Friday, February 25, 2011

Cabin Fever in (un)Progress

Last week or so, I posted my latest in-progress quilt.  It's a wonky log cabin made from scraps of other sewing projects. I spent many of our snow days putting this together and therefore dubbed it, "Cabin Fever". When I got the sashing finished, I was pretty happy with it despite the fact that it got considerably thinner from top to bottom.  "It's wonky!" I told myself. "I love wonky!"  However, the more I looked at that impossibly askew quilt, the less wonky it became and the more I realized it was just bad.

Now I suppose if I were truly the liberated quilter I aspire to be, I'd have added an even wonkier and wilder border to balance out the rest. But I haven't gotten to that point just yet. The perfectionist in me just couldn't take that what I had wasn't really a wonky quilt top, but a poorly executed one. And every time I'd walk into the sewing room, I'd stop, look at it, and get aggravated with myself for making such a mess of it. The photo really doesn't show just how off it was, but trust me, there were several inches difference in the top and bottom and no amount of trimming was going to square it up without cutting into the log cabins.

I took it too my BOTM meeting last Saturday and the ladies there agreed that something needed to be done. I got several suggestions, but the one that I thought would work out best was just to cut the thing apart and start all over.

So that's what I did. Rather than lose all the white sashing I decided to trim the blocks leaving one half to an inch of the white surrounding the block. Would've liked to leave more, but there just wasn't enough. I've surrounded half the blocks in Kona medium gray and have started framing the rest in Kona ash.  So I don't know that I've made progress on this quilt since my last post, so much as I've made unprogress. Still, it has taught me to slow down and be more mindful of what I'm least when adding sashing.

I think I'm going to be much happier with it now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cabin Fever

I've been snowed in for four days!  And I've done relatively little in those four days. It's been a Jabba the Hut kinda week for me, actually.  In the midst of all that Jabbaness, there were a few moments when I managed to drag myself away from the couch(or let's be real, the computer) and be at least a little productive.

I started making these scrappy/wonky log cabin blocks waaaay back in October  of 2008. It was around the time I started quilting. They were fun and easy, and I'd make them up when I wanted to sew but didn't really want to work on a project. I'd pull them out every once in a while and make  2-3 at a time. Since these were wild log cabin blocks, I decided to fussy cut something for the centers, rather than use a traditional red or yellow center square. I realized a couple weeks ago that I'd finished enough for a lap  quilt.

The first blocks are here.  A few more are posted here. And here are some made more recently.

So despite the bajillion other UFOs in my closet, I began arranging these on my tablecloth stuck to the wall design wall. 

A few days ago I started adding the sashing strips to each block and last night I managed to get all the rows joined. I don't know how it happened, but none of these wanted to match up, despite the fact that I cut all the blocks 6.5" and all the sashing strips 2.5".  I still ended up with rows that didn't match at all.  I tried to take rows in(not my best idea ever), which resulted in my quilt shrinking at the bottom. Weird--or not since taking them up screwed w/what little bit of math reasoning I used. Why do they have to ruin quilting by making me use Math, btw?  Hopefully, I can just trim the sides to even it up a bit more.

So now, I'm left with how to finish the top. This one is going to be mine---for lounging on the couch. It's plenty long enough but not quite wide enough for proper snuggling under. Trying to decide if I want to border the whole thing or just add strips to the side to get it to a width I like.

That will be a project for another day. As a good friend of mine likes to joke, "If the health department were to come to my house, they'd shut us down!" so, I have got to stop quilting/facebooking/blogging and do some cleaning! Hopefully my next post will include a finished quilt top.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hoppy Baby Quilt

Finished up my second quilt project of 2011!  I didn't blog it as process posts since it was a gift, but I started this baby quilt in October or November. I thought it might take me a couple weekends to finish even though Fons and Porters said "you can make this quilt in an afternoon" in the pattern description. Liars.  I finished it mid January!

Here's a pre quilting and pre washing look at the blocks and the back:

Loved doing my own thing and piecing the letters for the back!
This one had more small pieces and required much more seam alignment than anything I've tried before. The thing that really made this quilt difficult? Me. I tend to get in a hurry, am easily flustered,  get ahead of myself, and as a result I often spend more time unsewing than sewing.  I learn something new everytime I finish a quilt, so I think if I were to try this pattern again, it'd go much faster. But I'm'll be the only one of it's kind(made by me, anyway). 

It was a gift for our niece, her husband, and their sweet brand new baby girl. The time spent was completely worthwhile! 
Warm and crinkly, right out of the dryer.

Despite some mismatched seams and wonky quilting, I'm pleased overall with the way it turned out and I hope the precious Miss Abagail will enjoy snuggling up with it.

Pattern is Phoebe from the Fall 2009 issue of Easy Quilts. There is a free download here for members of the Fons & Porters website(also free to join).