Growing Up Odd – a finish

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A windy photo shoot in the backyard for the finally finished Growing Up Odd quilt, based on a tutorial from the Wedding Dress Blue blog.

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We were racing to take the pictures in the last of the afternoon sunshine, hampered not just by the wind but by the fact that even on a chair and stretching, my son is barely 100” tall.  My husband didn’t need the chair but then he is 6’ 4” tall, before stretching.

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This quilt is made up of 2 1/2” squares from my precut scrap bin, sashed in Kona cotton’s windsor blue.  Nine-patch, 21-patch and 49-patch sections combined into 16 giant blocks randomly rotated to make a top that after quilting and washing is almost exactly 100” x 100”.  Bigger than a queen size, not quite a king.  It will be perfect for our bed in summer when the down comforter is too warm.

This is the quilt that I spent hours pinning badly, an epic fail of tape and will.  It ended up at Quilting Longarm Magic, a local service.

This was the first time I’ve ever sent a top out for quilting by someone else.  It felt a little bit like cheating, but then there are no quilt police, and I could never have done as well on my home machine.  It isn’t something I can afford to do often, but I can see doing it again for something equally large or a quilt that deserves really special patterns.  I don’t mind quilting, but it isn’t the part I truly enjoy, so I could finish a lot more quilts with the longarm help.

I chose a meandering squares pattern goes well with the multitude of square blocks.  With all those seams, I also wanted to anchor as many of the squares as possible.  A bed quilt will go in the washing machine and needs to be sturdy.

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The pattern shows up better on this section of the backing.  The thread used is almost the same blue as this backing fabric.

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He got it back to me in less than two weeks, on Saturday, and I spent Sunday squaring it up and then using the sliced off edges to make the binding.

It gives plenty of coverage on our bed.

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This is the largest quilt top I’ve ever made, and I have ambitions to make more now that this was a success.

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P.S.  I just did the math and there are 1,552 little squares in this quilt.  And I still have even more than those left in the scrap bin.  The scraps can never be defeated!

 

A little progress

HST blocks

I would really like to get my design wall back, but I just haven’t been inspired to keep sewing these half square triangle blocks together.  They’ve been hanging out on the wall for quite some time.  But today I did get them all sewn into foursomes, and then some of those sewn together as well.  One good push would finish off the top, but I’m wandering off again instead.

Half square triangles quilt in progress (for now)

HST trimming

I’d rather neglected this quilt as shinier objects caught my eye, and I would really like to get the design wall back, so I spent some time squaring up HST blocks to 5 1/2″ today.

About 20 to go and then I can get it all sewn together in the arrow pattern I finally settled on.

Lots of little trimmings piling up.

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Red and white – 6 & almost 7

Red and white – 6 – I cut these out yesterday but didn’t get around to sewing them until this evening.

I was worried I’d lose all the pieces for the two blocks, so I just put them into the book on the pages for their block and closed up the book to keep all the pieces together.

Red and white - mistaken block 7

Block 6 is Friendship Chain.

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Block 7 is called Aunt Nancy’s Favorite. I planned to change the corners to white to emphasize the X. Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention when I sewed it, and I reversed the red and white in the corners and ended up with a star instead of an X. So this one will have to go on the orphan block pile and I’ll make it again.

The failed X-become-star:

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Adjusting the color wheel

I’ve gotten enough of the HS triangles done to start putting them up on the wall to decide the arrangement, and it quickly became clear that I didn’t love the overall color scheme. While it is hard to say that there really WAS a color scheme as the plan was just “throw in all the colors,” it was off nonetheless.

Pulling out all the oranges and orange reds made it much more appealing.

But now I have to decide if I’m going to shrink the overall size or cut more squares from my rapidly disappearing fat quarters. I suspect more cutting will happen in the end.

And some seam ripping to recover the other colors that were sewn to oranges. Luckily I decided this before they were all sewn and cut.

But maybe the dark yellow should go too?

Triangles as far as the eye can see

Something about these tiny slivers of fabric is very satisfying. A pile of inaccuracy, trimmed away. Wish I could do that with other aspects of my life!

The leavings are pretty as well. Someday I’m going to save them all and display them in a jar on a window sill.

I spent some time this morning turning more squares into half square triangles. I experimented with an idea gleaned from a Pinterest photo that led to this blog post From The Studio Blog. It would work better with smaller squares, as mine block me from seeing the tape in the first inch or two, but I’ve figured out where to start and the lines work for guiding the second half of the line. It speeds up the chaining not to have to draw the lines first.

This is not what I should be doing. I should be shopping for Thanksgiving, which is at my house and which I have only a bag of sweet potatoes for. Unless I want to mold them into different shapes, more will need to be purchased. But I’m sewing and trimming instead and perfectly happy about it.

Thanksgiving isn’t stressful to me anyway. By now, the menu is so established, and my family gathering small and non-critical. My cousin’s family can’t be here as usual this year, but we’ve added my sister who will come up from the basement, and Mom just called from the Phoenix airport to say she is heading into the air on time, so it will be a good Thanksgiving.