Monday, March 31, 2014

Sashing Choices - Color or Neutral

Finally, after more sewing more hours than I thought I would need, I have almost finished the largest quilt I have ever made. With each additional row, I am slightly freaking out as I wonder how on earth I will quilt this. With the help of Ann Petersen from Craftsy (Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine), I am going to give it a shot.

I really like the piano key and blue borders and I guess I could stop here, but I think I want a final 3-4 inch border to round it off. I may make the top/bottom pieces about 2 inches longer so I have a rectangle instead of a square. Still pondering that one.

Now I am trying to decide what the last border will be. If you have a preference, please let me know in the comments. I am leaning toward the red, but I'm not sure I have enough of the red fabric. Of course, that means I have a reason to go fabric shopping.

So, if I have readers, what do you think?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bad Ass Quilter's Seam Ripping Tip

OMG! Did this post by the Bad Ass Quilter on her Facebook page come in handy. I suggest all newbies follow her on Facebook. If you don't Facebook, you can follow her blog, but the tutorial isn't there yet.

I had no idea what that little red ball on the tip of my seam ripper was for. Now I know.

On a side note, I know I am ending sentences with prepositions, but I've decided I don't mind that either.

Post by Spool.

Jelly Charm Mistakes

Well, in my "on a roll" sewing, I made a major--now I have to rip seams--mistake. I love the quilt, but I am not going to be able to make squares of sashing that match unless I rip.

I like the blue around the piano keys, but those of you who know how to quilt will see my problem. If I add the blue sashing to the top and bottom, then I will not have a square of blue, but instead a strip of blue going all the way across the quilt. I have done this before.  See the photo below. For that quilt, I thought--oh never mind, it will look fine. For this quilt, I want a square, so out comes the seam ripper.

I didn't just mess up the sashing. In my last blog post, I mentioned trying to nest seams, so "refolding" as I sewed. Here is the mess you end up with. Thank goodness I figured out it didn't work rather quickly, so I don't have too much of this. Now, as a beginning quilter, I think--it is on the back, so it shouldn't matter. From reading blogs and taking Craftsy courses from experienced quilters, I know that this seam will create a lump in my quilt. I didn't rip this. I am going to live with the lump.

Oh the joys of learning to quilt by video and blog. If I had been taking a face-to-face class, I doubt I would have made these mistakes, but since the local courses are offered primarily when I am at work, Craftsy and blogs are now my companions. I need to join a quild.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jelly Charm Quilt--the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I like my jelly charm quilt. I really do. However, if I weren't so seam ripper averse, there are some things I would like to fix. Take a look at the photo below as I explain my laziness.

I didn't take the photo outside--too windy and rainy, but you can get the idea. I used the Wallflower charm pack and jelly roll from Windham fabrics by Cluck Cluck Sew.

So, of course, there are seams that don't match, but I am getting better. Jenny Doan's tip about putting the side with excess fabric on the bottom because the feed dog will take care of it has been a godsend. I still have trouble with cutting despite lining up and re-lining up and using a rotary cutter and ruler. Silent scream.

Then I actually meant to make a rectangle, but made a square semi-accidentally. I didn't want to line up too many seams, so I alternated sides, or at least I thought I was alternating sides until I got the the last row. AARRGGHH. So I had to make too many gray and blue squares (see the top row) because that was all I had left, which led to the square because I sewed a column instead of a row because I seemed to have forgotten how to think.

Then, let's look at the dark blue, which seems to be concentrated at the bottom of the quilt. I swear I checked for that. I didn't take a photo as I was arranging though. Live and learn. Taking the photo really helps me "see" the color/pattern organization better.

Even though you cannot see it, I tried to fold over matched seams so I could "nest" the seams for better alignment. In my glory, I didn't think about the folded over mess that would make since I had already sewn the seams another way. Clearly, I don't make show quilts. :-)

On the plus side, I am sewing faster and my seams matched better by the time I finished. I am improving. I think if I were more willing to use my seam ripper, I might improve faster. To give myself credit, I did "rip" three blocks that were too awful even for me. Just imagine what they looked like.

Still sewing away. May not have enough left over for a complete piano key border, but I'm working on it anyway. I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring is Sprung--Allergy season has arrived

Since it snowed flurried today, I am not quite sure that I can say spring is sprung. My runny nose differs with what my eyes saw. At first, I thought the flurries were just white blossoms dancing on the wind. Alas, it was not to be--we really, actually, truly had snow flurries in Middle Tennessee in late March.

So, snow, allergies, and just pure laziness have kept me from taking photos of my jelly charm quilt, which is progressing nicely. I have decided that I need another row to ensure the lap quilt is long enough for my dad who is 6"1". It would probably work now, but I don't prewash my fabrics, so the shrinkage is sometimes more than I expect. My washer is in the basement, so I don't get there too much. :-)

I'm hoping that by the weekend, spring really will be sprung, so I can enjoy some sunny weather. Hope the weather is better where you are.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Monochromatic Napkins and Life

Okay, I don't really think that monochromatic napkins reflect my life in general, but I love these napkins. My dad swears that they are too pretty to wipe his lips with, but that is their purpose.

Life has been busy, as you can tell since I haven't written anything in almost a month. Dealing with insurance companies and trying to help my dad after the fire and death of my mother, plus getting back to work, has basically consumed my life. I have truly enjoyed the time with my dad, not so much the dealings with insurance companies. We all have our good days and bad days. I find that quilting can help a bad day.

I have been working on the quilt that my mother picked for me to make her (material and pattern). I am going to give it to my father, even though it is a little "girly" for him. I haven't quite decided if I am going to make it bigger or what the borders will be, but I like the quilt because it reminds me of my mother. I think I will continue with colors she would have liked (yellows, pinks, light blues) even though my first thought was to add more red and dark blue for my father. What do you think?

The materials are a charm pack and jelly roll in Wallflowers from Windham Fabrics by Cluck Cluck Sew. Love the blog too! If you haven't seen it, you should take a look. The pattern is Jenny Doan's jelly charm quilt from her Quilting Quickly Craftsy class. Love Jenny's YouTube tutorials also.

I'm glad to be back and hope to be doing a lot more quilting in May and June (my "off" months).