When I came home from the first NEMQ meeting a few weeks ago, I challenged myself to make a quilt of my own design, on the spot, using only fabrics from my stash. Result:

(Sorry for the shadows cast by the monkey bars!) Y’all can probably guess that I love, love, love this top. I used Kona in Ash, Coal, and Charcoal; Yuwa/Kei Honeyomb (of course) in Steel (both directions–gray dots on white and white dots on gray, though they read similarly in the finished blocks); AMH Little Folks Voile; Paula Prass Wild Thyme; a Windham red-and-white polka dot; and a giant, bold, red floral from Gorgeous Fabrics (which has also become the back). I used every scrap of fabric I had in my stash and had to use one teeny piece of Midwest Modern when I did not have enough gray fabric to finish the last piece in the final block. Hopefully it isn’t too noticeable (to you…it is screaming out at me from its resting place).

After I finished this, I learned that the block is called Map of the States and was invented by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson…with a much more sophisticated and easier method of piecing than I used. Yes, I used old file folders.  I fussy-cut every piece of fabric in these blocks (that’s about 400 pieces of fabric, if you’re interested in knowing that sort of thing).

fabric and block detail

There are actually four different blocks, which I worried wouldn’t be enough to differentiate them…but now I think it was unnecessary even to make four! Once they’re all sewn up into the quilt, they look completely different anyway.

I absolutely love this and, accordingly, made the sandwich immediately, only to run out of quilting thread a few minutes later. Not wanting to waste precious weekend quilting time going all the way to the store to buy thread, I began a new top instead. I’m going to try quilting with invisible thread for the first time, because I don’t think any one color will do justice to every patch. I can’t wait to quilt it, and plan to stipple it, as usual.

In other news, I spent some time making some great blocks from Modify Tradition this weekend…you should check it out! The site and tutorials are wonderful and the blocks are a perfect complement to my newly acquired library of Profiler DVDz (thank you, Katie P.). I’ll post some blocks later this week. Until then…

I finished this top about a week ago, but the weather was so terrible I couldn’t take any photos of it. The minute the sun came out, I darted outside with my camera and co-opted the monkey bars for a photo shoot.

I am so happy with how this turned out. So happy. It doesn’t match my original vision at all (things rarely do), but I think it is beautiful in a different way.

It measures 80″ x 96″, to fit a full-size bed. I’m worried about quilting it…it will be so difficult on my machine, but I would really like to do it myself. In Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, Joelle Hoverson calls a log cabin “a labor of love,” and it really was.

I spent about a month, start to finish, on this top, which is the longest I have ever worked on any project (notwithstanding my thesis and other academic pursuits). I loved working on it, but it did get monotonous.

My favorite fabrics are the cherry blossom fabric and the two Liberty prints (Lucy’s Farm), of which I have enough to make several matching pillows!

I think it’s relatively balanced, which I think is quite an achievement in light of the fact that I have neither a design wall nor a floor space large enough to accommodate such a mammoth top. I know the brown (called Bronze by K.F.) is slightly overrepresented on one side, but I am not tearing it out…I like the way it is.

My only issue with the process was squaring up the blocks, which seemed to take an eternity.

What a wonderful sense of accomplishment!

…in a new, old incarnation!

This quilt top was kind of…a process. I bought about eight yards of fabric for it, in many shades of yellow, two black-and-white, two grays–and several Amy Butler, white-dominant, yellow and/or gray florals. I decided on 6″ squares, because some of the AB prints were large-scale and had such beautiful lines, I didn’t want to lose them in the finished quilt.

I got my fabric pile all lined up, turned it this way and that, hemmed and hawed, tried to surprise myself into looking at it in a new way by leaving the room and then returning to it quickly to make sure nothing really caught my eye in a bad way (that doesn’t work, by the way)…sewed it up into strips, tried to cover up some of the fabrics to see what happened, etc. In the end, and this wasn’t intentional because I find it kind of weird and robotic, I ended up using exclusively AB and Denyse Schmidt fabric.  I removed all of the bright yellows and the stark black-and-white, leaving only some prints from the DS Hope Valley line and the Amy Butler florals.  I even MADE several (we’re talking dozens) of squares that I ended up disliking strongly, and are now lingering in the stash. I tried it with the black, without (it looked flat and horrible)…with extra yellow, with less yellow…etc. Finally, I just sewed it together, somewhat randomly. My only intention was to have as few same-colored triangles touch as possible.

I wanted a twin-sized quilt, but I had to get rid of so many squares that it ended up being only about 60 X 65. But…I really love how it turned out:

In other news, I busted some of the fabric budget I set out for my trip to Purl on Saturday (eee!) on these two fabrics from Gorgeous Fabrics:

Daisy May cotton

This is for a new quilt I have planned, unless I think it doesn’t work, in which case it will become a dress (I bought enough to make one, just in case).

Those of you that know about my obsession with Liberty fabrics will understand my excitement over this fantastic cotton lawn at a truly amazing price:

I bought enough for a dress AND a shirt. Definitely worth spending a part of my Purl kitty!