March patchwork challenge…1st attempt

Here’s the challenge for March: Nine Patch Frame

Oh boy, this one is really tough…especially for a beginner! From a distance it doesn’t look too bad but once you zoom in you can see all the mistakes. I tried to do a ‘scant 1/4″ seam’ but I just can’t figure out how to do it consistently and because of that all my intersections are off…way off! On top of that I made mistakes cutting the pieces and didn’t have enough of the Cherries fabric. I didn’t want to re-cut the small triangles (because it was late and I was tired) so I pulled some matching similar different fabric and cut the larger triangles, I should’ve known it wasn’t going to look right! ugh!

And don’t even get me started on sewing the 3rd & 4th long strips for the frame!!! I had to read the instructions twice and I still didn’t really get it until I just started sewing…I kind of figured it out but because the seams weren’t ‘true’ my frame was a bit wonky :-(

Guess I’ll be giving the ‘alternate selection’ a try! LOL

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Baby animals quilt top

I no sooner get the Crossword Puzzle quilt completed and delivered to my Mom (she LOVED it), and I just had to start on a new top. The remnants and clearance fabrics I bought last week were calling me so I jumped right in when we got back from Maryland and I have a new quilt top, it’s currently 33 1/4 x 39 3/4.

Baby animals top

I cut the baby animals remnant into 5.5″ blocks and then decided to border them with the red plaid clearance fabric. I realized too late the plaid was probably not the best choice as the material was quite wavy and it makes the top look all wonky…but it’s done now. I still need to square it up and decide what I’m going to do for a border. I need to go back for more fabric because I really don’t have anything that will match – I was thinking a light/medium green (to hopefully offset all that red), all ideas are appreciated!

I also started playing with ideas for making a quilt for my niece. Her last name starts with M so I was trying to figure out how I could make a big M for the middle and then use her favorite colors for the rest of the quilt. I created a foundation paper piece block and did a trial run with some Walmart clearance fabric…good thing because I still need to tweak it a little bit, this sample is almost 6 x 6 (the right side looks all wavy but it’s really not, it must be bad lighting or bad photography!).

Letter M example

One more thing on the Crossword quilt

After I thought I was finished with the Crossword quilt I realized that I hadn’t attached a label. I searched the webs to find suggestions and tutorials for creating and applying a label and settled on a mixture of techniques learned here.

Since I don’t have any freeze paper I used my basting spray to attach the fabric to a letter size sheet of paper to feed through my printer. I found some free label designs online and copied one into PowerPoint, then added the specifics about my quilt.

On my first attempt, I used some leftover fabric from the border of the quilt (white with black dots). Unfortunately the black dots interfered with the print so the words and date were pretty hard to read (I purposely tried 4 different colors because I was concerned about that).

1st attempt labels

On my second attempt I attached one white 5″ charm square (my last one!) to the corner of a sheet of paper, chose the label with black text, crossed my fingers and pressed print. Luckily it came out perfect! (in my excitement I forgot to get a picture). I pressed it with a hot dry iron to set the ink and then pressed 1/4″ seams. From there I decided which corner I would attached it to and whip stitched it – that all went very quickly because the label is relatively small – finished size 2 1/4″ x 3″. Here it is attached – now the quilt is complete.

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Crossword Puzzle quilt is done!

Yay! O.M.G.! I can’t believe it’s done – woot woot! Can you tell I’m a little excited? LOL

I put the finishing touches on the quilt this evening and it’s now in the washer getting clean (geez, I hope it doesn’t fall apart—LOL!) Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Overhead shot with backing corner turned
Overhead shot with backing corner turned
front over chair
From the front hanging over chair
back over chair
Another shot over the chair
Close up of front and back corner
Close up of front and back corner
closeup quilting
Close up of quilting from the back

I used a zigzag stitch while binding which of course shows on the back, but it blends in pretty nicely since the backing is mostly black. After I was 3/4 done with the binding I realized I was pulling it too far over the front and in many places the binding is almost not visible at all on the back :-/  Lesson learned – but I didn’t have the heart to rip it out :-(

Since this is my first full size quilt and it’s for my Mom, I’m sure she’ll understand…I hope so anyway! We leave Thursday morning for Maryland and I’ll be seeing my Mom on Friday when I take her for her next chemo/radiation treatment. I can only hope this quilt will keep her warm and comfy when she gets home.

Progress and new fabrics

I’m making progress on the Crossword Puzzle quilt…I better be! I’ve got to have it done by Wed so I can take it with us to Maryland on Thursday.

I finished quilting it tonight, whew! I did a simple ‘stitch in the ditch’ on all the rows and columns and then outlined the border. Quilting a blanket this size it a lot of work – I never realized it. The only experience I’ve had quilting was on the baby quilt I finished last week and although that was a little cumbersome it was nothing compared to this quilt. It felt like I was wrestling an octopus…LOL! I can’t even imagine trying to do something more elaborate – egads.

Crossword quilted

Crossword closeup quilted

Now I just need to square it up and apply the binding. I was originally going to bind with the same fabric as the backing but I misjudged how much I needed so it was back to Hobby Lobby earlier today where I bought some solid black fabric. Of course while I was there I had to check out the clearance & remnants racks and just couldn’t pass up getting a few things ;-)

A christmas plaid and a spring green
I got a yard each of these @ $3.00/yd
These two are remnant pieces that are just a little larger than fat quarters
These two are remnant pieces that are just a little larger than fat quarters. The baby animals was $2.70 and the cosmic print was $3.00

I also got 2 yards of Kona Black for $10.79 – regularly $8.99/yard but I used a 40% off coupon.

I had to stop for the night because my eyes and back were so tired. I plan to get up early in the morning and finish up the quilt before lunch – fingers crossed!

New fabrics and a thread catcher

Just a quick post tonight before going to bed.

I wanted to share with you the 12 lovely new fat quarters that came in the mail today…Oooo, I just can’t wait to figure out what I’m going to do with these!

New fabrics bottom to top

I flipped the stack upside down to give you another angle…I just can’t figure out which one I love best!New fabrics top to bottom

I also had the bright idea that I needed a thread catcher and after drooling over way too many options on Pinterest I picked one, which has a pin cushion attached, and set off making it tonight. I succeeded, although I think I made it harder than it needed to be!

The pattern I chose to follow suggested adding boning to the top of the bag to keep it open; since I didn’t have any of that I decided to use fusible interfacing on the bag liner to make it stand up. That did the trick but sewing through the interfacing and trying to turn it inside out was a bit of a struggle. I fought the bag and I won! Here are a few pics of the finished object – now I’m off to bed – g’nite!

Thread catcher2 Inside Thread catcher1 closeup pin cushion new pin cushion

I know I could’ve done a better job of finishing the end…after a good night’s rest I’ll tackle that tomorrow!

February patchwork challenge

I’m following along with Tinkberbellknits and the monthly patchwork challenges (see here) and this month its the Union Square. As soon as I saw the block I got a little nervous because there are so many cuts and pieces. I immediately tried to find a foundation paper piece pattern but I could only find them for smaller blocks – this one calls for 12 inches :-(

After seeing how well Tinkerbellknits had done I felt a little boost and decided to give it a go tonight. Just cutting all the fabric was a bit of a chore for me…wow, there sure are a lot of pieces to this block! There are 3 color choices and making sure I didn’t get them confused required quite a bit of focus. I finally sat down and started sewing it all together after dinner – here’s what it looked like after the first 8 triangles were attached. I quickly realized I didn’t make the best color choice for the middle square :-(

Union Square half done

I soldiered on following the directions for cutting and sewing the remaining pieces – no pictures of all that because I had to stop several times to rip out the seams and do them over because I kept sewing the patches in the wrong direction…grrr!

Finally, I got it all together but I had lots of problems getting it all to line up. It’s done but you can see I don’t have much seam allowance along the outside for sewing it to anther block. Oh well, I guess that’s a problem for another day :-s

Taken with camera
Taken with camera