Thursday, July 17, 2014

Finally, a Finish! Lickety Split Quilt for Asher

I am determined that this quarter will be more productive than last, so we are ending this week with a finish! This quilt is a gift for the grandson of one of my husband's coworkers.

Lickety Split | 43"x50.5" | Kona Nightfall + Various

I was given no specific instructions or color schemes on this one, so I just did what I wanted! I used the Lickety Split pattern from Lella Boutique to make this quilt. The pattern is for a 72"x72" quilt, but by halving all the cutting amounts I was able to get the size I wanted. The 6x7 block arrangement measured at about 45"x52.5". For a scrappier look, I used charms squares from my stash instead of a layer cake.

This is one of those patterns where you make a block, cut it up and then make another block. My best friends during the cut-it-up part were the Olfa Rotating Rotary Mat and the June Tailor Shape Cut ruler! The Shape Cut ruler is really helpful for quickly cutting multiple lines without having to move the ruler. I usually use it when I have to cut mass quantities of fabric strips.

In my last post about this quilt, I mentioned that I was going to add a narrow Kona Nightfall border to the top. Several of you commented that you would not include the border. Thank you for your suggestions (specifically Jenn, Fiona and Molli Sparkles)! I'm really glad I decided to skip the border!

This is my standard "gift for a baby" backing! I really liked how the backing turned out on my Plus Quilt, so I followed the same formula: big. bright print on top (Mutiny on the Bunting), bold name strip (Kona Cardinal) and small, soft print bottom (Ta Dot in Stone). The name is paper-pieced using the from blank pages My First Alphabet pattern.

The quilting is an offset spiral design in aqua thread. The aqua thread was a bit more contrasty on the Nightfall fabric than I am usually comfortable with, but it blended the best with all the fabrics on my test swatch. I tested various shades of blue, gray and white threads. I do prefer light thread on dark fabric over dark thread on light fabric.

The spiral quilting contrasts very nicely with all the straight lines on the top, but my execution ended up way more "organic" than I intended for it to be. Most spiral quilting tutorials recommend to use the left edge of your walking foot as a guide for 1/2" spacing. Since I was concerned about 1/2" spacing being too dense for a baby quilt, I used the quilting guide bar for 1.5" spacing. My quilting guide bar fits on the right side of my walking foot and I had a difficult time not bumping it out of alignment in the middle of quilting.

Despite my troubles, I would definitely try spiral quilting again. It is much easier than you would expect and it adds really great texture, especially when done at 1/2" spacing. After the first three or four rotations, it became much easier to move. Next time I would just follow the "for best results" instructions, especially while I am still getting the hang of it!

From the moment I finished the quilt top, I had my heart set on a red & white bias stripe binding. The binding is Red Vertical Stripe from Black Tie Boogie. Since I made bias binding, I decided to try rounding the corners. The rounded corners are my favorite part of this quilt and I really want to round the corners on everything now! I will most likely change my mind when it comes time to make bias binding again. Binding is the part where I always get in a hurry! I get so excited about almost having a finished quilt and the prospect of guiltlessly sitting in front of the TV for several hours! 

Oh, the pillow! It should have been the easy part! I decided to be fancy and serge the seams. I was so pleased with myself and it looked wonderful, but when I flipped it right side out I noticed that the seams were much bulkier than last time. That's when I remembered that when you put binding on a pillow, it is supposed to be set up like a mini quilt rather than a regular pillowcase. I had to rip all my fancy stitches out! :D

The 12"x22" pillow form had been sitting in my closet for a few years. I am so happy I found a purpose for it! I love Sarah Jane's Nautical Map print and the colors match the quilt! Winning! The border is Anchors Away from the same fabric line. The envelope backing is Metro Rings in Red and Sailor Speak.

This is one of my favorite quilts so far! I would definitely use this pattern again. It would look great in so many color combinations.

Thank you for visiting!

This quilt is part of my Finish Along 2014 Quarter 3 List. The Finish Along is hosted at The Littlest Thistle. I am linking up with Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio, Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday which is being hosted at Dizzy Quilts this week and Show off Saturday at the Sew Can She blog!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Finish Along List for 2014 Quarter 3

After a pretty good Q1, I did terribly in Q2. Zero out of four! I have big hopes for Q3, so here is my probably a tad over ambitious list:

Zig-Zag Love - Here it is, in all its wrinkly glory! This quilt isn't for anyone in particular, which is probably why I lost my sense of urgency! I don't have a deadline on this one, but I still would like to mark it off the list. It isn't doing anyone any good half-quilted!  Status: In the process of quilting.

Lickety-Split Quilt - The backing has been constructed and it is basted. Hopefully will be done by the end of July. Status: Waiting to be quilted.

Snowball Baby Quilt - As you can see, all I have done with this quilt is rearrange the squares into a different configuration so that you wouldn't have to see the same picture twice! :D Would really like to get done by the end of August. Status: Waiting to be turned into snowball blocks.

Quilty Fun - Center part with all the blocks is done. This is also not an urgent project, but if I get it done by the end of the quarter I will be a very happy! Status: Piecing the borders.

Texas Road Trip Quilt - Quadrant 3 has been pieced since the last time I showed this one off. I hope to get get this one done by the final link up in August 17.  Status: Piecing Quadrant 4

On a related note, I would like to think everyone who has entered into the Aurifil Giveway on the Road Trip post. I have learned so many new things and discovered many places that I need to visit!

Linking up with the 2014 Q3 Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

[CLOSED] Welcome to Beaumont, Texas! + Aurifil Giveaway

Quilt block and giveaway are at the bottom of this post!

Hi! Welcome to my stop for the Deep in the Heart of Texas Road Trip Quilt Along! This quilt along is organized by Melissa at My Fabric Relish and Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts.

I live in the suburbs of Houston now, but I grew up a couple of hours to the east in Beaumont, TX. Most of my major life events happened there: birth, starting school, college, meeting my husband, marriage and my first graphic design job. While I absolutely love where I live now,  Beaumont will always have a special place in my heart!

The most important day in Beaumont's history was January 10, 1901, when the Lucas Gusher on Spindletop Hill exploded and shot oil hundreds of feet into the air. It became the first major oil field and one of the largest in American history. If you visit the Southeast Texas area, you will see many references to Spindletop and many artistic renderings of oil derricks! When I was in high school, an oil derrick model was a big part of the dance team's football game routine.

Because of its proximity to Louisiana and the jobs created by the oil boom, there is also a major Cajun/Louisiana Creole influence in the area.

Sew What BerninaThe Fabric Store (Nederland), Sew Much More (Nederland) and Sew-N-Sew's  (Port Arthur) are some quilt shops in the area. The Golden Triangle Quilt Guild meets in Beaumont.

The Designer Fabric Boutique recently opened. It is a small fabric store that sells modern fabric. I am sure y'all can imagine my face when I walked into a room filled of Echino, Melody Miller, Heather Ross and Amy Butler fabric! I definitely recommend stopping by if you are ever driving through the area.

  • Gator Country - If you have seen Gator 911, you might be familiar with this place! It is an alligator wildlife park and rescue. Gator Country offers the following activities: alligator feedings, taking pictures with reptiles, holding small reptiles, swimming with gators and more! It is home to "Big Al," the largest alligator in captivity in Texas. I have never been brave enough to visit!
  • The Fire Museum of Texas -  This is the official fire museum of Texas. It is really neat to walk through and see how much technology has changed over time. They also offer safety activities for kids. If you are into roadside attractions, this is the location of 24 foot tall fire hydrant with a unique paint job. It used to be the worlds largest fire hydrant, but it has since been rebranded to the world's largest working fire hydrant. :)
  • Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum - Features a replica of the Lucas Gusher. They do reenactments (with water)!
  • Texas Energy Museum - This is a really nice museum with many interactive exhibits. The focus is definitely mainly on oil. My favorite part is the creepy talking mannequins.
Other Places of Interest:
St. Anthony Cathedral BasilicaThomas Edison Museum | Art Museum of Southeast Texas | Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum | Clifton Steamboat Museum | Mcfaddin Ward House Museum | Shangri La Botanical Gardens (Orange) |  Beaumont Botanical Gardens | Museum of the Gulf Coast (Port Arthur) | Lamar University | Crockett Street | The Art Studio | Beaumont Farmers Market. I also recommend a trip to Rao's Bakery and Hamburger Depot! :D

  • Beaumont is the twenty-fourth most populous city in the state of Texas and the state's largest city east of Houston.
  • The Port of Beaumont fourth busiest port in the United States It is also the busiest military port in the U.S. and the second busiest military port in the world.
  • Jason's Deli and Conn's were founded in Beaumont. Jason's Deli is still headquartered there and Conn's was headquartered there until recently.
  • People with ties to the area:  Janis Joplin (Port Arthur), Babe Didrikson Zaharias,  George Jones (Vidor), Robert Rauschenberg (Port Arthur), The Big Bopper and Keith Carter. (I was lucky enough to take a photography class from Keith when I was at Lamar. It was awesome!)

 The area between Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange is often referred to as "The Golden Triangle." "Golden" refers to the wealth that the Spindletop oil strike brought to the area and "Triangle" refers to the triangle formed by the three cities on the map.

After clicking the download link, just click the downward facing arrow in the upper left hand corner to download. I recommend downloading the PDF and then printing from Adobe Reader. Print with no scaling. The blocks are 6.5 inches unfinished.

Golden Triangle Block Download
(Block pictured above on the left. I paper-pieced this block, but I included the template document in case you prefer to piece that way.)
Paper-Piecing Pattern | Templates 

And because I went a little overboard:

Golden Triangle Bonus Block - involves Y-Seam (Block pictured above on the right)

EXTRA Bonus Block! 

Do not hesitate to email me if you have any problems or suggestions! For information on paper-piecing, Katy at The Littlest Thistle has an awesome series. If you need any help with y-seams, Charise Creates has a short, wonderful tutorial. I definitely needed a refresher course on that skill. I made three blocks before I finally got the bonus block right!

Giveaway is closed. Aurifil has generously offered a pack of designer thread (type will vary, picture for illustration purposes only), a sample pack of thread and an Aurifil color chart to one lucky commenter! To enter, just follow the directions below.

I told you about my hometown and now I want to hear about yours! Leave one comment telling me something fun or unique about your hometown, state or country!

Be sure to visit more stops during the quilt along for more chances to win!

>>>The winner is commenter #9! Congratulations Allison! <<<

Fine print: This giveaway will close July 15, 2014 at 8pm CST. The winner will be chosen using random.org. I will be contacting the winner by email. If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please be sure to include your email address in your comment so that I am able to contact you if you win. Entries without an email address will be disqualified. The winner must respond within five days of the end of the contest. If the winner does not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.

I hope you are able to visit some of the other stops, which I have listed at this link. There have been many wonderful block designs! Teresa at Third Floor Quilts posted her block on Monday and Amanda at What the Bobbin is next on July 14! You can also check out everyone's quilt progress at the Flickr page

Thank you to Melissa and Cristina for having me on the "trip"! Thank you for stopping by!

Beaumont images are from the Beaumont CVB's Pinterest page. If you ever visit Southeast Texas or are just driving through, the Beaumont CVB's web page is an excellent resource.

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