Sunday, April 29, 2012

Confession time

The good news is, I sold my Cat in the Hat quilt earlier this week! (I've never made a sale on Etsy, so I'm not surprised that it sold much quicker on eBay.) It's off to its new home in Tennessee.

The bad news is, the month isn't over yet, and I can already tell you, I'm not going to have a quilt ready for my deadline. Certainly not for lack of trying. I decided to go with a very challenging pattern: cathedral windows. I found a very helpful tutorial and went into it with great gusto.

From reading the tutorial, I knew there would be a lot of steps. But I couldn't imagine how I'd feel after days of slaving away at my ironing board. This pattern is a massive fabric killer and needle destroyer. It depleted my entire stash of Kona Ash, and blew through four needles like they were mere twigs.

The results are worth it - the texture and overall look is very neat, and the tiny details in the Sherbet Pips prints look like they were made for this quilt. The final product, when I finish it, will be made up of 100 squares. So far, I've finished 30, and I'm ready for a break. This quilt will be for a baby girl who is due in September, so I think I can get away with putting it away for a while and coming back to it later when I'm feeling more fresh.

Ready for confession number two?

 I fell off the wagon. I strolled right into my local quilt shop and took home almost 10 yards of beautiful fabric.

The bottom layer of that stack in Kona Snow. One of the terms of my "No Fabric For a Year" deal with my husband is that I can buy white if I run out, so I feel perfectly justified in buying it. And I'll be needing it, since I've got 400 flying geese blocks to make for next month.

The top fabric is another one that I'll be needing for next month's quilt. Last year, I made this hexagon quilt for a friend's baby.

So now, with another friend's baby girl on the horizon, I pulled out the same colors and prints that I loved so much as hexagons. This time, I'll be trying out flying geese.

I had lots of the greens and blues, and an acceptable amount of pink, but I had mere scraps of the rosy fabric. Since I had originally purchased the roses in June of last year, I wasn't sure if it was still available. I didn't even have the selvage to try and find out someone was selling it online. So I went into the quilt shop, just curious. And I found it. It's like it was waiting for me, there on the 50% off clearance rack. I bought all five-and-a-half yards, and I have no regrets. It'll make a great backing for this baby quilt, and I'll have enough left for some burp cloths.

These colors are so bright and happy, I can't wait to really dig in!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time flies when you're missing deadlines.

My quilt was almost completely done by March 31st, and then I procrastinated for 11 days putting the binding on. Lots of reasons...we're expecting a new hostile youth in my household, so I've been milking that first trimester exhaustion for all its worth. Also, my sewing room is a great big mess that just closes in on me whenever I go in there.

Like lots of families who have little kids, we love the Cat in the Hat. I even dressed up like him last year for Halloween.

Complete with Thing One and Thing Two.

I've been wanting to try wonky piecing, and I figured there was no better medium to try it on than Robert Kaufman's Cat in the Hat fabric line. I originally planned to have this done to go with our Halloween costumes last year. Procrastination, remember?

I like the way piecing turned out, but I got discouraged with the way it finished up. It's much puffier than I care for, when I'm used to a much flatter work with denser quilting. I tried something new with the quilting and building my quilt sandwich - instead of putting all three layers together, I quilted just the front and the batting with an all-over free-motion pattern.

Then I added a piece of fuzzy black fabric to the back, sewing only around the blocks to attach it. I love fuzzy backs on quilts, so I'll definitely do that again, but next time, I'll create the whole quilt sandwich and quilt it like normal before attaching the backing piece. The quilting really needs that extra piece of backing fabric to stabilize it.

I finished it off with a red and white striped binding. I was originally aiming for a twin-size quilt, but I underestimated how much black fabric I had for the sashing. So instead, it ended up as a generously sized throw.

I listed this quilt here, in my Etsy shop. I've had better luck on eBay, so I might think about listing it there, too.

I'm not the only one expecting a baby. A friend of the family is having a little girl this summer, and my next project will be a quilt for her. But first, I need a few days to whip my poor sewing room back into shape.

That's five projects from stash.