Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fair Isle Quilt Top

It's done! It's done!! I can't believe it! (Warning: picture heavy!)
The reindeer row! I love how the snowflakes turned out.

Check out the sparkles!! I chose this fabric specifically because of the sparkly snowflakes. They are very subtle, you can only see them in the right light. I'm in love! :)
I nicknamed this quilt the "$500 Dollar Quilt", any guesses why?? ;) Truly a labor of love and if I sell it (and that's a very big IF) I won't take a penny less than that.
I found this flannel sheet set at the thrift store for $3! I'm going to piece together the back using it. For the batting I'm using Warm and Plush so it's going to be extra warm and snuggly. :)
Once the backing is pieced this baby is off to the long arm quilters to get the sweater treatment (ie a cable quilting pattern!). I can't wait to show you the finished product!

If you are making this quilt here are a few tips that I've learned along the way:
  1. Starch is your friend. Seriously. Starch all your fabric before cutting for accuracy and then after piecing the blocks/rows starch the back side and iron. It makes your seams lie really flat. 
  2. Get yourself a strip cutting ruler (any size will do). I so wish I had this ruler when I first started but it was a huge life saver for the last few rows. Go get one. Now!
  3. Stay stitch the blocks with lots of pieces. Especially on the reindeer. Stitch 1/8" away from the edges to make sure all the seams stay together. Something else I wish I would've done. I ended up hand stitching a handful of seams closed.
  4. Sew your blocks into rows as you go. Give yourself one less thing to do by the time you get to sashing. 
  5. Definitely check out the sew along for more tips and tricks for each block. You especially want to check out the post on cutting.

Pattern: Fair Isle by Freshly Pieced
Fabric: Quilter's Linen in Silver by Robert Kaufman
           Raphael Snow in Pearl by STOF Fabrics

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WIP: Fair Isle Reindeers

I'm so close! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I finished my reindeer row last week. Woo! :)

When I first cut my fabric (almost a year ago) I did it according to the pattern and then I had a little *facepalm* moment. With all the math I did just to figure out yardage for two colors, I should have included cutting for non-pixelated reindeer. Oh well, I pushed it out of my mind until after I finished the zig zag rows. Then I sat and stared at all the little 1.5" cut pieces and I made the choice to re-cut the blocks using larger pieces. Let's just say I'm very happy I had extra fabric! I barely made it but I was able to squeeze out what I needed with very careful cutting. And you know what? I'm so happy I did it.

When it came time to piece it all together, I did it a little at a time over the course of several days. First the snowflakes, then the heads, then the bodies, then putting the blocks together and finally putting it into the row. It came together very quickly with those larger pieces.

I'm in the middle of sewing all the sashing onto the rows and then it will be done!! :) I can't wait to share it with you.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quilty friends...

...make the best pen pals. Thank you Amy for some beautiful happy mail! I hope you like bright colors. ;)

Oh and I finally found a way to get on Instagram without a smartphone! :D You can find me @gracelovequilt, although my feed is looking rather pathetic at the moment. ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WIP: Fair Isle Zig Zag

Wow, I really AM on a roll! :)
I started the zig zag row on Sunday, sewing together all the long pieces and then sub-cutting them. But I lost a bit of steam so I put off sewing all the pieces together until yesterday, when I made myself sit down and finish.

All that's left is the reindeer row and then putting the top together. I'm making it my goal to get the top completed before I start on my Farmer's Wife 1930s quilt. So I only have a couple weeks to get it all done.

Linked up!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Farmer's Wife revisited

I decided to revisit my Farmer's Wife goal. I never did start it. To be honest, the original intimidated me so I just collected fabric and shoved it in drawers. Out of sight, out of mind. ;)

But after reading about the Farmer's Wife 1930s book including rotary cutting instructions I decided to give it another try. And with two quilt alongs starting next month (see both buttons on the right) I figured why not start now? I'm hoping it will give me the motivation to sew every week.

I still want to make the original Farmer's Wife but that will be on the back burner for awhile until I can find enough fabric.
Since I want the original in our bedroom, I decided to use all the Fig Tree fabrics I've collected so far for my 1930s quilt. So far I have Mirabelle, Honeysweet, Farmhouse, Butterscotch & Rose, and Tapestry along with the Moda Bella solid Fig Tree Cream (9900 67). I'm thinking I may throw in a few more solids in shades of browns, yellows, greens and blues to help mix it up.
Our bedroom colors are blue, brown and cream so I decided to use only those colors from Fig Tree. Though, I prefer the older collections' shades of blue versus the more recent blueish-green. So I'm on a hunt for the older fabrics. Right now I have Fresh Cottons and Breakfast at Tiffany's with the cream solid. I'm thinking I may take a few of the precuts in those colors, as well as get some more solids. I may throw in a few other lines to even it out but I mostly want to keep it Fig Tree, as they are my favorites. :)

Here's hoping I can actually stick to it this time around. ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

WIP: Fair Isle Checkerboard

I feel like I'm on a roll here. I've been so unmotivated the last few months. I think when you have a tedious project hanging over your head it squashes your motivation. At last that's the way it seems with me. But the last week or two I've had the desire to sit and sew or cut fabric. It's a nice change. I hope I don't lose it. :)

On Wednesday I sat down and completed the checkerboard row. Definitely one of the easier rows. And this ruler made it even easier. Seriously, where has this been all this time?? Find yourself a 50% off coupon and buy one for yourself at Joann's. Best. Investment. Ever.

I bought the quarter cut one simply because I thought it would be the most useful to me. But they had two other rulers that did 1/2" increments, if that's more for you.

I also think I figured out why I was having issues on the poinsettias and fir trees. When I ironed my fabric for the checkerboard I lightly starched the grey (quilter's linen) and that seems to have done the trick. I noticed that it has a bit of stretch and I think that is why I ended up having to recut pieces. So moving forward I will be starching the quilter's linen, the cream doesn't seem to need it as it's already pretty stiff.

Next up is the zig zag and then after that the reindeers.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Holly's Tree Farm Backing

For my Feed Company quilt (which I'm still pinching pennies to get quilted) I decided to go with a single fabric for the backing, the bandana print in navy. For Holly's Tree Farm I initially was going to do a single print again, but after some searching on Pinterest I decided to piece a back.

I found this helpful page with 6 different ideas to piece a backing. I decided to go with the pattern below:
I picked 2 prints from Holly's Tree Farm and 1 from Feed Company, these two collections play so well together. :)
I fell in love with the 'store fronts' print so I decided that it would be the middle section. I chose to go with the graphite/grey color. The green 'pick your tree' print is for the narrow bands on either side of the middle, and the Feed Company plaid will be the top and bottom.
This backing will provide some great interest without taking away from the front. I'm getting excited, I can't wait until the top is all done and I can send it off to the quilters. If you're doing this BOM and would like my measurements for this backing let me know. I'd be happy to send you my sketch. :)