Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Purple Daisies

It's been a long time since I finished it, but I never did get around to telling you about Purple Daisies!

First, let me tell you that I started with Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial (she of Oh, Fransson! fame) on Sew, Mama, Sew. Instead of creating templates from the design she provided, I purchased an inexpensive acrylic template, making for very fast cut-out time

Since I was home for Thanksgiving vacation, I got to use my mom's Bernina. That may have been the point that really pushed me over the edge to buying a new machine. Helga is a wonderful, trusty old girl and will keep sewing for many years to come, but I loved having the ability to move my needle to get a truly accurate seam and the needle down function helps so much!

Back on topic.

I took a few too many pics of the process of creating the plates and little else. You'll forgive me, won't you, especially since I edited down and made them into a mosaic instead of posting umpteen pics? It's just so excited to watch fabric pile up behind your needle.

Dresden plate process mosaic

If you've never sewn with a buddy before, I highly recommend it. You get to sew while your friend presses - the process goes so much faster that way! Of course, you really should switch after a while. It's only fair. My pressing buddy is generally allergic to cameras, but we managed to get a few pics of everyone while I was home. She may or may not have broken out in hives immediately following the photo session.

3 generations

Once I had enough blades to make a single plate, I pinned it to the curtain so I could reference it while finishing the rest. If I didn't want them all the same, it wouldn't have made a difference, but since I did, it really was helpful, especially late into the night when I ought to have been sleeping.

One plate down, 19 to go!

For the center circles, I traced around a CD with chalk directly on the fabric, loosely chopped around it, then used a stick of glue to temporarily attach muslin to the back. Really. A glue stick! There were a few of reasons: 1) I'm a bit lazy, 2) I hate to pin, and 3) glue holds better than pins and will wash out when you're done. It really did a fabulous job - I didn't get any puckers or jumps, it didn't gum up the needle, and as I turned my circles right side out, the glue released the fabric with only a little bit of strategic tugging and prodding with the turner tool. The lovely stack of centers looked like this before pressing:

Sneak Peek WIP 1Sneak Peek WIP 2

I had a lot of fun putting together the plates and not nearly enough time with my mother.

Back in my own sewing room, I pinned each plate to its sandwich, attaching and quilting all at the same time as Elizabeth suggested in her tutorial, though I may have done it that way, anyway, because, you may have heard, I'm a lazy cuss.

one plate, ready to go

Here's where my picture taking really fell off. I was so busy assembling the quilt that I didn't take many others, though I will verbally walk you through the process. Once I'd sewn down the plates, I attached the circles in the same manner, then laid all the blocks out so I could wrap my head around the next steps.

the layout

I pressed two edges of the backing so they would look like a finished edge (stay with me, here), then sewed the top fabrics only using a 1/4" seam. Once all the tops were joined, I made sure there was no overlap of the batting (which would create a bulge, otherwise), and lapped the pressed edges of the backing fabrics over the unpressed edges of the adjacent blocks. Several pins later, I top stitched from the back, not only because I'm lazy and I didn't want to hand stitch, but also because it would add extra quilting lines to make the finished blanket more stable.

Purple Daisies complete front

My friend loves it, just as I knew she would!

Purple Daisies complete

Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh, bother!

I spent a fair bit time yesterday evening pinning my curves for the Retro Flowers Quilt-along.  After an episode each of Glee, Bones, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I only had about 30 curves pinned and an empty pin cushion!

3 hours of work
Pinning curves takes a long time!

And, I don't know what the heck possessed me (just tired or didn't account for 12 curves per flower), but I most decidedly need to cut more background concave curves.

What's wrong with this picture?
Something isn't right, here...

This quilt is working out to be a bit more work than I envisioned, but I'm sure I'll love it, in the end.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I've been working a lot on a bunch of different things. I think I've been making progress, but don't have any finishes to show for it.

I've worked a bit on quilting Mondrian Dream. Here's a view from the back.

Mondrian Dream quilting WIP

Just wait until I get to the colored squares. You're going to love it!

I've gotten my pieces cut for the Retro Flowers Quilt-along.

RFQAL stacks

Tonight, I'll be pinning the heck outta some curves! Megan's helpful tips can be found on her blog, City Stitches.

Once I was done with cutting the pieces for the RFQAL, I got the bright idea in my head to use the scraps for a cathedral windows pillow! I had both the basic and pillow tutorials open from the SunFlower Seeds Cathedral Windows Sew-along (see the grey peeking out?), and managed to mung it up a bit by not cutting my white squares large enough! Oh, well. It will make a pretty pillow cover, nonetheless.

Cathedral Windows QAL

Yesterday, while I had a really bad headache, we sat around watching Hawaii Five-0 and Top Gear (the British version, of course). I thought it would be a great time to do my hand work on Around the World in a Day.

Around the World in a Day WIP

I only have 13 blocks left to quilt, then I'm finishing up the borders on my machine.

Of course, I also took breaks reading a bit of light fiction.

New book

Nothing like a semi-trashy novel now and again, amiright?

I also picked up Sunday Morning Quilts which was co-written by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts whose retreat I will be attending next month!

Another new book

I'm so excited. It will be my first ever retreat, so I'm really jazzed, plus I haven't been on a proper road trip in years. Wisconsin, here I come!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oh, boy.

Did you see what Jamie over at Sunflower Seeds posted today?
copyright Jamie Mueller
please visit her website for the fabulous tutorial
I told myself I wouldn't be starting a new project, especially with the RFQAL beginning, but she just took all the mystique out of cathedral windows and I've loved those beautiful bits since forever. Maybe this could be my next scrap killer???

Is there a 12-step program for these sorts of things?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My first QAL

Tomorrow is the beginning of an exciting quiltalong! Have you heard of the Retro Flowers pattern by Christina Lane of The Sometimes Crafter?

Retro Flowers Quilt

It's so pretty I couldn't resist.

I have picked out all my fabrics, bought my pattern, and am ready to get going tomorrow.

Palette for RFQAL

Now, let's just hope my headache is gone before then.