Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Ron's Glorious Back and the Resurrected BOM

I started the Skill Builder BOM at Pile O' Fabric back in January. I completed those blocks right on time and then... didn't do any more. Not sure BOMs are a great fit for me. ;)

However, this week, I decided that I'm going to try to catch up a little bit. I didn't really have a place for this finished quilt (it's almost a queen size), but I've decided to put it in the room where I stay at my mom's newly purchased house (this is relevant, I promise!) That room has orange carpet. Yes. Orange. In fact, that orange carpet is all over the basement, so replacing it isn't really an option due to cost. So, I thought maybe I could tie in some orange to this quilt so it would look like it belonged there.

But I don't know that I'm loving it. It's not quite as neon as it looks in this photo, but it definitely stands out (it's a rich red-orange, really). So I haven't put the borders on that block, because I think there is a chance I rip it apart and put in something less jarring. I know that a quilt in all blues and greens will look nice--it's a safe choice. And it will look much better in the orange bedroom than whatever is there now (a light blue and yellow comforter--gorgeous!) ;) The full layout looks like this, and theoretically, I could put the dark orange wherever there is white in Alyssa's mockup:


I've also fully discovered the danger of late-night piecing:

Haha, oops. How is it that those things go totally unnoticed until the whole block is together?

Ron quilt is also proceeding rather nicely. Both the front and back are fully pieced, and I'm hoping to get it basted today (it's fellowship application season, however, which is both extremely sucky and extremely time-consuming... so things aren't going as quickly in the sewing realm as I'd like.) However, here is a preview of the back. I'm pretty dang proud of it. :)

Hope the rest of your Wednesday is grand!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013: Love on Nantucket

If you regularly read my blog, you're sick of this quilt, but no apologies, because I "love" it and it's my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival this fall!

This quilt was made for a good friend's wedding last month in Nantucket. Her wedding colors were navy and "Nantucket Red," a salmon color I was decidedly unenthusiastic about using. But then I made the quilt, and I've since decided that the combination of the two is really dynamite and I need to set my color skepticism aside more often.

My favorite part of the quilt is that I managed to find a camera print fabric in salmon, which was just perfect, as the groom is a photographer. It was the kind of happy coincidence that thrills me to no end. :)

My apologies for the somewhat poor photographs--I traveled to Nantucket for two weeks and forgot my camera, so I had to use my phone for all of these. But that's why they're not entered in the quilt photography category. ;)

Quilt Stats
Pattern:  LOVE by Tula Pink
Finished Size:  Approximately 50" x 60"
Fabric: Kona White and an unidentified navy. Then bits and pieces of salmon and navy fabrics from the stash, including 2wenty Thr3e, Les Amis, and Echo.
Backing: Gridlock in White Navy by Dear Stella
Binding: Unidentified navy stripe
Pieced and quilted by: Me, on my Bernina 930

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Memories of Now: Ron Swanson Lives

I'm pretty excited about this one. :)

He's Ron F***ing Swanson. :)

Ever since I saw Monica's "Swansonalong" last year, I've known that I needed a 100% cotton Ron of my very own. And now that is tantalizingly close to coming true. Bully for me. :)

1200 2.5" squares is no laughing matter, so I was pretty thrilled to finish the blocks last night. You know, I used an AccuQuilt cutter for the squares, because I thought it would be nice to have them perfectly accurate (my mom had bought the cutter on sale, so I got to take it for a test run.) I wasn't... overwhelmed by it, to be honest. (I know that's practically blasphemy in the quilting community!) For starters, the squares weren't always perfect. I assume that was in part because I started with too many layers of fabric (six seems to be the absolute max) and that threw the cutting off. So that was disappointing. Honestly, if one is just cutting squares or rectangles, I think cutting with a rotary cutter is just as fast as aligning your scraps of fabric in the cutter and rolling it through, and with a lot less waste. That said, I'd be willing to give it another shot for non-square shapes, because I think it could save time and effort with those.

My grade: B-   For the price, I don't think it's worth it, especially as it did seem to have some accuracy issues (possibly user error, however.) That said, if I were doing a quilt with circles or other applications with more finicky shapes, I would probably love it a lot more!

In other news, I'm also sewing the binding on a Christmas quilt from last year (oops) and trying to finish a baby quilt for a baby who is now three months old (oops again) and who is coming to visit this weekend. I'll post pics of those when I'm finished!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday. Pin It

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finally, a Finish: Love on Nantucket

You may recall a few weeks back that I finished a quilt top from Tula Pink's "Love" quilt pattern, and that it was destined for a friend's wedding on Nantucket. Against every one of my natural inclinations, I finished the quilt on time, and even delivered it to the couple a few days before the wedding! (I forgot my camera on my two-week trip! :( So almost all of these are from my phone.)

I pebble quilted the inside of the letters, then did wavy rays radiating out from the center, matching the thread in each quadrant. Very, very easy to quilt, and I think a good match for this design. I did, however, do something very stupid--I forgot to lower my feed dogs, so I got some bunching on the back. I'm actually surprised it didn't mess things up worse, but it probably made me work a lot harder at quilting it than I needed to. :) Clearly, it had been awhile since I FMQ'ed something!

This was my first time pebble quilting, and I was surprised at how easy it was. It really is a wrist workout (especially when you don't lower your feed dogs...) but to fill in small spaces like this, it's amazing, and I'll definitely do it again. It looks so cool!

I found the navy link fabric in my stash, and had just the right amount for this quilt. I couldn't believe how well it worked out! The wedding photographer even used the back of the quilt for one of his photos. :)

via awesome photographer Sparrow and the Crow

 Oh hey, this is the house where the Maid of Honor and I got to stay for the whole week by ourselves. Pretty tough, right? The bride's family was INCREDIBLY generous to us. I'm good friends with the MOH (I was in her wedding as well), but now she lives in Philly and I don't get to see her much, so it was awesome to have a week hanging out with her in this terrible place:

Yeah, Nantucket is one of the best places I've ever gone. I highly recommend it!

Boyfriend unfortunately missed the wedding due to a randomly cancelled flight by United (they were not our favorite airline that day!) though he did make it to most of the reception. The next week we hung out in Boston and also traveled up the coast to Maine, which was gorgeous and resplendent, and another place I can highly recommend.

This is in Acadia National Park from the top of Cadillac Mountain. It was pretty stunning. It got really cold, cloudy, and windy that afternoon, so we were glad we chose to go up there first. After we got tired of taking pictures of God's natural beauty, we decided that the best thing to do would be to take senior photos of ourselves on a mountain top, as one does.

In Boston, we saw all of the historical sites, including my favorite, the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It never lost a single battle, was one of the first six ships commissioned by George Washington, and revolutionized boat-making because there was better/more available timber in the U.S. than in Europe, which was pretty deforested by that point. Touring the boat is free, and the tour is always really fascinating. There were a lot of British tourists in our group there, and I always wonder if it's strange to come to Boston and hear about the one time that the U.S. was super mad at Britain to the point of leaving their country, because (aside from the War of 1812, which no one remembers) we've gotten along quite well with them ever since. It's such a weird relationship. But I digress. :)

I got to go on the boat tour twice in two days, because right after boyfriend left, two of my college friends who live on the East Coast came up for the weekend, and we re-toured some things. Good thing Boston is an interesting city! Our favorite accidental find was a 5k called "The Running of the Bridesmaids" wherein women dressed in old bridesmaid dresses for the 5k. I was sad I didn't know about it before--I just so happened to have a bridesmaid's dress along!

It was a really incredible two weeks, and our timing was so fortuitous-- it was right after peak tourist season, but the weather was still great. And the day after I arrived home, the U.S. government shut down, and a lot of the places we went (the boat, the National Park in Maine) were closed! Sometimes, you are just lucky, and I sure was with this trip.

Linking to Finish it up Friday and Fabric Tuesday.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday: The Man, The Moustache

Here's what I'm working on this week:

Know what it is? Here are some hints:
--"I’m a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women, and breakfast food."
--"Turkey can never beat cow."
--"You had me at meat tornado."
And of course...
--"Give me all the bacon and eggs you have."

Monica at the Happy Zombie had a "Ron Swanson Along" last year and thus instantly became my biggest quilting hero. I've known I must make Ron ever since I saw it, and I've finally steeled my resolve to face all of those tiny squares, and start on the greatest quilt of my career thus far.

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about this one. :)

Linking up for WIP Wednesday.

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