|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
After sewing furiously for a week to get this sampler done, on Saturday I sewed the last stitches in my border.
I bought the fabric for this quilt about a year ago: I knew I wanted to make another sampler after my first one, and I knew I wanted it to be pink and brown. What I didn't know was when I'd do it or what blocks I'd use.
I'd originally bought brown fabric for the border because I didn't originally plan on using brown in my blocks. So, off to the fabric store I went on Saturday afternoon in search of dusty rose fabric to use for my backing.
With the brown in the blocks, when I laid it out I decided that using brown in the border too would have been too dark. So my pink backing became pink border fabric and the brown became binding and backing along with the leftover pink fabric and scraps from the front.
I'm excited about how this quilt top turned out. It has so many seams that I refuse to tackle quilting it by machine and I don't think I'd want to tackle quilting it by hand either. I'll drop it off at my LQS this week.
Thanks to the three ladies who hosted the Summer Sampler Series quilt along: Katie at Swim, Bike, Quilt!, Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts and Lee at Freshly Pieced. This quilt top has definitely been a skill-builder and your tutorials were clear, which was a big, big help! (Learning to paper-piece opens up new possibilities, but I still think I'll use it as a last resort....)
|Posted by email@example.com on August 12, 2011 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
It's been a productive day! I cut the sashing and cornerstones for the Summer Sampler quilt and sewed it on; tomorrow I'll finish up the quilt top with cutting and sewing my borders. I also want to piece my quilt back. Once that's all done, it's off to the LQS....
I didn't originally plan on sashing these blocks; I was going to alternate each pieced block with a filler block of coordinating fabric. But when I laid it out the filler blocks were just too dominant, so I quartered and trimmed each filler block into sashing. I am so happy with the way it turned out!
On a different note, I was in a thrift store today. I like to see what they have in the line of pre-loved quilts and afghans, if anything. It's not too often I'll actually find a quilt in there, but I walked out of there today with an eight-dollar orange and white tied Rail Fence quilt. It reminds me of a Creamsicle! I love the bright, cheery colours.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 11, 2011 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
I did it. Less than a week after the twelfth of the twelve quilt along blocks was posted, I finished my last block. It's taken me all day to do it, but it's done. I did block #11 yesterday. Here they are:
|yesterday's block: Evening Star|
Making the kaleidoscope quilt helped me with these two blocks because they are made up of triangles that meet at a middle point. Pressing the seams open seems to be the trick to aligning everything at that mid-point. The seams laid flatter and it made all the difference in the world.
|today's block: Kansas Dust Storm|
I originally wanted Kansas Dust Storm to have more of the solid tan fabric in it, like Evening Star. Small problem: I ran out of it! By using the red floral fabric as my main print it had the desired effect of making it the predominant fabric in these blocks. Before I did these last two blocks, green and brown were dominant and I didn't want that; I wanted green and brown to be accents. I am now happy with the balance between all the colours and fabrics. Here are all twelve blocks:
The picture's not great because the design wall doesn't hang flat but it gives a general idea of what I wound up with. (I keep all my rulers and stencils behind my design wall.) The next decision will be what to do for my border and backing. Once my blocks are joined and the border is on, it's off to the LQS to have them quilt it with a gentle meandering pattern. I'll finish the binding myself when I get it back.
|Posted by email@example.com on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 PM||comments (0)|
Summer Sampler Series catch-up part 2: the Minnesota, Rocky Road to Kansas and Arkansas Traveler blocks.
All three of these blocks are paper pieced. Yes! I am almost a paper piecing expert, and that after one week's experience! And that is because...
...I made almost every mistake that's possible to make with piecing these three, and especially Arkansas Traveler.
No, diamonds such as are pictured below, are indeed NOT my best friend. The points are a pain, and it turns out there is a reason those numbers are on the templates. I sewed and ripped more on this block than any other to date for as long as I've been quilting (just over a year). It's one thing to turn your stitch length down to 1.5 to ease future removal of the paper by perforating it, but it is next to impossible to rip those teeny tiny stitches out of screwed-up seams. But having gotten that rant out of my system, I must say I do like the looks of this block.
Minnesota was the first block I paper pieced. It came together fairly seamlessly (ha ha!), which showed me that paper piecing does have some advantages when it comes to accuracy. I did not like the look of this block at first because of the colour combo I used, but against the other blocks that have brown in them, it looks fine.
Rocky Road to Kansas: my first attempt at a string block. I can now say I've tried the technique, and while I like the look of the finished block, I found sewing the strips together to be somewhat of a drag. It makes sense as a way to use up every conceivable scrap of fabric, however, which is what people had to do "back in the day."
|Rocky Road to Kansas|
I've now got ten blocks completed and no plans to sash this quilt top. No, what I'm going to do is alternate these blocks with at least eight filler blocks using the yard of coordinating fabric that I have. Then I'll put a border on it and decide from there on exactly how to quilt it.
|First ten completed blocks|
Two blocks to go: Evening Star and Kansas Dust Storm.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on August 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Finished Kaleidoscope quilt
close-up of quilting
After losing a day ripping out the binding and redoing it, I can happily say that I finished my Kaleidoscope quilt yesterday!
I do not like machine quilting on my domestic machine and I'm glad I didn't go with any larger a quilt than the 12-block baby size! I'm sure it gets easier with time and practice, but I just don't see how people can wrestle with huge quilt sandwiches and not pull their hair out.
I do, however, like attaching the binding by machine. I enjoy hand stitching it, but when you want to get it done, it goes faster by machine and doesn't look too bad if you stay in the ditch. (This quilt was the first time I've attached binding completely by machine.)
I'm quite impressed with myself and the job I did on this quilt because I set myself a goal to have it done by the end of Elizabeth's QAL, which was originally set for August 4. I met my goal!
It meant I didn't get any blocks done on my Farmer's Wife sampler or my Summer Series Sampler, but that's okay. The Farmer's Wife will be easy to catch up on and my goal for the Summer Series Sampler is to have it done and ready to go to the LQS for quilting by the middle of September. This should allow me to get back to other priority projects that have taken a backseat for the past month.
back of Kaleidoscope quilt
All that's left to do with this quilt is label it, print a couple photographs of it and put its specs in my hard-copy portfolio.
Thanks to Elizabeth D at "Don't Call Me Betsy" for a thoroughly enjoyable quilt along - the first I've participated in!
|Posted by email@example.com on July 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
KT left a very nice comment on yesterday's blog entry that got me thinking this morning. All she said was "Who needs paper-piecing when your blocks come out like this! Perfect!"
Hmm. KT gave me an idea....
I'm not generally as accurate as I need to be with my cutting to have my piecing align perfectly, but I was totally impressed with how accurate my piecing on the Six-Pointed Star block and Lucky Pieces block was. Maybe practice is having the desired effect of improvement?
"Well self," I said, "why don't we try something here? Let's try making the snazzy-looking Star block for this sampler with templates instead of paper piecing! Let's consider it a test of sorts, and a challenge as well! If it doesn't work, I can always redo it and try paper piecing it!"
I'd already printed off the paper piecing templates for this block, so to make my templates, all I did was cut one apart into the three different sized triangles and tape them onto a piece of sandpaper. Then I traced around them, adding the quarter-inch seam allowance to the sides that didn't have it, and cut them out.
I cut my fabric, paying attention to cutting pieces both from the right side and wrong side to get the pieces for both A and B paper piecing templates. They're mirror-image of each other.
Then I laid the pieces out on top of the respective paper piecing templates to get my seams aligned properly, left the paper piecing template on the ironing board and went back to my machine to do my sewing. When I pressed the mini-blocks, I made sure they were as close to the paper pieced template size as possible.
From there I aligned and sewed the four star point blocks. It took me all afternoon, but here's the finished result:
|Look Ma! No paper piecing!|
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 20, 2011 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
For this week's blocks I did Buckwheat and Butterfly at the Crossroads. Buckwheat, pictured below, is the first piecing I have ever done on point and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out! This turned out to be one of those blocks that looked more intimidating than it actually was, but it's also the first block I completely templated and I think that made the difference. Using the templates, all those triangles fell together like nuthin'. Wow, was that a relief! The block was done in brown in the colour combination in the Farmer's Wife book, but it turned out well in various shades of grey.
Butterfly at the Crossroads is one of my favourite blocks so far due to the colour combination I used, along with the fact I did the "crossroads" in a third colour. The original block only used two colours. It also lined up perfectly and I just think it looks really sharp! I also used the templates for this block. I had tried piecing the HSTs from squares, but decided it'd be easier to template eight pairs of triangles rather than trim them. I'm done sixteen blocks now and have been thinking about how big a quilt I want to make this. I'm not sure I'll do all 111 blocks since I don't plan on doing a queen-sized quilt. But I may, knowing that I don't have to use them all in the same quilt. I also may use a straight setting instead of finishing them on point. Typically, the blocks will come from the Farmer's Wife book, but what I do with the finished blocks will come from inside my head!
|Butterfly at the Crossroads||
|Posted by email@example.com on July 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Birds in the Air and Bouquet||
Birds in the Air is a washout because of the fabrics I used. My second fabric was absorbed by the floral primary fabric, but that's okay because I wasn't sure how the points were going to line up anyway. Turns out they aligned not too badly, so that's a block I can always redo down the line if I want to. Otherwise, I'm sure the whole block will be absorbed by the other 110 blocks in the quilt. Bouquet surprised me. I thought it'd be tricky because of the weird template shapes, but it turned out really well!
Broken Dishes and Broken Sugar Bowl
Broken Dishes also surprised me because I thought it'd be a walk in the park to put together, yet it took me three tries to get those points lined up adequately! It goes to show you, you just never know. I did Broken Sugar Bowl one night when I was tired and not paying attention to the layout of the block pattern. It also took a couple tries to get all the colours and pieces in their proper spots, but once I finally did, I was happy with how it looked.
Calico Puzzle and Contrary Wife
I broke from making the blocks in the book's order with Calico Puzzle and Contrary Wife. I chose them because they were easy and I didn't have a lot of time. I'm going to start going in random order and crossing the blocks off my list as I make them. Some of the upcoming ones look tricky so I'll try to balance the harder blocks with the easier ones. There's no point inviting frustration! Contrary Wife is the first block I've done that I've used the same colour scheme as the book. It may well be the only one too.
|The first fourteen blocks|
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on June 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
I've played catch-up and have eight blocks done on the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. I think I'm pretty much caught up and no doubt will get ahead in the next few weeks because I enjoy piecing and these blocks came together nicely! Being the observant individual that I am (insert tongue-in-cheek smiley here), I just realized the blocks are in alphabetical order in the book! Here's what I've got so far:
Attic Window got the FWQAL ball rolling for me and I was pleased with how it turned out. Purple and yellow is one of my favourite combinations.
|Autumn Tints and Basket|
Autumn Tints is one of my three favourite blocks in this group. It's all square and turned out perfectly, well, square! Basket was fun to put together until I got to the handle. It's not on there too straight because I hand-appliqued it and I had trouble getting it to lie flat. Steam helped, but I gave up trying to get that left side "just so."
|Basket Weave and Bat Wing|
Basket Weave is also known as Rail Fence and I've wanted to make one of those for a while. Rather than fiddle with the templates, I strip-pieced it and cut my four small squares, sewing them together in the prescribed directions. It was a breeze to put together. It's another of my three faves for ease of construction and the fact I made it all yellow. Bat Wing lined up better than anticipated, but not without first ripping one of the seams out because it was wayyy off-centre! And that was after ripping a seam out because I originally sewed the wrong edge of a triangle to the right edge of another triangle and it didn't look right at all. Once I got both right edges together, it looked the same as the picture and the edges aligned properly!
Big Dipper is the third of my three favourites in this group. It turned out square and the colour combination is sharp. Rather than use the templates, I sewed squares together and cut them to make the HSTs so originally the block was quite a bit larger than the finished 6.5". I carefully trimmed it and impressed myself with the finished product.
|Bow Tie and Box||
Bow Tie looked awkward to begin with but after taking a closer look at the templates, I realized it was one of the easiest to make. I like how it turned out. Box caused me some problems at first because I decided to sew and cut squares into half-square triangles as I did with Big Dipper. The only thing was I forgot to include my seam allowance, so the HSTs turned out way too small! Back to the drawing board and my lime green/lemon yellow block became sunflower yellow and dark green - the same green that's in Attic Window. I'm not impressed with that colour combo because I think it looks too dark, but I'm sure it'll blend well with the rest of the hundred-odd blocks left to make. I haven't yet sewn Birds in the Air or Bouquet. Birds in the Air is cut out and waiting to be sewn and Bouquet still needs to be cut out but since it has a lot of template pieces, I want to look at it and see if I can shortcut it somehow. I like to do what I can to avoid working with the bias edges of triangles. Next in line after Birds in the Air and Bouquet are Broken Dishes and Broken Sugar Bowl. They don't look too hard. I do love it when a plan comes together....
|Posted by email@example.com on June 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
A few weeks ago, I happened upon the invitation issued by Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy to join the Kaleidoscope quilt along that she's hosting. After thinking about it for about thirty seconds, I decided I wanted to play.
At the start of June, she gave us the fabric requirements and today, we are underway with the cutting instructions, yayy!
I was able to print off the template with no problem and in checking through my sewing room I found that I already have the 6.5" ruler and I just cut the 4.5" triangle from some template plastic so I am in business!
48 prints and 48 solids and 48 corner triangles for the baby quilt, you say? I'm on it - see, I haven't changed my mind and I'm still going to use this fabric:
If the baby size impresses me, I may just have to make the big quilt too, but 120 prints and 120 solids is a little more ambitious than I'm up for at the moment. Between cutting triangles and playing catch-up with the FWQAL, I'd say my Thursday is planned! There's still time to join in the fun!