Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Patchwork Brigade

I have so many unfinished projects around here it's ridiculous. Knitting projects are one thing - they can easily be stuffed into a basket somewhere. My quilt projects, though, are threatening to overtake my tiny living room. I love to sew patchwork, but since I don't machine quilt there can be a big backlog on unfinished tops. Alas, I may have to change my tune lest I lose the cat in the rubble.

I had grand plans of taking myself hiking yesterday afternoon to a local state park, but it was too cold out. So I holed up and did laundry and sewed charm squares - these from Moda's "Summer Breeze by Sentimental Studios". It needs borders, but will make a nice and simple baby quilt. Although really: I wish I had a beach house with a front porch with a white wicker sofa that overlooked the ocean, because this would be the exact sort of quilt to have on that sofa. The colors scream "summer in Maine" to me.

I also finally sewed my blocks together for this:

I may have blogged about this last summer when I started piecing the blocks. I used the Jubilee pattern by Marlous Designs (available all sorts of places including here) and a Bali Pop package in the "Cotton Candy" color way. I'm not entirely thrilled about how this turned out, in large part because I found it very challenging to sew up. It wasn't a technical issue (it's straight strip piecing) but a color issue. Even though the look is random, it wasn't random at all - I had to be really careful about putting too much of one color into each block. For example, look at the second row from the top, the first two blocks on the left. See how they almost read as one single printed fabric in the photo? I also had a very difficult time squaring up the blocks. This may wind up with my youngest niece when all is said and done (whenever that may be). It needs borders too, but I honestly don't have a clue what will work the best.

Also lined up are:

1) my friendship blocks from my quilt guild; I have until June to sew the blocks my mystery friend gave me up with some I've made into a top. I didn't really think this through: I asked for log cabin blocks because I love them, but hate sewing them. And now I have to sew at least 2, but probably more like 6 to turn the blocks into a usable-sized quilt.
2) every month our guild does a block-of-the-month, which are raffled off. The good news is I actually won this month. The bad news is, only 5 other people participated with me. But with a few more blocks I think I can wind up with a small baby quilt, possibly even a gender-neutral one this time.
3) Two summers ago I took a quilt class and have a fairly good sized quilt that needs to be quilted. I'd like to have it professionally machine quilted but aside from the cost involved, I kind of screwed up the borders a bit and I'm not sure it can be machine quilted without me fixing it. And fixing it might require buying fabric that may or may not exist anymore. *sigh*
4) I really want to make something modern out of all solid colors. I saw a book called City Quilts at the quilt store recently, and while I didn't buy it I definitely have my eye on it.

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