Monday, June 30, 2014

Perfectionism

I am not a perfectionist when it comes to sewing, except when I am making something for someone else. If it is for me I can deal with the mismatched seams or a wonky quilt once in a while, but for a swap or a gift I really try to get it right.
As soon as I finished the Pink Lemonade quilt I knew I wanted to make a mini version of it using Quilter's grid from Pellon

Pink Lemonade

I looked at my original drawing and cut my squares to 1.5". The fusible grid is marked in 1" squares, but I knew I would still be able to make this work.



My idea was to divide the quilt into 4 blocks, making it easier to fuse each piece onto the grid.



I used an applique pressing cloth that I have so the fusible would not get my iron sticky.



So far, so good.



I pieced the first square and it was almost perfect. I needed to fix that one white square about a third of the way down on the left and then I would be happy.



I fused the next section and that's where my problem started. I changed projects and changed presser feet and the seam allowance was off. So I ripped out this section and sewed it again, only to find that the seams still did not match up. 



If at this point I would have ripped out all the sewn seams and then sewed the big sections together before sewing all the 1/4" seams between the squares my problem would have been solved, but no, I kept on going and ended up ripping out section after section.


The continual pressing caused the quilt to become quite dirty. I kept cleaning my iron, but it still was marking the seams with a yellowish gunk. (I do not use water in this iron, ever!).


When it finally came time to attach the four sections together I made sure to pin at every seam, easing in where needed. I am not usually a pinner, but in this case it really helped.


The final pieced top is a little off square, but I was hoping it would balance out when I washed it and blocked it. I usually don't wash a mini or a pillow cover before gifting it but in this case it was very necessary.


I quilted down the middle of each square with Aurifil 50 wt. white thread, both horizontally and vertically. Because of the interfacing used, this quilt top is a little stiff so I did not want to sew too close to the bulky seams.


The end result is just the way I envisioned it and I hope the recipient likes it.

It would look really good on my new sewing room's aqua walls. But this was made for a friend, with never a thought of keeping it for myself. I wish I still had the bigger version of this quilt so I could see them side by side, but that quilt lives with a child in Guatemala now and that makes me very happy.

This might be my most favorite part of the entire mini. This strawberry just happened to work itself into a 1" square. Now that's PERFECTION!


                      

Quilt Stats:
Name: Strawberry Perfection
Fabrics used: Briar Rose by Heather Ross, Kona white, DS Quilts for the backing. 
Batting: warm and white
Thread:Aurifil white 50 wt. 
size: approximately 26" x 26"
I made this quilt as a thank you to Krista, whom I met last year at the Fat Quarterly Retreat. 
We got to spend the day with Krista (Poppyprint blog)and her husband as well as Felicity (Felicity Quilts)and her husband in Vancouver.  Krista helped me plan our trip to Vancouver. We went to a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of the Bard on the Beach annual festival and then had an early dinner on Kit's Beach. 
                                   

                                   

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June Bee Blocks

These blocks have been finished for a while and are in the hands of the recipients. I just forgot to push publish on my post.
Oops!
First up is Trina in the Stitch Tease Bee. It's Trina's first time to be queen and she chose a beautiful color palette and asked for stars, any star, but the words "paper pieced" were hinted at.
egg_palette
I used Faith's tutorial for making Whirling Star ansd I think I nailed it on the color palette! It seems a lot of my projects lately have been paper pieced and I am getting the hang of it more and more. It sure does make for more accurate piecing and pouints.
For the second block and used Jenny's tutorial for her Scrappy Christmas Star block. 
For the Modern Stitching Bee Annaliese was the queen. She chose an easy but labor intensive block. Lots of HST with a fussy cut center block. The first one is the cutest...the camper van. She is using the blocks to make a quilt for her daughter, so she wanted bright, happy fabrics.
I don't have a lot of fussy cut-able fabric so the second one was a push. But I hope the first makes up for the second.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

June Handmade Birthday Club, Susannah-Kate

June was a busy month for me. I tried really hard to keep all my commitments on time and I did, barely.
Almost a year ago Susannah-Kate started collecting names of people who were interested in joining her handmade birthday club. This has been a fun and talented group. Susannah-Kate received her gift so now I can disclose that this mini was made for her.
Since Susannah-Kate is our fearless leader I wanted to make something special for her. When I offered to test my friend, Janice's pattern, I had an agenda. I knew it would be a good gift for Susannah-Kate and I already had fabrics in mind to make the Right Round mini quilt.
You can read about the process and the pattern in this blog post.
For the quilting, I stitched in the ditch (or tried to) around each triangle of the flying geese, and then around the circle, a half inch apart. 

The mini quilt can be used as a table topper centerpiece if she chooses.
Once again, I used the cute IKEA bathing beauties print for the backing fabric and a bright orange solid for the binding.
This mini finished at approximately 22" square.
I quilted and pieced it using Aurifil thread 50 wt.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Catching Up

I've enjoyed being a part of the Pack Patch Mini QAL put on by Chase of Quarter Inch Mark Blog.
Each week she posts an assignment and they have been really fun and different.
For week #8 the assignment was Cheddar. I guess there was a a period of orange quilts being popular in Pennsylvania in the early 1990's. I have no shortage of orange fabrics, so this was easy.
The next assign ment was to use saturated colors. I chose fuschia and navy.
Week #9 Vintage...this is as close as I have to vintage fabrics. I think they are both 1930's repro prints.
The last was Modern. What could be more modern than text prints and solids... in the really popular aqua color?
So here are all my blocks, weeks 1-9. I can't wait to see what Chase has planned for the final week. She also has a plan of what we are supposed to make with these mini blocks. They measure 3.5"x4.5" unfinished.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dream do. Good Stitches

This is my first month as a member of the Dream circle of do. Good Stitches. It's a charity bee that makes quilts for Project Night Night. 
This month we were asked to make bird blocks with blue as the background and bright happy colors for the birds.  Several people asked for the pattern tutorial. It's a free paper pieced pattern on McCall's Quilt Patterns.

I'm looking forward to being a member of this bee. It combines my love of quilting with charity work and children...a great combination. 

Mini Swap With Sukie

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of my sewing room, in the process of getting decorated. I am finally hanging a few mini quilts on the wall and my friend, Amy, said I needed more minis.She suggested a swap with a 2 week turn around. I'm always game for a challenge and I definitely need more minis, so I said yes. I have mailed my mini and I'm pretty sure Sukie has received it. Her daughter had a nasty elbow break last week, so I will wait patiently for my mini and let you know when it arrives.

My inspiration for Amy's quilt was to challenge myself with an improv quilt. I was influenced by quilts I'd seen recently by Red Pepper Quilts and A Quilter's Table. Also, Lu Summer's book has been on my mind. My garden always influences me, so I thought I would use the colors of the garden and do an all solids quilt.

Here are the solids I pulled.
I just started cutting and sewing and this is what I ended up making.
I loved matchstick quilting this with 11 different Aurifil threads.
improv quilt
I might just love the backing fabric {from IKEA} as much as the front.
IKEA bathing beauties
The black and white stripe binding finished it off and the one perfect matching corner made my day.
timeless treasures black and white stripe fabric
I quilted it with Aurifil thread...all 11 colors that I turned into a waterlogue print for my sewing room.
aurifil thread
One last photo, with the hydrangeas that helped to influence my color palette.
hydrangea

Quilt Stats:
Name: Not Shy
Fabrics used: various solids from my stash
Backing: Limited Edition Carolina Palmer print from IKEA
Batting: Thermolam Plus
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 2600
Quilted with: Aurifil 1135, 2423, 2884, 4812, 2520, 2270, 1100, 1231, 2530, 1133, 2805 and white in the bobbin
Finished size: I forgot, but I think it's about 17"x28"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recital Time

I have loved seeing the photos on Instagram of everyone's children in their dance recital costumes. They are all so cute. I have such fond memories of all the dance recitals our son performed in from the age of 6 to 13...and then all the other performances he did in junior high and high school. He's still a great dancer. In fact, Dance Downtown {a Los Angeles Summertime event} used a photo of he and his fiancé from last year as their advertisement this year.

I got a little side tracked there for a minute. This last weekend, we made a quick trip to Arizona to see our granddaughters dance in their dance recital. On the way I worked on my socks using jawbreaker self striping yarn.
We arrived on Friday just in time to see Davis getting ready. There is a special hair-do that she has to wear each time. She is on the performing team for her dance company.
And there is make-up to apply.

She definitely got the performing gene. She's a natural on stage.
Sam and Jack are just happy to be able to play video games while their sisters are primping. We got to take these two to dinner, while their sisters went to their first show.
We had super hot weather. 107'F during the day and it "cooled down" to 93'F at 9:30 at night!
The next morning it was time to do all the primping all over again, times two this time. My daughter-in-law is the most organized person I know and can get things done in such an organized manner. This morning we all got to see the show.
They did so great and remembered all their dance steps.
But to tell the truth, I shed a few tears watching Olivia. How cute is she?

After the morning show, we went to lunch while Davis performed in one more show. Our little diva with her bouquet from Papa and Bubbi.

I finished that sock

and started the second one.


The weekend went by way too fast, but we are so glad we got to see Davis and Olivia's {first} dance recital and to spend time with the boys.