Finished: Spring Stripes II

Spring Stripes II is quilted and finished!

Spring Stripes II

My goal was to finish it by the end of April and I succeeded.  I also wanted to use a different quilting pattern for each block of color.  This wasn’t as easy, and I did duplicate some patterns a couple times (but never in the same row!).

Spring Stripes II quilting
Mod overlapping squares and railroad squiggles

Spring Stripes II quilting
Bubbles, thin echo squiggles, and flames

Spring Stripes II quilting
More bubbles and flowers and leaves (sorta hard to see)

By the end, I could really see improvement in my quilting. The first pattern I used was orange peels (tutorial by Oh, Fransson!), and I also quilted orange peels as one of the last blocks. The first stripe is tentative and hesitant, as I really hadn’t quilted anything but a stipple. The second stripe (below) looks a lot more even.

Spring Stripes II quilting
Triangles, wood grain sorta, second go at orange peels, and more mod overlapping squares

The back is Ikea SMÅBORRE fabric, which somehow, I managed to buy in exactly the right size. I love when things work that way and I appreciated how wide this stuff is. The binding is Emerald Kona, same as for Neptune, because that is what I had on hand. I like the pop of darker teal!

Spring Stripes II back

I enjoyed the exercise of quilting many patterns, and I think I added a couple of new designs to my arsenal.  I especially like the mod overlapping squares and the flowers and leaves patterns.  In fact, I’m planning on quilting Fortunate Granny with allover echo flowers!

My Button
This is my April finish post and I’m linking this post up with A Lovely Year of Finishes with Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs!

This is also my first finish for the Q2 Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!





Just for fun and comparison, here’s Spring Stripes I, finished just about a year ago!
Spring Stripes I quilt

Finished Size: 53 x 64
Fabrics: Echo by Lotta Jansdotter for Wyndham, Kona Ash and Emerald, Ikea SMÅBORRE


Quilting Away

Still working on Spring Stripes II. After a non-quilty weekend, I’ve been trying to get back into the swing.

Quilting Spring Stripes

I managed to get nearly another row of blocks done last night, after troubleshooting some tension issues. I’m making things up on the fly and learning why one should quilt from the middle to the edges.

Quilting Spring Stripes

I have some bumpy spots, for sure, but I think that they will become less obvious after a wash and a crinkle in the dryer.

Quilting Spring Stripes

I’m hoping to maybe even finish this by the weekend. I know, it’s a long shot, but I feel like I have some momentum with this! Now, what color should I use for binding? I was thinking orange!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Busting a (Quilting) Move

A few days ago, when I wrote my ALYOF and Q2 Finish Along goals, the world was a bright and shiny place full of weekends and time and possibility. Of course I would get three quilts quilted and one quilt entirely finished in three months. Of course! And that pair of socks on the needles? Done! And those books I’m reading? Read! And those dinners I need to cook? Totally doable!

I tend to dream big, and that’s OK, because all this stuff is fun, relaxing, free-time type business for me. And there aren’t really issues if I don’t finish things on my self-imposed deadlines.

But I’m about to add another project into the mix, Colette’s Crepe dress, sewn bee-style with fabulous friends from college (hi Anna!) to figure it out together. It has been a long time since I’ve sewn a garment and the fitting of the bodice is making me nervous, especially after reading through Gertie’s Sewalong. It all seems very doable, but I would really like the finished garment to fit and be flattering and be wear-to-workable.

Spring Stripes II

With that in mind, I busted a move on quilting Spring Stripes II. The goal is to do a different pattern in every stripe (or only duplicate patterns across stripe sections, not within a stripe section).

Spring Stripes II quilting

So far, I quilted seven different patterns: spirals, orange peels, figure 8s, flowers and leaves, bubbles, flame-like “zippling” (to use Leah Day’s term), and round-corner boxes. I think the flowers and leaves are my favorite; I may use it to quilt Fortunate Granny!

Spring Stripes II quilting

None of the patterns are “perfect,” especially not the orange peels. But I’m breaking out of my stipple rut and I’m pleased with the results so far.

Spring Quilting Goals

I have big plans for this spring: I want to become a more confident quilter. I’ve quilted both on a home sewing machine and on a longarm at a studio, but I haven’t strayed far beyond basic stipple, straight line, or loopy line. I’m taking Leah Day’s Craftsy class, which is really encouraging me to move beyond those three techniques and also mix different patterns in one top.

With that in mind, goal number one: finally finish Spring Stripes II. Here is the most recent picture of it.

Friends, that picture is nearly two years old. And I’ve never taken a picture of the completed top, because I’m a bad blogger, but it looks just like Spring Stripes I but with the warmer colors from Lotta Jansdotter’s ECHO collection. I’m planning to use a different FMQ technique for every stripe. This is my Lovely Year of Finishes goal for April.

My ButtonGoal number two: quilt and bind Fortunate Granny. Again, I have the back finished. I haven’t yet decided how this one will be quilted, but I’m thinking maybe an orange peel pattern in the blocks and a filler in the background.

Fortunate Granny top

Goal three: Requilt Foxes out my Window, because it has to be done and I’ve been putting it off for a while.

Fox Field Design Roll

Stretch goal four: Finish the Craftsy mystery quilt with Tula Pink’s Fox Field. I’m way not sure if I’ll make this by the end of June; that’s why it is a stretch goal!

Those are my four main quilty WIPs for this quarter, and my ducks are in enough of a row for me to participate in the 2014 Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!


Thoughts on Boston and Spring Stripes Quilt

First: I live about 12 miles from Boston and the events of this past week have in many ways seemed surreal.  Four days before the Marathon, I had met a friend for dinner and afterwards, checked out the barriers and walked under the stands to get to the T stop that would take me home.  It was difficult and frightening to see the images of a city I love so fiercely and my thoughts and prayers are with those directly affected and with my urban tribe of Boston-area dwellers.

Things from last week are lodging themselves in my memory.  The relief in my dad’s voice on the phone when I told him that I didn’t have off that day and had spent the day in my cubicle, not in the city.   The tense readiness in my husband’s voice when he called, an hour after the explosions, to tell me that he was heading in to work at MGH. Texts telling me to stay strong from my SIL.

I am thankful for Emily‘s link to Adam Robert’s “Why The Small Things Still Matter” because it reminds me that there is always a place for quilts and yarn, braised pork loins, board games, conversations with old friends, and the quotidian small joys of life with my husband.

In any case, I finished these quilt tops from Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo fabric line about a year ago and since then, they’ve languished in the closet.   Last weekend, I took a spur-of-the-moment trip out to the Berkshires to visit some friends who are both pregnant and moving away and I wanted to bring something handmade.  Babies need quilts, right?

Spring Stripes I quilt

The back is very simple (so simple that I forgot to snap a photograph) – a stripe of blue calico between panels of a grey floral print.  I quilted it with a loose meandering stipple and tried a new-to-me method of machine binding (as opposed to sewing the binding on by hand) which was so quick and easy it will probably become my preferred method of binding.  And shazam: finished quilt!

Spring Stripes I quilt

I’m calling it Spring Stripes I (II is still only a top but I have the backing fabric all thought out).

Spring Stripes I quilt

And I still had time on Sunday to finish the front and back of another project! My goal is to get to the long arm studio to finish this one up by the end of the month.



When I first plunged into quilting, I got a couple sets of fat quarters, my fabric stash being scraps from aprons I made for my friends back in grad school. One set became Foxes Out My Window. Another became Rectangle Squared. And the third, Echo by Lotta Jansdotter, languished in the box in which it was delivered.

I wanted to make something that showed off the large-scale prints and I also wanted something relatively simple. I considered a strip quilt (like this one), but wanted something with a bit more oomph. I considered Elizabeth Hartman’s New Wave pattern (seen here) but I wanted something simpler.

Then I saw this quilt, made by Film in the Fridge from Ink & Spindle fabrics and let it inspire me.


Inspire me to do some math, that is.  I only had so much fabric and I wanted it to be just so, so I got out my notebooks.  The spiral bound has the basic sketches, ideas, and how I would cut the fat quarters.  The second has the actual stripes graphed out.  The notebook itself is pretty neat – somebody from my company’s Munich office must have brought it as a gift because in addition to being nice, hardback, and filled with graph paper, the instructions or promotional material is in German.  They were just going to throw it out until I claimed it.



I made plans one night and cut fabric the next. Between cutting off selvages and a slight miscalculation on some seam allowances, it was a little tight to get the right size pieces from some FQs, but we made it.


Piecing was a breeze, and soon I had a nearly-finished quilt top.


I’m waiting for a bit more Kona Ash to finish up the sashing (not shown) and then this one will be done.

But!  you say.  The title of this post is Fraternal.  What do you mean by that?

O Keen-eyed Reader, I am making two quilt tops.  One uses the blue, teal, and yellow Echo prints while the other uses  pinks, purples, and browns.  I’m using the same pattern and placement of strips but they will be warm and cool fraternal twins when I am done.