Monday, April 24, 2017

Scraps: a blog hop

Scraps.  Everyone has them, right?  This blog hop, hosted by Jen of Faith and Fabric, focuses on scraps and how they are saved, stored, or used.

I will be concentrating on how I store my scraps.  I feel like it is a little bit different than many other people that I've seen.

First off, I keep anything that is larger than 1"x 1".  I don't applique, so anything smaller than that probably won't get used.

Secondly, anything that isn't currently in a planned project is considered a scrap.  Yes, that means I have some very large scraps.  Any fabric in a planned project goes on a special shelf so I don't accidentally use it and everything else goes in bins.  I separate my solids from my other fabrics, but besides that I sort by color.

So here is my non-solid green scrap bin.  Until there is the tiniest amount left, it all stays folded together.  The little pile in the lower left are the pieces that don't have enough to fold together anymore.

Here is one of the fabrics I pulled out, but all the fabrics look similar.  

Inside that fold I have all the smaller pieces.  They aren't ironed.  They aren't trimmed.  (These all ended up as rectangles, but I often have triangles or other randomly shaped pieces.)  But they are all together, and I've found for me, that is the key.  I can easily tell if I'm going to have enough of the fabric for whatever project I'm working on right away.  If I'm doing a pure scrap quilt it's fun to go through what I have and rediscover some of the fabrics.

I never know what size of fabric I might want so I don't precut.  I don't iron because (if I do iron) I like to do it right before I sew.  If I end up never using this fabric again, I won't have wasted time on it.  So that's it.  That's the whole system...keep same fabrics together.

Check out the others in the blog hop!
Faith and Fabric
Swoodson Says
Vicky Myers Creations
Quilting is More Fun than Housework
The Cloth Parcel
Hilltop Custom Designs
Lulu & Celeste
made by ChrissieD
Fabric Engineer (you're here!)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Triangles Here, Triangles There

I finished my Riley Blake challenge piece called "Triangles Here, Triangles there.

It's a bit hard to see, but besides the obvious large triangles all the background pieces are triangles.  (The quilt was made in triangle blocks too).

It's a loose play on how there are all sorts of different people in the world; there are all sorts of different triangles too.  Large triangles, small triangles, equilateral, isosceles, and scalene.  There are double triangles (that one is shown above...since there aren't lines dividing the larger triangle blocks this one didn't come out quite as well.)  There is also one triangle that is missing part of itself.

I started feeling like I was running into the deadline to finish, and so I did a quick triangle stipple.  It was much faster than I expected and two days later it was done.  I never finish quilting that quickly!  I did not quilt over the dark orange triangles, making them pop out a bit more.

Some of the random stuff...the binding is in RB neon blue because that is the only RB solid my LQS had.  I had been hoping for orange, but I really like how the blue looks.  A happy problem!  I also ended up going with this design after taking a picture a few months back and realizing how much the orange stood out from all the other low volumes in the bundle.  I had to scrap an idea that was forming in my head and change it completely.  Lastly, the bundle image that they said they were going to send us included two solids.  I do love my solids and the colors match a wall in my house, so I figured I could make a wall hanging.  (Not shown, as I want to hang it up on an angle and haven't figured out how to do that yet.)  I was rather disappointed not to have any solids come with the bundle.  However, it worked out.  I like the final product. :)

This was my April goal.  I'm also linking up to Finish It up Friday.

Monday, April 3, 2017

March recap

1. Riley Blake Challenge.    My goal for March had been to finish piecing this.  I wasn't too far off, but I also wasn't all that close.  I'm not all that surprised by this; March was rather busy.  However, that means that now my April goal is to finish it all up.  I don't think it'll be too hard.

2. Temperature quilt.   I did spend one night in the middle of March getting up to date on this.  I now have January and February all put together and the days for March 1-17 put together.
Other items still waiting around. I keep adding baby quilts...hopefully some of them can combine with other things. :)

3. Meshing solid HSTs.
4. Quilt nautical quilt.  
5. Rainbow log cabin.  
6. Simply solids bee quilt.   
7. Sunset wall hanging. 
8. scrap quilt #2. 
9. Scrap quilt.  
10. Orphan rocket block. 
11. Jeweled floors.
12. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).  
13. Winter quilt.   
14. fabric from Christmas.   
15. A pillow with green/purple fabric.
16. green/white hourglass quilt.
17. baby boy quilt - possibly pair with another quilt on the list.
18. woodlands quilt.
19. Trying to fit in - left over triangle quilt. 
20. baby quilt - possibly pair with another idea TBD

21. Another baby quilt

Monday, March 6, 2017

February progress

There are only two or three less days in February than the other months, but it felt so much shorter!  Anyway, here's some of the progress from February and some of the plans for March.

1. Riley Blake Challenge.  I have the idea drawn out and ready to go.  My goal for March is to (start and) finish piecing this.  It's a busy month, so we'll see how it goes.

2. Meshing solid HSTs.  I have the HSTs all sewn together and the background on some.  The picture below is a few of the rows.  (After taking the picture I put it all away.  After my big clean three weeks ago my area is still clean!)

3. Temperature quilt.   I'm half way through February, although only January is shown.  The months go rather quickly, so I'll probably catch up sometime soon.

4. Quilt nautical quilt. The quilting is done and I just need to deal with loose threads!
Other items still waiting around
5. Rainbow log cabin.  
6. Simply solids bee quilt.   
7. Sunset wall hanging. 
8. scrap quilt #2. 
9. Scrap quilt.  
10. Orphan rocket block. 
11. Jeweled floors.
12. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).  
13. Winter quilt.   
14. fabric from Christmas.   
15. A pillow with green/purple fabric.
16. green/white hourglass quilt.
17. baby boy quilt - possibly pair with another quilt on the list.
18. woodlands quilt.
19. Trying to fit in - left over triangle quilt. 
20. baby quilt - possibly pair with another idea TBD

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Happy Surprise - Aunt's quilt

My aunt's quilt is finished!  It is based on a quilt from the American Patchwork & Quilting 2016 Calendar, month June.

The main differences include the center square all being the same fabric and the fabric layout.  It is scrappy, but all the pairs are the same...purple & pink, blue & yellow, and orange & green.  I had meant to put complimentary colors together, but made a mistake.  I like it though.

I spent a very long time on the layout.  I'm not really going to describe the pattern to you, but it is there. 

I put a minky cloud on the back.  Because minky is for adults too. I thought the clouds went nicely with the trees, and was light enough that it wouldn't be showing up on the white fabric on the front.

For the quilting, I did three different motifs in the white squares.  An 8-pointed flower, flower power - it looks like a chrysanthemum to me, and Fancy Hook Feathers (from 180 Doodle Quilting Designs).  In the colored sections I did some leaves...ground cover for the trees.

Since there were so many pine trees in the quilt, it is only fitting that a picture be taken near a pine tree too.

This was my February goal.  I finished it about a week ago, but had to hurry up and get pictures!

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Quilting Space: blog hop

I always find it interesting to see what other people's quilting set up looks like.  I haven't shared mine in detail before and I really needed to clean it up, so I jumped on the chance to join this blog hop.

This is my piecing and finishing area.

Some things that I think make it interesting:
*It is also my computer desk and I often go back and forth between piecing and playing computer games within an evening.
*The tiny scrap jars, up on the top, started as just decoration.  Now the first two on the left hold my solid salvages.  I pretend it is because the color card swatches aren't big enough, but I'm not sure I'll ever do anything with them.  The third from the left has salvages which I want to make into a rug someday, and the three on the right are my green scraps, yellow/orange/red scraps, and blue/purple scraps.  My children enjoy taking out the scraps and looking at them sometimes.
*My binding roll is all the extra pieces of binding that I've made.  Mostly solids.  I should probably sort all of it out and put it away, but it's also fun to see how big it will become.  It is currently 4.7" in diameter as I made a ton of extra binding for the one that started the roll.
*My large quilts in progress just go on the floor.  Usually there are several and they get walked on by my youngest.  It is not a very neat pile, typically.
*My scrap bucket was cleaned out for the first time in about two years, and I realized I should really do it more often.  Currently I'm taking apart random pieces that are still sewn together, as I've realized nothing will happen to them if I don't take them apart and put the individual fabrics away.

Here's a different shot of the piecing area.  I took a picture of the credenza, but then realized it was rather messy.  It has a few books and magazines, along with my quilt notes and the notions I don't use very often like buttons.

This is my fabric storage area.  It is in the same room as my desk shown above, but is still several steps away.
*The in progress shelf usually isn't that full, but since I cleaned up my desk several things went in there.  "in progress" means that the fabric on that shelf has a specific purpose, even if I haven't started the project yet.
*The rest of the fabric is up for grabs - for bee blocks or other quilts that I "need" to start.
*I just realized my non-quilting cotton fabric seems to be exploding.  I'll need to deal with that soon.
*This system as worked rather well for me, as I can just pull the bin that I need to my desk.  I do need to start using the scrap backings, all minky and flannel, better though.

Lastly, this is my quilting area.
*There is a whole bin with scrap batting.
*I have a trash box.  It looks really ugly, but it is nice for sticking sharp needles into so they don't hurt anyone.
*The thread bowl is where I keep all the bobbins for the current project.
*There's another bin back there for quilts ready to be quilted (or in progress, since I take them off sometimes.)
*This area is on the same floor as my piecing area, but on the other side of the house.  At night I usually play some computer games, come over here to quilt, and then go back to piece.

To the side of the quilter is the batter and thread.  I need a new thread holder soon as this one is almost full.  Through the door I have a few more random supplies like pantographs and stencils.

This is one more view of the quilting area.

Thanks for joining me!  Here are the other people on the blog hop; I hope you'll stop by and say hi.

Jen Frost @ Faith and Fabric
Raylee Bielenberg @  Sunflower Stitcheries & Quilting
Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy
Emily Carrol @ Toothpaste and Orange Cat
Sherry Smedly @ Adventures in Life
Emma Wingier @ Emkie Designs
Anne Beier @ Hudson Valley Quilts

Cindy Pieters @ Stitch In At Home
Ivete Tecedor @  Fabric Nerd
Amanda Hilldore @ Fabric Engineer (you're here)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

interlocking HST progress

I finally all the HSTs made and trimmed, so I started laying out.  The first layout didn't go very well.  The second layout I tried to make more controlled, but that looked ugly.  My third try looked ok.

I stepped away for a bit and then tried again.  I'm much happier with this one.  I had a better starting seed and realized how to make the colors flow between pairs better.  Taking that first picture was a huge help.

I need to make just a few more HSTs to integrate in between some of the awkward spots.  There will also be quite a bit of negative space, but I think that'll look nice.

I also laid it out in an out of the way hallway, so for once I'm somewhat optimistic that it won't get trampled on.

What I need to make, for my own purposes:
4x dark blue, med purple
2x dark blue, orange
4x light green, light orange
3x med red, med light blue
2x med dark blue, med green
4x pink, light blue

Sunday, February 5, 2017

January recap

1. Aunt's quilt. I put this on the quilter about half way through January.  The quilting is almost done - maybe one or two more nights, threads need to be buried and the binding attached.  Finishing it is my February goal.
2. Rainbow log cabin.  It's all put together!  It's for me, so I'm afraid it is low priority to get on the quilter.
3. Simply solids bee quilt.  Piecing is finished, but it isn't very square. I was going to quilt and then square it up, but after looking at the picture I may try to square it up first.  It's my current problem child.

4. Meshing solid HSTs.  I made a bunch of HSTs and am now trimming them up.  (The picture is from earlier when I paired all the colors together.  It should be more like a rainbow then the picture shows.)

5. Temperature quilt.  I'm staying pretty up-to-date with January completed.  Catching up is pretty fast, so I tend to do a week at a time.                               

Other items still waiting around
6. Sunset wall hanging.  I just have the half the binding left to do. It's getting finished, still slowly but steadily.  I also have to bury some threads in the back.
7. scrap quilt #2. 

8. Scrap quilt.  

9. Orphan rocket block. 
10. Jeweled floors.

11. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).  

12. Winter quilt.   

13. fabric from Christmas.   

14. A pillow with green/purple fabric.

15. Quilt nautical quilt.
16. green/white hourglass quilt.

17. baby quilt - possibly pair with another quilt on the list.

18. woodlands quilt.

19. Trying to fit in - left over triangle quilt. 

20. Riley Blake Fabric Challenge.  I have the fabric and ideas are in my head, but nothing for sure yet.
21. baby quilt - possibly pair with another idea TBD 

Hmm, my number seems to be going up instead of down.  Oh well, it's only the beginning of February!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Baby scrap quilt

I finished this quilt before the end of January, as was my goal, and before the baby came.  In fact, it was finished about two weeks prior to both!

It is made with scraps of the spinwheel quilt.  There are four color categories: yellow, grey, dark purple, and light purple.  It is obvious that the yellow was going to stand out the most, so I planned the placement of those triangles.  I also planned the light and dark triangles around the diamond in the lower left corner.  It is a rather more subtle, but it's still there.

I backed it with minky, because that's my favorite.  For most of the quilting I did loops.  I was looking for a motif that would be done rather quickly and it matched that of the original quilt.  (Although I highly doubt the two quilts will ever meet.)

To make the quilting a bit more interesting I did a 8-pointed flower in the yellow diamonds with yellow thread.  (I've been seeing this flower all over.  It might have originally come from Angela Walters, if I recall correctly.)  I also did some back and forths in purple thread in the light purple squares that surround every diamond.

I tried having my five year old be a quilt holder.  It was a little bit too big and too heavy for him, but he's almost there.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Fabric

I've won a few things over the past few months, so I wanted to share them (along with the generous donors!).

First of all, I won a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.  I go there on a pretty regular basis, so I was rather excited.  However, the next thing I needed was...Kona White.  How boring.  But you need what you need, right?  I got three yards of white and popped in some constellations just for fun.

Then I won a box from cotton cuts.  I was rather intrigued by it...the boxes that I've seen on other blogs look neat.  And it was neat.  There was a bunch of fabric, some M&Ms, and a few other goodies.  Most of the fabric I liked.  I loved two of the groupings - the batiks and the brights.  There was one that made me wonder a bit though.  It's a cheater panel, but only an eighth yard.  I'm not even sure how to fussy cut it so that the fussy cuts don't look weird.  Oh well...did I mention I really like the other selections?
In the end though, I realized that a subscription box is not for me.  I love getting new fabric, but I try to only get new fabric that I'll use...even if it's just a 2" square for a swap.  All of this fabric went into the correct color box for use at some point, but that point might not be soon.

Lastly, I got the fabric bundle for the latest Riley Blake challenge through the MQG.  I have some ideas floating around, but need to make sure it doesn't get pushed to the back burner.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I was finally trying to finish up the Simply Solids quilt...I needed to add some oddly shaped triangles to the upper right and lower left corners.

So I added some fabric, trimmed, and realized that this was really hard to square up.  Well, I could only move forward and hope it worked.

This was supposed to be a corner.  A 90 degree corner.  It didn't work.  I almost least it was obvious that it didn't work.

(This took me a while to post, so you'll be happy to know that I cut and sewed and cut and sewed and I think I have a mostly square top now.  I'm going to quilt it and then reevaluate.)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

December recap

1.  bee hive scrap something - baby girl quilt.  This is January's goal.  It seems like a pretty easy goal to finish it, but if I don't make it the goal I will work on something else and not finish it.  The baby for whom it is intended should arrive this month, so I'm hoping to finish it before I see her.

2. Aunt's quilt. I finished piecing it.  I need to get some backing still, and figure out how I want to quilt it.  I think this one will be quilted next.
3. Sunset wall hanging.  I just have the half the binding left to do. It's getting finished, still slowly but steadily.  I also have to bury some threads in the back.

Other items still waiting around.
4. scrap quilt #2. 
needs a little more quilting, then blocking.  I'm a bit afraid of blocking, although I saw a tutorial by QuiltingJetgirl recently that made it look only a little scary.
5. Scrap quilt.  
needs a lot more quilting.
6. Rainbow log cabin. 
finish piecing - close
7. Orphan rocket block. 
Just make into a zip little bag.  I may need to make a second one for a sibling.
8. Jeweled floors.
Still in early design stage; I didn't do much with it this year.
9. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).  
Still in design stage...I have so many other quilting things going on that this will probably hang out for a while.  But it's small, so it might be good to sew up so I could work on it easily...
10. Winter quilt.   
Design completed.
11. fabric from Christmas.   
Purpose figured out...a napping quilt for me.  For me!  Now to figure out the perfect design.
12. A pillow with green/purple fabric. 
I haven't done anything with this, but it should be easy. 
13. Simply solids bee quilt.  
piecing needs to be finished - it's close, but there are some weird angles so it might also be rather challenging.
14. Quilt nautical quilt.
Half way done.

Since it's January and I hit my goal of getting down to 15 WIPS, I gave myself permission to add several items.  I have to whole year to get the list shortened again!
15. Meshing solid HSTs.
I started cutting, but no solid design plan yet.
16. green/white hourglass quilt.
I have a design figured out
17. baby quilt - possibly pair with another quilt on the list.
18. woodlands quilt.
19. Trying to fit in - left over triangle quilt. 
I have an idea.
20. Temperature quilt.
My sister-in-law is crocheting a temperature blanket too.  It'll be fun to see how they look different (or the same) at the end.  The squares will be 2.5" finished, and each month will get two rows of 15 squares.  Some days might just have to share a square or will get two squares.