WIP Wednesday: Hexie doll quilt

Hi habibis!  My hexie doll quilt is definitely a WIP.  I make a little bit of progress every week.  I’m in the final stages of the planned embroidery – filling in some of the leaves with satin stitch.  When that’s done, I’ll layer it and get to quilting!


Hexagon Tree Doll Quilt

Hello habibis!  I’ve made some more progress on the doll quilt I showed you last week, and I wanted to share.

First, I’ve finally finished attaching all the hexagons!

I think I drew too many branches for my tree, because I decided even with all the hexagons it looked a little sparse (and Z agreed).  So I decided to embroider my hexagon shapes to fill it out.  I’m using a forest green thread.  Maybe I’ll switch to a lighter green for more variety.  You can probably see here my pencil markings where I’ve traced everything out.

I’ve also embroidered the ground – rolling hills – at the bottom.

I’m going to put on some borders soon and hopefully get this sandwiched and start the quilting (after I finish with the hexagon “leaves,” of course).  My quilting plan is to do something wood grain-y in the tree trunk and branches and to do an outline of the foliage.  Beyond that I haven’t decided, although I think I’d like to sew buttons on for “fruit.”  That’s aways down the road, though.


June Charity Sewing

Habibis, I have to confess that June was the first month in which I didn’t keep my resolution of dedicating one sewing day a month to charity sewing.  I was trying to meet an end-of-June deadline for something (which I missed anyway), and I had so few sewing days that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice one for charity sewing.  That being said, I did do a little bit of charity sewing.

Yes, that’s right, the Handstitched projects are back!  This one was designed to be a tote bag, but I don’t need an embroidered tote bag, so I decided to make a doll bed instead.  Months and months ago I made my little EPP hexagons, all in green/leafy prints, and cut out my light blue square to serve as the background.  Finally in June I pulled it out, embroidered the trunk with a stem stitch, and started to attach my hexagons.  I’m almost done.  I may do a little more embroidery and then I’ll add some kind of border and sandwich it to get it quilted.  I’d love to have a couple of finished doll quilts when my guild meets in September, but we’ll see how summer sewing goes.

I’ve seen other people sew their hexagons on by sewing across from corner to corner, and I love that look.  In this case, I wanted to make sure the ends of my embroidery were covered up, so I sewed around the edges.  In the Handstitched course, Rachel had suggested pre-attaching hexagons that would be adjacent, prior to sewing them down, but I didn’t bother with that and just sewed one on top of the other.

Handstitched Projects – Part III

I wanted to show you the embroidery for our Handstitched class.  As I mentioned, I made HSTs and thus skipped some of the embroidery to save time.  That left satin stitching for the “jewel” shapes (I would call them clubs, like on a deck of cards).  I bought a few different colors of embroidery floss, and I ended up using fushia and teal.

I used the fushia on the corners and followed Rachel’s instructions.  I backstitched the jewel shape, did a running stitch from each corner to the jewel shape, and then did the satin stitch in the spaces between the running stitches to the edges.

When it came time for the four center “jewels” I switched to teal.  I was running out of time at this point – I’m working on several other projects right now – so rather than doing satin stitch all the way around the jewel shape like on the fushia ones, I just backstitched the jewel shape.  Then I did running stitch from corner to corner, crisscrossing the jewel shape.

Here’s a picture of the whole thing:

Our next assignment is English paper piecing and I’m despairing about when I’ll have time to do it!  I have sooooo much other stuff I’m working on that I’d like to show you and there hasn’t been time!

Handstitched Projects – Part II

Hello habibis!  Today I want to show you the center medallion for my Handstitched quilt.  I’ve added the first three borders, in anticipation of this week’s embroidery lesson.

Rachel’s instructions for the first border included mitered corners.  I found them a little difficult.  First you sew the borders on, leaving the ends loose, and then you sew each set of corners.  I can’t explain it as well as Rachel did, so I won’t try – if you’re interested in mitered borders, I’d advise you to message her.  Mine don’t look nearly as neat as hers.  I couldn’t make them lay flat, but I tried.  I don’t think I’d use this method again – my corners would have come out more nicely if I’d done my borders the normal way!

Here are some pictures of my progress:

This might be my best corner:

The next border is for embroidery.  Rachel instructed us to use white strips, but she said that quilters comfortable with HSTs could substitute HSTs and solid squares for the strips.  I didn’t use white – I used solid(-ish) colors instead.  The embroidery will go on the pink pieces, which are at the centers and on the corners.

The third border was mitered corners again.  I’m afraid despite my efforts my center didn’t come out quite square.  I hope that won’t affect the rest of my quilt too much!

This week I’ll embark on the embroidery stage!

Wedding Knot: Love is the Tie that Binds – Part II

Welcome to part II of the quilt I made for my brother R and his new wife M for their wedding.  See part I here.

Yesterday I posted about the cutting and piecing, which were pretty straightforward.  Today I’ll address the process of sandwiching the quilt.

The quilt assembly was a rather more difficult process than the cutting and piecing just because the quilt is so big. I used my parents’ dining room table instead of the ping pong table, but even with the larger table it wasn’t ideal. I realized that I hadn’t done a great job when I started quilting and the fabric bunched a lot. It was just difficult with so large a quilt.

So here’s the top of the quilt on my couch:

Here’s the backing fabric, laid out on my brother’s bed at my parents’ house.  Look how much fabric there is!

In the sandwiching process:

Here’s a picture of it hanging from my parents’ balcony.

One of my guild friends recommended that I keep track of how much time it takes me to make my quilts, which I did for both my magnum opus and this. These first three stages – cutting, piecing, and quilt assembly – took me 16 hours.

Come back tomorrow for Travel Tuesday and on Wednesday to see the quilting for the Wedding Knot quilt.

R and M’s Wedding Quilt: “Wedding Knot – Love is the Tie that Binds” – Part I

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent! Christmas is literally around the corner, a mere four days away. Last week was Gaudete Sunday, which is Latin for Rejoice! We had a pink candle, to represent joy, and my family was certainly in joyful mode in celebration of R and M’s wedding. This week we’re back to purple, for waiting. We’re waiting for Jesus’s birth. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to wait, though! I have about a dozen presents to finish (I know!) and one more day of work before Z and I travel. But Advent is also about preparation. I’ll be doing a lot of that! I’m afraid I haven’t had a very contemplative or reflective Advent. This year it felt more like barreling towards Christmas. I’ve enjoyed it, though. Does that count?

Anyway, I’ve finally come to R and M’s wedding present. I could have shared it earlier in the week but I like to make my Sunday Advent posts extra special to reflect the specialness of the day. So I saved it. 🙂

R and M got engaged a little over two years ago. For their engagement/Christmas 2012 I made them this quilt.  I used Path to the Altar blocks in their school colors, green and white, and their favorite colors, pink and red. I love it and I know they do, too. However, as happens with scrappy quilts (my favorite to make), it’s a little busy. Okay, a lot busy. I’ve since gotten a much better sense of M’s decorating style, which is very classic.  She’s got great taste; their apartment is far better decorated than most people in their mid-20s manage, I can assure you.

I was on the look out for patterns. I saw this one in Keepsake Quilting last year. It’s called Josephine’s Knot. I didn’t love the kit they’d put together (I liked the color combination – reds and blacks – but not the actual fabrics) so I only bought the pattern.

I then started thinking about fabric choices and I finally settled on emerald green, cream, and gold. Classic, pretty, goes with pretty much any decor. (I may have been inspired by the marble floor of my neighborhood church. I can’t remember if that’s where I got the idea or if I only noticed the similarity afterward.)  I waited until the post-Christmas sales and bought all my fabrics.

I love my golds. The green with the peacock feathers looks vaguely polka dot-ish from a distance. It was more bottle green than forest green so I wasn’t thrilled with the shade but I wasn’t about to order new fabric either. Also it really worked with the other fabrics. I was happy once it came together. I think you only notice it in comparison with the backing fabric.

I decided to make them a king sized quilt because they have a king sized bed. Then I decided that was crazy and downgraded to a queen – which is still the largest quilt I’ve ever made. (It took up half my suitcase when we flew down for the wedding!!) I have been using the leftovers for other things – you may recognize the golds in J’s wedding napkins. I still have soooo much green, though. The backing is 108″ wide and I bought so many yards. I’ll use it! Or it’ll go to my guild for charity day in March.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow.  I used safety pins to keep all my pieces of the same size together and I labeled them with little pieces of paper. This was a huge help and I highly recommend it, especially since I cut the pieces at a different time from when I sewed them.

The piecing was also relatively simple. I followed the guide in the pattern. The pattern, by the way, has options for four or five different size quilts and you can go scrappy. It recommends more fabric variation than what I had – I couldn’t find enough variation in the right shades of gold or green that I wanted online so I reduced the number of fabrics I used. Shopping in a store probably would have helped with that. Anyway I recommend this pattern if you find the design appealing. As long as you keep your pieces organized it’ll be a breeze.  (You can buy it here.)

I used my method of pins and paper to keep track of the rows, too, so I wouldn’t mix them up.

I decided to call the quilt “Wedding Knot – Love is the Tie that Binds.”  Come back tomorrow and I’ll talk about the assembly process.  On Tuesday we’ll have our final Travel Tuesday post, and on Wednesday I’ll have my third post about the Wedding Knot quilt and the actual quilting on it.