How to Measure a Year: “What the Hex” Finished Quilt

One year ago I started working on a twin-size quilt for my friend, Rommy, as part of an art exchange. She selected a set of aqua and green fabrics I had in my stash to use for her quilt. This quilt was full of firsts for me. I used new (to me) techniques: cutting triangles, piecing hexagons and sewing y-seams.

Finished twin-size

Finished twin-size “What the Hex” quilt (photographed on a queen size bed)

Binding Detail

Binding Detail

While piecing did not take long, the actual quilting took a few months. Between the 1/4″ spacing, stopping and turning, each unique hexagon took approximately 2 hours to complete.

Quilting Detail

Quilting Detail

Border Quilting Detail

Border Quilting Detail

The backing fabric came from a cotton shower curtain I rediscovered on a trip back to AZ. I thought the feminine print was a nice contrast to the geometric front. While it was wide enough, I had to piece in a bit for the length.  The only quilting difficulty came from keeping it smooth enough and preventing fabric tucks.

Backing fabric upcycled from cotton shower curtain

Backing fabric upcycled from cotton shower curtain

I also now understand the appeal of whole-cloth quilting. I love how the back shows off the intricate quilting design.

Walking foot quilting detail

Straight line quilting done with walking foot

Straight line quilting border detail

Straight line quilting border detail

After finishing the quilt, I decided to make two coordinating pillow shams from the scraps.  Embracing the “work with what you’ve got” philosophy, I used scrap batting in both shams and a plain white pillow case for the backing. Don’t tell my husband that I’ve started scrounging in the linen closet to supplement my quilting addiction.

Scrappy Pillow Shams

Scrappy Pillow Shams

I also made a hand embroidered label, mainly to cover up part of the backing that creeped up while quilting. It was the first time I ever tried hand embroidery and the first time I ever made a quilt label.

For Rommy | <3 Carrie 2015

For: Rommy | ❤ Carrie 2015

This has been my favorite quilt to date and I am a bit sad to give this one away. I take solace in knowing it will be going to a good home and be well-loved (and used) by Rommy.

Now to not-so-humble brag. Linking-up like crazy to:
Needle & Thread Thursday @My Quilting Infatuation
Sew Cute Tuesday @Blossom Heart Quilts
Show & Tell Tuesday @I Have to Say
Too Cute Tuesday @Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Can I get a Whoop Whoop?!?! @Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Link-a-Finish Friday @Richard and Tanya Quilts
Thank God It’s Finished Friday @Simply Pieced
Finish It Up Friday @Crazy Mom Quilts
Quilt for Keeps

How to Join Batting Scraps

Oh Scrap! How to join batting and reduce bulk

A few weeks ago during my 2015 New Quilter Blog Hop, I mentioned one of my favorite quilting tips about joining scrap pieces of batting. Today I am here to share more in-depth tutorial on how to do so.

Before I get to the nitty gritty, I encourage you to visit my fellow hive bloggers from last week and this week.  Also make sure to visit our hive “queen bee” to enter into the fabulous giveaways.
New Blogger Series

Week 3 Bloggers
Julie @Pink Doxies
Carrie W @The Zen Quilter
Lori @Sew Psyched
Cindy @Sewing Moxie

Week 4 Bloggers
Margo@Shadowlane Quilts and Crafts
Josi@Avocado Quilts
Deb @The Farmhouse Quilter
Emma @My Handmade Journey

Hive “Queen Bee”:
Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Now for the main attraction:

How to Join Batting Scraps

When making larger quilts, I typically use a whole, new piece of batting but am often left with sizeable scraps that (when joined together) are perfect for smaller projects such as baby quilts.

Batting piece too small for pillow sham cover

Batting piece too small for pillow sham

Typically I only join two pieces of batting, but I have joined up to four pieces using the following method.

1: Make sure that the pieces of scrap batting you are joining are of the same material and loft. When storing my scraps, I fold the pieces into each other to keep like batting together.

2: Lay the batting pieces you are thinking of using so that there is overlap between the pieces of 3-4 inches.

Overlap Scraps by 3 or 4 inches

Overlap Scraps by 3 or 4 inches

When I first started quilting, I would stop at this step, baste and quilt. I was never happy as there would be part of the quilt that was thicker due to the double layer.

3: (Secret step) Cut through both layers of overlapped batting in a gentle wave pattern. I typically eyeball it but you can mark if so desired.

Cut through both layers in a wave

Cut through both layers in a wave

4: Remove the excess pieces of batting from the two halves. You will be left with two pieces of batting that butt up to each other flush in the curves.

Remove excess side pieces

Remove excess side pieces

5: Join the batting pieces using a loose whipstitch. This is just to hold them together temporarily while basting and quilting. You don’t want a tight stitch as this will form a ridge on the seam.

Loose whipstitch to hold the two adjoining pieces at the seam

Loose whipstitch to hold the two adjoining pieces at the seam

Joined pieces ready for basting

Joined pieces ready for basting

6: Baste and quilt as normal.

Basted and ready for quilting

Basted and ready for quilting

7: Enjoy your finished project without all the excess batting bulk. Secretly revel in your thriftiness and no one being the wiser!

Finished Pillow Sham

Finished Pillow Sham

Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie @ Chopping Block Quilts

Linking up to:
New Blogger Series

Sardinia Saturday Night

What’s a girl to do on a Saturday night when her husband is watching the Costa Rica vs. El Salvador Gold Cup game? Why recreate a QAL pattern and figure out fabric placement!

As mentioned previously, I am considering joining the Yuma QAL by Gotham Quilts.

http://gothamquilts.com/category/yuma-qal/

The design seemed perfect for my collection of Sardinia by Jessica Swift fat quarters; however, I was stuck on exactly how to place them.

Yuma QAL Fabric Selection: Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend

Yuma QAL Fabric Selection: Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend

Thankfully, the EQ7 tutorial from Meadow Mist Designs saved the day! While I initially tried to recreate the layout using the triangle template Cheryl shows, it did not work. Her tutorial did lead me to discover some other design tools in the software that eventually allowed me to recreate the basic design.

Yuma by Gotha Quilts created in EQ7

Yuma pattern by Gotha Quilts re-created in EQ7

The Yuma pattern by Gotham Quilts is available as a free download here.

I imported fabric swatches and after tweaking the original design placement, I came up with six different options. Of the five, I really only like the following three.

Yuma QAL Placement Option 1

Yuma QAL Placement Option 1

Yuma QAL Placement Option 2

Yuma QAL Placement Option 2

Yuma QAL Placement Option 3

Yuma QAL Placement Option 3

Hopefully after a few days of meditation the winning design will be clear. There is already one option that has started to emerge as my favorite. I will probably start cutting into my fabrics tomorrow and do a basic layout based on blocks similar between the two designs. This will also give a better idea of how the final product will look with the proper scale of the prints.

Any thoughts on which of option might work best?

Linking up to:
Design Wall Monday @ Patchwork Times
Show & Tell Tuesday @ I Have to Say

Cut to Pieces

So I wanted to start a weekly Thursday Trimmings Link-up party BUT because I am not (yet) on a self-hosted WordPress site I cannot do it. <<Insert frustrated growl here>>

I am determined to make it happen one day.

The only real productive quilting related thing I have accomplished in the last week is cutting into my selections for the Midnight Mystery QAL hosted by Meadow Mist Designs.
Meadow Mist Designs Mystery Quilt
Instructions were released on Thursday July 2 and I got to ironing and cutting my fabrics on Friday afternoon.

Pre-ironing

Pre-ironing

The print comes from a fat-quarter bundle of the 2011 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin.

Fabric A selection from 2011 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin

Fabric A selection from 2011 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin

The final color was cut on Sunday morning and has been stashed away until next month. I have also saved my scraps and plan on using them in the backing.

Fabric cut and ready for the next step

Fabric cut and ready for the next step

Packed away until August  6

Packed away until August 6

I am also debating joining the Yuma QAL hosted by Gotham Quilts.

http://gothamquilts.com/category/yuma-qal/

The QAL and  blog hop started last month and runs until August. I think it would be a good pattern to use a few random fabrics and my fq bundles of Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend.

Yuma QAL Fabric Selection: Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend

Yuma QAL Fabric Selection: Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend

I’ve been struggling to find a project for these fabrics for awhile and when I saw the Yuma pattern, this set was the first thing that popped into my mind.  Just trying to decide on the fabric placement before cutting into these ladies.

What have you been cutting into this week?

Third Time’s a Charm!

How is it already July? For some reason, my crazy brain had me thinking that June follows June.

I am excited that July is finally here. My little brother’s birthday is today, I turn 30 at the end of the month and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs has released the first set of instructions for the 2015 Midnight Mystery Quilt!
Meadow Mist Designs Mystery Quilt

Of all the things going on this month, I am most excited about participating in my first QAL. I’ve got some (careful) fabric cutting in my weekend plans.

To keep the number of WIP’s at a minimum, the past two weeks or so have been focused on finishing my High School T Shirt Memory Quilt “quilt-over” and the “What the Hex” quilt for my friend Rommy. The actual quilt has been finished for a few weeks, but I am stuck on how to quilt the coordinating pillow shams I made from the scraps.

The memory quilt has undergone three transformations. I started it back in 2003 but did not finish it until many years later. After a few years of use, I  realized I was not happy with the layout and wanted to include a few more memories I was ready to stop wearing. I also wanted to fix the corners on the binding.

Quilt Version 1

Original Finished T Shirt Memory Quilt

The second life of the quilt had my first attempt at Free Motion Quilting on a “medium-arm” machine. Unfortunately, the stitch length regulation did not work so well and after a few years of use and washing, the quilting was starting to come undone. Additionally, the “cheater binding” method I had used did not have a proper join of the ends that was very bulky and not at all pretty.

Quilt Version 2

Quilt Version 2

So I decided to do a “quilt-over” and rebind the quilt again.. Using my trusty walking-foot and 1/4″ spacing, I quilted a simple square spiral in each t shirt block.

Quilt Over

Latest “Quilt-Over”

I also redid the binding, joining the ends seamlessly. It is much prettier and finished by handsewing the back. I think it might be my favorite part of the quilt.

Detail of Final Binding and Quilt Texture

Final Binding and Quilt Texture

I am extremely happy with this third (and final) iteration and love the texture of the quilting. When will they invent “Wonka Texture” so others can feel quilting through the computer screen???

Final Quilt Back

Final Quilt Back

Final Quilt Front

Final Quilt Front

The puppies are also excited to have the couch quilt back.

Dora snuggling with her favorite quilt

Dora snuggling with her favorite quilt

I declare this “WIP” (that has been years in the making) done!

Confession: This has been one of the most dangerous quilts I’ve worked on. I sustained a rotary cutting injury and needed 4 stitches back in 2004 and when hand sewing the binding, I sliced my chin with the needle and then proceeded to poke myself in the lip a few hours later. Who knew quilting was so dangerous!?!?!?

Linking up to:
Quilt for Keeps