Sunday, October 30, 2016

Quilt Stories - English Sampler 2016

Okay so this one is another of the trio of UGLY tops I made long ago.

Back before I ever took a class..... back when I was using online resources to teach myself to quilt ...  I was pulling blue and green fabric from my stash...

One of my favorite resources was the Block of the Month from the Florida Cabin Fever Quilt Guild     At the time, they posted monthly Block of the Month designs for members and non-members alike.  I began my quilting journey working from their pages!

I pulled pinks and blues and greens from my stash.  Now you have to understand, I did not have a 'quilting' stash of fabric.... I had a CLOTHING stash.... with very different fabrics!  I did know enough to weed out knits, and heavy duty fabrics like corduroy... but I have a good assortment of lightweight fabrics here... cotton, of course, but also broadcloth, gingham, seersucker.... it's definitely a combo!

And the colors were chosen from the prints I used in the different blocks.  I can honestly say that I used what I had.. so aside from batting and muslin backing, it cost me nothing but time.

And it's not bad :-)  Definitely not a fave... but a finish!  And it brings back many memories of learning and dreaming...

and it's perfect for a picnic!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Quilt Stories - Snowflake Mystery Quilt 2016

This is the saga of one of my UGLY quilts :-)  If you are a follower, you already know that I took my first official quilting class in Spring 2008  (which resulted in completing this sampler quilt in 2013!)

Well... anyway...... in 2007 or 2008.... I do forget which! ...  I decided to do a one day mystery quilt from Planet Patchwork.  I can't find it on the site any more... so I can't tell you anything for sure.   Except that I decided to do it.   And I did :-)

This is a fearless quilt....  I had NO CLUE about anything.  Except I did know how to sew :-)   But I used all different color threads.  And I knew nothing about quarter-inch seams, or blocking blocks... or making them FLAT... or anything.

I didn't take photos of my work back then.... but I did the blocks and I put them together and I folded it up and put it away.  Because - like all the patterns back then.  AFTER all the instructions on piecing..... it said.... "Quilt as desired"

I have always hated that phrase.  Since - especially then - I am mostly self-taught.... there is NO INSTRUCTION in the sentence.. "Quilt as desired."

So the only thing to do - was fold it up and put it away.  And sometimes pull it out and look at it.

I decided that this year I would figure out a way to finish it.  I had some of the original fabric... so added a border.

And then I sandwiched it ....   and couldn't figure out what to do next.  And decided to just go for it!  I got some ideas from Christa Watson in her Machine Quilting With Style book.... and decided to be a little bit random.  My thought was to start in one corner and quilt in white - making something like rays from the stars.  

Which left me with lopsided snowballs and stars with random white quilt lines running all over the place.   And it looked horrible (to me) but I took it as a great space to learn about machine quilting in general and MY machine.

And then I remembered my favorite bit of advice.... if you don't like the way your quilting looks - quilt some more :-)

So - for the finished product, I quilted beside every random line of stitching so they are in pairs... (which kind of makes it look that I planned it - no matter how bad it looks..tee-hee)

Anyway..... it is done!  I pulled it out this summer when the grands were visiting and my granddaughter - after locating a few spots that needed a patch! - told me how beautiful my FROZEN quilt was and how she thought it was perfect for pretending to be Elsa.....

And, after all.... isn't that the kind of thing that makes a quilt beautiful?

I always recommend following through on your terrible projects..  It honors your work...  It shows your progress...  and that is what quilting is anyway.

LOVE, not perfection.

Quilt Stories - Droid 2016

Oh, this one was such an adventure!!

In my quest to gift a quilt to each of my kids this year, I've been trying to figure out which direction to go in for each one..... which kid.... which quilt.... you know...

I have a child with an April birthday who is a Star Wars fan.... and there is a new movie out...

And this came across my radar.... a Droid Quilt Along hosted by Pam Cobb  from the Stitch TV Show. 

So now the pieces have come together and I have a child, a theme and a pattern..... a direction in which to move!

I found the quilt to be a challenge spatially.  The directions were clear.... with good photos.  But I found that I was surprised as each one came out the way it was supposed to.  Somehow I had trouble envisioning them as they came along.

There was a lot of twisting and turning and laying them out carefully as I went along.  I definitely had to use my seam ripper quite a bit as I went along.

And with the final assembly I noticed I had made one of the blocks absolutely backwards.  And decided there was no way.... NO WAY... I was going to do it over!  (But if I make the quilt again, I will do it correctly :-)

The next part - which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would - was the quilting.  There is a LOT of quilting in this quilt!  But I think it goes with the design really well, don't you?

Trying to get a photograph was a challenge!  With the bright sun and my little helper, Trouble....  and a deadline.  My son was actually driving home on this day and I wanted to make sure I had the quilt documented!

And there you are... Voila!    Droid 2016