Three and a half years after I started on it, I finished my quilt top. I realized during all the cleaning of my craft room that I was nearly done making squares so I busted out the last few over the last few days, then cut some plain squares (not pieced, just one fabric) to make a border around the edges. And finally its done!

Its about 56″ wide, so right now the plan is to back it with some 58″ wide black fleece, and then use yarn to tie off at each corner of the individual squares. If I wait until fleece is on sale or there’s a coupon, I can probably finish it for about $10.

Anyway, obviously I’m super excited to have gotten this far! I will actually have a finished quilt very soon, even if its already too warm to cuddle under one.

Later today I will contact the guy who took the rest of the scraps off my hands and ask if he wants more- I have a few more shopping bags of them left over that I’m not going to be using.

M6697I first saw this pattern while browsing on eBay and I knew I had to have it in my collection. Shortly thereafter, I was shopping for fabrics to use in it. Unfortunately, the only two fabrics I could find at Joann’s when I went that were similar in stretch and weight were in purple and black. I had initially wanted something with more contrast between them but purple and black was an okay combination so I went with it. It looks good in the pattern envelope, so why not?

The pattern sat on my sewing table for a while- a few months. I kept picking it up in passing. I had the fabric. I had the pattern. But I still hadn’t made the dress. Finally yesterday I laid my fabric out to start cutting. I wasn’t thinking about how many panels this dress must have to make the stripes but once I started cutting I was wondering if the cutting was going to take all day- There were I think 10 panels in the dress I had to cut.

M6697Front

 

The actual construction went smoothly and easily. There’s not a lot to it besides making sure the pieces go in the right order, and There aren’t any even moderately difficult techniques used in this dress. You sew the front panels together, sew the back panels together, sew together at the shoulder and side seams, and then made a narrow hem at the arm- and neck-holes and hem the bottom. Sometimes I skip out on hemming the bottom on knits but this was dragging the ground a bit so I had to.

M6697Back

 

I really love how this turned out and the color combination worked really nicely. If this wasn’t such a stand out design because of the striping, I would make this again. Its super comfortable and I love it!

I sat down last night and while we were watching movies (3 of them!) I cut yards and yards and tons of scraps into strips about 2.5 inches wide. This took hours and I still have tons more to cut up, but as it is I have two shopping bags will with strips now. Today, after breakfast, I sat down to my sewing machine and started sewing the strips into a long ribbon, then sewing the ribbon into larger sheets. From the sheets I cut my quilt blocks- 7.5″ squares that are all angled a little differently. Each block is completely different from the next, in colors, patterns, direction, and angles. Most of what I did today was purples as I had 7 yards of various purple prints I bought specifically for this project. But I also did some other colors, and by the time I get through the scraps I have cut now, there will be several in each color grouping. I told Mattie I am not taking on another sewing project until after I get through the huge pile of fabric strips on my swing table. There’s actually 2 plastic shopping bags worth right now that I hope to get through this week.

squares1-8

I love the purples in the group below. I think the fabrics I chose go together really nicely. I still have another yard of purples to cut.

squares9-16

I was really, really surprised to see how nicely the oranges and browns worked together here. Even the small additions of bits of pale turquoise seems to fit in well enough. I also really like how that pizza fabric in the purple one at left goes in so nicely. That fabric was a skirt that I hated so much I chopped it up to add to this project. It looks much better in there!

squares17-20

One thing I am finding really fun about this is looking at the squares and recounting where the fabrics all came from. Some are scraps left over from my childhood when my Mom sewed my clothes. Some are scraps from commissioned sewing jobs I took on for friends- The scraps from Joann’s purse I made her found its way into several of these blocks. There are fabrics left over from all sorts of random sewing projects here and I love it.

Tomorrow I’ll do the shopping, buy dog food, and then I want to do at least another ten blocks. I had no idea these would prove so time consuming when I started, and I can see why some retired people take this up- its the perfect busy-work to pass the time, it can be done mostly on the cheap, and I’m betting the feeling of pride when you finally finish is fantastic.

Today I started on my quilt. I spent a few hours cutting out the smaller 2.5″ purple squares for my quilt. I worked through two of my fabrics, cutting 3/4 of each yard into squares, and started on a third piece. After doing the math, I will need a bit less than 4 yards of my purples to complete those parts of the quilt, which is why I am only cutting about 3/4ths of a yard of each. That will still be more cut squares than I need, but not by a lot, and I’m sure I can find some use for them later on.

I also worked up a mock-up in Photoshop to see exactly how many rows and columns of blocks I need, as well as how much of my main color fabric I will need to buy to both get the quilt to the right size, and have the pattern looking the way I want it to. My quilt will be 20 squares wide by 22 squares high. It will measure 80” x 88”, and I’m going to need 6.5 yards of lime green fabric for the honeycomb-ish parts of the quilt. The green will be cut into 440 squares, and the purples I’ll need 880 squares. When I look at the numbers, I feel like I must have lost my mind somewhere along the way. Just to make each individual square, not even joining them together, I will have to stitch 880 lines of stitches. Maybe it’ll be ready Winter.  :ermm:

I still need to buy the green fabric, but I’ll be using broadcloth, so should be able to get what I need for under $20, and I also need to buy the batting, and I have no idea what that will cost me. Maybe Mattie will buy my quilt batting for Christmas. :biggrin: I also need to do some homework on things like actually sandwiching the layers, the actual quilting part, and I heard they “shrink” up a bit somewhere in the process. Guess I should find out by how much and make adjustments as needed!