Sunday, April 30, 2017

One Monthly Goal: April 2017

Pregnancy nesting has had a favorable result on my quilt completion. I am pleased to report that I finished my One Monthly Goal for April, a wonderland quilt I designed using EQ7, which was inspired by Cotton + Steel's Wonderland collection designed by Rifle Paper Co.
The blocks are a combination of traditional piecing, machine appliqué, paper piecing, improv, and curved piecing, set within a non-standard grid.
As you may have seen in my planning post, I quilted selected poems from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass using 12 wt Medium Red #5002 Aurifil thread. As this was a new technique for me, I learned a few helpful strategies.
  • Adjust the tension while practicing on a sample quilt sandwich 12" x 12" square of layered fabric/batting/fabric miming the actual quilt. 
  • Use a size 90 needle.
  • Use 40 or 50 wt that matches the color of the top thread in the bobbin.
  • Increase your stitch length and decrease your speed.
  • Hold onto the top and bobbin threads really well after pulling the bobbin thread up to begin sewing. 
  • When tying off threads, refrain from popping the knot into the batting, and instead pull only the thread tails through before clipping. 
  • Use a busy (colorful and patterned) backing or one the same color as your 12 wt thread. 
  • Order the large spool, as the small spool of 12 wt runs out before you know it.
  • Do not backtrack directly; go alongside.
  • Forego the automatic needle threader.
Also, see what Angela Pingel advises, as well as Yvonne Fuchs.

I also chose free-motion designs to highlight each block. In the background space lacking words, I did some composite quilting consisting of swirls, pebbles, feathers, and paisleys in 50 wt Aurifil Avocado #2886.
This quilt was so much fun to create by pulling my favorite elements from Lewis Carroll's classic tale.
 I'll be back later with more details and close-ups. For now, I'll leave you with a parting picture.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Gridster Bee: February, March & April

Fortunately, I've been keeping up with making my Gridster Bee blocks much better than posting about them.
In February, Sherri of A Quilting Life requested scrappy pineapple blocks, which aren't the traditional kind that may come to mind. Coincidentally, you can find Sherri demonstrating the more common variation for Fat Quarter Shop's Bella Skill Builder on YouTube. If you're looking for a more realistic interpretation, use these Pineapple Block instructions. You can also check out Sherri's Mini that inspired her block request. Below is my creation. Sherri has already pieced her quilt top; she shows the progression on her blog here, here, and here.
Elizabeth of Occasional/Piece--Quilt! requested a pair of pigs in March, which she was kind enough to photograph for me since I packaged them without remembering. Elizabeth provided detailed instructions on her blog. Like Sherri, she's composed a top already
This month, Nancy of Patchwork Breeze designed a star block using EQ7.
I'm curious what next month will bring, but I wager I can find a few UFOs to keep me busy until then.
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Big Plans to Finish Something

If there's anything I excel at, it's accumulating works in progress. However, since I've moved my sewing room to a smaller and more publicly visible location downstairs, I'm trying to par down the collection. (Wait 'til the in-law see how I've transformed the dining room!) Here's what I aspire to finish in the near future:
From the top left, we have:
The Wonderland Quilt is my April aspiration for: 

Elm Street Quilts
The remaining projects are for:
Charm About You
I best get back to sewing if I'm to have a chance of finishing any of these! See you soon.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Midnight Quilt Show

In case you haven't heard about it, I'd like to recommend the Midnight Quilt Show as a fun diversion. I'm a fan of both Angela Walters and free quilt patterns. Therefore, it wasn't entirely unexpected that I was won over. For your convenience, I've gathered the videos here and the accompanying free Craftsy patterns are linked just below the viewing screens. Enjoy!
Free Star Quilt Pattern

Free Strip City Pattern

Free Laurel Wreath Pattern

Free Town Square Pattern

Free Rail Fence Pattern

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