Blog update

The pictures are fixed again!  It went much faster this time because I had them all in one place already, and I wasn’t trying to do a post a day like in December.  Hopefully this is the last time I will mess up my pictures.  I also hope that no one has been put off by my technical issues.

Blog housekeeping note

I messed up the pictures again.  I know!  They were only good for a few weeks.  I will work on fixing them in the next week or so.  I am a wordpress failure.  I hope you’ll forgive me and enjoy the posts that weren’t messed up or have already been fixed.

Quilt for Me! – Part VIII

Time for hand quilting!  I had considered doing champagne bubbles all over the quilt, but I ended up just doing ten or 12 large circles. I took a dinner plate and traced it to make each circle.  I centered the plate over clusters of matching fabrics (all pinks or all yellows) and chose matching or coordinating threads.

Here’s the finished quilt:

I love the quilt.  It’s lighter than my old comforter, so it’ll be perfect for summer but it’s not really warm enough for winter (especially not this winter!) – so my plan is to make myself a second quilt.  By the time that’s done, winter will probably be over, but I can save it for next winter.  In the meantime, I’ve just been using extra blankets.

Quilt for Me! – Part VII

The final machine quilting I did was on the border.  I had thought about it for some time and what I envisioned was reflecting half circles, on the border and on the blocks adjacent to the border.

I had to do some math to figure out how to trace my semi-circle – drawing is not my strong point.  I used scrap paper and worked on it until I had the shape I wanted.  I finally figured out that I wanted a semi-circle of 4.75″ wide and 2″ high.  I didn’t know how to get a smooth curve, but I was using lined paper, and finally I marked out incremental dots on the paper along each line and I got a nice circle.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but it worked well.  I traced my circle onto my template plastic.

I started with green thread on the blocks along the edge.  I traced the template onto each block.   I’m not sure how well it shows up in the picture.

I traced the circles so they overlapped at the corner.

I only pinned where I needed to, to keep the fabric as flat as possible, because it’s still bunchy and puffy.

After I sewed those semi-circles with the green thread, I traced the first set of semi-circles on the border and sewed them with blue thread.  I traced a second set of semi-circles on the border.

I sewed the second set of semi-circles on the border with pink thread.  I chose pink and blue for the border to contrast best with the yellow.

I had originally planned to add a second set of semi-circles on the inner blocks with purple thread, and I decided against it.  I liked the way the green thread looked so much that I almost didn’t do the circles on the border, but I wanted to practice my curved sewing.

Here’s the way it looks on the back:

I love the effect of the two semi-circles meeting to form a circle.  I don’t know if I would have liked it even better with the purple reflecting the pink, but I was satisfied with it.  I was ready to finish the quilting by this point anyway.

Next time: the hand quilting!

Quilt for Me! – Part VI

As I mentioned last week, I finished the quilt top at my parents’ house (not my usual habit).  Then, I put the quilt together there (like I prefer to do).

I had bought three large pieces of fabric for the backing, all in the same print (white polka dots on yellow).  By the time I took it out, it was quite wrinkled, but my mother taught me a trick: fold the fabric in half and iron it that way, then touch up the crease as needed.  It was so much easier than trying to maneuver a huge piece of fabric on the ironing board.

I laid down the backing, the batting, and the quilt top on the ping pong table.

I loosely basted the layers together and pinned the edges.

Here’s a nice shot of the quilt:

I finished the edges on the machine with yellow thread and then commenced the quilting.  I decided to try stippling, which I’ve never done before.  I used the yellow thread again.

I don’t know how people do all-over stippling that’s really close together.  I made a point to hit every block at least once, but I couldn’t do it close together and I still had trouble sometimes maintaining a smooth curve.  I think I need to practice more on small things, like doll quilts.  I was pleased with the effect but I would like to do it better.  (In the above picture, I hadn’t cut out the basting thread yet – I hope that’s not too distracting.)  Here’s a picture of the finished stippling, but I think it’s harder to see:

Next time I’ll post about the rest of the machine quilting.

Quilt for Me! – Part V

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s (and Christmas, if you celebrate it).  Mine was lovely.  I found myself missing my daily posts, even though the schedule became difficult to maintain towards the end of Advent, when I could barely stay on top of everything I had to do before Christmas even without the blog.  It’s nice to relax a bit now that the holidays are over.

When we left off, I had designed the layout for my quilt, but I hadn’t put it together.  Assembling the whole top was one of the tasks I’d hoped to finish before Christmas, but it fell by the wayside.  I started and I got about three rows sewn together before I had to stop.  I stacked the blocks by row and pinned each row together with a number designating which row it was, so I wouldn’t have to recreate my design when I got home.  I knew I’d never get it the same way again.

When I had a free couple of days at my parents’ house after Christmas, I made good use of my mother’s superior sewing set up (which I’ve praised and envied in posts before).  I laid out each row and sewed the blocks, one row at a time.  I then re-pinned the little numbers so I could assemble them all into the quilt top in the end.  I didn’t want to deal with any confusion.

I had a little trouble with the blocks not matching up properly – I had to line them up carefully when I sewed them together.  I guess if I’d traced my Drunkard’s Path templates properly for both halves of each block, they would have matched up better when I pinned them.  Lesson learned!

See how there are bits hanging off the edges?

Here are all the blocks assembled:

I had Googled twin comforter sizes before I started, so I knew I was aiming for a 66″ by 88″ quilt top.  It came out smaller, more like 60″ by 80″.  I believe that’s because the blocks didn’t match up, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, so each block was slightly smaller than I’d expected.  I’d assumed that the 6″ fabric pieces I’d started with would produce 5.5″ blocks, but due to the curved piecing the blocks were closer to 5″ square.  By the time I was finishing the quilt top, I had anticipated that issue and I was already planning to add a border, using my backing fabric.  I knew I had more than enough fabric to do that.

I cut 4.5″ strips and added my border.

Next week, I’ll talk about assembling the quilt and some of the quilting.