Monday, November 30, 2009

Kayla's Quilt

It's finally finished.  Kayla's quilt (I don't know what she's named it yet) that she's been working on since hmm....let's see...we shopped for the fabric over a year ago.  I'm thinking we bought this fabric at the Lake of the Ozarks in the summer of 2008.  Well, anyways, here it is and it looks fabulous!  This quilt was designed and pieced by Kayla.  She got the inspiration for it from a quilt she saw in a shop and came home, sketched something similar and worked it through in easily do-able 6 1/2" blocks.  It's a throw size quilt, wide enough for a twin, but just short in length.

Quilting this beautiful work was another story.  Kay started it about 5 times and finally asked if I would do it because she was just not happy with the results she was getting.  So, I made her a deal.  I would quilt this one for her if she would practice her quilt stitches on one of the charity quilt tops she has already put together.  So, that's what we did.  Although I did the stitching, she directed the pattern.  I was asked to quilt around (inside and out) of all pieces in the blocks and to duplicate the bamboo design from the sashings in the border quilting.  After I finished that, Kayla was so anxious to get her hands on it, she asked me to just finish it up with the binding that she had previously made.  And of course I protested, but in the end, I couldn't bear to see the quilt put aside again, so this afternoon I sewed the binding on for her.  We are both really happy with the result!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Onto the Borders

So, the top is finally done.  All pieced together.  Seams matched up well.  All in all, not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be to get the whole thing squared up!  Now it's onto the borders.  I went with a dark mottled purple for the thin inner border.  Why?  Just to hold all the bright colors in the center and to keep the eye focused there.  Make sense?  That's the idea any way. 

Oh, and this was the first time I ever tried to add on mitered borders.  I ended up ripping out seams from 2 of the corners, but for the most part I got pretty close I think.  I was originally thinking that I wanted to use the yellow-orange-pink stripe fabric from the flower panels as my primary outer border, but I'm rethinking that idea.  It might just be a bit too much.  Hmm....I think I'll let it sit a while and audition a few different candidates in the mean time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Panels Ready

This afternoon was spent on steps 6-11.  The most time was spent just cutting the fabrics and making sure the measurements were working out.  And gues far so good!  My sketch is not exactly like the original quilt that I took the photo of so while referring to the photo, I was having a tough time trying to figure out where things went, but once I realized that the sketch was a bit different, I had no problems getting this far.

First the 2 1/2" strips went on.  I did go for tone on tone fabrics here because there is a lot going on in the panels themselves and it really helped to keep some order to this otherwise very funky design.

Then the large printed sections got sewn on.  At this point, the quilt top itself is in 7 sections, so 7 more seams and I've got a top center!  Woohoo.  Then I"ll have to figure out what small thin border will hold all of this brightness in!  I'm thinking of using the striped orange-yellow-pink from the flower panels as my outer border, though it won't be too wide (maybe 3 1/2" if I'm lucky) because I don't have much of it leftover.  Hmmm... 

Well, that's it until tomorrow when I'll at least have the panels sewn together.  If I've got time I'll get the borders going, but I definately need to make some time tomorrow for house cleaning.  I've been neglecting it terribly this week!  Wonder why??!?!?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tedious Work Done

Since I wasn't able to post photos last night (I don't know why...the blog wouldn't let me!?!?), I've got lots of progress to show today!  Steps 1-2 included cutting and pieceing 54 - 3 1/2" half-square triangle units then assembling them together into 3 rows of 18 blocks each.  Since I went really scrappy with this (I only cut 2 squares from each fabric), this took a while.  Cutting took some time, but the majority of my time was spent making sure the blocks played well together in their rows!

Next up, steps 3 -4 were to make 4 - 6 1/2" four patch units and assemble them into 2 rows with 6 more 6 1/2" blocks.  For this, I only used 4 different fabrics for the 4 patches (2 fabrics in each block) and 3 different fabrics for the 6 1/2" blocks.  Thess units have alot of similar color values, but I wanted it that way since they will be butted up against a single panel of fabric.  Easy peasy!

Last, but not least, step 5, had me making the flower panels.  Since I had no good measurements to go by, I really winged this one.  I cut the flower blocks to 8" unfinished squares to begin with and then began piecing around them.  No, the fabric stripes don't match up, but I didn't want them adds to the scrappy feeling (see, I'm not a perfectionist about everything quilty!!!).  Eventually I had pieced in so much fabric that I just had to trim around it to make it the prescribed dimensions!  The photo is quite a bit off in color.  I think the orange-yellow-metallic gold color combination played havoc with my camera and photo shop couldn't cure it.  Oh well, you get the idea. 

Well, that's it for today (and yesterday - it did take me 2 days of work to get this far).  I hope to post a couple of more completed steps tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gathering Materials for a Flower Quilt

While on a fabulous shopping trip to Korea with 3 friends, we visited a quilty friend who had this quilt hanging in her front hallway just as you come in the door to her apartment.  The original pattern design is called "Springtime in Oklahoma" by Verlinda Magby printed in Quilt Sampler Magazine, 2006.  All four of us were in love with this project immediately! 

Later that afternoon, we went shopping in a local fabric shop.  What an amazing shop it was!  There were aisles and aisles of bins with pre-cut meters of fabric from every line imaginable.  Every wall was lined with wide backing materials and quilter's fleece all at very reasonable prices - in fact it was a steal!

After choosing several (20-30) meters of fabrics for our own projects, we got together and searched out fabrics that we could reproduce this flower quilt with.  We really went above and beyond on this mission as we came home with MUCH more than we needed for the 4 of us to each make a flower quilt top of our own!

So, now, after exactly 2 years, it's time to get on the ball and start making something from all these beautifully bright fabrics.  I've got my materials for this project all pulled out of my stash.  They're washed, ironed and ready to go.  Now I just have to get my friends on board and we'll begin cutting and piecing this beauty together.  Once the top is done, well, it may be another 2 years before if gets quilted, but at least I'll have gotten it started!

Ostrich Challenge - Round 1

Quilt pattern designer, Kimberly Camou is hostessing an ostrich challenge on her Facebook page. For those who don't know, an ostrich challenge is a self made round robin medallion style quilt. For each round, a set of instructions are posted and the challenge is to interpret those instructions and use them for inspiration in adding a new "border" round to your quilt.  If at any time you think a set of instructions does not fit well into your quilt design, you may choose to "hide your head in the ground" (as an ostrich might do - thus, the name).

I decided for this challenge, I wanted to use some of the wonderful fabrics I purchased while in Thailand. To begin with, we were to chose a block for the center. I chose to make a set of 4 elephants following each other. Round one's these was "Less is More." We were to use more of the fabric that we used less of in the center block and to create a simple design with it. My center block is pretty much made equally with gold and black, so I used a fabric with an equal amount of each and added square in a square blocks (introducing red and blue) for the border centers and corners. So far, so good, but I can't wait to see what Kimberly will suggest for round 3!