Hazel Hedgehog

Hazel Hedgehog – pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

Isn’t Hazel cute? Once finished, she will be adopted by my oldest daughter as her birthday gift this year.

The pattern was very well written with clear cutting & sewing instructions. The only method change that I made was using Doug Leko’s Simple Folded Corners ruler instead of the stitch-n-flip method.

It didn’t take that long to cut the corners off and I feel that my sewing was more accurate. The corners needed to be trimmed whether it was before or after stitching, so why not?

Once all 9 bodies were constructed, I auditioned the fabric for the spines. The requested colors were pink, purple and robin-egg blue.

The blue may be a tad bit darker than robin-egg, but I like how these fabrics play together. Are they sporting Mohawk haircuts here?

Much better – getting a trim.

Ta-Da – quilt top completed. Now you may be wondering about the one hedgehog wearing purple glasses. Ms Hazel with the glasses is in honor of a very special granddaughter.

Ms E is a fan of all things purple and is holding a purple carrot that she (with some help from her mother) grew this year. What a cutie! And I swear that I am not biased or anything.

Now it is time to get this quilt top on the frame. The top finished at 36″ x 39″, so I am hopeful that I can finish the machine quilting tomorrow.

Marlene

PS The template for the glasses was found on Elizabeth Hartman’s website.

Little Bit of This & A Little Bit of That

I didn’t make as much progress on my quilting projects in June as I had hoped. However small progress is better than no progress and perhaps I will do better in July.

The picture didn’t lie – Diamond Stars quilt top was 1/2″ wider through the middle. I am blaming those long skinny side triangles, however they have been pruned to the correct width. It is a subtle difference, but I felt it was worth the time to fix the issue.

The next project on the UFO list was Emerson’s Snail #2. Last year I made this wall-hanging for Emerson from her drawing.

I always intended to make a second wall-hanging for me and now is the time. Once I decided on the border, it was a quick piecing project. It will take longer to machine quilt the snail than it did to complete the quilt top.

I want this hanging on my wall sooner rather than later, so it is on my July to-do list right after two birthday quilts.

First up is Mini-Metro which is currently on the frame. It is being quilted with Baptist Fans and the most challenging part is not sewing the pockets shut.

Mini-Metro is a birthday gift for my brother and needs to be finished by the end of July. I am also working on a 39″ wall-hanging as a birthday gift for my eldest daughter. July is full of birthdays in our family and this year seems to be full of quilty gifts.

Marlene

Diamond Stars

Another UFO bites the dust! The first Diamond Star block was made in December 2018 and now it was time to make a quilt.

For the last week or so I have been piecing the other diamond blocks. They are easy to piece and so much fun watching them come together.

Five of the six diamonds completed with the orange star left to be pieced. The fabric on the right was auditioned for the background, but was rejected – too busy.

Instead I went with this light gray background with amazing texture. Since I was setting my diamonds totally different than the quilt pattern, I needed to draft a pattern for the background pieces. It actually wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. The two triangles are 1/2 diamond with seam allowance and the four corner pieces are full diamonds with one side extended to make a square corner.

Looking at the picture of the finished quilt top (46″ x 51 3/4″), it appears that the center bows out. I will need to check into that and make any adjustments needed.

The next UFO project is my wall-hanging of Emerson’s Snail. I have finished 8 UFOs this year, but there are still over 30 projects on the list. Isn’t that depressing? Just remember – the turtle won the race.

Happy quilting,

Marlene

Finishes for May 2020

Space Invaders and the Tea Towel Placemats are completed.

I wasn’t really planning on machine quilting Space Invaders this soon, however I had the perfect backing, a piece of batting the correct size and the dark gray thread on the machine.

Connecting Threads had their backing on sale a month or so ago, so this piece jumped in my cart and demanded to be the backing for Space Invaders. I think the name of it is Lava Lamps and it is perfect.

Up close you can see the dark gray thread on the black background, but when you step back it all blends in nicely.

I am very pleased with the two Tea Towel Placemats. The applique on the top placemat was made during the booth demo at the Quilting Expo last year while the bottom applique was created with an Edyta Sitar Accuquilt die. It was also a good project for me to practice Baptist Fans using the Westalee ruler.

What a wonderful finish to the month of May. Now it is time to decide what June’s goals will be.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Reign of Dragons

My goal over the Memorial Day weekend was to complete a project that required no decision making efforts from me. Most of my UFOs acquired that status due to the fact that they needed decisions made and I just wanted to sew. The obvious answer was a kit and the Dragons kit by Jason Yenter was the winner. At 76″ x 92″ this is a large quilt, but it contains panels with only 6 pieced blocks, I was confident that it could be completed in 3 days. Saturday evening most of the center was completed.

I don’t have a picture of the quilt top on Sunday night, however the center had been completed and the four border lengths had been cut. Monday afternoon the quilt top was completed.

I underestimated the amount of time it would take to sew the borders, but I am very pleased with the end result.

I read the pattern instructions regarding the mitered corners, read the border print mitered corners information from the Jinny Byer book and then did my own thing. The pattern directions did not match the print at the corners and Jinny Beyer said to match the print & cut the 45 degree angle. My way matched the print, marked the angle, sew, verify that all was correct and then cut. I was not committed until everything looked good.

This is the first time I have used digital print fabric. The pros are the amazing details of the dragons and the soft feel of the fabric. The con side for me is that the fabric panels did not lay as flat as printed panels. I wonder if there are any special considerations for machine quilting a digital print quilt top. That is something that I will need to check out.

Happy Quilting,

Marlene

Oriental Cranes

Oriental Cranes was completed earlier this week and I am happy with the finished quilt. The quilt top was pieced in 2011 and has patiently waited for 9 years to be quilted.

It is a bit difficult to see, but the panto-graph Sensu that I used is a clam shell with a flower – lotus blossom?- inside. To me it has an Oriental feel, so I will probably use it on other Oriental quilt tops.

Sensu by Urban Elementz

I also machine quilted with the same medium gray thread that I used on Shortline. It does a great job of blending in with all the fabric colors.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend,

Marlene

MQ Marathon

Shortline is now a completed quilt. There wasn’t enough of the black spiderweb fabric for the binding, so I went with the green. Isn’t that little pop of color along the edge fun?

Since this had been a quilt sandwich for over a year, I am calling it a completed UFO and off of my list – which is still way too long.

I picked a medium dark gray thread and the panto-graph Along Came a Spider. As evident from the name, the panto-graph had spiders & spiderwebs on it and was the most challenging panto-graph I have done to date.

Along Came a Spider - Petite - Pantograph
Along Came a Spider by Urban Elementz

As soon as Shortline came off the frame, I loaded up Oriental Cranes. Even with all the cream background & flowers, I quilted with the same medium dark gray thread that I used with Shortline.

Oriental Cranes came off the frame a week ago Saturday and Space Invaders was loaded the next day.

And yes, I used the same thread – medium dark gray – as the two previous quilts. The machine quilting on Space Invaders was finished last Thursday and Friday I quilted two placemats.

Whew! Now I need to take a break, put my feet up and get all that binding stitched down. The purchase of the Simply Sixteen was a good investment for me and I am enjoying the machine quilting to move these tops to completed quilts.

Have a good week and happy quilting,

Marlene

Victory – Space Invaders Conquered

For such an simple pattern, Space Invaders quilt top took a lot of perseverance, unsewing/resewing and stubbornness to complete.

The last picture of Space Invaders looked like a bomb was detonated on the black rectangles.

And the quilt top looked a lot worse before things improved, but it was worth it. The center looks so much better with the focus fabric replacing the solid black rectangles.

Once that was completed it was decision time regarding the borders. The pattern called for 5″ borders which required careful cutting since the focus fabric is directional.

However the more that I looked at the borders, the more unhappy I was. The Space Invaders characters printed on the fabric were too small for such a wide border, so the first decision was to trim the border down to 3 1/2″.

Better – the next challenge was what to do with the side borders. Since I started with 1 yard of the Space Invaders fabric, I knew that there would need to be alternate blocks to achieve the length needed.

Nope, blocks with random colors wasn’t going to work – what is Plan C or is it Plan D now? Okay, 3″ finished alternate blocks on one color with 3″ focus fabric squares. Since there is only one strip of yellow in the center, maybe it would look good with yellow alternate blocks.

That isn’t what I wanted. The yellow alternate blocks are yelling “Look at me! Look at me!” instead on complimenting the center. The dark turquoise squares, however, receive an A+ for playing well with others.

And ta-da!

The Space Invaders may have won a few skirmishes, but I won the war. Right now all I feel as I look at this top is frustration, tired of all the decisions necessary and relief that it is finished. In a couple of months or years I will know if I am really happy with the final result. For now, done is good.

Why is it that some quilting projects are a battlefield from start to finish and some flow so smoothly that you are sad when they are completed?

This marks another UFO off the list – YEAH! – and time for something different. I wonder what that project will be. Hmmm

Happy quilting and stay healthy,

Marlene

Sewing Room Updates

Two non-quilting project – fabric weights and crocheted ric-rac – have enn made.

The fabric weights ( https://weallsew.com/fabric-weight-tutorial/ ) were a quick and easy sewing project once I figured out the fusible interfacing issue. All I have is sew-in interfacing and this project was a use-what-I-already-have project. My solution was to use a glue stick to adhere the sew-in interfacing to the fabric and it worked. The tags were cut from the ribbon around a Moda jelly roll. Isn’t it fun to do something different once in a while?

At the bottom of the picture is a length of crocheted ric-rac. The directions can be found here: https://foxslane.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-crochet-ric-rac.html I don’t have any idea what I am going to do with the ric-rac, but it was relaxing to crochet in the evenings.

My current UFO project is Space Invaders. This quilt project had been packed up in October 2019 because I was unhappy with the color choices. The solid black was too predictable & boring and the focus fabric had a small print that wasn’t playing well with the center. Frankly I just didn’t want to take the time to unstitch all those dang rectangles.

Well, now it is time to get this quilt top finished. Here is my progress so far.

I like it – the focus fabric brightens up the quilt top and is worth the time of unsewing and resewing. The border may be a bit of a challenge since there was only a yard or so of the focus fabric, but I will worry about that when I get there.

So the Simply Sixteen didn’t get lonely, I loaded a quilt onto the frame. The panto-graph is spiders and webs which is the most detailed panto-graph I have attempted to date.

To keep on track, I made a list of 12 goals for May. I have three vacation days in May and the list is divided between quick items and more time intensive items. Finishing the Space Invaders quilt top and machine quilting ShortLine are the top two goals, so I am off to a good start.

Marlene

Blue Onion

Since I have several works-in-progress that has stalled due to different reasons, so I decided to pull out a project that would be fast, fun and no thinking involved. Does such a quilting project truly exist?

The first challenge was choosing the fabric. The pattern calls for 3/8 yard of 12 different prints which means no raiding of the fat quarter stash. A shopping trip to the local quilt store (the end of January) produced 7 of the 12 and I was able to cull the remaing 5 from my yardage.

The next step was to cut out rectangles and organize them into 6 stacks of 6 different fabrics.

Using the Ovals All Ways by Creative Grid, the curved pieces for each block was cut. Each block contains 5 pieces with 4 seams, so the piecing went smoothly.

Remember my comment about no thinking involved – well that part of the plan hit a brick wall. After sewing the below block, I had second and third thoughts about including the turquoise polka-dots on white background fabric in this quilt.

After careful consideration, thinking through all my options and a headache, I decided to finish the quilt top without fabric changes.

The Blue Onion quilt top (50″ x 70″) was completed today and I have to admit that I am glad that I left the polka-dots in. To me they add a lot of playfulness and energy to the quilt.

This weekend was very productive in the sewing department. Besides Blue Onion, I also sewed two tablecloths and one pink pillowcase. The last time my youngest granddaughter visited me, she told me that the pillow in the playroom should really be pink.

Happy Quilting and Stay Healthy

Marlene