Friday, July 4, 2014

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue (and Green and Orange)

My most recent mini quilt project was an appropriate one for the week of July 4th:

The pattern is called Red Letter Day, designed by Camille Roskelley.

I started with this selection of fat eighths:

The two fabrics on the left have a nautical theme of sailboats and anchors.  I was not sure if the navy/white sailboat fabric might be too big in scale for a mini.  I took a small ruler, and used 1/4" marking tape to create a viewer with a window the same size as the finished blocks in the quilt.


I still had some doubts, but I decided to go ahead and use the sailboats.  It was a bit of a leap of faith to  visualize the final block.  You can see that there's a big difference in the look of a finished block compared to an unsewn block.

I'm glad I stuck with the sailboats.  Here is the finished mini:

Kind of looks like fireworks to me.

Happy Fourth of July!

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Canning season

I finished putting together the top for the mini "Canned Pears" quilt.
I decided to go a little rogue and put two of the leaves on the right instead of the left.  

The checkerboard border seemed like it should go together quickly, but it actually took me all day.

I thought I had been clever by cutting up any scrap pieces as I went along into the small strips that were needed for the checkerboard.  After the pears were assembled, I had a tidy basket full of strips ready to go:

I strip-pieced all the small segments into longer strips

then I trimmed them apart, and started sewing them together again
and so on, and so on....

After many ups and downs to the ironing board and the cutting table, I had only these:

It was barely enough for one side of the border.

See, I only thought that I was being clever.  Turned out it was much more practical to go back through my fabrics, and cut a strip from each one, pair it with a background strip and cut away...

I did end up using the pieces I made in the beginning, but it went much faster after I started cutting new strips.

Something else that should have made things easier, but for some reason was hard for me is that the pattern calls for the inner border to be cut a little extra large so that it can be trimmed down to match up with the checkerboard.  You can see in the photo that I trimmed a little off the top and bottom to make it even with the side borders:

In my excitement to see how it looked, I sewed the side borders on before I made a similar trim to the other 2 sides.  It took some fussing to figure out how make the top and bottom checkerboard border to work out,  but I got it eventually.

Anyhow, it's a really cute quilt, in a color palette that was very new to me but that I might just have fallen in love with.



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Sunday, June 22, 2014

These pears are just peachy


The next mini quilt that I wanted to make was  Mini Canned Pears  by Fig Tree Quilts.  I liked the color palette of the quilt on the pattern, and decided I would try to use some Fig Tree fabrics to make it.  Lucky for me, my local quilt shop was having a "Friday the 13th" sale.  The deal was 13 fat quarters for $13.00.    I knew this was a good chance to pick up some Fig Tree fats, so I headed out in a downpour of rain, determined to score my 13 fabrics.

I scoured the fat quarter bins, and came up with 6 fat quarters of Fig Tree-ish colors, and padded out the rest of  my 13 with some fun kid friendly prints for a future Quilt for Kids.

Then, I went to the bolts of yardage and bought some 1/4 yards of  fabrics to round out my purchase:

This is an unusual color palette for this jewel tone gal, but I thought I would give it a go.  Picking pairs of greens for the leaves was not the challenge I thought it might be, and allowed me to use up some small scraps of green from the scrap bin.

Next came cutting all the little pieces of white background fabric that would turn squares of fabric into leaves and fruit.  There were so many small pieces of similar sizes, that I had to make myself a spreadsheet to keep track of them:

By the time I went to bed last night, I had everything cut out, diagonal lines marked, a new needle in my machine, and a full bobbin ready to go.  Today, I spent my time sewing, and I have my 9 pears ready to be put together into a quilt top.

Don't they look good enough to eat?

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Puddle Jumping on a Sunny Day

Finished sewing my mini Puddle Jumping quilt top:

I had been saving this grouping of fat quarters for a while now, waiting for a fun pattern.

When Puddle Jumping came along, it was time to cut into them.  It seemed like a zillion tiny pieces.
Probably a good thing that I didn't know until afterward that this tiny quilt has over 300 pieces.  

Anyhow, it totally justifies buying a fat quarter even if you only use this much of it, right?


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