Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Snowy Quilting Day

What to do on a cold and snowy day? Stay home and sew of course! And long for the warmer weather now gone - but that's another story!

I've planned a completely scrappy quilt for ages, and I even spent time at a retreat last year sewing strips into long rows with the idea of making one of the quilts in Sunday Morning Quilts (one of my favourite books!).

I got all those strips out and looked them over, but I really wasn't feeling it. It seemed like it was going to be too dark and chaotic. Then I saw Cathy's quilt at the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the Scrappy category, and bingo! That's the one!
Cathy blogs at Blueberry Patch, and I always love her quilts. this one is Scrappy Crossroads.

By great good luck I have the book with the pattern, it is Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner.

Two days later and I have made 7 blocks, the first row. Only another 49 blocks to go! When I see how much of a dent I've already made in my pile of strips, I can only imagine how many more scraps I'm going to be digging out!

When sewing my original strips I had limited myself to red, pink, turquoise, grey, and white.
I'm going to stick with those colours, it seems like plenty, though I'd dearly like to work in some small pieces of purple here and there. We shall see!

Linking to Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt
                  Sew Cute Tuesday   at Blossom Heart Quilts
                  Show and Tell Tuesday at Fresh Squeezed Fabrics


Till next time,


Monday, November 10, 2014

Double Crossed and a longarming problem

I went to a retreat at the beginning of September, and decided to start a quilt I had been planning for over a year.  The pattern is Double Crossed by Amy Smart who blogs at Diary of a Quilter. I had long ago bought and stacked the fabrics I hoped to use for this project.

Then I had second thoughts: should I use a different pattern?  Several attractive patterns came to mind. Should I change out some of the fabrics? Finally I decided to go with my original plan and packed it all with me.

Here is the finished quilt:

Along the way I added a light grey, another dark turquoise, and that salmon colour that is from the new Zen Chic line. Opinion at the retreat was divided on that fabric, but I'm glad I put it in.

After arriving home I made enough more squares to put the top together, pieced the back and got it ready for the longarmer, since the top was now about 86" x 94".

Here's my back, completely directional, and with my pieced blocks inserted.

A closeup of the fabrics, the sashing is actually a pretty dot, not plain white.

And here's what went wrong at the longarmer. She placed the length of the top across the width of the backing.

It's taken me at least a week to put things right again, to the point that I'm happy with it again. I had added unrelated fabric strips on both sides of the back that were planned to be cut off again as they were within the 4" extra each side. They were now quilted in and part of the quilt. I had to sew on strips to cover those pieces and quilt over it again. The quilt front was placed right at the bottom of the backing, and in places came down further than the backing. I didn't want to trim my blocks, so I added a thin strip on the bottom of the back to cover the shortfall. Worst of all, there was a large piece of unused backing at the top. If I cut it off, the quilt would be very wide and too short. I would also be cutting off most of a block of my pieced back. So I made more blocks for the front. 13 more blocks in case you are wondering. I also put a 6 " strip of patterned fabric at the very top since I didn't have enough variety of fabrics to make another row of 13 blocks. I also had to join more batting. And then I quilted it all.

Finally I was able to trim and bind it all and see how it turned out:
Well, the quilt is now bigger than I planned, but a comfortable size for a queen size bed. Even for a king: one of my daughters has put in a request for it.

My quilting was all on the edges, so not too much of a pain, and it blends in quite well.

I wish I didn't have a top border, when there are no other borders, but folding the top down covers that, and I love looking at a bit of my back anyway.

The extra I added to the back at the bottom can be seen if you are looking closely, but really, do I?

Lesson learned - no more cheaping out with an inexperienced longarmer. I'm booked to take a class, and from now on I hope to do all my quilting myself. Smaller things were already done on my home machine. Larger quilts will be done by me by renting time on a long arm. And any future quilt disasters will be my responsibility and no one else's!

Linking to: TGIFF at Quilt Matters
                   Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts

Till next time


Quilty Doings - Charm Pack Cherry

After I saw the Charm Pack Cherry free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop, I wanted to try it out for a lap quilt for myself.

The fabric I used is Color Me Happy by V. and Co. The pattern makes a lap quilt sized 52"x54", and uses two print charm packs, and two solid charm packs. As usual I wanted a larger quilt, so I used three charm packs and white Kona yardage and made a quilt sized 64"x74".

The pattern is a variation on the Disappearing Nine Patch. There are two blocks, one has 4 background squares out of 9, and the other has 5 background squares out of 9. They are then cut, reassembled and put together according to instructions. You have to pay attention a bit, but all went smoothly.

 The back is handprinted fabric I bought in India. I'm glad to have it out and in use.

It's a border print, soft and pretty. It would have made a nice blouse too, too bad I didn't buy more!

 Here is a closeup of my quilting. I intended to do clamshells, but because of the size of the squares I ended up with jujubes instead! It's alright, I like it this way!

Quilty doings, I Spy

I have a lot of time to report about, since my last post was my zig-zag quilt, seen here.

Over the summer, I determined to make 3 charity quilts. They are not small, 60 X 70, so it took some time from start to finish. All 3 are I Spy quilts, one has more 'girly' squares , Disney Princesses, mermaids and the like.

All three quilts are intended to be I Spy, matching, and alphabet. I hope they will provide a bit of fun for sick kids and their parents.

There are still I Spy squares left over. I'm keeping back two sets, one for my little grandson, and one for a grandchild-to-be. Even when I've done those, there may be more to make. I have a weakness for I  Spy, and a drawer full of novelty fabrics to use! I used 5" squares for the charity quilts, but I also have 4" squares from several swaps