Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stumbling Down Easy Street (and other adventures)

Yup, that's right. My Easy Street is made from thrift store shirts, and that shouldn't come as any big surprise. I know I said I was planning on using repro fabrics, but since I don't start the mystery until after the reveal, when I saw Bonnie's finish I felt it was more suited to my shirt selection than my repro stash. Other than my gold (I call it mustard) for her gray, and my more neutral background, I just subbed different shades of her same colors.
When I started in on the quilt last week I was going to cut everything for the entire quilt and then sew one full step at a time. However, after getting the first two steps cut and starting on the third, I got curious how my fabrics were going to work together. So I stopped cutting step three and cut just a few each of the rest of the steps. Then I assembled one block "A" and one block "B". I'm so glad I did. Although I really liked my shirt colors together, there just wasn't enough contrast with my purples and some of the darker blues and greens. So I dug through the shirt stash again and came up with more light blues and greens, sorted out the darker parts from the piles of things already cut, and unpicked the darker parts from the sewn blocks. I'm still not sure what the overall effect will be, since these are the only two blocks I have made, but at least the colors aren't one big dark blur.
And speaking of quilts made from shirts, I have come up with the final setting for my Barrister's Sow-Along blocks that I showed in my last post. I haven't changed the layout--I have just added the setting triangles and borders. None of it is sewn together. It is all just stuck on the design wall.
I get questions about how many shirts it takes. For the individual blocks I would just cut off a sleeve from each of the shirts I wanted to use, so there were parts of lots of shirts involved there. A "Large" size, short-sleeved shirt provided the setting triangles. The back of a shirt provided the strips for the narrow border. And the outer border is the same fabric as the setting squares. Remember I had 3 shirts of that same fabric, and I have used most of the big pieces of those shirts now, but still have plenty left that I could use in pieced blocks. I actually fussy-cut the border strips so that I could match the plaids and make the border look continuous. Some of you may groan or roll your eyes, but that is part of my obsessive nature and I have learned to live with it--even embrace it. : ) I hope to have this top to flimsy stage by the end of the month. I'm only doing a row or two at a time because I need to focus on making my Mom's birthday present that I mentioned in my previous post.

You can imagine that with all of the shirt work going on around here that my sewing room looks like an explosion in a shirt factory. Gotta do something about that.

Finally, I did get my BOM, Random Roses in Jamestown (because I used random rose fabrics I had collected for a few years), blocks all made last year (thanks to Teresa's loan of her acrylic templates). Though the pattern uses log cabin blocks for setting squares, I think I am going to use some sort of chain block. I just really like chains for setting squares.

If you are familiar with this pattern, you are aware that it is a Marti Michell BOM only offered through quilt shops.  You cannot just go out and buy the pattern. This is what the pattern actually looks like. I  pulled this photo from the web.

The same "Jamestown" pattern has most recently been reincarnated as the "Stonehenge meets Jamestown" BOM--same pattern, different fabrics. I received the pattern from Marj when she offered it on her blog after finishing with it. I am going to do the same. If you are interested in receiving this pattern, let me know in your comment. If more than one would like it, I will draw the name.
BTW, the pattern does include paper templates, but it does make up easier if you have Marti Michell templates, sets A & C.

That's it for now. Until next time,
Janet O.

43 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness girl! You are sewing like crazy over there...slow down...you make the rest of us look bad!
    I love your easy street plaids...the lighter blues just make it glow!

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  2. Oh girl, I am loving your Barrister's Block quilt!

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  3. Loving all your shirt up cycling! Very cool, Yes I can picture what your sewing looks like when you are working with shirts!!

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  4. Your rose blocks are so gorgeous, how could I not want the pattern! Amazing what you are doing with shirts! I'm going to need to visit my local thrift stores more often, or at least look for shirts rather than vintage Singer sewing machines, lol!

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  5. Goshh Janet, you have been busy!
    Love how you use the shirts, here they are hard to find and too expensive for cutting up to recycle. Yardage would be cheaper.
    I'm amazed how you find enough of the same shirts to do the setting tri's etc...
    Great post.
    Julia ♥

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  6. Janet you are certainly on a mission lol. Your easy street blocks look fantastic as do your barrister blocks. It's amazing the variety you have found for your blocks very impressive.

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  7. Fabulous show and tell Janet....I think you were wise to audition your first few ES blocks - it's going to look great! What an achievement using all those shirts.....and what a hunt you must have done collecting them all. And your Random Roses also looks gorgeous - whew you have been busy!!

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  8. I'm not sure what happened to my first comment...mysteries of Blogger, I guess. Thank you Janet for the chance to win your copy of Jamestown Roses. I love this pattern and would love, love, love to make one of my own. I just couldn't justify the cost of the BOM. I can't wait to see your finished quilt with the different alternate squares. Thank you again.

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  9. Taking the time to make up the A and B blocks was a good idea--it is hard to tell sometimes how parts mixed up together change. Love the different colored setting triangles on the Barrister's blocks. Wonderful. I have not started on any shirt cutting but can very well imagine what kind of mess it makes in the sewing room! Very pretty blocks--and I like chain blocks too. You're keeping yourself very busy :)

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  10. Good job mixing in your shirts with the Easy Street Blocks. I'm happy to see the Sow-Along quilt coming together too. The templates are invaluable! I like chain blocks better than Log cabin Blocks so that would be my choice too.

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  11. I love the setting for the Barrister's Blocks! It's gorgeous! And I didn't roll my eyes....I was squealing with delight, that you matched your borders for continuous plaid! Awesome!!!! I think it's well worth that effort!

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  12. I think I live in your little valley. I also read your profile story. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now but I don't leave comments on too many blogs. I think your quilts are beautiful and you certainly get allot done. I have followed Bonnie Hunter now for a few years. I am a loner when it comes to quilting and I love totally scrappy quilts. I look forward to seeing your pictures and reading about your adventures in quilting. Thanks for sharing. Cindy N.

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  13. It's just unbelievable what you can do with those shirts Janet! I have quite a large selection of them by now, and I need to get going on making something out of them. I do have one quilt scheduled as a NewFO with Cat Patches for all neutrals from beige/white to browns/blacks. I'm anxious to start it and see if it looks anywhere near as good as your quilts end up. I just simply LOVE your Barrister Block sampler - YUM!!!

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  14. Very nice Mom. I like the borders and things you have come up with for your shirt quilt. It looks very finished with that dark border...lovely :)

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  15. Wow! Love your setting for your Barrister's...and so cool that you used all shirts!! It is so pretty, and will be so soft when it is all done. I will not have time to work on Easy Street until Monday, so I will admire your blocks until then!

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  16. Yep, good call on the lighter blue plaids in the Easy Street quilt - it makes the darker blue plaids move forward so there is more dimension to the block. Loving the Barrister's Block too.

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  17. Janet you sewing machine must be smoking! Your Barrister quilt is out of this world...your Easy Street blocks are awesome and can't wait to see your Jamestown blocks set...you are amazing!

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  18. Smitten with your Easy Street blocks. Glorious colors!!!!!

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  19. I would love the chance to have the Jamestown pattern. Those blocks are lovely.

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  20. You had better keep an eye on your design wall, I am going to come and get it. LOL I love those blocks.
    I made that Jamestown landing quilt several years ago. Isn't it amazing how nicely those templates work?

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  21. Wow!! I love your mystery quilt with shirts and the setting for the sowalong blocks! You must have used a ton of shirts!!
    What a pretty BOM- you're off to a wonderful start in 2013!!

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  22. Well, there you've gone and done it!! YOU have made my green eyed monster of jealousy burst right out of my eye balls! Ha!

    I am just swooning again over your projects. I am just soooo in love with your Barristers Block!

    Ok, I must go wipe this green out of my eyes!!!

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  23. Your Easy Street blocks look great. It is amazing what you come up with that makes someone else's pattern and identifies it as your own.

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  24. I've yet to make a quilt using shirts. I have a few saved. They are too expensive here even second hand. I love plaids and love the variety you get using shirts. Those borders are perfect for the sow-along quilt. I think you are right on with a chain block for the random rose quilt. Good luck to someone else with the pattern. Love how it looks, but can't add yet another project to my long list! Pretty header photo.

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  25. I remember this BOM on display in a nearby, now closed quilt shop. I just love the look, but I was too new to quilting and nervous about such a larger object then. Your blocks are beautiful and I look forward to seeing it with your setting. Thanks for sharing.

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  26. Thanks for stopping by to see my easy street and leave a comment! I'm new to blogging, so I really appreciate visitors!! I love your easy street and hope to see it after you're done. That Marti Mitchell bom setting is really pretty! I noticed your freezing/frosty pictures look like mine. Are we neighbors?

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  27. I personally love the shirts you selected for Easy Street....I have recently started collecting my stash of shirts that I will be using for future projects as well!

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  28. Wow! You always have the best projects! Your sow-along quilt looks really great - I never would have imagined how good this quilt would look just using those recycled shirts. So impressive! And Easy Street is going to be amazing as well. You really do a great job choosing color combinations. I am still resisting the temptation to start collecting shirts, but you are making it soooo difficult.

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  29. How isn't it amazing hw by changing the colors of fabric the easy street quilt will look. Yours is going to be softer than mine but still beautiful.

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  30. I'm a shirt-user, too. I started using them about 10 years ago when I first discovered Roberta Horton's Scrap Quilts with all its beautiful plaids. Such gorgeousness can't be found in the quilt stores. Your Barrister's Blocks look beautiful in the setting you arranged. I like your neatly cut and sewn border. It puts a nice frame around the scrappiness of the rest of the quilt.

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  31. So many beautiful projects. I am so far behind on so many but hope to remedy that. Love everything you are working on. Hugs

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  32. I love to check in to see what you have been up to. The Jamestown quilt really caught my eye. Can't wait to see your finished quilt.I would like to use the pattern when you are done as I already have template set A. Keep up the great work!

    Debbie

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  33. Gorgeous Easy Street! Love the shirt fabric! The Barrister's came out great too! Kinda wished I'd have jumped on that band wagon myself!

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  34. Lovely finishes! I will be making a quilt or two with my Dads shirts and his neck ties. Just have to decide on what patterns to use. Glad that you are passing the Jamestown pattern along.

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  35. Again, this post slipped by me! I have to admit, I haven't been blogging much, but I usually always try to see yours!

    Love how you finished up the lay out of the Barrister Blocks!! And another shirt quilt!! Yeah!! Love those purples!!! LOL!!

    Blessings

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  36. Love all of it!! You must have a great stash to pull from'!

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  37. i just love that random roses quilt, simply beautiful! and wow, lots of other progress too....can't wait to see easy street done

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  38. Wow...you've been busy! I think your Easy Street will be beautiful in plaids! I did that original Jamestown BOM about 5 years ago...loved it!

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  39. Plaid Easy Street-what a great idea! I LOVE your colors and will be checking your blog for the finish!! You are on a roll!

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  40. I think you're right -- the plaid is perfect for Easy Street ... you've done a great job with it already! Love the look of your Random Roses in Jamestown blocks -- it's really gorgeous!!!! :)

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  41. Always love seeing what becomes of your shirt factory explosions! Your Sow-Along quilt is amazing, it's been fun to watch it's progression. I was curious how all the colors would come together...you really made it work! Keep warm!

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  42. Girl, you are going to town!!! I LOVE the prev. quilt with the checked alternate squares - what a stroke of brilliance, but the plaids in Easy Street are as good or better! Yikes, what next beauty will come from your magic?

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  43. My pinks sorta do that in my second Easy Street...mush together. Yours looks great.
    XOXOX Subee

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