Sugar Block 3.0 BOM – it is done!

Last year my Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild decided to do the Sugar Block Club 3.0 Block of the Month club.  It seemed like we all had a lot of energy about it for the first few months, but the enthusiasm waned.  I tried to keep up with the blocks every month, and had a big push in December to finish the last block and get the setting together.

It would have been easy to just do a 3 blocks in a row, 4 rows setting, but I decided I wanted to do a non-traditional setting.  I also had a lot of extra fabric left over, and I thought some large open areas for the top would be useful for practicing some quilting.  I cut the background fabric in to large squares and rectangles, and developed this for the setting:

Sugar Block Club 3.0

After doing a large amount of practice on my long arm, I thought I was ready to tackle this guy.

I struggled with a thread choice for the top – I wanted something that blended, but my first choice blended so well I couldn’t see what I was quilting.

I wound up choosing a very light grey – Aurifil Dove #2600.  I think it worked out well, but it still was very light in places and hard to see.

I spent a lot of time choosing patterns for each block, using many tools to work through the design – my notebook, books, and a plexiglass sheet to put on top of the quilt and try out ideas.

It took a lot of time, but I think it came out really well!

Here is the finished quilt:

Some detail shots:

The back – I pieced it with leftovers from the blocks.

I almost used a whole big spool of Aurifil on the top:

Maggie was exhausted when we were done!

But she did help me with the binding:

Final stats:

Thread used – Top (Aurifil Dove #2600), Bottom (Bottom Line #620)

Quilt Size:  66″ x 78″

Total Quilting Stitches:  352,919

I am really happy with how it turned out.  There are a lot of bobbles and wonky stitches, but I think I’ve come a long way!

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Linking up with the Q3’17 FAL page

 

 

 

Q3’17 FAL Goals

Can’t believe half of the year is gone already.  I have fewer goals this quarter, but much larger quilts and bigger finishes.

  1. Sugar Block Club 3.0  – top is done, back is done, batting is ready to go.  It is actually loaded on the frame now and I’ve started quilting.
  2. Splendid Sampler – top is done, back is done.  I’m kind of scared to quilt this one, but I bet it will be cool.
  3. Bee Quilt – the 20 embroidered blocks are done.  I need to piece the top, then on to quilting.
  4. Blueberry Park Drunkard’s Path – still looking for inspiration to piece this one and get it moving.
  5. Hawaiian batiks – need to figure out how I want to assemble the top, buy some setting/sashing fabric, and get it put together.
  6. Red and Blue Squares – this started with me trying to use up all my scraps from my Splendid Sampler, and now I don’t have enough blue scraps to finish what I planned.  Oh crud, more fabric!
  7. Bright Puzzle – I found this bag of cut pieces ready to go in a bin in my sewing room recently and decided to whip it together for another long arm practice piece.

My plan is to really only focus on the first 3, but we’ll see how it goes.  I also need to decide on my Bee Block – I am queen in August – and catch up on my Me+You version of our Bee Inspired group blocks.

Lots of fun stuff to do, and I’m looking forward to getting these big guys knocked out.

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Linking up with the Q3’17 FAL page

 

 

 

Sugar Block Club 3.0 – Quilt Layout

I’ve written about this project before (herehere and here), but the short story is that my Modern Quilt Guild decided to do Amy Gibson’s (of Stitchery Dickory Dock) Sugar Block Club BOM this year.  The club features clean designs and are a good opportunity to apply a modern take to traditional blocks.

I did a good job of keeping up with the blocks and actually finished the December block on time, and early in December.  From there, it was all about figuring out how to put the quilt top together.

Sugar Block Club BOM
Sugar Block Club BOM – all my blocks!

I really wanted to avoid doing a very standard grid-like layout for a bunch of reasons.  First, I’ve done that before!  Second, I wanted to do something that had a lot of negative space so I could practice some machine quilting.  Third, I had a bunch of background fabric left over from the BOM that I wanted to use up.

I played around awhile with some drawings and eventually came up with this sketch.  The shaded areas are the 12 blocks, and the lettered boxes are the background pieces.  I grouped the pieces into common sizes to plan out the cutting.

pattern-drawing

With the plan in hand, I spend the day on New Years’ Eve day cutting up my background fabrics to the planned sizes – trying to get a balanced mix of the different types.  From there, the assembly began.  This is my ironing board set up in front of the window in my sewing room – looking out on the last day of 2016!

blocks-by-the-window

It took some time to get it together, and to get the balance of the different background fabrics looking right.  Here is the top all together – taken in the sunlight of the morning of New Years’ Day!

finished-quilt-top

I’m pretty happy with it.  I think the blocks wound up weighted more heavily toward the bottom and I’d like to adjust that, but I’m not sure how to fix it easily.  I’ll probably sit on it a bit before making a final decision, and I do still have some quilting practice to do before I’m ready to finish this one up.  But I’m mostly happy with how this came out – happy I took a bit of a risk to do a very alternative layout that will give me lots of space for fun quilting.

 

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