A while back I did a swap – even though I swore off on-line swaps years ago after several in a row where I didn’t receive anything in return, and also the anxiety-inducing fear that my recipient would hate what I made. Not my definition of fun. But the #OhCraft group had a bag swap, and I just couldn’t resist.
My partner made a collage with linen, coral and embroidery and requested the Caravan Tote by Noodelhead. I can do that! The pictures aren’t great, but this bag was really fun!
Rainbow Lone Star
King Size – 95″x100″
Folks who follow my blog have seen this quilt before, but I wanted to enter it into the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I love going through all the pages and seeing what everyone has made and voting for my favorites. I have entered my Goldfinch Mosaic quilt into the scrappy category.
This my Scrappy Lonestar Rainbow Explosion Quilt, which I’m entering into the ROYGBIV category. Feel free to vote for the quilt, so it can become quilt president! Or you know, the equivalent. I love this quilt, and for street cred I’ll remind you all that 1. I basted it while 8 months pregnant and 2. I photographed it while 9 months pregnant in 18 degree (Fahrenheit! That’s -8 to the Celsius followers) weather. Just saying. Here’s my previous blog post where I talk about it more.
Now that I have the baby I am just proud to get pants on every day, and most days I just wear skirts cause, ugh, pants are too much trouble. But one time I made a giant rainbow quilt.
Here is an upclose of the piecing – all from scraps! Mostly my strips.
This is probably one of my longest ever works in progress. I actually finished it in early December, but just now got around to taking pictures of it, and then deciding to actually blog about it.
It was part of my goal to finish by the end of 2014 as part of the Finish Along and I’m so glad to have it off the WIP shelf.
One reason it took so long is I wanted to quilt it with feathers, and I didn’t know how to do feathers! I have gotten better at free motion quilting since I pieced this top in 2012 – and better at quilting in general (I couldn’t believe some of the mistakes I left in this, I must have been in a very bad mood when finishing the top!), but I was actually kind of out of practice when I finally basted this. It was very ripply, but most of the puckers from the sloppy piecing quilted out.
Yay! I had wanted to finish this
hateful thing glorious beast by the end of the year. In part to reach my Finish Along goal, but more because I was worried I would NEVER finish it, and frankly I was sick of having it hang in my “unfinished quilts” pile. I did NOT want to press it again, and I had already pressed it. So it had to get done! I have something of a tutorial here, if anyone is interested in my modified lone star math I had to come up with.
Ok, get ready for a million pictures, because I am just in love with the front and back of this thing! Plus a lot of boring process thoughts, because it was an interesting learning experience for me!
I’m so happy to have this quilt done! I love him. It is inspired by the Charley Harper animal mosaic in Cincinnati. A tutorial for the quilt and images of the mural are here. My neighborhood is full of cardinals that like to sing all their crazy amazing songs very early in the morning and then all day. I’m sure you’ve heard them, even if you don’t know it! Here is a great video about cardinal songs.
It finished just under 6 feet square (cat for scale, and also because he wouldn’t get off the quilt).
This weekend I went to the #OHCraft Sew-in, which is an awesome, low key, annual retreat for crafters across the state. It’s such a nice weekend and was beautiful with the fall weather. I’ll be honest, I spent most of the time sewing, and did not really make the most of my access to the beautiful Appalachian scenery!
However, I finished three tops that had been languishing in the WIP shelf for over a year!
Now I have a giant pile of quilts that need basted and quilted. That is going to be my goal for the finish along: To finish them by the end of the year! Yikes! Lucky a new bolt of Warm and Natural just arrived in the mail! I keep trying to find a batting I like more than Warm and Natural, but I come back to it every time. This is my third 40 yard bolt! I feel like that is some kind of milestone. I also want to set the goal of finishing the Cardinal quilt this month! That’s my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Here is the link up to all the folks who are part of the finish along!
I have something of a tutorial up for my Charley Harper Mosaic quilt here. I might decide to add another row of neutrals across the top – it’s not feeling quite balanced to me. I don’t want to get wishy washy with this quilt and never finish it like my Goldfinch quilt though!
Traditional Lone Star Overview
The Lone Star is a traditional diamond shaped block – traditionally you do planned colors so it makes a cool radiating star pattern. For an example of that, here is a cool tutorial! It requires really careful piecing, because if all your bias cut seams don’t match up just right, you lose some of the effect. The strips are all the same length and width and you have to carefully calculate your strip piecing and color placement to get the perfect effect.
Another option is the slightly scrappy lone star, which Better Off Thread has a nice tutorial with examples for that effect! While her version uses a variety of colors with random placement, the strips are all the same length and width.
HOWEVER, I didn’t use either of these wonderful tutorials, because what I wanted to do was to make a lonestar with different width strips, for an effect that is truly, madly, deeply scrappy. So far my quilt looks like this – it has about 33 pieces per block which means it has about 2,770 pieces so far! Here is before I added the blue strips along the outside edge to square it up.
And one block looks like this – a strip pieced diamond with 45 degree bias cut edges. Using my math below, you’ll create a diamond block. You can certainly use smaller measurements for a smaller block!
So this tutorial is going to be how to turn a pile of string scraps of a million different lengths like this:
Into the quilt above! The quilt isn’t done yet, but I have made enough of these things to explain the process!
Here is another one that took me a few days to get ALMOST done and then a year to actually finish.
I think of it as a ‘she’ though obviously it is a male goldfinch. I posted a tutorial for how to make a cardinal version – I have a half finished cardinal version as well – as well as some glamour shots of the unbasted top out in the wild.
Some years ago, everyone on the internet, ok, maybe just the quilters, started making scrappy trip along quilts. They are fun and fast and a great way to use up scraps, how could I resist? I made one using the ugliest fabrics I had and then made another using the ugliest fabrics I had that matched this muted rainbow color scheme. I then lost interest in finishing the second one and made this awesome Eric Carle Quilt instead and the scrappy trip sat for a year and a half.
Except it didn’t just sit! We actually used it on the bed on colder nights as a back up blanket, which Matt hated because “the safety pins are cold” but for some reason we did not grab one of the 9,000 other quilts that are cluttering up my house.
Anyway, today, I killed the beast! I mean, I quilted the last 25% and bound it up.
I’m happy with the quilting, which is from a Nan Moore quilting book. Nice open loop de loops and paisley type shapes. Very comfy. Fast but more interesting than a meander.
The backing is a fairly heavy satin-finish cotton sheet. Just something I got at a discount type store once with the idea of using as a whole cloth quilt. To me, this is a double sided quilt, a fancy whole cloth shiny purple on one side and an economical use of ugly scraps on the other.
I still had some of the ugly pinks left so I used those for the binding. I do love them all together. Up close you can see all the silly fabrics that I used up. I have sooo many ugly scrap fabrics I have gotten for free other the years. I am actually making my way through them though!
I’ve long been obsessed with making Charley Harper quilts for years now – I love his artwork! However, I can’t seem to make my self finish one of them! Here is a an early process shot of my goldfinch quilt and here is the finished top from last fall. Miraculously, I made the back and basted that yesterday, so hopefully photos soon of that coming along! May be a few years before I can decide how to quilt it – but I’m thinking orange peels?
I also started a cardinal version last fall at the #OHCraft Retreat that the amazing Kara puts together every year – maybe I’ll finish it at this year’s retreat? Update! I did finish it! Details here.
Anyway, a few people have asked me for a pattern for these quilts. I don’t have anything fancy to share, but I will share details on my process that should make it a lot easier for you! Continue reading