Thursday, June 25, 2015

Memaw's Quilt(top).

My grandma turned 90 this year. I figure she needs a quilt.

My grandma is an amazing lady. Her life is exciting, and the stories she has told me about her past are incredible. (And true!) In her home, there is a gigantic quilt hanging on the wall of her great room that was pieced decades ago out of clothes from members of our family. When I was a kid, I always loved when she would point to pieces of the quilt and tell me where they came from. 

This quilt looks nothing like the one on her wall. It's all from one fabric collection: Bonnie and Camille's Happy Go Lucky. But whenever I would see these fabrics in a project, I always thought of my Memaw, and I held on to my FQ bundle for a couple of years until inspiration struck.

As you can probably tell if you've previously been here, using this line is a bit of a stretch for me. I like extremely bright colors and large scale prints and TULA. And while I can't say that B&C will be my future go-to when it comes to a new project, I can say that I like this finished top a lot.

I considered hand-tying this one, which is something I've never done before, but I'm leaning towards machine quilting. Simple, straight lines on the diagonal, aka, Audrey's favorite way to quilt a quilt ever. (No, really.) But there are a few other projects that will demand attention before then--my nephew's quilt, eep!--so I have time to muse.

Oh, if you're interested, the pattern for this is a free tutorial called the Squares and Strips Bed Quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.

Friday, June 12, 2015

This is not my most glorious finish.

A ringing endorsement to start off this post, amiright? But it's true. This is not my most glorious finish. But it's a finish nonetheless, one that I am thrilled to remove from the queue, and one that has been plagued with frequent pauses throughout its creation.

Last fall, my son asked me to make him a quilt. He has one me-made quilt, an i-spy patchwork affair that I made very early in my quilting career. (I think it was finish #5?) But Banzo is growing up, and it was getting a little too small for him, so he asked if he could give it to his baby brother and have a new quilt for himself. How could I say no? He wanted trucks, and I pulled truck fabric and rainbow blenders, then axed the trucks because the pile sat on my table for weeks without inspiration. Axing the trucks was necessary, even if the only truck will be a label on the back of the quilt.

I FMQ'd the entire thing in a pointy meander, mostly as practice for my nephew's hedgehog quilt. This is the first quilt that I've ever used an all over FMQ style for, and I did not enjoy it. It took forever. It used up a ton of thread. I started with a partially full spool of green thread for the backing thread, thinking, that will be plenty for the bottom bobbin. Nope. I ran out. I could have waited until I made it to the store, but there was no way that was happening, so I switched to blue thread and kept going because apparently I only like to keep one spool of green thread in my house at a time. I probably should have waited. I had to switch to blue thread in the green section on top too, which is horribly noticeable, but I thought if I stopped working on this quilt, when would I get around to it again? (I'm not sure if I will actually use this pattern for my nephew's quilt. The jury is still out. I will say this quilt has a very nice feel to it and my skillz definitely improved.)

I backed it in a green flannel with bits of other flannel scraps to bring it up to size. For binding, I had hoped to use kona black, but I was completely out of black solids--I apparently need to have an epic shopping trip to the LQS--but I did manage to find this black pin dot in my stash. And I had just enough! Except, I cut one strip at 2" instead of 2.25". SERIOUSLY. I almost threw in the towel then and there, but I pulled out my binding scraps, grabbed a handful that would work, and stitched them up. The final product is a non-matching binding with non-matching quilt thread with no trucks, but the quilt is done. You better believe I machine-sewed that binding because I wanted to get this quilt done.

What went wrong with this quilt? Should I have picked another pattern? Gone bolder? I still really love the improv-y quilt I made for my middle son. What made this one go flat? There may not be answers to those questions, but I do know that Banzo loves his new quilt. He loved watching me work on it. He snuggled it the other day in 90 degree weather. Whether or not I've created an epic quilt here, it will be loved, and that's the part on which I'm choosing to focus.

This is finish #6 of 14 from my Q2 FAL list. In April, I had an incomplete stack of blocks, so this one really did come quite a ways.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Slow work.

It feels as though I've spent a ton of time away from my machine lately. This past year was my first year homeschooling my oldest, so with school out of the way, I expected I'd have more time. That was incorrect. I somehow have much much less!

I've managed to keep up on my bee blocks, including this one for June. It was a fun block, but can you believe I had to go buy cream fabric? I had exactly zero in stash. And this was my only true red, which thankfully worked out. I've apparently been using my stash lately, which is excellent, but wow. I've cleaned out a number of colors.

I did pull this stack of lovelies from stash recently. I never thought I'd participate in a mystery quilt, but all of a sudden, it sounded fun, and as I saw the last mystery quilt that Cheryl created and enjoyed watching Quilting Jetgirl piece it monthly, I thought I'd jump in as well.

I turned my attention (briefly) to these blocks for my dad's quilt. I think I have sashing requirements figured out, but do I have kona white or any sort of white solid to sash it? Of course not. Do I have enough navy to handle it? NO. Which is lame.

Know what else I'm completely out of? Kona black! How my reserves got so low all at once, I couldn't tell you. All I know is that I need to seriously replenish my basics. I have finished quilting this quilt--more details on THAT in a later post--and I want to bind it in Kona black or charcoal. I want to get this very late quilt finished!

Off to the store I go! Or rather, off to soothe the teething baby.


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