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.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time!

This tiny little closet space is perfect for my fabric and scrap storage! Snug as a bug! #sewing #fabric #storage #stash

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

Since my order I put in to fabric.com finally came in on Monday, I washed and dried my new fabrics this morning and got to work printing, cutting, and taping the pieces for this free pattern at Be My Goth. I’ve had this pattern bookmarked for ages but was on the fence about actually making it. When I saw the fiery red-orange crochet lace on clearance I knew that was going to be what I made it with. I already had a yard of dark grey rib knit in my stash from another project I’d bought for, so that was set.

bemygothlacefront

 

The pattern has three pieces- front, back, and the sleeve cuffs, but I made a few changes to it as I went. I cut the largest size, but did not add the seam allowances as instructed. My crochet lace has quite a bit of stretch, and I’m not sure her pattern was designed for a fabric with stretch in it. She doesn’t mention stretch in it anyway. I tried it on and found the neckline to be too wide, causing it to fall off of my shoulders, so I gently rounded over the corners at the edges of the neckline form the shoulders and brought it in about 3″ total. That helped with that issue, but I still felt it was a bit too open at the neck.

bemygothlaceback

 

I went ahead and cut a piece of rib knit a few inches smaller than the neckline measurement, and stitched that in place. I really liked how it looked, so I did the same for the bottom hemline. Because the crochet knit is so open, its pretty much impossible to finish the edges neatly, which was my other reason for applying the rib knit to the other raw edges, and while you can still see the raw edges on the seam lines, the end result is much neater and cleaner than it would have been just hemming them. The original instructions call for a rolled hem on this, but I’m not sure if that would have worked with this lace anyway.

The back hemline is quite a bit lower than the front one, which was an element of the original design, though Be My Goth’s original version was more of a cropped top. I’ve got enough of a full bust that most tops I make I need to add a few inches to, and this being designed to be short there was no way I wasn’t going to add some length to it. I think I used just over a yard and a half of the lace for this top, and probably would have been a yard and a half even had I not added the length to it. The amount of rib knit used barely put a dent in the yard I had. I’m not really sure what I will wear this with besides my black tank top, but I really hope I can come up with a few options because I am very pleased with it.

blocks21-241I also was able to stitch up 4 more squares for my quilt a few days before as well, and these ones are done using all squares instead of strips. I’d like to say I’m making a dent in my scraps but really I’m not. Its insane how many cotton scraps I have already cut and still more not readied for use.

The square making is going slower than planned but eventually I will get them done. I’m looking forward to that day when I can start arranging the squares and start stitching them together.

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.

I’ve been sick this last week and while I’ve been curled up on the couch, I’ve started doing cross stitch. The first one I did I really liked, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Then I thought why not stitch it into some fabrics, make a mini quilt, and stick it on the wall. Before I post it though, I warn you. Its wonky. Really, really wonky. But since the text on the cross stitch says

BELIEVE INYOURSELF

wallI figured some wonkiness would go long with the “be you” part- warts and all. I intentionally did not measure anything. I eyeballed stuff. I stitched. I trimmed. I eyeballed more stuff. I spent 3 hours on the couch hand sewing the binding on (three times!), learning how to do mitered corners properly, and running into a few problems along the way. I used my new Ginghers and sliced through my fabrics like they were made of butter. Warm butter. I may have stitched together even more scraps of fabric in colors I did not even need to use for this project. The only thing I measured was the back to find the center to stitch on a hanging loop at the end.

Anyway, here is my first finished cross stitch and my first quilting project. Its hanging on the wall in the house because Mattie declared it art and said it should hang where people could see it. :p

The darker colored stars are purple, as is the darker text, and the binding is also purple. I used fabric scraps from the cute zippered pouches I make, from a shirt I made for a baby, and from scraps leftover from clothing I made myself, as well as some vintage scraps.

Next time I will measure. Maybe not everything, but I’ll make sure my strips of pieces are trimmed up nice and that should help a bit. There will be a next time!

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!

fabricsThe other night I found out my friend Donna from This Year’s Dozen had passed on. I only knew her online, but we had been friends for around ten years, and many times she was my crafting inspiration, and it was very sad news. The last few years she was crazy about quilting, making me want to try it too. About a year or so ago, I even purchased fabrics to start my quilt, but I never even got as far as pre-washing them. After reading the bad news, I decided I needed to start on my quilt. The hardest part of course was choosing a quilt block that would allow me to use most of the fabrics I’d already purchased, without too much more added to it.

After looking at quilt blocks at Quilter’s Cache, I finally settled on a block design that would let me use what I had purchased already, and I think I’ll only need to buy one more fabric to complete it.

What I finally decided on was the Indian Hatchet block, which will let me use different fabrics for each piece’s diagonal corners. The main fabric which is the same through each square is the one I’d need to buy still, and I am leaning towards a bright spring green in a basic plain broadcloth. Its cheap, and I will need about 7 yards of it to make this a queen sized blanket.

IndianHatchetpieceblockI really like the honeycomb-ish design the main color gives it, and it ties all the blocks together, despite the randomness of the corner fabrics. Of course first I have to cut all the squares, which is going to take an eternity. I’ll be working my way through cutting the purples I have now, and I’ll worry about getting the green fabric after I’m done with all the corner piece cutting. I’m hoping to cut through at least 1 yard of the purples every day until its done.

Other than decided to take on this new thing, I don’t have much to share. I haven’t done any other sewing lately, and probably won’t until I start on my Halloween costume, which I also still need to buy fabric for. What am I going to be? I’m not telling!