Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Custom Bow Tie Quilt Blocks

I am currently taking a break from my unnamed blue, teal and white quilt and am working hard on my commission quilt. As you can see above I now have all the blocks pieces complete and am in the process of turning them into finished bow tie blocks. 

For this quilt I also made the decision to paper piece my blocks.  I wanted my blocks to be perfect and all exactly the same size and with paper piecing you never have to worry.  I drew up a quick template in Illustrator (which I may share if anyone is interested in making their own bow ties) and now I have perfectly even blocks with beautifully straight seams - perfect for a custom ordered quilt. 

I am now off to get some more work done on this quilt!  Hope to share more soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Blue, Teal, Green and White WIP

Remember that stack of fabric I shared last week, well it is slowly on its way to becoming my newest quilt which I am currently do not have a name for - any suggestions would be welcomed though. 

I don't know about you, but I make a quilt I usually make a few extra blocks so I can play with the front design - because I like options.  The blocks that don't get used in the front are either incorporated into the back of the quilt or set aside in a box of spare quilt blocks (which I hope to use in future projects).

The design for this quilt was created by playing with some of those some spare blocks that I had put up on the design wall.  From there I sketched a few things out and this quilt was born!

This quilt unfortunately has now been put on the back burner because the fabric for my most recent custom order has arrived and I have an actual deadline to meet.  More to share soon.

Thanks for Reading!

Monday, July 14, 2014


Lately I have been in a blogging funk, which is odd because quilting wise the last few weeks have been very busy.  I think it started with the frustration of my medallion quilt shrinking and bleeding onto my orange quilt (even though I think I managed to get it all out).  Then I could never manage to get pictures of what I was working on - a combination of no quilt holding helper (he understandably had to work) + poor weather = no proper photos.

The good news is I have a lot to share in the next few weeks, and a lot to do it seems.  The fabric stack pictured at the beginning of this post has since been cut (all the pieces pictured above are destined to be flying geese).  I am combining them with a stark white background - something I don't normally do, and I am really loving how all the fabrics look together. 

In other sewing news I have made a lot of progress hand quilting my Rainbow Ombre Flying Geese Quilt (new pictures to be shared soon) and I received a quilt commission this week - which will take priority over all my other sewing projects.  It will be a twin sized variation of my Black Tie quilt.

More to share soon!  


Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Shot Cotton (Peppered & Kaffe) Warning

Two versions of the same quilt, the left one used shot cottons, the right one did not.

I just wanted to share a quick post about an issue I had with some shot cottons and see if anyone else has had a similar issue.  This post is slightly long and ranty but I think these are problems I should share. 

As many of you know I recently made a second version of my Milky Way Medallion quilt (original blogged about here).  On the first version the top ended up 69.5" square.  For the second version (blogged about here) I made a few adjustments to the pattern so the finished size was 71.5" square.

The first version was made entirely out of regular quilting cottons.  For version 2 I was trying to do something completely different so I used Shot Cottons as my background fabrics (1 Kaffe shot cotton and 2 peppered cottons) and regular quilting cottons for the rest.  I have never used shot cottons before but assumed they would act just like regular cottons.  Boy was I ever wrong. 

As a side note, I do not prewash my fabrics, I almost never do unless I am making a garment. 

To make a long story short I washed and dried both quilts (same way each time) and the one made with shot cottons shrunk 5.5"!  The finished size of the top was 71.5" square, but after washing this quilt ended up 66" square.  To put this into perspective my original Milky Way Medallion top finished at 69.5" square and after washing in the same manner as version 2 it is about 69" square.  I only lost a 1/2 to shrinkage compared to 5.5".

The second problem I had was bleeding.  I washed the medallion quilt with an orange version of my gray matter pattern and the dark colors bled.  At first I didn't notice it other than on the medallion quilt, I just saw that some of my yellows and greens were not as bright as before, but that wasn't a huge deal.  You only really notice on 1 or two of the colors and it is just a darkening that you see only when you see the fabric next to its original fabric

The issue came when I looked closer at the orange quilt.  All over the dotted orange pieces there are streaks of dark dye, the binding is the worst and most noticeable part.  It looks like I took the quilt and dragged it on the ground, letting the binding pick up dirt.  It's awful, I was planning to sell the quilt, but not anymore unless I can fix it.  The odd (and good) thing is that only some of the oranges picked up the dark dye, but none of the whites did. 

Fortunately/unfortunately the spots are hard to photograph and it looks much worse in person.

Since writing the beginning of this post I rewashed both quilts with 2 Shout Color Catchers  each and some oxyclean hoping to remove the excess dye.  The orange quilt body seems much better, but the binding still has tinges of grey.  I am debating trying to wash it one more time, or just ripping the binding off and putting a new one on.  Any suggestions?  The medallion quilt wasn't that bad to begin with, but it was definitely the quilt that was bleeding as evidenced by the darker shout color catcher. 

Upper Color Catcher washed with the medallion quilt, lower one with orange quilt.

After these issues I will definitely think twice before using shot cottons again.  I can't be certain which shot cottons shrunk and which ones bled, but it is enough of a problem that I am quite weary of using either one again.   

It is sad because the peppered cottons are quite beautiful in person, and I had plans to use them on another quilt for my husband.  They are slightly shimmery and tightly woven (much higher quality than the Kaffe cottons in my opinion), but 5.5 inches is a lot to lose on a quilt, not to mention the color fastness issue. 

What about you, have you had problems with quilt shrinkage?  Issues with shot cottons bleeding and behaving differently than regular quilting cottons?  If you have used oakshott cottons, do they also have any of these issues?  I would love to hear your thoughts.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Milky Way Medallion Version 2 Finished

This is the second version of my Milky Way Medallion quilt.  I made a few adjustments to the pattern and it came together much more smoothly than the first (probably because I wasn't designing on the fly this time).

I wanted this version to look completely different than my first so I went with a less scrappy look with a dark background.  I used 3 background fabrics (all shot cottons) and 15 feature fabrics and the result really shows off the pattern nicely.

I quilted in an allover meander with a medium grey Aurifil thread and for the back of the quilt I used an extra wide black and grey paisley print.   The binding is the dark grey I used in the quilt. 

The first draft of the pattern is now finished and I have some pattern testers working on their own version of the quilt to work out any kinks.  Once they have finished their quilts and have given me any correction suggestions I will release the pattern, hopefully in less than a month.   

This quilt is for sale and currently listed in my Etsy Shop.

The original is also for sale and can be found in my Etsy Shop.


Edit: Another finish crossed off my Q2 2014 FAL List Found Here

Friday, May 30, 2014

April Rhodes Party Dress Finished

My Party dress has been finished for a little while now but things have been so crazy around here I haven’t had time to blog about it until now.  

As I mentioned in my original post the pattern is the Riding Peplum and Party Dress by April Rhodes.  The pattern is basically a two for one.  You get both a peplum pattern and a party dress pattern.

I was initially drawn to this pattern for two reasons: 1) I heard how easy to make April’s patterns are and for a first time dressmaker I needed something fairly simple. 2) The dress is just delicious – the length, the fullness of the skirt, the sleeveless top... need I say more?

Left: Before I added the ties.               Right: After I added the ties.

I made my dress in the xs size, and found that it was a little too big once it was finished - the top fit pretty well, but the waist was too big.  Since I am new to dress making and had no idea how to alter the actual dress, I decided to add some matching ties to synch the waist and accentuate my figure more.  

To be fair I am a very small human being, think middle school kid size but taller.  I did have one of my friends try on this dress and it fit her much better than it fit me - unfortunately this is usually the case for me when it comes to clothes and is part of the reason I wanted to try my hand at making some. 

Front of the Dress before and after I added the Ties
All around this was a great pattern and I learned a lot in the process.  I learned how to make bust darts and facing, and I learned how to add said facing to the dress. I have to say I would recommend the pattern.  It is such a great learning tool, and if you are already an experienced seamstress well then its a quick pattern that turns out beautifully.  

Back to work on some and quilts and patterns of my own!


Edit: A finish crossed off my Q2 FAL List Blogged about here

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Milky Way Medallion V.2 - Borders 1-4 Done

Borders 1-3

I have been slowly working away on the second version of my medallion quilt.  I have been trying to write the directions for the part of the quilt I am working on, which results in some sewing here, some note taking there, and some computery stuff to finish it off.

Borders 1-4

I have now completed borders 1-4 and am currently working on the fifth and sixth borders.  I am really enjoying the process of making this quilt a second time because I love how different it is turning out compared to the first version. 

I hope to send copies of the pattern to my pattern testers in the next two weeks!  More to come soon. 


Linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story
Lets Be Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio