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Summer Sampler Series QAL

Looks like we made it!

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Summer Solstice Quilt Top - By Stitchified

Well this quilt has been quite the fun long term project. I designed this quilt in May. I ordered the fabrics in June. I messed around with my plan in Evernote until the first week of July, and three weeks later I made the first block. I finished the last block just before Thanksgiving, and then this weekend?

A quilt top was born. Boom.

Summer Solstice Quilt Top - By Stitchified

It feels so good to see it come together that I’m almost speechless. Did I mention this thing is gigantic? Because holy crap. Right now it measures 90″ x 90″, so it will probably finish around 85″ x 85″ once it’s quilted and bound.  Yikes!

A huge thank you to Nellie from MamaPeaches who encouraged me across the finish line. I am so happy to have finished the quilt top before the New Year. Hooray!

Summer Solstice Quilt Top - By Stitchified

I have no idea how I’m going to quilt this thing yet. Any ideas out there? It may be time to learn a few new FMQ patterns, but I have a slow learning curve there. Any and all tips are appreciated!

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Whriling Star

Whirling Star

Woohoo! The very last star in my Summer Solstice Quilt is complete! This one is entitled “Whirling Star” and is from the Solstice Stars Series over at Fresh Lemons.  This quilt has been so much fun to piece, and I have learned so much. Even if it did take me six months, heh.

And now for the big final layout reveal. A huge thank you to everyone to chimed in with their suggestions, they were so kind and helpful! As it turns out my sister saw my last post, and graciously put me out of my indecisive misery. Can I get a drum roll please?

Summer Solstice Quilt Final Layout

Final Summer Solstice Layout in grey and navy, with gold highlights

This one definitely qualifies for a whoop, whoop!

 

 

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Another Star

Big Red finally came back from her tune-up, and she purrs! Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying my sewing time especially much. Good thing too because I have a lot of gifts that need making between now and Christmas — time to put the sewing pedal to the metal!

Two Color Star

First up? My Summer Solstice Quilt! I pieced two more stars for my Summer Solstice Quilt — “Two Colors Star” and “Another Star.” I had the hardest time picking the colors for “Another Star,” but in the end I decided to give it an extra pop with the gold and yellow tips. I also like how the extra yellow separates this star from the rest of the pack.

And while I really like the “Two Colors Star,” I think it will look better on the back of the quilt. I’ll replace it with the “Whirling Star” (also from the Solstice Stars Series) on the front. With any luck I’ll be able to piece the LAST star this weekend, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing around with mock quilt tops. There are so many choices!

Gold and navy color blocks

Mock-up with Blue and Gold

Teal and navy color blocks

Mock-up with Blue and Aqua

Aqua and Teal color blocks

Mock-up with Teal and Aqua

Grey and navy color blocks

Mock-up with Blue and Grey

Or do I get really fancy, and try some highlights?

Grey and navy with gold highlights?

Mock-up with Blue and Grey with gold accents

Grey and navy with teal highlights?

Mock-up with Blue and Grey with aqua accents

If this quilt were for me, I would probably go with a teal or aqua color scheme… but I think my sister and her husband are more grey and navy folks. So, I’m leaning towards the grey and navy with teal highlights… or maybe gold highlights? Argh! It’s so hard to choose! What do you guys think?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Summer Solstice Quilt: Evening Star

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I was finally able to get back to my sewing machine this week. It felt so good to add another block to my Summer Solstice Quilt, this time the Evening Star.

This block led me to this quilt’s color scheme, so I’m really happy that it turned out just as I imagined. The color transition from yellow to grey makes me smile every time I look at it. But then again, I’m a sucker for rainbows, no matter the color palette 🙂

The most difficult blocks in my Summer Solstice Quilt are behind me now. In fact, here are just three blocks left and only one of them involves paper piecing. It feels especially good to be making progress since this one has been in  the works for awhile.

My next star is appropriately titled “Another Star.” I’ve spent hours agonizing over the color selection. I even stole the toddler’s crayons and experimented with the blocks, but I still can’t decide. Hopefully I can pick a direction and work up the courage to cut the fabric soon!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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I fell in love with the Arkansas Traveler block the very first time I saw it over on Freshly Pieced.  Since then I’ve seen so many beautiful versions pop up in the blogosphere, but I knew I needed more experience before I attempted it myself. Paper piecing and diamonds — whoa. I feel like I’ve been practicing for this very moment for months. Well, ready or not, I went for it!

As you may know, the Arkansas Traveler combines traditional piecing with paper piecing. You begin by cutting 60 degree diamonds (measured to the eighth of an inch!), and assemble them in groups of four. I went through a lot of layout variations in my head, but in the end I went scrappy.

This was my first time doing diamonds, but it was easier than imagined. I used my Perkins Ruler to show me where the scant quarter inch seam would fall, and used that to gauge where the dog ears should go. That seemed to work really well for me. I definitely still had to pay attention when lining up the diamond sets, but I only had to rip out a few seams.

Once the diamond sets are complete, they are set into the background via paper piecing. I’m happy to say that paper piecing came more naturally this time, and passed more quickly. It took me just a few minutes to do the paper piecing and trim up my four mini-blocks.

Matching up the points was definitely the toughest part of this block. I’m happy to say that my little Janome was able to push through the center seam with the papers intact. Thank you, Acufeed. That’s a lot of fabric and a lot of paper, but we chugged through it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I matched up all the seams that I realized I had an error in one of my four mini-blocks. See that one in the upper left of the finished block? The paper must have slid on me while  I was paper piecing that bit. By the time I noticed it was way too late to fix.  I’m a little disappointed, but my sister made me promise not to go crazy making her quilt. So I’m resisting the urge to rip it all out and start over. Have I mentioned that my sister is amazing? Because she is.

Here’s a little status shot of my three blocks so far. I’m really pleased with how it is turning out!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, which seems extra appropriate this week. I can’t thank Lee enough — this really is an amazing block, and it comes with a perfectly clear tutorial. Always an inspiration.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 

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WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This week I finished the second block (“Ribbon Star“) in my Summer Solstice Quilt. Not going to lie – even though I’m in the middle of this project, it’s hard to keep myself focused on it. I keep getting distracted! So, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced to keep me moving forward.

This particular block wasn’t too challenging, which was nice change of pace after sewing up that tricky dragon softie. The block definitely came together quickly and easily, thanks in no small part to my new Perkins Perfect Piecing Ruler. I can’t say enough good things about that fluorescent yellow beauty. Love love love!

It’s nice to see the color palette starting to emerge with this second block, and I’ve really been enjoying working with the Art Gallery’s Pure Elements. They are so soft!
My next block is the Arkansas Traveler, which will be a bit of a sewing milestone for me. I’ve admired that block for a long time, and can’t wait to tackle it. Wish me luck!

Summer Solstice Quilt

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I’m officially dubbing this WIP the “Summer Solstice Quilt.”  As I mentioned in my earlier post, my plan is to combine several stars from Faith @FreshLemon’s Summer Sampler and Solstice Stars Series. See what I did there? Summer Solstice Quilt. Mmm hmm.

Well, after weeks of procrastinating I finally broke ground on my project. This was my first time foundation paper piecing, and I was so intimidated! I am a creature of habit and paper piecing seemed completely counter-intuitive.  I’m happy to report that everything went smoothly  despite my worrying, and I had a lot of fun! I think paper piecing might be my new favorite thing — it was so satisfying to watch the little bits come together.


My first star in my Summer Solstice Quilt is the Star of Mystery. I am so thrilled with how it came out! Unfortunately, I’m having a tough time getting a photo that is true to color. The midnight navy is reading as black… maybe my camera is trying to tell me something about 2AM photo shoots.

I will say that this block was hugely time consuming. It took an hour and some change to cut the pieces, and then another couple of hours to complete the various sections. After investing all that time I decided to baste the segments together first — just to make sure that  my points matched before joining them more permanently. I think the extra step paid off 🙂

Star of Mystery, all finished!

I’m feeling reinvigorated on this project. I can’t wait to start up my next block!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced and WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New Quilty Work in Progress

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I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew on this one. I am in love with my plan, but more than a little intimidated. I’ve spent weeks procrastinating by sewing up small projects, but it’s time to get serious (or at least try!). So, I have finalized my fabric pull, and am hoping this post keeps me a little more accountable progress-wise. I’m going to use a mix of navy, grey, golds, and teal/aquas. The fabrics are mostly Art Gallery’s Pure Elements, with a few others here and there.

My mission is to create a series of seven different stars, four of which are paper pieced (first time paper piecer here, yikes!).I’m going to be using a mix of stars from the Solstice Stars Series and the Summer Sampler Series — both of which were quilt-alongs hosted by Faith @ FreshLemons. I have every confidence in the tutorials (Faith’s “Lemon Squares” pattern was my first big quilt, and was a pleasure to sew through), but I’m feeling much less confident in my abilities.

To help procrastinate build my confidence, I’ve spent a lot of time organizing my project within Evernote. If you’ve never used Evernote before, I highly recommend it. It’s a great tool for saving web-clippings for future reference, or keeping a running catalog of just about anything at all. Since my new project contains seven separate tutorials (and another dozen paper piecing templates!), I created a “master” page that includes cutting directions for each block, and links to the tutorials/template for each block. I also created a visual for myself so I can keep track of all my blocks. I’ve included a little screenshot below:

I’m a very visual person, so I think it is so useful to have all these things at my finger tips while I craft. Ok, here we go. Time to get cutting!