Black and White Stripes

This was another pack of fat quarters I bought, which came with a pretty cool pattern.  The pattern showed blocks with 2 colors, using stripes of varying widths.  I thought it was perfect for the contrast of the black and white, and I’ve always wanted to do a black and white quilt.

Cutting it up went pretty quickly, and sewing the strips together was fast work.  However, I had previously read that sewing together strips could wind up with a very wonky and skewed block.  I tried to mitigate that problem by reversing directions that I sewed the strips, as I had read to do, but it really didn’t help much – man were my blocks wonky!  I did the best I could to straighten them up and get the top together.

From there, time to quilt.  Up to this point I had been doing all custom quilting using my longarm to get practice, but I decided to try out the Avante Prostitcher on this one.  It is a pretty slick system – you load up a quilting design, set the size of your quilt, and it automatically sews for you.  I had watched the instructional videos and had a vague sense of what I needed to do, but still had a pretty steep learning curve.  I set aside a Saturday to tackle the project, and set to work.

Loading up the instructional videos again, I set out to figure out the software.  It really was pretty straightforward process, and I had it stitching in about an hour.  I’ve tried to load a video of it stitching in action, but it appears the video is too large of a file.  You can see the video on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

I finished quilting the whole thing in about 4-5 hours, which is longer than it should have been as I had some issues getting everything reset when I ran out of bobbin thread.  But that it still pretty quick, and after adding some machine binding she was done.

Here she is:

I found a cool black, white, and gray print for the back:

Some detail of the quilting – I chose a continuous flower/daisy design and used a light gray thread:

Finally, Maggie decided to get in on the photo shoot, deciding she looks really good with a black and white backdrop.  (really I think she just wanted to figure out what her dad was doing):


This quilt was another one on my Q1’17 FAL list, so I’ll be linking it up when the time comes.




March Bee Block – Trees and Gnomes

Our Queen Bee this month, Kate from Smiles from Kate, picked a really interesting block – improv trees and gnomes.  You can see her post about her block here.  I have to admit I wasn’t totally crazy about it to start, but making the blocks was an interesting process.

Here is my fabric pull – I was drinking coffee in my New Mexico mug on a Sunday morning:

And here is my finished block.  I was in deep concentration trying to make the trees, and especially putting the darn trunks on the trees (they kept winding up way off to the side), so I don’t have any in process photos.

I’m pretty happy with it, and got it sent off to Kate Friday morning.  I do hope she likes it.  I think the gnomes are cute!


Rings Quilt

I really like to buy pre-cuts.  I like getting the variety of all the fabrics without having to stand around and get all of that fabric cut.  However, I then wind up with a lot of pre-cuts that I’m not sure what to do with.

I had this layer cake that I had no plan for, and at this point I don’t even remember what fabric line it is.  I went looking at the Moda Bake Shop and found this rings quilt, created by Melissa Corry.  I really like circles and rings in quilts, so this quilt was a good one for me.

Construction of the quilt top was really easy – just sew together 4 rows of 4 layer cake squares each, making a 16 square, 4×4 grid.  You then cut out various sized rings from the rest of the fabric and use basting spray to attach them to the top, linking them up to make chains of rings.  For quilting on a domestic machine, she has you baste the grid to your batting and backing before adding the rings. You then quilt the whole thing, using the quilting to stitch down the rings permanently.  Since I was doing this on a long arm, I spray basted the rings to the grid and then loaded it on the frame as I would any other quilt top.

This was the process I used to spray baste the rings.  It is very similar to Melissa’s, and her tutorial was very good.  Here is my box for the spraying:

I laid out the rings in a section of the top to decide how to arrange them:

Cut the ring I wanted to connect in:

Tuck it behind the ring I was connecting it to:

and then make sure it stuck to the top:

More rings:

Some of the rings were pesky about wanting to stick down, so the loading it on the frame was a very delicate, careful process.

From there, how to quilt it?  Melissa Corry has a video showing how to do some interlocking circles as an all-over design, and it looks great on her quilt.  I practiced the circles for a bit, and I just didn’t like how mine were turning out.  I was also worried about getting enough stitching around the edges of the rings so they wouldn’t go anywhere.  I settled on wavy lines around the edges of the rings, pebbles on the inside of the rings, and then swirls with a few leaves as a background filler.

I used Warm and Natural batting, and Isacord #0142 thread, a lightish gray.  I found a really pretty backing fabric that has the same colors as the rings:

Here are some photos of the quilting in progress:

And a few of the finished quilt.  I machine bound it with a yellow polka dot fabric:

and the back:

I like how it came out, and I really like the quilting.  I did have problems with the edges of the rings fraying quite a bit, so I don’t love that, but I guess that is the downside to a construction process that was really quick.  I’d have to think about using another method if I do something like this again.

This quilt was on my Q1’17 FAL list, so I’ll be linking it up when the time comes.

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