Monday, July 2, 2012

Quilt Top and Quilting Conundrums

I finished my Backyard Baby quilt top this weekend! What a great block and quilt design--it went together so smoothly and easily. I'm completely pleased with how it turned out.


I think this is a terrific quilt top design to have in your back pocket for gifts you might need on short notice. Here's why:

1. It's super easy, and goes together really quickly. You could probably make the whole quilt in a day, if you had all day to work on it and a longer attention span than I do.

2. It can be budget-friendly. That's actually what inspired me to try it. I used a 1/4 yard of each print (and that was juuuust enough!) The rest is a solid fabric, which is cheaper. I don't know about you, but while I'd love to fill each quilt with nothing but the latest designer prints, that's not happening on a grad student budget. This was a way to feature those prints, but still only buy a yard total of them.

3. It's a great way to feature a few favorite prints. I think the prints can really stand out with this particular pattern.

As mentioned before, this is based on the Filmstrip Quilt at crazymomquilts. I adjusted the measurements and made fewer blocks than in her tutorial though.

Now, I have to make some decisions about quilting, by far the part of the process that intimidates me the most. I had originally planned to try some meandering squiggles, simply because I've never done that before and it seems to fit the fabric (it's almost like the path that bugs walk in!) But I've been losing a bit of nerve and thinking of various grid possibilities, which would also look very nice and be easy to pull off given the block structure on this one. What do you think?

Bloomin' Spiral                              Gridlines


Rows of Loops                          Meandering Bug Paths


I had a really great weekend beyond quilting. On Saturday, I went kayaking for the first time since I got back from Michigan. I thought I'd be smart and bring my old camera, but I was stupid and put my new card in it and it didn't work. :( It was beautiful though. I love kayaking.

I took this one last summer. Gorgeous, huh?

Also, fifteen years and one day after the publication of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (or "Philosopher's Stone," I suppose), I finished the entire Harry Potter series. I read a little of the first book in the late 90s as a teen, and for some reason, it didn't grab me at the time. But this time, it definitely did! I loved the series, and want to read all of the books again. :) Better late to the party than never!

Happy Monday--have a great week!

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22 comments:

  1. That's a great tip about using just a yard of the latest designer fabrics and surrounding them with a plain - that way they really do stand out as you've shown in this quilt top which looks great. I was thinking about your quilting and personally I think that a vertical quilting line about 1" apart would really add to the graphic nature of the quilt and I kind of think that a meandering pattern would deaden the whole pattern of the fabrics, really knocking them back in such a graphic design - but of course that's just my opinion! Great job :)

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    1. Thanks! I ended up with straight lines, though maybe not as many as I should have. :)

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  2. That's a really smart way to stretch designer fabrics -- I may have to try out this pattern the next time I need to make a baby quilt. (I'm about to do a similar thing by making a Dresden quilt with fat quarters of prints, appliqued against a solid white backing, which will stretch the prints a little farther, I hope.)

    I think geometric or parallel quilting lines would be nice -- a spiral or a meandering quilting pattern wouldn't highlight the blockiness of the pattern. So I suppose if you wanted to downplay the squares, you could go for one of those options. :)

    I love kayaking, though I haven't been yet this summer: maybe I'll have a chance over the holiday weekend.

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    1. I definitely recommend it! Solids can be useful as well as pretty, I guess!

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  3. Popping in from Lily's Quilts Small Blog Meet. Your quilt top is adorable and I agree with knitspinquilt that you were super smart in how you used the designer fabric to keep your budget down. Great job and can't wait to see how you decide to quilt it!

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    1. Thanks Sara, and thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Love the quilt. I like to see flowing quilting on square quilts. That is how I am doing my next project, and yes, I'm a little intimidated by the quilting part too!

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    1. I'm sure it will get less intimidating with time--or maybe that's just what I need to believe. :)

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  5. As a die-hard HP fan, I'm glad you gave the books another go :) I can now continue reading your blog in peace.

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  6. I really love this quilt pattern, for all the reasons you listed! Ugh, I'm so on a budget this summer! I have a few projects going on right now, one of them is the Mario quilt-a-long, which is a really cool quilt, but it uses sooo much fabric! I'll be referencing this quilt you made here again sometime I think! :)
    PS I've read and/or listened to the audiobooks of HP at least a dozen times each - NO JOKE. I just visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando this year - it was out of this world amazing!! :D

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    1. I'm really jealous that you're doing the Mario QAL! Such a cool project. I'll look forward to seeing your progress on it. I've definitely got that one filed away in the "someday" folder.

      Glad to hear the Wizarding World is fun! I would love to go see it!

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  7. Great quilt. I'm also a HP fan. I've only read each book once (as they came out) but my 9 year old has read through the series at least 3 times already! She'll be catching up with Bethany soon. We went to Harry Potter world last year too - it was awesome but we'll have to go again because I couldn't go on any of the rides because I was pregnant and my younger daughter was too short!

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    1. Bummer Beth! That would be pretty frustrating. But, an excuse to go again someday, right? :)

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  8. This quilt is so cute. Like you said, It features the designer fabrics really well! I always do straight line quilting (because I am a scaredy cat), but I love the idea of meandering bug paths on a "Backyard Baby" quilt!

    I am a little behind the rest of the world on Harry Potter myself. I had zero interest when they came out, but now I am obsessed! They are so good! I am halfway through book 4. I want to go to Wizarding World now!!! :D

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    1. I'm really glad to hear I'm not the only one! :D They really do suck you in, don't they?

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  9. Congrats on finishing the top! It looks great. I think gridlines would work beautifully, but then again, I'm partial to straight line quilting;)

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    1. I'm afraid your straight lines always look a little bit neater than mine. :)

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  10. Gorgeous quilt top, I would gridline it as well. I love HP, I have lost count of how many times I have read them now :)

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    1. It might be my favorite British export. :)

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  11. Great quilt - I especially like your budget-conscious attitude!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do... and I know I'm not the only one out there who has that on her mind!

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