Friday, July 12, 2024

Back to Quilting Myself Again / Beauties Pageant 259

** I am away from my sewing machine right now but will return on July 26 with a new post! **

 My entry into quilt making was delayed by several years because I couldn’t get my brain around the actual quilting part of the process. I educated myself, reading many books and blogs about how other quilters tackled this task. (At this point, YouTube wasn’t the phenomenon it is now.) Still, the idea of guiding a big quilt sandwich through the tiny throat of my machine was intimidating, and I settled for dreaming about the day I would make a quilt.

Eventually, I did try my hand at quilting on my domestic and was quickly hooked. Quilting became the focus of my creative energy. And years after that, I discovered the joy of paying a longarmer to quilt projects for me!

I love the look of a panto on my projects. The quilting design is so perfect and precise, and by farming out the quilting, I make more time in my life for designing and sewing—my preferred parts of the quilt-making process.

Lately, however, I’ve been quilting projects myself again. In part, this results from the projects at hand, which have been suited to the quilting designs I can accomplish with a walking foot or with my rudimentary free-motion quilting skills. I also missed quilting. There’s something special about completing every part of making a quilt myself, and although I have plenty of projects slated for my longarmer, I am going to try to do more of the quilting myself, at least in the foreseeable future.


What you see in this post is the soon-to-be released pattern for newsletter subscribers. (It’s fast, easy, and a yardage buster!) As you can see from the pictures above, the project features many prints—so many that you wouldn’t be able to see a pantograph had I had this top longarmed. It was the perfect venue for me to try my hand at free-motion quilting straight(ish) lines and little stars. The picture below shows the quilting on part of the back.

Is my quilting perfect? Not even close! But the handmade look of the quilting adds to the charm of the whimsical fabric I used, and a trip through the washing machine and dryer will crinkle up this beauty, camouflaging many of the imperfections. I like it enough to do this design on another project!

Psst ... I am away next week and will be back with a finish(!) on July 26. : )

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, July 5, 2024

My Little Library / Beauties Pageant 258

Here is my first batch of volumes from the Summer Book Club QAL. Kate Basti organizes this event dedicated to her Tall Tales paper-piecing block every summer. After many years of admiring others’ burgeoning little libraries, I have finally started my own.

My approach is simple: I aim to use each focal print once in my quilt top and tie everything together with a consistent background fabric and text print. I have many blocks in various stages of assembly right now, and as you can see from the pictures in this post, I’ve sewn everything from giraffes and sharks to birds and turtles.


I may be just 10 or 11 blocks into this project, but I have already learned some lessons ...

I have many more novelty fabrics than I thought. It’s easy when plotting a new project to presume I need to buy more fabric. As it turns out, I have plenty of novelty fabrics perfect for these little books. I’m glad I took the time to organize my fabric and separate the fussy-cut-able novelties from the rest of my stash.

If I can sew one quilt, I can sew two. I’ve established that I have all the fabric I need, but the process of selecting prints and coordinating spines and back covers has proved to be a time commitment. So I decided to make two quilt tops. I mean, if I am going to take the time to curate one fabric-y library, I might as well sew a second. (This is my own special brand of complicating things.)

Chain piecing can cause problems. Chain piecing can speed up the process of sewing the same block over and over again. It can also expedite sewing the same block over and over again incorrectly. Despite referring to a self-drafted cheat sheet that specifies all the pieces (and sizes) I need for a block, I keep mixing up the little bit at the top of the spine with the outside corner of the back cover. Thanks to chain piecing, I did this not once but, like, a dozen times. Blerg.

Foundation paper piecing is a time commitment. When I first started making my blocks, I thought they were going to go pretty fast because their construction is straightforward. Still, paper piecing requires pressing and trimming again and again. It takes time, and sewing two quilt tops requires even more. I think I will sew all the focal prints I have selected and cut out already for both projects and then call it quits for the time being. My goal for the summer is not to complete two tops but to have fun on the journey toward that end.

If you’re sewing along with the Summer Book Club and have a finished block or two, I’d love to see them in this week’s linky!


Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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

Friday, June 28, 2024

Why Do Quilts Take So Long to Make? / Beauties Pageant 257

I am still surprised, some 11 years after finishing my first quilt, by how much time a quilt requires to make.

Why don’t I hit my step goal on certain days? Because quilts take so long to make! (And I get zero steps while sitting at my sewing machine.)

Why don’t I have an immaculate house/cook amazing meals/complete my other to-do lists? Because quilts take so long to make! (And clearly, I have questionable priorities.)

Why don’t I have anything to show this week? Because quilts take so long to make! (And all I have are a few partially pieced Tall Tale blocks that I didn’t bother to photograph.)

But who did cross the quilty finish line with a project recently? These Beauties Pageant participants ...

First up, is Lisa’s Pretty Birds (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman) ...

Then there is Nancy’s version of Amalie Supersized (pattern by GE Designs) ...

And finally, check out Kathleen’s version of Luminous Layers (pattern by MMM Quilts) ...

Looking at these lovelies gives me a thrill, because the next-best thing to celebrating my own finish, of course, is celebrating others’. Do you have finished block, quilt top, or finish this week? We want to see it. Post it to this week’s Beauties Pageant!

Follow Me On ...


 
* * *


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