Friday, October 13, 2023

Two Postcards from Sweden / Beauties Pageant 232

I love the processing of checking things off my to-do list. Right now, I have three (digital) sticky notes on my desktop: one for life administration, one for stuff to get rid of (that oval mirror! that plastic basketball hoop!), and one for quilty projects. I can get downright giddy as I delete things from these lists. The one where items linger, however, is that third sticky note ...

The timeline for the projects I’m unveiling today was a year—a whole year to finish two easy quilts! In early October 2022, I started cutting into a huge bundle of bright and beautiful Free Spirit fat quarters, in preparation for a guild retreat, and it’s just recently that I finished binding the Postcard from Sweden quilts I sewed with that fabric.

You may be thinking, Michelle committed to two of these quilts up front? Yes! If I am going to pick out and cut 36 fabrics for a project, I might as well cut a second identical project simultaneously. My only regret is that I made the 360 half-square triangles with the two-at-a-time method. If I had to do it over again, I would have invested in an Accuquilt GO die and avoided trimming all of those HSTs. 

Both quilts are composed of HSTs that finish at 4 inches, and the completed projects measure 48 inches by 60 inches. The two have the same quilting design—straight lines that travel along diagonal seams and bisect each HST—and a combination of pale pink and orange thread.

The perfect foil to the colorful quilt tops was Tula Pink’s ladybug wideback. This sateen is so soft and smooth. I was happy to use my yardage on the back of these projects, and I look forward to doing something fun for myself with the scraps.

What will I do with two Postcards from Sweden? One may go to my little niece for Christmas or her birthday. After all, she has received just one quilt from me so far. (Her big sister was the recipient of this Jolly Bar quilt, this Penny Patch quilt, this improv quilt, and this Little Lady quilt—and she insists on piling each one on top of her at bedtime. Considering that my mom also quilts, I have been cut off from making any more for that niece!) The other will go on my Etsy site, where I recently decided to—gulp!—sell some projects.

If you want more info about the Postcard from Sweden pattern (it’s a freebie) or how I approached the fabric pull, read my original post here.

Before I sign off, here’s one more shot of those sweet ladybugs. Any suggestions on what I can do with the scraps? I was thinking of a pin cushion, but I am open to suggestions. : )

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  1. Very pretty finish!!! Perfect for a niece who needs another quilt! Those ladybugs make a stunning back!!!

  2. Doesn't it feel good to finish quilts that have been languishing in your sewing room for just too long! The backing is perfect for these quilts. Your neice will want a new quilt every year!

  3. Congratulations on getting both of the Postcards from Sweden quilts finished. The Tula Pink backing is perfection. I think a pin cushion with the ladybugs sounds great, but a mug rug or hot mat for the kitchen might be super delightful, too.

  4. WOWEE Michelle! Very, very, VERY impressive accomplishment to finish two of these. I do hope you give one to your niece! After all that hard work, it would be nice to keep one in the family to enjoy for prosperity. Great job! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. I love Postcards From Sweden every time I see one, and your finishes are no exception. Beautiful! What size do the HSTs finish for this quilt and how many did you need of each color? Was it just 10 from each of the 36 colors? The AccuQuilt GO! HST dies are handy for cutting many shapes from a single fabric but I don't find them nearly as useful when I only need a small number of each shape from each fabric, because of the way you're cutting a WOF strip first, fan folding it and then running it through the cutter to sub cut all those triangles at once. I used GO! dies to cut out my Deco quilt and found that I ended up with LOTS of excess pieces cut out that went into my scrap bin. Not the end of the world, but if I'd been cutting them with rulers I would have just stopped when I had the number of units cut that I needed and would have had larger, more versatile scrap pieces left over.

    1. The pattern is written for two different sizes of HSTs that finish at 4" or 5". The number of pieces required varies by color.

      You know, I haven't had the problem of excess pieces when cutting with my Accuquilt GO! Maybe I just do the math in advance and know when to call it quits? Or maybe I haven't used it enough yet to encounter the dilemma?

      I do love maximizing every piece of fabric I have, which is only possible with a rotary blade and straight edge, but I'm using the die cutter to save my wrists. Sometimes it seems silly to pull out the machine, press the fabric, and fold the fabric, etc., to avoid a few cuts with the rotary cutter. Over time, however, it does seem to make a difference. And HSTs are especially labor intensive. I trimmed 360 of them for these quilts and had to take my time, ensuring that I didn't overdo it. : )

  6. Well you know how I love this quilt, having made two, and plan to make two more! Lucky niece! Yay for checking items off lists!

  7. Postcards is gorgeous! Bright, colorful. Your photos convey those wonderful, happy colors. I've always thought I wanted to make one for myself, but like you, I'd probably end up giving it away. Not a bad thing to do though. Who wouldn't want to own such happiness?!

  8. This quilt has been on my bucket list since it first came around. Maybe I should finally treat myself to the fabrics ;) You did a really great job and the idea to finish too simultaneously is genius - if you do manage to finish them both - which you did! Big congrats! No ideas for your ladybug scraps but I hope you enjoy playing with them till you figure it out. xo


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