Saturday, June 8, 2024

More Scrappy Celebration Blocks + a Big Decision

Hello, Friends!  I finished all six of my double 9-patch blocks for my Tilda version of the American Patchwork & Quilting Scrappy Celebration quilt the other day, so now I have two tidy stacks, six of each style.  The center square of my double 9-patch block is a dusty pink Tilda Solid that coordinates perfectly with the tiny ditsy pink flowers on the green print, by the way.  It's looking weirdly gray in the photo, and my cutting mat that is actually pink IRL is looking more red in the photo.  Not sure if it's some difference in the camera of my new phone or something different with the lighting in the new sewing room.

9 inch Finished Blocks for Scrappy Celebration

Having no design wall (yet?) in my new house, I am using my EQ8 quilt design software (this post contains affiliate links) as a virtual design wall instead.  Below you see the EQ rendering of the Scrappy Celebration quilt from the pattern designer, and as I finish a set of blocks I just take a picture of one of them from straight on and crop it square, import it into the software and set the scale to 9" (because they are 9" finished blocks), add the block photo as a fabric, and then change the appropriate blocks in the quilt to plain blocks that I can just "paint" with the photo of my completed quilt block.  That was probably clear as mud to those of you who don't use this software, but if anyone out there is new to EQ and wants a fuller explanation of what I'm doing here, feel free to email me for more complete instructions.  

Why do I bother to do this at all?  Because swapping out the generic solid colored blocks in the pattern rendering with my actual blocks helps me to get a better sense of how my colors and prints are working together and guides me in selecting fabrics for subsequent blocks.  I'll also be able to print out the final image, once all of the plain blocks have been replaced with photos of my actual blocks, and use that as a roadmap for assembling the quilt top.

EQ8 Scrappy Celebration Rendering Showing Finished Blocks

Not that I have any idea what I'm going to do with this quilt once it's finished.  I just thought it was pretty when I saw so many versions of this quilt online during the QAL last year -- and immediately I started thinking about how I'd want to quilt it...  so I had to go ahead and start making the top just so I can quilt it!

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Rebecca's New Sewing Room Tour

I don't have much appreciable progress on any of my personal quilts in progress to share with you.  I have been really busy with remodeling and furnishing our new home, since we got rid of so much worn and outdated furniture when we moved.  I'm still working on piecing those double nine patch Tilda blocks that I wrote about in March, just in 5-10 minute increments here and there when I get a chance.  I've managed to finish piecing only two of the six double 9-patch blocks that I cut out eight weeks ago.  How's that for "slow stitching?!"  

Two Nine Inch Blocks Completed, Four More In Progress

Much more progress has been made in the Herculean task of trying to fit all of my sewing and craft goodies from our 3-story home in North Carolina into our MUCH smaller home here in Florida.  The solid maple butcher block top that I had for my giant 97" x 42" cutting table in North Carolina underwent a major amputation in order to repurpose it for a cutting table that would fit in my new 11' 4" x 11' 6" sewing room:

Bernie Sawing My Butcher Block Cutting Table In Half


You can read all about my old cutting table in this blog post from 2013 if you're interested.  

New Cutting Table, 42 W x 61 L x 39 H

My new cutting table utilizes the same custom MDF base units that Bernie built for me in 2013 in a different configuration, and it measures 42" wide by 61" long.  I'm about 5’7” tall and my cutting table height is 39".  

Sunday, March 31, 2024

My Slow Progress: Scrappy Tilda Celebration, Scandi Deco, New Sewing Room + Kitchen Update

Hello from sunny Naples, Florida, my lovelies!  Happy Spring and Happy Easter to all who are celebrating!  Son the Younger went off to spend the weekend with a friend in North Carolina, but Son the Elder, Bernie and I will be having Easter dinner with Bernie's dad and sister.  Alas, no little ones hunting eggs or keeping their eyes peeled to spot an Easter bunny.  Those years sure went by fast!

I haven't written a blog post in a LONG time, so fair warning -- I have lots to say.  ;-)

My Tilda Scrappy Celebration

On to the eye candy, because I know that's what you're here for.  My most recent accomplishment was cutting out all of the pieces for six of these double nine patch blocks, for my Scrappy Celebration quilt project.  The small scale green floral is Tilda Farm Flowers in Green (available here on Etsy).  This fabric is also included in the Tilda's Jubilee Mega Blenders Bundle if, like me, you are crushing on Tilda prints lately and want to add a whole coordinated assortment of these sweet Norwegian prints to your current projects (or to your stash -- no judgement!).  And now, for that icky but necessary disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links, I might be compensated at no additional cost to you.  I feel so dirty now.  Moving on...  

The rose pink solid in the center of my little 9-patch blocks is from a Tilda Solids fat eighths bundle (not sure which shade), the little white squares were cut from my bolt of Moda Bella Solids Off White, and that low volume print with diagonal blue stripes and tiny red dots was pulled from my stash of Who Knows What Purchased Who Knows When.  I'm looking forward to piecing these blocks!

Yummy Tilda Fabrics Cut and Laid Out, Ready to Sew

I'm sure that, if I was following Lissa Alexander's pattern for my Scrappy Celebration-inspired quilt, the instructions probably involve time-saving strip piecing techniques.  However, when I began this project my rotary cutters and rulers were still packed in boxes somewhere, and they are still packed in boxes somewhere since we need to make modifications (amputations!) to my ginormous worktable before it will fit in the much smaller sewing room of our new house in Florida.  So instead of cutting strips for my nine patch blocks, I cut out all of my squares individually with my AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutting dies.  

Monday, February 19, 2024

Tilda 9-Patch Celebration, First Blocks Completed

 Good Monday morning, quilty peeps!  Remember those Tilda precut fabric bundles I bought last week?  Today I actually have a couple finished blocks to show for myself!  This low-stress chop-and-sew project is loosely inspired by the Scrappy Celebration 2023 APQ Quilt Along project, and the pattern is available here.

9 inch Finished Block

For the time being, at least, I’m limited to working with fabric pieces that are either fat quarters (18” x 21”) or fat eighths (9” x 21”) and I only have one piece of each color or print.  I also have a bolt of Moda Bella Solids Off White.  So my original intention was to make six identical blocks using the fabric combination shown above, but I didn’t have enough of the bubblegum pink solid fabric.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

New Fabric, New Project (Maybe): Scrappy Celebration Quilt in Tilda Prints and Solids

Good morning and Happy Thursday from sunny Naples, Florida!  ðŸŒž. I’m in limbo right now, moved out of our old house in Charlotte, North Carolina, but we don’t close on our new house here in Naples, Florida until next Tuesday the 20th.  My entire fabric stash, all of my rotary cutting tools and rulers, and all of my current works in progress are packed up in boxes that have not yet been delivered, but I do have access to my AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutter and all of my dies, my Bernina 475QE and my vintage 1935 Singer Featherweight 221 sewing machines, my travel iron, Best Press, and a tabletop ironing mat, and a bolt of Moda Bella Solid fabric in Off White.  These items traveled to Florida with me in my car so I have them in our temporary housing situation.  My husband is abandoning me for a couple of days for a business trip to Ft. Lauderdale, so I decided to self-medicate my moving jitters with a quick fabric shopping trip to my new LQS/Bernina & Baby Lock dealer, Flash Sew & Quilt.

New Tilda Precuts for Scrappy Celebration Quilt (Maybe)

I know, I know — if there’s one thing a quilter becomes acutely aware of when packing for a household move, it’s how much more fabric she already owns than she could ever reasonably use within her lifetime…  But medical science is making advances every day, and the cost of fabric keeps going up, so I’m rationalizing that I am wisely buying fabric while it’s still affordable, before global warming makes the planet too hot to grow cotton anymore, and I need to buy enough of it in case scientists cure everything and I am still here quilting away in my 200s.  Ahem.

In all seriousness, though, I was judicious with my purchases.  I bought precuts because they will be easier to manage with my GO! cutter on a kitchen table than yardage, and I didn’t want to buy enough for a whole new quilt, just enough to give me something to cut up and sew back together again for stress relief over the next couple of weeks until I get my hands on the rest of my stash.  I bought a fat quarter bundle of Tilda Solids and several fat eighth bundles of the newer Tilda print collections that I don’t already own, knowing that I have bundles and scraps of older Tilda prints (leftover from my Halo quilt) that will coordinate with the new stuff.  I also bought myself a pair of fabric scissors (the purple handled micro serrated Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Scissors) so I can rough-cut my Bella Solid Off White yardage and my fat quarters before running them through the die cutter, and I bought some pins and a spool of neutral Aurifil 50/2 cotton thread because I’m pretty sure both of my travel machines are current threaded with the dark navy I was using for my Deco quilt.  (Side note: TOTAL BUMMER that I packed my Deco Quilt and my FrankenWhiggish Rose projects in boxes and loaded them into the moving pod, because either of those projects would have been ideal to work on right now).  

The quilt you see on my iPad in the photo above is Scrappy Celebrations by Lissa Alexander for American Patchwork & Quilting, and it was a quilt along project in 2023.  I haven’t purchased the pattern and don’t intend to — I like the idea of mixing up a variety of 9-patch and 4-patch blocks but I’m not interested in making the exact quilt, and I definitely don’t need any instructions for such simple blocks.  I’m sure the pattern instructions call for rotary cutting and strip piecing anyway, which I won’t be doing since I don’t have any of those tools available right now.  

You know what else I don’t have access to right now?  My computer!  I’m writing this post on my iPad right now and it’s really annoying.  I am missing my big desktop monitor where I can do photo editing and have multiple windows open for adding links etc.  And by the way, my email subscription service is still paused (need to work some kinks out with that) so that’s why this post wasn’t delivered to your in-box even if you’ve subscribed to receive my blog posts that way.  Honestly I don’t know when I’m going to have time to deal with that, so please check here on the blog from time to time for new posts.  Thanks for understanding.

I hope you’re all sewing and quilting up a storm wherever you are today!  I’ll be linking up today’s post with the following linky parties:

MONDAY

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

TUESDAY

To-Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt  

WEDNESDAY

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

THURSDAY

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

FRIDAY

Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

Beauty Pageant at From Bolt to Beauty

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday

SUNDAY

Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Friday, January 26, 2024

Deco Quilt Block Three Interrupted, Quilting Studio Dismantled

Well, I got nine of Block Three for my Deco Quilt completed in the green/indigo colors before I had to take all of the blocks off my design wall and pack this work-in-progress up in a moving box last night.  Here's one last glimpse of the design wall:

Deco Quilt In Progress, 9 of Block Three Finished

The only reason I'm sneaking time for a quick blog post when I still have so much packing to do is so I can refer back to this once our move is completed and the dust settles -- I really want to finish my Deco quilt this year and I don't want to waste a lot of time looking for the fabric pieces I cut out, misplaced pattern instructions, and otherwise reinventing the wheel.  I packed everything I need for this Deco quilt as well as everything I need for my next NewFO Star Upon Stars (fabrics, templates & pattern) into one box labeled "Current WIPs" or something like that.  Fingers crossed that I didn't miss anything!

Okay, here's the real reason for today's blog post, a quick photographic reminder to myself of how I decided to press my seams for Block Three because I'm very pleased with how nicely it turned out:

My Personal Pressing Plan for Deco Block Three

You may recall that I'm not following the pattern instructions for this block.  The Deco Quilt Pattern from Lo & Behold instructs you to press all of the seams open, and I don't do that because I want crisp, sharp points and corners and perfectly matched seam intersections and that is much easier to accomplish when your seam allowances are pressed in opposite directions so they nest and lock together when joining rows of patchwork.  So I've pressed my seams towards the Indigo fabric in each of the strips.  However, to reduce bulk and ensure my blocks lay nice and flat, I did press the seams between rows open as shown above.  The Indigo strips that frame the patchwork have their seams pressed to the outside.

Another point I should mention is that I did not employ strip piecing techniques per the pattern instructions for these blocks.  Instead, I cut out little squares and rectangles and pieced each strip of each block individually.  Honestly, I don't 100% remember why I decided to do it this way.  I think it was because I wanted to make Block Three A and Block Three B in two different colors, whereas the pattern instructions call for all of these blocks to be the same.  It was easier for me to calculate how much dark green and light purple I'd need for these blocks with old-fashioned slow poke cutting and piecing than it was for me to figure out how many of the different strips and strip sets I'd need to make in each colorway if I was following the directions.

I'd show you a picture of the front of the block but I forgot to take one, and now it's packed away!  I have made 9 of these green/indigo Block Three and will need to make 27 more of them.  Then I'll need to make 18 Block Three in the purple/indigo color combination.

Wanna see a scary picture of chaos and destruction in my (former!) quilting studio?

This Used to Be My Playground...

That's what my studio looked like this morning.  My husband is in the process of completely disassembling my Bernina Q24 long arm quilting machine so the machine head can be safely packed for transport in the original shipping carton.  All my quilting thread and rulers for rotary cutting are off the walls but I still need to pack up my acrylic quilting ruler templates that you see on the wall behind my long arm frame.  My vintage Singer Featherweight machine, all of my AccuQuilt GO! dies and my Bernina 475QE machine are already in Florida, but today I'm packing up my Bernina 790 Plus, my 700E embroidery machine and the embroidery module into their protective luggage bags.  I have the original shipping cartons for my Baby Lock serger and cover stitch machines but I need to figure out how to get the thread stands off those machines in order to fit them back into the styrofoam packing inserts.  

My house in Florida is only about half the size of my house in North Carolina and my sewing room is going to be a LOT smaller than this one so I'm going to have to get really creative with how I set up and use the space that's available.  Wish me luck!

Oh and by the way -- if you have subscribed to receive my blog posts automatically in your email and you're wondering why this one didn't show up that way, no worries -- I paused my email delivery service so I don't have to pay for it while I'm more preoccupied with moving than with writing blog posts.  I'm switching back to MailChimp and I don't have time to get that all set up and tested right now.

Also, quick reminder for my long arm quilting clients that I am not able to accept any customer quilts until further notice -- see photo above of my dismembered long arm machine!!  Please do not ship any quilt tops to my address in North Carolina.  I will let you know when my studio in Naples, Florida is set up and give you my new address.  

Happy quilting, everyone!  I'm linking up today's post with my favorite linky parties:

MONDAY

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

TUESDAY

To-Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt  

WEDNESDAY

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

THURSDAY

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

FRIDAY

Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

Beauty Pageant at From Bolt to Beauty

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday

SUNDAY

Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework