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 Wednesday

It has taken me the entire day to get this post finished. I finished my tumbler quilt late last night. Confession: This is my first completed quilt of any substantial size. I have done small quilts, and quilted other items (bags and stuff) in the past, but not a full quilt.

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Doing the finishing touches has allowed me to appreciate how far I have come with piecing. The difficulties, challenges and mistakes of quilting and binding make me feel like a fraud in a way that piecing hasn’t for some time. I guess there is truth in the benefits of practice. I just need to practice more finishing I guess to get more comfortable.

A look at the quilting

A look at the quilting

With that said, I am still relatively pleased. This is to be a gift for my 7 year old nephew who will become a big brother this summer. When I get back home I will be kicking butt to make the baby’s as well, and then send them off. The finished quilt is approx. 45×66. I made it from 6.5″ charms from my “boys only” Ispy swap group, along with a few from other swaps from the same group. I quilted it with straight lines on either side of each seam using my walking foot on my machine.

more closeups

more closeups

oopsie when quilting. I sewed the excess back into the quilt line.

oopsie when quilting. I sewed the excess back into the quilt line.

quilting

quilting

Errors in the back

Errors in the back

This is my biggest problem I think. When I quilted the straight line seams, I caught ripples in the back. I did rip some out and redo them, but it kept happening. I finally gave up and left it. When I did the zig zag lines, I was very mindful and careful, and I think I only caught one ripple in all of those. It isn’t glaringly obvious in the finished quilt, but is noticeable.

I chose to bind in the same fabric as the back. Initially, I wasn’t sure I would even bind it while I am here, or if I would have enough backing fabric to do so. I had just enough, and decided the top and back were each busy enough that continuing the backing fabric into the binding made the most sense.

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I had a bit of a mishap sewing on the binding. It was all going well til I found I didn’t catch both sides in the seam in one part. Had to fix that.

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I did machine binding following this tutorial, which I have used in the past. My seam is a bit meandering, and you can see above the one place I did catch the top binding.

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This is the one spot in the back that I missed.

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But at least my corners look good!

I spent the day out side with my family today. Unsure where I will go from here. I think possibly my BBP backing, but I am making some decisions about the top (which was featured on freshly pieced!)  and may just take a couple days off. I still can’t stomach the ribbon border for some reason. =D

Linking to…

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Stash Bash, part 3

So after shopping fun and finishing up my bento, I moved on to the tumbler quilt I am making for my nephew. Now, if you want a project you can do in a few hours, this is the one for you! No lying.  I basically randomly ran tumblers through my machine and it went together very quickly. I just made sure I wasn’t putting two of the same color or theme next to each other, and made pairs, then fours and so on. An hour and a half or so later, and I had run out of tumblers. I hadn’t brought quite enough with me. So I had to stop.

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I have actually since finished this top:

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It is about 45×66.  I am desperately trying to come up with a backing for it so I can get it finished up asap.

My sister had gotten me my walking foot that I wanted for my birthday. So next I went looking for volunteers to teach me how to attach and use it. I don’t know why I was so intimidated by it. It did help a lot to have someone else show me how to attach it, but it isn’t that complicated. Or intimidating. So I made what was meant to be a mug rug, but is more like…. a mini quilt. Oops.

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quilting

quilting

I have still not bound this one… and I don’t have pictures of the back. But I was rather embarrassed by how easy this was to do. I’ve only ever done straight line quilting with a regular foot. I don’t have too many finishes, see… But I felt confident enough to move on to free motion. I was able to get the foot on without much difficulty, having learned the basics with the walking foot. I was also fortunate enough to be next to Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy and the Birmingham Crew. Elizabeth answered all my nervous questions and the others were great cheerleaders.  Here is that (much more appropriate sized) mug rug:

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FMQ was somewhat invigorating. It was terrifying, hard, fun and exciting all at the same time. You can actually see how I gained more control as I moved across the quilt. I also remembered part way through that I have a needle down on my machine, and that made it immensely easier. I am excited to go again… I’ve just been bogged down by many other things – sewing and non – and haven’t been able to try again. This is what retreats are perfect for, I think, though. I was able to try my first time supervised with others to show me, help me, and answer questions. I think now I will start having more finishes under my belt and less tops folded in my linen closet.

I have bound and completed this mug rug. Here are some action shots (again, forgot to show the back):

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I spent Sunday morning doing the cutting for my bloom bloom pow. I didn’t quite finish there, but have since finished cutting and assembling the strips. Apparently, 60 degree triangle rulers are hard to come by in stores (who knew?) and as I am headed out of town in a few days, I am holding off ordering one til I can have it delivered to me there.

Here are some pictures of my progress, both at and after the retreat:

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So, that was stash bash! Thanks so much to Chris for dreaming this up and hosting us all. I had a great time and met a lot of great people. I am very excited for next year!

Linking too…

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