Christmas in June?

So, I’ve been working on a myriad of projects that are Christmas themed. When the mood strikes I just dive straight in.

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree:

I have been plugging slowly away at some woodie wagons for the Bringing Home the Christmas Tree Quilt from the Vintage Christmas book by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.

I have a few tips to share for when your background fabric is running scarce or is super precious and you don’t want to waste it.

Sew the trees first!

By sewing the tree blocks first, you will have some offcuts that you can use on the cars.See that white offcut? It can be used for the 1 1/2″ half-square triangles on the cars. Trim it to 1 1/2″ square then place it on the correct fabric for the car or tire or whatever. Line up the sides as if it was a full square – placing the wonky cut to the side that will be cut off and discarded. Sew your diagonal line using your favorite method. I just eyeball it.Trim the corner as you would if it was a full square and press.open.The background I was using on this quilt is one I’ve had to order multiple times so I hate to waste any little bit of it and this trick sure did save a whole bunch of it. This pile of offcuts is just from the two tree blocks shown above.Planning how you make this quilt will really save on fabric. I’m not a pre-cutter so this worked out perfectly for me.

Kinship Fusion Sampler Sew-along:

I took the last-minute plunge and joined the #100days100blocks2019 challenge being put on by Gnome Angel. The posting of blocks starts on July 1st so I’ve been furiously sewing them up. I’ve decided on a scrappy Christmas theme and I’m super excited about what I’ve done so far. I’ve got 1/4 of the blocks complete and am ready to post on Day one.My quilt guild is currently involved in a local Shop Hop so I had a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas low volumes to use with some focus prints from my stash. I’m having a lot of fun pairing everything up.Christmas themed projects are in full swing around here and it’s not even July yet! Have you started your Christmas projects yet? Either way – happy sewing!

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#loristrinketquilt Finale

I was able to put all the finishing touches on my Trinket Quilt. You can see my earlier progress here and here. This quilt was the result of the Alison Glass sew-along that was held earlier this spring. I made all 40 blocks twice – one with a light background and one with a dark background. This is an alternate layout that I designed in Electric Quilt 8.It turned out way better than I had anticipated.

I usually don’t know how I’m going to quilt something until I put it under the needle and this was no exception. I decided to diagonal quilt through the on point blocks and frame the square ones with some denser quilting. The trinket blocks I left unquilted so they pop a little bit.Now I will admit I was running out of the dark charcoal fabric so added the lighter grey on the binding (as well as the offcuts from squaring the quilt up) and was left with about 5 inches (which is all of the AG charcoal colorway that I have leftover from this project.)Let’s talk about the backing. I adore a pieced back and so I took my trinket scraps and improv pieced them. Then I took those improv rectangles and framed them in all the darker Alison Glass fabrics that I had left. The extra tie block is my label for this quilt.Time to wash it up and put it to use.Though is looks like someone is already putting it to use.

Flying High

A few weeks back I joined a sew-a-long that I had been seeing floating around Instagram. I not only joined it but dove in full-force. I was mostly done cutting and piecing by the end of that first day. The only thing holding me back was not enough background fabric. Etsy to the rescue but that meant that I had to wait a few days to finish it up.This is my first transparency quilt attempt but I had been intrigued for a while. I’d really only seen them in solids and I don’t tend to use that many solids so that was holding me back from trying my own. I saw this Hold Tight pattern on Instagram and just had to give it a whirl. I knew that if I was going to use blenders that they needed to be the same pattern in order for the transparency effect to work. I had this gorgeous bundle of Pick up Sticks just hanging out in my sewing room that I received as a birthday gift from a great friend.I started throwing them on the floor using the pattern color chart as inspiration.Then the cutting and piecing began. I am not afraid of piecing curves as I gained a lot of experience with my Teal Fizz quilt top. I loved the first section as I was very secure about the color pull for those balloons. I cut out and pieced all that I could before my perfect background fabric ran out. Waiting for the next weekend was hard….but then I was back in business and got the rest of this top pieced.I pieced the backing by using a pastel charm pack and some leftover green and blue minky that I had in my stash. I also had the perfect binding fabric (Kona Oasis) and the absolute best shade of Aurifil to go with it. This 50 weight Mako Cotton (#4182) was in the Alison Glass box set. I love breaking open a new spool. So exciting.This quilt went together super fast and is so adorable. I want make all the balloons all the time!I used that same Aurifil color to create strings for the balloons and had them mimic the wavy quilting that I did. The quilting shows the movement of them just floating away.I’m hoping to finish a bunch of quilts this spring as long as I don’t continue being distracted by new projects. I think I’ve added about 5 within the last 2 weeks. Does anyone else have this problem?

Happy sewing everyone!

Trinket Progess

We’re at the end of week 2 of the Trinket Sewalong sponsored by Alison Glass Designs. I have all 8 weeks of blocks done and photographed and ready to post on the assigned day. I’ve actually also got my quilt top complete but won’t post that one quite yet. Here are the first few blocks.I booted up my computer and opened up my EQ8 software so that I could take the vision in my head and get it down on paper somehow. Christa Watson jokingly told me at QuiltCon that booting up the computer was the first step to really utilizing the program to its potential. I don’t tend to turn on my computer much since the IPad is just so much easier. I’m so happy I did as I love this design.My trinkets are one light and one dark of each pattern. The designs right next to each other just didn’t look right so I knew I needed to add the center sashing in the four patch blocks.The whole design turned out better than I had it in my head and I am super pleased with the result. Full reveal will be later but I did have time to start working on the backing which will be another Alison Glass fabric improv pieced backing. It’s going to be super colorful and fun!I’m having a blast looking at all the blocks under the #trinketsal hashtag on Instagram. There is so much fabulous creativity and diversity in the blocks. The finished quilts will all be wonderful.

Now to finish up that backing so I can quilt this thing.

Happy Sewing!

Trinket Time

I have been furiously working on the Alison Glass Trinket Sewalong. It doesn’t officially start until March 10th but I want to be prepared to post daily once it does. The blocks are foundation paper pieced, which is my favorite and they go together really quickly.I’m using all Alison Glass fabric which I have plenty of leftover from the Classic Meets Modern Finale quilt I finished in January. I did have to supplement some lighter prints and some dark charcoal that I’m planning to use for sashing. I was so happy to find exactly what I needed when I went shopping during QuiltCon in Nashville last weekend.I’m sewing ahead of schedule and currently have 68 of my 80 blocks done! The minimum to make is 40 blocks but I have a plan to do one as light/dark and then one as dark/light. Here are a few that I have completed so far which shows my plan in action.I’m thinking of doing 20 four-patch blocks and sashing in the charcoal prints and then arranging them however I decide on that day. The quilt top has to be done and posted (on the AG site) by May 20th in order to qualify for the grand prize.

I’ll start really thinking about the layout once all the blocks are done. I’m really excited for this one and can’t wait to start posting them on Instagram (@crystollyn).

Here’s the 68 I already have completed. It’s such a pretty stack.I cannot wait to get back to working on this project. So fun! Who else is joining in and sewing along?

Classic Meets Modern Finale

This Block-of-the-month took a lot of planning on my part due to some health issues I was dealing with in 2018. I needed to finish up as many blocks as possible before chemically induced fatigue set in. I got a little behind early on but had a break mid-year where I was able to gain a bit of energy (and my sewing space) back. Once that happened I was able to push through and finish up this quilt top way ahead of deadline. I put together the backing this last weekend and finished this baby up and it’s a beauty!I admit to taking a couple of shortcuts….I did not make the filler blocks of snowballs and flying geese. Instead, I used some focal fabric to substitute for those fillers and one of them actually has flying geese in it so I call that a win.This quilt was made using Alison Glass designed fabric only. It’s rich and saturated with color and dimension and movement. I used a conglomeration of her many different fabric lines and they all work so well together.

The backing was made using the scraps from the individual blocks and then pieced together improv style. I like it just as much as the front which really makes this quilt a reversible throw.I quilted it using a variegated rust from the Aurifil Tula Pink collection and I really like how it looks on these fabrics. The colors are so varied that it was difficult to find a thread color that looked good on all of them but this one fit the bill.The quilting is a V shape echoed from each corner. The binding is a scrappy mix of colors that are the same print. Honestly, I was a little unsure once the binding was made about this choice but it worked out really well as a calming frame to this piece.This BOM was held by Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation. The theme was classic quilt blocks using Modern fabrics and interpretations. The layout is also a very modern touch. These blocks can be reused for many different projects. I already have a plan formulated for that X-plus Block pattern.My goal this year is to finish up a bunch of projects that are already in the works. I need to get a ton of quilt tops basted, backed, and bound. It can be done. I have the faith!

Classic Meets Modern QAL – Jan/Feb

I had to finish the quilt top for my Epic Cat Quilt and got slightly behind on the quilt-along being hosted by My Quilt Infatuation. I got all caught up (and a little ahead) last weekend. Let’s revisit my fabric choice. I’m mixing lines but will be exclusively using Alison Glass designed fabrics.

I was super happy to find that text bundle on Etsy! The other two bundles came directly from Alison Glass during her big Christmas sale and will work just fine. So, let’s jump right into the blocks.

Bethlehem Star:

I chose a fabric from the Handcrafted 2 line – military green with splashes of Ochre and Fire – and took inspiration for the other colors from there.

I plan on using a text fabric in each block for a bit of cohesion. This block is a biggie – coming in at 24 1/2 in square and is a great showpiece for these fabrics.

Antique Tile:

I tried a little fussy cutting for the center of this one and strove to get the complementary colors positioned around it. This one is a normal size of 12 1/2 square.

The two blocks are assigned to be the top left and top right of the pattern. I love how they look together.

Nestled Churn Dash:

This is the first block for February and I went with a little bit of a darker palette but still keeping some of those oranges and yellows involved. And this is another big 24 1/2 in square block which allows those fabrics to really shine!

That middle white, between the Handcrafted and the magenta, is really a light grey that did not photograph as such so it works better in person.

Greek Cross:

Two smaller blocks here. I’ll admit that I messed up on one of them and will probably fix it later.

I’ve got half of the March blocks done but I will save those for later. This quilt is going to be fabulous and I’m excited to keep making these blocks!

Anyone else sewing along?