Squares Plus Quilting

I’m quilting along on Squares Plus. I’m using a rounded squares pattern like this one on Mystery Bay Quilt Design (scroll down) and while I’ve never used this design to fill an entire quilt, I think it’s going well.

Squares Plus quilting

Except for the many skipped stitches. I’ve cleaned and oiled my sweet Juki, changed the needle, adjusted the settings, rethreaded, and the only thing I haven’t done is switched to a new spool of thread. I’m working with a brand new spool of Aurifil, and I’d really hate to think it was bad thread, but I’m running out of ideas. Any thoughts why this is happening? Can bulky seams sometimes cause skipped stitches?

In any case, skipped stitches or no, I’m hoping to finish this up by the end of September (because let’s face it, with other life changes happening around there, it won’t get done period if I don’t finish before then). For a little added incentive, I’m linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes at Sew Bittersweet Designs.

My Button

And oh hey, it’s WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

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Squares Plus in Progress

WIP Wednesday, it has been a long time. It’s nice to see you again! I’ve been working this week on a quilt for my son – with his arrival within the next month or so, I’d like to finish this sooner rather than later! I have a coworker that thinks the minute I complete the final stitch will the the minute I go into labor – it’s a nice idea, I gotta say.

Squares plus in progress//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe pattern is Squares Plus from McCall’s Quick Quilts Feb/Mar 2015, which I found originally on Pinterest. It calls for F8ths, which made for easy cutting. I’m also decreasing the size of the top from 5×6 big square units to 4×5. The finished top is somewhere in the vicinity of 55″x67″ Squares plus in progress//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The fabric is Lizzy House’s Natural History line, which I love. My husband and I are both science people – he has a geode/rock collection, I studied environmental biology – so this fabric line seems perfect for us.

Squares plus in progress//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

(Why yes, that is an Aquaman print by Jonathan Reincke we’re going to hang in our kid’s room!)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

A Finished Meadow

It’s really nice when you finish a project and it turns out exactly how you wanted it to be, isn’t it? My Meadow quilt has been a back burner project for me for a while (since last September, in fact!). I had a plan for the rainbow section since taking the class with the lovely Lizzy House at Gather Here, but I had to have a think about the background and flower centers.

Meadow quilt//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I’m glad to say that the grey background and slate blue flower centers really makes the rainbow pop. I also added extra border fabric than what the pattern calls for to make this queen-sized (86″ x 93″). It’s perfect. Because we both are huge, I decided to send it out for longarm quilting to Mary Gregory at See Mary Quilt. She did such a wonderful job – each component is individually quilted and the flowers have individual designs.

Meadow quilting//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Meadow quilting//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsMeadow back//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I just really love it and can’t wait for the weather to cool enough to put it on our bed!

Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap

This spring, I participated in my first Instagram mini swap. I’d seen these but none of them really called to me until the Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap (#lizzyhouseminiquiltswap), hosted by Joanna (IG: riddlingwhimsy) and Sarah (IG: smilestooloudly). You know I’m a big Lizzy House fan; my very first quilt was made from her Outfoxed line and I’ve been following her designs ever since.

Here’s the finished top:

Lizzy House Mini top

That’s 42 3.5″ triangles; some of them fussy cut. I think most of her collections are represented (except for Lizzy Dish and Natural History). The grey is leftover AGF Pure Elements.

Lizzy House Mini

It’s quilted with straight lines 1/4″ from each seam.  (I know, the lighting is a little weird here – it was getting dark outside when I took this).

Lizzy House Mini back

The backing is Cat Dreams from Catnap; my swap partner said she really liked the kitties. I was a leeeetle sad to send this one away; my husband told me that it was one of his favorite things I’ve ever made. But I have plenty of scraps and can easily make another one. And then I received the mini that made for me and seriously: how gorgeous is it?

Lizzy House Mini Quilt made for me by akchrissymae!

Thanks Sarah and Joanna for a great swap!

Meadow Thoughts

Now that I’m finished with Christmas projects, it is time to break out my Meadow pile. I did a lot of thinking over the last few months and the melon fabric (Lizzy House Jewel in Clementine) I was going to use for the background is too bright. Instead, I’m using the lovely soft grey Cat Mint print from Cat Nap for the background, and swapping out green flower centers for grey blue.

Meadow Block

I think these color choices will make the rainbow gradient pop! Last night, I cut all the rainbow pieces; I still need to cut the petals and the flower centers and then sewing can commence!

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2015 is filled with light, love, and good things.

Rainbow Fangirl Meadow

Somehow I blinked and early September became the end of September. Or end-ish? I’m really not sure any more. But it is Wednesday and Wednesday is the day I try to blog!

Last Friday, I heard and saw the wonderful, warm Rainbow Rowell speak. Go read at least one of her books because they will make you have All the Feels. I don’t have a picture of or with her, but I do have a picture of the marching band I found on the way to the event. Hello marching band, blocking Friday afternoon rush hour Boston traffic with your peppy brass sound!

Marching Band

On Sunday, I took Lizzy House’s Meadow quilt class at Gather Here. It was great and all of you taking The Meadow at various stops along her Meadow Tour are in for a real treat!

Meadow Block

Here’s my first block. I’ll probably use this one for a pillow or break it up into its components because it doesn’t work with the scheme I’ve figured out.

Meadow planning

I’m calling this one my “Fangirl Rainbow Meadow” mentally and I’m in love. I may keep this one too (in addition to the Modern Medallions WIP). I’m going to be So Warm all winter long.

My kind, generous, and wise husband also encouraged me to take Lizzy’s design and printmaking class this week. Here’s my efforts from last night: One carved block and a fat quarter of printed fabric!

Printmaking with Lizzy House

The best part of the class was learning how to design repeats. It was like magic to doodle, cut and rearrange the paper, and then trace it several times to see the repeat come together. It was so nice to sit and draw for two evenings as well.

You guys, I’m so tired. It’s been a really interesting week but my brain is so exhausted. So linking up with WIP Wednesday and toddling off to bed.

Requilting Success!

Requilting Foxes Out My Window was a success!

Foxes Out My Window requilted!

Here’s the process I used:
1. Remove binding with seam ripper, trim off really long scraggly frayed threads, iron with gusto, and stick it in the closet for storage.
2. Pick out quilting from a 1.5′ x 1.5′ section, working from the center outwards.
3. Dampen quilt with water and iron.
4. Requilt with chosen pattern (In this case, stipple)
5. Realize that ironing the quilt doesn’t really do much and may in fact cause some puckers.
6. Repeat steps 2 and 4 until quilt is fully quilted.
7. Reattach binding.
8. Snuggle with newly requilted quilt.

Foxes Out My Window back

Picking out the quilting from only a small space at a time kept the layers together properly. It was a little time-consuming to have to keep pulling the quilt out of my machine to unpick stitches, but I’m happy with the overall product. There were also a lot of ends to tie and bury from all the stating and stopping.

Foxes out my Window back detail

All the quilting and unpicking and requilting left this quilt with a really soft, crinkly texture. I haven’t yet washed it, but I’m hoping the holes left from the stitch unpicking will fade. In the meantime, my husband told me that “the light through the old quilting holes looks like constellations.”

FAL-2014-Button

Also, I don’t think I ever took a picture of the completed quilt, way back two summers ago. And I’m certain I never had a shot of the back. I’m thankful for my nice husband for helping me document this one!

Finishing this was on of my Q2 Finish Along goals at The Littlest Thistle! Hooray!

Triangle Constellations

You guys, Triangle Constellations is finished! And sweet sister in law, avert your eyes again! I sewed on the binding this morning and then got my husband to hold the quilt (in the snow).

Triangle Constellations quilt

I’m so, so pleased with this. I used a full FQ bundle of Lizzy House’s Constellations fabric, plus Pearl Bracelets in Grape Jelly and Juniper. The triangles were originally 7″ and the finished quilt is 68″ by 56.”

Triangle Constellations

The binding is Pearl Bracelet in Meyer Lemon – I think it gives it a little zip!

Triangle Constellations - back side

The back is the Bouquet print from Flea Market Fancy in turquoise edged with Pearl Bracelet in Hiho Silver. I’ve used FMF in a couple projects and the fabric has such a nice hand to it.

Triangle Constellations - back side

Triangle Constellations was sewn and quilted entirely on my new Juki and the finished product is so nice! I’m proud that this is my first finished quilt of 2014. I hope my SIL likes it!

Triangle Constellations

Actual Quilting!

If you are my sweet sister-in-law, stop reading this now. Or close your eyes. Or prepare yourself for SPOILERS.

Having a date when things need to be done usually spurs me to action, and finishing the Triangle Constellations quilt has been no different. Once I learned the date of the shower for my sweet SIL and future niece , and realized that it was nearly halfway through the month, I turned on the Olympics and leaped into action. I finished the back and cut binding, basted, embroidered a little (secret) monogram, and then it was time to quilt.

Quilting Constellations

I may have been a bit hesitant about the actual quilting but Juki. Oh my goodness, it quilts like a dream. I got set up, screwed in the FMQ foot, installed a heftier needle, and just dove right in.

Quilting Constellations

I’m still getting used to where to place my hands on the quilt to steer it and how fast to sew, but the finished product is looking so nice. I’m doing a large meandering stipple with a few loopdeloops and I’m about a quarter done.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced !

Is Requilting Feasibile?

This is the first quilt I ever made, Foxes out my Window.

Foxes out my Window

I started cutting on Thanksgiving Day, 2011. The pattern is Kitchen Window from Elizabeth Hartman’s Practical Guide to Patchwork, which is a truly useful reference. The fabric is mostly Lizzy House: Outfoxed in the green colorway, a banner print from Castle Peeps, teal stars from 1001 Peeps, and another green/yellow dot – maybe Robert Kaufman Ta Dot? I don’t remember. It’s backed with two great whacks of Outfoxed triangles and frolicking foxes. To date, the fabric is some of my favorite I’ve ever used and it makes me happy whenever I see it.

What doesn’t make me happy is its quilting. I quilted it on my home machine (see here for more info) and while at the time, I was thrilled with the results, it never was perfect. Daphne, my old Kenmore, had some major tension issues. The top thread was too loose, the bobbin thread too tight, which caused the back of the quilt to look like this:

Pulled thread

Not that bad, right?

Pulled thread

Ooh yeah, that’s not good.

Snarled thread

Yikes!

I’m ashamed to admit that the whole back looks like that. Snarls, pulls, places where the thread broke. It’s rough and ugly and definitely lowers the quality of the finished product.

But now that I have a shiny new Juki on my sewing table. Now, I haven’t yet quilted on this machine, and I’m not going to start with this project, but I see all the lovely quilting out there people do on this machine, so I know what it is capable of. My plan is to soak the quilt, let it dry flat (ish), iron it, and then unpick the quilting in a 2′ square area and re-quilt. I’m not going to remove the binding, because perhaps I’m foolhardy.

Before I dive in, does anyone has any experience doing this? Do you have any advice? If this method works, there are a couple other quilts out there that I’d like to requilt with this method. I’d love to hear your thoughts!