Collection Quilt, section 4

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!

Lucky Lone Star Quilt Top

Lone star quilts are popular right now, and I love seeing them!  It’s a great block for every quilter to master, and the results are always striking.  I’ve been making lone star blocks for several years now, and this is my most recent project, the Lucky Lone Star Quilt.

This lone star was a joy to make!  After writing my lone star quilt block tutorial a few years ago, I’ve wanted to make a traditional lone star quilt.  The challenge was, what should it look like?  I asked myself this question: “If I walked into an antique shop and found the perfect vintage lone star quilt top, what would it look like?”  Then I made it.

The red, white and blue color scheme was an easy decision.  I went through my fabric stash to find prints I liked together in the proper amounts so the star could be made using what I already had (“make it do” seemed to play along with my vintage theme so I ran with it).  I strip pieced my fabrics using the same principles in the basic lone star block tutorial, adding the necessary number of fabrics and strips.

Once the star was pieced, I pondered background options and asked myself, “What would be the surprise about this quilt top that would make it my perfect vintage lucky find?”  The answer was a beautiful royal blue (and the question inspired the quilt’s name).  The bright blue took a bit of courage – I kept wondering if it added a vintage or a modern edge and concluded it was both –  but I took a deep breath and went for it.

I love it!  I added a couple of top and bottom borders and now this Lucky Lone Star Quilt is ready for quilting.  I’m also writing the pattern so you can make your own.  Watch for details soon!


A beginning

Nothing feels more like a beginning than a clean stack of paper and a freshly sharpened pencil.

I love the fresh start afforded by the beginning of a new school year.  It brings a craziness (and needs a budget) all its own, makes everyone tired, and lengthens all the to-do lists considerably – but it’s so good to start again!  August felt like a big month for our family:  we sent our oldest daughter off to college, another daughter turned 13, we celebrated our wedding anniversary, our youngest turned 8, we got our first taste of watching our daughter play college soccer, our high school athletes survived tryouts and made their teams, school started, homework has begun, and sports schedules now reign.  Life is good.

My #1 focus right now is routines – creating systems that will support our family throughout the school year, and meet needs without thinking about it once they’re habits.  Every year this process is a little bit different as our children grow, change, and move from one school to another.  I am doing the same with my personal time – developing more efficient systems to assist me in reaching my goals and supporting my family.  It’s exciting and challenging, a time for questions and careful listening, and LOTS of revising.

Much as I love that clean stack of paper, a real beginning requires putting the pencil to work, knowing mistakes will come and bring true learning with them.  I’ve never had a good relationship with mistakes; I’ve used them to sling criticism at myself and let them drag me down.  I’m trying to change that, to quit fearing failure and welcome opportunity no matter the learning curve, and to make peace with the past.   I have a great deal to learn, and I’m excited to be working.


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