Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finished: Pearl Bracelets Marine Den Quilt

Taadaa! This lovely quilt is my fourth Marine Den, and it was so much fun to work with colors that I would have never thought to use. Yay, yay, yay, for other folks who have the gift for picking fabric, because it's definitely always a challenge for me even when I'm just picking for myself.

I did a large meandering stipple for the background. I did still end up stitching in the ditch all around the pods, since I chickened out on FMQing the pod solids. Rather, I did do some FMQ in the pod middles. For some reason that actually seemed to be a faster approach than stitching in the ditch around the pod middles.

I think that's because stitching in the ditch is so tedious and precise; plus you have to turn the quilt each time you complete another side of a rectangle. Hours of fun.

Call me crazy, but I feel like the meandering stipple pattern gives a lot of elasticity to the finished quilt. If I pull on it in any direction, it has a bit of give to it. Then it snaps back, that's completely unlike the January do. Good Stitches quilt that has all different kinds of quilting patterns covering it. Has anyone else noticed this?

I had a bunch of spools of blue Coats & Clark thread from making curtains in 2007. Magically, the color was a perfect match for the background and backing fabric, so I used up two spools in this quilt. I used it to stitch in the ditch as well. I was able to use it in the bobbin on some of the FMQ in the pod middles, but I found that other stitches were more inclined to pull the bobbin thread up to the top. I was in no mood to experiment with threads and tension, so I used coordinating top and bobbin threads on some of the pod middles. It in no way bothers me to have spots of yellow thread on the quilt back. My inner child thinks it's fun, like a game of I-Spy, so my grown-up sewist side likes it, too.

Quilty Stats:
Pre-wash dimensions: I definitely wrote these down on one of the pieces of paper piled up around here.
Post-wash dimensions: 56"x37"
Batting: Warm & White from The Warm Company
Front Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture solid in Wedgewood, Kona Cotton Blue, Ash, Ivory, and Celery, a gray "wood floors" print, Pearl Bracelets in Citron, River Bend, and Sandbox.
Back Fabric: Pearl Bracelets in River Bend
Binding Fabric: Kona Cotton in Celery
Quilting: Free Motion and Stitching in the Ditch with the Janome Horizon 8900 QCP.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fusible Party Garland

Last year, I signed up to be part of C&T Publishing's Creative Troupe. It's been a really positive experience for me. You can get ebooks for free in exchange for your reviews, and every now and then they send out an email with an opportunity to make something out of one of their products. You send the item to them in exchange for 50% off of a purchase from them and a free ebook. It pushes me out of my box a couple of times a year, so it's lots of fun. (I'm not incentivized to write this. I just wanted to pass on the info.)

A few weeks ago, I created a project from their fast2fuse double-sided fusible. I love the product. It was immediately evident why they called it fast2fuse. Dang. It is fast to fuse. It's a thick fusible, but not quite as intense as Pellon's Peltex.

I started out making some complicated mini purse that crashed and burned. Instead of trying to make the material work for a project that I wanted to make, I decided it would be smarter to make something for which product was well-suited. Ultimately, I made this fun Party Garland :-D

It's so easy, you won't need a fancy tutorial. Here's how I did it:
- Find a round object around the house: a glass, a jar lid, the cap from your hairspray, etc.
- Cut strips of fabric a quarter to a half an inch wider than your round object.
- Lay your strips out wrong side up and put the double-sided fusible on top of it; then lay more strips right side up on top of the fusible.
- Fuse on both sides with your hot iron, trace circles, and cut them out.
- At the sewing machine, fold some ribbon in half and backstitch in the fold.
- Then start sewing a chain. At even intervals, sew through the middle of a circle.
- When you run out of circles, sew into another length of folded ribbon.

Shazam. It will go even faster if you can get some help cutting circles.

I've got to go pull a quilt out of the dryer. Pictures tomorrow!

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Rose Star Blocks 42 & 43

It seems like I've been at the sewing machine non-stop, but at least there is a rockin' quilt to show for it. I just finished quilting, so tomorrow's mission is to square and bind. Then I've got a fun project involving Peltex to work on. Holla!

I think I finished these blocks over a week ago. I am definitely behind on my goal pace for finishing these, but I'm not far off. 

I really need to get all of the blocks back up on the design wall and make some decisions about balancing out any outlying colors before I pick fabrics for the last six whole blocks and seven half blocks. 

I'm all worn out from being a quilting machine today, so I'm calling it a night. Get ready for a great Marine Den quilt reveal :-D I hope your WIPs are seeing some progress, too!

Happy Crafting!


Monday, April 15, 2013

There's a Quilt Top on the Design Wall

I managed to get a quilt top finished today by the skin of my teeth. I wanted to snap a pic before the sun went down, so here's the sunlight that I can work with at 7:45pm. 

Could be worse, right? I was able to snap lots of pics while making this quilt top. You'll see them in the finished Marine Den quilt pattern!

Ok, I'm exhausted. I can't wait to turn this quilt top into a finished quilt :-)

Happy Crafting!


Friday, April 12, 2013

What's on the Design Wall

I've got a lovely quilt coming along on the design wall. I'll share some pics as soon as I complete the top, but I wanted to snap and share a shot of the lovely fabrics before the sun set today!

I would have never dreamt up this subdued color scheme on my own, but I loved it as soon as I started getting the pieces up on the wall. Yay for custom orders :-)

Everything I've touched this year seems to take longer than I thought, so I'm super ready to see this in a finished quilt soon. I'll keep you posted!

Happy crafting this weekend!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Rose Stars #40 & #41

Here's some of the handiwork I have to show from the Austin Modern Quilt Guild Sew-In Day at the Northwest Sewing Center in Austin this past weekend.

We had a spectacular time sewing and swapping tips, my favorite of which was that a butternut squash is easier to peel and cut if you put it in the oven whole for awhile first. Jackpot. Tried it for dinner today and worked like a charm.

These being blocks #40 and #41, I now have eight more whole rose star blocks and seven half rose star blocks to complete to fill in the pattern around the edges. I've got two more blocks cut, but I think I'll finish those and make mindful choices about the color schemes for the last whole blocks in an attempt to balance everything out.

I had to pull blocks off of the design wall so I could lay out pieces for a Marine Den quilt. More on that tomorrow!

Happy Crafting!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Marine Den Coloring Page

I've spent so much time working on the Marine Den quilt pattern, and I'm really excited about it!!!! I'm incorporating some TouchDraw diagrams that make the construction process a lot easier to understand. I created a coloring page to include with the pattern, so I thought I would make it available as a downloadable freebie :-)

As a bonus, you'll be ready with a color scheme when the pattern is finished. 

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

26 Quilts and Counting!

Like the post title says, it recently came to my attention that I have made 26 quilts all told. Whoa.

I had no idea I had made so many until I started reorganizing my "Quilts" page. (See the tab below the blog header!) I created my blog to keep track of my sewing and to participate in the online sewing community. It's somewhat of a garden journal where I write down what works, what fails miserably, and where I ask you for help ;-)

I hadn't been doing a great job of documenting all of the quilts I made, especially during the Renegade Craft Fair, so I recently took the time to do it and was blown away. It's completely dizzying to think that I have made 25 of these quilts in the past 18 months.

I'm glad I took the time to write a little post about this, though. While writing, I realized that I was at 26 instead of 25. AND I remembered I had some home video footage of my first quilt top that I could screenshot to fill in for the lack of a good finished quilt photo. Yay! (I'll spare you the video. The only thing worse than home video footage of a quilt made in a dorm room is footage of an 18 year old quilter.)

Alright, I'm going to go back to enjoying Season 5, Episode 6 of Parks and Recreation, in which a quilt plays a key role :-)

Quilt On, Champions!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wordless WIP Wednesday: Rose Star Update

Ok, almost Wordless Wednesday. Upon seeing the design wall, Mr. Pins said "How are there so many of them?! How is this making any money?" To which I replied "It's not. It's making a quilt :-)"

I can only assume he's thinking the Marine Den pattern should be done. I agree. It's coming!

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March 2013 Recap

March was a really productive month, so let's do a little wordless recap before I get completely intimidated by everything that needs to happen in April ;-)

I'm thrilled with my March progress, and I can't to see what everyone else has been creating!

Happy Crafting!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Finished: Marine Den in Dark Gray and Backyard Baby

Here's the second of three quilts that will come out of the Marine Den pattern writing process. I had fun using the same Backyard Baby prints as I did with the first Marine Den quilt, but I had to shift the position of the colors around a little bit to accommodate the fabric that I had left.

I swapped out the background fabric this time for a darker gray that went better with the color of the Curious Nature print on the back.

I stitched in the ditch between the pods with a YLI clear monofilament. It came highly recommended by Karen Kay Buckley in the class I took from her at Fall Quilt Festival. It was a nice way to hide my stitches without having to decide what thread color to use. Also, I didn't have to try putting one color thread in the bobbin and a different in the top and see how the tension worked out. It might have been fine on the Janome, but I just wasn't up to exploring the possibilities that day. Trying out the YLI sounded a lot more fun.

This particular quilt is off to a little boy. I'm about to start another quilt from my pattern draft so I can take some pictures to with the finished pattern. Yay! Get pumped :-D I know I am!

Quilty Stats:
Pre-wash dimensions: 56.75" x 37"
Post-wash dimensions:  58.25" x 38.75"
Batting: Warm & White from The Warm Company
Front Fabric: Assorted Kona and Cotton Couture Solids, Backyard Baby by Patty Sloniger
Back Fabric: Cocoons in Tin color from Curious Nature by David Butler for Free Spirit
Binding Fabric: Cotton Couture solid.
Quilting: Free Motion and Stitching in the Ditch with the Janome Horizon 8900 QCP.

Happy Crafting!