Friday, February 27, 2015

FF: The Ranch Quilt. Finished.

Back in December, I finished a quilt top for my niece, E, who was expected end of December/early January. It sat, untouched, until a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to just get it done.

The quilting had completely stumped me. How would I quilt it? What color thread? I considered a purple variegated and a lavender before finally settling on a gray that matched the background fabric. I considered a boxy FMQ stipple of sorts, a triangular/pointy stipple of sorts, echo quilting, straight lines radiating from the center, diagonal lines, a grid...and then I finally just put the quilt under the needle and stitched horizontal lines across each long strip. It wasn't anything complicated, and I had originally intended to go back and make the vertical lines to make a grid, but when I finished with the horizontal, I decided it was fine just as it was.

The backing is a large cut of this purple stars print that I picked up at my LQS, with a strip of purple scraps along the back. The back is much more plum than the blue-y purples of the front, but I like the contrast. I do not, however, like the stars fabric, as it did not behave well with my sewing machine. As Agatha is a rather undiscerning machine when it comes to what fabric she will sew, I'm fairly confident this fabric is just evil. Sure, Agatha is pretty snobby when it comes to thread--Italian all the way, baby!--but I've never had a problem with fabric. Then, as I was handstitching the binding, I encountered a lot more needle resistance than I usually do. I felt like I was stitching binding onto a batik backing! So something about this particular fabric was whack, and I was exceedingly glad to have this quilt finished.

I handstitched down this purple heart to serve as a label, and I am excited that Baby E will have her quilt soon.

While it's not exactly an original motif nowadays, I took my inspiration from an old bedspread and drew up the design. The cutting was a bit of a process, and I had to be careful when I was piecing to make sure I was on the right row, but it was pretty simple to piece, and I imagine I'll make this one again.

Finally, it's on my FAL list--finish four of nine--and it's my second quilt finish of the year, woo!

I'm linking up with TGIFF hosted this week by Persimon Dreams.

Friday, February 20, 2015

FF: Gypsy Wife Quilt Top Done!

I feel like this post should alternatively be called OMG, I finished this freaking beast, let's have a party! Better yet, a fiesta. (Because that sounds even more exciting.)

My Gypsy Wife Quilt top is done. Finished. Finito. And NONE too soon. Made primarily of AnnaMaria Horner fabrics from her Dowry and True Colors lines, it was an act of love to get this bad boy to the flimsy state. (There are also a handful of solids, mostly Kona, some shot cottons, a few Juliana Horner prints, a C + S print from their basics line, some DS, and maybe a few others that I can't identify right now.)

This is maybe my favorite part of the entire quilt. I love this fussy cut rose nestled inside of pink polka dots with a bright mustard shot cotton border. Some of my favorite quilty business right there.

I also adore this block. Also fussy cut. Which leads me to believe I should have done more fussy cutting, but I needed to make sure I had enough fabric, so fussy cutting was a matter of coincidence and luck, not specific planning.

This is my least fave part of the quilt. One of the downsides to the construction is that you make a ton of scrappy blocks first. Then assemble ten sections, which theoretically yields a super scrappy quilt. I made sure to make my blocks super diverse and scrappy, but I still wound up with this corner of blue and green madness. The same navy fabric and the same green kona in all. three. blocks. But there is no way in all that is good and wonderful that I am remaking them. Nope. What's done is DONE.

Overall, though. I'm pleased with it. I wasn't sure during the final assembly, but my heart gets happy when I catch a glimpse of it, so that's a pretty good sign of love, right?

I'm planning to handquilt it with perl cotton, which is maybe a crazy idea, but yet, it seems the way to go with this quilt. Never mind that I've never handquilted something so large. Never mind that it will extend this quilt's production even further. Never mind that I might not know what I'm doing at all. Since I first saw the pattern, I envisioned AMH and handquilting. (And I'm not the only one! I'm trying not to let Nicole of Snips Snippets's AMH version totally intimidate me with its awesome handquilting.)

And when she's done, and I'm snuggled up underneath her on my couch--or more accurately, one of my kids has stolen it from me and is snuggled up watching Octonauts--it will probably all be worth it.


I'm linking up today with Shelley at The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts for TGIFF because OMG, I'm not sure I've ever had a finish for which I've been more thankful.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

GW Progress, Part 2.

I never did make it to the fabric store. Maybe this weekend? But my week was full of Gypsy Wife progress, and since I'm pretty sure I'll throw this quilt in a fire if I pause and think about working on something else, I'm trying to forge ahead.

In lieu of a design wall, I've been using my design floor, which I unfortunately share with my kidlets. More than one construction truck has driven over my WIP in the last few days.

See that short pink piece? I cut it an inch too long (as there was no measurement for it in the pattern and I was guessing) and of course I guessed wrong and OMG. It meant ripping out a bunch of seams, including some gorgeous partial seams. I'm trying to tell myself that it just means I got to practice partial seams so that I can be totally wicked awesome at them, but a small part of me was like, "Don't you make me do those again!" (Note, I should have referred to the errata that Jen Kingwell posted to see if she had the measurements posted, but I didn't. My bad.)

Auditioning fabric for more strips. I've been cutting and piecing in sets of 3-5 depending on what works best with the pattern. It seems to work for me. If you're familiar with the pattern, you might notice my substitute block. I didn't have a filler block for that piece, and I didn't think I could make one more square in a square, so I made my own. I don't like it as much. I wish I had just made a square in square. But I'm not fixing it. Nope. It's staying AS IS.

More strips.

And more. As my quilt has grown, it's gotten more difficult to keep my kids from touching it. All the more reason to hurry up and finish it! I'm a bit further along than this picture shows, and I've got fabric cut for my next five strips. I think I'm about halfway through? I waver between really liking it and worrying that I don't. I really think I'll have to see the full top before making that judgment. But that's not terribly uncommon for most of my projects, so hopefully this one will turn in my favor.

Dear GW Quilt, 
I will rock your face off. 
Love, Audrey

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gypsy Wife Progress

I'm slowly plugging away at my 2015 Q1 FAL list. Three of my nine goals are finished, and five are stalled because I need various fabric/thread/batting needs. I promised myself I would purchase those things this past weekend. (Oops.)

That leaves me with my Gypsy Wife quilt.

I have finished quite a big chunk of the blocks, but peeps familiar with the pattern will know that the final assembly of the blocks and the twelve kajillion little strips isn't something to take lightly. I will tell you though, I'm almost looking forward to the Y-seams and intricate piecing after the twelve kajillion square in square blocks and the measurements to 1/8"!

This block took four or five or twenty times longer that I felt it should. 16 HST units. It's not like HSTs are something I have never seen before, and yet...

This one also took a chunk of time, but that was to be expected. I think I counted 41 pieces of fabric in this 8.5" unfinished block?

And the filler blocks. OH, the filler blocks. If I'm counting correctly, I think I have three more big blocks left, and twelve more filler blocks. *sigh* And then I have to start cutting strips, and I have no idea what to do for that. I really really hope this quilt is as amazing as I had hoped. It will definitely be the most intricate (and scrappiest) quilt I've pieced.

I am 98% sure I will not finish this before the end of March, and I'm 98% sure I won't have my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt done either, but I am happy that I worked on both projects and pushed them farther along towards completion.

How is your FAL list coming along?


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