Friday, December 18, 2020

Elephant Caravan Quilt / Beauties Pageant 110

 
It’s been such a weird year, quilty friends, and I’ve been celebrating every accomplishment I can. Some days, that could be getting showered and dressed before I walk my son out to the school van. Other days, it’s having the emotional wherewithal to exercise even though I would rather not or to clean my house even though no one but my family will see it to appreciate it (and let’s face it: I live with three boys who will not appreciate it). Today my accomplishment is a finish that I’m calling Elephant Caravan.

 
It’s a simple design with good-size blocks, and I was thankful to find this design in my copy of Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters. The pattern, called Cub Crawl, was designed by John Q. Adams, aka Quilt Dad. (BTW: What happened to him? He seemed to fall off the face of the modern-quilting world a few years ago after writing multiple books and being an integral part of the Fat Quarterly team.)

I honestly don’t know what I would have sewn if I hadn’t stumbled upon this pattern. I had a bundle of Birch Organics fabrics to build this quilt around, and I wanted to feature the elephants without chopping them up too much. The long rectangular blocks were the perfect solution, and I easily fleshed out the fabric pull with other bits from the Birch bundle as well as solids and geometrics from my scraps and stash. Discerning eyes will see some of Zen Chic’s Comma collection and Bonnie and Camille’s Miss Kate line, all oldies but goodies. : )

I finished off the project with more Miss Kate on the back, simple diagonal quilting, and a Grunge binding with fabric left over from this project.


Have you finished a project this week? Share your triumphs—quilt related and otherwise!—in the linky and comments below. 
 
Before I sign off, I have a few housekeeping items to address ...
 
Next Beauties Pageant on January 8
 
Because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on the next two Fridays, I won’t be posting another Beauties Pageant until the first Friday in 2021. But save up those finishes—we will want to hear all about them on January 8!
 
$5 Patterns Through December 31
 
Both my Warm and Cool Coin Quilt and the expanded version of my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt are on sale for $5 each through the end of the year. It’s just my way of celebrating that we’ve made it to the end of 2020! Go to Quilt Pattern Mart to purchase. : )


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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

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Walking Foot Makes All the Difference / Beauties Pageant 109

As I sit down to write this post, I’m thinking there’s little left to say about my finish for this week. It’s my second Merrily quilt, featuring a fabric collection of the same name from Gingiber, and it’s almost identical to the original one I made earlier this year. (If you want more information about the pattern and fabrics and such, head to my July 31 post. And yes, Lark Cottons still has three of the panels in stock.)

The most noteworthy difference is the quilting. Merrily #1 was shipped off to a longarmer for a swirly quilting treatment with holly and berries. I quilted Merrily #2 myself, in a simple crosshatch. I really like it and—get this!—I really enjoyed quilting it with my new walking foot.

 

Now, I knew that my walking foot was worn down. I could see it in the quality of my quilting as I encountered more and more puckering. As a rule, whenever puckering happens, I decrease the pressure of my presser foot because too much pressure causes puckering, right? Yes, usually. I think that plan of attack was making the problem worse in this situation, however. My old walking foot had been used so much—and rendered so ineffective—that I probably should have been increasing the pressure, just to get the foot to move the quilt sandwich through my machine better.

A picture may best illustrate what I mean. The one below compares the two feet. The rubber bits on my old foot, on the right, were so worn that it’s amazing that I managed to quilt anything with it.

Do you quilt with a walking foot, and if you do, do you replace it regularly? I had been using my previous one for over five years. I’m going to keep track of how many projects I can quilt with it before replacing it again.

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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

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Guess Who at Needle and Foot

Need a little levity in your day? Head to Needle and Foot for a fun game of Guess Who!

Match your favorite quilt bloggers to pictures of their younger selves to have a little fun and perhaps win a prize!

Yours truly is included in the lineup. If you need a hint about which one is me, all I can say is that I’ve been rocking the fivehead since 1974. (Fivehead [noun], a large forehead.) HA!

Good luck!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Thimbleblossoms' Norway Quilt / Beauties Pageant 108

In November 2019, I did something scary: I counted my WIPs. After a spate of making decisions, pairing long-stashed fabrics with patterns, there were a lot. (Well, a lot for me.) And when all was said and done, a list of 21 WIPs was staring me down.

The good news is that just over a year later, only six projects remain on that list! One of those I’ve checked off recently is Thimbleblossoms’ Norway Quilt!

Big, Bold Blocks

I fell in love with this pattern, in part, because of its super-big blocks and the super-big impact they create. Each of these lovelies measures in at 26 inches square, bringing the quilt top to 78 inches square. 

For me, the tricky thing about sewing this pattern from stash is that each block requires a third of a yard of the focal fabric. (I checked the math, and quarter-yards or fat quarters won’t work.) Lucky for me, I had been collecting prints from Kate & Birdie’s Christmas collections in generous half-yard cuts or bigger. : )

The Fabric Selection

The fabric I had on hand dictated my decisions with Norway. Half-yards from K&B’s Winter’s Lane, Return to Winter’s Lane, and Winterberry were put to good use. I also employed some bigger cuts, like the pale blue pine branch fabric, also from K&B, which I used for those chunky crosses in the secondary pattern. The background is Kona Snow, because I buy it by the bolt. (Ha!) I picked up the almost-solid red and brown snowflake print at my local quilt shop to round out the palette.

My stashed cuts further determined the design of the back. Here, I featured a block that was demoted from the quilt top.

To top off this triumph of stash usage, I listed the K&B scraps on FeelGood Fibers, and they sold quickly.

The Quilting

I’ve spoiled myself since the pandemic hit: I’ve sent five projects out for longarming instead of tackling them myself. Doing so has helped me check WIPs off my quilty to-do list, but it’s come at a cost. Even though this beauty was large for my domestic to handle, I chose to quilt it myself to save money and get the finished quilt on my bed faster.

I began quilting parallel lines on the diagonal 3 inches apart. Because the quilt sandwich was so large and bulky, I started each line in the middle of the quilt and progressed outward. I buried a lot of threads with this approach, but it was worth it. I considered adding another set of quilting lines to make a cross-hatch but instead quilted a parallel line in between the original ones. (I sewed this second set of lines edge to edge, which worked well.) I’m pretty darn pleased with how it came out!


 
 
Now it’s your turn: Share your finishes in this week’s linky! BTW ... I owe a bunch of you replies from last week’s comments. They’re coming! If you don’t receive replies to comments you’ve left for me, you’re likely a no-reply blogger. In that case, drop me an email at frombolttobeauty [at] gmail [dot] com with your email address, and I can start replying!

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