Monday, March 23, 2015

Outdoor photo shoot: Aspen Glow #2

I finally captured my quilt model (DH) at sunset today and got him to stand outside with the quilt top and quilt back for the Aspen Glow Quilt, queen-size.

Even with his extra long arms, he couldn't quite hold up the whole thing all at once.  I like the transparent look on this one, because you can more clearly see the fabric pattern and color difference between the white flowers and creamy coffee background like this.

And the back, which pretty much used up every piece of the extra fabric, plus some teal-ish stuff I had sitting around:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Finished Queen-sized Aspen Glow quilt top!

I kept waiting for a non-gray, non-rainy or sleety day to take this outside and get a good picture- but when it got nice, my DH the main quilt model was out of town.
So, here are the inside pictures for now:
Putting the last seam together with ever-present cat "help."

Lying on the floor.
And draped over the furniture in the back porch/  I left all sorts of little threads and fuzzies all over this chair.  My husband was walking around with lots of threads and fuzzies all over his fleece after sitting here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A double-gauze tank for the summer!

When the latest Cotton + Steel fabric lines came out recently, I discovered the Bespoke double gauze collection from Cotton + Steel.  I had never seen or felt this fabric before, but the video about the fabric (soft! fluffy!) convinced me to go out on a limb and get some of the  "ephemera mustard" fabric.

Other folks (Fancy Tiger Crafts and made by Rae) had created tops out of the material, and these inspired me to do the same.  I decided to make my own pattern based upon a favorite batik tank top I wore [deep inhale] more than 20 years ago in high school and as a freshman in college. Amazingly, I could still "wear" the tank before I cut it apart, but only because the upper part of the front of the tank had experienced a rip parallel to the button placket, allowing for "expansion..."  This is one of the reasons I liked the shirt so much - I never used the buttons, so a new shirt based on the old one did not need buttons or zippers.

I cut the front and back of the old tank top apart, and folded each in half so that I would have symmetrical pieces when done. I traced outlines of the front and back of the tank on a big piece of paper.  Then, I removed the tank top pieces, made some adjustments (increased the armholes; increased the length), and cut out the paper patterns.
I lined up the front and back pieces, and cut them together (except the neck) so the bottom edges and straps matched.

There was enough fabric for me to cut the front and the back so that the bands of color would match when the pieces were assembled.  There is enough fabric left over that I want to buy more double gauze to make a super-soft, fluffy quilt for the summer. (!)

As suggested in the Bespoke video mentioned above, I used very wide allowances (about 3/4" -1") to minimize issues with the double gauze unraveling and causing chaos while trying to sew.  It worked- and I didn't even need to iron anything.  I just double-folded and pinned armholes, the neckline, and the bottom seam, and then sewed them up:
I used french seams to complete the side seams and the straps. Again, no ironing needed.
It took a little finagling to get the armholes adjusted, get the side seams right, etc.
In the end, it seemed like something was missing.  The little stars in the pattern of the fabric inspired me to decorate the collar with a star-chain embroidery stitch available on my machine:
And voila!  A tank top ready to wear in the spring weather, whenever it decides to show up.

It has been incredibly warm the last few days (50-60 F) compared to our standard fare of the last couple of months (two weeks ago I distinctly remember thinking - wow, it's warm out here, it's 22 F outside!).  Still, we're not quite at the gauzy tank top stage yet.  Maybe with a cardigan.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When (work) gets in the way... E blocks for winter version of Aspen Glow

You can be most of the way through making blocks for a quilt in November, and then not get anything else done until late Feb/early March.

So, here are the "E" blocks, finally!...
...and here are ALL the blocks for this Queen-sized quilt:
I have to say, after making so many of these tiny pointy-blocks for this quilt, I will probably try to avoid doing something so monotonous and tiny ever again.
I did start to piece everything together.  One of my blocks with the white center is arranged above.  I had the idea of making the background fabric a bit darker than the original pattern, and changing some of the red centers to white, to make the quilt look more snowflaky. 

Note: I started this quilt in the early Fall, before Snowmaggeddon II this winter.  I really don't need any more snowflakes at this point!  Here's the latest batch of real snow from today: 6.5"

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Quilt top done! for twin-sized spring version of Aspen Glow pattern

Despite lots of things to get done for work over the break, I managed to have a couple of evenings of quilt-sewing binge and the twin-sized Aspen Glow quilt top is done!

As you might be able to tell, it's not very spring-like here right now.  We had 6-8 inches of wet, heavy snow on Wednesday, right before Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Yay! Finished with E blocks for Spring version

Finally, the last blocks for the Spring version of the Aspen Glow quilt are done!:

I am looking forward to starting to piece the larger blocks together.  I really don't know how this quilt will look when I'm done. It is going to be scrappier than the original pattern, because I used a fat eighth bundle for this one.
I've never made flying geese before.  I like how they look when I chain piece them. I don't like the trimming involved with these blocks, but it seems necessary to keep from getting too wonky.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Finally! Blocks C and D for the Winter version of Aspen Glow

Well, it took a while longer than I expected (sort of) to complete the next round of blocks for the Aspen Glow Quilt-along, but here they are:

The C blocks took a really, really long time to get through.  Between selling a house, having two birthdays in the family, and a round of tests and subsequent grading at work, it just seemed like they were never going to end!  The D blocks (squares) were a lot easier to plow through in a spare moment.

I am going to switch back to my spring quilt to make the pointy E blocks.  That one is only twin-sized, so it is always goes much faster.