February 11, 2013

Building "Block" Fun

When you realize your sewing room is jam packed with close to a million unfinished projects, you catch the flu, feel thoroughly depressed, and have lost your quilting mojo, what do you do?
You start something new, of course!  Something low stress and colorful and just for fun! 
Pinned Image
  In January, I decided as a personal pick-me-up I'd make a “quick” little project, and sew a baby quilt for a neighbor's first grandbaby.  
I had previously purchased the pattern, Building Fun, from Geta who blogs at Geta's Quilt Studio.  Bright and cheerful, it was the perfect project!   (I borrowed this photo from Pinterest--my pattern copy is a bit mutilated)
The instructions were clear, the blocks went together easily, and it was fun picking the fabrics for each block.  I decided to use only fabric from stash, and finally used a few pieces by Keiko Goko that I have been hoarding.  I chose black/white polka dots for the border, but I think it would have been fun to use a bit smaller polka dot for the backgrounds (didn't think of that until it was done).
The pattern calls for machine appliqué of the circles/centers, but I didn’t want to worry about colors showing through the white, so I sewed them using reverse appliqué, which worked really well.   I’d definitely recommend the pattern. (and I'm not connected in any way)

Even though the pattern went together well, the backing proved to be a challenge for my stash.  The top was too large for one width of the fabric to cover it.  Every piece of baby suitable fabric that I had was either too small, the wrong colors, or directional so it couldn’t be turned sideways.  Very irritating!  If I’d been thinking, I would have bought some Minkie and been done. 

But instead, since I had leftover strips from the blocks and leftover triangles from piecing the buildings, I decided I would piece of few of the fabrics together for a back.  Simple, right?  Ummm, NO.

The back was going fine until I measured and cut everything the wrong length--way, WAY short.  I had been going to run the piecing up and down, but that wasn't going to work with the short pieces.  So a new design and more piecing was necessary.  And more unpicking. 
I didn’t think to take photos during the process, but it’s a good thing you couldn’t hear what I said when I realized that I had cut everything too short.  Here’s what I finally ended up with:
The little bear fabric in the center is about 20+ years old, so it's nice to finally use some of it.  I like the way it eventually turned out, but when I look at it, it says “girl” to me--just too much pink.  And, the neighbor’s baby is going to be a boy.   After I thought about it awhile, I decided that my neighbor's grandbaby is going to absolutely love to read—books make good baby gifts, right? 
And feeling guilty for starting something new, (and on a roll piecing backs), I pulled out one of my many UFO tops (French General Reine des Abeilles), and started piecing a back for it with a few of the leftover hexagons.  (I needed something to join the two widths of fabric for the back.) 
(And here's where I have to admit that while these hexagons were up on the design wall, I started ANOTHER quilt right over them.  More on this one in the next post!)

I did manage to finally finish the French General hexagon back last night, and it's all bundled up with the quilt, ready to go to the quilter.  (And, yes, I forgot to photograph it, so you'll just have to wait for the big finish--which could be awhile, but at least progress has been made!)

And last post, I showed photos of the great snow we got two weeks ago, when our world looked like this:

Now this is all that is left of the snowman family.
So if you're on the east coast of the USA, don't despair--a bit warmer weather is heading your way!
Happy Stitching!


Julierose said...

Your baby quilt is so cute--love those colorways...it is raining here on the SE CT coast but FREEZING on contact over the 24" of snow on the ground. UGH! Julierose

LynCC said...

Don't you just love watching what Geta comes up with? :) Fun blocks quilt!!

Shirley said...

Wow Donna, I don't think your mojo actually left you it was just having a little rest. You have certainly given it a good testing. I am sure the baby quilt will be well loved and more eye candy for us to view.

Debra said...

Your baby quilt turned out lovely I'm sure the baby would love it. I don't think it looked too pink just bright and happy. The backing looks like it must have taken as long to make as the top? Nice to see someone else who doesn't let lots of wip stop a new project from starting:)

Geta Grama said...

I love your fabric choice, Donna. I can't believe you spent so much time piecing the backing - there are 2 quilts in 1!