Thursday, March 31, 2016

FF: Frozen Watermelon, Part 1

I basted my Frozen Watermelon quilt top a little over a week ago, and I made quick process finishing that puppy off. (This makes complete sense now that it is warming up and the flowers are blooming, right???)

I was assisted in my quilting efforts by Boy #3. He had lots of fun trying to pull on the quilt. It was SUPER FUN.

You can see better in the photo below, but I used a hot pink thread. I wanted this quilt to use all my hot pink skillz.

For binding, I used a green and white stripe from my grandma's fabric stash. I also used fabric from her stash for the back. I love this stripe, and I'm pretty excited I have more of it. It seemed like such a fitting way to tie off this quilt.

The quilting zoomed by, and I was so excited to throw this quilt in the wash. AND THEN. Oh, friends. I am seemingly having some bad quilting luck lately. This is the second quilt IN A ROW that I've experienced trouble during the first wash. My Daddy's quilt had dye stains, and now this? UGH. The seam appears to have frayed.

Thanks to the lovely IG community, I had several recommendations for how to fix this baby. I tried fray check, then discreetly fixing the seam, but I couldn't find a way to make it look perfecto. So, I opted for a heart-shaped bit of applique. After finishing the applique, I crossed my fingers and washed the quilt a second time. This time, everything looked perfect! Though I will admit to being nervous when I first pulled it out of the dryer.

I'll have more photos of the actual finish tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Beacon Pattern Blog Hop!

Hey All! Thanks for joining me for my stop on the Beacon blog hop! I was fortunate enough to pattern test this fun quilt pattern from Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl. If you haven't seen her version of Beacon, I suggest checking the intro post out, and there will be more blog hop fun this week!

March 21: Beacon Pattern Release with Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
March 22: Baby Size Version of Beacon with Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts (me!)
March 23: Lap Size Version of Beacon with Judy of Quilt Paradigm
March 24: Queen Size Version of Beacon with Renee of Quilts of a Feather
March 25: More Beacon Awesomeness at Quilting Jetgirl and Sew Mama Sew!

Beacon offers quilters three different size options (baby, lap, and queen) and I opted to make the baby size version of Beacon because I have a dear friend who recently gave birth to her first baby. She's an eclectic, fun person, and I didn't want to make her something traditional or that screamed "baby!" When I saw this pattern, I knew it would be perfect.

In the pattern, Yvonne takes time to explain her process behind the quilt and its name and suggests that the quilter really spend time thinking about the quilt and its recipient. She provides a worksheet, and I really enjoyed considering what this quilt meant to me and what it could mean for my friend and her son. That was a new experience for me, one that I will use on future projects.

For my fabric, I started by choosing this Kaffe Fassett shot cotton (Viridian). I opted for a white shot cotton because I knew it would stand out against the vivid green (Kaffe Fassett again, this time in Ice). I utilized a large scale floral print that I've had in stash for ages for my beacon fabric. The green in it matched the green of my shot cotton, and I loved the bright touch that the red and pink flowers added to the mix. I had planned to bind the quilt in the green, then changed my mind and opted for the white instead. For the back, I used a gorgeous print from Anna Maria Horner's Fibs and Fables line.

I spent a long time considering the quilting plan. I wasn't sure how I best wanted to highlight the fun angles and bold contrast of the front. I decided on a spiky meander, partly because I love the way it looks, but also because it gives the quilt an amazing drape and feel. Since this is for a baby, I wanted it to be plenty snuggly.

Yvonne has ranked Beacon as an intermediate level project. The simplicity of the design might be deceiving, but lining up those angles to perfection took some careful work. But if that sounds intimidating, never fear! Yvonne provides lots of tips and ideas for how to make seams line up successfully, so don't let that stop you. I will say that if I could go back and do it again, I would use starch, which I use rarely.

I'm a huge fan of Yvonne's work, and there's a reason: her patterns are well written with loads of diagrams, pictures, and instruction. I found everything in this pattern to be extremely clear and easy to follow. Best of all, I had a lot of fun putting this quilt together! The piecing engaged me in a way that few other projects have, and I enjoyed exploring that.

Beacon is available now for a special price of $7 through April 3rd in both Quilting Jetgirl's Craftsy and Etsy stores.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March Stuff.

Friends, my time at the sewing machine has been extremely limited of late. Combine that with a secret sewing project I've been working on behind the scenes (full pics next week!), I have little to show for March.

Pixie basket from hoarded Lizzie House scraps.

March Stash Bee Block for Jane. I felt almost like I was playing with paper dolls as I was picking out my cowboy's outfit. (As you can see, he has NOT been wearing sunscreen.)

First knits ever project. It was stressful, but this is now the most comfortable shirt I own. The top collar is a little wonky, but the fabric felt tissue paper thin, and I'm just happy I turned out something wearable. Next time, use a thicker knit, Audrey!

I'll be back next week with my fun reveal. Until then, I hope y'all are well!


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