Monday, February 13, 2017

Forced to Improvise

I have seen a lot of challenges to get UFO's (Unfinished Objects) finished this year and I like that idea.  The idea is to make a list of 12 projects and try to finish one each month.  So the UFO project for the month of February isn't really one of mine, but it is something I said I would do for my mom. My job is to quilt it!

 Here's my mama!  Doesn't she look young?  I bet you can't guess how old she is!  To be fair, this picture was taken three years ago but I bet you still can't guess!  

Someone gave her a bunch of scrap fabric and she hand cut them (no rotary) into squares and sewed them up into a little throw quilt.

Mom and I went shopping for some fabric to put on the back and asked for help in calculating how much fabric we would need to have enough backing.  It's a real cute calico with yellow background and pink and blue flowers.  It goes very nice with the pastel colors mom used on her quilt.

I've had the fabric and batting here for a while and decided this is the month I will finish.  So I began preparing the backing to put on and was exasperated to find out that the piece of backing we bought is not big enough!  Grrr.   So I knew I would need to figure out something to enlarge the back and cut the backing into two pieces so I could sew some additional fabric down the middle.  I don't know how in the world I managed it, but I sliced that back into four pieces!  Oh great!  Now what?  I had a bunch of calico charm squares that I had purchased a long time ago so I decided to do this:

I actually kind of like this!  So tonight, I got this all basted together and ready to quilt.  For the quilting, I am going to attempt to do a version of a feathered swirl that I saw Vicki from Vicki's Crafts and Quilting do on one of her quilts.

First step was to practice on paper.  Somehow, it just doesn't look like what I was envisioning.  I finally contacted Vicki (thanks so much for the guidance, Vicki!) and was hoping she could give me some pointers so we exchanged a few e-mails back and forth and I showed her what I was trying to do.  This was kind of the idea of the pattern I wanted to do but it wasn't right and I didn't know why.  Vicki suggested I make the beginning of the swirl more C shaped instead of the bullseye looking shape I was doing.
So here is my next attempt with less tight swirls and the designs are starting to fit together a little better; however, Vicki had one more piece of advice for me and that was not to leave the feather ends hanging out in space as shown where the arrows are.

So I tried one more time with to make the feathers actually connect to something.  I think I'm getting a little bit closer now to what I wanted to do.  Still needs some work though.  I'll practice a bit more.  It's not quite there.

Now, next step is to quilt this on a practice sandwich and make sure to make the designs LARGE.  I have a habit of quilting too densely and I want to practice leaving bigger spaces.  So that is my goal for tomorrow.

I am hoping to have a finish to show you this week!

P.S.  Don't forget about the Blog Hop sign up.  You can read about that here!  So far we have 19 quilters signed up!  We'd love to have you join in the fun!

Linking to:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop and Quilt Along

Last September Jen Rosin, from A Dream and a Stitch, and I hosted a Quilt Along Blog Hop to make a mini quilt.  You can see the gallery of quilts produced as a result of that blog hop here.  This was so much fun!

We have decided to make this event a regular thing and are calling it Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop QAL.  This go-round will be using a pattern that Jen has designed herself.  I'm so proud of her!  When she published it, it quickly became the most downloaded free pattern for the day on Craftsy!

This mini finishes at approximately 16 inches square depending on your own choices.  The "quilt" in the yard is a 4 inch block which you can personalize any way you see fit.  You can design your own or here is a great resource for finding free 4" blocks:  Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

We encourage you to personalize this mini in as many ways as you see fit through the quilting, using embroidery, applique, beads, buttons, etc. . . .or just sew up the block and let the fabric do all the work.  The possibilities are endless!

All blog hop participants will be entered in a drawing for either a free class from Craftsy or a $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop.

If you are interested in participating in this blog hop, just

1.  Leave a comment on this blog post and let me know!  Please include your name, name of your blog, blog URL, e-mail address and Instagram address (if you have one).  I'll send out the final list of all participants to everybody to add to their blog post shortly before Reveal Day.  

2.  Download the pattern here, and make the mini!  It goes together fast once you'e picked your fabrics!

3.  Prepare a blog post about it to be revealed on March 10. 

4.  Please add the button to your side bar.  The grabbable button and code is on my right hand sidebar at the top.

5.  If you use Instagram, be sure to share your mini at #jenandjansminiqal 

The pattern Jen wrote is very good and should be easy to follow; however, if you want more pictures to follow, she wrote a detailed tutorial with illustrations you can follow here.

Here is my first try at this pattern.  It's just a flimsy at this stage (I'll make another one for reveal day) but it gives you another version to see right now.  I just love the log cabin block and the little birds in the yard!

For all my quilting friends who don't have your own blog, I would LOVE to have you join in and make this little mini too.  I want to have a whole slew of versions to show on Reveal Day!  Please contact me if you are interested in making one.  It would totally make my day!
Linking to:
Busy Hands Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict