Earlier this year I joined the Long Time Gone sew along on Instagram. When I’m done sewing through all my Carolyn Friedlander projects I plan to sew through all the Jen Kingwell patterns I’ve got. The sew along seemed like a good excuse to start early.
My plan is to use low volumes and brights. I’d like a quilt with a lot of contrast in it, so I’ve been pulling scraps along this theme. Many of the blocks in the Long Time Gone pattern are great for using scraps, and I enjoy using little bits of past projects and favorite fabrics to make new combinations and create quilts that are something of a scrapbook.
In fact, sometimes I wonder how long I could sew for if I only used scraps. I always think I’ll use a lot of them but my scrap bucket looks the same when a scrap quilt is finished. I’ve toyed with the idea of sewing for a year with only scraps, just to see what kind of creative journey it inspires.
Unlike some of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, this one is easy to follow, and a block a week isn’t too much to accomplish. I like sew-alongs for that reason: they break things down to small steps, provide a deadline and a way to share progress, and I feel like I get more sewing done when I commit to them.
I did a good job of keeping up with the schedule for the first while, but when my daughter was in a car accident that left her with a concussion and just a few weeks left of high school, I let everything else sit while I worked to help her regain her health and finish school. Nearly six months later, these blocks are still waiting for me to finish the rest of the quilt. This year has been a lot crazier than I anticipated, and a lot is on the horizon, but I hope to have a finished quilt top before the holidays.
I have a few more blocks cut out and hope to squeeze in sewing time this week!
We have the best neighbors. One of them celebrated the wedding of their youngest daughter in June, and I had to make Lindsey a quilt.
I made quilts for her older two sisters when they got married (you can find them here and here). Lindsey loves animals and works at the zoo, and I happened to have a layer cake of Sarah Watts’ August fabric collection, featuring lions and gazelles. It was the perfect fabric, so I needed to make a layer cake quilt.
I chose a simple layout due to time constraints and went through my stash to gather a few more prints so I could make it bigger. In the end I settled on a patchwork style layout using the layer cake squares and added a triangle in one corner to create the white accents. I cut a few of my 10 inch squares in half for the side borders and got to work!
I used a combination of spiral and straight line quilting to quilt it. This was a really fun layer cake quilt project, and I was able to finish it in time for the wedding (barely!). I am filing this layout away as a good option for quick layer cake quilts – sometimes you need to finish projects on a tight schedule and I would certainly make this again.
Something I love about these friends is knowing the quilt will really be used. It also made me smile to have my children give it to them and to watch them open it up.
We backed it in a lovely plaid and finished it with an orange binding.
We are happy for Lindsey and Alex and I’m sure many wonderful things are ahead for them!
School has started, which means I’m back at my stitching in the car while waiting for my kids. I started on the Collection quilt several months ago, and shared the first two sections here. For this quilt I’m working entirely from my stash, exploring color, but also loosely following the color scheme of the original Collection Quilt. I have now finished sections three and four (there are a total of nine sections) so I’m close to half done with this project. Section three is hard to photograph because it’s long and skinny and fills in some gaps between other sections, but I did snap this photo of section four:
These fabrics and colors are some of my favorites. Each one of them has sat patiently in my sewing room waiting for “the perfect project.” I don’t know how “perfect” this project will be, but it is fun to use them and to see how fabrics designed at different times and by different people can work so beautifully together.
I feel a pull in my quilting. The desire to cut and explore without plan or pattern is growing in me, but I also have a number of projects I’ve planned to make, purchased fabric for, and I feel loyal to making those quilts. Using some treasured fabrics in this project is making me happy. I have already made good progress on the next section and am excited to complete it.
This year has been a year of sewing through Carolyn Friedlander patterns. So far I’ve finished the following quilt tops:
Aerial Grove Quilt top
Catenary Quilt top
Botanics Quilt top
Applique mini quilt
Facing East quilt blocks (this was the start for a traveling quilt and I’m excited to make a full quilt in this)
It has been a fun journey to choose a designer and work through all the patterns I’m interested in making. I have a few more on my list of quilts to make and look forward to beginning them soon!