I can’t believe it’s April already! Three months (and a few days) into 2014, so I’m checking in on my quilting to-do list. If I could describe March in one word, it would be busy. Work was busy, life was busy….and I was really busy making progress on my quilts! (In case you missed my resolutions blog, read it here.)
On my to-do list this year:
- Tula Pink‘s City Sampler (See all my blocks here.)
- American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along (Read more about it here.)
- Pat Sloan‘s Globetrotting Block of the Month with Free Quilt Patterns (Get details here.)
- Finish my Passion 48 (See our staff’s Project 48 rules here.)
- Quilts and More Welcome Home wall hanging series (in Quilts and More Spring)
I’m 60/100 blocks into my City Sampler quilt (there’s 20 pictured above). This was my main project for March and I pushed hard to get so many blocks done. It was also a nice perk to clean out some of the fabric I’d been hoarding for this project. My work space is cleaner and I love all the techniques I’m learning in this process. I can’t wait to finish all my blocks, but I need to spend a little more time collecting the right fabric for the last 40. I might take a break on this one for a month, so I can finish strong! (See my blog about it here.)
I got ALL my fabric cut for the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along (and yes, it looks much less impressive after you stack it neatly). I spent a lot of time looking through other people’s Instagram pictures of their Quilt Along quilts (search: #apqquiltalong). I was so inspired that I pulled a few late nights and got all the pieces cut. I’m so excited to start sewing these together!
I have three blocks for the Globetrotting Block of the Month done and have all fabric picked out. The April block is on my weekend to-do list. As time goes on, I’m so happy I added a BOM project to my to-do list. It’s minimal time commitment each month, gives me something to look forward to, and is a nice change of pace from the largest quilts I’m working on.
I got the borders added to my Passion 48 project! I think I’m going to do my own quilting on this (I’m still deciding between hand- or machine-quilting). I can’t wait to get this quilt done and hung up! It’s been one of my UFO’s for so long and it’ll take a lot of weight off my mind to finish one of the items on my quilting to-do list!
Unfortunately, I made zero progress on my spring wall hanging from the current issue of Quilts and More! It’s completely shameful, because I still have a winter wreath on my door. This will be my main priority next week! Plus, the summer wall hanging is coming out in the Quilts and More issue at the end of the month, so I can’t start it until the spring one is done!
I have some tips for making process on your own quilting to-do list. (See my tips for making your list here.)
1. Resist the urge to add. There are always more projects that come up that I would love to add to my to-do list, but I know if I do, I won’t get the ones on my list done. And my goal for the year was to complete projects, not start more UFOs. I save the projects, so I can add them if I get really ahead on my list, but right now, I think of them as part of my to-do list next year!
2. Overcome obstacles. If you’re not making as much progress as you like on a quilt, think about what’s holding you back. Is it choosing fabric? Is it sewing blocks together? Is it calling your quilter? Once you identify the problem, set aside time in your schedule to work through it. When you overcome the obstacle, it should be easy quilting and a much more enjoyable process!
3. Set mini goals. At the beginning of the month I write down the least amount of process I want to make on each of my goals this month. Sometimes it just involves cutting all the fabrics and sometimes it’s making 40 blocks! No matter how small or big the goal is, I work toward the mini goals each day. It keeps the to-do list feeling attainable!
Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to see my progress.
All my blue blocks for my Tula Pink‘s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks are done! I now have a total of 60 blocks (which, when I think about how many more I need to do, doesn’t seem that impressive). I have a great mix of scrappy blue, teal, and brown blocks, which you can see in my previous blogs. (See my past blogs here.)
I broke my own rule with these 20. I’d been keeping my fabric selection for each color way to 10 different fabrics, so that the blocks would coordinate. For the blues, I used 14 different fabrics. My reasoning was that the two blue rows of blocks will be the center of the quilt, so I wanted them to have a little more variety than the other rows. It was hard working with that many fabrics. I definitely was gravitating toward certain fabrics, and at the end had to make sure I was choosing the fabrics that I’d only cut into a few times. I think it makes for some disparate blocks–they stick out like a sore thumb to me and I’d like to redo some, but I think I’ll keep them for now and push forward. Once all 100 blocks are laying side by side, I don’t think I’ll be able to tell which blocks I wasn’t in love with.
My last 40 blocks blocks will be my favorite color–green! I’ll have 20 light green blocks and 20 dark green. Even though green is one of my favorite colors, I don’t have very many green fabrics. I’ve been slowly collecting the last few months, but don’t think I have enough to choose from yet. The hardest part of these blocks might be buying fabric! Follow our blog to watch my progress! And follow us on Instagram at @allpeoplequilt to see weekly pics of the blocks I’m making.
Buy Tula’s book here and play along with us!
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
As quilters, we know that handmade is hot! DIY decor, gifts, clothes, and parties are becoming more mainstream…and still continue to let us crafters make lasting and meaningful items to pass down! We’ve seen embroidery pop up, not only as embellishments on quilts, but also on wall art, tea towels, jewelry, and more. Embroidery is perfect for on-the-go-crafters: it’s portable, it’s relaxing, and you can talk while doing it. Even better, it allows us quilters to practice our stitches, get creative, and make something that will be treasured forever! And if you’ve been following along with our 2014 issues of American Patchwork & Quilting, you know that each month we’ve been featuring some of Sue Spargo’s brilliant stitch designs with instructions and video companions. Missed them? Buy back issues here.
See how to add this hot trend to your quilting.
Embroidery items for your shopping list (in order from top to bottom):
- Creative Stitching by Sue Spargo
- Pearl Cotton from Anna Maria Horner
- Hand Embroidery Wall Art Kits from Penguin & Fish
- Ellisimo Gold 2 embroidery and sewing machine from Baby Lock
And now that you have the inspiration, browse our collection of free embroidery patterns. See them here.
See Elizabeth’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do it again? Yes, but I would make sure I had more time for each step. Although the whole thing made me nervous about what other people thought of what I added to their quilt, it was a good experience in all and made me grow as a quilter.
Round 1: Elizabeth
She says: For the design, I was inspired by a fabric that’s a cross between a stripe and curly parentheses. I thought the easiest way would be to do a bargello-style quilt. I sewed together 1-1/2″-wide strips to make a strip set then chopped it into a few different widths of segments. I played around with the placement and width of the segments.
She says: I peek into Elizabeth’s box and see the block she provided is a gorgeous bargello! I did some sketching and decided to grow this piece lengthwise. The original bargello block quit is intricate on its own. I want to provide some visual break between the original block and my additional pattern areas, so I decided to add sashing on the sides and ends. I used a scrappy selection of color on the sashing for a bit of fun. Then I created a section of the original bargello pattern about 1 -1/4 inches wide and attached the pattern perpendicular to the original block.
Round 3: Jill
She says: Elizabeth’s Bargello quilt center is stunning. I looked at her quilt block for days before I felt comfortable auditioning fabrics and ideas for adding another border. I knew I wanted to add three-dimensional pieces of some type without adding busy-ness that would detract from the intricate piecework. I tried prairie points in several colors, finally opting for the ones you see here, adding a total of seven prairie points to each end of the now very rectangular quilt top. I added an extra-wide, dark brown strip as the field for the prairie points.
Round 4: Jody
She says: I was the last one to receive Elizabeth’s center and WOW, I did not expect what I saw when I opened the box. It was very horizontal/rectangular. I struggled at first, trying to make it more square by adding wider borders to the top and bottom. Then I decided that the quilt would look terrific as a table runner. I added half Dresden Plate units to each end. I used the aqua batik as the background and the center half circle so the Dresden units would float and look like handles on a beautiful tray on a table.
In the June 2014 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (get the digital issue here), designer Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio shares remedies for common “problem” fabrics in an article called Stash Rx: Refill One. (This is a follow-up to a popular article Weeks did last June on the same topic; if you’d like to read the original story, click here.) We met Weeks at Pennington Quilt Works in Pennington, New Jersey, where we had an assortment of beautiful fabrics to choose from.
In one of the article’s “prescriptions” (Rx For Working with a Designer Collection), Weeks showed us how to incorporate a mix-and-match stash of one designer’s fabric (in this case, prints from Kaffe Fassett) with other prints for a successful quilt. “I wanted a variety of scales and a warm, golden feel,” Weeks says. “I think that’s just what was accomplished here.” The plan was to tie it all together with an espresso-colored tone-on-tone. Once she got home, Weeks found even more stash fabrics to add to the palette. Weeks and husband/business partner, Bill Kerr, designed their Going Up quilt using the fabric assortment. Buy the pattern here.