Sunset Isle Quilt Along

My name is Joni, and I’m a sucker for rainbow quilts. In fact, I’m working on so many right now I’m going to need to do something completely different soon to break out of it. That doesn’t mean I resisted joining in on the Sunset Isle quilt along hosted by Alyce of Blossom Hearts Quilts. And so here I find myself giving you a four-block update on my progress so far.

Before I get into the pretty block pictures, I’m proud that every single fabric in this quilt came from my stash! I’ve been working really hard to “shop” from the stash first, and I’m really happy with how this is going to look.

I just love it when I have all the perfect fabrics for a quilt just lying around in my stash!

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Stargazer Quilt Along

I’m quilting along with Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts for the Stargazer quilt. I really struggle with paper piecing, so I try to do a major project using this technique each year.

Rebecca has a genius method for doing it, and spoiler alert: I didn’t study it until after my first three blocks were done the traditional way. I felt like I was so far behind on my sewing and quilting after I moved that I didn’t think I had time to learn something new. I watched her video tutorial for the first time this week, and my mind is blown! To say I can’t wait to try it when the fourth block comes out later this month is an understatement. It definitely would have saved me the time I thought I didn’t have!

But for now, let me catch you up on my progress for the first three months.

stargazer quilt blocks 1 through 3

A bright sunny day meant a photo shoot out on my deck! Here are the first three months put together.

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How to Trim Half-Square Triangles Perfectly

When I first started quilting nearly 20 years ago, the method for making half-square triangles was pretty straightforward and limiting. Cut your squares 7/8-inch larger than the finished block, stack them together, sew a 1/4-inch seam on both sides of a center line, cut them apart, and press. You were supposed to have the right sized blocks following these steps.

Except I never did. Ever. It was so frustrating.

And while a number of novel ways to create half-square triangles have come along and the rulers – oh, the rulers! – make creating them clever, my favorite way to make half-square triangles is to make them bigger than I need to and them trim them down after they’re sewn.

half-square triangle quilt block

A perfectly pieced and sized half-square triangle!

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Perfect Half-Square Triangles Quilt Along: Blocks 1-3

Things are humming right along in my new studio, and I’m happy to share the first three blocks from the Perfect Half-Square Triangles Quilt Along.

When I join a quilt along, it’s usually because I thought the pattern was pretty. And who doesn’t like pretty things?! With Lee’s project though, this was all about learning a new way to piece half-square triangles. So I decided to use the same colors she uses in the sample on her site. Also, it’s a really pretty color way!

So without further delay, here are my blocks:

Block 1: Ridgeline Star

Ridgeline star block

Block one of the perfect half-square triangles quilt along, Ridgeline Star

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Conversation Sampler – The First Three Rows

The thing about adding a bunch of quilt along projects to your WIP list is feeling like you need to keep up with a certain schedule. With the move to the new house and things being crazy at work, I’m just now finishing up the first three rows of the Conversation Sampler. These were so much fun to do though, and I’m excited to share them with you.

Row 1 – Birds Block

The blocks for row 1 of the Conversation Sampler.

My birds block. One of the things I like about quilt alongs is that you get a little bit of the quilt at a time to work on, which means you can really take your time and perfect your technique. Just look at those points!!

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Conversation Sampler: Choosing Fabrics

For the past couple years, I’ve been in love with solids. If you want your pattern to appeal to me, make the cover quilt in solids. So when I saw the Conversation Sampler, I knew I was going to have a blast choosing fabric for it.

Conversation Quilt

Photo from AnneMarie Chany.

A few years ago, I subscribed to a Kona solids club with Stash Fabrics. Each month I got a beautiful bundle of fabric, and at the end of the year I had every color in the collection. When I first found this quilt along, I knew I’d want to use my Kona solids and had to convert from the colors in the pattern to Kona if I wanted a similar look. Which I totally did! Read More…

Where Have I Been?!

The vain side of me really hopes you noticed I took a break in this space for a few months at the end of the year. The logical side of me knows this post is just a way to update my mother on my life without having to actually call her. (She loves when I tease. Hi, Mom!)

So let me catch you up on what I’ve been doing while I wasn’t here. I’m thinking by the month?

July

In July I decided to leave my position with the health department and move over to a more traditional marketing job at the Department of Defense. Leaving ASPR was a really tough call to make because of the great people and the wonderful work I got to do. But I also knew I had to move so I could continue to grow in other ways. I left ASPR near the end of July right before my daughter came to visit. And also, this started a much needed three-week break between jobs.

Picture of me and my friend, Ron

I’m going to miss the best work husband ever and getting to report from the field with him. This is Ron and me at our Centro Médico location after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

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Let’s Quilt Along Together in 2019

Yesterday I posted my 2019 quilty resolution to create more works in progress this year. I spent the past several years really working on my list, and I found it was really starting to stifle my creativity and make me less motivated to get to work in the sewing room. I finally unloaded some of the emotional baggage that went along with all that and decided I needed more unfinished projects to really keep me going.

A quilt along – or 20! – is a great way to beef up my list while connecting with some really great creators in our community. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite quilt along opportunities for 2019 to share with you. Some I’m definitely signed up for. Some I’m definitely not signed up for… yet. And some I really have no idea! I’ve been getting emails all week about upcoming start dates, and I’m surprised every time by the new project to add to my 2019 list!

Here we go! In no particular order, here’s where I’m spending some of my time this year. Read More…

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