Category Archives: Design

New and Improved and Now In Michigan!

Yes, I’m excited. We have moved into our home in Michigan. My husband has already found a new job and is working daily, with overtime even. I’m still trying to fit everything into a house 1/3 the size of the old one.  Something has to go!

Before we left Missouri we had a garage sale and sold quite a bit. Once we arrived we found a lot more had to go and had another garage sale! Now I’ve got an ad on Craigslist, looking for a local quilting group that will use donated fabric for charity quilts. I know there is no way I can make enough quilt tops with my stash to make a dent any time soon.

I’m looking for work, and meanwhile I found a little time to work on the maze quilt. This is a baby quilt, for a player to be named later. It’s simply a design I wanted to challenge myself to make.maze quilt topThe “entrance” is on the left, 10th row from the top, and the “exit” is on the right, 16th row from the top. Yes, a reading teacher cannot do it otherwise, left to right is the rule. I just need to make a “go” symbol for the entrance, and a goal or home symbol for the exit, and incorporate them into the border.

I am so happy to be in Michigan, and if a job doesn’t show up on my horizon soon, I’ll be happily quilting here.

 

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Pictures so far: Maze quilt

I was able to carve out a couple of hours to work on the maze quilt this weekend. I didn’t actually keep track, but I think it was between 4 and 5 hours.

Here are some of the strips sewn into sets of two.  I had some extra lengths that I left as is, and some small pieces that will do a single block where needed.

Next I sewed some of the two-sets together, to make four-sets. These will be a shortcut for the places I need four colored blocks in a row.

Then I cut the four-sets in half, so that each row of four is now the correct width.

The white fabrics I will leave as strips in the places I can sew a longer piece in, or cut as needed. As I sewed, sometimes I needed the equivalent of one block, two pieces, three, or four. Fewer seams that way.

Here is the top row completed. All the blocks are sewn together. You can see I have neon green sticky notes telling me this is row 1, blocks A-F. I have 9 rows total to do.

Here is the total progress as of Sunday evening! I’m so pleased with it. I was afraid the walls, with darks, brights, and lights in prints and solids, wouldn’t look so much like walls. I think it looks great, and I’m looking forward to making more rows, as I can.

Coming up, though, more of all my other projects going on right now.

  • Circle quilts for my friend’s daughters – she’s getting more of the embroidery patches done for me.
  • Plus sign quilt for my next grandchild – a girl who is coming anytime from early to mid-March. The top is complete, but I have to quilt and bind it.
  • Doll clothes – I’m starting to get an inventory, but a few more outfits and samples are needed before I can open the Etsy store.

My full-time job sometimes gets in the way of my hobby! I’d much rather be sewing.

More design on the maze

I decided that sewing together my maze quilt will be done in 16-patch. Of course, with the odd numbers, the far right column will have patches that are 5 squares across by 4 squares high. The bottom row of patches will be 4 squares across by 5 squares high. The exception will be the bottom right square, which will be a 25-patch. I copied the maze design into Excel using the fill function. Then I spread the columns apart, then the rows. I had to fill with yellow in order to clearly see the separate patches. Click below to see the result.

quilt grid

Now I see how many rows of 4 color patches I’ll need, and I’ll be able to gauge whether I have plenty of the little blocks sewn together.  I’ll be working on it more this weekend, and hope to have a photo update by Sunday evening.

Progress on the maze quilt

I love a new project, I’m so excited to get going on it that it seems I have twice the energy and endurance of normal sewing sessions. I had to get started on the maze quilt.

I decided the first maze I showed would be the one I would make. I counted the blocks and found it to be 25 wide and 37 long. Odd numbers! I’ll put the characters in the border, so I’ll think about them later. I have a large version of the maze printed and posted in my sewing room to refer to.

I dug out all the bright and dark scraps I had, plus a few on the lighter side. I didn’t want anything too light, as the path will be white and I don’t want part of the wall to look like path. I discarded some of the fabrics as too heavy, or not appropriate for a baby or child. The squares will be 1 1/2″ square finished, so I started by cutting 2″ strips.

2" strips

At my sewing machine, I stitched together two random colors/prints. I left the strips whatever length they were, and didn’t care if the ends matched. Next would be trimming them.

trimming strips

Over at the cutting mat, I decided to trim the strips into 4″ lengths where possible, and 2″ if needed. Nothing smaller would work. My goal is to have a very random and colorful arrangement of fabrics as the wall of the maze.

stacks

I’m ready for the next part of the piecing. I’ll probably toss all the pieces in a small box and mix them gently so I’ll grab out two and have all different fabrics showing. Then I’ll stitch them together. (I started to describe the next step, but I think I’d better show it when I get there.)

If you plan to also make a maze quilt, I’d love to see it and hear about your ideas!

More thoughts on making a maze

I am delving deeper into designing a baby quilt with a maze. I found the website Here and Above with a handy rectangular maze generator. I input different numbers until I came up with a maze that I thought I could duplicate in fabric.

I wanted the walls and paths to be equal widths, so I can use a postage stamp-like piecing method. In fact, the more I thought about it, I’ll even use strips of white for the paths, so there isn’t quite as much cutting and sewing to do. I’ll make the walls from brightly colored scraps from my stash, which I’m still trying to whittle down.

Here are some mazes generated:

left entrance, right exit

I think I like this one best. Each time I hit the “back” button I could generate a different random maze, so I did several more.

top entrance, left exit

left entrance and exit

I think that one will not feel balanced. I like the chevron effect in the lower left portion, though.

top entrance, exit

All I could think was, why go through the maze when the goal is next to you? Again, I see a bit of design in it, this time a Grecian key effect.

I’ll have a wide border of a single fabric around the maze, and at the entrance point will be the “thing” and the exit point will have the “goal”. What should they be? Frog and a lily pad? Princess and a castle? Race car and checkered flag? Puppy and a ball? I’m thinking baby quilt, so I’ll take any suggestions you may have. I may like yours better than any of mine!

 

A maze quilt

It’s not often I think of my own designs for a quilt. I do tried-and-true traditional designs, or I find a photo of a quilt someone has done, figure out the dimensions for myself, and recreate it the way I want to.

I was wandering through Pinterest posts today and the thought hit me – I want to do a child’s quilt that ends up looking like a maze. A real one that the child can trace with her finger and find the prize at the end.

I started my Google image search for the maze design I will use, and found a few possibilities. What I love about the internet is that I can usually find what I’m looking for. These will be good places to begin to design from.

Stay tuned! At some point I’ll be posting photos of the one I have completed!

(more posts about the maze quilt HERE and HERE)

Odd critters

I had to laugh out loud when I saw these.

Some clever someone had converted old sewing machines into tractors. Add a few bits like gears, wheels, shafts, paint a bright color, even add a decal.

We were at an old gas tractor show in Scottville, MI last July and came across these.

How Fun!