Moss Garden Quilt Top is All In One Piece!

Is sewed the final two seams on my Moss Garden quilt tonight. I still have to add the borders, but the fabric I ordered won’t arrive for a couple of days.

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Without the borders this measures about 80 x 80 inches. Haven’t decided on the size of the borders yet, but I’m guessing they will add at least 10 inches in overall width. So this should be a nice queen size quilt when it’s done.

These pictures feel pretty accurate in color and value to me. I hurried and took photos  after we got home from our evening walk. There was just enough light left.

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I’m actually liking all the fabrics I used now that’s it’s put together. There were a couple I was questioning, but now I think it all works.

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Just look at these amazing fabrics! Gah! So amazing.

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Someone asked me for a list of the Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics I used, so here it is, design name first, color way second:

Coleus: Yellow

Enchanted: Green

Tiddlywinks: Red

Brassica: Moss

Brassica: Yellow

Jumble: Pink

Jumble: Turquoise

Geodes: Red

Succulent: Lime

Dream: Moss

Lady’s Purse: Red

Bouffant: Green

Big Leaf: Pink

Lotus Leaf: Lime

Strata: Red

Zig Zag: Aqua

Zig Zag: warm red

Roman Glass: Emerald

Ferns: Turquoise

Jupiter: Green (hard to find. can use Malachite instead)

Millefiore: Green

I typically buy half-yard cuts, but a few of these were thirds. Plan accordingly because you can’t get a large block and a full strip of smaller blocks for the nine patch out of one third yard width.

I have at least a dozen 9.5 inch blocks left over, plus a small pile of 3.5 inch squares. A decent amount of other scraps too. You could certainly plan more precisely and not have as much left over. Good thing I like scrappy quilts!

 

 

Moss Garden Nearly Done

I’ve been sewing along on the Moss Garden blocks and the top is nearly done. I finished the right four vertical rows last night. Tonight, I completed all the five left side vertical rows except for one horizontal seam.

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Tomorrow night I’ll sew the final horizontal seam on the left, and the long vertical seam to connect the two sides.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to use for a border on this quilt. I’ve tried a lot of different options and have landed on this combination.

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I’ll do a small inner border of the red strata and a larger outer border of the lotus leaf in citrus. I like the strata for the smaller border because of all the colors in it. I had to order these two pieces of fabric so will have to wait a few days to finish the border. I know that I should have some of the that lotus leaf somewhere. I used it as a backing for my turquoise Algorithm quilt and had some left over. But I can’t find it for the life of me.

The backing will be the turquoise zig zag. I got a large piece on sale last fall. Haven’t decided yet what the binding will be.

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These fabrics… seriously! They are so amazing!

I Came. I Tweaked. I Conquered.

I dug in this afternoon and finished the last nine 9-patch blocks for the final two rows of this Moss Garden quilt and got them, along with the last nine ten inch squares up on the design wall. I also moved two of the previous rows to my second design wall since one is not big enough for a queen size quilt. I’m able to get the horizontal rows needed on the wall, but I can’t get the width. fin1

To do the final tweaking of the quilt top, I take two photos and put them together in a document to get one view of the entire top. Here are the two photos that were combined for the one image above. Click on the images to get a bigger view.

This final tweaking is the most frustrating part of making a quilt top for me. It seems like if I find an issue I want to fix, when I move a block to fix it I make a whole new problem somewhere else. Eventually, I just have to say, “that’s good enough.”

The blocks near the bottom of the quilt aren’t as dark as they appear. I keep looking at this on the design wall and that darkness just isn’t really there. It’s all due to lighting and camera angle.

I made a couple of tweaks to this layout after I took these photos. And now I’m done. I’ll start sewing the blocks together tomorrow evening. Once it’s all together, I’ll get some better photos.

I have a pretty good pile of scraps left over from this quilt. I’m already thinking of my next scrap quilt. I have some ideas for a string quilt made from KFC fabrics. I’ve been drafting out some sample block ideas and it looks like it might be fun. I’ll share more later this week after I have some time to give it a little more thought.

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… around a dozen ten-inch blocks, a stack of 3.5 inch squares, and some WOF pieces that may get cut into 2.5 inch strips and put away.

The new Kaffe Fasset book that I ordered, Quilts in Burano, arrived early this evening. I haven’t had a chance to go through it in too much detail yet, but it’s always inspiring to get a new Kaffe book!

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Moss Garden Moving Along

The big old blocks really go fast. I spent a couple hours on this quilt this afternoon and evening and have gotten a lot done. Tomorrow, I’ll tweak the arrangement of the blocks, and will move two of these rows to my second design wall and then add the final two rows. nine

I might remove one or two fabrics that I’m not loving in this quilt. But I want to think about it before I make that rash decision.

This quilt will be nine blocks by nine blocks, plus a border.It should end up being a queen size quilt.

One of the people I hiked with yesterday is Heather, an excellent photographer who loves to take photos of dogs. She got some great ones of my dogs.

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Bender is an expert level poser. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad photo of him. He will sit and pose for as long as you like, and he’s just so handsome that you can’t help but take a good photo.

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Rico is very handsome in a different way. He is a beef cake! He’s all twisted steel and sex appeal. And he’s so sweet.

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The dogs ran their hearts out yesterday! And all those dogs just get along so well. So nice to have dogs who you can just toss out there together and they are all fine.

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And then these handsome boys. What can I say about these guys? They’re pretty amazing!

Today we went for Rico’s weekly sheep herding lesson and he was amazing! I wish it was easier to post a video here.

 

 

Moss Garden Quilt Is Under Way

I met some friends early today for a hike and then came home and got working on my next quilt. I cut all the fabrics last night, so was ready to get busy when I got home today around 10 am.

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I made a lot of headway today. These blocks are 9.5 inches, and the 9 patch block pieces are 3.5 inches each. I still need to move some things around on the design wall. But I’m really liking how this looks.

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These fabrics are so amazing! I just love putting colors and patterns together. This looks different in reality than it did in my head, but I LOVE it!

The pattern for this quilt is free on the Free spirit website. I’m using different fabrics than this pattern calls for. You can find the pattern here.

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There’s all my pieces just waiting to be assembled.

And I want to talk about this fabric for a minute…

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That amazing fabric is Jupiter in the green color way. I found it online a couple of years ago and bought two yards — and I wish I’d purchased a lot more. This is the first time I’ve ever used any of it. I LOVE that fabric! The colors are so vibrant and bright. It’s one of my all time favorite Kaffe fabrics and  it can be a little hard to find. This is one that I’d ask KFC to bring back again!

I’m thinking I’m going to make this quilt 9 blocks by 9 blocks and will add a generous border. It should end up being a queen size quilt. And I’m thinking I just might keep it for myself! It doesn’t hurt to have options for your bed quilt!

Today was my last day of vacation. As I mentioned above, I met a couple of friends really early this morning to go for a hike.

And I mean ridiculously early.

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Yes, I really set my alarms for 3:30 and 3:45 this morning. 3:30 was the warning alarm, and 3:45 meant GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF BED!

It took me about an hour to get ready to go and I had a drive of a little over an hour before I met my friends at the trail head at 6 am.

I don’t see a lot of sunrises in my day to day. But I saw a gorgeous one this morning on my early drive… complete with a view of Mt. Hood.

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Let me just say that I am not a morning person. But our trek was so beautiful and quiet that it was worth the early alarms. My two friends and I and our seven dogs hiked for three hours and didn’t see one other person.

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It was 46 degrees when I arrived at the trail head, but it was easy to keep warm with the exercise. And it was so gorgeous when the sun started peaking through the trees.

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These boys sure did enjoy a nice long trail run with all their friends. This has been a great week for dogs!

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I just love the dense forests in Western Oregon. The trees are thick and big. There are ferns everywhere. And there is an earthy and organic smell that is unique to this part of the world. It’s pretty magnificent.

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We were well spaced out through our hike. Must have been at least 20 or 30 feet between us at all times. My friends are serious walkers. We did not lolly gag on this hike. We covered ground! The only stopping we do is to take photos of dogs!

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One last photo of the first rays of morning light and the dense forest fauna.

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Pandemic Vacation Beach Day

beach13Day three of our pandemic vacation found me and my boys on Arcadia Beach on the Oregon Coast. Low tide was at 9 am so I got up early and was on the road by 7:30. We were on the beach a little after 9:00. There were only about ten cars in the parking lot when we got there.

It’s 80 miles to drive from my house in SW Portland to the coast. It really is wonderful to be able to take a really easy day trip to the beach and get refreshed and recharged in a matter of a few hours. There’s nothing like a few hours on the beach — the salt air, the surf, the wind, wide open spaces — to make all the stresses and worries fade away.

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The dogs absolutely love the beach. They know when we get close and they start whining about ten miles before we reach our destination. Maybe they can smell the sea air. It’s torture for them to have to pose on a rock. But it’s a tradition that we take a picture of them posing on something when we go to the beach. They would rather just RUN!

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I always check the tide tables before I go to the beach because my favorite beach is bordered by a cliff. So you really need to be aware of where the tides are and whether they’re coming in or going out. The tide this morning was really low. I’ve been coming to this beach for ten years and I’ve only seen it this low one other time. This meant that I could walk from my beach to Cannon Beach to the North and Hug Point Beach on the south.

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It was so beautiful today. It was supposed to be cloudy with a high of 64 degrees, but the marine layer burned off by about 10 am and the sky was so incredibly blue. It was perfect weather!

I walked  6.33 miles on the beach! The dogs must have run 20 miles… literally! As I walk, they are running almost constantly. They had actually slowed down by the time we got back to the car!

When I first moved to Oregon, the sea stars were plentiful. You would see the orange and purple ones, some as big as dinner plates, all over the rocks. And then over several years, they all disappeared. I don’t think they ever figured out what happened to them. It was so sad to see them disappear. But now, they’re coming back and we saw quite a few today. Not like the old days, but they appear to be having a come back.

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This one was bigger than my two hands combined.

It was odd to take a trip to the coast and not stop anywhere. There’s a lovely little quilting store in Cannon Beach that I always stop at and spend some money. But I didn’t stop today. I just don’t want to go into stores that aren’t absolutely essential. And as essential as fabric is, I have a room full of fabric!

We were so efficient, we got home just after 2:00. So I called a friend who visited often before the pandemic and we would always go to the beach when she was in town. She wanted to see photos and hear about our beach trip. She’s the one who introduced me to Kaffe Fassett Fabrics and to quilting. She gave me my very first scrap of yellow brassica and I can remember how incredible it was to me. And look at me now!

After telling my friend about our day trip, I spent some time cleaning up my sewing room… putting away that huge pile of batik scraps and doing some general straightening.

I sewed the final seams and pressed my scrappy batik quilt top last night. It all went together so easily and nicely. It turned out about 64 x 74 inches.

beach1I’m going to finish it without a border. Trying to decide what to use for a backing. I’ll need to buy something as I don’t have a piece that’s right. I’d like to have a large print, multi color batik for this one.

I was famished by 4:30 so I made a big salad for dinner and then took the dogs for another 3.77 mile walk while I listened to music to end the evening. We walked over 10 miles today! I can’t believe how much better I feel. Could have easily walked five more miles! I’m sure we’ll all sleep really well tonight.

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Tomorrow morning I’m meeting a friend back at Frenchman’s Bar for a hike and a swim in the Columbia. I’m planning on starting my Moss Garden quilt tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Fastest Quilt Top Ever

Today was my first day of a week long vacation and after an outing with the dogs in the morning I returned home and got to work on this quilt. When I stopped last night I had 40 blocks completed. I finished the remaining 16 blocks by around 7:00 pm tonight, took the dogs for their evening walk, then came home and sewed the vertical rows together.

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It’s hard to comprehend that I have this much surface area in batik scraps. And there’s still a ton left.

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Tomorrow I’ll sew the rows together. I’m going to go to Costco in the morning for my big monthly stock up and then we’ll take a drive up the Columbia River Gorge in the afternoon. Maybe head up to Hood River and see if we can find some fresh fruit and maybe some spectacular views of Mt. Hood.

This morning we headed up to Frenchman’s Bar on the Columbia River for our first vacation outing. We took a walk around a big field and racked up about two miles. The grass was really tall and there was a fair amount of stinging nettle to navigate. The front of my calves are stinging tonight. It’s finally easing off, but I can still feel it.

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Then we retraced our steps back down this path trying to find the foot path to the river that we’ve always used. We got back down to the far end and found the path. It was really overgrown by blackberries so we had to form a plan B. We walked back down the field  to the more formal path that goes from the parking area to the river. And in about a half mile, we were there. By this point we had walked about four miles.

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The dogs were really ready for a nice cool swim by the time we got to the river.

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That’s Rico above, and then bender below.

done8 The river was gorgeous today. Smooth as glass. The sky was incredibly blue with just a few clouds. And we almost had the entire place to ourselves.

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These boys are so patient with all the posing I make them do!

We walked along the beach most of the distance back to the car. By the time we were done, I had walked five miles and the dogs had probably run ten! They are completely wiped out tonight!

All ready for a good night’s sleep and day two of vacation tomorrow.

 

On One of My Jags

I’ve gotten forty blocks done since I started on Friday night. Thinking I’ll need a total of 64 to make a generous throw size quilt. So just 24 more blocks to go. I’m liking the look of this quilt.

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It’s pretty common for me to go on sewing jags like this. I get an idea in my head, think about it a little to make sure I have a good idea of how it will work, and then I just go. And I can be pretty obsessive about it.

And when I start something like this, even thought I’ve already got two more quilts I’m pretty much ready to start, I’m going to have to finish these blocks or it will nag at me. Plus I know that if I don’t finish the blocks this could sit unfinished for years.

I did add a twist to this quilt today by inserting some pieced wedges. I think they’re interesting and add a little interruption to a pretty repetitive quilt.

I simply sewed some of the strips trimmed from these blocks to each other in a row, and then trimmed them to have straight sides.

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I made a bunch at one time, which appeals to my need for order and efficiency.

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And them trimmed them into wedge shapes so they were ready to sew into a block.

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I might make three or four more of these pieced wedges. I don’t want too many of them in the quilt. I just want to see one every now and again.

Now I have to finish this so I can start my green and pink Kaffe quilt!

My vacation week starts tomorrow. I’m planning on taking the dogs fora nice hike and swim in the river in the morning, and then more sewing in the afternoon.

Completely Out of the Blue

I started a new quilt last night completely out of the blue. I hadn’t even thought about it until about two days ago.

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The quilt that inspired me to do this was on the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild blog. It was made out of solid blues and greens, but I thought it was a great way to use up my impressive supply of batik scraps.

So late last night I dug into my batik scrap box and started pulling strips that were wide enough to go across the full width of an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. That was the most time consuming and complicated part of making these initial 14 blocks.

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The strips are sewn onto a piece of newsprint. I bought a ream of it about a year ago for paper piecing templates. These blocks will be sewn together into long vertical rows, which will then be sewn into the quilt top.

The blocks will be offset from column to column because I don’t want all those straight horizontal lines at the top and bottom of the blocks to all line up across the width of the quilt because I think it would be really apparent… and not in a good way.

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The newsprint makes it really easy to tear the paper off. But even then, it’s not my favorite thing to do.

 

I have this piece of batik that I might use for the back… or I might find something more dynamic and fun for this bright quilt.

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Itching to Get Cutting

I’m still thinking about fabrics for my next quilt. I’ve ordered a few missing pieces to fill out this selection of fabrics.

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I think I’m only missing one piece of what I ordered. As soon as that arrives I can get started.

I’ve decided that I’m going to use these fabrics for the Moss Garden quilt. Here it is with the fabrics specified by the pattern.

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The solid blocks and nine patch blocks are 9.5 inches so this will work up fast. The pattern is free from Free Spirit Fabrics. You can find a pdf of it here. I haven’t decided yet how big this quilt will be. I might go ahead and make it a queen size if I’ve selected enough fabrics. I already have a big piece of fabric for the backing and have plenty for a bigger quilt.

While I’m waiting for my last pieces of fabric to arrive I’ve started looking at fabrics from my stash for a yellow quilt. I’ve wanted to make a yellow quilt for awhile. These fabrics aren’t final and I have a few pieces on order. Some of these will probably be deleted and I have a few other pieces I’m considering. A friend of mine is sending me a piece from her stash that I haven’t been able to find online.

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Look at all that fantastic color! It’s amazing to me that you can have all that gorgeous color and still see clearly that this will be a yellow quilt. I recently purchased a big piece of yellow feathers that I’ll use for the backing.

I’m thinking about making the Yellow Pot Pourri quilt in Kaffe’s Simple Shapes book, but using my own selection of fabrics.

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This quilt is made up of three different size pieces that are assembled almost randomly to make larger blocks. I haven’t decided if I’m going to follow the very detailed drawing in the book, or if I’m going to design my own block using several different size squares and rectangles to make up a bigger block to get a similar effect. I’d like to make the block to it sews together with no need to match any seams as the blocks are joined together. After struggling so much with my scrappy hexagon quilt, I’m craving something that will go together easily.

It’s been hot here this week. That means that our mid day walks have been a little shorter since the dogs get so hot. I also worry about them burning their feet on the pavement when it’s really hot. We’ve also been taking our evening walks a little later when it cools down. I’m already noticing that it’s getting darker a little earlier each day. This always makes sad each year because I just love the long summer evenings. I wish we could have that beautiful evening light all year long.

We had our agility lesson tonight. It’s about a 20 mile drive for me to get there, so by the time I get home it’s completely dark. After our lesson tonight I took the dogs for a walk around the campus of Clackamas Community College, which is near where I have my lessons. The sunset was amazing!

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We’ve had gorgeous sunsets this summer. I wonder if I’m just noticing more of them because I see them as I’m out walking the dogs each night.

I’m taking next week off for some needed vacation time. I’m planning on doing a few day trips… at least one drive out to the coast and a nice long walk on the beach. Then a couple of hike days. Maybe head up the Columbia River Gorge for a day trip. The dogs would love a swim or two in the rive.  And then I plan on getting a lot of sewing done.

I’m excited to get going on all these gorgeous fabrics!

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