Category Archives: Modern Cross

Back, for the Future…

On Sunday, I did something very exciting- I spent the day piecing the back for my Modern Cross quilt, and also prepping the top to be dropped off, and then I took them to the longarmer!

This quilt, by the time I get it back, will have been a 4 year project. 4 full years. I had big plans for it to be my February AYOLF project, but it turns out my quilter has been getting a lot of new business. I am very happy for her- and really, at this point, if I don’t get it back until April, does it really matter? What’s a few more weeks? (Besides, it’s king size, and it will be pricey… fair payment for amazing work, but still a hit for my budget…) So, it’s not to be a February finish after all.

At least I already owned enough coordinating fabric to piece the back without spending a penny.

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Sometime, years and years ago, I bought huge yardage of those 2 Kaffe fabrics. Like, at least 9 of one and 7 of the other. (Gosh, I hope they were on sale. I bet they were.) They coordinate perfectly, and they work with the top. I also had 7 blocks left from the front, so I decided to piece them into the back. (2 of them are the same- and that fabric didn’t end up in the top at all- I couldn’t decide if it was green, blue, or purple, and so my OCD side didn’t know where to put it…)

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I put them into the center of the center panel of backing, then I added the corn-ish print to either side. When I got to the quilter’s, she put it up on her frame, and I managed to ALMOST get a shot of it- at least enough to give you the idea.

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It’s freakin huge. 108×129. The top comes in at 95×100… We put it up on the frame, too, and I got another shot of the entire thing…

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I cannot wait to sleep under it- especially as the custom quilting Yael designed is awesome- sleek, modern, geometric, and just the right amount of understated. We’re going to do one color change- white on the background, and a color on the crosses. As always, thread color was the toughest choice…

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We ended up going with the purple second from the left. I’m planning to bind in purple, and this one looked so rich and jewel-like on the various squares. I should get it back April-ish, and then, I’ll bind it and sew on 100 buttons, one in the center of each square. I’m not excited about that- but I am thinking in the end it will be worth it. Now for the hardest part- the wait to get it back!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday, Sew Cute, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Epic Modern Crosses

For April’s A Lovely Year of Finishes goal, I was realistic. I knew I would be moving my sewing room this month, and between that and our vacation, I lost over 2 weeks of the month. So I decided that my goal would be to finish the Modern Cross top that I started THREE years ago, and then restarted a few months back. Even though it was a minimal amount of actual sewing, it was an EPIC finish.

Epic.

So epic that I stopped to photograph the final inches of the final seam.

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These modern cross blocks look lovely, but I didn’t enjoy the process. I think I may have mentioned that a time or twelve. Too much trimming!  And too many blocks- when I decided to make it bed size, I went from 60 blocks to 100. Because I went up to king size, even though our bed is a queen. Two reasons: we’d really like to trade up to a king one day, and, I am a blanket hog- with an oversized quilt, my poor husband stands a much better chance of keeping covered at night… But 100 blocks is a lot- especially when I was trying not to duplicate any fabrics. (I did duplicate a few, but not as many as you might think. Maybe 5?)

I actually finished piecing this on the 13th, but it was so huge that I needed helpers to photograph it, and good weather…which I finally got tonight!

Are you ready for the grand reveal of my 3 year top?

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Can you see my helper peeking out in the 2nd photo?

Here’s my other awesome helper…

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Rich is 5’9″, and even on a step stool, he couldn’t get this monster all the way up off the ground!

I also gave it a test run on the bed.

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Myrtle and I both approve…

And I feel amazing. It’s done. A weight is off my chest. The blocks are no longer sitting on top of my bookcase mocking me.

Of course, now I have to figure out how to quilt it. Or rather, to baste it. This is the biggest thing I have ever made! I have a stash of wonderful blue, purple, and green buttons- one for the center of each cross- but aside from wanting to do that, I have NO idea how to finish this giant thing. Wish me luck?

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes April Finish post at Sew BitterSweet Designs.

My ButtonAlso linking to:

 

Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog

And Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

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A Lovely Year of Finishes: April Goal

I’m setting a modest goal for myself for April’s Lovely Year of Finishes challenge.

I missed the first 7 days of the month, in terms of sewing and blogging, due to a wonderful vacation*… No complaints at all here, but, that’s 25% of the month! Also,  I have some big big plans for the middle of the month: setting up my new sewing room. There’s IKEA furniture to be assembled, and walls to be painted, and STUFF to be moved. Who knows if I’ll get any sewing done at all…

So, without further ado, my realistic if not exciting goal for April 2014 is to finish the Modern Cross top that I finally returned to last month…

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One half of the king sized quilt is together already, one is on my design wall.

By the end of April, it will be one complete quilt top, darn it, and I will have a shiny new sewing room in which to plot the rest of my year’s finishes…

Linking up just under the wire for this month…

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* tune in later this week to be wowed by posts about that wonderful vacation… or, you know, don’t 😉

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Halfway There…

(Random aside- anyone else around my age now humming Livin’ On A Prayer? Take my hand, we’ll make it, I swear…)

Apologies for the ear worm, but hey, I am officially halfway done piecing my long-neglected Modern Cross quilt top! Thank you all for your supportive comments last week- it’s good to know that others have let projects, um, marinate, for prolonged periods…

This weekend, I sat down and made the final five green blocks.

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No more trimming!! Whoo!!

This quilt is going to be king (!) sized, and so only half of it can fit on my design wall at once.

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And even getting that half up there required some very hard work and precarious step ladder balancing. What you see above is half #2. It’s on hold for the moment while I work on Meow Mix, since finishing all the kitties was my March goal for the Year of Lovely Finishes. But before I put it on hold, I got the entire first half pieced together!

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(Ignore the surly faced helper- she actually wasn’t cranky at all, she was taking her role as holder very very seriously.)

This thing is HUGE. I’m going to have to send it out to be quilted, budget be damned. I can’t imagine that I could handle it at home. But all I want are simple straight lines. I have a fun finishing touch planned- I have tons of blue, green, and purple buttons (bought on a very lucky trip to Tuesday Morning) and each cross is getting a button in the center. So cute! (I hope!) Ask me if I still feel that way AFTER I sew on #100.

Something fascinating about having worked on this over 3 years is seeing my fabric tastes change. Today me might never have used some of the fabrics picked out by 2011 me, but I’m glad that I did. Some of my older choices are busier than what I might pick currently, but they are very, very ME. I love seeing them all together…  Do you find that your fabric tastes has changed drastically over the years?

Next week, we’ll be in Boston for spring break. Hopefully their latest snow will have melted. What this means is that Modern Cross will be put on hold for one more week, but I do plan to finish piecing it ASAP, probably in the week between out trip and the big sewing room move

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let’s Be Social.

 

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Better (Really, Really) Late than Never

Hi. Maybe you can help me understand something.

Why has this project been languishing on and off since 2011??

Back in 2011, I was totally sweet up in the craze surrounding Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal, of West Coast Crafty. I bought the book and started the cover project, Modern Cross, right away. I loved it.

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And then, I kind of stopped sewing.  For a year or so. I barely made anything. Well, I knitted and knitted and did some pretty awesome crochet, too, but, no quilting. In 2012, I picked it up again.

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But it felt like, no matter how much I worked on it, I never made any progress. I got frustrated. And so, I put it back down.

On this past Sunday, I realized I had sewing time, and no plans. The Meow Mix quilt is on hold, waiting for some orange scraps to arrive, and I’m caught up on my Tula blocks. I didn’t have the energy to baste the one baby quilt top that is waiting to be finished. So what was I going to do?

I cleaned up the sewing room.

And when that got old, I looked at the pile of Modern Cross blocks, sitting in the naughty pile, along with my Anna Maria Horner feather blocks, and a few other neglected WIPs. And I thought, why not finally go back to these blocks?

I counted them. And I realized that when I quit, I was sooooo close to finishing. I needed 12 more purple blocks, and 4 more green. Less than 20 out of 100. So I buckled down, and started sewing.

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Okay, this is a terrible photo, but that’s ALL the remaining purple blocks, pieced since Sunday morning. That’s all it took.

Why on Earth have I put this off for 2 years? It feels ridiculously good to be this close to done with the blocks!

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All the blues are done, and actually, I have 6 extra. Ooops. I’ll get the 4 greens done, and then… I can piece the top. 3 years later.

This is giving a whole new meaning to better late than never, eh? Have you ever let a project sit this long?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let’s Be Social,

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Modern Monday: a tiny bit of progress

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WIP Wedneday, Complete with Lousy Cell Phone Photo

I am continuing to plug away at my Modern Cross quilt (link will take you to archive of previous posts w much much better photos!)- and I’ve hit the point where I need to make a few decisions.

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At last count I’ve made 54 squares. And since I finally bit the bullet and did the math on increasing from the pattern’s lap size into my desired queen size, I know that I am just barely halfway done. (PS Let me give a hearty shout out of thanks to Pink Chalk Fabrics for including a great wallet sized quilt size chart in one of my orders… SO useful!)

So, at the halfway point, it’s time to decide- can I repeat fabrics in any of the squares, or do I need to come up with 100 different fabrics? I do really truly adore some of the fabrics, so using them twice would be fun. But then again, coming up with 100 different fabrics almost entirely from stash also seems fun. Nightmare inducing, and also like publicly admitting just how much of a stash problem I have, but still fun.

What choice would you make?

(This is my first week joining the Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday. I’m hoping to make some new bloggy friends and dive back into the quilt blog world- I’ve missed it while I’ve been away… So please, if you are a new visitor, leave a comment so I can get to know you!)

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By the time I finish this quilt top, I’ll have to change the name from “Modern Cross” to “Ancient History”.

Now that I put the borders on the final Christmas top, I can move forward. But I still can’t start a completely new project, what with 30 some odd Modern Cross blocks done, but many more to go.

I was all set to spend Monday sewing and watching Contagion, but my desktop dvd drive died. So I streamed a few episodes of Buffy (getting closer to the end now), and finished 6 more blocks. I have to say, it felt great to get these blocks and their new buddies up on the design wall…

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I was even able to start the next 6 before having to move on. And I finally found a place to use some of the very, um, unique fabric I picked up several years back. That one little FQ has been waiting quite a while for just the right project. I’m thinking you can guess which one I mean?

the start of the next 6 blocks

Yeah, that one… ;-P Do you have any naughty or truly ridiculous fabrics in YOUR stash? What about novelties in general? I am a sucker for a cute or funny or retro novelty print, and I’ve been trying to work a bunch of them into these blocks. There are already skulls with scissors, owls, hedgehogs, mushrooms, arabian knights, and I’m only halfway done!

Overall I’m still really loving this quilt, but it needs more purple. My original plan was to make it mainly purple, with some blue and green crosses. It looks more blue than I had intended. I picked up a few more pieces of purple fabric at the Snappy Quilts 1st birthday sale yesterday. Because I need more fabric like I need more yarn.

Which is to say, not at all.

I couldn’t spend the entire day sewing, however, because I had to pick the kiddos up from school, and then take Annie to pick up something new and exciting:

She got glasses

She’s thrilled- Henry, Rich and I have been long time members of Club Foureyes, and now she feels included. I think she looks darling. We got 2 pairs at Costco, as I assume one will be lost or broken before too long…

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Only 3 DAYS later this time!

For real! Maybe I’m getting back into the groove. I spent a few hours Sunday in my sewing room- the second time in a week!

6 more bloacks- and they didn't even take 3 months!

I popped in a not terribly scary (but decently diverting) movie, and whipped out 6 more blocks! Hooray! Looking at this photo, I think I need to pull some more greens out of my stash. Can do. I still need a ton more of these blocks to get to queen size.

In family news…poor Rich just spent 6 straight work days stuck on jury duty- his first time serving. It was a painful trial with 2 full days of deliberations. He was freed at about 4:30pm today- and got home to find MY jury summons in the mail. Oh, the irony. I have been summoned twice and BOTH times ended up on juries. I do NOT want to do this again. Grrr. Perhaps the fact that I am donor and advocate for both Amnesty International and The Innocence Project will work in my favor? Cross your fingers…

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3 months later…

finally, some progress

…I sewed again.

Yes, it’s really been 3 months (plus a few days) since I sewed a stitch.

That might be my longest dry spell in a few years. I have a whole pile of great excuses, the biggest being my attempts to clean and reorganize the sewing room. It was truly too messy to sew for a good portion of the last three months. But not the entire time. Part of it was missing my Sue. Part of it was getting to know Wally. Part of it was knitting too much. Part of it was summer- we do too much and overbook ourselves like mad. Part of it was a fabulous vacation.

wally is NOT amused

Okay, Wally’s not buying these excuses, either.  Let’s be honest.

Part of it was sheer laziness.

But we had an unexpected snow day here yesterday. I would have made R stay home with the kiddos, but he is stuck on jury duty and HAD to be there. I worked from home for a few hours, and then, popped a movie into the computer and reacquainted myself with my sewing machine. 1.5 hours later I had 5 new blocks. Not so impressive, but, a start.

The real question is, can I take this weak start and run with it?

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