Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Rocky Mountain Puzzle finish

This is a baby quilt.  I saw a version of this quilt on a blog somewhere and thought it was really sweet, so I made my own.  I finished it a few months ago and forgot where I saw it now.

I thought it was good color practice, which is something I am looking for right now.  I am happy with this project.

Here is a new small project I started recently.  This block came from a tutorial at Film in the Fridge.  The blocks are coming together fairly quickly, once I've chosen the fabric.  Colorwise it is going reasonably well.  It will be busy, but fun when it's finished.

I think I need six more blocks, but at least three.  It's a bit of a jumble right now.  I'm not put off by it, but I do think they need a little help looking like they all belong to the same quilt.  A bit of mustard in each new block may do the trick, since it is already in four of the six blocks.  The two bottom blocks have no mustard, but I'd really like to use them anyway.  I'm hoping that with more blocks, I can scatter those and it will be okay.  If not, I'll have to remake them with mustard and put these in another project somewhere down the line.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Blue Strings WIP

Right now I have a ton of quilts in progress, probably too many.  But there are some projects that need to be at the top of the pile.  A quilt for my bed is one of those.  My current bed quilt is now so worn that the top is disintegrating off.  The batting underneath is coming out and the whole thing is looking really sad.

My bed gets used everyday, obviously, by my husband and me, but also gets frequent visits from our kids.  I like that they curl up on my bed to read, or if they want to talk to me when I'm in my room. Sometimes I hear them jumping on my bed when I'm downstairs.  So, the quilt that lives on that bed needs to be pretty sturdy.  It is not the place for an heirloom.  However, I would love to have something there that makes me feel good as we live with it, and on it, for the next several years.  

After some deliberation, I chose to make a string quilt for my bed.  I've never made one before, but it's something I've wanted to try and seems like a great quilt as you go project.  So, not an heirloom, pretty sturdy and utilitarian, but also with the potential to be beautiful.  

I've seen a ton of versions of string quilts, but my favorite was one I think I saw on a MQG site.  I wish I remembered where exactly, but the maker had used old jeans to create and entirely blue string quilt.  It was spectacular.  I loved it.  

About a year ago I ordered a bunch of blues and some white fabric (for the center string) and cut tons of strings.  I started sewing it all together, but the lack of variety in the project and the fact that I needed so many blocks nearly bored me to tears.  So it has taken me some time to get it done, mostly at night.

I finally did finish all 64 blocks, but I still had to attach the backing.  I know there is a way to do this while making the blocks. It might have been the sturdier option, it would certainly have been more efficient, but I don't like the look of the extra sashing.  Anyway, after putting the whole thing together I still needed to think about how I was going to attach the backing.  I originally thought I would machine quilt it together, but the blocks are 11 1/2 inches wide, so it would need more reinforcing than just in the seams and that might mess up the look of the quilt.  I also considered tying it, but that didn't seem sturdy enough or comfortable for people who plop down on top of it for a bedtime story...

I finally chose to use a very simple hand stitch.  Again, it was something I saw online, I think from Jen Kingwell.  I think she said they reminded her of a sashiko stitch.  It looks more like kantha to me; sashiko is so precise and controlled.  But I really like it for this project.  It also has the benefit of giving the quilt a softer finish.  The big downside is time.  It will take me many more hours to finish, so I'll have to wait another few months before getting this guy on the bed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Finished Quilt Top

Last year I signed up for Sarah Fielke's Block of the Month Program to make a quilt called "Down the Rabbit Hole".  I thought it would be a good project for me and a challenge to get it done.

It is a pretty big quilt with a lot of handwork, which I love.  I also loved how she had several options in case the maker didn't want to do rabbits along the border.  I opted for cats, because I love them and almost always have at least one cat living in my home.  I realize that cats are not for everyone, but I've never understood why that is.  I really seem to have an affinity for them...

Anyway, I loved her patterns generally, but I don't think she's a cat person.  I say that without judgement, but I felt I needed to rework the cat profiles a bit to match my picture of a great cat.  Here is what I came up with.  I used her general pattern, but then worked on the heads and chests especially.  After I sewed the leaping cats down I wished I had reworked their hind legs too.  I think they are much more rabbit than cat, but c'est la vie, it was done and I wasn't about to unpick it.  I felt that the cats in the original pattern were a bit boxy;  in my version they look almost Egyptian.  One of my favorite things about cats is how beautiful and sleek they are -- always graceful, usually with a bit of attitude.  Definitely different from a dog- or a bunny.

Actually, I enjoyed the process so much that I signed up for her 2018 programs.  Both of them.  I'm not sure why I'm doing both, because I have a long list of WIPs and projects that I need to start and finish.  More than I can actually finish really, but I guess I'm doing it because I had that much fun.  I'm also using them as exercises to work on my skills, both in sewing and color.  I like that she brings a real sense of play to her quilts and that she uses traditional concepts in interesting ways.

To truly finish this quilt, I actually have to quilt it.  I pulled my quilt frame out of the garage (its been out of use for more than 20 years, so it is time to get it working again) and realized that it isn't big enough to accomodate this size quilt.  So, I'm working on that...

In the meantime, I've got some WIPs that need my attention.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.