I was able to finish this quilt for my mother-in-law. It was supposed to be a birthday present (in September) but due to first-trimester sluggish-sickness it got bumped till Christmas. Thank goodness I had used Amy’s One Thing, One Week Challenge to get organized.
So without further ado, here is the original post about this quilt (including its inspiration – a print by Marca-Relli), and here are some pictures of the final product:
And here’s the back:
For the quilting, I did straight-line detailing, using the same color of thread as the fabric for each designated area. I used invisible thread for the bobbin. I was really nervous about using invisible thread, but it worked out great! I didn’t even really have to adjust my tension.
I had another first by machine sewing the binding. I sewed the binding to the back of the quilt first, and then folded it over and machine top-stitched it down on the front. I used my invisible thread again for the bobbin, which I think is necessary if you’re going to use this technique. It definitely isn’t as neat as hand-stitching, but it is more secure, and it certainly is faster (which was required).
This quilt really wins the prize for not having any major screw-ups. The worst thing that happened was that I miscounted how many of the beige colored blocks I needed, and had to quick assemble three of them before completing the quilt-top. I was able to pull them together in an hour, and it only took that long because I had virtually ran-out of fabric and had to make tiny scraps work.
I am absolutely in love with the mosaic styling of this quilt. I may be the only one; reactions have been mixed. I’m definitely fantasizing about some monochromatic quilts in my future.
Although my paper piecing project was a total bust, it did give me an opportunity to think about fabric directionality.
If you’re using a fabric pattern that has a noticeable direction, you’ve got to be careful how you cut your pieces. Well, you don’t HAVE to, but it can make a dramatic difference in the quality of your quilting project.
In my case, I was using this wonderful sailboat fabric from Aunt June’s Etsy store.
I had to be very careful when cutting out all of my pieces so that when the project was completed, all of the boats on my pillowcases would be facing the same way. I couldn’t have some boats sailing sideways or upside-down, as that would be bad for crew morale.
Read on for a more detailed discussion of fabric directionality.
Boo hoo! My storm at sea pillowcases are back to square one. Back to the drawing board! Hopefully these instructions will get me better results.
Continue reading for a whiny explanation of what went wrong…
For one of my Christmas presents, I’m making some pillows using a Storm at Sea design.
To make these, I *thought* the easiest way would be to do paper-pieceing. It turned out to be a super complicated pain-in-the-rear (look ma, no swearing!).
Want to learn about paper piecing, too? Well this is where I’m started.
One very important key is to use the tiniest stitch-length possible, as this will perforate the paper nicely, making it easier to remove when you are ready.
What’s a little bogus about those directions, and most paper-piecing directions I’ve read, is that it relies on your ability to see through the paper and any other fabrics you have already sewn. How are you supposed to be able to look through so many layers and know that the fabric piece is aligned correctly on top?
For instructions on how I go about paper piecing, continue reading.
Because I am a silly head, I decided that this year was THE year I needed to make an advent calendar. So I set aside the major projects I have to complete for Christmas gifts and settled into making this guy:
It’s not the best picture, but here’s another couple of looks:
Each of the numbers are hand appliqued onto a pocket. I used a high quality felt so that I didn’t have to use any interfacing or machine stitching for the applique, and I wouldn’t have to worry about fraying. I also attached gold rick-rack weighted with gold beads to each pocket to use as a marker to check-off the days ’till Christmas. Someday I’ll fill the pockets with treats and maybe even nice notes directing the the recipient to perform a task in the spirit of the season, but my son’s a bit young for that now. It’s quilted with gold thread and the back has pockets to hold a dowel so that the calendar is able to hang.
The pocket design, number templates, and the idea for the dowel-holding pockets on the back came from this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. At first I had tried to make simple rectangles that I would sew directly onto the backing (like this other adorable advent calendar) but it was a disaster. My “squares” were amorphous blobs with no sharp corners or parallel lines.
Anyway, I have to admit I’m really proud of this project! Once again I rolled the backing fabric over to the front for the binding – my new favorite trick! This meant that I had to applique my triangular dowel holders onto the back, rather than have them sewn inside the binding. Definitely worth it, as I currently hate bias tape.
Now back to my gifts!
Filed under Crafts, Quilting