Heart to Heart

>> Saturday, December 31, 2011

I think I completed my last sewing for 2011 this morning. Although a few hours remain in the year, I've only got about 3 hours until friends come over for a New Years gathering, and somehow I don't think they'll be pleased if the entertainment is watch me sew. Call me crazy, but I put away the machine, cleaned up my sewing messes, and made a pinata. And baked and prepped some food.

But back to the pictures....for our December do Good Stitches quilt, Kelli asked us to make heart blocks. She gave us ample freedom, simply requesting heart-focused blocks made from reds, pinks, and whites and one more color. Technically she said use our favorite color, but I chose colors that I thought worked best with the fabrics and blocks.

Inspired by Sandi's list of paper-pieced hearts, I made the block on the right first. Hers were 6-inch templates, while I wanted a slightly larger heart, so I drafted my own based on her diagrams. I cut a standard piece of printer paper into an 8.5" square and then folded it every which way to have lots of angles to work with. Then I drew in the lines, stared at the template for a while, and finally labeled the piecing order. It's the first time I moved beyond a ready-made template for paper-piecing, and it provided some good mental exercise. The bias edges on some of the corners make it lay a little less flat than I would like, but I think it will be fine.

After paper-piecing, I wanted something simple. And I haven't made a square-in-square block in ages, so square-in-square it was. I transferred my elementary-school construction paper heart-cutting experiences to fabric, and made myself a swirly purple heart which I appliqued onto my pretty block. I'm slowly starting to see the fun in applique.

So there you have it, the last blocks of 2011. Except that I actually have three quilts to show you: two are making their way to their new owners and one needs to get photographed well. Obviously I can't do any sort of "year in quilts summary" without these ones included. Or maybe I can. To be determined. In 2012.


A Starry Night

>> Monday, December 26, 2011

I find Christmas a delightful time to quilt. I'm usually home alone (albeit often with a loaner dog), the neighbors' lights are twinkling, the street is quiet, and I spread out the fabric and get to work (or play). This weekend was no different, and I finished the interlocking stars quilt I recently started. It's not quite what I imagined since I ran out of the royal blue background fabric. I tried a few options, including sewing together all sorts of tiny cut-off triangles to "make" more fabric. But in the end, I decided that a rearranged layout offered the best solution, more seam-ripping notwithstanding. I'll show the full quilt once I've washed it and given it to its new owner.

I also started a whole new project. It's very new for me: templates, curved piecing, applique. And, as much as I actually like winter, it's a very summery fabric palette. Which is fun and bright and makes me smile. Which is a good thing because standing at the ironing board and attempting to iron curves does not make me smile. Ever. There was no smiling while ironing last night. Except possibly when I was watching Bones and laughing at some delightfully ridiculous scenes. The key to tedious chores is definitely internet TV.


A Different Tack

>> Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I distinctly remember receiving this royal blue solid in the mail. I bought it from JCaroline Creative when during her final fabric sale. I bought it because it was a great price and blue and solid, all of which made me think I would find a way to use it well. It only took several years for me to identify how I needed to use it. And suddenly, I needed to use it. To drop all other projects and start one anew. To create a few interlocking stars -- or as many as I could with 1 yard of fabric.

These interlocking stars seem to be trending but, to be honest, when I first started seeing them I found them overwhelming. Not because they were hard to make (they aren't) but because I found full quilts of them visually overstimulating, too much for my eyes to take in. But then I saw this image of Elizabeth's quilt in progress and I realized -- in the most obvious sort of way -- that negative space was the answer. I could make a few stars into a whole quilt, or rather, I am making a few stars into a whole quilt. There's a minor issue of needing just a touch more solid blue than I have, but I'm working on a creative solution to that dilemma.


Yes, Virginia, She Can Sew

>> Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's taken awhile, but I finally used my sewing machine and started putting together the October do Good Stitches bee quilt. I played with a lot of ideas about how to use all the blocks (mostly in my head). I knew I didn't want to just sew all the blocks together as I thought it would be too busy.

I contemplated uneven rows or rows unevenly spaced, but ultimately decided to make 5 big blocks of 4 stars each. I'm going to sash each of the big blocks and hopefully create some floating big blocks. I may get a little improvisational as I sash. Since I now have 5 big blocks, I'm going to use 4 on the front and 1 on the back.

Having now seen all the awesome blocks that my group sent me, I have to confess that I love the solids (none of which I made) the most. Maybe I'm just in a solids-place, loving solids anyways. But there's something about the crispness of the blocks that really appeals to me. Don't get me wrong, I still like the others; I'm just lauding simplicity at the moment.

After I had sewn the blocks together and was arranging them to take pictures, I realized that this block looks pretty damn cool when set on point. I briefly considered ripping out the blocks and remaking the quilt on point with white blocks in between each star block. But then I recognized the insanity and opted to file that layout away for another time.


This is a Map

>> Monday, December 12, 2011

Image from here

I may have previously mentioned a love for maps. I can look at maps pretty much forever, and I love teaching maps. "What counts as a map?" generally elicits a wide range of great responses. Maps are fascinating in part because cartographic representations can take so many forms. Moreover, until the recent explosion of artsy maps (which started to gain prominence, I think, with Ork posters), it was relatively easy to forget about cartographers as thinkers and artists. I just saw the maps by These Are Things on design*sponge, and I find them quite compelling as art.* I'm still on the lookout for a Detroit map like this, but in the meantime, I'm happy with DC.

The past week has been a whirlwind of settling back in, feverishly working on a fellowship application, and making treats for holiday parties (and attending said parties). One of the things I noticed in New Zealand was the presence of savory muffins and scones. I started playing with a recipe this weekend and, when I've worked it out, I'll share it here. The party feedback was positive -- now I just need to recapture what I actually did!

Having now submitted the fellowship application due in five minutes, I will reward myself with some sewing tonight. Which means this blog may return to its crafty origins soon.Hopefully. Maybe.

*Dear Mom. This print would look marvelous in my living room. Just letting you know. love, your daughter.


Tangerine Tango

>> Thursday, December 8, 2011

I appreciate a good orange. I especially appreciate a good orange when I'm trying to get up in the morning, and NPR's Morning Edition is not necessarily full of cheery news (Michigan politics were particularly unpleasant this morning, I'll leave it at that). But NPR also told me that Pantone announced that "Tangerine Tango" is the 2012 color of the year, and I'm liking it. I might opt for a couple shades darker as ideal, but this is pretty darn close to my favorite orange (Betty's Orange, in Moda Bella Solids terms).


And Back...

>> Monday, December 5, 2011

Two Sundays can be kind of cool : one to play (and happen upon a crafts fair and the very adorable Devonport town Christmas parade) and one to travel (lots of hours in planes and airports). The benefits of the international date line....and now it's Monday, and I'm trying to get life back in order.

Which will take awhile! I'm mostly caught up on email (which I checked sporadically while away), and now have plenty of work and regular life stuff (bills, groceries, etc) to keep me busy. And I will slowly whittle away at the 1000+ posts in my Google Reader. This was the first time I was detached from my laptop and regular internet access for 2.5 weeks, and the rest provided a well-needed break from technology, a chance for my brain and body to reset. But I'm also excited to see what people have been up to, making, and talking about while I was gone.


Greetings from New Zealand!

>> Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Greetings from New Zealand! It's been an eventful week down here thus far, starting with easy plane rides but lost baggage (or delayed baggage -- I can't quite figure out how my bag needed more than 3 hours to make it from one plane to the next, but it arrived the next day and that's all that matters). As promised New Zealand has been wet, but the beautiful mossy beech forests are one lovely result. My friend and I spent 3 days on the Routeburn trek, 1 dry and sunny, 2 wet and rainy! While walking through the forest area, we commented on how it looked like it could be hobbit-land, only to learn when we finished that we missed running into the filming of The Hobbit by one mountain!

There were loads of Avalanche Zones, many of which were perfectly safe. However, the Department of Conservation required a helicopter ride over one not-so-safe area (see, Mom and Dad, we were careful!). Their rangers and hut wardens are tremendously knowledgeable and helpful, even providing us with some newspapers to stuff into our very wet shoes in the hopes of making them slightly less wet. Because of the rain, we walked across, though, and in many a waterfall. This is the land of a million waterfalls, at least in the spring.

But for stunning views like this, it's all been worth it.

And this too!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States!


Leaving on a Jet Plane

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Setting: Detroit Airport
The Time: Saturday early evening.

TSA Official #1: "Is this your bag?"
Woman: Smiling, internally wondering what on earth has been spotted on the monitor.
"Yes, that's my bag."
TSA Official #2: "Please take your stuff and follow me."
Woman gathers her shoes, belt, jacket, purse, clear bag of 3 oz. liquids and follows TSA #2.

TSA #2: "It looked like there is a bottle in your bag, so I'm going to need to search it."
Woman: Quickly checks to see that empty water bottle is in purse. "Um, ok. I don't think there's a bottle but go ahead."
TSA #2: Takes books, bagged items, scarf, bag of assorted chargers, toiletries, etc out of backpack. "Wow, this is an impressively packed bag. I'm so sorry I have to unpack it."
Woman: "No worries."
TSA #2: "Seriously, this is the best packed bag I've ever seen."
Woman: "I like packing things. It's sort of like playing Tetris."
TSA #2: "I'm so sorry for needing to take everything out."
Woman: Laughing, "it's ok, really. You're just doing your job. Have you found what you're looking for?"
TSA #2: Pulling out a pair of old Chacos wrapped in a plastic bag. "Oh here it is."
Woman: "Oh ok, they're just sandals."
TSA #2: "Yep, I guess the curve just looked like a bottle. I'm so sorry that I'ev totally unpacked your bag."
Woman: "It's fine, I can put it back together really quickly."
TSA #2: Watches woman repack bag quickly. "Wow, I wish I could pack bags that well. You should teach a class."

Perhaps in my next life, I'll teach people how to pack efficiently. "Be a Packing Ninja 101" will, I am sure, have a tremendous audience. In the meantime, there are a couple of tricks to taking 2 carry-on size bags + 1 purse with you for 3 weeks:

1. Pick your bags wisely. There's a sleeping bag and a camping pot in the duffel bag. They fit well because the bag is as spare as can be. It's a rectangle, and the bag itself takes up very little space. The corollary is: use every bit of space. My first-aid kit is stored in the pot along with my knife, whistle, and other little items. (This bag was obviously checked due to the knife and the jar of the peanut butter I tossed in too.) My backpack is large for a daypack but small for a camping backpack. It's almost full now but it can expand as necessary. It has some of the food we'll take with us backpacking, so once we eat it, there will be more space for any items I pick up along the way.

2. Pack lightly. I've always been a light packer, and this trip is no different even though I'll be backpacking (hence the need for the sleeping bag and camping pot, but no tent needed on this trip) for part of it and wine-tasting (nicer clothes required) at other points. All clothes should be interchangeable (pick one neutral color and make sure everything works with it). Shoes should be adaptable (hiking boots are necessary for this trip so I took 3 pairs of shoes, but 2 would otherwise be sufficient). A couple of key accessories can dress up a pair of jeans or a simple black dress. Accept that you'll be wearing the same things for several weeks. It's ok; no one really cares. Bring items that dry quickly so you can easily do laundry as necessary. Take older clothes that are versatile and fit well but can be tossed if they meet a mud puddle or a jagged rock or anything else making them no longer wearable.

I've been in LA the past couple of days visiting friends (including a super fun dinner with Michelle last night), and I'm off to New Zealand for 2.5 weeks tonight. If you have any tips for NZ (my friend and I will be spending most of our time on the South Island, but a little time in Auckland as well), comment away! Any restaurant, sightseeing, coffeeshop, fabric/crafts, etc recommendations are much appreciated. We'll be starting with the Routeburn Trek and moving clockwise around the South Island from there. I'll try to post while away but with (intentionally) limited internet access, I make no guarantees...


Celebrate Color: Fall Scarf

>> Saturday, November 12, 2011

I indulged in a little scarf-making this week. I'd been thinking about how I like reversible scarves but sometimes want more of each side of fabric to show when wrapped around my neck. At which point I realized stripes could be quite useful.

I sewed together 6" strips of the gray fabric (picked up from the $2.99 table at G-Street Fabrics. Maybe it's rayon? It's soft and silky and feels like something scarves are made from. I'm open to ideas) and 4.75" strips of the deep yellow pastry voile from Anna Maria Horner.

Then I sewed the long (86" or thereabouts) strips of yellow and gray together. I purposefully made them different widths so that I could flip them on the back. This added a little variety and avoided the need to line up seams. The voile + rayon were both a touch slippery, but pinning helped. And since it's a scarf, perfection is not necessary. I sewed the right-sides together, leaving about a 3" hole for turning, and then top-stitched about 1/8" from the edge.

I saw Rachel's interview with Lotta Jansdotter* a couple days ago, and I think this scarf gets at her Celebrate Color motifs. And now I have something to enter in the Celebrate Color pool!

*I'm loving her new Echo collection. I bought several half-yards at full price (which I never do online) from Tammy. They will become a quilt for the living room since the colors work perfectly.


Pixie Sticks

>> Friday, November 11, 2011

My friend Suzanne is having a baby any day now. In the meantime, she keeps me entertained from 2000 miles away with her blog. Now I admit, I'm not really one for pregnancy blogs. Just not my thing. However, Suz's blog is sharp and sassy, just like her. I mean it. Her blog captures her voice better than anyone I know. I confess that when we were in college together, I would not have expected Suz to become an ultra-runner, which she did. While I can't fathom 50 mile trail runs as fun, I can hear her voice in her stat-keeping, produce-analogizing, cocktail-dreaming, fashion-arranging, book-thinking, conversation-relaying writing. As for the quilt, I decided to lead with my favorite picture, which is technically of the back, but could be the front too.

The offset blocks were made from some Arcadia charm squares and honey bun strips. I pieced them together until I could cut out 4" blocks (at least I think they were 4" but I made them awhile back and can't remember.) They looked better offset than in the middle. And it's a quirkier quilt that way, which it should be for the future child of Suzanne and Jasper. Jasper is a real rocket-scientist and Suzanne does good things for Earth Justice, and I think their child will be full of sass and delightful quirks. He will not be named Oliver, however, despite some parental efforts to influence name choices. The name remains a state secret for now.

The block on the bottom left is my favorite. I don't know if I'm supposed to have favorites, but I do. I like the sharp-edged flowers and, of course, the orange. The off-white is Moda Snow for those keeping track (which I love dearly but it is not bright white which I originally thought "snow" meant. Luckily it's also not the dingy white snow turns after cars drive near it, because that would be truly unfortunate.)

The yellow leaves from the tree in the backyard created quite a nice background for a full shot of the back. The grey-ish color is Moda Stone, and I improv-pieced the "pixie sticks" and then added fabric until it was big enough. Stipple-quilting led to nice crinkling.

I bound it with my favorite print from Arcadia, the orange leaves, and Pixie Sticks made it to California this week, at least a little bit before Baby H's arrival.


do. Good Stitches: November

>> Wednesday, November 9, 2011

After my last-minute block-making for my own month in do. Good Stitches, it was time to be diligent and efficient this month. Shannon picked a great block and a wonderful color scheme of gray/tangerine/aqua. I was able to make the blocks out of my scrap bin (plus the Kona Ash from Shannon). I do use aqua and orange a fair amount, after all. These blocks were super easy to put together -- cutting the pieces definitely took the most time, but once that was done, the sewing was quick.

I think the upper left block is my favorite. I like how the scale of each of the prints works with the other. As I noted to Felicity last week, I like the challenge of bees in which each person is sewing from their stash. It means choosing blocks that can play well together even when the fabrics are pretty different. I think this block is a real winner in that regard.


Line It Up

>> Sunday, November 6, 2011

A picture of a few white lines on white fabric is probably not the most spectacular picture ever. Actually, it's probably going to win some photography awards soon. For something like "most boring picture ever taken and not erased." Because, really, it's not showing much. But that's sort of the point, at least so far as the quilting goes. That whole disappear-into-the-background quilting thing. For what quilt, you might wonder. I was wondering too, since it had been a while since I'd really sat down and sewed something.

Way back when, by which I mean over two months ago, I showed a few peeks of a quilt I started for me. Should you not remember the glory that was that post, you can find it here. [For those of you who only know me through the interwebz and aren't used to a mildly sarcastic two hippos, well, here's a glimpse at the real-life sardonic two hippos.] Anyhooo.....this big pile o' quilt has been staring at me (when it wasn't buried under lots of other fabric), pleading with its non-existent eyes to be quilted. The problem was that it's huge, or huge for me. It's a full-size quilt and that's a fair amount of fabric to stuff through my machine. Which led to the "how to quilt it, like it, and not go crazy conundrum." For a brief moment in time, immediately after I basted it at the September SE Michigan Crafters Meetup, I thought I would do big circles. Then I tried to do one big circle and failed. It looked like a lumpy potato.

Which led me to bring it home, wait a while to rip out the lumpy potato, and then decide on a new tack: straight lines. Once I finally sat down and started sewing, straight lines were my new best friends. I did a few at irregular intervals across the entire quilt top just to get started, and then filled in at more irregular intervals until I felt it was sufficiently quilted. It took about 5 bobbins and 5 episodes of Body of Proof and then it was done. Just like that. Snap and done.

Once it has sufficiently crinkled in the dryer and I enlist the aid of some poor unwitting friend, I'll get a picture of my new quilt. That's right, my new quilt. It's staying in casa two hippos, in the bedroom de two hippos, to be precise.



>> Monday, October 31, 2011

It's taken me until the last day of the month to make, take pictures, upload, and post my blocks for my month in do.Good Stitches. At least they don't have to be mailed anywhere!

I made a tiny bit of progress in depleting using my scrap box. Although this block required a lot of HSTs, it came together quite quickly once I had cut all the pieces.

I'm realizing that my black desk provides a nice backdrop for pictures when there is sufficient natural light, aka a sunny day.

Here's a little glimpse at all the blocks I have thus far. Six more are heading my way and I need to decide how to arrange them. Although they're side by side in this image, I doubt that I will piece them like this. I think these blocks need more negative space to really stand out. I'm thinking of pairs or short rows (maybe 3 blocks each) surrounded by a lot of white. I may need to get more white as I've got about a half-yard right now....


Sail Away (BQF Fall 2011)

>> Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival has arrived again, and it's pushed me to finally show this quilt. In the past, I've used the BQF to highlight a quilt I'd previously blogged, but this time you get something new. Made last spring and delivered about a month ago, Sail Away finally gets its chance in the limelight. This is the third quilt to make its way into the Stoil-Shimoni family, and they all have one thing in common: navy blue. When you've known someone for over 18 years, you know favorite colors, and Rebecca has always gravitated toward navy blue.

When I saw this pattern from Esch House Quilts, I knew it was the perfect option for Rebecca's pending child. It reminded me -- a bit indirectly, perhaps -- of sailing flags, and Rebecca loves water and sailing. Whether her kids will as well remains to be seen, but she's currently researching the history of the whaling industry so I suspect there will be some maritime opportunities for them.

As I planned the quilt, I realized that Navy was the perfect neutral solid for the half-yard of Amy Butler's Tumble Roses Pink (from her Love collection) that was sitting in my stash, and I pulled the other prints based on what coordinated with the Roses. This design offered a nice opportunity to use little bits of lots of prints, which was another highlight.

In the midst of piecing the quilt, I ran out of the Navy solid (major misremembering of how much I had + major miscalculation of how much I needed). The delay didn't really matter, however, as I knew Rebecca and her family would be moving from from Israel to Baltimore this summer, and I waited to hand over the quilt in person. The back used every last scrap of navy I had -- even after ordering more -- and a whole lot of other prints from the front.

Those Tumble Roses reappeared as part of the binding. I love how the pattern of flowers disappears and the green, blue, and pink rhythmically alternate. The quilt was a hit -- as quilt and as a rocket ship. Rebecca tells me this is her favorite of all the quilts I've made for her family, and I think I have to agree.

Head over to Amy's Creative Side to check out all sorts of other delightful quilts.


do. Good Stitches: October

>> Friday, October 21, 2011

It's been one of those weeks. Or, really those past couple of days that have stretched to feel like a week. Rainy, filled with work, challenging personally and professionally, exhausting. Time in which my bed seems like the best destination but once in it, my mind is racing so much that sleep fails me. Yep, truly delightful. Did I mention the 3 inches of rain over the past two days? Sogginess does not inspire me to go for a run even though I know exercise is good for me. And the furniture in my living room and dining room is in the center of each room, covered with tarps (all for good reasons, but it makes both the couch and my sewing machine unavailable to me). And my computer randomly shut itself off last night for no apparent reason (thank goodness for back-up copies and recovered versions of documents). After turning my computer back on, I checked my email and found a sweet piece of spam asking "do you model?" And I laughed and that felt good.

Oct 2011 block1
From Shannon

I buried myself under several blankets, finally got some sleep, and woke up this morning determined to turn things around. This means getting work done today and this weekend, but also doing some things for me -- some sewing, some hiking. And on the sewing front, it's time to make my blocks for do. Good Stitches.

Empower block
From Shelley

As I might have mentioned, I'm leading the new Empower Circle. I am one delinquent leader, for I posted my blocks in late September but have not yet made them. To be fair, I was away for 10 days without a sewing machine and then life got overwhelming. But in the spirit of empowerment and admiration for the fab blocks other group members have already made and sent me, it's time to make some Love in a Mist blocks.

October Block 1
From Heather

I cut out the pieces for my blocks (first picture) and asked my group to make blocks using a palette of warm fall colors -- deep purple, burnt orange, cranberry, gold, etc. I asked for a white background but also suggested that some blocks could flip the white and the color to create some reverse blocks.

Empower do. Good Stitches October
From Kelli

I also suggested that while I liked the scrappy blocks, a couple two-fabric ones (solids or prints) would add to the variation. I think there is something simple and stunning about this one:

do. good stitches oct block solid
From Heather

And with that, off to work and then later in the day or weekend, to sew. Have a wonderful weekend!


Items Complete and Not-So-Complete

>> Monday, October 17, 2011

A week ago Sunday I pulled out the "Sukkah kit" out of the garage, stared at the pieces, and started building. About an hour later, I had the basic structure and walls put together, admittedly a tad awry (that's what happens when you fly solo on building things and then get a little lazy: the doorway was a little crooked, but that affected neither structural integrity nor useability. Aesthetics, yes, but I was too lazy to do any more than mumble about that). What is this "sukkah" thing? Well, some of my friends have taken to calling it my "fort," which works, although I'm not sure it would do me much good in the face of marauding enemies. At its most basic, a sukkah is a temporary dwelling that commemorates the transient shelter used by the Israelites in the desert. But Sukkot, the 7-day festival for which we build the Sukkah, is also a harvest festival, and a joyous one at that. So there are decorations and parties and general merriment.

At one point I thought I'd make a reusable fabric chain, sort of like Malka did. But time got the best of me, and paper chains it was. My friend Katie and I made the chains yesterday, just in time for our afternoon Sukkah party. We used pretty paper, though. And hung red lanterns and decorated tables with gourds and put out lots of food. The weather even cooperated, as the gloomy morning turned into a lovely, sunny fall afternoon.

The not-made fabric chains had company in the not-finished project department. I also thought about--and even started--a mini-quilt or table runner or something. But that was not to be as I pieced the top but got no further. But that's ok because I have another plan in mind for this flimsy and I think I might even like the new idea better than the old one.


Party Like It's 2012

>> Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes when I quilt, I watch TV (via the internet). Sometimes when I quilt, I listen to music. And sometimes when I listen to music, I listen to the same album or group over and over again. And that's how I made this quilt. It may as well be the Library Voices quilt because I listened to them over and over and over again as I made this quilt. And I highly recommend you check them out: they're fun, literary, and catchy. And Canadian. After you hear them, you will be singing lyrics from their songs to yourself or out loud. I mean, I really try to avoid forcing anyone to endure my terrible voice, but when no one's around or I'm on a run or in the shower, well, sometimes I do sing aloud. And you will sing aloud when you listen to Library Voices. I first heard them live in New York earlier this summer, and lyrics stuck with me and I have no ear (really, no ear) for music. Just a warning before you listen to them on repeat and start singing.

And this is a quilting blog, so back to the usual topic. I made this quilt using Angela's Apple Crate Quilt tutorial. Her "recipe" is fat-quarter friendly, but it's also super-easy to use whole cuts of fabric. You just need fewer strips: 3 42" strips of 2 fabrics will yield a Block A and a Block B. Or should, except when you erroneously cut one of the required strips twice instead of once. But you would never do that, I'm sure.

I wanted to play with using a print as a "solid" -- or at least as the constant, the background. I had this flower print in my stash and selected stash solids that coordinated with it. A simple block design + chain piecing made this come together pretty quickly. I finished the quilt top in one afternoon/evening. The 4x4 block layout yielded a quilt that measured about 46" x 54". Angela's tutorial provides instructions for a larger quilt, but the straightforward blocks make it easy to size up or size down depending on your needs.

The back is a combination of navy and blue fleece, also from my stash. I'm donating this to Alternatives for Girls, as part of 100 Quilts for Kids, and I wanted to make it warm for a Detroit winter. The quilting was pretty simple: I quilted around some of the rectangles in each block randomly. Just moved from block to block and picked which rectangles as I went along. For the binding I used a combination of the leftover flower print and some of the solids.

In case you forgot: go check out Library Voices. They're currently playing in Canada, for the Canadian readers among you.


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