Friday, July 18, 2014

This quilt has some serious problems

But I love it too much to focus on that. The fabrics in the top are Kensington by Riley Blake. I bought a jelly roll on a whim because it was on sale and fell pretty hard for it during construction. I love every fabric in this line and every color in every fabric.  

I did two rows of hand quilting in each white strip, and one row of machine quilting on the outside of each hexagon shape. It's not heavily quilted, but not too sparse either. 

The thread I used for the handquilting is a size 20 crochet thread that is actually darker than the green in the binding, but you almost don't see it against the white, unless you look closely. 

The backing is a fun dot I found at Joann's, and the binding is Kona Celery. Not one of my favorite colors, actually, but I had it on hand and it went very well with the yellow & green in the quilt. I'm happy with my choice. You can also see here the great disparity between the tops of my hand quilted stitches and the bottoms of my hand quilted stitches:) 

I will give some advice based on this quilt: 

1. If you're working with triangles, ALWAYS spray starch. Even if your fabric is a jelly roll and it seems like a pain to do. 

2. If you're cutting triangles, go ahead & get a ruler especially made for that triangle - don't just use the degree line on your straight ruler & figure it will work out. 

3. Don't get excited over the spray basting Walmart has for just $7. It works fine for some fabrics, but others just won't stick at all. 

4. If your basting fails, re-baste. Don't just stick a few pins in & call it good. 

5. If your quilt is basically not basted (see numbers 3 & 4 above), don't do the hand quilting first. Things will end up in weird places. 

6. And if you ignore all of the above, just throw it on the bed & love your new, very imperfect quilt. 

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

My hero inspires me

To everything except finishing quilts apparently.

"Strawberry Patch", started over 2 years ago 

My hero, aka sister-in-law Kim, is an amazing person. When I first started dating her brother in '96, she was in her last year of nursing school. She went on to work close to 15 years in the medical ICU unit of our hospital, where she saw a huge variety of severe cases, many close to death.

 made in the Patchwork Wheel pattern by Don't call me Betsy
fabrics are Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree & Co.

But that's not why she inspires me, because I've never felt any urge or calling to work in the medical field.

Binding is a California Girl print, also by Fig Tree

She inspires me with her commitment to Jesus and the way she lives out her Christian faith. I'm sure being a nurse is a natural extension of that for her.

Backing is from the Butterscotch & Roses line, also by Fig Tree

If there's anyone I could be more like, it would be her.

That's a stick, only a stick, in the bottom of the photo...

I'm not sure my husband fully realizes how blessed he is to have the women in his life that he does. I count his sister, mother & daughter among the best women in the world.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm ready for the new school year - I don't know about her

The main project I just had to get completed over the summer was my daughter's messenger bag. Bags intimidate me, and while I did spend some time procrastinating it, I also spent time finishing it:

Can you tell she's a Monster High fan?

I used the Molly Messenger Bag pattern from Pretty By Hand and overall I'm very happy with it. If you follow Pretty By Hand, you'll understand I got more than one giggle out of making her pattern with skulls and crossbones. To say that it's not her style is an understatement.

It's a very roomy bag - I think 12" x 16" with a 5" depth. If I'd been more confident about it, I would have trimmed those measurements down a little. This bag is for a 7-year-old entering 2nd grade, so it's a little overkill. But I just knew I'd mess that up somewhere, so I just left it big, only shortening the shoulder strap. She loves the bag and if it turns out too big for school, we'll just use it as an overnight bag for when she goes to her granny's.

I'm prouder than I should be at how the shoulder pad turned out, with that image centered so well. If memory serves, it was more of a happy accident than my piecing skills anyway.

If Mandy had her way, the entire bag would have been made out of that fabric, so I did use as much of it as I could. The inside of the flap and the back and gusset parts of the lining were made out of it. Then I was done with that yard of fabric.

I did change the way the zipper tabs were made. She had you sew them together, turn them right side out, add a piece of the fleece and then turn the open ends under and sew. I ended up with a hot mess when I tried that. So I took some pellon decor weight interfacing and used the starch method of turning the edges under.

I know what you're thinking - that isn't exactly perfect, but trust me when I say it's much better.

I made a few additions to the pattern - some inside pockets on the front, a sewn-in key fob, and a name tag that includes our phone number. If this thing gets lost, I want to make sure it can find it's way home!

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the way the bottom sags. I'm tempted to see if I can find a way to get a piece of plastic in there. Not only does it bug me, but the main thing my daughter didn't like about her old backpack was how soft and collapsible it was - I wanted to make sure this bag was sturdier.

I also want to give a shout out to Sewpplies for providing the great iron-on patch that brought the whole design together. It makes the whole project, and as you can see, the image is very crisp and perfectly sewn.

The solids used are Moda Bella Platinum, which is my new favorite gray - very light & very cool, and Moda Bella Berry. As you can see, there's also a snippet of Kona black.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday, and Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday, assuming she does it this week.