Friday, September 15, 2017

On My Design Wall

I have been thoroughly enjoying my time in the quilt room this week. Obviously I have a bit of a thing for pink and gold right now, but that's just the way tend to things happen around here! This week saw me finally diving into trying to make pieced letters.
What's on my design wall
The capital 'I' was super easy and so that was a good start. From there it got a little mind boggling at times, but eventually there was a rhythm going that felt easy and good. I had forgotten until diving into these playful letters, that years ago, I put pieced wording on the back of one of my younger brothers graduation quilt. It was laborious work, cutting every piece of the letter just so. Tonya's free form method {Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci} is so much more fun! Sometimes I follow her general guidelines and sometimes I don't, but it's definitely keeping me entertained. For instance, I made the 'M' accidentally by cutting and sewing the angles wrong on the 'W'. Oh well. It will work just fine in another word. There are certainly going to be plenty of words before I get done!
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I also got a good start on the hst medallion quilt. It was a bit tricky making sure the measurements were right for the first black row, but after getting that settled, the rest should just be a matter of repeats. I decided to use the Easy Angle method {Diane's tutorial is my go-to} for increased accuracy and well, less trimming. I hate the trimming part of the traditional hst method! And as this quilt will continue to build around rows of hst's, accuracy is key for ending up with a square quilt, right?

Right.... Hah.  I ran into trouble immediately because that increased accuracy only occurs when cutting and sewing is happening in a precision sort of way. Ugghh... Too many distractions happening around me and so my hst rows were a little bit too long. Consistently too long, but still. Not good. And then it occurred to me that those black strips would be placed between every single row of hst's! Serendipity, or a very smart quilter. Hmm... Me thinks the black rows had a different sort of function than just good aesthetics. 

So I did what I would normally do and just fudged on the seam allowance here and there. {*Confessing my sins here...} Just a smidge extra sewn into the seam in about three spots on every row. With that, the row of hst's shrunk to the proper length, easily allowing the corner squares to fit properly. Can you even tell when you look at the top picture? I can't! From here on out, every corner square at the end of both the black rows and the hst rows, will have to be the exact same size. That means I can play around {and fudge with the hst's wherever I need to} as long as the black rows and corner squares remain a constant. *whew!

Are you shaking your head at me and wondering why I don't just sharpen up my cutting and piecing skills? This is an old make-do sort of quilt that I'm interpreting. On closer examination, the hst's don't even represent the same way from side to side of the quilt or even a complete row around the quilt--the only constant is that the dark part of the hst is pointing upwards throughout. I couldn't believe it when I started taking a closer look. So fascinating! And because there are so many rows and rows of hst's, it's not at all obvious to the casual viewer. Woohoo! This means I can fudge with impunity and yes, great glee!
Another couple blocks for the Solids Challenge quilt
I have also found time to do some applique work. These blocks have been practically begging for some attention all year. After this there are only three left, and as always, they have been ridiculously easy to do. And fun. I love the stark, simple beauty of them! Why I have drug my feet for so long on these is a mystery. Having several new applique projects waiting in the wings finally compelled me to get going on finishing these blocks, but really, the reasons for why I continually dawdle around on certain projects, then speed right through others? Motivation and Mojo. Crazy stuff....

Linking up with Sew, stitch, snap, share....


  1. 'Fudging' is often what gives the vintage quilts that I like best their character, so I'm happy to see you carrying on the practice! I really love this pink and gold combination.

  2. Your design wall is bursting with excitement

  3. I've made lots of quilts with hst borders. On one of the larger ones, even after "adjusting", fudging, etc, i ended up with a couple more hst's on the top border than on the bottom border. By the time you get to some of the longer borders, I doubt anyone will notice any inconsistencies. Looks like a nice quilt. I wonder what Audrey-style improvisations you'll throw into it! I'll look forward to the result!

  4. A busy design wall! Loving your pink & gold combo! I too often resort to adjusting things, my motto lately is 'if it doesn't fit, make it!'

    1. p.s. Thanks for sharing with 'sew stitch snap SHARE'

  5. I'm another who love the combination of fabrics used in that medallion centre, a busy design wall!

  6. I've been a pink and gold fan for a long time, a long long time. Love to see more and more fabric designers getting on board too. I'm making HSTs by the 100s this month. Working on a mystery quilt that required 96 and now working on a round robin border that needs 64. I'm using a strip method like you and also the Magic 8 method... it I'm only doing 4 at a time by cutting rectangles instead of squares because I'm wanting very scrappy borders.

  7. Love a busy design wall! I, too, love the pink and gold combo. And you lettering looks awesome!. I have used the Word Play book as a guide for piecing letters. Fun book!

  8. So many exciting things on your wall. Of course, I love your words. It's interesting to see where and how they are different than mine. And that HST quilt is a delight. I like the way you're working it out. And your adorable flowers. Lovely. Have fun!

  9. Words to live by! As for "fudge", that is the only kind made in my house. I am the queen of fabric fudge!

  10. How fun to be sewing away at 3 different projects! Never gets boring that way.


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