Sep 132013

When will I learn not to join thingy-alongs and then rush to finish by linky deadlines? Probably never. Here’s my latest disaster!
pile o mess quilt

It’s my finished quilt for the Star Surround quiltalong, and boy did I mess it up! In list form, the first of my mistakes:

  1. I was too impatient to order the background fabric I wanted (light grey), so I used a terrible combination of solids from my stash.
  2. I rushed when I made my flying geese, so they came out all funny sizes.
  3. I also was in verbatim compliance mode, so since the quiltalong instructions didn’t say to trim the flying geese, I didn’t even check to make sure they were the right size.

I was fed up with this quilt by the time the individual star blocks were done, so I decided to use it to try making a quilt-as-you-go kind of quilt for the first time. (I’m thinking of using that method for a dresden quilt I’m planning.) I also tried quilting orange peels, which was nice and easy since I was only doing one block at a time. That was actually my only success in this quilt! I used a 16 needle since I’d had problems with skipped stitches in the past, and this time I had barely any skipped stitches — the remaining ones were definitely user error, which is fine with me.
mess o quilt - quilting

Then I attached all the blocks+batting squares to make the top and:

  1. Screwed up trimming some of the batting bulk in the seams by cutting too much off.
  2. Got grouchy at Fabric Mart and chose a crazy bright pink flannel for the backing because all the other flannel looked babyish and I didn’t care about matching the back to the front anymore.
  3. (This is skipping ahead, but this is the best picture to see it in) Tried for the first time to do the kind of machine binding where you sew to the front first and then stitch in the ditch to catch the binding in the back, and mine was HORRIBLE.

mess o quilt with crazy backing

When you assemble quilts this way, you’re supposed to quilt just a couple of lines to attach the top+batting to the backing, so I did the least I figured I could get away with while making the quilt not too going-to-fall-apart-in-the-wash-ish — I sewed along both sides of the seams between the batting blocks. But!

  1. When I was pinning my big blocks together, I couldn’t see the seams (since the batting was already on), so I forgot to match up the little blocks’ seams.
  2. I somehow missed one of the big block seams and sewed a random line down the inside of one of the columns.

mess o quilt - quilting lines mistake

Bleah! I’m mad that I messed up what should have been a really cute quilt, but I’m going to think of it as my bad sewing heat sink that’s going to help me succeed in my next set of projects. Gah!
mess o quilt - cuteified

Apr 302012

(Because it’s huge, yo. 😀 )

I finally finished my Made in Cherry quilt! I used I Spy charms collected over around four swaps and made the large size since it called for 5″ squares. It was supposed to end up being 90″x90″, but I think mine came out around 95″x95″.

I waited till my wonderful new Juki came to quilt it, and it was loads easier with all that throat space! Since it’s meant to be our picnic quilt, I had fun just practicing different fmq designs; in each of the blue parts, I did lines with loops, dogwood blossoms, pebbles, clouds, hearts and spirals, Mario vines, curvy keys, and lollipop flowers.

I made my binding a little bit ahead of time for once — since I’ve been trying to only use my Juki during the day, I wanted to make sure I could attach my binding right after I finished the quilting. I had some dry-cleaning hangers, so bent one sort of into the shape of a cord hanger.

Then when I was attaching the binding, I put my Juki’s lift on upside-down and hung the binding hanger from it! MacGyvered!

The quilt backing is a robot flannel that Cosmo wanted as soon as he saw it on the computer. I think it’s really cute and it was a great price, but I guess I got what I paid for because it stained the edges of my machine blue. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Oh well! I’m never going to clean it off — I’m lazy. Anyhoo, here’s one last picture with Cosmo for scale. 😀

Feb 012012

In Progress

Keyka Lou grocery bags

Sunshine invited our extended family to dim sum for his first birthday later this month, and he put me in charge of favors. I want to inflict more handmade stuff on at least the grown-up women, so I’m thinking I’ll make them each a grocery bag, a wristlet, and if I have time, a little coin purse thingy. (Also, I really wanted to buy Keyka Lou’s wristlet pattern, and this gave me an excuse! Plusplus, I snagged these two patterns on the last day that a 20% off coupon was usable. Woot!) Last night, I cut out the bag bodies for the seven bags I need. That took me a while!

On a marginally related note, I was trying to think of what to give to the grown-up guys. I asked Mr. Yazoo what he likes to receive as party favors, and the big grouchypants said he doesn’t like to get anything! Since he’s no help, what do you think about li see with a bit of cash? Then, to be fair, I’d give the women a choice between that and an actual favor bag. If you were a guy, would you like that?

Made in Cherry quiltalong

I’m behind! This is going to be our family picnic blanket, and I’m really excited about it because Cosmo was hanging out with me when I was sewing these strips, and he had fun looking at the I Spy charms. He even tried to steal ones he liked! I gave him a couple to play with — there were some that had really cute prints but were cut smaller than 5″ so I couldn’t use them in the quilt. Boo!


Bee blocks
At the last minute!

Other stuff

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Jul 192011

Finished my pinwheels block for the week!
WCDI pinwheels
There’s not much to say about this, except that I like trimming five pinwheel blocks a lot better than trimming twenty HSTs… >_< Oh! After I sewed all my HSTs together, I wished that I'd just cut four pinwheel colors and made the center pinwheel have a fin thingy from each of the corner colors, but I was too lazy to go back and cut extras. Oh well! I made the block and took the picture all at night, so I’m not sure if the off-white fabric is as yellow as it looks in the picture. It probably isn’t. I’m happy that this block finished at around 12.5 inches like it’s supposed to!

Jul 082011

First month of We Can Do It is done!

Churn Dash:
WCDI churn and dash
This one actually finished at 12.5 inches. Woot! The light green is not actually as light as it appears; I took the picture at night.

Bonus block:
WCDI month 1 bonus block
I was lazy and did what I found out is a Dutchman’s Puzzle block. I really wanted to play more with Christina Lane’s fast HST method; I started with 5.75″ blocks and found that I get 3.75″ HSTs from them. Then I trimmed them down to 3.5″ (which I think took me longer than if I’d just made normal HSTs that I don’t trim) and then somehow ended up with an unfinished block at 12.75″. Sheesh!

So for the first month of this quiltalong, I’ve got one each of 12″, 12.25″, 12.5″, and 12.75″ blocks. Holey moley.

Jun 292011

Ooh, I feel naughty! I finished my nine-patch block for the We Can Do It! skillbuilder, but I was lazy and decided to use up some ugly fabric I have lurking in my stash. At least the seam intersections seem to be okay. I tried using an even more scant quarter-inch seam to see if that would make my seams closer to what they should be, but then I forgot to measure the final block before I put it underneath a pile of other stuff. Whoops!
nine patch ook

Jun 222011

Earlier this year, I made myself a birthday present: a quilt from my first quiltalong. I followed P.S. I Quilt’s postage stamp quiltalong, which was really fun. Also, I saved myself like $20 by cutting my white strips from yardage, rather than buying a solid jelly roll. Yay!
postage stamp quilt
I used a Central Park jelly roll; at the time, I was looking for a jelly roll with purples in it. When I put together the blocks, I wanted to make sure the combinations were really random, so I numbered my strips, also put those numbers on scraps of paper, and drew numbers to figure out which strips to combine for each block. Heh!