense for you.

I'll be working on finishing my Bento Box quilt over the next several weeks and will post about it when I'm done. If all goes well, this will be the first queen sized quilt to be finished entirely my me.
Wish me luck.

I'll be back tomorrow with Method 4: Row by Row with Backing. In the meantime, check out my QAYG Pinterest board for pins of these and other tutorials on QAYG methods. I also have pinned quilts that I thought might work well with each method.


September 29, 2018

Quilt-As-You-Go; An Overview Part 2

I'm back today with Part 2 of my Quilt-As-You-Go overview sharing the second of five methods I presented to the BoulderMQG at our September meeting. You can see Part 1 here if you missed it.

Just a reminder that these posts are not QAYG tutorials but they do include links to the tutorials I used. My hope is that you will be inspired to give QAYG a try. I know I certainly learned a lot and will definitely be using them in future projects.

Method 2: Block by Block without Joining Strips

Another way to QAYG is to make quilt blocks as you normally would and then, before sewing the blocks together, each block is quilted individually. Once the blocks are quilted, they are joined together to make the top. The top is then layered with the backing fabric and minimal quilting lines are added to hold the layers together. This also works well to join blocks made using the Stitch and Flip method I reviewed in Part 1. 

In the sample below, the string blocks were made using a Stitch and Flip method with strips of fabric sewn directly to the batting. The blocks were then sewn together as usual and the backing was added with minimal quilting along each seam line to secure all three layers together.

The end result of this method is minimal, visible quilting on both the front and back because all you see is the straight lines along the major seams that secure the backing in place. If you would like more quilting detail in the blocks, you can add it before the backing is attached.

When sewing the quilted blocks together, it can be helpful to grade the ends of the seam allowance to reduce the bulk.

Virtually any quilt could be done using this method but some are better suited than others. I would use caution with blocks that require a great deal of seam matching because the extra bulk of the batting can make matching the seams more of a challenge. Not impossible though. Good choices are string blocks or long sections of string piecing. 

Something to consider is that the seam allowances can show through your backing so choose the backing fabric carefully. You can see below how the seam creates a slightly darker shadow under the yellow fabric.

Maureen Cracknell Handmade has a great tutorial for this QAYG method using strip piecing in long panels. She also just added a new tutorial for a braided quilt using the same basic QAYG method.

The block by block QAYG method also works well for quilts constructed from panels or sections. I used it for the quilt shown below which was constructed from panels. This quilt, called Rhythms and Reps, was the April Quilt of the Month featured by the Modern Quilt Guild. You can read more about it here.

When I made this quilt, I hadn't planned to QAYG. It was a decision made after the the panels were sewn. There was a lot of seam matching and it worked out fine. In retrospect, there were a few things I would have done differently. I would have added even more quilting, used slightly wider seams for the panel joins so the seams would feel more secure and used a busier backing fabric. Due to the way this design was quilted, I didn't quilt along both sides of the major seam joins. Without this quilting, the bulk in the seams wasn't held down and created ridges on the back. Just something to keep in mind. Wider seams are more easily pressed flat and quilting along both sides of the seam helps keep the seam flat minimizing any ridges on the back.

Method 2 Summary

  • It’s easier to machine quilt smaller units like blocks or sections and then join them
    into larger projects.
  • It’s a good way to use up small pieces or strips of batting.
  • It can be harder to match seams on the front because of the extra bulk.
  • The extra bulk from the batting in the seams can create ridges on the back.
  • The seams can show through the backing fabric.
  • The backing will be looser than the front since the quilting is less dense unless your blocks are smaller or additional quilting is added.
  • Use low loft batting to decrease the bulk in the seams. I don't recommend poly batting due to the ironing that is required. 
  • Consider a wider seam allowance if possible because it's easier to press wider,
    bulky seams flat. 
  • Steam press the seams open to get them as flat as possible.
  • Use a busy, darker print for the backing to minimize the ridges and show through from the seam allowances.
  • Quilting along both sides of the seam will help hold the seam allowance flat and minimize ridges on the back.

I'll be back tomorrow with Method 3: Block by Block with Joining Strips. In the meantime, check out my QAYG Pinterest board for pins of these and other tutorials on QAYG methods. I also have pinned quilts that I thought might work well with each method.


September 28, 2018

Quilt-As-You-Go; An Overview Part 1

Earlier in September, I did a presentation about Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) for my local quilt guild, the BoulderMQG. The intent of the presentation was to give an overview of different QAYG methods
and briefly cover the basics of each technique.

I'd like to share the information I covered in the presentation here on my blog over the next few days. These posts are not QAYG tutorials but they do include links to the tutorials I used. My hope is that you will be inspired to give QAYG a try. I know I certainly learned a lot and will definitely be using them in future projects.

I offered to do the presentation because I have always been curious about QAYG. As someone who doesn't really enjoy the process of machine quilting, I wondered if using QAYG would provide an easier way for me to finish my quilts. At present, I finish about 1/3 of my quilts myself, 1/3 are sent to a longarm quilter and sadly, the final 1/3 are tops hanging in a closet waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting to be finished. Can you relate?

I've used QAYG in the past to make a couple of small projects including this couch runner which was included in the book Stitch 'n Swap: 25 Projects to Sew, Give and Receive" by Jake Finch(the book is out of print but is still available on Amazon in case you're interested)

couch runner, table runner, QAYG
Stitch and Flip runner with additional wavy quilting added after piecing.

Until I started the research, I had no idea just how many different ways there are to do QAYG.
I was actually quite overwhelmed with the number of methods I found online. Every quilter seems to have their unique take on how they do it.

In the end, I settled on five different methods that I felt gave a broad overview of QAYG.
These category names are of my own making.

QAYG Methods:

  1. Stitch and Flip
  2. Block by Block without Joining Strips
  3. Block by Block with Joining Strips
  4. Row by Row with Backing
  5. Self Binding
I'd like to share a brief summary of each of these five methods over the next 5 days so you can decide for yourself whether QAYG might be right for you.

Method 1: Stitch and Flip

Stitch and Flip is probably the most recognized technique. The process is very similar to foundation piecing but instead of using a fabric foundation you piece directly onto the batting. A piece of fabric is sewn in place, flipped open and another piece is added and flipped open. The top is secured to the batting at the same. This method works well for simple quilted projects like pot holders, mug rugs, placemats, and table runners. It also works for small quilts.

Stitch and Flip can be done with or without the backing fabric in place. It will primarily depend on what type of piecing you are doing and whether you care about how the back looks. When the piecing starts and ends off the edge like side by side strip piecing, then the backing fabric can be included and the only thing that will show on the back is each seam line running from edge to edge.

Piecing starts and stops off the edge so seam lines run edge to edge with no cross over.

Here is a good tutorial for QAYG placemats like the one above.

Stitch and Flip also works well with piecing that starts in the center and builds outward.
A log cabin block is a good example.

Log cabin strip and flip piecing sewn directly to the batting and backing.

As you piece outward, the stitching lines that show on the back will cross over on the ends. If the backing fabric is a busy print, this stitching probably won’t show up that much. It all depends on how much piecing is involved and whether it matters how the back looks. You can see how the stitching lines cross over below.

This photo shows how the seam lines cross over on the back side of the log cabin shown above.
If you don’t want this look on the back, then piece/quilt using only the top and batting. Attach the backing later with minimal additional quilting to hold all 3 layers together.

One place where you may not want to include the backing is when additional quilting lines are added as the pieces are sewn in place. This type of QAYG is great for making pillow tops and panels for bags or other small projects where the back is never seen.

Front side of Stitch and Flip QAYG with additional quilting added as each strip is sewn.

The additional quilting lines will cross over each other and create a much messier looking back as shown below.

Back side of pink example above shows how quilting lines cross over each other.

I used this tutorial for the above sample.

Method 1 Summary

  • Stitch and Flip is quick and very easy for small projects, especially ones made with strips.
  • It’s a good way to use up small pieces of batting.
  • Stitch and Flip with the backing included can be harder to handle on large projects. In my opinion, managing all three layers at once on a larger scale simply defeats the purpose of making the quilting easier.
  • Use a walking foot.
  • I don't recommend poly batting due to the ironing that is required. 
  • Cut the batting and backing oversize by approx. 1”. The quilting tends to draw up the overall dimensions so it’s best to allow for this and trim to size afterwards.
  • It can be helpful to draw an outline of the area to be covered with fabric on the batting so each piece of fabric added is large enough to cover the area.

I'm working on completing a set of placemats using this method so stay tuned for the final reveal. I will also eventually finish the pink wonky log cabin and perhaps make a small pillow from the top.

I'll be back tomorrow with Method 2: Block by Block without Joining Strips. In the meantime, check out my QAYG Pinterest board for pins of these and other tutorials on QAYG methods. I also have pinned quilts that I thought might work well with each method.


July 31, 2018

Quilty Update

Bit by bit I'm making progress on my quilt-as-you-go projects that I wrote about last month. All 25 blocks are now done for the bento box quilt. I really struggled with these blocks for reasons I'm still not clear on but once they were cut into quarters and rearranged into the final blocks things got better.

I had to clear a wall in my bedroom and put up a queen sized piece of batting in order to have enough design space to work. Not the best lighting but I go to bed staring at all the fun fabric combinations.

I chose spiral quilting for the blocks and so far have 3 done. It's just so much easier to spiral quilt something small.

I also finally made an attempt at free motion quilting the first row of my disappearing 9-patch quilt today. I'm using a new to me QAYG method for this one and am hoping it works. If this method goes well I might use it to make a new version of my Cascade pattern because the design lends itself well to quilting in columns.

I've only got a month to go before my QAYG presentation for my guild. Now that I'm getting the swing of things, there are so many other ideas I'd like to make as samples. Just not sure if I'll have time.
Wish me luck.

I'll write a more thorough post about the whole experience later in September. Until then, hope you're enjoying summer and your making.


June 30, 2018

In the Works

Seems like I haven't posted many quilty things on the blog lately so unless you follow me on Instagram it might not seem like I'm quilting anymore. Trust me though . . . I am. Several different projects are actually in the works.

In the fall, I'm scheduled to do a presentation on quilt-as-you-go techniques to my guild. I have very little QAYG experience but have always wanted to learn. Since the quilting part is my least favorite thing, I've often wondered if QAYG might be a good solution to my 'fear of free motion'.  FOFM.  No better way to learn something new than by committing to demonstrate it to others. Wish me luck.  : )

I have a disappearing 9-patch that is pieced and ready for quilting. Fell in love with this print that I picked up last year and then filled in with various yellows, pinks, corals, and oranges. These are the big 9-patches before cutting them up. As you can see, I added lattice to the blocks after seeing this quilt by my friend Elizabeth of OPQuilt. My blocks aren't as big because I wanted more blocks for more variety while still having a relatively small lap quilt.

disappearing 9-patch

This is how it looks pieced into rows. Next up will be a new to me quilt-as-you go method done row by row.

disappearing 9-patch

I have also pulled out all my old fruit and veggie fabrics. I plan to use them by making napkins, QAYG placemats, maybe even a QAYG picnic quilt. Given their end use, I decided to prewash which I don't usually do. What a mess of threads that made!

I still have one more small load to wash and then I'll get started. Summer is the season when I use fruit and veggie dishes as part of my kitchen/dining decor so these will fit in nicely. Just need to get them done before summer is over.

fruit and veggie dishes

For the last several days, my studio has been swimming with fabric in aquas, dark teal/blues and chartreuse as I cut for a bento box quilt. Years ago I became intrigued with an aqua/chartreuse color scheme I saw in a gift shop and have been collecting fabrics ever since.

bento box quilt

bento box quilt

Initially I couldn't decide what quilt to make with this collection. I've always wanted to make both a bento box quilt and an x-plus quilt. The bento box won out because it fit quite well with the QAYG technique I plan to try. I'm using a modified version of the Modified Bento Box Block tutorial by Film in the Frig. I changed up some of the strip widths to better showcase the large scale prints in my fabrics. Seeing this quilt by Anne of Play-Crafts also helped me decide on this design because the color scheme is somewhat similar to mine.

Once the pattern was chosen, the cutting began. I pulled lots and lots and lots of fabrics. And the mess grew and grew. Then it was unfold. Iron. Cut. Cut some more. Cutting was way more time consuming than I expected once I began to consider which fabrics to cut into which widths. In many cases I cut several different widths from a single fabric but in some cases I didn't have enough for more than one width. Here are some of the first strip combinations.

bento box quilt

My original plan was a large lap quilt but once my daughter saw the fabrics she feel in love and this has doubled in size to a queen. I have 12 blocks sewn and quartered and 13 more to go. That means more cutting and more fabric combinations for the new blocks. Slowly I'm getting there. Right now it looks like this.

bento box quilt

This one will be a long time in the making since I'm doing a QAYG for this too. It will certainly be a good test of making a large quilt using QAYG methods and I'm more than little apprehensive about it. Wish me more luck.

I'll share more about my exploration into quilt-as-you-go after the presentation. It should be an interesting experience with plenty of pros and cons along the way. I was quite surprised at how many different QAYG techniques there are once I started researching. Marianne at The Quilting Edge is the master as far as I'm concerned. Her work is amazing. She has some good tutorials on her method which you can find here.

 Have you used QAYG techniques and if so, do you have a favorite method?


May 31, 2018

Being Creative Beyond Quilting

Wow! The end of May already. Looks like I've become a once-a-month blogger. But you know what?
I'm totally ok with that. Even though I haven't been very active on social media, that doesn't mean I'm not creating. Being creative is in my blood and I get rather antsy if I'm not making or designing.

For the last several years my creativity has been mostly focused on quilting with a few other things thrown in from time to time. Last year at this time I was completely absorbed with our daughter's wedding and all things related.

Besides the wedding itself, we did a lot of things around the house in anticipation of having guests. Nothing lights a fire to finish those long planned home improvements like knowing company will soon be arriving. Know what I mean? Of course we didn't come close to getting all the projects done but at least we got some of them done. Mainly the new guest room which I blogged about here.

The time spent doing non-quilty things made me realize I had become too focused on only one thing. Namely quilting. I tend to do that. Get so absorbed in something that it's all or nothing. I'm simply not very good at balancing multiple activities at once. Unless of course it's scrolling IG and Pinterest while watching Netflix. I can't just watch TV. 

Today is a non-quilty post. It's all about making a wedding scrapbook for my daughter and her hubby. I thought I'd share a few of the spreads I have finished. It's been so much fun reliving the wedding while making a book for them.



My daughter comes over once a week and we craft together. While I work on the wedding album, she's doing their honeymoon. Bit by bit, page by page, we're making progress.






Once the wedding book is done, I plan to continue by working on baby books for both my kids. Seeing as how they are all grown up now, it's about time don't you think? 

I'm still quilting and sewing a little. But truthfully, I just haven't felt inspired to quilt lately. Lots of ideas. Just not the motivation. So I'm going with my creative flow wherever it may lead. I see hiking in the mountains next on my agenda. Hiking is creative for me because being out in nature is always inspiring.

What other creative things do you enjoy? Do you scrapbook? If not, how do you preserve special memories? Do tell. I'd like to know.