September 16, 2013

A Finish!

Hooray!  My Star Surround is finished!

The Star Surround was made during a wonderful quiltalong hosted by Melissa at Happy Quilting .  Melissa had such great instructions, it was an easy way to make a quilt. 

To see the parade of all the lovely finished quilts, go here.  It's fun to see how the different fabrics and different sized blocks change the way the design looks. 

This isn't perfect, but I actually managed to quilt it myself, despite an angry shoulder.  Luckily the baby isn't a quilter (yet) so she probably won't notice the rough spots and longer stitches.   
One thing I did learn (note to self), is if you make a two sided quilt, you have to have a design that works on both sides, and unless you can line the two sides up perfectly, you shouldn't plan on using straight lines or things that follow the blocks of the one side if the quilting won't look right on the other side. 
This swirly quilt design solved the problem and worked great for both sides. 

Also, if you choose a thread that won't show much, you shouldn't be surprised to find you can't see where you are at when you are quilting and lose track!  (This is Aurifil 50 wt.)

Another thing I learned is that when you use a batting that shrinks a bunch, it might be a good idea to wash the quilt after it is quilted, but before sewing the binding on.  The batt I used was Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon cotton, which I used to use years ago, but I don't remember that much shrinkage (or having to quilt as close as every 2 inches).

My quilt now has little waves in the binding area that weren't there before I washed it, and the shrinking was significant (it now measures 44 1/2", but it started out  at a finished 48" (in theory only since I didn't measure but it was close to that.)  I do like the old fashioned crinkled look the batting gave the quilt, though.

Putting the binding on by machine worked pretty slick.  After I stitched it on the first side, I used Elmer's School Glue to glue the other side in place then stitched it (hoping for the best) and except for one area, (and another I just noticed) it was perfect--well, good enough, and done beats perfect!

Now I just need the baby's name to make a label. 

I think this is the earliest I've ever finished a gift--the baby isn't even due until November.  Boy, it sure feels good to have finally finished something!  And thanks again, Melissa, for hosting such a lovely quiltalong!

Happy Stitching!

September 02, 2013

A different finish...

My Star Surround top should be finished by now.  It only lacks one final seam.  But my usual procrastination happened on the way to the finish. 

I thought I would work ahead and get the back ready.  I didn't have enough of the fabric I bought specifically for the back (and the mother-to-be).  So after much calculating, I figured out a way to piece it with minimum effort and keeping all the little people heads upright.  So, I grabbed the cutter and....cut the wrong fabric.  Whoops!  Definitely did not have enough fabric now.  What to do? Well make another Star Surround, of course. 

Now I have one Star Surround finished--just not the one I've been working on.  All little heads properly upright too.


I think I'll use it for the back of my original Star Surround--when I finally sew that last seam.  An unintended reversible quilt.  I hope it will line up okay for quilting, and not be too odd when it's finished if I get things off centered a bit.  (The colors look better in real life--we've a drab day here.)


I also finished one more Flower Garden block.  With a little luck, someday I might just finish all the flowers.  I wonder how many more years it might take to finish the four borders....


And lucky me--I won a book!  Can hardly wait to put it to use on another new project! :) It looks like grand fun for making leaf shapes and especially the borders. 

Many thanks to Kathleen who blogs at Kathleen Murphy Designs (and who makes spectacular quilts that I often drool over with envy and admiration). 

The book uses the Leaves Galore Template.  Do any of you own these templates?  Which size would be best to get?  Or does it depend on the project?  Guess I better read the book first. :)

Happy Stitching!