Friday, February 12, 2016

gypsy wife quilt - block chart


i have no new blocks to share just yet, so i am sharing a copy of megan's beautiful work as she assembles section 1 of the gypsy wife quilt. by the way, she has written a brilliant tutorial on assembling the block sections with partial seams. it's got me thinking they aren't so bad after all!

now, just because i finished it and also because there are busy friends out there who are working ahead of the quilt along schedule, i'm sharing the spreadsheet i made for the blocks, broken down by section and month of the quilt along. there is no pressure to work ahead! everyone should feel like they can work at their own pace, whatever that is.


click images to enlarge

again, why do they come out different sizes?!

anyway, as with the strips chart, if you would like a copy of this pdf, you can email me and i'll send it to you. or, if you are viewing it on your cell phone, you can click on the chart to enlarge the image, and then take a screen shot, which you can then zoom in on. it might be handier for some people to have a copy on their phone.

if you are confused about the "block id" column, that was for personal use. when i was working my way thru the book the first time around, i found it helpful to give each block an id tag, which i marked in the instructions and in the assembly charts for cross-referencing purposes. you can just ignore it.

i've seen several section 1's already assembled on instagram at the hashtag #GypsyWifeQuiltSection1 (and even some section 2's!) it's pretty exciting to see so many of them coming together. now that my sewing room renovations are complete, as of yesterday, i can assembly my own section 1 this weekend. we can do this, friends!

as always, you can follow along with everyone over on instagram at #GypsyWifeQuiltAlong2016.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

gypsy wife strips

 the strips of the gypsy wife quilt form a major portion of its distinctive character. on the back of the pattern, the requirements list calls for "60 assorted fabric strips cut across the width of fabric, 10 x 10cm (4"), 50 x 5cm (2")."

this is slightly misleading. the actual strips needed can be conveniently cut from these measurements if you happen to have those on hand, but it is NOT what you need to cut to assemble the quilt. the pattern uses several 1.5"wide and 1" wide strips, rather than 2" and 4" strips.

there are 55 - 1.5"wide strips of lengths varying from 12" to 65.5". nine of these strips measure over 42" long, which is the standard wof  length you can get from quilting fabric. thus, for those 9 strips, you will need to make more than one cut.

there are also 9 - 1"wide strips, which add some play and variety to the quilt structure. one of these strips is actually also 1.5" wide in portions of its length (strip 8/D).

to add to the fun, these strips start and stop multiple times as they are interrupted by the quilt's blocks. all of this is a whole lot to wrap your head around and looks rather complicated when you try to figure out the pattern diagrams. but it really isn't that bad.

section 10, lower left corner - click to enlarge

i have simplified the whole identification process by numbering the strips on the pattern, and by figuring out their entire needed lengths. i didn't want to use a fabric for a strip in section one only to find out i didn't have enough of it left to complete the strip in lower sections when it picked up again.

section 6, lower middle portion - click to enlarge

you can likewise mark your pattern. just start with section 10, in the lefthand corner, and mark all the white strips by number, starting with 1, moving left to right. please note: strip #32 is missing in the original pattern! i've sketched mine in place, and you should, too.

the grey strips are the 1" wide strips, and these i've identified by letter rather than number. you can mark the strips in all the sections by following them up, or wait until the month comes up when i will show the marked diagram for the section we're making.

section 6, lower right corner - click to enlarge
for each strip, above it's id number, i noted the length of each segment and the total length overall. i also marked each strip segment in all the sections with its id number. don't worry, you won't have to try to read my doodles. i've transcribed my information into a spreadsheet, and i will include the strip measurements for the section we are working on each month.


click to enlarge


sorry, i have no idea how to embed a spreadsheet into my blog! (anyone want to tell me, i'm willing to give it a go.) you can click on the above images to enlarge them. i don't know why the two pages came out different sizes. but i've invested all the time i'm going to in getting this made and up here. if you'd like a copy of the chart as a spreadsheet or pdf file, which i have, email me and i'll send you a copy back.

 in the past, some people approached the quilt by making all the blocks and then cutting the strips for final assembly. that seems like a whole lot of tedious cutting at once. so when i started my blocks with the last quilt along, i hit on the idea of cutting strips as i went. whenever i pressed a fabric and cut pieces for a block, i'd simply cut a 1.5" wof length to set aside for when the strips would be needed. i've been gathering them on a platter that sits in my sewing room.

i'm still using this method, only now that i'm working by section and assembling them as i go, it's a tiny bit more complicated. since i don't want the same fabrics in the blocks and strips for the section, i'm still cutting strips from my block fabrics as we work on the first sections, but those are set aside for other portions of the quilt. i'm having to cut fabrics that i haven't used yet for strips in the first sections. not that big of a deal. it just doesn't feel quite as efficient.

 i'm trying to include a variety of intensely colored strips along with more subtle low-volume fabrics as well. i'm not going for an every-other-one stripe look, but i do want variety.

i've tidied up my tray a little and organized the strips by width and length, and loosely sorted them by color and volume. the strips i cut extra lengths of, for those over 42" long, i put in one pile, too. this is just to ease selection when it comes to assembling the sections.

 the end of the platter also contains a variety of small pieces leftover from my block making. these pieces can be used in future blocks as they are already cut to sizes standard for the pattern requirements. i may or may not use them, but i like having them all in the same place.

some of them are the triangles cut from sq in sq blocks, or are short strips leftover.

for more information on the gypsy wife quilt along 2016, see the homepage here on my blog, tab at the top of the page.

#GypsyWifeQuiltAlong2016 on instagram

linking up with lee's wip wednesday at freshly pieced.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

gypsy wife quilt - nicole calver's handquilted AMH version

i've got one more gypsy wife veteran who's sharing her completed quilt and thoughts with us today. Two things stand out to me about nicole calver's version of the gypsy wife: her brilliant use of all AMH (anna maria horner) fabrics, and her intricate handquilting. nicole's version is so brilliantly executed, it won her a spot in the sewvivor 2014 competition, season 3; which she just happened to win! amidst the crazy of sick kids, meg birthday party prep, and winter storms, nicole managed to take some new snowy photos of her quilt to share with us, and spent some time giving us some thoughtful answers to my questions about her gypsy experience.



what attracted you to the gypsy wife quilt or why did you make one?

The chaos. I love that it has a feeling of chaos, but an organized chaos if that makes sense!
I've never been a fan of samplers, but the combination of the repeating filler blocks and the stripes to tie everything together really made me rethink sampler quilts :)


how long did it take you to complete?

Hahaha! Complete!! I'm still not finished!
Instagram says that I started about 105 weeks ago and finished almost 8 weeks later so almost two months from start to finished quilt top.


The decision to hand quilt the whole thing has added quite a bit more time onto my finish date ;)


how did you go about making fabric selections?

Since this was going to be a quilt for me to keep, of course I went with Anna Maria Horner for the bulk of my fabrics. 


Mostly Field Study and Dowry, with a bit of Hand Drawn Garden mixed in as well. I also went with Carolyn Friedlander for most of the low vol prints.
I would start by choosing one key piece of fabric for the block I was working on and let the colours in that piece decide what other fabrics were going to make the cut. Pulling fabrics for a project has always been my favourite part of the process, so being able to make mini stacks for each individual block was so much fun for me! 


what was your favorite block to make or favorite part of the project?

I don't think I could ever pick just one favourite block, but Crazy Anne is high on the list! I love that block! 
As for my favourite part of the project, definitely choosing the fabrics for each block! Though I didn't think I would enjoy the hand quilting as much as I have!


please explain your quilting choices:

Before my Gypsy Wife I had never hand quilted before but had always wanted to. So with this quilt staying with me I thought it was the perfect chance for me to try my hand at it and not need to worry about how badly it turned out! And much to my surprise I wasn't nearly as bad at it as I thought Ii was going to be, haha! 


My stitches aren't remotely even and I still have a lot to learn, but I think all the mistakes and oddities are what helps add to the charm of a handmade item. (or at least that's what I'm telling myself!)


I love the look of chunkier thread and big stitches but also wanted to use my signature Brass Aurifil so I went with a 12wt and I've loved quilting with it! 


I'd say I'm about 65 -75% finished the hand quilting and hope to be done before this time next year, but I make no promises! And in my defense, I'm not so much hand quilting as I am embroidering. Some of those AMH prints were just begging for a fancier stitch ;)



what would you change or do differently if you could?

I don't think there's anything I would change. While making it I questioned some of my blocks and ended up remaking two of them, but overall, now that they're all together, they work. And the little things that bothered me with the blocks alone are no longer visible to me.
As for doing things differently, now that I have EQ7 there's a few blocks that I think I would have rather paper pieced, haha!


what advice or tips would you offer for others making this quilt?

Spend the time now, before starting, to make notes in your pattern book. Number your strips, It will help so much later! Use the resources that others have made available for this pattern. My copy came with quite a few mistakes so I made sure to correct those all before starting. 

When I started my Gypsy someone out there had a spreadsheet for all the blocks that I found super helpful. (clumsy kristel at the blog, work-in-progress girl.) I can't think of who it was but the printout was basically a list of all the blocks, where they end up in the quilt, sizes, etc... It was nice to be able to refer back to it when I needed as well as being a checklist of sorts for the blocks I had finished and still needed to finish. 

Most of all, don't stress over it. Seriously. 
There's so much going on in this quilt that no one will notice those two points that didn't line up, or the two fabrics that ended up side by side (i'm guilty of this and when I first realized that the two prints were going to be beside each other I wanted to remake one of the blocks. I didn't, and now I don't even remember where the two of them are!) Just have fun!
:) Nicole


wow, nicole! i am still so impressed with this version of the gyspy wife quilt. it's just simply beautiful. a few other ladies out there have also been working on AMH gypsies. the two ladies just seem to go together. still, there's enough AMH fabric out there to choose from, so yours need not look like another's. (see ashley's at wasn't quilt in a day.)

and i'm so blown away by nicole's handquilting/embroidery. if i remember correctly, she first did some stitch-in-the-ditch to keep everything basted in place, which has allowed her to take her time with the handquilting and still use the quilt. i like that idea very much. in fact, that's my plan for my own quilt.

you can check out nicole's numerous tutorials and published projects on her blog, snip's snippets, on instagram @snippets101, and even on the cover and inside of several issues of love patchwork and quilting magazine.

Monday, February 1, 2016

gypsy wife, section one

section one, under construction

it's time to get started!  this month, we are beginning at the beginning - section one. i've included a photo of the graphic with my markings this month so you can see how i've gone about identify pieces.

section 1 - click to enlarge


section one components

blocks (measurements given here are unfinished; book identifies them by finished size)

6.5" hourglass block, dbl bordered (uses 3.5" hr gl to start, pg21), pg 21*
5.5" puss in corner block, pg 13
4.5" pinwheel, pg 19
5.5" square in square, bordered (uses 3.5"sq in sq to start) ; pg 22 for sq-in-sq instructions, pg 23 for adding border
3.5 " square in square, pg 22

* the 6.5" hourglass block with double border is not clearly identified in the original booklet. the errata pg on ms. kingwell's blog notes that the instructions for it appear at the top of the right hand column of page 21.

i completed all the blocks for this section in my previous attempt at this quilt. my thoughts on section one's blocks at the time i made them can be found here.

the 6.5" hourglass block starts with with a 3.5" hourglass block, and becomes a 6.5" block when borders are added.

strips (all are 1.5" wide, except dark grey strips, which are 1" wide)

these are given by number, left to right in the following format: 
id number: measurement of each piece, bottom to top (T total length needed for the entire strip in all sections)

38: 6.5" (T 31.5")
39: 1.5" (T 23")
40: 1.5" (T 23")
41: 1.5" (T 25.5")
42: 1.5" (T 25.5")
43: 1.5"  (T 29")
44: 2.5", 5.5" (T 38.5")
45: 2.5", 5.5" (T 35")
46: 2.5", 5.5" (T 35")
H: 2.5", 5.5" (T 43.5")
I: 2.5", 5.5" (T 43.5")
47: 2.5", 5.5" (T 43")
48: 12.5" (T 41")
49: 12.5" (T 41")
50: 6.5", 3.5" (T 44.5") optional: 4.5", 2.5", 3.5" (T 45") see notes below
51: 2.5", 3.5" (T 43")
52: 2.5", 3.5" (T 44")
53: 8.5" (51.5")
54: 8.5" (51.5")
55: 12.5" (T 55.5") - this is optional if you don't want to encounter a partial seam to attach this strip to section one after you make section two. see notes below


there is a partial seam between strips 50 and 51. you could avoid this by converting the 6.5" strip into one 4.5" strip and one 2.5" strip. i realize these two numbers don't equal 6.5", but you have to factor in the additional seam allowance by adding 1/4" for each side of the cut, which is 1/2" total. (and i hope i've done that correctly!)

strip 55 runs alongside the right side of sections one and two, requiring a partial seam, also. this could be avoided by using a 7.5" and 12.5" strip to piece it together.

other things to note

the instructions in the pattern give the finished measurements for each block. this means what it will measure once it's been sewn into the quilt. if you want to know the unfinished measurement, which is what i use most often in these posts because i want to know how big the block is supposed to be before i attach it to anything, add .5" (1/2 inch) for the seam allowance that hasn't been taken in since the block isn't sewn into place yet. briefly: finished measure + .5" = unfinished size

i've previously shared thoughts on optional cutting tools that are helpful for this project here.

what the pattern calls "square in a square blocks" are also commonly called "economy blocks." i've previously written about making them here. rita hodges offers a different method of construction here. and there's a tutorial for a different method than our pattern uses, and which also explains how to figure out the math for any size sq in sq block you wan,t at catbird quilt studio here.

some thoughts on pinwheel blocks are here.

some of the 1" wide strips are paired together (B&C, F&G, H&I). yes, when sewn these do equal the same as the 1.5" wide strips. so technically you could just use a 1.5" strip in place of these. however, it gives added interest and variety to the quilt to vary the width occasionally as the pattern does.


seeing how my section two blocks look under section one as i select strips

work ahead options

section six (june) has several square in square blocks that will fall below section one in the same strips. because june is a large month, it might be helpful to make a few of those sq-in-sq blocks now, especially since you can see what strips they will be in. there is 1 - 3.5" and 1 - 4.5" sq-in-sq blocks in section six which lie in the same strips used in this section. specifically, strips 38-40 and 39-42.

if you really just want to keep moving, get busy with section two!

Section two - March
Blocks
9.5” Pershing pg 6
7.5” courthouse steps pg20
6.5” sq in sq (4.5”), bordered pg 22.23
2 – 3.5” sq in sq pg 22
8.5” old maid puzzle pg 17

Strips
H – 8.5”
I – 8.5”
47 – 8.5”
53 – 7.5”
54 – 7.5”

55 – 19.5” (optional 7.5” if piecing it with section one's portion rather than using partial seam)

if you have any questions, please ask in the comments. if you are a no-reply blogger, please email me directly instead.


#GypsyWifeQuiltAlong2016 on instagram

Saturday, January 30, 2016

welcome to the gypsy wife quilt along 2016 & link party


we've pulled lots of fabrics, we've got our pattern book and pencil ready, and some of us are kinda nervous. i hope everyone is excited! this is an epic quilt make. i'm doing a lot of explaining up front, so bear with me and the wordiness of this post. first, let's see who's with us.

quilt along sign up




since this is the kick-off of the quilt along, i'm going to introduce some of my methodologies to you and give more information about how the quilt along will function. don't worry, international copyright police - i'm not going to be publishing the pattern in entirety on this blog! but i will be showing bits and pieces to make a point and to explain a few missing links for those of us who need more help.

the pattern booklet is composed of several pages of block assembly instructions (pg 3-24), section assembly diagrams (pg 26-31), and the layout of sections for construction of the top (pg 32). because the section assembly diagrams are mostly graphics and only a few measurements, the maker must  identify the blocks by sight and do some math to figure out which blocks are in each section. but don't despair, that's been done for you!

section 1 - click to enlarge

blocks in each section

i've identified each block and it's instruction page. this information for each section will be published at the first of the month, each month. also, i've noted the number of blocks per section and loosely ranked them by complexity. for example, section one has 5 blocks: two large, two medium, one small. the size isn't measured by inches but rather by how complex it is/the number of steps involved and how much time it might take. you'll see it's all relative and rather subjective, but i've done the best i can! this is to give you an idea how much work might be involved for the month.

although the book breaks up the quilt into sections, they are not equally divided. some months are bigger than others. section six, for instance, could actually be a two month project relative to the other months. it involves a lot of square in a square blocks. you might want to make some of these ahead of time. i'll give you a heads up when bigger months are coming so you can plan accordingly.

strips

in addition, i've numbered all the strips, from left to right (which is opposite to order of assembly, i now realize - but too late!), identified where it is in each section it runs through, and how long it is in total. this was important to me to figure out because i wanted to make sure i had enough fabric to carry a long strip into it's other sections. also, the assembly diagrams aren't always lined up precisely and it can be confusing where a strip picks up again. this information will also be shared each month. for planning purposes, i'll note now that the strips vary in length from 65.5" to 12". there are at least 11 strips that are longer than 42", which is the standard wof length. these strips will need two wof cuts to complete. each strip is divided into as many as 5 sub sections. all this will be shared monthly by section.

detail, section 7 - click to enlarge
section seven is the bottom right hand piece. if you look here you can see how i numbered the sections all the way across the bottom (and gave letter designations to the 1" strips, represented by the dark strips in the diagram). next, i worked my way up through the sections and found how long each strip was at each of it's sections, and figured the total. the strips on the outer edges of the quilt have the longest total pieces.

if you want to play along so you know exactly which strips i'm referring to, you can mark your pattern like i did by just placing the number in the very bottom of the strips in the lower sections (ten, six, seven). start in section 10 with the farthest left strip and move right. grey strips get letters instead of numbers. each month i'll show where else the strips fall. 


schedule

the schedule megan and i have agreed on is this:

february - section one: 5 blocks (1 sm, 2 md, 3 lg); 19 strips (2 - 1")
march - section two:  6 blocks (2 sm, 1 md, 3 lg); 6 strips (2 - 1")
april - sections three and four: 6 blocks (1 sm, 1 md, 4 lg); 10 strips
may - section five: 6 blocks (3 sm, 3 lg); 9 strips (2 - 1")
june - section six: 21 blocks (13 sm, 5 md, 3 lg); 25 strips (2 - 1")  this is a big one! you might want to get a jumpstart or leave some for july
july - section seven: 7 blocks (4 sm, 2 md, 1 lg); 14 strips (2 - 1")
august - section eight: 4 blocks (1 sm, 3 lg); 11 strips (1 - 1")
september - section nine: 5 blocks (2sm, 1 md, 2 lg); 11 strips (4 - 1")
october - section ten: 11 blocks (6 sm, 2md, 3 lg); 22 strips (5 - 1")
november - quilt and bind


monthly posts

on the first of each month, i will post the section specifications that include blocks, strips, and any special instructions/tips. megan will also be posting her section and thoughts.

for those who want to work ahead, i will also post brief info for the next section or optional work ahead ideas.

there will be a link party at the end of each month where participants can link up blog or instagram posts about their sections.


other things to note

the instructions give the finished measurements for each block. this means what it will measure once it's been sewn into the quilt. if you want to know the unfinished measurement, which is what i use most often in these posts because i want to know how big the block is supposed to be before i attach it to anything, add .5" (1/2 inch) for the seam allowance that hasn't been taken in since the block isn't sewn into place yet. finished size + 1/2" = unfinished size

what the pattern calls "square in a square blocks" are also commonly called "economy blocks." i've previously written about making them here. links to tutorials for sq in sq/econ blocks are included in that post. there's a tutorial for a different method than our pattern uses, and which also explains how to figure out the math for any size sq in sq block you want at catbird quilt studio here.

some thoughts on pinwheel blocks are here.

some of the 1" wide strips are paired together (B&C, F&G, H&I). yes, when sewn these do equal the same as the 1.5" wide strips. so technically you could just use a 1.5" strip in place of these. however, it gives added interest and variety to the quilt to vary the width occasionally as the pattern does.

there is a partial seam between strips 50 and 51. you could avoid this by converting the 6.5" strip into one 4.5" strip and one 2.5" strip. i realize these two numbers don't equal 6.5", but you have to factor in the additional seam allowance by adding 1/4" for each side of the cut, which is 1/2" total. (and i hope i've done that correctly!) where ever this occurs in the pattern, i will try to make note for you and give alternate measurements.

i've previously shared thoughts on optional cutting tools that are helpful for this project here.

section six (june) has several square in square blocks that will fall below sections 1 - 4 in the same strips. because june is a large month, it might be helpful to make a few of those sq-in-sq blocks ahead of time as you work on the other sections. on the months we are working with sections above section six, i'll let you know which strips will have section six sq in sq blocks below them so you can get a head start.

if you have any questions, please ask in the comments. if you are a no-reply blogger, please email me directly instead.


#GypsyWifeQuiltAlong2016 on instagram

Friday, January 29, 2016

gypsy wife quilt - elisabeth woo's value study version

here's another unique look at the gypsy wife pattern. elisabeth woo, of robert kauffman fabrics, has created an energetic and fun take on the gypsy wife by playing down the strips in low-volumes and highlighting the blocks in a bright and bold color palette, with some really cute fussy cutting, to boot.



what attracted you to the gypsy wife quilt or why did you make one?
When I saw Catherine Mosely’s (@cathmosely) version of the quilt hanging at QuiltCon in 2015 with black and white strips and super saturated colors it was the first time I could visualize the quilt in my head! I fell in love with the idea of a background that would fade and leave the focus on all the blocks!


how long did it take you to complete?
I like to work on several projects at the same time, so I move a little slower. It took me 18 weeks of on/off focus from when I pieced the first block to when I finished the top.


how did you go about making fabric selections?
I selected my limited color palette (I like blue and oranges together), then just stuck to it and started sewing.

Crazy Ann block, lower left, and some others
what was your favorite block to make or favorite part of the project?
I think Crazy Anne was my favorite block, but I also really enjoyed making all the filler blocks. J


please explain your quilting choices
I was really stumped with what to do with this quilt once it was finished. I loved all the pieces but was having a hard time feeling connected to it, so I asked one of my good friends, Valori Wells (@valoriwells) if she would quilt it for me. I love her artistic quilting style and I feel like I’m looking at a page in her sketchbook. Seeing her doodles on it really made me love it.

puss in the corner block - with pugs!


what would you change or do differently if you could?
It was really challenging piecing stripes in the background (using Kona Snow + Kona White), but they end up looking very similar and you can hardly see the subtle stripe. I think next time I would try using two colors with a bit more difference so you can see the background striping a little easier (like Kona White and Oyster).


what advice or tips would you offer for others making this quilt?

Keep track of all those filler blocks!! J I actually accidentally made more than I needed to because I wasn’t counting that carefully. 



 thank you, elisabeth, for sharing your photos and ideas with us! to see more of elisabeth's work (like her killer farmer's wife sampler quilt) and a bit about life around robert kauffman fabrics, visit elisabeth on instagram @elisabew.

i have one or two more examples of the gypsy wife quilt that might still make a showing. in the meantime, look for the big kick off post for our gypsy wife quilt along coming on saturday, january 30th, and the first post about section one on monday, february 1st.

who's ready to get gypsy-ing?!

 as soon as my sewing room is finished, i'm in.
hurry up, construction fellas!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

gypsy wife quilt - cath mosely's all solids version

our next installment in the completed gypsy wife quilt series features a truly unique presentation of this pattern, which i think goes to show just how versatile it can be. today i'm fortunate enough to have cath mosely on board to share her rather famous all-solids gypsy wife, which was featured at quiltcon 2015 in austin, tx. her combination of bright colors for the blocks and alternating black-and-white strips is simply stunning. cath's surprising choices for a normally scrappy quilt demonstates that while it is a fabulous quilt when all scrappy, it can also take some structure nicely.



what attracted you to the gypsy wife quilt or why did you make one?

I loved this pattern from the first time I saw it. It's made of traditional blocks but in a layout I'd never seen before and I just loved its unique look. 

endless thread burying


how long did it take you to complete?

 I made the Gypsy Wife quilt over about 6 weeks. Making it in 6 weeks was quite a push, definitely faster than usual. I decided I wanted to enter it in Quiltcon with only about 6 weeks until entries closed so I had a deadline! It was accepted which was really cool because there wasn't  many quilts accepted that weren't original designs.




how did you go about making fabric selections?

I wanted my version to be unique so I thought I would try the complete opposite to Jen's fabric choices - solids - and right from the beginning I thought the strips in the background were begging to be made into stripes! I still wanted a wide variety of fabrics so I bought a layer cake of rainbow solids which yielded the majority of pieced blocks (I cut VERY economically!) and then made up the rest with a few solids I had in my stash. The more fabrics the better in this quilt! I looked at a few options for those background stripes but in the end the bold black and white was the winner!

what was your favorite block to make or favorite part of the project?



My favourite part of the project was the first time I sewed together some blocks and stripes. I stood back and thought with relief "yes, the combination works!!"  :)


please explain your quilting choices

I wanted very simple quilting as the quilt's pieced design speaks for itself. I quilted vertical lines 1" apart right across the quilt, following the background strips, then quilted 1" lines horizontally in the blocks only.

what would you change or do differently if you could?

There's two things I would do differently, but these are small things and might not bother anyone else!:
- When piecing the larger blocks I should've just checked what they would end up next to in the final quilt layout. I had to remake or switch the placement of a couple of blocks because I'd used the same fabric right next to each other without realising.
- In the pattern there's two 1/2" strips right next each other on the right half of the quilt. I just put in one 1" strip instead. I wish I had stuck with the pattern's two 1/2" strips now though because then my stripes would've finished with the same colour on both sides giving a more balanced look. If I hadn't created stripes this wouldn't have mattered at all of course!



what advice or tips would you offer for others making this quilt?

If the balance is important to you, see that first one in the last question! If you have the space, it's great to be able to put your blocks onto a design wall/floor and add each block to it's approximate place as you make them.  


cath also kindly sent me a video link so we can see her talk about her quilt at quiltcon last year. view here.

by day, cath works for a company that makes orthopaedic implants. "not much creativity in my day job!" she says. at other times, she quilts. you can view more of cath's creative work on her instagram account @cathmosely.

growing pile

 it's not all gypsy wife mania around here. there is some construction mania going on, too! we are finally enclosing the dining room-turned-sewing room with a wall and some barn doors. i sewed my little heart out over the weekend in preparation for several days off.

 i was trying to get a few projects off the floor and wall before the construction began. of course, everything took a whole lot longer than i anticipated. i did manage to get all my triangles sewn together, and was going to take a photo of the flimsy but it's too tall to hold. apparently daughter #3 took some action shots of me trying to get it up above my head while the dog came over to inspect. (actually, doggie was waiting for me to lay it on the ground. she thinks anything spread on the ground is an open invitation for her to lay on it.) with the dog photo bombing and daughter's finger on the top, it was too good not to share. #reallife

 i figure everyone is tired of seeing it "in progress" anyway so i'd better save the full frontal photo until it's a finish for real. for now, it's laid out on the piano room floor.

goodness, this was some work! i thought it was simply a matter of getting the rows all sewn together. then i realized some of the rows were a few inches too short. this required unpicking and adding on to rows that were already in place. there were several partial seams required (good practice for that "hope of hartford" block i've been avoiding for gw) and maybe even one legitimate Y seam, when i discovered one of the triangles had been attached in it's row with poor tension. deciding to widen, and consequently lengthen, this quilt complicated what was a very straight forward bit of sewing. i'm ready to put this one away for a while. when i finished it i had two thoughts: "that's a lot of triangles!" and "yay! it's done."

and this guy is on top of it, still in two pieces. i was this close to getting the final middle section sewn in. but i didn't. looks like i have a quilt pile gathering on the piano room floor again! (holy cow - this post from almost exactly two years ago is like de ja vu! quilt pile on the floor and gypsy wife on the design wall. funny.) if i were to pull out the penny patch 2.0, there would be three (nearly) completed tops ready and waiting for sandwiching and quilting. that's pretty exciting. and i think having three to quilt in a row will be good for my quilting skills, what with all that practice. so whichever one i want to look the best should probably be last in the queue.

linking up with lee's wip wednesday at freshly pieced.