Friday, October 15, 2021

The Return of My Gypsy Wife Quilt / Beauties Pageant 149

In September, Leanne of Devoted Quilter launched a 100-day WIP challenge. There were three projects that she wanted to wrap up before the end of the year, and she decided that if she worked on them bit by bit over the course of 100 days, she’d likely accomplish her goal. After solidifying the schedule and lining up some prizes, she invited other makers—not only quilters, but anyone who stitches—to join her. 

I’m pretty good about not letting projects linger. There is one, however, that has become the crafty albatross around my neck: my Gypsy Wife quilt. I started my Gypsy Wife project back in 2018 with a group of guild mates. It’s not the most straightforward of projects—following the instructions requires more brain power than I expect to devote to a pattern, far more than I’d ever ask of people making my own patterns—and after a few focal blocks, I lost steam. Then, in 2019, I joined an online quilt-along and tackled many other blocks until the lack of a design wall, a problem that has since been remedied, hampered my ability to make smart fabric decisions. Could the last quarter of 2021 be the time I finish this beast of a project once and for all? I hope so!


One of the reasons I’d like to wrap up this quilt from my WIP list is that I’m using my stash of Bonnie and Camille fabrics to make it. B&C has a signature palette, and homing in on a subset of those colors makes the task of selecting fabrics more manageable, especially in a quilt top that requires many, many choices. I would like to make other quilts with all those B&C fabric, though. Gypsy Wife is the logjam.

As a first step in restarting this project, I arranged my completed blocks on my design wall and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was further along than I had remembered. In fact, I started adding the long vertical strips to some of the completed blocks and already have 4 of the 10 sections fully pieced. This process has been so much fun that it’s been hard to return focus to the deadline-driven projects I have on my to-do list. Who would have guessed I’d be looking forward to chunks of time I can devote to Gypsy Wife?!

Thanks, Leanne, for the motivation to return to this project!

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Friday, October 8, 2021

An Ombre Jelly Roll Quilt / Beauties Pageant 148

Some quilts and fabrics just insist on getting together. Such was the case with my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt pattern and Vanessa Christenson’s Ombre Fairy Dust Metallic collection. I have zero need for a rainbow quilt in my life, but I really wanted to see how Ridiculously Easy would look in all those luscious ombre fabrics. Would I have been satisfied with mocking up the quilt in EQ7? Perhaps, but the Ombre Fairy Dust line includes 34 different fabrics. It seemed simpler just to sew the project!

I’ve made this pattern a bunch of times. This was the first time, however, that I was a super stickler for fabric placement so I could get that awesome color-gradation effect. I cut each of 29 jelly roll strips into four segments, per the pattern, which resulted in two dark and two light pieces of each color. Then I labeled those strips 1 through 29. I sometimes sew at night under artificial light, and without the labels, I would have struggled to differentiate between some of the colors.

In the top foreground chevron of my quilt top, I placed a dark rectangle of each color. The next two chevrons feature light rectangles, and the bottom one used the remaining dark segments. I also alternated the order in which I laid out the ombre fabrics. The result is that most of the warm oranges and reds live in the middle of each row, which I like. I used a dark navy as the background. I am slightly obsessed with orange and blue quilts, and with the warm colors concentrated in the center, the quilt almost seems more like a homage to that complementary combination instead of a rainbow quilt.

I chain-pieced to keep the project pieces organized. I sewed all the base units first, per the pattern. Then I added the end pieces to the tops of the base units. Next, and without cutting anything apart, I chained-pieced the end pieces to the bottoms. (Some strips didn’t require an end piece. I sewed them into the chain, too, just to keep them in the right order with everything else.) I should have taken a picture … All that fabric connected together looked like a hot mess when really the technique saved my sanity!

So, as I mentioned, I don’t need a rainbow quilt in my life, and to be honest, the dark background here, although lovely, is not practical with two Golden Retrievers in the house. I often gift quilts to friends, but I can’t think of anyone who would especially like this beauty. 

All of this is to say that I’m considering selling this quilt once it’s completed. I recently opened an Etsy shop without promoting it anywhere (I have all of two sales—I’m considering this iteration of my shop a soft opening while I get a few things straightened out!). In the past, I’ve been pretty against selling my quilts. I’m convinced the only people who would pay what a quilt is really worth is another quilter, and why pay several hundred dollars for something that you can sew yourself?

I welcome any and all advice on this front—on selling quilts in general and on selling through Etsy in particular. 

Just a note from your friendly neighborhood fabric enabler: Ombre Fairy Dust Metallic debuted a while ago, but you can still find jelly rolls of it. Check out the stock at Lark Cottons, Fat Quarter Shop, and Shabby Fabrics

PDF versions of Ridiculously Easy are available through Quilt Pattern Mart and my Etsy shop. Print versions are available only through Etsy.

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The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

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