Friday, January 28, 2022

Just. Keep. Sewing! / Beauties Pageant 160

Hello, my quilty friends! Im popping in today with big news: I finished my Gypsy Wife flimsy! 

I started this project as part of a guild quiltalong in 2018, picked it up again in 2019 when Stitched in Color hosted a comparable event, and finally finished it in October 2021 and January 2022. I have to credit Leannes WIPs-B-Gone campaign for giving me the kick in the pants to bring it back into the light of day. : )

I have some final thoughts on the process of sewing this pattern, including recommendations if youre consider making a Gypsy Wife yourself. Ill save them for a future post that features the finished quilt, though. For now, here are some pretty pictures of some of my favorite blocks. (More often than not, I find myself swooning over the simple filler blocks and not the more complicated focal blocks. Go figure.)

Previous posts about this project can be found here and here.




This quilt was my oldest WIP. It feels so good to have the flimsy finished before February. Confession time ... What is your oldest WIP, and does it appear on your to-do list for this year?

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Technique: How I Match Repeats / Beauties Pageant 159

 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I piece my backs. My tried-and-true technique for doing so involves using stash and scraps and avoids matching repeats. Period. (For the nitty-gritty on my “recipe” for piecing a back like that, see this post.)

However, sometimes an especially beautiful fabricoften with a large-scale designmerits the extra effort to match a repeat. My most recent experience in matching two fabric widths was my most successful to date. Heres the step-by-step process ...

1. Press both cuts of fabric well. For the record, I use an inexpensive iron and, as a regular course of action, do not use steam.

2. Determine where in the design to match up the repeat. Then fold one of the cuts of fabric along the length at that point, and press. The weave of fabricand as a result, the designtends to shift over time on a bolt. As a result, I let the design determine where I fold and press the fabric instead of, say, measuring from an edge to identify where to fold and press.

3. Lay the fabric on your ironing board. Im right-handed and find it easiest to place the unfolded cut on the surface first. Then I lay the folded cut on top and to the right.

4. Place a little glue along the bottom of the fold. Line the design up with the other cut of fabric, and set the glue with an iron. A washable school glue (in a bottle or a stick) will do the job. I find that gluing and pressing 6 inches at a time works well.

5. Open up the fabric up, keeping the right sides of the cuts together, and sew directly on the fold. You could sew an initial pass with a longer stitch, see whether you like the results, and then, if everything looks good, resew over that original line of stitches with a shorter stitch length. I, however, just sewed along the fold once with my standard stitch length.

6. Press the joined widths. In general, I prefer to press any seams, and especially those on a quilt back, open, but I find it easiest to press to one side in this situation. If youre patient and dont overdo the glue, you could carefully pry the seam open for pressing.


 7. Step back and admire your work! Any visible glue will disappear in the wash.

What is your approach to sewing pieced backs—do you match seams? Or do you avoid the issue altogether by using widebacks?! 

More From Bolt to Beauty techniques ...

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Friday, January 14, 2022

The Power of a Good Yarn-Dye / Beauties Pageant 158


Were already two weeks into the new year, and Im still wrapping up all things 2021! That includes blogging about my latest finish, this Quilt Buzz Bingo quilt.

Last summer, I joined the quiltalong for this project on a lark and, after developing and discarding various palettes, settled on these happy pinks and greens against a dark-blue background. (All the fabric details are listed here.)

I usually work with light backgrounds, but the blue I chosea Cirrus Solids yarn-dye from Cloud9 called Oceanwas crucial to the final product. When I had just the green and pink blocks on my design wall (see pic, below), the palette emitted a modern Christmas vibe, which was lovely but not my intention. The dark blue erased all evidence of Christmassy-ness and replaced it with what I call “preppy summer.” The blue evokes, for me, intimations of dark denim, and the pinks and greens are the soft, well-worn cottons of a button-down shirt.

This was the first time I used a Cirrus Solid. I had bought it for a different project that never got off the ground and was pleased to find it a home in this quilt. It’s hard to notice in pictures the difference a yarn-dye makes. You’ll have to trust me when I say that the texture is lovely and provides a subtle contrast to the quilting cottons. I think even my beloved Kona Cotton would fall flat here when compared to the Cirrus Solid.

Narda, of Maz Q’s Sewing and Quilting Studio, quilted a pantograph on this project for me. I love how the loops soften the rigid geometry of those chunky blocks. I always appreciate Narda’s contribution to my projects! 

Do you have any experience with yarn-dyes in general or Cirrus Solids in particular? I’m officially a convert and already have large cuts at the ready for future projects. : )

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The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter