Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I am so excited today! Why? Because I finished the top for my Supernova quilt!!!!




It could probably use some ironing.


I was unsure about whether to add the border or not, but it seemed too small without it. I had to square the blocks down to about 13.5 inches? I think? because the edges were so uneven. There are some places where the quilt really looks weird as a result. But all in all I am SO pleased with how it turned out. I'm a VERY new quilter--I've made one quilt-as-you-go rag quilt, and one small quilt top for a Sunkissed Squares quilt, so this was my first attempt at doing any complicated piecing. The bias seams are kind of a disaster. Oh well. :)


The next question is how to back it and how to quilt it. I was sort of inspired by this picture:




I really like the way the points match up like that, so I'm thinking about getting a half a yard or so of each of those point fabrics and doing a big cross like that on the back. Problem is, the purple is a FQ from JoAnn's and the chartreuse is discontinued. I can get the yellow and I already have the pink, but I'm not sure how I would do the other two colors.


Alternately, this line came with these other prints:



I was initially drawn to the eggplant plaid (the only one of these that I used in the quilt). I'm not a huge fan of the vegetables--I don't think it goes. I would LOVE ideas from anyone that has them! :)


Kaleidoscope Quilt Along:


I've started cutting and I've done a little bit of piecing, but right now I'm mostly laying out the fabrics and seeing how I like them.



The first three I'm thrilled with. The last one in the top row is really not that orange in person. With the exception of the left-hand one on the bottom row, I'm really not sure about any of those--so much so that I haven't even cut the fabric yet. I have fat quarters of all of these, and I have enough fabric to do 3 blocks of each print. I've got two that aren't pictured here and I might replace those three. I'd like to wind up with a total of 10, for 30 blocks. We'll see how it goes.


Garden Squares quilt: no progress


Skillbuilder Sampler blocks: caught up


Other news: I signed up for the For the Love of Solids swap. I'm excited to do some work with solids, since I haven't done much with them yet!


Finally--on Saturday I will be taking a break from vacationing to take my students to a national math competition. This is a competition in which we won second place last year, which was the best we've ever done. Wish us luck to do as well or better this year! There won't be any sewing going on, since we're flying to Dallas and I'm not hauling my sewing machine on the plane, but I'm sure I'll be doing some knitting while we're there.


Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced!


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, July 11, 2011

We Can Do It! Skillbuilder Sampler blocks

I realized this weekend that it had been a month since the We Can Do It! Skillbuilder Sampler quiltalong had started... and not only had I not made any of the blocks, I hadn't even picked out fabric! Oops.
Not wanting to buy new fabric specifically for this quiltalong (and knowing just how much fabric I've bought this summer already...) I looked at my stash. Then it jumped out at me.
DSCN2542 DSCN2543DSCN2544 DSCN2545
I bought this fabric a couple of weeks ago from Connecting Threads--they've been having a huge sale on a variety of their fabrics, including clearance on last year's Christmas fabrics. I bought a half-yard each of 14 different Christmassy prints, anticipating that some sort of inspiration would strike. And what do you know, it did!
I LOVE Connecting Threads. I've been ordering from their sister company Knitpicks since I started knitting about 6 years ago and loved the great prices and customer service. I'm similarly thrilled with Connecting Threads. They may not be as trendy as some of the other fabric companies out there, but I can pretty much always find something I like there. That said, I wasn't knocked out with all of this fabric--the blue fabrics, in particular, appeared a little faded, or maybe my monitor was just misleading and I expected more saturated colors. But when I take into account that I got 7 yards of fabric for about 20 bucks, I'm satisfied. I also noticed that a half yard of one fabric was NOT the same length as a half yard of another--there was never less than half a yard, but in some cases there were up to 4 inches more. I'm not going to complain about getting extra fabric, but it was something that caught my eye (pressing fabrics and thinking "wow, why is this fabric so much longer than the last one??").
I was able to knock out all three of these blocks in just a couple of hours yesterday and today, and now I'm all caught up!
Block 1: Log Cabin
I love the way log cabin quilts look, and I have no idea why I haven't done anything with them yet. The only thing I dislike about this block (and I disliked it when the tutorial was posted, but I see that there's no way around it) is that the block is asymmetrical. In knitting when I do log cabin blankets, I do the same number of stripes on every side, around a central square. Here the central square is not actually in the center of the block. If I were making a log cabin quilt and not just a block, what I probably would do is take the center block and the first set of strips (bottom and right-hand side) and make that all one square, and that would make it symmetrical. It bothers me the way it is. But not enough to go back and redo it. I also am glad I didn't do all green on one side and all red on the other, but that central square really blends in with the green above and to the left of it, and I'm not thrilled with that either.
Block 2: Value Nine-Patch
I had my doubts about this one, but as it turns out, I REALLY like it! The blues were the only fabrics in which I really had lights and darks (so my complaint about the fabrics not being saturated enough for my liking actually worked out to benefit me!) so that's what I chose. I'll have to figure out how to make the different colors come together in the final quilt layout, but of course I have a while till I have to figure that out (this quiltalong lasts a whole year!) I also am happy that I got to use the Christmas trees, which are going to be a challenge throughout due to the directional nature of that print.
The main challenge I had with this block is keeping a constant 1/4" seam allowance. You can see in both the pictures below that there are places where it gets bigger or smaller than 1/4" and as a result, my seams don't match up perfectly in the nine-patches.
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Block 3: Churn Dash
I LOVE this block. Unfortunately it doesn't love me. :(
I made so many mistakes in this one! First, I've never made half-square triangles before. So I used the option of cutting squares a little bigger than called for, then sewing and trimming them down to the correct size. My squares were 5 inches, and my half-square triangles needed to be trimmed to 4.5 inches.
The first one was fine...
The second one was... not. About 1/8" too small. What the heck happened? I have no idea. It probably has something to do with me being incapable of sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance. The same thing happened on both sets I sewed.
Then, once all the HSTs were made, I started putting the block together, and this happened...
Yeah. That was wrong. Rip it out, try it again. And then I finally got a completed block, which I actually really love the look of, and you can ALMOST barely notice the fact that the edges are not straight.
I haven't done the bonus block yet but it's going to have more HSTs in it (just because I'm a glutton for punishment). I'm thinking a broken dishes block, like this one,only obviously just one block, not a whole quilt! The block would probably be 4 broken dish pieces.
Other Fabric News
I got my fabric for the Spoonflower Swap in the mail--it was delivered while we were on vacation, and it's now cut into charms and on its way!
The non-math one is the one for the swap. The print was bigger than I was expecting, but still totally doable for 5-inch charms. The math one I just thought was awesome! No idea what I will possibly do with it, but I had to have it.
I was also a winner of a giveaway I entered--for the first time EVER!! Lee from Freshly Pieced gave away several pieces of her Spoonflower Swap fabric--she actually designed this one herself! I was randomly selected to win a fat quarter of it.
Thanks, Lee! It will be put to good use... eventually!
Linking up this week with Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday.
Giveaways I'm entering this week: Everyone in blogland is giving away an Accuquilt Go! Baby cutter!
Here's one at All Things Vintage Sheets...
And another one at Bugglebee Handmade...
And still another one at Threadgather! Who knows, maybe I'll win one! That would be awesome. :)
It's Melissa's blogiversary, and she's giving away a fat quarter pack in honor of the occasion!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Hi all! Back from vacation, lots of exciting crafty things going on... ready to get back to the sewing machine! So here are my WIPs for the week:
I made a skirt! I did not finish it in time for skirt week, oh well. I'm just proud that I finished it. DSCN2552


No cute pictures of me modeling it, but take my word for it, it DOES fit and it looks pretty good. I still need to sew the clasp onto the waistline, but other than that it's completely done.
The pattern was a "learn to sew" pattern from New Look (I posted about it in my previous post) and it was straightforward and easy, though the fact that I had to make it in a size 18 still rankles.

Continuing WIPs:
The Supernova is getting to the finishing point!
I mentioned previously that I wanted to make three more blocks so that I could have 3 of each color, 3 rows of 4. At the point when I took this picture (pre-vacation) I was stalled because I was waiting for the last little bit of fabric I needed to arrive. I'd run out of the lime green in the corners of the green block, the pink in the corners of the pink block, and the dark purple in the diagonals of the purple block. I ran into trouble when I realized that Connecting Threads had sold out of the lime green! But fortunately, they still had precuts of all the fabrics, and the amount I needed was small enough that a charm pack did the trick. (Of course, now I have charms of all the other fabrics in the line left over...).
Here's a tentative layout for how I plan to arrange the blocks, once I've finished the last three. (Peanut really likes it, as you can see...) Then I just need to do the border and it'll be time for me to quilt my VERY FIRST QUILT!! Gulp. I'm terrified. I'm debating waiting until I take the long-arm quilting class in August, but I'd really like to finish SOMETHING this summer.

New: Kaleidoscope Quilt-Along
I wasn't sure about doing this one. Then I saw this and it inspired me. The background color (teal in this picture) will be the charcoal gray. The foreground color will be the various pink and teal prints.


Garden Fence Quilt:

The block is from a tutorial from Hyacinth Quilt Designs--I LOVE it! I bought this stack of fat quarters from Sew Fresh Fabrics a while ago in a bundle with a yard of June Jubilee by Alexander Henry. I really love the fabric but I wasn't sure what to do with it. I definitely think, though, that this is a great fit of fabric and pattern! I've cut out enough for 4 squares of each color, but I've run out of all the solids. I'm going to hold off on ordering more until I have some of the squares put together.

(Both of these pictures are saved from Sew Fresh Fabric's Etsy store.)

I have super exciting sewing machine news too, but that will come in a later post!

(I also switched over to Blogger, with the idea that it's a little more user-friendly than Wordpress. All previous posts have been copied over!)

Linking up to Freshly Pieced!