Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quilt-Along Progress - Block 3

I started working on block 3 of the quilt-along Sunday and had a portion of it assembled before I put it aside because of the heat. It is so hard for me to work when my hands are sticking to the ruler, causing it to shift every time I make a cut. I began working on my block again on Monday, early enough that the heat wouldn't create a problem.
The block consists of four pinwheel blocks separated by a narrow sashing. I've worked with half-square triangles many times before with minimal problems. But for some reason, I had issues with these pinwheels. I frog stitched. I restitched the seams. And I still had problems with the points on a couple of the pinwheel blocks. I began to feel like one of Kaye Wood's pointless people!
Generally, I don't pin my seams as I've found greater success in matching seams using just my hands. However, at this point I was willing to try anything. Failure. 
So, I frog stitched and restitched the seams and here is block 3 of the quilt-along:
My mother-in-law once told me I was the only one who saw my imperfections. Words of wisdom... She was right. We can be so hard on ourselves, unnecessarily at times.
This is my progress so far.  I think it will be a beautiful quilt once I'm finished. Next I will work on block 4 and if I finish it today, I'll be caught up with the group.
What's on your mind today?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quilt-Along Progress

After finally making my way into town I was able to select a print to use as my background/contrast fabric in the quilt-along I'm participating in and I have been busy working on my blocks.


Here are the fabrics I selected from my resources for the blocks, but I didn't have a print with enough yardage that I could use for the background/contrast.

I knew I wanted to use black as the background/contrast fabric since I was using brights, but I didn't want a solid black, I wanted one with a subtle tone on tone design. As soon as I found this print, I knew it was the perfect one to highlight the all those bright colors.
I always prewash my fabrics to remove any sizing or chemicals from the factory before I begin working with them. After prewashing, I liberally applied spray starch to each print and allowed the fabric to dry before cutting. I use Best Press, unscented, because it doesn't flake or cause scorching like other starches do. By allowing the fabric to dry after applying the starch I have more body which gives me more control when I'm cutting my pieces and my iron doesn't gum up from the starch.
Because I had to go into town to purchase the background/contrast fabric, I wasn't able to begin working on the quilt-along when it began a couple of weeks ago. The group is on block four, so I have some catching up to do!
I cut the all of the pieces I needed from the background/contrast print, placed the pieces in baggies and labeled the baggies so I know at a glance what the contents are.
This is the first block in the quilt-along. I love how the star print adds movement to the block and I think the contrast between the three prints makes the pinwheel pop.
Here is my version of the second block. I LOVE the way the four prints work in this block. The whimsical floral print really adds a playfulness, I think.
I'm working on block three and hope to have it completed today. If I can complete block four, I'll have caught up with everyone else.
What have you been working on?


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

Now that the 4th of July holiday has passed, I'm ready to get back to my routine. Amazing how one day can cause so much disruption to a schedule.
Prior to the holiday, I did manage to finish making all those bias binding strips I've been working on.

Nine different prints of bias binding. Unfortunately, someone changed my camera settings so the picture isn't very good and doesn't highlight the different prints. I used one yard of fabric for each print.

Each yard of fabric provided eleven yards of binding. Isn't that quite the collection? Bias binding is so forgiving and easy to do and if you'd like to learn some of my tips, I wrote a tutorial for making bias binding back in October 2009 you can reference: Bias Binding Tutorial
In an earlier post I mentioned I signed up to participate in a Quilt-Along hosted by Quilting Gallery with the focus of aiming for accuracy. Although I'm an experienced quilter I thought it would be fun to participate and I think it's good to review the basics because sometimes, in our rush to finish a project I think we sometimes forget these basics in an effort to save time. So I've been working on selecting fabrics for this Quilt-Along, this is what I've selected so far:
Above is my first section of fabrics, but I wasn't happy with my selection and modified my choices with these:
The pattern requires 24 fat quarters and one background fabric. My goal was to use only what is in my fabric resources, but I' hit a snag. For the background fabric, I need 3.5 yards and I discovered I have a lot of prints but nothing that reads as a solid in this yardage which means I'll have to purchase it. What I'm thinking is to find a tone on tone print in either black, red, or green for a good contrast. I'm leaning towards black though because it will work with any of the prints I've selected above.
And so, today I leave you with a picture I took of a sunset I watched the other day. Isn't it spectacular? I'm so fortunate to live in such a beautiful community, surrounded by mountains and water. I'm truly spoiled!
So what's going on in your world?