Monday, April 22, 2019

Two Ongoing Challenges

The first challenge is one I am hosting for the third year the #30quiltdesignschallenge2019. You can look at that hashtag or the previous two years, by changing the year, on Instagram.

This year you won't find as many designs on Instagram because we decided to protect them by having a private FaceBook group. The number of designers sadly has dropped to about half. Some have said they just don't have time this year, but we are wondering if it is a bit of an aversion to yet another private FB're preaching to the choir here; I basically only use FB for Island Batik and one good friend, and now this. If you'd like to be a part, and are fine with using Instagram, then that is absolutely fine and it's not too late! In fact, we are considering extending the deadline from May 15 to the 25, which is 70 days total, what the other two years were. That still gives you 5 weeks! Shoot me an email or DM me through Instagram; we really are a supportive group, and there have been some terrific designs, some digital, lots on graph paper, so if that's a concern, banish it!

Did I mention there are some sweet prizes?!

One person who finishes will get one of their designs made up into a backyard quilt, similar to this one, by Quilt Designs in the Yard.
Rather than made of wood, they are made of aluminum, with the design etched on. Brenda sent me one, and they are really gorgeous.

Two other prizes are gift certificates to Clinton Modern Creative and Cali Quilt Co. 😊 More fabric. Yessss!

The first challenge leads into the second one. This month's challenge with Island Batik is to make a baby quilt using the AccuQuilt Go! dies.

With that in mind, I picked a block from the booklet that comes with the 8" dies and opened up EQ8 and started to play a bit. I've already shown this design on Instagram, but here is what I eventually came up with:
This will be the third of my own designs all grown up into real fabric this year! Moody Blues was the first, and Cheerio! was the second. Here is it starting to bloom on my design wall:

I cannot tell you, unless you have experienced it, what a thrill it is to see something you drew on graph paper, or saw in your head, or played around with the colouring and orientation in EQ, start to be. Which may be why I highly encourage you to consider joining our 30 Quilt Designs Challenge!

I will admit that:
1. at first I was over the moon to use this machine: speed! precision! get more quilts made!
2. and then after my initial testing with scrap fabrics, I was rather skeptical because there is some waste, like 1/4" around each shape. And that does add up.

However. The HSTs....

I followed the tip about putting your fabric RST before loading it onto the die, so the HSTs come out in pairs, ready to be sewn.

Look at that stack of 'em ready to be simply plucked off in pairs and sewn.  

Yes I yelled that, and yes I love it because you open them up and boom! Done. Next!

And then.... when I sewed the single HST on either side of the HST square, everything just lined up...

I. Can't. It's just so perfect.
and I smiled.

So did Rufus last night, sneaking into my 'new' sewing room which is in our old bedroom off the living room:
He desperately wants to be a quilt dog like a couple of others, one in particular I could mention, as well as a certain cat. But we don't chew fabric, Rufus! And we play nice with Bella. So he has some learning and growing to do. He does look good with the dark pink though I think.

Light pink and green also are making me smile.

I'll be back soon with a flimsy to show you and a finish by the 30th! This Saturday is DrEAMI! so if you've had a Drop Everything And Make It! moment, I hope you'll link it up, as those squirrels are meant to be shared.

I lied. There are actually a few more challenges going on in my life. One is the renovations. This next stage (I know I owe you a kitchen reveal post) is the upper storey, where I sew, and where we are putting in dormers, two out the front to give our little house a Cape Cod flair, and one shed one out the back. Here is the sewing room as of this morning, stripped front half by my faithful hardworking MacGyver.


  1. Bare boards, I know that feeling. Love the way those fabrics go together perfectly, and lovely shades for the quilt.

  2. I wonder if the designs went on slack next year? Private but not facebook.... I’ll keep thinking as I do think not being on instagram is hurting, but I like that the designs remain private. I may show you an IB project before it is revealed and then it is not public before I want it to be.... Rufus slays me....someone else must have chewed that fabric.

  3. I love how your IB baby quilt is coming along! Seeing a design come to life in fabric really is a wonderful feeling :) I can't seem to find the time to get as much designing done as in past years, but I'm still hopeful I'll have a spurt of inspiration and manage to finish in time. Fingers crossed!

  4. I had intended to play along with designs, but time got the better of me, and I haven't had time to sit and play with pen and paper. I don't mind FB. And I don't mind it going back to Instagram either. I need to find time to figure out EQ8. Good luck with the renos.

  5. You certainly have a lot of pans in the fire my friend. Remember to take some time time to smell those flowers that are starting to come out, love the magnolia tree buds.

  6. Hi Sandra! Kitchen remodel, sewing area remodel plus keeping up on deadlines. That's a lot on your plate but you are handling all of it without issue. Oh Rufus - you got this! No chewing on fabrics allowed - I know you have proper chew toys. You'll make it to the big time as a quilt dog soon enough. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Oh Rufus, you doofus!
    The wastage on the accuquilt does take some getting used to, and it's not the best way to make every quilt. But it is the exact right tool for certain jobs (and deadlines) it comes out of its naughty corner for those. The ease of getting everything aligned without trimming is also a true marvel. And that pairing of cut trimmed triangles thing is so good it should be illegal. :)
    I can't do thirty designs in a year let alone 70 days! But I agree with you about the buzz of bringing your own ideas to life. I admire other people's patterns. I even buy said patterns occasionally with good intentions. But this little addict always seems to return to the drafting board to actually make a quilt. Wishing you well with your challenge and the bigger questions of forum. Loved Moody Blues and Cheerio! and I see this new one's shaping up to be awesome too.

  8. I love your enthusiasm for the Accu-Quilt. I found the fabric waste more than I could handle...I guess it's my personality. But your quilt design is beautiful and the colors are yummy. And the sewing studio will be great when it is finished. You have a gem of a husband who keeps on task. And Rufus is a king sized pup!

  9. Well, at least Rufus has good taste in fabric? Hehe. Wilbur is currently sitting in my kitchen windowsill (he is not supposed to be). Wilbur has selective listening skills. You have multifaceted challenges going on, my friend! I am woefully behind on designs. Kathleen's idea of Slack is a possibility. I wonder if peeps just liked the convenience of a quick post on IG? Like Anja, I need to carve out time to learn EQ8. Hope you enjoy all the challenges, my friend! That quilt design coming to life is really fun!

  10. Lots going on with the challenges. I wouldn't have minded a private facebook group, but there just wasn't time to play along this year. Looks like you sewing space redo is moving along.

  11. Your QAL is gorgeous! You have the gift! I am quite envious of your sewing space, and that you are able to enhance it. It will be wonderful.


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