Friday, March 31, 2017

Jack and Jill

Hurray!!! I met all my March goals. Even if it is on the very last day.
Taxes were done AND I delivered twins.  Meet Jack and Jill.


What started as a Dreami moment in December, resulted in Twins (pun intended - meant especially for the former English teacher) in March.  They were conceived on a weekend afternoon, but took a couple of months to deliver :-D

Jelly Roll Strips for Jack
Jelly Roll Strips for Jill

It was a super simple Fat Quarter Shop Tutorial - Jelly Roll Twist. That is easy. I can do that and do it quickly, I said aloud.  There were two problems.

1. Too much white.  The quilt needs more color.
2. Too wasteful. The tutorial suggests using 34 strips to make 42 blocks. Actually, you can make 42 blocks from just 28 strips.

Solids for Jack

First Blocks - Jack

I chose to use one jelly roll to make two quilts. 20 strips will yield 30 blocks, enough for a crib quilt measuring 43" by 52". The best part was choosing solids to match the jelly roll fabrics.

Solids for Jill
Did you notice there is only one color difference between Jack and Jill?
Jack has navy and Jill has pink.

Jill - First Blocks

I blogged about these flimsies in this blogpost.

Jack on the Design Wall

Both quilts use the same block, with common fabrics - grey, white, green and turquoise solids.
The layout of the blocks is random.

I wanted to make sure that the solid white square did not fall along the outer edge of the quilt.  That gives the impression (to me) that someone took a bite out of the quilt and left a hole in there.

Jill - Finished Flimsy

This brings me to backing. I had  been hoarding that blue print for a couple of years.  The navy blue binding for Jack was an easy choice.
Backing for Jack

The scooter print for Jill's backing is a recent acquisition from Hancocks. It is adorable :-)
Backing for Jill
After auditioning several fabrics, I chose a gray striped fabric for Jill's binding.  It works well with both the front and the back.

Jill - A finish
Jack - Finished and Labelled
With the completion of Jack and Jill, the total tally comes to six quilts in 2017.

The twins
This is an easy pattern and if you are a beginner, this may be a good pattern to start.

Quilting Close-up

Jill - Love the texture
 Both Jack and Jill were quilted using walking foot and gentle curves quilting.

In the early morning light

Jack and Jill

Me: Six quilts in three months.
Paul: Babe, you may want to slow down.
Me: Slow down? Whatever for?
Paul: I am hungry and you may want to cook for me.
Me: Or I may want to take you out to brunch. Treat you like royalty :-)
Paul: Uh huh.

He knows I am ignoring chores for the love of sewing.  But he can neither decline an offer of brunch nor argue about my love of sewing.

I win this round.

As much as I would like to end this post with my win, there are a few other important things happening in the blogland such as Bernie's expanded Etsy store.

Vintage Sheet Fat Quarters

Bernie of Needle & Foot expanded her Etsy Shop and a few of my favorite bloggers were promoting her with a 20% coupon.  I wasted no time in ordering a couple of fat quarters and two supercute panels.  I ordered on Sunday, and received my package on Wednesday. Supercute fabric and superfast shipping. I was happy.

Super cute Panel

Then Bernie asked me if I had a project in mind.
Project? Yes, I only buy fabric when I have a specific project in mind :-D
Hmmm...well, imagine a flying goose on top of each of those panel squares, like a little house.
Aw... that is cute, she said.

Now, I had to make it. At least one audition block. So here it is.

Audition Block


Some quilters enjoy making pieced backings. I have done it. It can be a fun design exercise, for smaller quilts. But if it is a queen size quilt, I'd much rather use a wide backing.  If you are with me, then there is some terrific news for you.

Connecting Threads (affiliate link) is having a 25% off sale on wide backing fabrics. That means you can get 104" wide fabric for under $9/yard.  Yay!!! Doing a happy dance.


I will be linking with Elm Street Quilts for March OMG and all may favorite linky parties. 

Did you meet your March goals? Did you file your tax returns yet?
And most important - what project do you have in mind for your latest fabric purchase :-p

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Whine & Geez!

It is my blog and I am free to express my opinions here...even if it is whining.  So here I go.

Whining - Act I. As you Wish Block (Honey Pot Bee - March)
I do not want to paper-piece. May be someday but not today.

I just got a paper-cut. See (my index finger)

That is a sign that paper-piecing is not conducive to my general well-being
I do not have foundation paper.
The printer does not have ink.

I do not NEED to make this block by paper piecing.
I was confident that I could replicate the block without paper piecing.

Made a rough sketch of the block, dividing into sections and proceeded one section at a time.

Hence proved. This block can be made without paper piecing.

Paul: If the block can be made without paper patching, then what is the benefit of it.
Me: Paper piecing leads to greater accuracy (after you stop sewing things to the wrong side, I am told)
Paul: So your block will not be accurate. Hmmm...
Me: I am fine with a little wonkiness. It will match all the other blocks in my sampler quilt.
Paul: I think your block is wonky because you whined so much.
He is probably right about that.

That brings me to Whining - Act II. The Echo Block (Honey Pot Bee - March)

I did not enjoy this block. The strips are too skinny and they are difficult to keep straight. I had to carefully lift away the fabric in the seam allowance to be able to stitch a straight line.

Honestly, this block should be paper-pieced for neatness and accuracy.

But that ship has sailed.

The conclusion of Whining - Acts I and II.
Both blocks were completed and both are wonky.

On the up side, taxes are filed. Phew!!!
I had set aside a whole weekend for the dreaded annual activity. But it took only one morning (spilling into the midday).  I had made it more of a beast than it really was.

Paul: May be that is what you are doing to paper piecing?
Me: Whatever do you mean?
Paul: You are making it more of a beast than it really is.
Me: Geez, Paul - must you be right all the time?

Ok, fine. The reassurance that I needed came from two sources. Bernie (who was similarly apprehensive) mentioned on her blog that she did it and it wasn't so bad.

I learned from my Craftsy BOM that you do not need foundation paper, but regular copy paper works just fine. You must first perforate the sewing lines with threadless stitching, using a short seam length.

Also, Paul changed the toner in the printer. I was officially out of all excuses.

So, I printed out the star pattern (Thanks Bernie). Here is the saga of my first paper piecing attempt in pictures.

Needled - No thread

Tore away the paper in disgust, after the fabric moved and failed to cover the section completely.

The next time, I managed to complete the block. It was measured and found to be lacking.  AARGH...

The next one.

Not the best outcome!!!

Making the next two.

Almost there.

Papers removed easily :-)

How I wish the seams matched perfectly. But they don't :-(

So the block is complete. It is not perfect. The length of time spent, mistakes made, do-overs and fabric waste should have led to a better block. May be next time.

On the upside, spring is here :-)
The joy of a tax refund (small but joyful) combined with the need to celebrate spring brought me to this lovely fabric line - Somer's Garden and I splurged.

Also on the Connecting Threads site, I noticed these two lovely fat quarter bundles that include fabrics by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.

This is Cool Neighbors and it is 50% off.  20 FQs for less than $15.

And this is Fun Neighbors FQ Bundle. 19 FQs for less than $15. You are welcome.

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties. But I'd love to hear from you.
What did you whine about?  And what spring activity you are looking forward to?

This blogpost contains affiliate links.