Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

ABC Polaroid finish

(ETA – I was just informed this is my 75th post)

Confession: I have been sitting on this post for months, not wanting to post it. It is, in small part, another reason for my hiatus this summer. Certainly not the main one, but whenever I sat to post and was faced with making this post, I was not encouraged to continue. I had such high expectations for this quilt. Up to the moment I sat to quilt it, I was certain it was going to be the best one for some time to come.

Basting

Basting

Then I quilted it.

And, as far as I am concerned, ruined the whole thing.

I still sent it, and still got many thank yous and cute pictures from my sister-in-law, but I know in my heart I ruined it. I am not even sure the pictures will be clear enough to show the issues.

I FMQd it. I tried to use a pattern I learned in the class I took in May. It wasn’t a huge quilt- I don’t remember the size but somewhere in the neighborhood of 42×48″- but the blocks were large. I had a lot of trouble navigating the entire block without stopping to readjust. And when I did, my needle would still take many stitches in place, making like a knot in the back.

Can you see the knotting?

Can you see the knotting?

My stitches didn’t meet, were wobbly and uneven, I broke my thread several times, I had to unpick a few mistakes, and at some point kind of just gritted my teeth and busted through it, unhappy as I was.

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Bobbin ran out on second to last block

It came out very wonky. I like wonky, but not so much in the quilting. It looks like a mess ,which is what it is, not like intentional wonkiness.

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Wonky quilting, a look at border quilting and binding

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Some more close ups of the quilting

Some more close ups of the quilting

The back, which I also loved up to this point

The back, which I also loved up to this point

A look at the quilting from the back

A look at the quilting from the back

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Backing and binding are from Mischief, which I got on 50% sale from Fat Quarter Shop, just as I was starting to look. Perfect timing and the perfect backing for an ABC quilt. Second time that has happened.

Here are some finish pictures

Here are some finish pictures

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Close up of blocks o-z

Close up of blocks o-z

close up of blocks a-l

close up of blocks a-l

My nephew

My nephew

Older brother nephew with his tumbler quilt

Older brother nephew with his tumbler quilt

That’s all I have to say about that.

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WIP Weds – Polaroid top

Stack of polaroid blocks

Stack of polaroid blocks

I completed my polaroid top.

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My backing fabric arrived just as I was assembling rows. I have decided to go with the cream for the back. I am even more glad that I used the off white instead of the white for the polaroid frames. I’ll save the green for the future.

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Once I completed the top, I was kind of stunned how small it was. I mean, I know it is a baby quilt, but I’d like it to last longer than his babyhood. I dithered for a while… I considered a border, but I really didn’t have enough backing to add a good sized border. In the end, I settled on a small border and I will be doing some piecing in the backing.

Completed top

Completed top

Here is a really bad picture of the completed top with the border. Also, our newly assembled playset! (Yay if you have followed my monthly to – do lists for the last 6 months!) I also meant to take up close shots of the pictures so that you could see the alphabet representation, but I forgot and we have had tons and tons of rain. Maybe once I am done.

I have had to set this aside now to focus on getting the things done that I need to have mailed out before we leave on our trip. My SIL is in labor as I type this. Oh well. I will finish it quickly when I get back and have these sent to the boys asap.

One of the things I am working on is my last mystery border block. I don’t feel bad showing a few spoiler pictures since this is going back to the owner this week anyway.

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Those are my first ever geese! I had started on these, then stumbled on the perfect fabric in the perfect color and design the next day. Ugh. I didn’t want to remake everything I had done – and didn’t have enough of the new fabric anyway (It was a fat quarter pack), so I am mixing a little of both in. I am still assembling the rows. But trying to get this done! I hope it turns out cute. I am excited for the reveals. It is neat just looking at my before and after pics, so I can’t wait to see the total evolution of all the blocks.

I can't get anything done -

I can’t get anything done –

I keep trying to tell him he isn’t big enough yet, but he is totally obsessed with (the buttons on) my sewing machine. He keeps unraveling my thread and changing my settings.

Donation #3

Donation #3

I got my hair cut this weekend! This is my third donation to locks of love. I hate my hair, so if it can make someone else happy then I am glad. My signature butt-length hair will be back before I know it, and I will do it again. That’s about two years growth there. It grows super fast, which is why I am never concerned no matter how many times the stylist asks if I am SURE I don’t care how short she cuts it. 🙂 At least this time I went to a real salon and attempted to have some sort of actual skillful cut done. It is cute. We will see how I like it. It sure takes less time to wash and brush now.

Linking to…

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Wip Wednesday: I love to take a phooooo to graph ~\.

So I have been working again. The new nephew is due any day now. I need to get his quilt done. I am going away soon. I need to get this quilt, my June mystery block and about 5 swaps done and mailed before I go! Wow. Don’t know if the quilt will make it. We’ll see. And I am going to try to get my machine in for servicing while I am away.

Originally, I was going to do a mini tumbler quilt to emulate big brother’s Tumbler quilt. But somewhere along the way I changed my mind. I wanted to use my ABC ispy swap blocks and there are only 26 of those… Not enough, especially for a mini tumbler. So I decided the polaroid quilt might be a good decision.

Some helpful tutorials if you are interested:

Well, I didn’t want to do the itty bitty polaroids that everyone did not too long ago. My swap blocks are 6.5″ and I wanted to use as much of it as possible. And, again, only 26 blocks. 🙂  So, I had to do some math and drawing and stuff. So, in case anyone is interested in making larger blocks, I will save you some trouble. Here is what I did:

I determined what size grid, quilt and blocks I wanted. I came up with 7.5″ blocks in a 5×6 grid making the quilt 35x42ish.
I spent some time trying to decide on paper piecing vs. chain piecing. I went with chain piecing, and I am glad. It is going very quickly.
I cut my 6.5″ prints into 5″ charms.
I cut white strips at 1 inch and 1.5 inches.
Then I sewed the 1 inch strips on the sides and trimmed them even.

White strip chain

White strip chain

Then I sewed 1 inch on the top, and 1.5 on the bottom. I trimmed the bottom to 1.25 and the top and sides to .75.

Polaroids!

Polaroids!

Then I cut the background fabric to 2.5 inches and sewed to the sides, trimmed, and top and bottom.

Chain sewing background

Chain sewing background

I made a 7.5″ paper template, tilted it, and trimmed around it. And that is my block.

Finished block

Finished block

Incidentally, this is similar to the twisted block I made for my son’s quilt, but was a much easier way of doing it. One of those smack your head, why didn’t I think of this myself sort of things. (And I altered the size of those blocks on my own as well.)  It does waste more fabric, though.

Once I finally got started, it was moving pretty quickly. I feel like I say that a lot. I guess I spend way too much time thinking and planning and then finally get around to it. This is where I’ve gotten hung up in the past, and I am learning to work through it. I would just think and think and never DO. And the more I thought, the more convinced I got that I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) do.

Where I am now.

Where I am now.

So, currently, I am halfway through adding the background strips to my polaroid blocks. Hopefully I will make it to sewing them together tomorrow. I ordered some of the mischief fabric that was half off on Fat Quarter Shop last week. They always seem to have the perfect sale on the perfect fabric when I need it for backing. I bought the City Streets backing for the kidlet’s quilt when she had that on sale, and I was just about to go shell out for it at my LQS. The mischief was just so perfect. The blue sold out while I was debating, so I ended up getting the cream and the green (I think. or brown) and some of the plaid for the binding. I think I’ll probably go with the cream for the baby’s quilt, but will choose when they get here. Then I can use the other for another quilt for my baby. Because, you know, I’ve never finished the first one anyway…. and he has totally been trying to steal the tumbler quilt. I’ve had to hide it. I really need to finish one for him. I am also debating embroidering the letters and/or name of objects onto the bottom strip of the polaroid.

I am pondering my mystery block for this month. I think it is the last one. Then my little pineapple will find its way back to me. We will do a reveal. I think I know what I am going to do, but it’s something I haven’t tried before… and I am still trying to figure out if I have (enough of) the right colors. I really hope so. I gotta stop spending…. (not just on fabric, but that isn’t helping…)

New chair

New chair

Here is my new sewing chair. Yay. This is care of my husband’s job’s discards. Don’t be too jealous – it is quite literally the least they could do. At least I don’t have to use a dining chair anymore.

I’ll be linking up to…

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