Another day passed, another day of no quilting.... I am going to change that today :) As soon as I publish this post, I am going to finish that quilt! If my next post shows off my first finish of 2014 - you will know I was successful!! Yikes, that might feel like a little bit of pressure.... maybe that's what I need to get myself back in the sewing chair!
Also, Leah Day over at the Free Motion Quilting Project is starting a new quilt along for 2014 (Building Blocks Quilt Along). I have not participated in a quilt along and likely will not participate in this one (too much structure for this unstructured quilter HA), but she has a wonderful post on piecing including a video. I highly recommend! A word of warning, she is a press those seams open kinda gal ;) I have also posted a button on the left side bar for the quilt along. Leah has a wonderful blog with sooo much information! I have spent HOURS on her site :)
My dad's quilt. I wanted to do something special for my dad for his birthday and sharing my new found passion seemed to be the perfect gift. I really blow when it comes to remembering birthdays. I admit it and it is not something I am proud of, it just is. So I decided, this is the year that not only would I remember, I would give dad a gift that was made by me especially for him :) This picture is not of high quality, I am working on getting a better quality pic that shows the colors and will update as soon as I get it. It was made from a layer cake, Bali Crackers Liquorice, and yardage for the border and binding came from a LQS. Yup, made from inspiration from another Jenny Doan video, Double Slice Layer Cake. I used wool batting for this quilt as well. My dad did not know I was making this quilt but knew I had started quilting. He had asked me if I used 'insulation' in my quilts :) I decided I needed to have good insulation in this quilt!
Here are some better pictures taken outside, they show the colors much better!
The perfectionist in me came out BIG TIME in making this quilt! This is a pretty simple pattern, I OBSESSED over color placement, I still had not figured out why my blocks were turning out so wonky so yes, I ended up squaring up every block (if my cutting and sewing had been relatively accurate, I should not have had to do that step), and the process of picking the boarder material was painful, it had to be perfect. . . In the end, I am very happy with my choices but I ended up using the very first fabric I picked but went back to the store several times before I actually bought it!! Go with the gut instinct on this one! Lesson learned! :)
I also obsessed on the quilting design.... so much so that I quilted the middle of the quilt (probably a quarter of the quilt in total) with a arch echoing design, hung it on my design wall, absolutely HATED it, and spent the next two days 'ripping' stitches. This is not fun! It is less fun when one has not mastered completely the regulation of stitch size when FMQ.... Most of what I had learned about FMQing at this point came from Leah's videos. She has a very strong message about ripping out stitches - unless it is a toe catcher, leave it alone. I decided at this point that one more message could be added - if the design choice is going to 'haunt' you, rip them out. I don't want to be haunted (and who does?) and I wanted to be happy with the end result. So my lesson was that there are times that ripping is OK for more reasons than just toe catching stitches when FMQing :) Doesn't make ripping those stitches fun, but I find that little experience made me focus a LOT more on my stitch length when quilting AND I am happy with the end result.
I ended up going back home shortly after finishing the quilt. I decided that even though dad's birthday was several months away, I would give him the quilt in person :) He loved it and I know you all know the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you have made a quilt with a special person in mind and are able to give that quilt in person.
Next post (unless I am successful in my goal of finishing my current project!), I will discuss my first quilt made entirely from yardage.... my first attempt at curved piecing and a technique for choosing fabrics that I have used in almost every quilt since!
Until next time, keep on quilting!