CALICO ROSE QUILTALONG: It Is Happening!

It’s a go!  We are going to have a Calico Rose Quilt Along.

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Here is the basic plan:  I am going to build a middle size quilt myself (72″ square) but I will try very hard to give (accurate) directions for folks who want to build large and small versions.  The quilt is based on 2″ squares.  If you want to build it based on 2-1/2″ squares, that is fine with me and I will answer questions as they come in, but I am not planning to write a pattern for that size at this time.  But don’t let that hold you back.  After all, when it is all said and done you will have  a great time, fewer scraps and a new quilt.  Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

The first installment will come out probably March 10.  It will include fabric requirements, a signup of some kind (looking for suggestions here) and the schedule.

You can quilt along making any size or a modification of your own.  I love to see your work.  It appears that most linky parties do not work on the WordPress platform and I don’t really want to do the Flikr thing, so I am not sure of the best way for us to keep up with each other’s work.  Suggestions here?!

This is a new thing for me and I am really excited to have a shared experience.  I know, waiting is the pits, but while you wait you can get your thoughts together and start cutting squares if you need to.  The original is made of three colors, but you can choose more or less or anything goes.  This time I think I will make a bright, springy version on a white-white background.

Should be FUN!!!

Food Fight

Why was food piled all over my kitchen?

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Because my freezer looked like this!

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In the last few months we have had the vacuum, furnace, washer, and freezer/fridge all die.  All were resurrected by Husband’s amazing mechanical skills except the vacuum.  The vacuum was replaced for $8, thanks to savvy shopping at Deseret Industries (a thrift store) where Husband saw a nearly new vacuum that just needed a little work.  (The new vacuum is known as the Blue Ferret, but that is another story.) The furnace and washer repairs were free except for labor.  The freezer/fridge needed parts as the defrost mechanism was dead, but for only $167, I have a practically new one that runs just fine.
How fortunate I am that my marriage has outlasted many major appliances–and I have a husband who manages the repairs.
Yikes!  I hate to think of what all this would have cost us otherwise!

Sew Sweet Simplicity Setting Option

***This Giveaway is CLOSED***

The final installment of the Sew Sweet Simplicity Block of the Month comes out today.  As a fortunate pattern tester, I had a  month to think about this ahead of time and had a lot of fun designing a setting plan that used the 12 blocks I created so far (2 each of the six Jacquelynne designed).

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By creating alternate blocks and setting the whole thing on point, the finished top is 50″ x 67″, a large throw/couch quilt. If you added a border or two, it would be a twin size quilt.  Not too bad for 12 fancy blocks and a few extras!

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The alternating blocks use the central snowball block that anchors each of the other blocks.  A set of written directions follows. This was a fun finish.  I wish I could say it was completely finished, but the top is at the quilters right now.  I’ll share more as soon as it is back from visiting Tara to get some of her magic.

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As usual, there is a giveaway and more fun (Including a preview of an upcoming event that might or might not include another block of the month.  Shhh!  Don’t tell!) from Jacquelynne.  Enter the giveaway here and on the other participating blogs to have a chance at more nice prizes.

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Here you can leave a comment for a chance at an e-book, retail value $14.95. There are several  little projects in this book along with recipes and fun crafts and projects that kids (of all ages) can do. At the Art of Home,  Jacquelynne’s own blog, she is giving away a large prize, which includes thread, patterns, book, tote bag and more. Retail value $70.

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Tutorial:  Alternating 12″ Snowball Block

CUTTING: one 6-1/2″ square four 2″ squares two 3-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ rectangles background fabric two 3-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangles background fabric ASSEMBLY: 1. Attach the 2″ squares to the corners of the 6-1/2″ square using the diagonal stitch-and-flip method as shown in the block patterns designed for the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM. Press. 2. Attach the 3-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ rectangles background fabric to the sides of the 6-1/2″ block. Press. 3. Attach the 3-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangles background fabric to finish the alternating block.  Press.

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I used six of these in this on-point layout. The setting triangles are 3 blocks 18-1/4″ squares, cut diagonally twice.  You will have two left over.  The setting corners are two blocks 9-3/8″, cut diagonally once. The quilt went together easily.  If an on-point setting appeals to you, consider alternating blocks.  It gives a new look (and a larger quilt).

Growing Up Odd Finished

It seems I always have a backlog of finished tops that are not yet quilted.  This is mostly for financial reasons.  I can manage up to about twin size tops on my old Pfaff 130, but larger ones need to be hand quilted or sent to a quilter.  If they are a lot of little pieces (most of my quilts are) they are sent to a quilter.  Let the machine handle all those seams!

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My records indicate that the Growing Up Odd top was finished sometime the last week of March 2014.  It set only about a year waiting for quilting…not too bad.  I have some that, well, we’ll just say have been waiting LONGER.

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Back to the point–quilter Barbara finished Growing Up Odd beautifully.  She used an all over design (well suited to this type of quilt) of swirls with an occasional abstract flower thrown in.  I am really happy with the results.

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Right now the quilt is on the bed in the guest bedroom reminding me that Spring is just around the corner.  If you have the urge to create a Growing Up Odd quilt of your own, check out the tutorial.  It is a great leader-ender and the results, while a little odd, are spectacular!

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A Calico Rose Quilt Along!

The votes are overwhelmingly in favor of a tutorial for the Calico Rose quilt.  And, as this blog is about to pass the milestone of  five years of existence, a quilt along might be a good way to celebrate!

Let’s do this!

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First, I have a few more questions–would you like to create a full bed quilt or a throw?  The Calico Rose pictured here is 49 blocks and finishes at 96″ square.  That is a big quilt.  And a lot of pieces–about 2500 of them.  Trust me.  I know this is a lot.  However, we could do that.  And you would have a big, beautiful quilt to show for it. And there is  something truly inspiring about directions that start “Cut 2000 2-inch squares in your choice of colors.”

We could also think  smaller–say a throw made out of 9 blocks and that same pieced border.  It would be about 48″ square.  .

Square works best for this design and odd numbers of blocks in the rows/columns, too.  That does restrict options a little.  We could make one with 25 blocks…that would be about 72″ square. That is similar in size to a Fading Charms quilt, which I have on a full size bed here at home, and it works.

Or, everyone could just do their own thing.

I want this to be fun, and I want you to be happy.  I know it is impossible to please everyone all the time, but it would be nice to please some of the people at least some of the time…Please, let your voice be heard.

Finally…A Rose

Quite some time ago I started building a quilt called “Calico Rose.”  Husband came up with the name and it seemed perfect for the original idea.

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After building 42 star blocks I realized the quilt was boring.  Ouch!  That hurt.  So I thought for a long time and decided that alternating blocks might help.  And, I built a lot of those.

The quilt was a top and not nearly so boring, but it didn’t feel finished and wasn’t really large enough to be a queen-size quilt anyway. Ouch again!

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Border time!  All the small delicate pieces in the body of the quilt made it feel impossible to put large slab borders on.  Pieced borders it had to be.  A THIRD ouch!

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Now, finally, it is a finished top.  Three “ouches” was all it took, but some things are like that.  You endure the thorns to have the roses.  I didn’t know it would be that way when Husband named the quilt.

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One dilemma remains–after this struggle I am not sure what to do.  I have my notes, but not pictures to really create a tutorial for the Calico Rose quilt.  It would have to be a written pattern.  Do people really want to build one of these–knowing there might be pain involved? What do you think?

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Sew Sweet Simplicity Sneak Peek

How is your Sew Sweet Simplicity sewing coming along?  My setting plan worked out and I finished the top this week.  While I can’t show the whole thing yet, here is a sneak peek to whet your appetite.

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That is the planned back and binding next to what is probably my favorite block in the bunch.  This version, with 12 blocks, is a nice size throw.  I am not sure it will be quilted by the “unveiling” date later on this month, but at least this much is ready.

Happy sewing!