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!

 

So many squares!

I hope everyone who celebrated had a good Thanksgiving.  It was rather crowded here in our little house with my sister’s family here for the first time in years, as well as my Cousin’s family and my mom.  We needed an extra table in addition to the extra table leaves.  And I see a need for floor pillows for the living room before next time.  Yay! More sewing projects!

We made lefse, which is traditional in our family for holidays – pretty much the only carryover from the Scandinavian ancestors.

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I also learned that 1) brussel sprouts come on enormous, thick stalks, and 2) I don’t like them.

In addition to hosting Thanksgiving over this holiday weekend, there was crafting. I did a lot of cutting.  Square after square after square.

Some of it was for an upcoming mystery QAL that starts in January.  The cutting list requires more than 600 squares ranging from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2, with lots of 5/8 and 7/8 variations inbetween.  It is the new Scrapitude QAL, in case anyone else wants to join in.

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Looks like a pretty small pile for 600+ squares! doesn’t it!?  I went through my black and dark blue scraps, added some gold and yellows, and very pale neutrals for the rest.  I’m still debating the background color – white or medium gray probably.

While I worked on the fabric squares, my cousin spent an equal number of hours playing with my sister’s cricut machine, cutting out all manner of shapes.  I snuck in a few snowflakes.  (The boys and I hope that putting them up in the window will attract real snow, though the strong El Niño makes that an unlikely event this winter.)  That machine is so much fun!Cricut snowflakes

I cut a bunch more 2 1/2″ squares for my scrap bin as well, and then yesterday I got ichy for the sewing machine after all that family togetherness so I started making wonky stars with them.  I’m throwing in as many different fabrics as I can, so it is going to be very colorful.  Hopefully, the white stars will give eyes a place to rest from the bright mish-mash.

Making them is addicting – I was up this morning before I even got dressed, making more.

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Sorting scraps

Scrap cutting - squaresMy scrap bin was getting out of hand, and a sale yesterday at Scrap didn’t help, so I spent some TV time yesterday sorting through it, making piles based on sizes.  Then this morning I started cutting the smaller pieces into 5″, 4 1/2″, and 2 1/2″ squares for future projects.  I also pulled out the string suitable pieces, and the very smallest go into a box for the next time I feel like piecing every last bit into improv blocks.

It is a long term organization project, but someday I’m going to have some very scrappy quilts!