Monday, November 24, 2008

English Paper Piecing

I have been working on the English paper piecing mystery quilt at CD Designs.  I was able to finish the first 5 steps easily within one week with time to spare. The first photo is steps 1 through 5 joined together.

A new step is posted every saturday. When step 6 was posted, I thought I would have plenty of time to complete it and didn't start working on it right away. Needless to say, it took longer to do this step than I expected and I didn't get it finished. Well, these things tend to "snowball" and now I am one step behind.

Here are the most recent pieces that I've done. The colors in this photo are more true to life. The six pieces are just laid out this way for the picture. Since this is a mystery, we won't know exactly how it all goes together until the end. Maybe I will be able to get caught up yet this week.

I haven't done anything more yet on the Rainbow Hearts baby quilt. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly to do for the actual quilting. I've had advice suggesting circular designs. I have no idea what would be good or if I would be able to accomplish something like that myself. I would be able to do a large all over stipple but I just doubt that would be the best design. I also could easily stitch in the ditch or do a 1/4" outline around the hearts. I just need to make a decision and then do it!

As for the binding, if I want to use the same fabric as the border, I'd need to cut the border down by 2" or I will not have enough of that fabric to do the binding. Since this was a pre-cut kit, I don't have any of the fabrics that were used within the quilt to use for the binding. **sigh** This was supposed to be an easy project! 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

OCD Finishing (or something like that)

Here's an update on my Rainbow Hearts baby quilt. I selected a fabric for the outside border and have sewn it on. Now I am waffling on whether I have made that border too wide, too overpowering or not. It is the same width as the blocks within the quilt but I'm wondering now if it should have been narrower. (Notice my slipper matches the border?? lol)

Here is photo of the same border folded back to look narrower. I know there are some kind of rules for borders, that they should reflect the size of components within the quilt or some such thing. I just want this to look balanced and not weird.

The binding is supposed to be the same batik as the inner border. Hopefully I won't stress out over that too IF I get that far. I also have a difficult time coming up with a plan for the actual quilting on things. I've heard so often that the quilting can make or break a quilt and I stress over doing it "wrong" and screwing it up. After all the time that goes into the piecing, I sure don't want to ruin it.

I do this to myself all too often. Perhaps that is why I stall at putting the borders onto otherwise completed quilt tops (unless there is a pattern that tells me exactly what to do) and also why I have a closet full of tops that have never been quilted. I know one option would be to send them to a longarmer to have it done. Then I stress that I may not like what they choose to do. If I knew what pattern or design would enhance the quilt, I'd rather do it myself. Maybe its a control thing... I would even like to do some by hand. I do have a few books of quilting designs. Again though, I stall at what designs to use and where. Many patterns don't help when they say "quilt as desired". Finishing a quilt should not be this hard or this stressful!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Winter Weather in Southern Alberta, Canada

Doot doot dooooo - lookin' out my back door! This is what I saw today. Wish I had something there more interesting to look at, but there is a reason for this picture. Many people think that, since I live in Alberta, Canada, we should be knee deep in snow by now. That is not the case as here in the South East corner of the province, our weather tends to be much milder than it is farther north or east. We have still to see any flakes fall here. We have been basking in glorious sunshine for the most part all fall. I'm going to keep posting a snapshot of the scene from my back door as the winter progresses so check in often!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catching Up

I have been working on the Rainbow Hearts baby quilt. This was an ebay purchase and I would have sent a complaint to the seller except that, her instructions clearly show that the block has the corner of the white square chopped off even though the picture of the finished quilt does not. I knew that I would not be happy with making it according to those directions and everyone who left comments on my previous post was in agreement with that.

First, I cut down all the white squares so that the corners would not be cut off in the finished block. The smaller triangles then fit perfectly but the large triangle was quite a bit oversized.

I sewed all the blocks and then cut them all down to the same size.

The instructions said to set the blocks 6 across and 9 down. That layout would have given a really long, skinny quilt especially now that my blocks were slightly smaller than the pattern intended. Since the kit actually had supplies enough for 60 blocks, I decided to lay it out with 7 blocks across and 8 down. After the supplied border was sewn on, the quilt is about 28 x 32 which I think is still a bit small. I think it could use another border. I'm going to go digging in my stash to see what I can come up with.

This does not seem like a lot to tell for almost 2 weeks... There was halloween of course and I had about 40 kids come to my door for treats. My two youngest grand-sons popped in for a quick visit as did my oldest grand-daughter and her friends. This grammie was not on the ball when the little ones were here and I didn't get a picture of them but I did get one of DGD with her friends. GD is dressed as Goth Raggedy Anne. My daughter always does such a great job of makeup for the kids! She also created the costume from an old prom dress and part of a bed sheet!! Talk about creativity! It was a beautiful day this year as it was warm enough that none of the kids needed extra coats or mittens etc. They all had a fun time of it.