Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Suji's Quilt

I finished this quilt this weekend - 3 weeks from inception to completion. To be honest, it all went according to plan. Usually I have some great 'lesson learned' when I finish something, but not this time.

The design was my own, but I'm sure I've seen many quilts with similar designs out there in blog-land. I had a few design objectives:
  • Make it bright and modern
  • Use (mostly) fabrics that I already had
  • Include a Pacifica motif or theme to remind my friend of New Zealand and Auckland in particular
  • Try something different
  • Use a my Drunkard's Path templates
I used 2 drunkard's path 1/4 circles and 2 squares with narrow strips added for each petal. When I put the petals together to form a flower I decided that the background gap in the center was too big so I trimmed it down. This made the gap about half of the width that is between the flower blocks. The finished blocks are about 15 inches and the finished quilt is 45 x 60 inches (actually a little bit smaller but I didn't measure it).

I used both free motion and walking foot quilting on this quilt. I probably could have done it all with a walking foot, but there were a lot of turnarounds and I hate squeezing the quilt back and forth under the arm.

The back was pieced using some of the same fabrics from the front. I managed to find a print with the blue and coral together which I purchased after the front was finished (that was lucky). It ties the color scheme together nicely, I think. I also purchased the dark grey polka-dot print for the binding. I did have enough of a few grey prints for the job, but thought I needed something darker to ground the quilt.

I'm linking up to the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. Check it out - there's an amazing array of great quilts for inspiration. Now, what to work on next...

Amy's Creative Side

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Progressing well

The quilt I'm making for my friend is progressing well. Two weekends ago I took it to our beach house thinking I could get a lot done. When the wind started blowing and the rain falling, I thought: "Good, excellent weather for sewing." That was until the power went out on Saturday night and the only way home is on a ferry thrugh rough seas. So we "camped out" for the night all the while me grumbling about my quilt and no power.

The sun came out on Sunday morning but not the power. DD and I headed home in calm conditions and left DH to work on pruning the trees that probably knocked our power lines out.

Much progress was made when I returned home and by Monday it was all pieced, sandwiched and ready to quilt.

Quilting began last weekend. I decided on a simple design and am pleased with the results so far. I did some of it with a walking foot and some using FMQ. I think FMQ is sometimes easier than pivoting a quilt around. I've done all of the grey background and have also finished the blue flower petals. The thread I used for the blue gave me much grief and broke about 20 times. I was surprised when I started the coral leaves because that thread (the same but a different color) has been fine.

DH & DD are off to the mountain for a final skiing weekend so I am sewing (and working) on my own. The going away party for my friend is next Monday - now I only hope she has room in her suitcase for this quilt...

Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Started something new

I promised that I would not start a new project...BUT...the need arose to make a gift. My friend (and hairdresser) is moving to Melbourne Australia. Not only does she look after my hair (a tough task indeed), she has looked after my crazy dog and elusive cat several times. To give you an example of what a kind-hearted person she is - when she was staying at our house while we were away for 2 weeks camping, she welcomed us home with a dinner of homemade gnocchi. She will be missed, and I hope that Melbourne is good to her.

So, as a going away gift, I am making her a quilt (what else?) I have been collecting grey fabric for a while and have recently purchased a few coral/cerise/persimon pieces. I've been conjuring up a quilt in my head for a while, and decided that this was the time to give it a go. Besides the coral fabrics, I've added a bunch of aqua-ish blues from my stash.

Unlike my usually organic process meandering towards a quilt, I planned this one beforehand and cut all of the pieces out first. Usually I cut a little and sew a little, but with only 3 weeks to make this quilt, I knew that an assembly-line approach would be the fastest option.

The block uses some drunkard's path quarter circles, some squares, and some strips to form a leaf-flower motif. I'll make 12 of these 15" blocks and alternate the blue and coral.

So far I've finished all of the coral/grey component squares and am progressing through the blue squares now. Considering that I just started last weekend, I'm doing well. I hope to have it all pieced by this weekend so that I can do the quilting next week. If I slip a little, I have a 1-week buffer. Nothing like a bit of pressure to motivate.

I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced WIP.