Saturday, September 26, 2020

Treasure Hunt Quilt

Grab a cuppa...this is
The story of the Treasure Hunt Quilt

This is the fabric that stole my heart that I could only find on Etsy (at the time) and I HAD TO HAVE IT.

It was sold as a 27” panel.  I originally intended to make another small quilt with it.  Possibly give it borders to enlarge the panel.  I loved it even more when it arrived!  So I thought to get another piece, sew them together and not add a border.  I went back to Etsy shopping (it was still not available anywhere else that I could find). I found another piece.  The price went up?!  Not fair!  But I HAD TO HAVE IT.  I added a 2 yard piece to my cart that I would use for backing and a striped piece I would use for binding.  And a bunch of other pieces I thought I would like to have in my stash as well.  After all, there was not going to be an in person quilt show this year where I could re-stock up.  Any excuse is a good one, right?

So the second panel arrived and I could finally get started on this quilt.  I am SO excited!  I opened the envelope and the happy dance screeched to a stop.  

The piece I now have is NOT quilting cotton.  It’s more like a canvas fabric.  Very coarse.  Now I knew why the cost was higher.  This has come after my Etsy purchase experience with the Curiosity fabric  with the 2” squares.

Oh yes I did...I went back to Etsy to get yet ANOTHER piece of this Treasure Hunt fabric.  Although I preferred quilting cotton, I decided I would make a quilt out of whichever fabric I would end up with 2 pieces of.  I did try hard to read everything and get quilting cotton.  And again it was yet another price.  Didn’t care anymore.  I crossed my fingers and the quilting gods must have felt sorry for me as I received another quilting cotton piece.  Big sigh of relief here.  This time it was a measured 1 yard piece.  36”. That explains the new price.  I’m scratching my head at Etsy now and hoping not to need to go back again.  At least not for this quilt.

I began to get the two pieces sewn together.  What do you mean they aren’t the same width???  1/4” difference.  This fabric has nice flat selvedges. I had planned to keep them in as part of the quilt.  There went that idea.  Don’t care anymore.  I moved on.  

Now I laid out the quilt top and batting.  All smoothed out and trimmed to size.  I flip it over to lay the backing down.  Guess what!  Same designer, 3” narrower than the top fabric!  Yep.  Figures.  Why would I think they would be the same width.  

Oh yes I did...I went back to Etsy (still the only availability of these Marcia Derse fabrics) to get more.  You guessed it, no more of the Birch available.  I had to choose something else to extend the backing.  I chose The Opposite.  No further surprises.  The fabric gods obviously knew there would be another incident and bestowed favor on me.

If I couldn’t use the selvedge on the front, there was nothing in my way for using it on the back.

But now that there would only be 3” of the new fabric, I had to try to get it straight on the back.  I don’t know any easy secrets to accomplishing that.  I put the time into it and I was successful in this regard.  Small happy dance.  

Finally time to start quilting.  I decided for a grunge fabric that I would do grunge quilting.  It’s probably really called improv quilting or something like that.  I just followed shapes and lines and not precisely.  That was the hard part.  Giving up control.  

After doing a width of that, I knew this was going to take awhile.  I did a block section at a time each day for a few days.  It got to where it wasn’t fun.  Make a few stitches, stop, turn the fabric, stuff it through the machine opening, make a few stitches and that was how it went over and over.  I had to force myself to stay at it until it was done or this quilt would never get done.  Ever.  After 3 days of quilting whenever possible, the quilting was finally finished.  

Now the binding.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it.  I had nothing better and still didn’t want this piece to end up in my stash.  So I forced myself to use it anyway.  Didn’t care anymore.

When I went to trim the quilt, I couldn’t bring myself to cut off the selvedges.  Even though on one side they didn’t line up.  (that 1/4” width difference). And I thought the other side would maybe be too narrow.  Guess what...yep, didn’t care anymore.  As I was sewing on the binding I really didn’t like it and the blank white sections of the selvedge were going to look really odd.  As I continued I started thinking what I could fill the white space with later on...fancy stitches?, ribbon?, cording?  Either way I could worry about that later.

This quilt is one and done!  63” x 42.5”
As I was hand stitching the binding, I decided the ugly stripe worked well afterall.  And the blank white spaces along with the text of the selvedges is now my favorite part of the quilt.  Who could have guessed!

I absolutely unconditionally LOVE this quilt!

I’m quite pleased that I powered through all the “I don’t care anymore”s and ended up with great features in this quilt that might never have been.  This is my favorite quilt ever.  It will never see the inside of a storage tote.

Sometimes there’s something bigger at the end of a lot of frustration and incidents that we think aren’t happy moments.  Everything that happened in the making of this quilt is now well worth it.  Had they not happened I wouldn’t have  this quilt exactly the way it is now.  All those incidents added fantastic features and character to this quilt.  It truly has been a Treasure Hunt and I found the Treasure!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Art History and Curiosity Quilt

What a struggle to make this small quilt.

It began when I saw a fabric on Pinterest that I just loved and really wanted.  It is called Treasure Hunt.  Finding it was the problem.  It only showed up available in Etsy.  My problem with Etsy is that I’ve never used it much and was not well versed in using and buying from it.

Treasure Hunt is a grunge fabric.  I do have a love for grunge.  Not real life grunge so much but definitely in art.  Marcia Derse has wonderful grunge fabric designs.

Treasure Hunt is being quilted and will take me awhile to finish it.  So this post is about a little Art History and Curiosity quilt.  (Those are the fabric names)

After making this little whimsical quilt , I wanted to make another.  The size is so perfect for a single person to just grab and go sit on it in the park or the yard or at any event where seating is the ground.

Marcia Derse fabrics are obviously extremely popular and are out of stock everywhere.  I could only find them available on Etsy.  Even there most are sold out.  I bought half yards of each of these pieces to put them together.

The ruler shown with the Curiosity piece on Etsy showed the color squares measuring less than 1” in size.  In reality when the fabric arrived, the color squares measure about 2” each!  That was a shock.  I didn’t know there was a link to click on to get the sellers description of the fabrics...where the seller states the blocks are 2”.  Etsy has been an expensive experience for me.  

Now I needed to make them work.  I was NOT going to buy another piece of fabric from Etsy with the shipping costs.  Plus, the seller does not cut the fabric between panels or following a graph design.  Add to that, the end of a bolt is where fabric is usually wound wonky anyway.  So I lost more of the Curiosity fabric than I was happy about just to straighten it.  

I won’t even go into the struggles I had with a simple grid quilting that was not simple in any measure of the term.  I used a piece of grunge fabric from my stash for the binding (because I did not want to add fuel to the fire with buying another piece on Etsy). This quilt measures 40” x 41”

But I won the fight and it’s done!  It is not fabric stashed in a drawer.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Paper Pieced Table Runner

From Turid’s blog  I learned about  Leila Gardunia’s  free paper piecing scrappy triangles.  I downloaded them and printed them.  They come as a 6” block but I shrunk them down to 4.5” blocks.

I had a limited amount of the the gray fabric so I made blocks until I ran out of it.  

That gave me only 20 blocks.

From sloppy to nice and neat.

It’s a good thing I used a minimum amount of fabrics.   I can get pretty messy when I’m paper piecing.

There weren’t enough to make them into the design I was hoping to use so I worked on alternative layouts.

I decided on blocks of 4 blocks.

I quilted it with too many rows of quilting.  I don’t care for tight quilting lines.  I think they make the piece too stiff.  I removed 2 rows of quilting in each direction.

Much better.  You can still see where I removed quilting lines until it hits the washer.  Then the needle holes will disappear.

The table runner measures 49”x15”

Now that I’ve had that practice I am going to make them at full size for a Christmas quilt in the design I had planned to begin with.

My August calendar journal

Many, many awesomely fun days of sewing last month.

I forgot to cover the personal stuff...Mom is doing fine.

I have to write blog posts with Blog Touch to write them on my iPad.  The app crashes often while writing and adding photos.  Every time it crashes I have to edit the post and then it puts “(Temporary Backup)” in front of my post title.  It does that every time it crashes.  So if you see that, this is why you see it.  I have to edit the title in Blogger dashboard.  Jeezelouise, the hoops we have to jump through sometimes!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Paper Piecing Fun

I couldn’t seem to get enough of paper piecing with my Chillingsworth quilts.  So I kept on sewing neutral strips.

I have a love for grunge.  But sometimes I don’t like the design of the grunge.  Like on this table top.

I set out to cover it with the paper pieced strips and text sashing.

I love all those precise seams!

I don’t save my empty thread spools these days.  

SO much is plastic in this modern life.

(That is my portable design wall behind this little table)

This mat is very busy for this use and doesn’t make me love it.  At least not for this purpose.  But it will do until I decide on something else.

July’s calendar journal also is not a favorite to look at.  But there’s always next month for aesthetic improvement.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

He’s called Chillingsworth

I’ve had a tiny scrap of Chillingsworth on my small design board since finishing my last Halloween quilt last year.  Suddenly while sewing I felt I needed a handy tiny pin cushion.

His severed head was perfect for that!

The next waiting project I pulled from the stash drawers were two Chillingsworth panels.  They’ve been languishing for a couple of years while I collected more Halloween fabrics in anticipation of a clear idea of how to use this panel.

I knew I did not want a throw quilt.  But all plans kept leading to a quite large wall hanging also.  I spent 4 days looking through Pinterest for inspiration.  I finally came across 1” Scrappy Strips by Leila Gardunia.  They are paper piecing strips.  Now, I could have sat and drawn them myself, but for $10 I could just photocopy what I needed and get started sewing right now.

Anyone familiar with these Chillingsworth panels might notice that I cut down the sides of the panel.  I worried about doing that not being sure those top and bottom corner designs would look too odd.  It just had too much blank space around him for me.  So I cut anyway.  The corners don’t look odd to me.  OR if they do, they just add to the already oddity of Chillingsworth wearing only a top hat.

I started with this strip design but it looked too ... something.  I didn’t like it for a border for him.  So I chose the straight piecing design strip.

Here is where that awesome little plastic steam(less) roller became my best ever buddy.  It made pressing those hundreds of strips quick and easy.

The paper is so quick to pull off of these simple strips.

The trash is proof of the fun I had making these strips.

While I was making the borders I wondered how to quilt him without having to freemotion quilt around him and without having straight rows of quilting going through him.  So I drew my quilting lines.  (Forgot to take a photo).

I finish the back of my hanging quilts with strips to run a flat stick through.

Each of my kids will get one of these Chillingsworth guys.  I think the cream color one can be left out all year for creep-loving my kids.

Stash busting!  It’s so awesome to get some of these older purchases made into “things”. 

An early-ish Happy Halloween!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Purple Quilt

A purple quilt for a daughter-in-law that loves the color purple.

I don’t know if there is an official name for this quilt.  It begins as a disappearing 9 patch.

Then sashing is added between all the blocks.

So I call it a “floating” disappearing 9 patch.  It turns out the fabric I chose for the sashing/background is variegated or ombre, so not the best choice for a “floating” look.  

I had most of this quilt’s pieces cut 2 years ago, waiting to get sewn.

A couple of tools that I cannot live without in my sewing space.  The first one is old...the chalk liner.

This plastic steam roller (as I call it) is new for me.  But we became bestest friends right from the start.  It flattens seams better than an iron!  However have I sewn for so many years without this simple tool?!

What a great feeling to get purchases out of the drawers and under the needle and to completion.  All that is left is to pack it up and send it to a new home.
Finished size is 77.5”x62”

I continue to work on more of those projects that are sitting in the drawers waiting their turn to come out and be something.