Monday, November 24, 2014

Looking Glass: A pattern tested - Hop and giveaway

It was a lot of fun testing Looking Glass for Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. The hardest part of the whole process - choosing fabric. Finally, I settled on Elementary by Sweetwater and decided to make the lap size. This quilt is to be for my youngest little boy, and I think Elementary is a good fit for a young boy and the lap size big enough to take him out of toddler years (I hope:)

Picking sash color was a challenge. Moda Bella Parchment ended up being the final selection. Anything paler just seemed to wash the other colors out - they just seemed so subdued and faded back, if that makes any sense...

Piecing was a breeze. This I attribute to Cheryl's easy to follow piecing instructions. Love, love her ironing diagram. Didn't have to spend any time at all deciding which way or how to iron. Just followed her instructions and the blocks went together easy peasy. As usual, I spent more time arranging blocks than I did piecing, go figure : )

Usually when I do sashing or borders I just attach a strip and trim off the excess. This time, in an effort to do the Looking Glass pattern justice, I decided to do as Cheryl's clear instructions say and measure off my sashing strips the length as my rows. I did chicken out and not cut them to length, but I did mark them. Then I pinned on at intervals and stitched. Guess what? I don't think I have ever had nicer looking sashing. No  And each every strip was right on the length mark. Guess I could have cut them to length : ) 

All in all, I couldn't be happier with the Looking Glass quilt pattern by Meadow Mist Designs. Cheryl did an awesome job writing a clear and easy-to-follow pattern. It went together simply and easily, just like a good quilt pattern should without looking like an easy peasy quilt, know what I mean? Now I just need to get a couple more of her patterns. (I didn't realize when I volunteered to test Looking Glass that a couple of Cheryl's patterns have been on my faves list on Etsy for quite a long while : ) Am looking forward to trying a couple of her other patterns. After the holidays my plans are to finsh this quilt and move on to Broken Frames

If you would like to make a Looking Glass yourself, you can find the pattern on Etsy or Craftsy on sale thru Friday, December 5.

Ok, now on to blog hop and giveaway details.

The giveaway is open to anyone anywhere and is for a digital copy of the Looking Glass pattern (pdf). The giveaway starts now and will run through Saturday, November 29, with the winner announced on Monday, December 1. If you win and have already purchased the pattern, you will receive a refund of the purchase price.

To enter:
1. Leave a comment, any o' comment.
2. Old and new followers will get an additional entry. Please leave a second comment letting me know you are a follower.
Please note: If you are a no-reply blogger, please include your e-mail address in your comment. If you cannot be reached, you cannot win.

For additional chances to win a free copy of the Looking Glass pattern, visit the others stops on the Blog Hop:
Friday Nov. 21st: Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Saturday Nov. 22nd: Lin @ Lin's Quilts
Sunday Nov. 23rd: Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Nov. 24th: Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Monday Nov. 24th: Anna @ Fresh Dew Drops (me : )
Tuesday Nov. 25th: Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe
Wednesday Nov. 26th: Shauna @ Shauna's World
Wednesday Nov. 26th: Debbie
Friday Nov. 28th: Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts

Thanks for stopping. Hope you enjoyed your look around : )

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BIG Finish of 2013: Marmalade "Summer in the Park"

Marmalade jelly roll

Started with this lovely Marmalade jelly roll and some white yardage cut into 2.5" strips, followed Missouri Star Quilt Company's tutorial for Summer in the Park, and ended up with one of my favorite quilts.

A few new things were tried with this quilt - tube piecing and board basting to name a couple. At first I was excited about basting this way (in brief the top and backing are each rolled onto their own board and then unrolled in sections as you baste with batting layered between). This definitely beats basting on the floor, but I have since tried another method that I think I prefer more; will post about that in the future.

Sorry, no pics of my tube sets. Tube piecing went well; I spent more time laying out my sets than I did sewing them.  (Most time-consuming parts of quilting for me - settling on a pattern and laying blocks out.) I do think I need to be more careful when cutting and take time to check blocks to make sure they don't need squaring up. During the basting process there was a lot of "poof" in the middle of the quilt. Problem was solved with a lot of ironing and steaming, but I definitely need to work on squarer piecing.

Another new attempt with this quilt was with the quilting.  I am so glad that I went with a gutsy decision (on my part) to try something different in the borders. The curves really soften up all the straight lines of this quilt.

At first I wasn't too happy with how inconsistent my walking-foot curves were turning out and how some spots aren't even really curves but more like little "angles," but when I look at it overall I'm thrilled with how the borders turned out. Inspiration for border quilting came from here. Am looking forward to trying a few other new things with the walking foot.

Overall I'm very pleased with how this quilt turned out. Love the colors. Love the borders. Glade I took all that time with color placement.

It's our summer quilt to be used (and it has been used : ) especially for "Book Club" out under the shade tree on warm summer days - our summer in the park : )

Quilt stats:
Started: July 2013
Finished: September 2013 (when I should have been paying more attention to packing for a move but was determined this quilt was not getting moved unfinished : )
Fabric:  Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda
             Moda Bella solids: White and Aqua
Size:            (to be updated)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Charlevoix tablerunner

One of my summertime goals this year was to make a runner for our dining room table. Check that off the list...and before the end of July with a few weeks of summer left. Yes!!! A good feeling to finish something on time.

A charm pack of Charlevoix by Minick and Simpson has been in my charm pack collection since some time last year. (love the blues and yellow!) I knew I wanted to make a tablerunner for our table but couldn't settle on a pattern, which is my usual stumbling block. Inspiration overload? Fear of picking the wrong pattern? Whatever it is, I pushed forward, opened up that charm pack, cut the squares in half, laid them out in rows, and started sewing.  I do wish I had thought to use my walking foot when piecing and maybe took a bit of time to pin. My rows would have matched up better and not shifted like they did. (Note to self: Your walking foot does have a 1/4" foot.) At the time of piecing I just wanted to sew and didn't really want to put too much thought into it. Think I had myself convinced this pattern was too simple for pins and worrying about pieces matching up.

For the back initially I was going to just use natural muslin (don't have much fabric in my stash for backings) because we all know you can't see the back and front of a tablerunner at the same time (reasoning here trying to stay within budget : )  Then I remembered this piece of fabric I bought about 12 years ago just because I liked it.  Tried it out with the binding (Bella solid Sea) and felt it would work. Finally, a way to put a small piece of fabric to use where it can be enjoyed, and yes, I still like it after all these years. 

It wasn't quite wide enough so I inserted a couple strips of muslin. 

Overall I'm quite pleased with this little runner. Love the color on the table and still really like straight line (organic straight line since technically it probably isn't really that straight?) quilting.

Inspiration sources:
Patchwork tablerunner at Narioka
Charm Street Tablerunner tutorial at Prairie Point Junction

Finished dimensions: 14" x 47" (tip to tip)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Starting a Civil War log cabin quilt

For Christmas I received an awesome fat quarter bundle of Civil War period fabrics. These are destined to become a log cabin quilt for my Dad. Progress is slow but at least I'm started - grouped by lights, darks, then a few mediums and ones I'm choosing not to use. Tonight I get started with cutting strips. As of right now I have 48 10.5" blocks planned.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Terrain table runner finish

This lovely tablerunner has been in the works for over a year.

Purchased a Terrain charm pack fall 2011 (I think?) with plans to make a runner for my sister and her husband for Christmas 2011. Yup, you guessed it. That didn't happen, but I persisted, stuck with my plan, and got this runner made and finished as a spring gift 2013. 

The colors are bright and bold. I had my doubts about how the finished table runner was going to feel. But no worries. The more the quilt top hung in my crafting corner waiting to be quilted, the more it grew on me. All the colors and prints work together for a welcoming bright, cheerful splash of color. 

Photo courtesy of my sister
Most importantly, the recipients were surprised and are very pleased to display it on their TV stand. 

They like that it is reversible. The reversibility wasn't planned but was a surprise turn in my plans for this little quilt. My selected backing fabric ended up being way too small (hmm, that happens when there is over a year between initial plans and finishing : ) I improvised, added some solid borders, and voila! - a reversible runner. Couldn't have planned it better. I like how the runner now has two different looks.

I really like the finished quilt and love the quilting. So very glad I went ahead and used this charm pack and bit of yardage as planned. Another moment that is truly better late than never.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wintery quilt quilted and in use

My first "big" quilt finish and I'm so glad it is for us. I like it so very much and the rest of the family does as well.  It was meant to be finished when the Christmas tree went up after Thanksgiving, but it didn't get done. It wasn't even done for Christmas morning cuddling.  But that's okay because about two to three weeks ago (can't remember was right after I finished the tree skirt) I finally got the quilting and binding finished.  Alleluia!!! Just in time for some serious deep winter cozying! (is that even a word?)

The children couldn't wait to use it.

This is seconds after I presented it for everyone's approval or disapproval.
I think they approve (and it wasn't even washed yet : )

On the recommendation of a couple of kind quilters, I checked out Quilter's Dream Select batting. Oh my! I really want to try this stuff. It sounds like a very lovely batting.  For this quilt though I ended up using what I had on hand - wool. I'm very happy with it. It is lighter weight than some baby quilts I have batted with cotton yet it is cozy warm. After a gentle wash it fluffed up and got all pillowy, almost like a comforter. With the brushed cotton top and the flannel backing this quilt is like cuddling up in an old flannel shirt. Heavenly!

Initially I was going to quilt diagonally one direction and then the other to get a hatch design, but after completing one direction it seemed to say that was enough. I liked it, really liked it. At first quilting a quilt this large (largest quilt so far for me) was a bit of a struggle.  Once I figured out how it drifted behind the  machine after being quilted and compensated for this, it went much smoother, especially if I made sure it didn't drag too much in my lap.  My new method of basting without taping down the back again also proved successful - not a single pucker in the backing or top! Ah! quilting heaven : )

All in all another awesome finish for the new year.

I told my husband I made it to be used, and used it is -
: ) 

PS:  I washed it in cold on gentle with three Color Catcher sheets. Whew! So glad I did. All the sheets were a lighter shade of the red of the backing flannel.  All the colors on the front remained their true color.  I don't know how they work, but Color Catcher sheets work.

Quilt stats:
Fabric:  Frosted Memories for Moda brushed jelly roll
Size: 53 x 73 after washing

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Favorite Schnibbles

and the first one I have ever made.  I present my version of Speck (pattern purchased here).  I picked this Schnibbles pattern because I have been wanting to try the X and O block for a while now. It's not finished finished but I am waiting for the perfect blue fabric to arrive for the binding.

This little project was a roller coaster ride of emotions. By the time I was halfway through cutting I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. The pieces are soo small compared to everything else I have worked on.  Was really wondering if I wanted to continue. But, I do my best to finish what I start so I got through step one and started piecing. OMG! Not much better. It seemed tedious and I wasn't getting very far very fast at all and the pieces didn't want to stay lined up. Ugh!!!

After I got the first block together, I got excited!! It was so cute and pretty. I must continue! The piecing is not the greatest but it did get better as I went along. Loved the second block even more.

Came back the next evening to finish and blah!!! Pieces just didn't want to go together well at all. And the layout of the remaining blocks just didn't seem right. Rearrange and rearrange and rearrange some more. Was ready to put it in a bag and call it quits.  Why oh why didn't I just sew some squares together and call it good?!? ("Because that's boring," says my dear husband who came and checked in on me.)

 I really wanted to participate in this Schnibbles parade though (and I do like to impress my husband : ) so I gritted my teeth and kept going. Got to the sashing and things improved.  I am really surprised it came out somewhat square. I thought for sure with all my barely passable piecing that it would be way off. It's wasn't (whew!)

I really like this little blue square.
I think this is my favorite block...really like those little white dots and the blue and coral and brown.

It really was lovely working with these spring colors.  I used a couple of candy bars of Buttercup fabric by Fig Tree. It feels really good to have those little bundles of prettiness made up into this table topper/wall hanging.  I am very pleased with how this little quilt top turned out. I just have to decide how to quilt it.

I did make six blocks.  My master plan is to kill three birds with one stone (is that even possible?) 1) finally participate in a Schnibbles parade 2) make something springlike for our kitchen wall or dining room table and 3) make a little bit of spring to be gifted to a very kind great grandma.  These two blocks I kept separate to make into a little table runner to gift. I must say that the plan is progressing fairly nicely. 

A big thank you to Sherri and Sinta for hosting the Schnibbles Parades. I have really enjoyed them the beginning of every month over the last year or so.  I am thrilled to finally be able to participate.