Friday, July 31, 2015

Plain Jane Updates

Over the last two days I've finally gotten a chance to work on Plain Jane, a cute quilt from the book Smash Your Precut Stash. (affiliate link)

She's currently on the frame, and should be finished up soon. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get to work on the binding tonight! I only say that because life has been incredibly crazy lately - only getting tiny bits of time to quilt. Thirty minutes here, and 20 minutes there really dampens the creative flow!

Anyway, a bit about this quilt. When I first saw it,

the simplicity really struck me. Then on a trip to Joann's, I found this really pretty plaid, and a couple of coordinating Kona cottons.

And in my stash, I've had these pretty 2 1/2" squares set aside for something special. 

Perfect! Or so I thought. Turns out the pattern uses larger squares. Well, I didn't have bigger squares, and I didn't want a quilt that big. So I improvised. Making nine patches produced a size that was more of what I wanted. It also meant I couldn't faithfully follow the instructions. And being a bit lazy, I opted not to piece a bunch of strips for the upper half. A whole piece is a bit trickier, with some guesswork, but it worked.

The bottom half went together quickly.

Then life got in the way, and I couldn't finish it up until the next day. When I got to the side pieces, I wasn't happy with the plaid on the edge. I thought it made the little squares disappear.

Let's look at pink, 

then green.

I like pink the best - the green makes it look chopped up. Pink just makes a smoother flow to the design.

Adorable, isn't it? So don't be afraid to switch things up from a pattern. Do what works for you!

I'll post more about the quilting when it's all done. Until then, 
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chicken Wire Quilting

Today is a quilting tutorial. Chicken wire to be exact, like that used on Fred, the Fugitive, one of my most favorite quilts.

A request for instructions comes from Sue S., who is working on her own adorable chicken, and wanted to know how to quilt the chicken wire. So how better to explain it than with a tutorial? This is for you Sue!

The chicken wire requires a grid to be marked on the quilt. Since I don't have a current quilt to demo this on, I'm using drawings on paper. Here, I marked a grid 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".

This is sub marked, in the middle of each line and square.

Now to stitch the chicken wire, which is a series of Y's. Starting at the red dot in the middle left of the upper left square, stitch down to the line, 

then back up to the start point, and over to the mark in the middle of the upper line.

Stitch down and over to the mark in the middle of the vertical line,

and straight down on the line to horizontal line.

Stitch back up over that line, and up and over to the next upper middle mark. Repeat this process to make Row 1.

Row 2 starts at the bottom of the downward stitching on the left edge, and goes down and over to the center of the grid square.

Stitch straight down to the mark on the horizontal line, then back up and over to meet the downward stitching from Row 1.

Continue in the same manner to complete Row 2.

Row 3 starts just like Row 1, in the middle of the left grid mark, stitching straight down, back up, and over to meet the previous stitching from Row 2.

Continuing the Y stitching completes Row 3.

Alternating the two rows completes the chicken wire.

Here's two closeups of it on Fred.

Pretty easy, huh? If you're really creative, you could put some fills in the wire and have more designs! And be sure to pop over and read Fred's story!


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Friday, July 10, 2015

Bohemian Twist Table Runner

I now have another beautiful table runner for my hutch! Introducing Bohemian Twist,

so named because of the awesome La Vie Boheme 10" stackers by Riley Blake from Calico Cat Fabrics and the Metro Twist pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful. A fitting name for a winning combination!

The quilting turned out gorgeous too, if I do say so myself!

Lots of ruler work in the plain areas, with feathers in the prints.

And I'm very happy with my final border choice. Remember, I had this started?

Not very attractive. Instead, I found a solid dark navy that set off the piecing beautifully.

Originally, I had an orangey-red picked out for the binding, but it just overwhelmed the piece. Luckily, I had enough left of the green, which ties it all together. Definitely proves that nothing beats fabric auditioning! 

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Spangled Stars

Happy Fourth of July! Today is my parade of red, white, and blue!

In the front of the parade is Spangled Stars, 

 a patriotic version from my Spangled Stars QAL. Previously, I had shown it's alternate colorway version, Lily Pond.

Sorry if I gush, but aren't they both beautiful???

Of course, Spangled Stars deserves it's a bit more showing off, so here are more detail pictures.

The straight line and seed quilting was done with rulers.

The stars and swirls were quilted freehand after marking the star design with a washout pen. I transferred the design using tulle.

And the back is a pretty cream and blue plaid, that happened to be 10" short! A little addition of red adds a fun spark though!

For the binding, I didn't want cream, red, or blue. But I had this great print

(from 199_ - the last digit was cut off!) that had all the right colors in it, and works fabulously!

Now for the rest of the parade!

My Patriotic Wave Table Runner ,

and matching placemats.

That's it for my parade! Have a safe and happy fourth!

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