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Finished Farm Fresh #3

After taking lots of feedback from family, friends and blog readers into consideration I finally decided on a design for my Farm Fresh baby quilt #3.

Winner: #6 Off-set Diamond

Winner: #6 Off-set Diamond

Close-up of stitch in the ditch & straight line quilting

Close-up of stitch in the ditch & straight line quilting

To make sure everything was pieced correctly (avoiding my mistake from the previous layout) I used the half wall outside my craft room to layout the rows while sewing them together.

Piecing the rows together

Piecing the rows together

The back was pieced together with a braided herringbone strip made from scraps from my previous Farm Fresh quilts.

Braided Herringbone pieced from scraps

Braided Herringbone pieced from scraps

Personally, I like quilts with a reversible backing that is as interesting, thoughtfully laid out, and beautiful as the front.

Herringbone Backing

Herringbone Backing

The binding was mainly denim, with a few scraps from the herringbone backing thrown in as well.  I know I cheated by machine sewing the binding, but my goal was to get this project done and have it nicely secured.

Scrappy Binding

Scrappy Binding

The denim softened up and faded nicely after being washed and thankfully the indigo dye did not run.

Cozy and ready for a new home

Cozy and ready for a new home

Finished size ended up at 48in x 33in.

Despite taking apart the quilt top, this was one of the quickest quilts I have completed.  I even managed to make an extra gift with dad in mind.

It’s great motivation to finish up my other WIP, the “What the Hex” quilt that I’ve been working on for about 10 months now, and to start on the rest of my “To Do” list for the year.

Linking up to:
Michelle’s Romantic Tangle
Fabric Frenzy Friday #64

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One little block, So many options.

On Friday I decided I was not happy with the direction of my Farm Fresh baby quilt. I spent the afternoon taking out the little quilting I had done and ripping apart the blocks.

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While I thought I had decided on a new design, the half square triangle is such a versatile block. (I must apologize in advance for the dark photos- they were taken at night on my cell phone)

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Original Alternative Layout

I laid out a few different arrangements and now can’t decide which I like best.

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Alternative #1

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Alternative #2

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Alternative Layout #3

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Alternative Layout #4

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Alternative Layout #5

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Alternative Layout #6

I am asking for help! What layout do you think is best for a baby boy? My original layout or one of the alternatives?

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Back to the Start

“No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back”- Turkish Proverb

I started on my final Farm Fresh baby quilt about 2 weeks ago.  Inspired by this updated chevron design by Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio I began making 96 HST with the remaining pieces of Farm Fresh by October Moon for Riley Blake that I had.

Blocks were pieced and trimmed.

First block pieced and trimmed

First block pieced and trimmed

Arranged with the help of my husband.

Initial layout

Initial layout- sorry for the blurry phone picture!

Then sewn together incorrectly.  I thought about ripping it out and fixing it, but then decided to press on thinking it was “design” intervention.  Our newest addition, Dora, seemed to think it was fine.

Dora approved, even if it was sewn together wrong

Dora approved, even if the top was sewn together wrong

After using what batting I had and assembling it into a patchwork (making it work), basting begun.

Patchwork batting

Patchwork batting

Basting

Basting

One chevron quilted and I was done for the day.

Thinking overnight about it, I decided was not thrilled with the overall look of the top. The color balance, the patchwork look of some chevrons but not all.

Turning back from the wrong path

Turning back from the wrong path

So I am settling in with my seam ripper, Harry Potter, and copious amounts of coffee and taking it all apart and going back practically to the beginning.

I have figured out a much better HST design and will be busy sewing it all back together tomorrow while the hubs is in class.

Linking up with:

Michelle’s Romantic Triangle: Let’s Make Baby Quilts!

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Flashback Friday: Bag it up

We have been back in Costa Rica for 2 weeks now and our schedule has been getting back to normal.  It’s been almost 3 weeks since our AZ Wedding ceremony and I am way overdue for a post on how the bean bags turned out!

Laying out all the pieces I realized it was basically like sewing a baby size quilt in just a week’s time (a record for me).

Quilted halves ready to be sewn together

Quilted halves ready to be sewn together

As previously mentioned, I tried my hand at free-motion quilting with little success.

FMQ Attempt at swirls

FMQ Attempt at swirls

FMQ attempt at pebbles or a flower or something...

FMQ attempt at pebbles or a flower or something…

So for the rest I reverted to the trusty walking foot.

Simple geometric quilting- what I am most comfortable with

Simple geometric quilting- what I am most comfortable with

After quilting the side pieces were trimmed down to 7.5″square.

Ready to be sewn together

Ready to be sewn together

32 halves for 16 bags total

32 halves for 16 bags total

I managed to finish sewing all the bag together (except for a hole to fill them in AZ) just a few days before we left.  This was done while the husband was in class on Friday night.

Double seams on the inside to keep from splitting

Double seams on the inside to keep from splitting

Turned out and ready to be packed!

Turned out and ready to be packed!

My husband’s Aunt helped fill and his mother sew the bags together as part of our pre-wedding prep. Not having read the proper weight for the bags (8oz), I instructed them to be filled as much as possible.

Tia filling with beans

Tia filling with beans

Mother-in-Law sewing them up outside and enjoying the nice weather

Mother-in-Law sewing them up outside and enjoying the nice weather

The cornhole set itself had been given an initial coat of bargain bin green paint. It was further decorated by Brian, the Marine husband of my friend Tiffany.

Laying out the design

Laying out the design

Hoping it's obvious where the bean bag is supposed to go.

Hoping it’s obvious where the bean bag is supposed to go.

Everyone had  great time!

AZ Wedding

AZ Wedding

Husband's unorthodox throwing technique

Husband’s unorthodox throwing technique

It works

It works

I also made a scrappy bunting cake topper for our delicious Tres Leches wedding cake.

The Colorful Rainbow Explosion of cake and flowers

The Colorful Rainbow Explosion of cake and flowers

Despite my reinforced double seams inside, many bags did not survive the afternoon.

At the end of the day

At the end of the day

Busted overstuffed bags

Busted overstuffed bags

The night before heading back to Costa Rica, I was again sewing the bean bags frantically. This time at their proper weight and again reinforcing the side seams.

Lighter and hopefully more durable

Lighter and hopefully more durable

Hopefully they will last longer at their soon-to-be new home in Tucson with Tiffany and Brian!

Overall the day was a great success and I feel so blessed we were able to celebrate our marriage with our friends and my family in Arizona.

AZ Wedding

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict’s “Can I get a Whoop Whoop” Friday

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It’s in the Bag

Happy (Inter)National Quilting Day!

Taking a break from my Hexagon quilt, I have decided to start on a small project for our upcoming 2nd Wedding in 2 weeks: Bean Bags for corn hole.

My new personal mantra has become “work with what you got”. While in would love to buy a bunch of quilting fabrics from the shop down the street, I have been unable to work while waiting for my residency in Costa Rica.

My mother thought it was important to incorporate my love of quilting into the wedding.

So I have turned to my own closet to find fabrics that can supplement my projects. I purchased this bucket bag years ago at Old Navy; and while it has served me well in the past it was simply taking up room in my closet.

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An evening of seam ripping yielded oddly shapes pieced from the exterior print and interior orange lining.  A pale peach cotton/poly blend from my stash goes perfectly as an accent.

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I have 16 bags/blocks to make. The first 4 bags are going to be made the heart block from Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.

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While I have ideas for the remaining bags, nothing is set in stone.

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Hopefully I can get the guys all done before leaving for AZ next Monday!

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#TBT: Star Quilt

Quilting on my “What the Hex” quilt has been slow going. It’s very time consuming and almost overwhelming to quilt the intricate designs for a twin size quilt with only a walking foot on a domestic machine. While I am excited of what has been accomplished and that I am nearing the final stages, I’ve also become a bit impatient with how slowly progress is made. Still I ” just keep quilting”.

I thought it would be fun to do a “Throwback Thursday” post and show one of my projects that was completed before creating this blog. It’s a nice reflection for myself as it’s easier to see how my quilting designs have evolved over the years.

I have been technically quilting for over 10 years, yet the number of projects I have finished is embarrassingly low. Being a mostly self-taught quilter, learning the tips, tricks & techniques have come from avidly reading quilting blogs, Craftsy classes, and advice from my few quilting friends.

Like many quilters, I started quilting with learning to assemble the traditional “Log Cabin” block.  This was great for learning how to chain piece and allowed freedom in layout choices by not needing a set design at the onset of the project.

This “Star Quilt” is actually the second quilt top I ever assembled, but I did not get around to the quilting part until many years later. I had an Eleanore Burns “Quilt in a Day” book to guide me and played around with the layout many times.  Why I settled on this layout, I cannot remember and if I had it to do over again I would definitely change it.

Top pieced and ready to quilt

Top pieced, borders attached, ready to quilt

 

It was intended to be a quilt for my X-Long twin bed in the dorms at the University of Arizona; however it was not finished until 2013 (almost 5 years after I graduated). It kind of reminds me of a Lisa Frank inspired quilt, the colors of which were determined by the star fabric I stole from my mother.

Inspiration fabric

Inspiration fabric

 

This was one of the first quilts I did any “free” motion quilting on on a “medium” arm machine. I say “free” because I followed a set swirl pattern and the “medium” arm machine was a PFAFF set on a large frame that was available at my workplace.  It was a learning experience in speed, getting comfortable with the motions and making sure to always put the presser foot down (I can’t tell you how many times I had to tear out a section of stitching because of this).

Always remember to put the presser foot DOWN!

Always remember to put the presser foot DOWN!

Contrasting with the colorful front is a plain blue backing. Not quite navy, not quite royal, but somewhere in between.

Simple blue backing

Simple blue backing

 

The binding was pieced and then cheater sewn with a zig-zag stitch. I just wanted it done and since this was for personal use, it did not matter to me that the stitching would show. Plus I think with all the crazy colors in the top and the variegated thread, it worked just fine.

Pieced binding sewn on with zig-zag stitch

Pieced binding sewn on with zig-zag stitch

 

The binding was finished on a trip to my parent’s ranch in New Mexico and that is now where the Star Quilt lives. It’s nice to have something so bright and colorful in such a muted landscape.

Quilted and bound

10 years in the making, quilted and bound.

 

Looking back, I am pleased with how quickly the top came together and still love the versatility afforded by the Log Cabin block. Perhaps one of my future projects will incorporate it again, but with the more modern twist.

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Bringing Hex-y Back

As promised, I have a WIP Wednesday update on my “What the Hex” quilt!

The back was pieced together in December using an old cotton shower curtain from either Cost Plus World Market or Pier1 Imports (it’s been so long since I purchased it, I can’t remember where it came from). When making the top I had no idea what I would use for backing. Then on a trip home to Phoenix, I discovered the (future) backing sitting in one of my craft boxes stored under the bed.

Turns out, just a little strip was needed to add to the length. The teal, green and blues in the damask design match perfectly with the aquas and greens in the top. I also like the bit of juxtaposition of a very feminine and organic pattern on the back contrasted with the geometric design of the front.

Quilt back from old cotton shower curtain

Quilt back from old cotton shower curtain

Superbowl Sunday was spent basting; my least favorite part of the process. Had I been smarter, I would have used our nice new big kitchen table. Instead I did it on the floor (and with the help of Berna).

My "helper"

My “helper”

As much as I think I have basted enough, I find my quilts can always use more

As much as I think I have basted enough, I find my quilts can always use more

Finally! The front basted together

Finally! The front basted together

Frustrating part, because this was a lightweight cotton shower curtain, manipulating the backing to be smooth under the batting was near impossible.  You can see one part where the backing was too loose and sewed a fold.

This drives me nuts to no end! But not enough to rip out the quilting and do it again...

This drives me nuts to no end! But not enough to rip out the quilting and do it again…

For the actual quilting pattern, I had sketched out some ideas but really had no set plan.  Still too scared to try free-motion quilting, I have been using my trusty walking foot and a 1/4″ spacing all around.

I started with a center hexagon and have worked my way out in a somewhat circular pattern. Each hexagon has been quilted with a different design using a white cotton thread.  Overall the designs blend well into the quilt top.

Center hexagon that I started with

Center hexagon that I started with

See how well the thread blends?

See how well the thread blends?

My favorite part of the quilt has actually become the backing. I love the texture that has developed as the quilting has progressed.

Love the texture that has developed

Love the texture that has developed

I estimate I am about 40% done with the quilting on this one.  I have been averaging a hexagon a day since starting. Hopefully it will be finished before the end of the month so I can get this project checked off the list and give it to its future owner!

On a somewhat related WIP Wednesday topic, my husband and I are in the middle of a puzzle of Monument Valley, AZ. I picked it out because it was a piece of home. It has also been a very challenging project and we will be happy to have finished!

WIP Puzzle holding our kitchen table hostage!

Holding our kitchen table hostage!