WIP wednesday: barn out, gypsy in

I’m finishing up my barn door II quilt (quilt along here) and today I tackled the backing. I took more design time than usual with this backing, but I found that made the piecing go more smoothly. It took about a day, which is usually the amount of time I allow myself for a pieced backing.

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I really like it. The only problem is that the design doesn’t necessarily take into account the trimming that will occur after quilting. I will lose a few inches on the top and bottom square. Next time I will have to remember to think that through sooner.

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One quilt is ending and another is just beginning:

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This is my first block for the gypsy wife QAL! (You can read about my fabric selections here.)

I have the fabric pulled for the next block but I just ran out of time. It’ll be really fun to come back to this after our vacation.

Speaking of vacation, since I won’t have internet access, I decided not to do the mid-month barn door link up. Instead, I thought I’d motivate you by announcing the final link up prize!

Remember these baskets I made for a giveaway/Christmas present?

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I decided one of these would be a really cool and special way to commemorate our quilt along! But here’s the deal: you have to at least have a finished quilt top to be eligible. So get to work, my friends! The final link up will be March 3, but it will stay open for a week. If you link up a finished quilt or top by March 10 at noon EST, you will be in the giveaway. Please feel free to link up even if you’re not done! You just won’t be eligible to win.

If you have any specific questions, please email me. I’ll be able to check my email periodically and I’m more likely to see a direct email than a blog post comment.

Wish me luck on my trip! We’re leaving the kids in very capable grandparent care, but it’s still pretty hard. Perhaps a pina coloda will ease the pain… 😉

Penny sampler: last update before the BIG finish (I promise)

I have been hard at work sewing the final stages of the penny sampler quilt top. (You can see my most recent previous post here).

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It occurred to me that it won’t be quite as exciting to show you the finished quilt if I show too many pictures now that assembly has started, so I’m only going to show a few sneak peaks and ask for some backing advice.

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Is it totally OCD that I plan to take the time to count how many fabrics I used in this quilt? I’m curious! It felt like a lot, but that may be because I was cutting from yardage (mostly half yards) and not scraps. Interestingly, it wasn’t until the very end that I ordered anything specifically with this quilt in mind. Most of it has just been pulling anything aqua, teal, purple or orange from my (overly) copious recent fabric orders. At the end I did need more white quilter’s linen (which is not linen, by the way, it’s normal quilting cotton with a linen-like tone-on-tone print) and the white Architextures crosshatch. I used almost no solids in this quilt, but I reluctantly admit that this quilt needed at least a teeny tiny bit of negative space to provide structure. Rachel’s design includes sashing that forms a cross that I didn’t want to lose in the chaos. Almost every other background besides that sashing is a print.

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I’m going to keep the back really simple, because let’s be honest the party’s in the front on this one. The back is not likely to see the light of day, but of course I want to know in my head it’s pretty. And on the off chance I ever allow anyone to sleep under it I’ll want them to enjoy the back.

I love using beautiful large scale prints on my quilt backs so I’ve been stocking up on yardage whenever I see a sale on fabric that fits the bill. I pulled these 4 Anna Maria Horner options because #1 I’m completely in love with AMH lately and #2 there is A LOT of AMH on the front so it seems appropriate.

My plan is to use the WOF (width of fabric) of one of these prints down the middle and then fill out the edges with something subtle. That’s kind of my go-to backing plan because it avoids any complicated pattern repeat alignment.

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I’m leaning toward one of these choices but I’m not going to tell you which because I don’t want to sway your answers. I’m curious what you guys will think!

Ok, I promise the next time you see this quilt it will be quilted and bound!

Linking up with Quiet Play’s Paper Piecing Party since most of what’s new here is paper piecing.