Sunday, June 15, 2014

Back to the veggie drawing board!

I heard through the grapevine that certain people thought I was done with my veggie quilt because I haven't posted about it in, oh, six months. If only that were the case!

Here is where we left of. The center was all pieced and ready for embroidery to add some finishing touches to each applique. The embroidery stage went swimmingly, but then it came time to design the border. And here is where I got incredibly intimidated. I wanted a border with flowers and plants growing up and around, bringing the quilt to life.

Something like this, but with vegetables:

This amazing quilt is called Meadows of Black Forest by Ellen Heck. And no, there is no patten, I checked.

But I really can't design that kind of border myself yet, I am NOT there. I originally was going to do some beans for the border from a pattern book I have:

But I sat down and looked at that and decided that I really, really, didn't want to do that much hand applique. 

So then it came down to a pieced border. My quilt is only 42" right now and I figure it needs to be up to 60" to be a useful lap quilt. So I needed to come up with a border that was 10" on either side, that didn't feel like it was dwarfing the center of the quilt, and that didn't feel boring either.

I also wanted something that showcased my color palate and the gradations of each fabric that I have at my disposal.

I will spare you the hours of my clicking around a million websites for border patterns. I messed around with a number of options and ideas in indesign, and here are the final two options:

While I love the idea of incorporating New York Beauty blocks, they detract from the design too much. This second one showcases all my quilt colors and still allows the center to shine. I like how it also carries out the diamond motif that is in the center of the quilt. 

Then came the math time...luckily the math was less of a headache than I thought it would be. The inner border will be 2.5", the diamond border 4", and the outer border 2.5".  Here are my calcs: 

Totally random jotting of numbers, but it works!

Now the diamonds were a bit tough because they need to be 4" across, which means each side will be shorter. Plus there's seam allowance to consider...if you're like me and this gives you headaches, here is my very simple solution:

I printed out a full-size version of my blocks, drew in a 1/4" seam allowance, and measured the result. Works like a charm, and no crazy calculations involved!

So began cutting time...
...with help from my assistant....

After I had cut an introductory amount, I laid out the quilt to make sure things were looking right. Then I realized there were two ways to lay out the border:

In the top one, the diamonds go against the background but with the main quilt. In the bottom one, the diamonds go with the background and opposite to the quilt. Luckily I can stitch most it together before I decide which way it should go.

As a side note, we have some kitten guests in our house right now! Here is one, Pink Eye!

So far they haven't been allowed near any sewing supplies :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Stash

For the first time ever, I am linking up to Sunday Stash.

Molli Sparkles

I'm not someone who normally buys up fabric to build my stash, but sometimes I do get tempted. Last week Craftsy had a mystery box on sale...50 fat quarter for $50. That is a serious steal, as fat quarters are typically $3 each. So I looked back at my finances, saw my quilting spending had been very low thus far this year (because I'm catching up on so many UFOs that I haven't started any projects!) and decided to treat myself!

All of the fat quarters were from Free Spirit Fabrics and were high quality with fun, bright patterns. The only downside was that there were duplicates, so I didn't get 50 distinct fat quarters. I made my boyfriend model some of my favorites.

I love the big, bold print on this. Not sure what I will do with an FQ size, but the fabric itself sure would make a lovely quilt backing!

I love how bright and cheery this one is

These remind me of Art Forms of Nature. I love how intricate the design is

This one was metallic!

Now I also had another stash monthly color FQ bundle from The Fabric Shoppe. This month's color was green.
 This month had a few more hits and misses than last month. While there were a bunch that I was head over heels for...
I LOVE this color scheme!

This one brings in so many fun colors

...there were also a few that I was not so thrilled about. To me these two came across as old fashioned.

The color scheme is really muted and pastel-y.
I think the duckies are cute, but this is not my shade of green. The little patterns remind me of older fabrics.

So that's my stash for now. As an aside, Esther Aliu recently blogged that her top advice for new quilters was to NOT build their stashes. There are definitely some people I follow where I'm like "what the heck do you do with all that fabric? How can you afford to purchase so much all the time?!" I thought it was an interesting dichotomy because it seems older quilters (who probably have 30 years worth of fabric stashed up) are against stashes, while it's the young quilters who are powering full steam ahead with stash building. I guess I don't have a big opinion one way or the other. I used to be anti-stash building, but it sure is a treat to receive new fabric. :) What's your opinion?