Branching Out

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I decided the other day that I was ready to try making branches and shoots off my feather stems. I’ve seen them in pictures and they look so pretty, but they look so hard.  However, since I’m trying to add new things all the time, I grabbed a practice sandwich, figured out my own way through that worked for me and voila!  I had branches!  So I went ahead and dove in on the border of this quilt.

I was using a variegated thread and the fabric is kind of busy so I wasn’t completely sure how it was all coming together until I turned it over and  saw all the cool twists and turns,  And it wasn’t really hard after all.  Sometimes just taking the leap from the practice square to the real quilt is the hard part and once you just put the needle down and go, super fun things happen!  What are you going to try next?

 

 

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Customer Quilts

Once in a while I will be adding pictures of projects that have been sent to me for quilting and if you’re interested in checking out these extra samples, you can find them on the Customer Quilts page.

I’m having a “no quilting” day today because from the time I got up it’s been one of those days, and by afternoon it was three of those rolled into one!  So I’m avoiding any heavy machinery (including my quilting machine) in favour of my easy chair and a heating pad, a bag of cheese crunches and a Cadbury cream egg…because some days are like that, even in Australia.  If you don’t get that reference, treat yourself to this little story:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I first heard it when I was very young after my mom clipped it out of a magazine, eventually memorized it for a vocal competition when I was about eight years old, and some of the lines will be forever stuck in my head.  It’s kind of a comfort story, for days when it seems you should just be able to start over from scratch!

Tomorrow, back to quilting …

Quick Curve Ruler For Sale (or “here’s what happens when your daughter sees a quilt she MUST have…)

 

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No this isn’t a buy and sell post but really, I’m DONE.  However, if the idea of picking up one of these rulers second hand for a discounted price caught your eye, then shoot me a message!  Only “lovers of piecing” need apply (I think we’ve established that this is not a title for me…)

It started when I was fabric shopping one day and my daughter came into the store with me.  She spotted the Urban Candy quilt design done up with Downton Abbey fabric and fell in love with it.  At that point, I was only ambitious enough to get the fabric she liked and do my own thing with it and she was very happy with her Downton lap quilt, sometimes taking it from the living room to put on her bed.  But she occasionally hinted that a twin sized quilt wouldn’t really be that much bigger and I could probably do it without a lot more work – the voice of someone who got to come into the quilting process just when I needed an extra hand taking pictures!  I put the idea on the back of my mind for down the road sometime.

Well, many, many lap quilts later I started looking at the urban candy design again and found out there was a ruler used to make those curves, watched a video on how easy it was to use, and decided what the heck, I was going to buy one and make this darn thing.  We found some fabric very suitable to my book, word, and typography loving girl and I went to work.  The cutting was straight forward and after what was a long time for me (I like fast and simple, remember?) all the pieces were ready to go.  I put it aside for that day.

Piecing wasn’t terrible, after following the hints from the video, but there was a whole lot of it and about half way through I had to remind myself that I was only doing this because it was a special request and it was going to make her very happy.  I pieced for a good part of another day and put it aside.

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Of course, each block (there were 80 of them) had to be squared up, and because the fabric we picked for the curved inserts had a definite top and bottom to it, I also had to make sure they were all going to line up when blocks were sewn together and I couldn’t just fudge anything and have odd blocks upside down.  I think I squared up all the blocks for the better part of another day and put it aside again.  I knew I was getting closer to actually having a quilt top finished, but the process made me long for a quick strip quilt to work on!

Then it was time to lay out the blocks and make sure the seams all matched up at the top and bottom of each curve.  They didn’t match perfectly everywhere and I spent a bit of time trying to figure out what I could do at that point to fix them, but without trimming away over and over at the blocks until I found the sweet spot (which would probably have left me with a baby quilt instead of a bed sized one!) I couldn’t get it to work, so I decided that as long as most of them were OK, I was going to ignore the rest and hope that everyone else would do the same.  This is not an acceptable system to me, but for the sake of getting this quilt done once and for all I had to step away from my usual precision and just keep the bigger picture in mind.

sandwich

 

Sandwiching this sucker took at least as long as it takes me to do three of my regular lap quilts and all that up and down, stretching, and crawling around on the floor was enough of a workout to add chocolate to my menu at all three meals.

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Of course, now that it’s done and ready to go on her bed, I’m happy I did it for her, and I survived the challenge.  I love the finished quilt and I had all kinds of fun doing the quilting! surprise 😉  But even getting through a project like this does not a piecing lover make …

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It’s going to look great in her room, along with the antique dressers I recently refinished for her.

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**DISCLAIMER: It’s important to say here that I’m not against this quick curve ruler.  This is not meant as a review and it isn’t my intention to complain about it at all.  It’s a cool, handy good quality tool for a few different things, with lots of markings, and the video is easy to follow.  It did exactly what it was supposed to do!

 

 

Oh so bright …

I don’t normally choose such bright fabrics unless I know the person receiving the quilt is fond of those, but I just had to do this one in brights to see how it would turn out!  Most of these are Laurel Burch fabrics, and I used a simple strip piecing pattern I found here: Strip Tango Baby Quilt, which is fast becoming a favourite.  I plan to make another with some variations in strip width, and maybe even some patching within some of the strips to make it more interesting.  It goes together quickly and uses exactly 9 fat quarters for this size which makes shopping easy – we all know I don’t have a stash of fat quarters anywhere, so I had to actually go to the store and pick these out.

I did have a picture of all my fabrics lined up together before I started, and I planned to post it here, but somewhere along the way it has disappeared.

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#64 Feb :16

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I tried all sorts of funky stitching on this one.

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So if you’re looking for a way to use up some of your fat quarter stash this is a fun one to do!