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02/06/2014 / thriftomancer

Blue-green squares, months later

You last saw this quilt in early October when all I had were these nifty little cores of 43 quilt blocks.

Block cores

Adorable. It’s been 4 months though, and quilts grow up so fast. This is what I’ve got now:

Blue-Green quilt blocks

That’s 49 completed 6.5″ square blocks and 43 block cores. I’ve calculated that I’ll need 195 completed blocks to make a 78″ x 90″ top, so I’ve still got 146 to go. (Which may lead to me deciding to mix completed blocks with cores and unfinished blocks of intermediate size. could be cool.)

02/03/2014 / thriftomancer

Another new year!

Happy 2014, everyone! Belated, I know, but now that things have settled down I can show you what I was up to over the holidays and what is on my plate at the moment. (I bet you’re intensely excited.)

For example, there was this quilt.

An x-mas quilt!

(That’s the back of the pieced top, but the lighting was best in this pic.)

This year I’ve decided I need to update more (always) and on a wider variety of things because this blog is supposed to be about learning and making “stuff,” and that means more than textiles. There will still be a bunch of textile work, of course, but I’ll also be writing about:

  • Bonsai (year 2 for my saplings)
  • Crafting armor and metalwork
  • Dwarven beards

It’s going to be fun, you’ll love it.

11/26/2013 / thriftomancer

1 of 3, done!

Welp, it’s that time of year again, the present-making season where I can’t post much of anything without revealing gift-spoilers. I can, however, show you this. My HST quilt is done!

Cotton scrap HST - front

You might notice that I replaced the blue batik with a black/cream pinstripe. (Which is actually a linen blend and not cotton at all, but we don’t mention that.) I thought the stripes looked better with the other patches’ patterns than the more circular forms in the batik.

Here’s the back:

Cotton scrap HST - back

I was originally going to use that purple plaid shirting all by itself, then I remembered that a solid backing would waste an opportunity to use up even more of my blue/green scraps. So I cut up all the remaining scraps I could into 1.5″ wide strips and made a semi-pieced backing.

Cotton scrap HST - back detail

I didn’t expect it to get so wibbly, but I like it more than if the rows were all perfectly straight.

(Note: I took these pictures inside instead of out on the line like I normally do with my ‘done!’ pictures. This is because, at the moment, it’s a balmy 29 degrees F outside and windy. Welcome back, winter.)

This quilt is also the first time I’ve ever used polyester batting and I got some questions about it, so let me do a mini-review really quick:

I only chose to use poly because I foresaw destruction by cheese at the hands of my family when someone (my dad) inevitably dropped crumbs on it. Based on the poly horror stories I’d heard, I figured using the stuff was going to be a sacrifice I’d have to make in order to have the quilt last any appreciable amount of time.

I used Soft and Warm, made by The Warm Company. (The folks who make the cotton batting I normally use.) It’s needle-punched with no scrim and I was surprised by how distinctly not-terrible it was. It was soft, fluffier than I’m used to, and easy to stitch, so… Thumbs up. I still like my cotton batting, but this poly is pretty all right. I’m still keeping an eye out for bearding, haven’t seen nay yet, but it’s under observation.

10/22/2013 / thriftomancer

Tripling up for once

Usually when quilting I finish whatever project I started before moving on to a new one. Usually. Right now I’ve got three quilts going at once, which is a new record for me. The top of the manic quilt is done, the concentric squares are in progress (10 6″ x 6″ blocks finished), and now there’s this pie-like stack of triangles:

Half-square stack

That became this:

HST top WIP

Since I was already in stash busting mode with my linen, I figured why not work on whittling down my cotton too? After all, my cotton stash had a similar problem with green build-up and it couldn’t hurt to finally use the fabrics that had been sitting around, some for years now. So, a half square triangle top is in the works.

Because this quilt’s cotton, the fabrics are a mix of new yardage (the solids, mostly), and reclaimed material from clothes, tablecloths, and whatnot. In light of that, I feel terribly lucky about how all the colors worked out. Like any other stash busting project, I was working with just what I already had on-hand in whatever quantities there happened to be. It was pure, stupid luck that I had enough of each fabric to carry the bands of color exactly as far as I wanted to. (Even if I did decide later that I didn’t like the blue batik pattern and replaced it with a black and off-white striped linen.)

For now I’m planning on making a solid backing out of some purple plaid shirting from my stash and using polyester batting instead of my usual needle-punched cotton. I’ve never worked with poly batting before, so I don’t really know what to expect or if I’ll like it. What I do know is that this quilt will be used on the living room couch, which means that people (my dad) are going to fall asleep while watching TV and drop cheese, M&M’s, lunchmeat, ect. on it, so it needs to be highly washable. Thus, polyester. we’ll see how it goes.

10/01/2013 / thriftomancer

Doubling up again

I’ve started a second quilt!

Now that the Manic quilt (yes, that’s what I’m calling it) is well under way I figured it would be safe enough. I was holding off on starting this next one since I didn’t know how much blue and gray I would need and didn’t fancy accidentally running out in the midst of piecing, but now that Manic requires nothing but black I’m free to go on with my previous (-ly abandoned) plan of a blue and green quilt.

Right now the idea is to make a bunch of tiny, Beatrice Lanter-inspired cores like these:

Block cores

That’s what I’ve made thus far. 45 of them: 42 new and 3 that I originally made for the Culture quilt but didn’t include. I haven’t decided how large to make each block yet, but at the moment I’m wavering between 6″ or 8″ square when finished. Either way I’ll need quite a few blocks, 195 or 120 respectively, so that mass utilization of my blue and green scraps that I wanted is so on! I’ve already used up a large portion of my more miniscule scraps making those cores and couldn’t be happier about it.