Sunday, February 1, 2015

Finger Lakes

If you are familiar with quilting and quilting-related blogging, then you are also familiar with "Friday Finish". You work diligently on a project the entire week and on Friday, you have a "finish" to share and discuss. YAY!!!

I, on the other hand, never finish anything on a Friday. I finish my work week and my timesheet, but no quilting project ever gets finished on a Friday. Since I work Monday-Friday (UGH!!!), I finish projects on the weekend. Everything exciting in my life happens on weekends.

So here is a glimpse of my exciting weekend - Finger Lakes.

Several months ago, I came across a super-simple pattern from Elizabeth Hartman, called Charm Squares Quilt Redux. It is perfect for a baby shower (that I happen to have several around me).

I did not have to buy any fabrics for this. I had scraps, waiting their turn patiently, to become something.

I've got scraps and you've got scraps
Let's get together and use those scraps.
Let's go....

So, I decided to try out this pattern with  my scraps.  These were the original fabrics - blue green and turquoise. Scraps but still color-coordinated.

The pattern is simple - alternate squares and rectangles and stitch into columns. Add white strips to separate the columns. And you have a quilt top in no time.

I used my favorite Warm & Natural Batting and this cute fabric for the backing. I bought a bolt of this fabric (Good Thinking!) and it has come in handy for all the baby quilts that I make for all the baby showers around me. 

Although the pattern came together effortlessly, I cannot say the same for quilting. It has to be the commonest question - how do I quilt this? Of course, I could just stitch straight lines and be done but where is the fun int hat?

Let us add some gentle curves (that is Jacquie Gering's voice in my head). I quilted the white strips first.   As I was gently moving the quilt sandwich to create the curves, I was thinking - what shall I name this quilt? 
I remember seeing a quilt with a similar pattern and it was called Sea Glass. Did not want to use that name. The column of blue green colors are like fingers (somewhat) and the quilting is like ripples in a lake. The blue-green colors also evoke images of river/lake/sea. Therefore, I decided to call it Finger Lakes.

Did you see, I am getting a tad adventurous with those curves. Looks a little like wood grain effect.

I used a dark blue binding (It is a BOY!!!). Once I folded it in half and ironed it, I folded it into thirds and ironed it again. See the picture below. The raw edge section and the middle section were the same width, but the folded edge section was a bit wider. 

Doing this really helped when I was sewing the binding. The crease provided a guiding line as I stitched the raw edge binding to the quilt back. 

The remaining folds made it easier to bring the binding to the front, where I stitched it using my favorite squiggly stitch.

The finished quilt measures about 40" by 44".

Quilt Labeling
When I first started labeling my quilts, I was using .01 Pigma Micron Pen (based on advice found on a popular blog). Boy, that point is so thin, that it takes a long time to write a simple label. I had to write each letter thrice, at least, for it to be visible. Further, the super-skinny tip and the fabric (even with the freezer paper) did not get along well. It was a long bumpy ride.

Researching other pens, I found this beauty - Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric 1.0. 

Just look at the results. Single stroke writing and it really stands out. No, I am not getting paid for endorsing this or any other product. Just sharing my experience!
Seriously, try this pen once. You will be a convert.

Here are a few more pictures. 

This is Quilt #2 for 2015 and it is for Leah. She is due in April and the shower is on Wednesday, 2/4.  Thanks to Elizabeth Hartman for the pattern and Jacquie Gering (I highly recommend her Craftsy Class) for the quilting inspiration. 

Hope you enjoyed this trip to Finger Lakes :-D  I'd love to hear from you, as always.


  1. Beautiful, as always. I like that it is (can be) made by charms without looking like charms. I'm hoping to get into my scraps and cut 5" squares so I have a sense of control over all the bits and pieces.

  2. Just lovely. Your colors are so bright and cheery.

  3. Another beautiful Preeti creation. I love the organic feel of the quilting. Great job!

  4. What an inspiring little quilt. I love that it is made with scraps and how you quilted it. It is sure to be much loved. Looks perfect for a new baby.

  5. What a pretty quilt! And it does make me think of the Finger Lakes in New York. And thanks for sharing your experience with the gel pen. I used to use the Pigma pen, too, and did not enjoy it. I've gotten away from labels on my quilts for that reason (I usually just put my initials and date in the quilting somewhere) but the gel pen looks like something I should try.

  6. Beautiful as always. The quilting is pretty. Love Jacqie's class.

  7. A very pretty quilt, Preeti!! Love the colors and the quilting. Thanks, too, for your sweet comment on my Interlocking Stars quilt. I'm sure you can make one just as pretty - it's a simple quilt! And remember - it doesn't have to be a finish for Whoop Whoop Fridays! Whoop whoop!

  8. What a fantastic scrappy finish! I love the design and the flowing quilt lines. And thanks for sharing your pen find - I'll be picking one up.

  9. The colors are perfect-right in my favorite palette. The quilting just makes it shine-some does look like wood grain and that's excellent. You did so well; this is my favorite quilt in a long time, Preeti. And such an easy pattern-it's your inspired color choices and layout that makes it so gorgeous. The babe will love it and so will the parents. Well Done !~!

  10. Such a very sweet finish, indeed! Love the scraps you chose. And the quilting and backing are perfect! I am sure this quilt will be well loved!

  11. This pattern is great for a baby quilt, and your curves do look a bit like woodgrain! Thanks for your comment on my blog, I couldn't reply directly because you are a no-reply blogger.

  12. Wonderful. I have been doing that walking foot curvy quilting for years and love the look. Thanks a million for the gel pen recommendation. I agree on pigmas. They catch the weave and are too faint. Even the brush tips don't leave the line I want. I'm going to look for the gel pen. By the way a double fold binding is good for a baby quilt as it gets a lot of stress after years of washing and drying. Yours is fine, but the double fold is easier as all edges turn automatically anyway and can be done totally on machine too. I know you know all that... anyway,,, LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  13. Sorry Preeti
    I got confused looking at the picture, you are doing a double fold binding already. The bias double fold is the strongest but it's a pain to keep from stretching. I make 99 percent of my bed quilt bindings double fold cross cut. If they are going to a competition I hand sew them to the back. If I am making a bed quilt for me or a child I machine sew them on the front, so I can see better.

  14. Lovely quilt! Thanks for linking up today! ;)

  15. Let's see if I can make this comment "take" with my iPad. I tried a couple weeks ago on my phone?

    I like the colors, the controlled scraps, the adventurous quilting, the tip about the pen, and the humor that you always bring to your posts. Always feel inspired here. :)

  16. Looks great! I'll have to try the pattern with some yardage and scraps I have on hand.

  17. Love everything about this quilt. About the pen, nothing good was ever on the market here. So I've been labelling for years with my Bernina. The ABC on my machine is super easy. Kind regards from Switzerland.

  18. Love the quilt. Did you use a walking foot to make the gentle curves?

  19. I read the title of this post and was expecting something completely different... because I live near the Finger Lakes (5 long narrow & deep lakes carved out by glaciers a very long time ago). Thanks for sharing this so-easy-you-don't-really-need-instructions pattern!

    MaryM in upstate NY

  20. Lovely...and I agree with your endorsement of the Pentel pen!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. I made one for my daughter and she loved it.

  22. I use to live in Phelps ny, which is in the finger lakes and worked at the Ramada inn in Geneva ny, i love the name of this quilt. I am definitely going to make this one. Thank you