Take Back The Night

To spend more time procrastinating on the computer instead of doing those things I really should be doing, I decided to enter a quilt into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, at the last moment. Because why not?

The quilt I chose to submit is my Nocturnal Fields quilt, finished earlier this year as part of the Triangle Quilt Along with the Sassy Quilter.

Nocturnal Fields

The quilt measures approximately 250″ all the way around, so I’m putting it into the Large category.

It’s made up of equilateral triangles of mostly Anna Maria Horner fabric with a little bit of Tula Pink along with black solid triangles. I came up with the idea for it after seeing a shirt, dubbed “the ugly shirt” at work. At the time, I didn’t think of taking a photo of the whole shirt and only snapped a part of it so I could remember its layout/pattern, but thanks to google and ebay I managed to find a whole photo of it to share!

 

ugly
Behold: quilt inspiration!

Because of the white collar and middle bit that covers the buttons, I knew I had to have a white binding on the quilt to replicate it.

When piecing the top I ended up with too many triangle rows which made the quilt out of proportion in my eye, so I cut off a few rows, and then added them onto the back to separate the fabric join of my backing. I love the back just as much as the front and often flip it over when using it on my bed depending on what I feel like looking at.

BACK-nf-top-full

For more information on this quilt, see my original finish post!

AmysCreativeSide.com

Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit

Working on things means there actually works in progress to share!  I’ve been working through items on my Finish Along list.

After getting frustrated and stressed that the #igminiswap deadline is looming (there’s approx 6 weeks left before sending), I chose an easy craft-room staple to make up into a mini to beat some of the stress. A colour wheel is still pretty nifty to have around, so I can’t really see it being hated!

Riddle and {Whimsy} IG mini swap WiP

The winners of the Bonnie and Camille swap were announced by Ms Midge. My quilt top won a Thimble Blossoms pattern!! I’m heavily leaning towards choosing one of the new ones, Saltwater, but I’m also leaning towards Red Letter Day or even Rise and Shine. Ahh too many great choices!

My top is currently being quilted. As per advice in my last post, I prewashed the flannel (yet still have clothes to wash teehee) and pieced the back so it’s all flannel rather than mixed cottons.

Riddle and {Whimsy} B+C Charmalong WiP

While quilting it, it made me think: how do you decide what you quilt, and in what colour thread?

My two options I was contemplating were orange peels (large ones to follow the printed rows and to replicate the pattern) or free motion quilt swirly flowers. I ended up going for the swirly flowers. I’m trying really hard to not hate and nit pick my FMQ and regret that choice. I decided on FMQ because how else am I going to learn how to do it if I don’t actually do it, right? Plus this quilt isn’t for anything or anyone special so I don’t have the “omg what if they hate it!!11!” fear holding me back. Amongst the flowers, I’ve also been throwing in some leaves which were on the page next to the swirly flowers in Angela Walters’ book and some pebbles where I’ve completely failed in filling up areas.

It’s kind of hard to see in the photo, but my swirly flowers are coming out much better on the back of the quilt. This is where I started thinking about how everyone else chooses their quilting designs. If I could see into the future to see this quilt, I actually would have chosen the orange peels design. Not because I’m hating the look of my quilting, but I’m just not liking how it looks on the top. The back is fine; I think this comes down to the back being fairly light in both colour and in design, so the floral design I’m quilting actually stands out as a whole. On the quilt top, where I decided to quilt in a light aqua/blue, I think it looks messy. The prints in the fabrics are busy. There are a lot of colours. My quilting only stands out on the white squares and the patches of lighter fabrics so the design doesn’t look as cohesive as the back. I think the top would have benefitted from a more ‘light’ quilting design, or perhaps even a different thread colour. I’m not going to unpick it though. I’m determined to finish it and hope to master these flowery swirls by the end of the quilt!

Riddle and {Whimsy} Charity Quilt WiP

To get in the groove of quilting my Bonnie and Camille quilt, I pieced the border for my charity quilt and then quilted it up. I used the boxy loops, which is the first time I’ve done it on a quilt and it actually came out successful! Now I just need to choose a binding.

I have another quilt on my list basted (the larger Oh Deer top) so I’m crossing-fingers hoping to have my B+C quilt finished by the end of the week, so I can then quilt this one. The smaller one is already quilted, just needs binding. Then I will be on a binding mission for all of these. I want to finish these up within the next week, so I can then put some time into the third border for Alice’s Possum Magic centre as it’s due to be sent off mid November and time is ticking!!

Doing Anything That I Needed

Ms Midge has opened up the linky for the Bonnie and Camille charm along. I haven’t finished my quilt yet, but do, at least have a top to link up!

Riddle and {Whimsy} B+C Charm Along (top-front)
front view

We had 110 different fabrics submitted for the charm swap, covering all of Bonnie and Camille’s fabric lines. I also found a place (retromummy) selling Daysail precuts already so I nabbed a charm pack and added 11 charms of that into the mix for a total of 121 different fabrics. This also allowed me to do a 11×11 layout.

When the charm swap was announced, my original idea was to do Camille’s Swell pattern featured in her Simply Retro book. If you’re not familiar with the Swell pattern, I love this version by Chelsea. I ended up changing my mind because I decided it looks too similar to the other quilt I made for the Kate Spain charm swap. Then I thought of doing Camille’s Round and Round because I haven’t made a big version of that yet, but it only uses half of the charms, which would have left me with another 50+ charms to do something with (and it would have been too hard to narrow down which charms to use!).

I also didn’t want to go for a white background, and started looking for different background fabrics, and I was going to use a navy Grunge Basic. Before I hit the purchase button I found a 4 or 5 yard piece of Bella white in my stash, and decided to just go the “use what I have” option and do a white background, which meant I could spoil myself in purchasing some Miss Kate flannel for the back. I’ve not used flannel for a quilt back before and have been wanting to try it, even if it isn’t the best time of year for it!

Then, the October queen in my remaining bee, linked to the Lovely Lattices pattern on Moda Bakeshop as this would be our block for the month, and then I just knew: I had to make this with my charms. The method to make the half square triangles is the “sew around the edge of the squares and then cut on both diagonals”. Four HSTs out of one charm. I had 121 charms. That’s 484 HSTs!!!!

Instead of cutting up my yardage of the white to cut them in squares, I used a white Kona layercake I bought ages ago but hadn’t used for its intended purpose. So I cut it into quarters to get my squares which was easier. This was before I had Daysail, so I only had 110 to make at this time so I broke the HST making down, aiming for 22 charm pairs a day. Across 5 days, Monday-Friday, it allowed me to work on the HST in the week so I could spend the weekend making the top, as well as spending the week also doing other sewing. But when I purchased Daysail, I held off on making the top so I could work in the new charms and mix them up. This worked out fine as it gave me time to slack off by reading all 50+ arcs (chapters) of Sailor Moon manga instead, which is what I’ve been doing instead of sewing and blogging this entire week, whoops.

Riddle and {Whimsy} B+C Charm Along (top-back)
back view

Now I just need to piece my back and baste it so I can quilt! I’m tossing up free motioning swirly flowers or doing orange peels with my walking foot. I can’t help but think the swirly flowers will be tighter and help keep the flannel together a bit more though?

The top is approx. 55″ square, so I need to cut a 10″ or so wide strip for one of the sides of the backing. Has anyone made a backing with both flannel and regular cotton? I was thinking of using a strip of regular cotton for the extra bit, to prevent hacking up the rest of the flannel I bought (I purchased 4 yards because I purchased it with Round and Round in mind but now I don’t need that much, so I could use the rest on another project). I was going to bind this in the navy/white spot from Happy Go Lucky, so was thinking of also using that for that extra piece of backing. Will this work okay or will it feel odd on the back with the different fabrics?!

Take Flight

I’ve actually been busy doing more sewing than usual, so I’ve not really been in a bloggy/chatty mood lately. I’m taking a break from laundry folding and figured it’s about time I shared this finish which was the third one that I had completed for some Facebook Showcases. I actually had this one available in two because it didn’t sell in the first one. It didn’t sell in the second either (none of my quilts sold). I don’t think many people had much luck in the showcases anyway, so it wasn’t just me. The photos for this quilt also suffered from “camera being difficult” like the last couple I shared which I tried to fix as much as I could in Photoshop; I haven’t actually gotten around to retaking photos since.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Figures HRT (indoors)

I started the quilt in May, and had a top finished by early June. It sat around because I never knew what to quilt on it! I pulled it out to prepare for the Showcases as I eventually had an idea: Orange Peels! I used my walking foot for them which I found easier than with my free motion foot, as when I use it I end up with banana peels. It was a little tricky at first to get the right rhythm and movement to make the curves but I picked it up quickly.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Figures HRT (outdoors)

I used the Orange Peel tutorial from Petit Design Co.’s 31 days of Walking Foot series to get an idea of how to work out how to do it before starting. I drew out my small rectangle to size on a piece of paper and then drew an orange peel inside of that and cut it out as a template and then traced it with a Frixion pen on the quilt to give some rough lines to follow. I love the texture it leaves on the quilt! It’s somewhat dense but so soft as well.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Figures HRT (outdoors)

The rest of the borders I struggled with! I quilted things and unpicked them multiple times. Not the best photo see, unfortunately, but around the dark blue/white spots I just stitched in the ditch on either side as I thought it was too thin to really bother with any quilting designs. Over the birds, I made tiny stipples and I figured out the figure 8 design over the feathers — one of the designs I unpicked the most because I failed at it miserably the first few! At one point I was about ready to ball the quilt up and throw it away. The next time I want to put borders on a quilt, I am going to make myself come up with a quilting design right then and if I can’t? Then no border! Borders are hard!

On the back, I used a print that was made up of bright blue, navy and green squiggles. Even though the colours don’t match the front, apart from the blues, I still felt it was similar enough to still match without being matchy matchy and without being totally different at the same time. I held my label corner pocket down with some contrasting yellow thread (to match the front) in a blanket stitch. I’m still unsure about my labels and keep considering the Ikaprint ones but I’m stumped on what to put on them! I just like their smallness and that they’re unobtrusive.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Figures HRT (outdoors)

Here’s a fullshot photo of the back but the colours are a little off (they look very true in the photo above, with the label). I used a white thread for quilting and it blends in completely on the back so if I made any quilting mistakes, you can’t really see them!

This whole quilt is one of my favourites I’ve made so far. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to get decent photos of it, and that it didn’t sell, however I’m kind of happy it didn’t sell because it means i get to admire it for longer! I’ll be putting it in my etsy store eventually, but I’ve been lazy and haven’t listed any of my Facebook Showcase quilts yet.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Figures HRT (outdoors)


QUILT STATS

Pattern: Half Rectangle Triangles

Name: (any ideas for this one?! I’ve been stumped!)

Size: approx 37″x 41″

Fabric: Figures by Zen Chic; Up, Up and Away from Cloud 9; Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille; Modbox by Juliana Horner

Backing: unknown

Binding: by Sweetwater

Thread: Aurifil white

Here It Comes

I’ve not done the 2014 Finish Along before, so this is my first time making a list and joining up! A few things are ‘loose’ but a couple of others have deadlines!

My list of things to complete for Q4 are:

  • Bonnie and Camille Charm Along Quilt (for the linkup circa October 20th-27th)
Riddle and {Whimsy} Charm Along
88/440 HSTs. Yikes!
  • Supernova (need to complete remaining blocks by October 20th to send to Sarah) and once received other half, put the quilt together – will probably work on quilting through November/December
  • A charity quilt I need to send by November. Top is partially done; need to add borders and then quilt.
  • IG Mini Swap mini quilt (to finish for the mailing deadline: 8th December) – leaving until November to complete October goals
  • Gypsy Wife (I would like to complete it in time for the Quilt Along goal of December — or at the very least, for Christmas). A few months behind in block making :(
  • Frosted Cheerios (finish by Christmas). I have 6 more blocks to make to have all 42 before putting the top together
Riddle and {Whimsy} Frosted Cheerios
25/42 Cheerio blocks

If I get overly ambitious, I’d also like to see these completed:

2014 FAL goals


Other things I’ll be working on:

  • Remaining bee blocks for my Threadbias bee (October and November queens)
  • Possum Magic Border 3 (to send out for November 17)
  • Disney Quilt Swap (due to send out early January). I’m making doors!

Having goals written out like this almost looks more do-able! Especially since I left out a few WiPs, that when I think about how much I need to do, I constantly think about all WiPs and UFOs and freak out so having a selection written out almost seems less stressful! Let’s see how I go!

Finish Along 2014

Break Free

My other Round Robin (not Possum Magic) is almost complete. I’m now only waiting for the final round on my top. The last time I saw it, it looked like this which was 2 rounds ago. I’m relieved I’ve now finished all rounds, and I only need to send off the final two tops I worked on. This Robin is one more thing to knock off from my commitments. One bee has finished and I only have this month and next of my final bee, so slowly but surely, I’m getting my own sewing time back ;)

Working on the final rounds was hard, because the tops looked like they were completed already.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Round Robin (before)
What I received

For a while I was stumped on what to do with this one. Eventually, I decided that it looks quite busy and very angular. It’s also quite bottom-heavy (or top-heavy /side-heavy depending on orientation) so I decided to just do something simple along the top to calm down those angles and to balance it out. I picked a few fabrics in similar colours and made a row of varying sized strips.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Round Robin (after)

It’s pretty simple, but I think it helps give some balance while at the same time leaving room for next border — the final one.

The next top I added the final round to. Both of these tops I received within a couple of weeks of each so I held onto the above one to send them together to save postage.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Round Robin (before)
Waiting for the final round

Aren’t those paper pieced elephants adorable?! As with the other top, I thought this one looked off-balanced down the left side. When I first saw photos of this, I knew I wanted to add a border down the right to balance it off. Once I received it, I knew I wanted to replicate the shapes in the left border.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Round Robin (after)

For fabrics, I had to make do with my stash as there were no black or elephants scraps left to use. I used a black solid instead. To add a bit of colour where the elephants are on the left, I used some Castle Peeps castles which had the same bright tones. To copy the aqua corners, I even found an elephant print in my stash (elephants playing crocquet, to be exact).

This particular robin had a tighter schedule than Possum Magic, and since I’m sending and receiving internationally, I lose half of my time into postage. Now that I’m done I can feel a little bit of stress relief!