Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gypsy Wife Quilt Along - August LinkUp!

Update: I'm spending the evening watching my beloved Hokies play, but I had to drop in for a quick update during halftime to announce that the GWQAL winner for July is Jeanie!  I hope you enjoy your goodies!

Greetings!  This month is my turn to host the Gypsy Wife Quilt-Along link party!  If you’re just tuning in, we are making the fabulous Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingwell following the schedule put together by Michelle at Factotum of Arts.  Our Flickr group is here.

I’ve been loving every minute of this quilt-along.  I know that hasn’t been the case with everyone – the pattern could be written more clearly, and there have been some understandable frustrations along the way.  But take heart; we are on the downhill slope now!

My big tip for this quilt?  Press seams open (most of the time) and starch!  I love starch (or Magic Sizing) and wish I had discovered it a long time ago.  

Hopefully this month’s blocks were a little easier on everyone.  No tricky math this time.  I’ll admit I was lazy and eyeballed the diagonals.  If I had been a good child I would have marked my diagonals before stitching.  Meh. 

The main block was Indian Hatchet.  I meant to take pictures as I sewed, but the basement quilt cave has sucky lighting (and some nights I just don’t have the extra energy after wrestling my boys to bed).  

The other blocks were eight more 3-inch (finished) square in a square blocks.  We should be pros at these now, no?  It would have been smart to center those big polka dots.  Next time.  I'm too impatient to think of things like that when the fabric's flying.
And now to the linky and prizes.  This month’s giveaway is provided by two of our own.  
Julie from 627 Handworks is donating a Fat Eighth bundle of Cotton + Steel Basics (Netorious print), and Michelle at Factotum of Arts is donating a Hexagon pack of Figures by Zen Chic for Moda.  

Now link up those August blocks (all nine)!  You can either link to your blog post or, if you don’t have a blog, link up a picture of your blocks from Flickr.  The giveaway will stay open through 11:55pm on September 1st, and I'll randomly select a winner.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Willow & Co. Mulberry Tunic

The summer round of Kids Clothes Week came around a few weeks ago.  I had great intentions but just couldn't make it happen.  But I did work on some clothes for my boys.  Here is one of the items I've finished - the Willow & Co. Mulberry Tunic.

I made the smallest size (18m) for Will.  He generally wears 18m ready-to-wear clothing, but this is still a little big on him.  At least he'll be able to wear it through the fall. 

The fabric is some quilting cotton from my stash.  I think it originally came from Walmart (you know, those rare ones that still have fabric departments).  The buttons are from a thrifted mens' shirt. 

The pattern was a pretty easy sew.  The only part I had trouble with was the turned cuffs, and I think that was partially because I was tired.  Once I realized how to flip the cuffs, everything was fine. 

There's another Mulberry Tunic in the works for Sam, but who knows when that'll get finished.  My sewing room is a huge mess right now - I've been sewing on folding tables for years but am finally working on getting a proper table. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Hooray!  After 11 months of piecing (on and off, not every day) and 50 hours of quilting (spread over three months), my Farmer’s Wife quilt is finished!


Do you know how hard it is to photograph a quilt this big?  Bad wind!

Signature at the bottom.

Approximately 93” x 103”
3 boxes of basting pins
50 hours of quilting
39.5 bobbins of quilting thread
Quilted with Juki TL2010Q
Began: January 2012
Completed: July 21, 2014

After marking the entire quilt with Crayola washable markers in varying colors, there were only two blocks with this yellow fabric that didn't get it all out.  And I'm sure a little spot attention will get it all the way out.  There are other blocks with the same fabric that had no issues, and plenty of other blocks with the blue marker.

 I frickin' love the feather border.  It was worth the marking and the work.

To be honest, after all the work, finishing the quilt was a bit anticlimactic.  I just put the last stitch in and put her in the washer.  Weird.  I guess sometimes a mammoth project will do that to you.  It was almost relief that it was done, but I did enjoy almost every part of this quilt.  **It probably doesn’t help that I entered the quilt in our county fair and am considering entering it in the state fair, so I haven’t actually put it on our bed yet.**

Each block is quilted differently.

I loved piecing the top because the blocks were all different – I never got bored.  I loved marking and basting once I finally decided to quilt it myself.  I loved the actual quilting because I couldn’t believe I was actually free motion quilting a queen/king sized quilt on my domestic machine and it looked decent!  And I love that I can look at this quilt on my bed every day as a reminder that I am awesome. 

And that’s not bragging.  The quilting (and even the piecing) is nowhere near perfect, but it is the best I have done to date.  I am going to be proud of that.  I tend to be self-deprecating and uncomfortable with praise, but I think we quilters need to remind ourselves that we have a special craft.  Not everyone can or wants to do this.  We are awesome for making quilts.  

**She won first place in her class at the county fair!  Admittedly there weren't many quilts, but I was proud to get a blue.  Now to decide on entering the state fair.  Possibly submit to a "real" quilt show???**


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