Monthly Archives: December 2016

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I probably decided while attending the last QuiltCon that I would submit quilts for the upcoming QuiltCon (in Savannah in February). When I saw the Nine-Patch Challenge I knew I wanted to play with the geometry of the 9-patch and turn it into something non-rectangular. I made many sketches before zeroing in on a few possible versions of this idea. I settled on this version knowing that it would be a challenge to piece.

Perspective by Sarah Goer Quilts

I redrew my design in Illustrator as a 60" by 60" quilt. Much later in the process I questioned my choice in size, though in the end I'm quite pleased with the strong visual impact at this size. I decided I preferred a non-square quilt and adjusted the final size to finish at 51" x 61".

Perspective nine-patch blocks by Sarah Goer Quilts

Though the design was completed earlier, the entirety of this quilt was cut, pieced and finished in the month of November. Naturally, I began with the regular 9-patch units, a variety of sizes ranging from 3" to 18" finished blocks. Then I moved on to paper piecing the skewed 9-patch units.

Perspective (all nine-patch units) by Sarah Goer Quilts

Long pause.

Finally, with five days left until the submission deadline, I got to work on piecing the quilt top. I used my Illustrator document for measurements to meticulously cut the right triangles necessary to fill in next to each side of my trapezoidal 9-patch units.

From there it was like piecing together a puzzle. This was the step that was going to make or break my project and I was quite pleased when stuff started going together as planned.

Four days left. I made my quilt label and chose a backing fabric that didn't require piecing. (Score!) Then I basted my quilt and pondered how I would quilt it.

Three days left. I made my final decision for quilting, deciding on large pebbles (I prefer to think of them as river rocks) after a recommendation from Sarah. (Sometimes a crazy suggestion from a friend is just what we need!) This decision was not made lightly, with the submission deadline approaching. I spent 13 hours over two days quilting.

Submission day. The deadline was 10pm PST, so I had all day to trim, bind, photograph and submit my quilt. To say I was thankful that nobody in my family came down with any type of illness would be an understatement. A million thanks to my family for letting me check out for four days which enabled me to finish and submit my quilt on time.

I have really enjoyed seeing some Nine-Patch Challenge quilts pop up on Instagram and I look forward to seeing which quilts are selected to hang in the show. Congratulations to all who entered!

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Yesterday I received my rejection letters for the two quilts I submitted to Quilt Con. I'm bummed. This is a hard time in our community with people experiencing a whole array of feelings about why their quilts didn't make it. I hear ya. I really do. I'm definitely disappointed. However, it doesn't change the fact that I'm damn proud to have made this quilt. I was inspired by a fairly open-ended set of challenge guidelines and I designed and made a quilt that I love. The construction of the quilt was a stretch for me in multiple ways. For that, I feel like a winner. True, I had visions of my quilt hanging in the show in February and having my photo taken next to it. And I'm disappointed that won't be happening. However, just because this particular quilt wasn't a good fit for this particular show, doesn't mean I'm upset that I made it. Or that I wish I hadn't bothered.

Here's my perspective on creating. While I loved attending my first QuiltCon this year and would be proud to have a quilt hang in that show, I am not defined by whether my quilt was accepted or rejected for this, or any, show. I strive to make quilts that I love. The reasons I love them may vary across projects or even change over time, but I make because I love what I'm creating, not because I'm trying to make them fit in someone else's definition of good. And let's talk about good for a minute. There are some things I could have done differently with my quilt. Small ways I could have improved it a bit. (I felt this way before the rejection letter. ;-)) But, my quilt wasn't rejected because it wasn't good. It's darn good and so are the many other rejected quilts. (For the virtual show, see #quiltconreject on Instagram.) There were over 1,500 quilts submitted for this show. And my guess is that over 75% of those were rejected. To cultivate a show, there are many factors that go into the selection process. The rejection isn't personal.

This isn't the result I wanted for my first submission to a juried quilt show, but I look forward to entering this quilt and others into future shows.

Thank you to all my friends who were supportive along the way as I worked on this project.

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish It Up Friday.

Linking up to the Q4 Finishes Link-Up. See my Q4 list here.

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I'm participating in Cheryl's Meadow Mystery quilt along. By "participating" I've been mostly "watching everyone else make progress sewing for the past 3 1/2 months while I do nothing."

In September, when the first sewing instructions came out, I cut out all my fabric (only a month behind schedule). This week I finally sewed some of that fabric together. So far, I've finished the September, October, and November sewing steps. And I'm about a third of the way done with the December sewing. With any luck I'll finish those blocks up today and switch gears to a couple free motion quilting projects that I'd like to finish in the next week or so.

Meadow Mystery September by Sarah Goer Quilts

First, September's instructions were all about HSTs. I made 56 HSTs using the two-at-a-time method. 32 of them went together in these four colorful blocks and the other 24 (butterflies/white, not all shown) were awaiting further instruction. I'm so pleased with having chosen the Tula print for the variations in color it brings to the project. My last mystery quilt was scrappy for each set of fabric. This time I stuck to one fabric for each set, but this print brings a bit of that scrappy quality that I love.

Meadow Mystery October by Sarah Goer Quilts

October's instructions were to make all the hourglass and half hourglass blocks (52 total!). You can better see here that my white is actually a white on white print with small flowers.

Meadow Mystery November by Sarah Goer Quilts

November's instructions were to create the 16 flying geese and 16 square in a square units. I'm a little concerned that my square in a square units don't quite have a quarter inch seam allowance off all the points. Hopefully I don't lose too many points from my inner squares once these are pieced into larger units. I totally could have ripped out all my stitching before I trimmed them so that I could fix my seam allowance, but it seems this was one of those "done is better than perfect" moments. ;-)

Meadow Mystery December by Sarah Goer Quilts

Today I used a bunch of those units from September and October's sewing to start making these blocks. There are nine in all to make in December. I have three more to sew of each of the top blocks. I had all nine blocks up on the design wall and what stood out to me is that this quilt is going to be a lot of white. Perhaps that should have been apparent when there were 2 1/4 yards of my white fabric and 3 1/4 yards of my four other fabrics combined. But it didn't really hit me until today. I have never made a quilt with so much white fabric. That said, I'm excited to see it coming together. I'm eager to see what January holds for this project. It's feeling great to be nearly caught up. Note to self: start piecing the backing fabric. I think I'll use remnants of these fabrics and other purples.

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I have really enjoyed participating in quilt bees over the past two years. I was in Stash Bee in 2015 and both The Bee Hive and do. Good Stitches in 2015 and 2016. Today I mailed off my final blocks and I'll be taking a break from online quilt bees. I have two quilts in progress from my beautiful Bee Hive blocks and have contributed to many charity quilts with my do. Good Stitches blocks. I look forward to finishing my two quilts, one of which I may even keep for myself, as well as seeing the blocks I've contributed over the past months turned into finished quilts by my bee mates.

This weekend I got to work cutting out fabric for November and December bee blocks. I'm excited for them to be on their way.

Fizzy

The first block I made was a Fizzy block for Beckey. I love the color combination she chose. Any time I get to use low volume fabrics, I'm happy. She asked us to use grey, navy and any pink. It's worth noting that this block construction is designed to create a slightly oversized drunkard's path unit for each quarter that you trim down before putting the four sections together. It was fast and easy to construct!

 

Watermelon Plate

It was such a surprise when Jaime chose an altered version of my Watermelon Plate block for our November do. Good Stitches blocks. Her version features a rainbow, with low volume corners. Here's what she asked for:

Red: 2.5 x 12.5"
Orange: 1.5 x 12.5"
Yellow: 3 x 12.5"
Green: 2.5 x 12.5"
Blue: 2.5 x 12.5"
Purple: 3 x 12.5"
Low Volume: 4.5 x 4.5" (cut 4)

 

Tic Tac Toe

My final bee blocks for the year were Tic Tac Toe blocks for Tisha, who is making a Halloween quilt for her son. She was the leader and organizer or our swarm for the past two years, so I just couldn't resist making some extra blocks for her. It was fun to pick from my Halloween fabric and reminded me that I really need to make myself a Halloween quilt!

 

Thanks for visiting! I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday.