31 March 2011

Oh, My Aching Back and other stories

     Success!  Retro Chic quilt top finished, the backing pieced, batting cut to size, and quilt sandwich assembled.  Much time was spent on my knees bent over the quilt sandwich for pinning.  I think I need a visit to the chiropractor. 
     I quilted said sandwich during pockets of time I made for myself by ignoring household duties.  Since I only know how to stitch in the ditch, stitch in the ditch it was.  I learned the hard way that one should not attempt to do this after having a glass or two of wine.  A very nice glass of Malbec caused me to wander in and out of the ditch a few times, as you can see below.

Here's the worst offender.  I think this was after the second glass.

     I've moved on to piecing the scrappy binding.  I wanted to use only the big print fabrics left over from the blocks, but after sewing up everything I have alas! not enough binding.  So, I'll be un-sewing parts of the binding to add another fabric to the mix.  Un-sewing: it's what I do best.  Ah well, it gives me an opportunity to fix the part of the binding where I accidentally reversed the fabric order.  Silver lining :)

18 March 2011

Ready, set, sew!


     Ta-daa!  Retro Chic blocks are set and ready to be sewn together.  Not sure if I'm crazy about the Soul Blossoms Bright Pear Peacock Feathers fabric choice.  That's what happens when you're at the cutting table having fabric cut with a long line of people also waiting to have fabric cut, then realize you need one more fabric and you grab the first thing you see that might work.  Here's hoping one of the border fabrics I chose will pull it all together.
     I would be remiss not to mention that I squared up the blocks after sewing them up.  In yesterday's post, you can see all the strings and threads hanging off of them.  Also, some of the edges were wonky from sewing the curved components.  I did spend about 15 minutes squaring them all up to 8 1/2-inch tidy squares.  I hope I got that right.  The pattern says that the quilt pattern is based on 8-inch squares, but I'm thinking they meant 8-inch finished squares.

17 March 2011

Cut and sew

     One hundred and twenty components cut out.  Whew!  What one girl can accomplish when laid up on the sofa (hurt my back working out- never underestimate the importance of stretching).

     Sewing these pretties into units, then into blocks, was no walk in the park.  More than a few of them are slightly wonky, but only one has mismatched points.  Here are all thirty of them in all their glory:

     I have to say, the template tracing, the cutting, and the sewing of curves wasn't as daunting as I first thought.  The tracing and cutting were actually oddly relaxing.  The sewing was a little tedious- I had to stop every few stitches to adjust the fabric around the curves.
     Now the fun begins- block setting.  No more curves and no sashing between the blocks, so this should go fairly quickly.

12 March 2011

False start

     It seems I just cannot get two steps into a project without some sort of mistake.  Witness below:

All looks well- so very precise.  And all would be well if I hadn't traced the template on the wrong fabric.  Thirty times.  **sigh**
     The sad thing is I have notes.  See?

It all seems so organized, i's dotted and t's crossed.  If only I had followed the plan.  For a fleeting moment, I thought about leaving it as is and switching Fabric 1 with Fabric 2.  But I don't think I would have liked the outcome.  Thank goodness I realized the mistake before I cut into the fabric!
      Twenty minutes later, I'm on the right track.  Scene 1, take 2:

10 March 2011

Moving on

     Little momma's quilt top is not yet finished, but I feel the need to move on, shake things up.  Twinnie's birthday (and hence, mine) is coming up soon, so I'm starting hers today.  The fabrics are in the wash as we speak.
     I'm also moving on to a more challenging quilt pattern - Retro Chic by Artichoke Collection.  This one calls for curved pieces and template tracing.  Here's a sneak peak at the fabrics:

     I don't think twinnie will get the quilt in time for birthday celebrations because it will probably take a couple of days to mark and cut the fabric.  I'm definitely stretching myself with techniques I haven't tried before.  Patience and deep breaths will be required for this project. 

09 March 2011

Little helper

     This little girl loves to help with the quilt- making process.  Here she is, hard at work, pressing one of the fabric selections (she pressed about five of them).  She's itching to help sew the blocks, which I suppose I'll let her try.  The sooner she starts on those 1/4" seams, the sooner she'll master them.
     We've got thirteen blocks down and twelve more to go.  I'm not crazy about the way some of them turned out. The three below are not my favorite.  If I have enough fabric left after all blocks are made, I may replace them.

     Oh, and this happened, again.

I replaced the walking foot with the embroidery foot, but something wasn't aligned properly when I tried to do a couple of test stitches.  Ah well, if you go by the change-the-needle-after-every-project rule, it was time to change it, anyway.  Thank goodness I didn't change the needle before switching out the feet! 

04 March 2011

Ready, set, go!

     Fabric selected, check.  Fabric laundered, check.  And I'm off to the races.  Quilt pattern selected, check (sort of).  Pretty much a sampler based on the first quilt, but with a few mods as far as block patterns and finished size.

     Surprisingly, Martina selected a fat quarter bundle pretty sophisticated for a 7-year old girl- Jacobean Jewels from Red Rooster Fabrics.  I supplemented with 5 more fabrics and will be making 25 blocks.  Martina chose the Roman Rail, Churn Dash, and Friendship Star blocks.  I'll be adding Pinwheels and possibly Snowballs.
     If my calculations are correct, this will end up 63" x 63" after it's sashed and bound.  Let's hope my math is right.