I have sewn the last of the binding down on the quilt-along quilt. Crooked seams aside I’m pleased with how it turned out. There were a couple of things I learned while making this:
- Pre-cuts are not always cut accurately
- Quilting batiks works much better with a smaller needle (say 70/10)
I figured out the last one by accident. I had been using a Microtex 80/12 needle—a couple of them actually. After struggling with skipped stitches and breaking thread while doing the free-motion quilting on the border, I happened to be paging through Laurie Shifren’s book Batik Gems and there it was on page 17. I’ve been through that book a zillion times but hadn’t retained that bit of information. I now have a note by my sewing machine to remind me. What a difference it made!
This quilt is also one of my PHD projects on Myra’s blog.
Now for the oops.
Wait for it…
This is from my own pattern. I knew I was supposed to cut the green squares at 6 1/2-inches. Somehow what my brain knew and what my hands did suffered a disconnect. Thank goodness my local fabric shop had more of the green.
I’ve had fun putting these blocks together. The pattern was simple enough that I could fit in the cutting and stitching in between work and school. Spending time with fabric is usually a most welcome diversion, allowing time for relaxing and shutting out other things for a while.
One thing I learned, though, is that I prefer to do my own cutting—all of it that is. This was the first time I used pre-cut strips. I was dismayed to discover that the strips were not cut evenly, which made for some very creative piecing when it came time to put it all together. I trimmed some of the areas that were wider than the 2.5-inches they should have been. Areas that were narrower, well, that’s where the creative piecing came in.
Another thing I learned participating in the quilt along is that having a schedule of sorts, and knowing there were other stitchers out there along with me (no matter that I don’t know them personally), really kept me motivated to finish.
Here are the blocks sewn together. I do like these colors. They’re all from the “Berry Bliss” bali pops collection.
On the upper right corner you can see the edges of fabric from my stash that I’m thinking of using for borders.
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The little kaleidoscope quilt is finally hanging in my office at work. You can see my first attempt at feather quilting in the corners. I echo quilted the small star in the very center and added some straight lines radiating out from there to the edge of the kaleidoscope.
Last Saturday I made it up to this year’s Quilt Odyssey in Hershey. It was a feast for the eyes as always. And, as always, I forgot to submit my Reader’s Choice ballot. Just as well since I wouldn’t have been able to narrow it down to just one favorite. I mean, c’mon!
Also, Sieglinde Schoen Smith had a new quilt at the show. If you are familiar with Mother Earth and Her Children then you know what kind of stunning work she does. The new quilt was every bit as beautiful. The longer you look the more you discover in the details.
I did come home with some treats.
Does this cat have attitude?? And I lucked out at the Starr Design booth. They were having a 25% off sale, so I snatched up a fat quarter 10-pack of their hand dyes.
Aren’t the colors gorgeous? The fabric beneath them is a piece of batik yardage I picked up at another booth (the name of which escapes me at the moment).
I also picked up a panel featuring this critter and several of her friends.
I still smile every time I look at it.