Saturday, December 7


Now that winter is upon us, and the days are short, there's much less opportunity to be outside working on things and I have been able to find some time to get back to my quilting.

Red fabrics for an upcoming quilt.
I've been regretfully neglecting it for more than a year, mostly because I knew once I started unpacking all of my quilting supplies, it would be quite an undertaking to get them all sorted out! The last time I had all of my quilting things out was at our apartment. When we moved, all the totes came in, got stacked in a closet, and then ignored because there was far too much to do and nowhere to spread everything out and get it sorted.

But in the last few weeks (with my wonderful husband's encouragement) I've dragged it all out, gotten it sorted, and been able to start new projects. I have quilt tops and backings draped all over the library, waiting for me to remember to pick up some batting so that I can finish them, and have gotten all my spools of thread lined back up on their rack for quick access.
Friendship star block.

I sat down to sort my fabric, thinking I'd find what I needed to start a new quilt, and instead found myself with my next three quilts lined up! At my current quilting rate, that should keep me busy for an exceptionally long time.  :)

Here's a sneak peek of the current plan (highly subject to change):

 (1) Red & Black Quilt: I found some red fabrics (above right) that I want to combine with some lovely black fabric I have in Friendship Star Blocks (shown left) or something like this.

Scrap Jar Star Blocks

(2) Scrap Jar Stars Quilt: This one has been on my radar for a while, and I'm finally actually starting it. I'm cutting squares of the right sizes from the remnants and remainders of my other project fabrics as I go, and dropping them in a jar on my sewing table. By time I get to work on this pattern, I should have an excellent start on my pieces. It's nice to feel like nothing is going to waste! 

(3) Fields of Blue: This is my current project, and I'm essentially making it up as I go along, based on my favorite components of three or four different quilts I have pinned to my quilting board. It started with the desire to constructively use a pile of blue and yellow printed fabric I inherited, and was nudged along by the discovery of a gorgeous blue and white flower print I ran across.
Lovely flowery print.
The fabric that got me started.

Any time I make a scrappy quilt, I like to lay the pieces out before I even think about sewing any of them together. (Usually I use the floor to do this, but wet weather and muddy puppies have prompted me to take over the dining room table for the moment instead.)

I like the diagonals of the two fabrics I have the most of going down the center of the quilt, and am still playing with the other fabrics to ensure there's a nice balance of lighter and darker squares throughout. I will be either making the dividing strips thinner or switching to a different shade of blue, but I'm not quite sure which yet.

I'm also hoping to use this as an experiment in alternative methods of backing a quilt. I'd like to follow one of the tutorials in which you sew together small chunks of the top at a time, then combine them with their batting and backing, then sew together the finished chunks to get your final quilt. (As opposed to the standard method of sewing the whole top, then combing it with the whole batting and backing.) It won't work for every quilt, but it should allow me to use pins instead of spray adhesive to hold the layers together and reduce the stress of backing my quilts. It's expensive to send them out to be done (and unjustifiable for a simple quilt that doesn't need complex quilting), but because I tend to make bigger, heavier quilts, doing it myself on my sewing machine can be a challenge.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for now! I'll try to remember to take pictures as I go and post them here to record my progress as I go.

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