Quilting Ovals

The quilting on the (No) Golden Shadows quilt is finally done… and I love how it came out!  The rust red (Coat’s & Clark’s Paprika) looks perfect on top of the turquoise and I’m really starting to get the hang of the quilting foot on my machine.

Which isn’t to say that the ovals are perfect- far from it! In fact, even though I was simply tracing the ovals from the backing of the quilt (which I lined up almost perfectly- YAY!), my stitching still looks hand done.  Actually, I should specify: hand done by me.  Some people can make perfect stitches by hand.  I can’t make even stitches by hand or machine, so when I say “by hand”, I mean more like the hand of a 5 year old.  I rather like it that way.

And now the binding dilemma.  What do I bind this with?  I know it will be machine stitched using my new binding clips.  I was thinking of using the leftover material from the back for a binding, but I’m afraid the ovals will look all wonky.  There is no material left over from the front.  I’m thinking maybe a solid rust color, which will necessitate a trip to the fabric store.  Should I pretend to be disappointed about that?

In other news, Prowler the kitty got adopted and it was indeed hard to give him up.  Even still, we will certainly be fostering more cats in the future.  I bought a new set of pre-cuts: 2.5 inch mini charms.  I got 11 packs of Moda’s Tucker Prairie by OneCanoeTwo.  I’m pretty sure that these are going to become a Plus quilt.  And finally, I’m contemplating joining a quilt guild here in South Florida.  Does anyone my age (41) participate?  Thoughts?

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-Allison

 

Up From Here Baby Quilt

After completing the Modern Block of the Month, I moved on to Sew Mama Sews’ “All-New Modern Block of the Month”.  However, the second series had only 6 jumbo blocks and two of them involved circles, which SO wasn’t happening.  I decided that I liked the simplest, Up From Here, block the best and started with that one.  I pulled out some fat quarters I had put together, half black on white patterns and half florals on white.  The first block came together so quickly and beautifully that I decided to make three more and put them together to make a 48 x 48 baby quilt.photo (78)

Again, this was fun and easy to do and the cutting, piecing and trimming the blocks felt rather effortless.  I was so excited about this quilt.  In one week, all four blocks were done.

And then today I sewed them together.  Of course, they don’t line up at all.  Honestly, I kind of expected that.  photo (79)

Even worse though, the four different black and white prints are way too overwhelming.  It would have looked gorgeous if I did the whole thing in just one of those black and whites.image (46)

 

 

I will press on and finish it up, but definitely demoralizing, especially since I’m still finishing up the binding of the Fair Isle Mini I loved but screwed up.  Now I have to decide whether to piece together a fun back for it, or just call it a day and back it in a solid color.

 

The good news for today: Diego the dog was adopted last night, so after I vacuum the floors, I can then start to baste some things!

-Allison

Bada Bing Bada BOM!

My block of the week challenge is complete- way ahead of schedule I might add!  My only problem is that I can’t lay out the blocks and sashing to piece because Diego the dog is still in residence.  He would find that WAY too much fun, and get dog hair all over everything.  So for now, those blocks will sit in a pile, along with the already pieced (No) Golden Shadows quilt top, which is waiting to be basted for the same reason.

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So, here are blocks 9-12:

photo (74)Block 9 was easy until I went to square it up at the end and realized that one corner was half an inch short.   Rather than undoing the stitching, I just modified the block and added an extra strip:

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Here’s the finished look: image (35)

 

Block 10:

Block 11:

And finally, Block 12:

 

I absolutely loved this process and will definitely be looking for more block of the month challenges- or really, anything with real instructions.  Who knew I would actually enjoy following patterns?  Opening up a world of possibilities…

-Allison

Sew ahead of schedule…

I had to use that title because I am pretty sure that it is an event that will never happen again.  When I am less than six months behind on any project, I consider that a success. Right now, I am up to Month (Week) 8 of the Sew,Mama,Sew! Modern Block of the Month from 2011-12 with Alyssa Haight Carlton.  Since this is only my actual week 3, I am- as noted- ahead of schedule!  And here are the pics on blocks 3-7:

Block 3:

And the finished Block 3: image (20)

Block 4:

This one was constructed kind of like a one-sided log cabin block- fairly simple!  The color on the white strip got kind of washed out.  It is a really pretty light pink toile on a white background.  The finished block:

image (23)

And block number 5:

Block 6 is the first one that had some real issues.  I refuse to do paper piecing, so instead of simply sewing to a template, I attempted to do this freehand and “wing” the angles as best I could.  Needless to say, my best is far from perfect, but the block sneaks by at what I consider to be “good enough”.  If at the end it sticks out like a sore thumb, I may have to remake it, following instructions this time.

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And last but not least, Block 7:

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Block 8 is going to be a challenge again.  It requires partial seams, which again, I just won’t do, so let’s see what happens!

-Allison

Blocks 1 and 2

It’s week 2 of my block of the week challenge, following SewMamaSew’s Modern Block of the Month.  Blocks 1 and 2 are done!  Here is a pic of the completed block 1: photo-68

And block 2, which was super-easy:

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The process: cut three fabrics into strips of various sizes, sew them randomly together, cut into fourths, and sew back together till you have a piece approximately 9.5 x 12.5.photo-65

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Then, sew a 2.5 x 12.5 strip of a fourth fabric to either side.

photo-67 Voila, complete!

-Allison

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea…

photo-28I had started playing around with my SpongeBob fabric when I decided I needed to make some half square triangles laid out like flying geese.  Really what I liked about the SpongeBob fabric was the colors- shades of blue with orange, yellow and salmon pink accents- mostly from SpongeBob and Patrick, but also from some random circles.  I picked some fabrics out of my stash that matched those coordinating colors and went to work on the HSTs.  As they all came together, it became clear that the blue of the SpongeBob fabric was the background and the accent colors were the stars of the show.

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I found a light blue fabric that complemented the blues for the border, and then laid it out on the floor to be basted.

 

 

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image-13As you can see from the picture, my backing would have required a bunch of cutting and piecing to make it fit.  So, I decided to add a little design from some scraps to it.  Funny how the same fabric looks so much brighter in the photo above and washed out in the one on the right!

 

 

 

 

Once that problem was solved, it was time to do the quilting.  I first outlined the colored triangles, and then realized that they would “pop” a little more if the blue background was more heavily quilted.  I wanted to stick with the nautical theme and quilt bubbles on the blue.  I changed out the foot on my sewing machine to a quilting foot and then discovered that circles are REALLY haimage-10rd. I should have reimage-8membered from the ugly Christmas quilt!  And those had been done with traced lines!  After doing the first row, I realized that this was now becoming another practice quilt.  So, I thought I’d try a whole bunch of quilting patterns: a new one for each row.  Surprisingly enough, it was the stippling that was the easiest.  Funny, since thatimage-12
was the one I was really afraid to try.  Of all the others, only the curved back and forth lines came out even half-way decent!

After finishing up the quilting, I wanted to try the machine binding again.  Quick and easy!  I ignored my own advice to use a larger binding and went with what was already cut and sewn- the plaid I loved from my hearts quilt.  The colors were just right and- it was already rolled up and ready to go!  If I were making this as a gift, there were a few places I would take out and redo, but overall, the few mistakes are an easy trade off for the ease of the machine binding!

image-9image-11Totally bound in less than two hours! And now ready to be donated somewhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Allison

Second Tier

photo-14With Hurricane Matthew quickly approaching, I needed to do a lap quilt that would go together quickly, so it would be ready for some hand-stitched binding before the storm hit, giving me something to do when we had no power.  (Yes, that is a run-on sentence).  I dove back into the box of squares I had won over a year ago and found a cute Disney princess print.  My daughters are too old for the princess thing, but I happen to know an adorable three year old.  Unfortunately, none of the princesses were centered on the fabric, so the squares all needed to be fussy cut to get the most princess and least amount of blank space and other princess’ body parts.

As I was cutting, my younger daughter walked in and identified the princesses for me. Cinderella was easy to pick out, and there was one precious square of Belle.  I recognized Rapunzel, but had no idea that she was a princess- lucky her! (Well, maybe not so lucky since she was trapped in a tower).  The last one?  Tiana.  According to Wikipedia, she is “Princess Tiana of Maldonia, a fictional main character who appears in Walt Disney Pictures’ 49th animated feature film The Princess and the Frog”.  So, my daughter said, “These are kind of the second tier princesses, other than Cinderella”.  And so the quilt was named.

photo-17There was a pattern I had been waiting to try with fussy cut squares.  It is the Candy Wishes quilt by Jo Kramer for the Moda Bakeshop.  My squares weren’t “candy” sized, and I had less of them than called for, but this pattern was very easy to adapt.  I picked a beautiful purpley plum color from my stash to go with it, and started cutting and sewing.  Look how beautifully they all lined up (for once!)

With one day left till the storm hit, I hit a small snag: no good fabric for a backing.  So while the lines at the gas station ran down the street and the shelves at Walmart had been emptied, I went to Joann’s Fabrics, where I was most definitely the only person in the store.  But look what I scored: photo-24  A new pattern with a whole bunch of colorways.  The color fades in and out and is meant to look hand printed.  Much easier on the eyes than a small repeating pattern and doesn’t need to be lined up perfectly (trust me, it wasn’t!).

The quilt was quickly basted and needed to be quilted equally as quickly.  After playing around with the sewing machine, I decided to use a pretty cross-stitch straight across the solid rows.  I love all the decorative stitches on my machine!  This gave it the little girl look I was going for.

photo-20And then finally, the binding… A pretty pink and grey that matched nicely with the pink in the princess squares.

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Now all I had to do was wait for the power to go out.  One last look at the radar and…

Matthew was not going to hit here at all!  We were too far south!

Allison