Monday, January 16, 2012

A Day of Setbacks and Triumph

Yesterday was a roller coaster for quilting. 

First I organized the few extra pieces of fabric I've acquired recently into a 'stash'. It all fits quite neatly into a plastic sack at this point. Then I went back to the sewing room (basically the craft room, it's the only room we have a big table), and started working on a few things.

I've been planning to make an eight pointed star quilt, and have loads of pieces cut for it, though I'm not sure I did the greatest planning because the first 'test' block I got together was a mess:

This depressed me. I spent $50 on a whim fat eighth pack and started cutting away at it before I had any real idea of how to go about sewing the project. I am sure it is an easy enough fix, but it was downer number one of the night. 

Next up, I decided to make a notebook cover for the book I keep my quilting ideas in, and thought I'd use the tiny scraps left from the charm pack cuts I made for my Bow Tie Quilt. This was going well for awhile. I mean, how can you screw up when you're just sewing away tiny pieces and don't care what it looks like? 


I had strips and tiny rectangles to work with and decided to do side by side strips along the bottom, like a fence to give it a base, and have the blocks sewn above in random order, but in strips and staggered (how did this plan arise after establishing complete randomization? Ah well, I guess complete whimsy is beyond me) the time I was done, I found I didn't actually have enough to cover the entire front of the notebook, but if I had been more careful and less artistic with my cutting I would have been fine. 

By this time I am extremely frustrated. It took a long time to sew a bunch of little tiny insignificant scraps together, and it was supposed to be a fun quirky project to take my mind off the OTHER disaster of the night. Didn't work. So after taking a brief break (surfing the web, and discovering the magic of pintrest), I went back in to work on my Bow Tie Quilt. 

I hadn't much done on it besides most of the cutting, and I'd sewn a handful of blocks (5 or so). I hadn't worked on it in awhile, instead finishing my pink and black disappearing nine patch quilt top and basting it last week and into the weekend. 

(Better pictures of this quilt to come...I really like how it's turned out so far)

Slowly and cautiously I began sewing, double and triple checking everything before making a seam, because frankly, I couldn't take anymore disappointments in one day! To my great surprise, everything went together smoothly and rather easily. I didn't even mess up once on sewing the diagonal line on the 'tie' bits, even once I'd stopped tracing the line (I am very proud of myself for this). 

I am LOVING this quilt. I think it is my best quality, most difficult, most snuggly, and most fun to work on than any of the previous quilts I've worked on so far. The material is so soft and almost silky feeling. I'm using the Birchbark Lodge charm pack from moda with a Bella Solid layer cake in Moda U. 

The idea for this quilt literally just fell together in my head. I'd been looking through TONS of quilting books and browsing blocks online, and had seen the bow tie quilt block...though I wasn't particularly drawn to it. I saw this woodsy, outdoors collection of fabric and knew I had to have it (reminds me of our beautiful Rocky Mountains, I'm from Colorado y'all). I tried to think of something that would be a challenge, but wouldn't overwhelm me, that would work with an entire line of fabrics, and the image of this quilt just popped into my head. 

I was actually originally thinking of arranging the blocks into rings, since I'm using four charm packs, I thought I could do a whole ring with each fabric, like this:

but now that I have several blocks together, I played around with the design a little bit. I think I've decided on this pattern instead:

This way I will complete another of my short term quilting goals: a setting on point!

After getting a few blocks together of this quilt, I was feeling a lot more cheerful and a whole lot more relaxed. I'm making it to go on our new bed (our supposed new bed, we will be getting a new one once we move, sometime later this year). As I mentioned before, I am using four charm packs and a layer cake, so this is probably going to be a biggun'! I may do a zig-zag esque border using the bow ties as well. I still need to purchase a backing and probably binding material, though I want them to be different. 
I LOVE the patterns on the fabric, I'm partial to the warm tones :-)

Here is the stack I have completed so far

I'm not sure if yesterday was a lesson in patience and perseverance, or a sign that I should sit down and make more practical and concrete plans before jumping into something...probably both!

Happy Quilting Everyone!!

P.S. Sorry about the quality of the pictures. That will teach me to wait until dark!!

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