Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedIt's been quite a while since I posted on WIP Wednesday, so I have quite a few projects to share! Some of you have seen a few of these already on Instagram. The last few weeks in my sewing room:

Best Friends Quilt // Quilt top is complete. Crazy Old Ladies Best Friends Pattern with Happy-Go-Lucky Layer Cake + the Happy-Go Lucky Penny White.

Boy Crazy Baby Quilt // Quilt Top Complete. Using the SewCraftyJess Jungle Path Baby Quilt Pattern with Riley Blake Boy Crazy.

Cheshire Cat Quilt //  4 of 16 Blocks Done. Using Aneela Hoey's Meow Pattern with various Black/White/Yellow/Purple prints. The white and black print is an anime Alice & Wonderland, hence the quilt name!

Fat Quarter Shop Designer Block of the Month 2012 // 10 of 12 blocks done. There isn't really a deadline on this quilt, but I got really behind on the "of the month" part! Two more blocks to go, before I start the borders.

Mystery Quilt // Quilt top is done, but haven't really been in the mood to piece a backing.

Seven Months // Sometimes I feel like I am not making much progress on everything I have started, but there has definitely been some progress in the last seven months! 

I hope everyone is  having a great summer. I cannot believe it is more than half over!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Two Baby Quilt Finishes

I have two finished baby quilts to share today. Baby quilts are my new favorite. Who doesn't love a quick finish? I need to put more baby quilts on my future Finish-A-Long lists!

Twister at the Reunion Baby Quilt

When I won a Reunion Charm Pack from Marit at Sew, Love, Live, I immediately knew the perfect project to use it in. A baby quilt for my husband's coworker's new boy! My inspiration for the quilt pattern was the Reunion 'X' Print (see last row, 4th color block). With charm squares in hand, I narrowed my options down to a pinwheel block or the twister.

When I found the June Tailor Twist n' Stitch Ruler at Joann's, I decided that the Twist 'n Stitch Pinwheel block was the one.

I really like the ruler, because you can cut several block sizes with it. The unfinished sizes are 3.5" (perfect for using with 5" charms), 5", 6.5", 8" and 10.5". If you choose to use a 10.5" block, the scraps that remain are large enough to cut 5" squares for the 3.5" twister block.  The instructions that come with the ruler are very clear and to the point. Fabric requirements for different sized quilts at each block size are included.

I like square baby quilts, so I went with my own sizing. This quilt top required two charm packs, a solid and print. With a twister quilt, the first thing you do is make a basic charm quilt...then you slash it to pieces! It was kind of like applying a very low-tech, nerve-wracking and tedious Photoshop filter to the charms :D. I chose to make every other Twist block white, because I didn't want the top to look too overwhelming and I wanted the twister shape to be clear. One of the things that I love about this block is that as long as you have your charms laid out correctly on the initial layout, you get perfect points with very little work.

The border pieces are half twister blocks in one print. I wanted the border to echo the main block. I used one print because I didn't want it to compete with the already busy quilt top. The one-print border grounds it a bit.

I made a slight miscalculation with the backing (I didn't calculate at all. Guesstimation!).  I took this as an opportunity to piece the backing and put the focus on the name. My first thought was to use the navy blue border fabric as a backing for the name and use the excess cream charms to make the letters. It looked a bit dull! In the end, I chose a yellow print from my stash. The warm yellow contrasts with the cool grey backing and the thin chevron print fits in well with the Reunion bunting prints. I chose a a white and gray chevron print to create a little movement going towards the name.

The font used is Porky's. I tried to find one with a better name, but it was my favorite LOL. I applied the letters with Heat 'n Bond Lite Fusible Web and I stitched around the outline with a satin stitch.

The quilting is a 4" grid. I quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. Cotton Mako Thread in Light Gray. Light gray is one of my favorite colors of thread to quilt with, because it is not as stark as white and it blends in nicely with most colors. The binding is Reunion Tie Check in Navy. Next to the strong navy print, the check print has a "white on blue" look. It contrasts with the border, without competing with the multicolor Twist blocks.

Things I learned while making this quilt:

  1. Planning - Planning is important! If I could go back in time, I would have started with the initial charm quilt with 11x11 charms, rather than 12x12 charms.  The reasons for this are: 
    1. The odd number rows would have started and ended with a color block and the even numbered rows would have started and ended with a white block. Minor thing, but it would have looked more balanced and all the quilting would have gone through colored twisters.
    2. The quilt would have come out 42"x 42", which would have been easier to buy fabric for if I went with a whole cloth back. The quilt was about 2-3 inches too long.
    3. I didn't plan on the half twister block border and it would have been a lot easier to cut with the rest of the quilt! (Measurements on "Ideal Layout": 5" Charms, 5" White Outer Border, and 3.5" Blue Outer Border)
  2. Fusible Web Disasters - If you ever iron fusible web on the wrong site of the fabric or forget to reverse the letters (oops, autopilot!), it can be removed! Just iron the waxy side of freezer paper on to the fusible web. Like magic, the fusible web lifts right off with the freezer paper! The fabric feels a little stiff, similar to how it would feel if it was on the fusible web was on the correct side, but the stickiness is gone.
  3. Layout - Take a picture of your block arrangement before you sew and then actually look at it while you sew. I took the pictures, but then I never looked at them again! I ended up flipping some rows. The value distribution ended up a off with the top left being much paler than the bottom right.
  4. Fabric Bleeds - I had a really tiny, but annoying emergency on this quilt. There were two tiny fabric bleeds on the backing behind the border area. I think I may have over spritzed that part whenever I was removing my disappearing marker lines. I was really worried about the whole quilt turning blue in the washing mashine. I applied some Shout Stain Remover and washed it with five Shout Color Catchers. The color catchers caught the blue and the quilt was okay. However, the spots had only faded a little bit . I applied Shout Advanced Action Gel for Heavy Duty Stains (rubbed it in with a Q-Tip) and the spots disappeared with a second washing. Yay!

Children at Play Baby Quilt

I actually started this quilt about a year ago. I finally finished and gifted it in May when the baby was around five months old! The holdup? Applique insecurity :D.

I won't write too much about this quilt, because I cannot take credit for the fabric choices at all. The fabric palette was completely inspired by Jodi at Tickle and Hide's drawstring quilt on last year's Let's Get Acquainted post.

This charm quilt was the first quilt I made for recipients that I didn't know. I knew I wanted to make a basic charm quilt, but I had no clue what direction to go with it. I fell in love with the soft palette of Jodi's drawstring quilt.
42"x42" | Charm Quilt

Unfinished Measurements: Twenty-Five 5" Charm Squares //  2" Essex Linen in Flax Sashing // 1.5" Children At Play Racer Stripe Print in Aqua Border // 3" Taza - Color Stripe (Neutral by Dena Design) Border (These measurements are estimated with Photoshop.)

Binding: Racer Stripe Print in Aqua from Children at Play
Backing: Flannel // Children at Play by Sarah Jane Studios Dot to Dot Blue.
Letters: Since I cut my own charms, I had a bit of fabric left over. I chose the warm yellow print to contrast with the cool blue back. I applied the letters with Heat 'n Bond Lite Fusible Web and I stitched around the outline with a small zig-zag stitch.

Today I am linking up with 
TGIFF which is at Quilt Matters 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 
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