Black & Red Quilt

Black Rectangles on design wall
Black Rectangles on design wall

This quilt does not yet have a name. Black & Red Quilt doesn’t seem useful or interesting, somehow.

This photo also does not seem interesting. Trust me, the piece looks a lot better on my design wall. Clearly, I need better lighting for photographing monochromatic quilts.

The shifts in fabric/tones & shades are subtle. This is more like a pushed neutral background than anything. There won’t be much of a foreground, however, as my idea is to use the 3,000 yards of bias tape I made in the January Challenge for the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. My original idea was to applique a small strip to each rectangle at a different angle, then sew the rectangles together. The other night as I was going to sleep, I thought about sewing the bias tape to the quilt as one long piece in large arcs or swirls. I am eager to sew the rectangles together, but the new idea would mean maneuvering the large top around my sewing table rather than the smaller rectangles. I’ll get the red bias tape out and see what I think.

Plaid Top Finished

Plaid Top Complete
Plaid Top Complete

I spent some time working on sewing the plaid blocks together. I was able to finish the top with only a minimal amount of irritation. There are a few places where I would have changed the blocks if I had been able to see them on the design wall, but didn’t and am not unsewing.

In general, I am pretty pleased with how the piece looks. The yellow is pretty well distributed over the top, so it helps the eye to move around. Now on to back and binding!

More Plaid

6 Plaid Blocks
6 Plaid Blocks

I am well on my way to having the top of the Plaid Quilt finished.

I spent concentrated time last weekend sewing these blocks and finished all I need for the quilt top.

5 Plaid Blocks
5 Plaid Blocks

As mentioned, these blocks are quick to put together, but a binding and back also need to be done.

We’ll see how I do without a design wall. My felt is still in transit and will arrive next week.

More Plaid Blocks

Plaid Blocks - end of May 2020
Plaid Blocks – end of May 2020

I had 4 days off over the weekend and it was great to cross some things off my To Do list AND get some chores done. I have a number of bags and a swap gift on my to do list, but after 3 hours worth of video chats and an hour on the phone with the YM, I really only had time for the plaid blocks. I did press some new-ish fabric, though and found some pieces I’ll use for the swap gift.

I now have 25 blocks, so am definitely on the downward slope of block making for this piece. I ordered the felt for my design wall yesterday. I have little hope of it arriving today, but I am hopeful it will arrive int he coming week. I want to get these blocks up where I can see them all before I start sewing them together.

More Plaid Blocks

I consulted with a friend who said this block is called Block Party. I did a search and found some instructions on a guild community service site. The instructions are in PDF, which is handy. I wasn’t able to find anywhere else to confirm the name.

6 more Plaid Blocks
6 more Plaid Blocks

I added another few blocks to my total during the week and am now up to 15 blocks. My first plan is for 36, which means 21 more to go.

I cut up a few more fabrics so there are some new ones included. Since I am working without a design wall, mostly, I don’t know if I am duplicating layouts. I don’t think it likely, but I also don’t think it will matter if I am.

Warm Windmill n.2 Ready for Quilting

Warm Windmill n.2 ready for quilting
Warm Windmill n.2 ready for quilting

I had to get the Warm Windmill n.2 off the design wall by the end of the weekend. I sewed a little each day at lunchtime last week and also a little after work. I finished sewing the whole piece together on Saturday, including sewing around the outside edge.

I pulled fabrics for the back on Saturday evening, but didn’t do any sewing. After sleeping on it, I remembered to look at my back fabrics and found the leftovers of a#politicalwifery dress that formed the backbone of the back.

Warm Windmill n.2 back ready for quilting
Warm Windmill n.2 back ready for quilting

This is quilt #2 that is ready for Colleen.

I am going to make some bags and more face masks and some smaller projects while I work on a new design wall.

Warm Windmill n.2 Sewn

Warm Windmill n.2 - blocks sewn
Warm Windmill n.2 – blocks sewn

Well, at least the blocks are sewn together.

 I am working hard at making this a top not because I want a product, but because I need to free up the design wall. I am still being careful about the colors.

I spent several lunch hours and time after work sewing to get this done. From what you see in the photo, I need to finish sewing all the blocks together.

I found a GREAT binding fabric by chance and am excited about that.

Finishing Frolic! Top

Finished Frolic! Top
Finished Frolic! Top

Yes! I finished the Frolic! top. The borders were not painful. I was sure the top and bottom borders would cause me problems. I had to ease a bit more on the top and bottom than I did on the sides. Other than that they went on smoothly. I am really pleased.

I thought about adding another plain border, but decided I couldn’t face it.

Frolic! Back
Frolic! Back

I also made the back and the binding so the whole piece is ready to be quilted. For the moment, I am not planning on doing a drive-by at the moment, but we will see.

This quilt used about 11 yards of fabric, which put my total up. I am thrilled about that and thrilled that the piece is really for quilting. Really thrilled!

Frolic! Top finished- corner detail
Frolic! Top finished- corner detail

I can’t decide whether I like working on quilts for so long. I did other projects after I started this, but no quilts except donation tops. It is the second project I have worked on recently that took me ~5 months to piece. I am trying to decide if I like those types of projects. I definitely don’t mind the piecing. I think the problem is not having things to show at meetings, feeling like I am making progress and the process being slow. I have to find a balance between impressive, complex projects and speed.

Frolic! First Border

Frolic! with side borders
Frolic! with side borders

I spent part of my lunch hour working on the Frolic! borders yesterday. I also worked on it for awhile after work and after dinner.

I can’t tell you how fabulous it was! I got the side borders on the quilt, which meant taking the HST borders and sewing them together. They fit really well. I didn’t have to ease barely at all. I am thrilled. On to the top and bottom borders. The end is near!!!

Frolic! HST Border n.2

Blue HST Frolic! Border in process
Blue HST Frolic! Border in process

I started on the blue/turquoise HSTs. I can’t say much more.

I do have more blues/turquoises/aquas, which should come as no surprise to anyone. It makes for a more entertaining piecing experience.

I still have to make sure I don’t put two of the same fabrics next to each other.

Progress.

Frolic! HST Border

The first set of borders is finished. The HSTs are sewed together, but the strips are not sewn to the quilt.

The photo shows the border strips hanging over the top of my design wall. I worked hard at not putting the same print next to each other. They are controlled scrappy and I am pleased with the way they came out.

I didn’t have as many red-violets as I have other colors, but I do like that color. Not quite pink, not quite purple.

I know it is hard to see the borders, but, trust me, they are fabulous. 🙂 Click on the photos to see them larger.

Frolic! center with first border (detail)
Frolic! center with first border (detail)

I will start working on the blue HSTs soon.

I don’t know if I will keep this quilt or give it away.

Frolic! Border

Frolic! Corner with Border
Frolic! Corner with Border

I talked about trimming Frolic! the other day. I spent the weekend working on the pouch, but was able to sew the first border on to Frolic! as well. This corner detail shows the border up close and personal.

It was a BIG hassle, because the entire edge of Frolic! is on the bias. If I have any advice for you it is: DON’T MAKE YOUR EDGES ON THE BIAS. It is doable, as you can see, but a lot of easing went into adding the border. You can’t just sew and extra 10 inches on to the edge and trim it off. Bias stretches. By adding a longer border and trimming it, you will get waves and I didn’t want a wavy border.

N.B. I wouldn’t dare question Bonnie Hunter’s reasons for telling me to make the quilt this way. She had good reason (math craziness) for make the quilt this way. I just suggest that YOU not design a quilt this way.

Also, if I had been thinking, I would have sewed a mitered corner. I wasn’t thinking and I don’t think it will matter in the long run.

Frolic! center with first border
Frolic! center with first border

As usual, though I didn’t design this quilt, as you know, this quilt is larger than my design wall. Thus, it is hanging off the design wall a bit and might be hard for you to see in the second photo (right).

I have the HSTs for the next two borders, so I need to get sewing.

Frolic! Trimmed

Frolic! Center Trimmed
Frolic! Center Trimmed

Yes, you have to experience every little detail of the process.

Can you tell I trimmed it?

The edges of the quilt were not squared during piecing, so the top center had to be trimmed. I did in two stages, mostly because I had to go back to work.

I am really pleased with this quilt. Piecing it all together made a huge difference!

Frolic! Together (Finally!)

Frolic! center's last seam
Frolic! center’s last seam

Today would be Tax Day, but it isn’t and I am pretty sure I don’t need to go into why.

This is the last seam. I had to take a photo, because I feel like this top has been such an effort.

Frolic! Center Together
Frolic! Center Together

Yes, the top is together.

Finally! Seriously, I feel like this center took for-freaking-ever!

As I said last week, I have a long way to go before I can get it to Colleen, but this is major progress. I feel like I have accomplished something.

My friend Cyndi retired (even though she is about 35!) just before the shelter-in-place order and she is going to town on her UFOs. She is the rockstar who finished her UCAB already.

Frolic! Secondary Block
Frolic! Secondary Block

I think I might need to do something with the secondary blocks/setting blocks. They really look good sewn together. The bad part is that the block is made up of the edges of the main blocks. I could include the pieces on the edges of another block. I just have to figure out how to do it.

I liked this top before I started sewing it together, but I like it so much more now. Despite my whining, I think it looks great. I am constantly amazed how sewing the blocks together can change the look.

Someone asked me why I just don’t put it away and work on something else. Yes, I have been *almost* miserable working on this at times, but I want to keep my habit of not putting a quilt away. I don’t want to build up my UFO pile again after working so hard to get it down to a manageable size. It would be easy to put it away, but I don’t think it would feel good and I am sooooo looking forward to add the yardage to my “Fabric Used” spreadsheet!

Sewing Together a Quilt is Not Pretty

Sewing Frolic! Center Together
Sewing Frolic! Center Together

I am finally sewing the Frolic! quilt top center together! Yay! I say and I am sure you say, because we have both, probably, had enough.

It isn’t really pretty, though, as I sewed sashing to the blocks in an attempt to chunk the blocks and that worked against me in the final stages. I have had to do some partial seams. Some blocks ended up with sashing on them and others didn’t.

C’est la vie. I see the end.