Metro Rings FMQ

You guessed it, I’m still working on my Metro Rings. I’m filling in spaces with free motion loops and stipples and it is going well!. Here’s a little sample:

I’ve also been cutting and sewing for my QCR blog hop post, but you’ll have to tune n next week for the reveal(s)! In the meantime, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on work and craft. It seems like a lot of us are in the process of thinking on this issue and living in this tension. This week for me at least feels more hopeful; I have a game plan for some additional creating on the side of my 9-5. Within my 9-5, my manager told me yesterday that she knows I’m creative and wants to use these juices in a few upcoming projects. So my mindframe is hopeful. Here’s hoping for creative outlets for you as well!

Last night’s Arcade Fire show included Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) which I’ve been humming all morning. Yes.

Work in Progress

I’ve been thinking a lot about my work lately, both my 9-5 job and the time I spend making things out of yarn and fabric. I would love to have a job that would allow me to to use my time and energy more creatively but I’m not sure how to get there. This has been an ongoing discussion between me and my husband for the past few months and I don’t yet have any firm plans on how to scratch this itch.

When I get blue about my voice as a maker or when I doubt my ideas or skills, or when I fear that I’ll spend all my days staring at spreadsheets in a cubicle, I have to remind myself that I’m comparing my beginning with someone else’s middle. I’m working and I’m in progress.

Quilting Metro Rings is coming along, still. I feel like I’ll be saying that for a while yet, but I really want to finish it by the end of the month. And in the meantime, I wanted to start something new, so pulled the following fabrics for a Metro Medallion quilt.

Happy fabric pull

A good half of those are personal favorites. There’s some Tula, some AMH, some Rashida, Melody Miller arrows, Patty Young bumblebees, and Lizzy House stars. And then I needed an extra magenta and had to seriously give myself a pep talk to pull my one precious Mendocino fat quarter. But good, lovely fabric is mean to be turned into something good and lovely, wouldn’t you agree?


This introspective WIP Wednesday post is being linked up with Freshly Pieced! Boom!

Announcing the Quick Curve Ruler Blog Hop!

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The Sew Kind of Wonderful blog hop kicked off yesterday at Quokka Quilts. This is the first blog hop I’ve ever participated in and I’m thrilled to be posting in a few weeks alongside these talented, creative sewists! I’ve really been inspired by the Quick Curve Ruler and it has opened up a world of curved seam ideas. After the blog hop, there will be a Quick Curve Ruler linky party on the Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog, which will be open from 29 – 31 August. You can link up any block or project made from the QCR. And if you don’t have a QCR, there will be a chance to win one during the blog hop, so check out the other posts!

Monday 18 August http://quokkaquilts.com
Tuesday 19 August www.cluckclucksew.com
Wednesday 20 August www.fromthebluechair.com
Thursday 21 August liveacolorfullife.net
Friday 22 August www.happyquiltingmelissa.com
Monday 25 August www.greenfairyquiltsblog.com
Tuesday 26 August http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com
Wednesday 27 August www.pleasant-home.com
Thursday 28 August http://www.lucymade.wordpress.com

AND

http://msmidge.blogspot.com.au

Friday 29 August http://>www.dontcallmebetsy.com

Here’s a little tease of one of the projects I’m going to highlight in my post in two weeks using Metro Rings leftovers.

A little QCR fun!

The blog hop is going to be followed by a ‘Curve it up’ Challenge Quilt-a-long on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting in September, so join in the blog hop, get inspired, and get ready to Curve It Up! Please go and check out Jenny’s blog and shop. You can also join the Sew Kind of Wonderful mailing list to get news of any new patterns or promotions.

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Metro Quilting

I’ve been chugging along with quilting my Botanics Metro Rings this week. After thinking and doodling, I settled on the following pattern and dove right in.

Metro Rings quilting

At first, I was going to switch between the walking foot and the FMQ foot and quilt each block separately. When I realized that this method would make so, so many loose threads I’d have to tie and bury at the end, I decided to switch to stitching in the ditch along the ring sections and then FMQ in the negative space once that is complete. This seems to be working well; each row is quicker than the last as I get the hang of using my walking foot.

Keep an eye out later this month for more Quick Curve Ruler inspiration – I’m going to be participating in a QCR blog hop hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts!

Finishing this is going to be my ALOYF August Goal – I think I can make it! Also, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Metro Top

The Metro Rings top came together so quickly! I was surprised, after all the trimming and pressing and sewing and more trimming when I looked around and realized that all my blocks were square and all that was left to do was to sew them together!

Metro Rings top

Tonight, I plan to pin baste and then I’ll start on quilting. I’ve been browsing Pinterest for DWR quilting inspiration and found some good ideas. I really like the original heavy quilting done by longarm by Jenny at Sew Kind of Wonderful but I’m not confident in my straight line quilting ability yet. This pin of the backside of a Metro Rings from Francesca Plancher is gorgeous – I love the negative space where the ring segments are. Anyone know if Francesca is the original source or if it comes from elsewhere? Google Image Search let me down.

Nearly matchy points!

Here’s another Metro Rings with great negative space use from Helen Robinson’s Instagram. I think I’m going to aim for something like this!

Metro Rings side view

Finishing the Metro Rings top was my Lovely Year of Finishes goal for July!

Metro Rings Mockup

Here’s a little carpet design floor mockup of what the Metro Rings quilt I’m working on will look like. None of the pieces are completely sewn and ironed and the grey will only be on the very outside quilt blocks, but I think it is going to be really nice when finished!

Double Wedding Ring mockup

My grey blocks are a little bit wavy, even after a hearty pressing. When I saw on Instagram that Shanna (@fiberofallsorts) is also making a Metro Rings, I asked if her blocks were coming out wavy as well.  She provided some advice, and Jessica (@mugirl133) and Peggy (<a href="http://instagram.com/colourdujour” target=”_blank”>@colourdujour) weighed in as well.  It seems that I’ve been pulling the fabric too roughly, which warps the seams a bit.  My background fabric (Pat Bravo Pure Elements) has a lovely hand and drape, but it is a bit lighter weight than the ring segment fabric (Botanics).  I’ve been trying to sew more slowly and ease the curves into position instead of ladyhandling the fabric and the blocks are seeming to lie flatter.  Luckily I still had the majority of blocks to sew.  Thanks ladies for your advice!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Cutting for Metro Rings

After troubleshooting the Metro Rings pattern, I got right down to cutting the fabric needed for the quilt. I’m using Pure Elements solids in Linen White and Ash for the background, Honey and Burnt Orange for the triangles, and a Botanics jelly roll for the ring segments.

Cutting curved triangles

Then I cut more fabric.

More triangles

Then there was a brief interlude of sewing and ironing.

A bit of sewing

And then back to cutting.

Cutting curves

I still have four curve sections to cut and then I’ll get down to sewing. I’m really liking how this is coming together! And all this trimming is leading to some interesting possibilities for the leftover bits.

Interesting Possibilities

I may stitch them together as well and see what I can make!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Metro Practice

I knew, after reading NaNa’s helpful post and emailing with Jessica that I’d want to make a couple of practice Metro Rings blocks before diving in.

So I cut out the pieces, skimmed through the pattern, and dived in.

Metro Rings practice

The block on the right was my first block. Not too bad, I thought. I used Nana’s tips for ensuring that the center almond shape’s points don’t get cut off, and everything was going great until I sewed on the side triangles. And then the block was far too big – like, an inch of extra all around. And the trim line came far too close to the rings (look at the bottom right corner). I wish I took a picture before trimming.

And then I skimmed through the pattern again before making the second block, but I seemed to be doing everything correctly.

The second block, the one on the left, came out better, but it was still really big before trimming and had worryingly little space on the background fabric between the edge and the ring. But I thought I was OK and that was how the block should look.

So before I dived in with cutting my real fabric, I just looked at the pattern one more time.

Lo and behold, there was a little line in the cutting directions: “Align previous curved cut under the dashed curved reference
line on ruler.” Yeah, I was totally aligning the curved cut to the SOLID reference line on the ruler. Which was making my curved rings too big, which was making my blocks too big.

Moral of the story? Read the instructions carefully and follow them. Of course.

Summer Goals

It is that goal-setting time of year again for the Finish Along at Littlest Thistle! This quarter’s goals feel lofty. Last quarter, I had tops and backs and batting all set to be quilted, so finishing the quilts was No Big Deal.

This quarter, I have stacks of fabric and ideas.

First up, Metro Rings out of Botanics and Pure Elements with some custom quilting. This is the only project with a hard deadline, as it is for a friend getting married in October (or her shower, whenever that is). I’ve wanted to work with Botanics for a while, and B & G will be decorating their home in greens, blues, oranges, and yellows. The facing triangles will be orange and yellow, and I’m going to add a wide grey border similar to this quilt.  Finishing the top is my July Lovely Year of Finishes goal.

Botanics for a DWR

Next, I want to finally do something with these leftover blocks from LLamas in Log Cabins. My idea is to make some flying geese to sit between the blocks and then add a couple of borders, medallion-style to make the finished piece larger.

Leftover Llamas block

Leftover Llama planning

I’ve had this gorgeous Salt Water and coordinating solids stack on the top of the fabric pile for months, and I think it is time to sew them into a Honey quilt from Elizabeth Hartman’s second book, Modern Patchwork.

Salt Water and Solids

My last amorphous goal is to do something with this lovely Acacia and solids stack. I’m open to suggestions – maybe hexagons or a kaleidoscope?

Acacia and solids

This all seems a bit daunting, yes? Better start cutting fabric!

Foxy Finish

Fields of Foxes is done, squeaked in juuuust under the Lovely Year of Finishes deadline (original goal post here). As in today was the last day to post the project, and I stitched up the binding last night. Fields of Foxes was a Craftsy workshop (project page here) and I really enjoyed the format and discussion.

Fields of Foxes Finished!

A kind colleague at work helped me take these photos. She’s also a quilter, so she understands the need to document these things.

Fields of Foxes back

Fields of Foxes was also one of my goals for the Q2 Finish Along. Which means that I completed all of my goals this quarter! Frankly, I’m surprised I finished everything, because I feel like it was really busy! Next quarter will not be nearly as productive, but I am really excited about the projects I have planned!