Friday, June 28, 2013

Scrappy Trip Around the World Finish

The last month and a half have been so eventful. In addition to Mother's and Father's Day, my mom and two brothers graduated from college, my husband started a new job, my three siblings and my dad had birthdays and one of my brothers moved in with us until his apartment becomes available. There has been a lot of driving back and forth between Houston and Beaumont and I cannot wait to spend more time at home! 

On top of all that, I still haven't chosen a permanent replacement for Google Reader :D, though I am currently leaning pretty heavily towards Digg Reader. My other favorite is The Old Reader. Both of their user interfaces are very similar to Google Reader. 

Today, I have one finish from my Finish-A-Long Q2 list to share with you.

The Scrappy Trip Around the World is a great project for using up fat quarters. I decided to make a 60"x72" lap quilt. Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics made a great chart to help figure out how many strips you need to cut for baby, lap and queen sized quilts. 

A pile of Kate Spain's Cuzco that was sitting on my sewing table inspired my fabric choices. I am drawn to bright colors, so this quilt is a good representative of my fabric collection.

The love/hate relationship with this quilt was strong!  I wasn't going to make this one at first, but the temptation grew too strong after seeing so many beautiful versions on Instagram. After I made a couple of blocks, I was really unsure if I was going to continue. The blocks were easy enough, so I decided to keep going. At first I was sewing one at a time, but I eventually increased it to six at a time. That is about as much as I could do at a time, without having to bring out the seam ripper more than necessary! 

Once I sewed all the blocks and the design started to come together,  I loved it again! It is now one of my favorites.

I used a yellow variegated thread for the quilting and it blended well with the fabrics I used. I quilted following the tutorial for Orange Peel quilting from Petit Design Co's 31 Days of Walking Foot Quilting. Admittedly, my quilting isn't too fantastic (funky curves, crazy intersections, etc.).  It did get better on the second half of the quilt. What I absolutely love about this quilting pattern is that all those tiny mistakes get lost in the overall pattern. This is a great option for those who want to try something different, but aren't quite ready for FMQ yet. The Scrappy Trip Along is a great quilt design to test it out on.

Another option: In the midst of quilting, I found another method for quilting the orange peel with a walking foot at I'm a Ginger Monkey. The curves you sew are a little more subtle, so that is possibly an easier method.

The backing is Weekends Hopscotch in Lime by Erin McMorris. I chose it because it was on sale (WIN!), the color goes well with the quilt top and I liked how it was a similar design to the quilt top. 

Binding is always the hardest choice for me. It can completely change the look of a quilt. After making my husband and brother sit with me for an hour and help me decide to go scrappy with binding, I ended up going in a completely different direction! 

The binding fabric is Sweet Nothings Sweet Dots in Blue by Riley Blake Designs. I had already used some in the quilt, plus it helps bring some of the blues in the quilt out to the forefront. The blue in the binding goes well with the blue in the backing. When I first sewed the binding on to the front, I thought  "I'VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE!", but as usual I was happy in the end.

You can see more Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilts at the Scrappy Trip Along Flickr Page. I love how all the quilts represent each individual quilter's personality! 

Today I am linking up with TGIFF which is at Blossom Heart Quilts this week and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. I will also be  linking up with the Plum and June's Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link-Up and the 2013 Finish-Along, hosted by Leanne @ She Can Quilt.

she can quilt

Next up on the schedule: Reunion Twister Quilt. I made this top using a charm pack I won from Marit at Sew, Love, Live! I am procrastinating the finish, because the backing involves applique. I always enjoy applique while I'm doing it, but it takes me a long time to work up the urge to start it (much like exercise)! I finished another baby quilt that I need to post about as well.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Patchwork, Please! Bell Pepper Coasters

The Zakka 2.0 Patchwork, Please Sew Along has officially begun! The Bell Pepper Coasters are the first project in the book Patchwork, Please! by Ayumi Takahashi.

Once you pick the fabric out, this is a very quick project. I have a long list of long-term projects, so it was nice to whip through these coasters and have four finished projects :). The only bad part about this project is that I am reluctant to use them, because I don't want to ruin their adorableness with my messiness. I might just hang them on the wall!

I really liked the technique used to make these and I think it will be useful in other projects. Before I read the instructions for this project, I was concerned that my curves wouldn't turn out well. It turns out that you sew along a drawn line for most of the project, so sewing the curves wasn't challenging.

Since I am prone to spills,  I made a fourth coaster to test out Pellon Vinyl Fuse. This was my first experimentation with water resistant fabric. The Vinyl Fuse was easy to apply; you just iron it on. If you ever use this product, make sure there are no stray threads on the fabric! It seems obvious, but I didn't think about it until after I fused it to the first piece. There is a small piece of thread permanently adhered to the back of the orange pepper. :D

I wish I had left myself more than a 1/8" seam at the opening for turning, because it was really difficult to turn the stiffened fabric under. It ended up looking a little rough. Topstitching was also very challenging. I got the best results when I wrapped the pepper in tissue pepper and used a walking foot, but it was not easy to see where I was sewing. I am going to try the scotch tape trick next time. Maybe one day I will get a Teflon foot!

I'll experiment with Vinyl Fuse again, but I am going to use it on a few straight line projects before I attempt any more curves!

Penny at sewtakeahike.typepad.com shared some fantastic tips on converting this coaster into a hot pad. This week's Zakka 2.0 link up is at LRstitched. You can also check out everyone's projects at the group's Flickr page. There are already a ton of scrumptious bell pepper projects uploaded! I love some of the cute ribbons that people have been using for the bell pepper stems!

Next week's project: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Towels.

I'm really hungry right now and I LOVE bell peppers, so here are a few links to my favorite recipes involving bell peppers: Stuffed Bell Peppers with a Tex-Mex Flair | Herb-Marinated Grilled Vegetables | Green Beans with Red Pepper and Garlic | Sesame Ginger Sweet Teriyaki Salmon with Garlic Quinoa Stir-fry | Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Cashew Butter Dipping Sauce.

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