Collection Quilt Progress – sections 5-7

I am making steady progress on my Collection quilt, finishing sections 5-7 in the past couple of weeks.

I was able to assemble six of the sections and loved having it come together!  I have two more sections to go and then the quilt top will be completed.

I am following the general color scheme of Carolyn Friedlander’s original quilt, but using fabric from my stash.  It is fun to mix and match as I work with the colors and the prints to achieve what I want.  Section five (above) was particularly fun to plan as I chose the bottom print and built the section from that point.

I had a little mishap with fabric placement in the bottom right corner where the applique is hard to distinguish from Sarah Watson’s awesome print, but I decided to leave it and enjoy the little things about this Collection quilt that will make it mine.

Section 6 features another Sarah Watson print that I just love, paired with Anna Maria Horner’s gorgeous Loominous stripe.  I took a couple of risks with this section.  First, the print is much larger in scale and in contrast than anything I’ve included in the quilt.  It’s also busier, and I worry the applique won’t show up well at a distance.  Additionally, the weave of the stripe made me worry about using it for applique.  I hope it holds up and that there is no risk of it coming undone.  I was very careful while stitching these blocks.  I must say that I love that blue and am happy to have it included in the quilt.

Section seven was one of the most fun blocks to stitch, although I didn’t read the instructions carefully enough at first and had to re-cut all the applique fabrics.  The second try was a success, however, and I continue to learn!

I remember when this Collection quilt pattern was first released.  I loved it so much but was intimidated by it.  I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to just make it.  It isn’t as hard as I thought and is such a unique quilt design.  It is also smaller than I thought it was, and I am thinking about adding borders to make it bigger.  My children are growing so much that they rarely reach for the small quilts anymore; everyone wants them larger.    The question is, what would I use for the border?

I have selected my fabrics for sections 8 and 9, and have only to make time to cut and baste them.  Once that step is completed, it is easy to find a few minutes here and there for some stitching.  I will share more soon!


Ice Cream Soda Quilt Blocks 1-10

I shared my first ever English Paper Piecing (EPP) blocks earlier this year, and now there are ten of them.  The block, designed by Jodi of Tales of Cloth, is called Ice Cream Soda and it’s been a great learner project for me.

I continue to use this project to practice fussy-cutting, both by showcasing certain images and also by using the fabric to create repeat designs as the sections are sewn together.  This is not a natural thing for me (it makes me cringe a little that fabric is wasted) but I do feel that with practice I am getting better at seeing new ways to use prints.

I am also trying to pull out favorite prints and include them.  I did this with a particular print that is out of print and precious to me.  I was so proud of myself for cutting into it and now I can’t find those block pieces anywhere!  I remember doing it and have searched high and low but cannot find them.  They were with the rest of the blocks I cut out at the same time and how one of them went missing is beyond me.  I really hope it turns up somewhere!  Such a bummer.

When I last posted about this project I had tried two different methods of sewing the pieces together.  I liked the way the flat back stitched pieces looked (because I couldn’t see any stitches) but I just couldn’t seem to hold them together firmly enough and my points were off.  It was also slower.  So I have gone back to the method of holding right sides together and carefully stitching along the edges.  The stitches are more visible but I am a little quicker.  On this project I believe the title “slowest sewist” is appropriate.  The schedule for the stitch along says I should have most of my blocks done by now, but I just finished the first month’s blocks.  Lots of slow catching up lies ahead, and that’s ok.  I am making these blocks to improve my skills in preparation for making a La Passacaglia quilt.

When I put the blocks together like this I feel excited, like maybe I”ll actually have an ice cream soda quilt top that I like when I’m caught up on all this stitching!  At this point I have no plan regarding color other than to use lots of it.  I figure I have plenty of time and blocks to go and I’ll be able to adjust as necessary along the way.

Rin Quilt: A beginning

Surprise, surprise!  Another Carolyn Friedlander quilt is underway.  This is her Rin Quilt pattern, and when a “Rin Along” quilt along began for this pattern back in May, I joined in.

I took the first two blocks with me on vacation over the summer and managed to finish both of them.  It made me really happy to tape them to the front door of my Grandpa’s beach house before we left.  That little house holds so much love, so many precious memories!

My version of the quilt will loosely follow the color scheme of Carolyn’s quilt, but my rule for myself is to pull all fabrics from stash.  This proved to be a little more difficult than I anticipated because generally the largest fabric cut I buy is a half yard, and the background squares in this quilt are 20 inches square.

I do love all shades of blue, so choosing fabrics for the applique pieces was fun.  The hand sewing for each block definitely takes time but I find it enjoyable.

My circles aren’t perfect and there are mistakes in the curves, but I’m hoping that once all nine blocks are finished I’ll be happy with the final product.  That’s part of the fun, right?  Handmade is perfectly imperfect (or so I’m telling myself).

I recently finished block three, as well.  One tricky thing about this Rin quilt pattern is how to fold both the background and the applique pieces so you can cut and have your sections form a circle.  If I could change one thing about the pattern, I’d ask for more clarity in this step.  On the third block I felt like I didn’t do well with the folding, ironing and cutting so I ended up making a second version.  The second attempt will do.

One thing is certain:  these blocks pack a lot of impact for something so simple.  The contrast between the low volume backgrounds and the blues is striking and makes me happy.

Currently I have these three rin quilt blocks finished, three more cut and basted, and the last three ironed and waiting for me to cut and baste the applique pieces.  I believe this is the 6th pattern by Carolyn Friedlander that I’ve started this year, and I still have several more I want to make.  I really love her work!  I also love applique, and that has been a fun discovery to make.


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