Tuesday, May 12, 2015

hexagon happenings

Back in February I brought out the pieces of my niece's quilt to decide on a layout and a plan for finishing it by Christmas. I mentioned then that I might make a few more blocks which would enable me to make the whole quilt a hexagon. I've decided that's a neat idea and that's the way I'm going to head with it. I ordered some solid fabric for the interstitial triangles and managed to make two of the remaining four blocks this weekend.

I'm really happy with them! I'm also happy that I had the instructions for these all written up and handy. I would never have been able to re-engineer them otherwise. The hardest part was sifting through my fabrics for the right combinations of prints and colors. And of course the endless problem of not enough solids to pick from.

This was the first set of prints I came up with. Lively, no? 

I really enjoyed how awesome this triangle unit looked after I pressed all the seams. Look at how lined up everything is! It's not even trimmed. Or sewn with pins. That's how handy trimming just a tiny triangle off at the correct point and angle can be (also described in the block instructions). Everything just lines up so much easier. 

Adding the pretty celery green toned this whole block down. Still lively, but a little bit contained. This way it looks to me like a little flower garden. Imagine if I'd used black or dark gray… it would look much edgier. What about a whole quilt of that?! Nice, I'd say. 

Instead I opted to use the dark gray in this block to offset the relatively lighter, simpler prints. I wasn't sure how the ricrac stripe would behave in this block, but it ended up looking kind of neat. I am glad I decided not to try using it for the center, though. I don't think that would have worked out as well. 

I only need two more blocks made up and my navy fabric, then I can start assembling the top. My mom volunteered to make a couple for me, which will be fun! Mom, it's your turn now! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

quilting win

I am pleased with myself. Can you tell? I'm all smiles because I am so close to finishing up my cousin's quilt. It's a little behind schedule! 

I wasn't sure how the quilting on this was going to go as I was piecing everything together. My go-to would have been horizontal lines but that felt unimaginative to me for this one. Still, I didn't want it to compete that much with the panel in the middle because darn it I'm proud of that part! 

An idea descended one evening when I decided to quilt it in a sort of sunburst pattern to tie in with the trendy tribal vibe. Basically I have a set of nested V's going North, South, East, and West radiating out from the center of the squash blossom block. It's genius. Not only that, but I totally lucked out and picked 3 inches as the spacing. Why lucky? Because somehow I intuited the exact spacing that would line up my quilting lines with most of the features on the central medallion panel. It's not a big deal, but satisfying that it ended up that way. 

Dave was kind enough to venture outside with me on a somewhat windy day to snap these pictures. You have to wait until the quilt just floats on the wind like a seagull. Apparently that's the ideal moment. In this picture of the back it's easier to see the quilting pattern. It's not complicated, but it really looks great. I started each line in the middle and stitched out to the edge to avoid any directional stretching or slippage. 

I was hoping to use the backing as binding but it turns out I basted a bit to close to one edge for that to be a viable option. Darn. I'll have to look around and see if I have a suitable binding fabric to finish it off this week. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

backed and basted

I went to baste this quilt last Thursday evening and wasn't I frustrated when I found that I had neither enough scraps/coordinating fabrics to piece together a back nor a big enough single piece of anything but white. Somehow white and baby quilt back didn't jive in my mind. 

So today we zipped into a fabric store to find an appropriate print for the back. I found this great navy with tiny white polka dots. The navy is a sightly different shade than the one on the front, but it wasn't really noticeable to me until I took this picture. 

I cut some batting from one of the queen-sized pieces I had stashed away. (I buy batting when it goes on sale, especially the big sizes. They are great to cut down to size for multiple smaller projects like this.) Dave helped me wrangle the sandwich together and I managed to baste it while the laundry was drying. Yeah for multi-tasking. I've got a vision of Vs for quilting. We'll see how that goes!