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 hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday so far. It certainly has been busy here, and it’s been great having time off from work and school and hanging out with family. Time to play with the grandkids! Time to sew! Time to eat Christmas cookies! It’s all good.
How many more days of winter??
Need something to keep your creative self in gear through the coming months? Hurry over to Myra’s PhD Challenge (Projects half Done) and sign up quick! There’s only a couple of days left to join in. I learned about it on Thread Head’s blog. (Go on over and visit—check out the wonderful mini-quilts she’s been working on.)
I’ve put four things on my challenge list. One of them is to finish the quilting for the Quilt-Along quilt. I’ve been giving my walking foot quite a workout—lots and lots of straight (sort of) lines. Given that the pre-cut strips weren’t all 2 1/2 inches wide as they should have been, and the “creative piecing” that required, I’m doing more quilting than I might have otherwise. This baby is not going to come apart!
I also plan to finish a quilt I started a while back for Project Linus.
And I’ve designed a pattern for the Christmas fabric I bought recently. So far, I’ve gotten it cut out.
Next on the to-do list is to finish the pattern I’ve sketched out for these Stonehenge fabrics I’ve been collecting. Aren’t the textures fantastic? I’m hoping to get to the cutting out part, too.
I hope the new year brings you creative joy.
The two borders are stitched on the Quilt Along project. Their combined width equals that of a block, although they seem a little wider in the picture.
It was quite windy out on the day that I took these shots, so I opted to spread out the top in the living room. The lighting wasn’t the best (at least that’s my excuse), but I didn’t want to use the flash. The colors get really wonky with the flash on.
Wish list—A DSLR to replace my point-and-shoot.
Here’s a closer view.
Adding the borders brought the size up to about 78″ x 65″—so much for being a “small” project! I finished piecing the back this past week and over the weekend I started the basting. While I like thread basting, maneuvering a top this size with boards gets a bit cumbersome, probably because my table is too small. This time I’m using a Gracie hand quilting frame to hold everything together for the basting part. The frame is for hand quilting so this should work, right?? I’ll let you know how it goes.
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These arrived recently. They’re from the Asian Collection by Free Spirit.
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And with cooler weather comes a new apple crop and the urge to bake.
The crust is pate brisee adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. I added two teaspoons of sugar and used 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons of butter. Don’t ask me why—it just felt right at the time.
I made enough filling for a 9-inch deep dish pie.
8 cups apples, peeled and sliced (Use whatever kind you like. I’m partial to Granny Smith apples for pie, but this one has a mix of Gala and a local variety of jonagold.)
2 Tbls cornstarch
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
dash or two of salt
Mix and sprinkle over sliced apples. Give it a stir with a rubber spatula and let it sit while you roll out the crust. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. I left this one in for about 45-ish minutes since it was so large.