VB Inventory Quilt – Part One

I was recently cleaning out my closet and realized the vast quantity of Vera Bradley bags that I have. There is a VB store nearby that would have a twice yearly Sidewalk Sale with incredible prices and I took advantage of that sale regularly. I wanted to hold on to them but put them to a different use. That’s how my VB Inventory Quilt was born.

Step one – Deconstruction:

I pulled all the purses, wallets, and wristlets that I wasn’t actively using out of the closet, removed any hard bottoms, and threw them in the washer.You know what happens when you put a bunch of purses in the washer? A tangled up pile of purses. That was fun and a little time-consuming to undo all the straps but the end result was worth it.

I kept note of each bag as I was deconstructing them with a seam ripper. Turns out I pulled 33 total pieces out of the closet. Now, I was never a pattern collector. I was an equal opportunity pattern buyer. If I liked it that day and the price was right then I bought it. That’s going to lead to a very bright, happy, scrappy quilt.I used my evening TV watching time to do the seam-ripping. It was super satisfying to tear those seams open and see the inside construction of the bags. I’ve always liked seeing how things are put together.

I separated the pieces into quilted pieces and lining pieces. My plan is to sew all the quilted ones together and then sew all the lining pieces together (add batting and quilt those) then put them all together into a big quilt. I also pulled out the straps and segregated them as well. Not sure how I’ll use those yet but I have some ideas brewing. I’m leaning toward a faux fur or something like that for the back.

Step Two – Block Plan & Cutting

Remember those hard bottom pieces I pulled out of the bags before washing? They inspired the block design for this quilt. They just fit together so nicely.It’s a simple design with a big impact. The bags are apart and the design is set. It’s time to cut the pieces. I can’t wait to see if it transfers to reality as well as I think it will. The first cuts look very promising.Sewing this together is going to be a blast!

Until next time……Happy Sewing!

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!

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!

Spring Blooms

I have a lot of projects happening right now but I am super happy to have this Spring table runner finished and on my table!It was put on hold because I ran out of thread while quilting it. I made a point to pick some up at QuiltCon last month and finally put my Trinket Quilt (which you can see here…Trinket Progess) aside to finish up a few things. This table runner was toward the top of that list. I only had two small areas left to quilt before I went looking for a good binding fabric.This particular choice was something I had picked out before I ran out of thread and had put aside, but in view, for when I was ready to bind. I starting trying to decide what fabric I should use when my eye fell on this one and I was so pleased with my forethought as this piece is perfect!

Now let’s talk about the quilting for a second. This is the back of one block and I love how it turned out with this variegated Aurifil thread that I used for the appliqué and I had to use that same design throughout the piece which I was able to do using my walking foot.I love the happy feeling of this runner. I got the pattern inspiration from the Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson. I used the Petal unit for the center and combined it with the Plus One Block. There are so many different combos that you can create using this book and Amy makes it so easy to do so.

The Blueberry Park fabric fulfills my need for happy spring and summer colors. I had the backing fabric in my stash and it pulled it all together beautifully.I love this runner! What happy spring projects are you working on?

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?

Random Roundup #21

There is a lot of random sewing happening in my world.

Lori’s Epic Cat Quilt:

I was able to complete my cat quilt! Weather hasn’t been good so I need to wait for good sun to take a decent picture but I will leave you with this preview featuring quilt inspector #2 (aka Jasper).

Make Modern Beehive Gallery:

My Teal Fizz quilt top is a part of the Beehive Quilts Gallery article in Make Modern Magazine issue 26. Make Modern is a digital Australian quilt magazine with lots of great patterns and articles. I’m honored to have been asked to be part of this gallery. You can pick up a download of this issue here.

Blues Quilt Challenge:

There is a quilt show coming up locally that will feature blue mini quilts. The challenge is 24×24, predominately blue, 3 layers, stitched together. So, it doesn’t have to be fabric just 3 layers and blue. Information on the Blues Challenge can be found here. Mine will be fabric and I started with a light blue improv pieced heart and a pile of dark blue scraps. I can’t wait to see where this takes me.

Stash Enhancement:

I took part in a recent drop on Massdrop for the Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabric line. I was so happy when it arrived. It’s one of my favorite lines and I hadn’t seen all the colors before and they are just spectacular and so sparkly!Current drops include EQ8, La Pass templates for English Paper Piecing, Creative Grid Rulers, and a Rowenta iron. It works like a co-op where as more people commit to buy the price lowers and you can commit to only purchasing if the price reaches its lowest state. I use it a few times a year and have been happy with everything.

Perfect HST Sampler BOM:

I’m participating in the Perfect HST Block of the Month Sampler being held by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. She created some foundation paper piecing templates to aid in achieving perfect half-square triangles. This BOM uses those templates. I’m using this fabric pull of mostly Cotton + Steel Basics with the grey hearts and arrows as the main background fabric.The first block was the Ridgeline Star which used 4 of the darker colors. There are leftover triangle blocks to use for later in the BOM, for some bonus projects, or for whatever I choose. I’m happy with the points on this one so hopefully that will continue through the year as more blocks get created.

New [to me) Toys:

I just picked up this Brother PQ1500SL from a quilt friend that had upgraded. I was just barely leaning into the market for one and could not pass it up. I’m happy so far but I’ve only pieced on it (but I’ve threaded it 3 times 🙂). I think we’re becoming friends. I did not have as much trouble today as I did yesterday. It always takes a little while to get used to a new machine but I’m excited to learn new things and improve my skills!

Anyone headed to QuiltCon next month? It would be great to meet some fellow Quilters and bind over quilting things! Happy sewing!

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