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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Pagentry Quilt

     This quilt is finally finished!  I began this project in September 2013, when I saw a quilt on a blog.  I printed out a picture for inspiration, and now cannot find the link I saved to give credit where credit is due.  If I find it later, I'll link it up.   I was trying to use up scraps (a never-ending project) and was taken by this design.
      I figured out some dimensions. I wanted 9-inch finished blocks with the white stripping to be 2 inches finished.  I looked through my scraps for pieces that were at least 7 1/2 inches long.    I put on scrap in between two matching scraps, and didn't worry about getting those dimensions exact at all.  The outside pieces were roughly the same. 
Laying out the fabric choices
More fabric choices
The three piece blocks before trimming to size.
 
Adding the white strips - on on the side, one on the bottom.

Trimming the blocks, and having some coffee, too!
I used my floor to lay out the blocks, and then sewed them together. 
      I was done with the top in October, and then I put it away while I worked on some other projects. I did make a backing and pinned it together, but I wasn't totally crazy about it, and got excited about some other projects, so it sat for some time all pinned and ready to go.
      If I hadn't already pinned it with the backing and batting, it would still be in a pile of unfinished projects.  But, it was taking up too much space, so I decided to use it as a sampler for new quilting patterns.
     I decided to try pebbles for all of the white strips. It ended up being fairly dense quilting.       
A section showing the pebble quilting before washing and drying.

Here is the same pebble section after washing and drying.

       I decided to try a different quilting pattern in each colorful block, and tried to match the density of the pebble quilting.    This took alot of time and alot of thread.  I started with 8 bobbins of white, and easily used 18.   
       I have several projects underway that I was much more excited about than this one, and the time this was taking to finish was pretty aggravating.  I ended up doing a block at a time, and then ended up quilting while watching the World Cup and seasons 1 and 2 of 30 Rock on Netflix. 
       In the end, some of the patterns I tried were awful, but there were a number that I quite like and will use again on other quilts, although perhaps not so densely.   
Big fairly uniform loops. This looks happy to me, and also went quickly.
Dense leaves.  I love how this looks.  It is very dense, and took quite a bit of time and effort, but I will certainly use it again on a special project.
 
Flame stitches.  I also liked this pattern quite a bit.  It shows up much better on the red than the floral.
 
Interlocking curves.  I think this has some charm, and I would be a bit more careful with the size of the loops.
Not sure what to call this, but I like it.
      I pieced the back out of two large pieces of green floral fabric.   I had leftover binding from other projects, and used two different red bindings to finish it off.  This was the first quilt I have sewn the binding on totally by machine.  It did make it finish up quickly. 
     Once the quilt was finished, and held up by my trusty quilt holder, I liked it better than I had during the construction.  It now reminds me of all the flags and colors from the World Cup, and so I think of it as a pagentry quilt.  The finished quilt is 54 x 63 inches.


Chester giving the quilt his seal of approval!
     Now that this quilt is finally finished, I can move on to a few more projects.  Among other ideas,  I have a triangle quilt top ready to pin together and quilt, a civil war reproduction scrap spider web quilt being pieced and a homespun rag quilt that I am going to try using a plus pattern.  
 
Enjoy your summer!
 
Take care,
Gretchen
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mini Quilt /Trumpet Mat

The mini quilt trumpet pad
     My son, a musician, was recently home for a brief visit. I am always thrilled to see him, and hear him play, but I am not so enthusiastic about the brass (spitty) instruments all over the furniture.  

Trumpet explosion!
Earlier this year, I made him a pair of table runners to use at the reception of his senior recital.    
The table runner in use at home.
     I had sewn together too many strip sets for the table runners, but knew I'd use them eventually.  I only had a day to work on this project, so it was quick, and simple.
The left over fabric strips, ready to cut on an angle!
     I cut the piece fabric into 5 inch wide strips on a 60 degree angle, and sewed them together in a quick chevron pattern.  The matching was not very precise.  
I am not sure where I went wrong on some of the matching.  The fabric stretches a bit cut on an angle like that. 

I finished it with a plain black Kona cotton border, about 4 inches wide.

     I pinned it up using a flannel as the backing.  I ended up quilting in black thread down the middle of each chevron strip on top, with a grey thread on the back.
 

The wacky flannel backing!
     I had purchased what little was left of this turquoise and brown pirate deer head flannel fabric on super clearance at Joanne Fabrics, wondering what I would ever do with it, but unable to resist it.  This was the perfect little project! 
     Voila! a quick mat to protect the trumpets, and the furniture.    I was glad to have a quick project to make from start to finish.  I have three works in progress, and hope to finish up one of them soon! 
 
Enjoy the summer!
 
Take care,
Gretchen