Domestic Bliss

by Stephanie on August 15, 2016

in Strips and Squares

Post image for Domestic Bliss

Hey there! {waving from the far side of summer} Didn’t mean to be gone so long.

Although the second quarter finishalong didn’t see much action, the sewing machine has been humming away over here. Mostly I’ve been making some new summer clothes, and if I ever get photos of them I’ll share and discuss.

Quilty activity has been sparse, partly due to wardrobe distractions, partly to general busyness, and partly to a lovely late-July trip to visit my parents in Maine. Oh, here’s a wardrobe pic: Tunic #1, layered over a long sleeved T for an afternoon sail on the good ship Heron. That’s my Dad, on the left.


The big reason for going to Maine was my brother’s much-anticipated marriage, which was celebrated with great delight by all his siblings. Congratulations Sumner and Lisa!


As quilters, you all know what a wedding in the family means: a quilt reveal!


You’ll likely recognize this as a “Scrap Vomit” quilt, and yes, I did complete the top some years ago back when SV mania was sweeping the interwebs. I can attest that this pattern is a great way to use up scraps, especially if you’ve already got a pileup of 2.5″ squares or strips looking for a purpose.

The top sat around for quite some time (as most of my finished tops do) waiting to be quilted. I found a lovely chicken tile fabric for the back, and quilted it in a simple diagonal grid last spring, while still in Hawaii.


This was one of those projects that I make for the pleasure of the process (and to use some scraps!), and don’t feel so attached to that I need to keep it for myself. When it was quilted and bound, I decided that it would make the perfect wedding present for either my nephew (paired up but still single) or my brother (actively looking for bride #2), whoever got to the altar first. Feeling rather smug that I had a hand-made wedding quilt all ready to go ahead of time (and hoping that wouldn’t throw a romantic jinx at anyone), I folded it up and put it away until needed.

My brother announced his engagement and summer wedding plans this spring, but my smug satisfaction at having a quilty gift on standby wilted a bit when my nephew announced his engagement a few weeks later. Fortunately, nephew isn’t tying the knot until next summer, so there’s time to work on something new.

In the meantime, since “Scrap Vomit” is officially the worst quilt name ever, I have renamed this one “Domestic Bliss.” My new sister, Lisa, threatened to hang it on a wall until I explained that the biggest thank you she could give would be to use it and wear it out.


Scrappy Hexies Pillow

by Stephanie on May 8, 2016

in 2016 Finish-a-Long,Hexies!,Pillows

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This is the pillow cover I made last month from the panel of random scrappy hexies described as item #5 on my Q2 Finishalong list. I did a very quick “quilt-as-you-go” thing, by centering the hexies on a large piece of batting with a square of an old sheet for lining. I quilted diagonal lines across the hexies, then did stitch-and-flip skinny green and purple borders before adding the red Kaffe chard print. There are few top-stitching lines, but otherwise very little quilting. I’d planned to do something in the red border, but was in speed-finish mode and decided not to bother.

I considered listing this in the VdeH Etsy shop, but would’ve had to price it insanely high to cover all the hours of hexie handwork. Instead, the pillow ended up nestled on my desk chair, and I’m now too fond of it to let it go. Plus, Halo sleeps on that chair for at least as many hours a day as I sit there, with the effect that it’s now thoroughly dusted with fine white cat hairs. I guess we will call this one hers. I’ve got plenty of others to put on Etsy, just as soon as I take some better photos.

That catches us up with the 2016 Finishalong progress for April (four finishes in total, beating my entire Q1 tally already!). I’ve also completed adding hand-work details to several more minis, which are queued up for finishing in May. Let’s ignore the fact that it’s a week into May already and none have been touched yet this month.

Post image for Scrappy Tote Bag Swap (part 2)

{The tote I made for this swap is revealed here}

Cecile is a very clever lady. Look at what she created from the scraps I pulled for the tote swap (a bunch of random charm squares, some odds and ends of somewhat coodinating solids, and a heap of spare HSTs I’d found hanging around in search of a purpose)!

A stack of charm squares might sound like a good beginning to a scrappy project, but there was a hidden challenge in this bunch: some of the squares were a tidy 5″, others had been cut to 4-7/8″ for HST use, and a few other probably wandered off the trail to an 8th or quarter-inch in one way or the other as well. Basically, I threw in everything kinda in the ballpark of a similar size. I hope Cecile has forgiven me for not including a note to that effect, although she managed very well indeed by turning those charms into triangles:


So gorgeous!

This tote is generously sized, and just right for carrying a quilt to guild meetings for show and tell.

Thanks for the lovely tote, Cecile!

Post image for Scrappy Tote Bag Swap (part 1)

A while back I signed up for a “scrappy tote bag swap” organized by my MQG chapter. The fabrics I received were nowhere near my idea of a ‘scrap’: a full yard of a border print featuring a cute parade of birds along one edge and medium-scale varied dots over the rest of it, plus some coordinating FQs and a fat 8th or two, one of which had been slightly cut into.

I forgot to take picture of the “before” fabrics, but you can see them pretty well in the finished tote. The two fabrics I liked best — the bird border print and some wonky mugs on yellow — were too large scale to cut up, so I decided to use a wide band of each to make one long panel that would become the exterior. I’d had in mind some kind of improv sawtooth band from the red and yellow that wound up as straps, but when I measured the birds and figured out how wide a piece of the mugs I’d need to capture their charm, there wasn’t going to be much else going on. The least appealing of the prints (to my eye) became the bottom, and after I sliced off the parade of birds, the rest of the border print became the lining:

Some plainish yellow made a patch pocket for the inside and trim for the top. On the inside I added more of the mug print around the top, just for fun.

The exterior panel was fused to a piece of fusible fleece, then quilted. If I’d had any Pellon 101 on hand, I’d have fused some to the lining, but it doesn’t really need it, so no biggie that I forgot to buy the Pellon.

We swapped back our totes at the guild meeting last night. Although these fabrics are nothing like what I normally play with, I’d become rather fond of this one, and wouldn’t have minded keeping it. I think it would make a lovely knitting project bag. Reluctantly, I let it go home with Donna, who’d provided the fabric.

This completes item #3 on my Q2 finishalong list.

Next up, I’ll show you what I received from some of my own scraps …

Actually, spring began back in February, here in gorgeous Olympia, WA, and is still going strong. There are blossoming trees and shrubs and flowers everywhere, and every day our walk around the neighborhood is a visual treat.


“Spring is Coming” is the name of the second small quilt I made for the guild challenge. You can read about the first one, and the challenge specs, here.


I enjoyed making the first one so much, I couldn’t resist another. This started by making seed shapes from leftovers of the challenge fabric, followed by some fooling around on the design wall with a bunch of pastel scraps. The color isn’t quite right in this pic, but you get the idea.

This was one of those times when I thought it was done, then looked at it again the next morning and thought, “nope, not there yet.” The Gwen Marston-inspired wonky border did the trick. This one came out at 26″x26″, too, not that I planned it that way.


As you can see, I’m a bit obsessed with echo quilting these days. Here I experimented with what I’m calling “ghost” quilting: echo-quilting around an implied shape that is not in the piecing. Happy with how that turned out.

So that’s a wrap for item #2 on my Q2 Finishalong list, which you can find here.