Sunday, August 25, 2013

One Block Wonder

This weekend I spent some time making a One Block Wonder quilt.   Here is the progress so far:
My one block wonder layout.  Now I have to sew them all together. No Y-seams though. They are only trapezoids, so I will sew them as strips first.
 I bought 4 yards of a large scale print fabric, and then tour it in half, so it was 22 inches wide and 4 yards long.  (Just to make it easier to handle width wise.)
This is what the fabric look like uncut. Isn't it so neat how the character of the fabric changes in the kaleidoscope effect?

Then, I aligned 6 repeats of the fabric into a stack, and cut 3.75" strips. From those strips, I cut equilateral triangles.  (This is a fairly simple process- I didn't buy the book.)

Well, I meant to cut equilateral triangles.  The first ones I cut, I lost about 50% of them to poor cutting. They did NOT make regular hexagons, the triangles were not even close to equilateral. It was very upsetting.  The second half of the fabric, I managed to cut ever single one of them so it aligned correctly- yay!

So what did I do differently? Well, I had read some handy advice by a woman who made tons of these quilts to NOT use the truncated top that some of the 60 degree rulers have. So I didn't. And apparently, this would have worked well, if I am skilled at cutting, but by not having that top to align to the top of the strip, I apparently let my ruler move.  Which caused major issues, I guess.  The second half of the fabric I cut using the truncated top and it worked much better.

So, I set aside all the bad blocks and sewed them into hexagons (the good blocks are sew together in strips, to avoid set in seams).  Once I had the hexagons, I sewed together the ones closest in size, hoping to have enough for a charity quilt. I did all of these with Y seams- the first time I've ever done them, they came out okay.
Wow this photo is blurry, sorry about that.  This is just a tiny quilt, but all the hexagons were done with Y seams! Yay for new skills!
It wasn't big enough for a charity quilt (a second border would have made it the right size for still born quilts, but I didn't think it was at all appropriate for that), so I am giving it to a neighbor's daughter for a doll quilt.

Since I'm into feathers right now, I tried them again. Since this has been washed, I'm not sure how well you can see the quilting. Oddly, the thin thread made them harder- it was much harder to travel stitch on such tiny thread.
Feathers.  Oddly, the picture loaded upside down, so this is upside down feathers.
In other quilting news- this is the layout I'm going to use for my King size quilt. Except I think I need a lot more fabric. (The white squares are going to be large dark squares. I just haven't cut any yet.)

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Every month, I try to quilt 2-3 of the charity quilts our guild has. I don't usually post about them, because they are generally very simple. Sometimes I make a design, but I often just stipple to get them done.  This quilt came in and it was a GORGEOUS top. I thought it needed more time than just a quick large stipple.

I've been doing a lot of feather doodling lately, and decided to put some feathers on the quilt. I still need a lot of work on these, but they are much better than my last attempt 1-2 years ago.
Mostly because my travel stitching is better.  Traveling directly over the lines makes a HUGE difference.

This thread is much too thick for good feather work, Connecting Threads Essential. The build up is too severe. But I still think it looks alright.

I forgot to take pictures of one of the triangle sections. Oops.

Two of the triangle sections I filled straight up and down.
Two I filled with kind of a curve, I like the curve better.
Another triangle section
I still am not good with the 'inside' curves. This one is kind of awkward.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Two projects

I made a pillow using this tutorial.  I really like the pillow, but I think I did something wrong when I dyed it.  (I used the same gray she uses in the tutorial and then overdyed with turquoise). It is beautiful, but feels crunchy.  I also fused down the first few stripes, because they tend to pucker up, and they aren't holding, the fusible peeled right up. That's annoying.  Still, I like the pillow.

I also did a little mini 12 x 12 in wall hanging for work.  I don't have much Hawkeye stuff, and the new job requires that I be a fan.  This is shadow trapunto, but I have to say, I don't like the way the off-white organza looks over the black batting.  It grays it out too much. I think I'll stick with bold colors that can pastel, and whites. But it was a good little quilt to experiment on.  I used white thread to do the quilting, and I think if I had used yellow it would have made the quilt look a little brighter.  I tried using black, but it looked really bad. 

You can't really see the quilting. It's just stippling. I'm lazy...
The guild is looking for workshop ideas for the upcoming year, and if they can't bring a teacher in, I might volunteer to run one on micro-quilting and do a project like this.  I can't give a tiger hawk pattern out (though I don't think I'd want to be paid, as the participants would be guinea pigs as I learn to teach a quilting class), but it is really easy to tell people to print one on 8 x 10 paper and bring it with them.

I bought 20 yards of fabric today at Pine Needles buy 10 get 10.  I think 14 of them are black and white fabrics, and I hope that is enough to make a king size top. I got some pink I might mix in there too, but I'm not sure.  Kevin and I are "racing". He has to make a king sized bed-frame, I have to make a king size quilt. It's going to be a slow battle to the finish...  Honestly, I'm most nervous about basting the thing. Who has room to lay out a king size blanket? Maybe sweep the garage out really well?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Another letter!

Winter Wonderland was accepted into the AQS Des Moines show! This is super awesome because it is really close to my house, so I'll actually get to go see it. 

Only 176 quilts are in the show (I'm not sure, but I thought 300 were accepted into Grand Rapids).  This is silly, but I really hope if I don't get a big prize at Grand Rapids, that I don't get anything at all (I feel like my best shot at an award is a 3rd place ribbon...) A 3rd place ribbon would take me out of the Des Moines show, as any cash prize makes you ineligible (or maybe it has to be from a previous year? I'm not clear on the rule), and I really want to be able to show there.  Plus with fewer entries, that means my chances are better for a big one, right?

I think my most realistic shot at an award are going to be Best Machine Worksmanship (long long long shot) or a 3rd place ribbon (long shot).  I think it is completely out of scope that this quilt, which I did as a beginner, is going to get Best of Show. I mean- come on. That would be crazy.  But I really do feel like if what they are judging is the machine work; then I did an awesome job.  The category I'm entered in is Wall Quilts, and I imagine that there will be ones better than mine, hence the reason I won't get 1st place, but I don't necessarily think that the machine workmanship will be better, if that makes sense.

So either I win big, I win small, or I won't win at all (most likely- I've been to these shows. The quilts are amazing. What is mine even doing there?)  But my quilt is in the freaking show. You have no idea how proud I am.  I mean, I was SO new when I started this quilt.  I cannot believe it is in a national show. (Two, actually!)

For anyone who is making quilts- enter them! I cannot believe my work was accepted. I am a beginner.