Liam’s Chevron Quilt – Fini

Top In Full

Liam’s Disney Cars themed chevron quilt is finally done and will travel up to Seattle this weekend.

I did the final quilting and binding after the kids went to bed during the week.

I had a little extra batting to trim off of the 90″ length, but not too much. If you do this and you’re using the wrap-around-binding as I’m fond of, be sure you do not stab your scissors through the backing.

Yeah. I did that. Twice. I made a patch. Twice.

Trimming
Trimming

Then I just trimmed the fabric down to an inch beyond the edge, folded in half and then folded over, put in about 8 pins, and started sewing.

I find that if I pin the whole thing, I feel like I’m in a Hellraiser movie getting poked by needles constantly. Eh, not my thing. If I try to just roll and hold the binding as I go, I’m likely to either get sloppy or pull the bias and it will get stretchy/puckery. So, as I get to the last pin, I pause…

Wrap Binding
Wrap Binding

…fold and insert 6-8 more pins…

Pin As I Go
Pin As I Go

and the quilt ends up blood free.

I tried to get final shots with some daylight on the quilt to share. That probably seems like a simple task IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. It has been gray for so long that I am starting to feel gray. I emote gray. hahahaha.

Here’s the top of the twin quilt laid out on a queen-size bed.

Top In Full
Top In Full

Here’s Zoe’s view:

Top from baby view
Top from baby view

It’s all business on the top with its formal pattern, and crazy party patchwork on the back:

Back in Full
Back in Full

I love how the embroidery thread as quilt thread did exactly what I wanted. It contrasts and pops out on the front, and completely blends away on the back.

Oh, sorry, and here’s Zoe’s view of the back:

Embroidery Trick
Embroidery Trick

Again, with this close up, the thread shows up ever so slightly. The shot above probably has the most contrast on the entire quilt back.

Here it is against each of the back colors and in 2 lines to show the variegated thread.

Close Up On Black
Close Up On Black
Close Up On Blue
Close Up On Blue
Close Up On Tan
Close Up On Tan

I really really really love it.

Here are some close ups of the top’s echo stitching to show the variation in contrast.

Close Up Blue
Close Up Blue
Close Up Red
Close Up Red
Close Up Yellow
Close Up Yellow

And…Against the binding…

Close Up On Binding
Close Up On Binding

Yes indeed. I’m quite happy. I didn’t even go through ONE of those spools of Sulky thread on this….ooopsie, there I go again, buying too much. In fact, if it wasn’t for my testing, I probably could have made it with one bobbin, but I did put on a second bobbin. However I do have very little of the Disney Cars fabric left, so I estimated that just about perfectly.

I have 2 of the Chevron blocks left – and that one I sewed upside down! haha. I don’t want to stall the quilt going up to Seattle, so I’ll have to send along the accessories later. Throw pillows? I was thinking of using the Liam+cars embroidery programming I did in the tester post? Or…wall panel?? I don’t know how much boys are into wall panels or throw pillows for that matter….

Materials, if you’re interested:

Gutermann thread for piecing; Sulky thread for quilting. I used the same organic bamboo/cotton batting I used on the baby chevron quilt – Ms. Viking really likes sewing through it, it has a great feel and weight and after I coat it with Tailor Basting spray, it’s not nearly as hippy as it once was….heh heh, I crack myself up. I got 4 yards each of the Disney Cars tan and blue fabrics, and 2 yards of the Cars 2 fabric….there’s barely any left – maybe a quarter yard in pieces…a bit more of the blue is left I think. I could use that in the extras? I got the Cars fabric at Fabric.com. For this and the VIP Liam flannel pjs, they had the variety I wanted and I was pleased with the service. I used about 4 yards, give or take, of Kona in Bone. I got that at Joann’s with a 40% off coupon as it’s almost never on sale – which is great, because then it’s always 40% off! Ha! Joann’s does have a tendency to run low on the commonly used Kona cottons, so keep that in mind if you want a lot. I finished off the bolt with that purchase and I think I only got about 7 or 8 yards. They were completely out of most bright whites at the time of that purchase.

Ok! That’s it! Whew! Give me ideas for the Liam accessories if you think of some….meanwhile, I have a list of spring outfits to make!

Embroidery Thread For Quilting

Embroidery Thread Spools

I have the top and back of the VIP Liam quilt basted and ready for actual quilting. The top chevrons and the large block patchwork back intentionally don’t match up other than the Disney Cars theme. The top was more for the aesthetic of grown-ups, while the back is just for Liam to enjoy.

My thought process for the quilting was that I didn’t want to use my usual cream Gutermann thread and just quilt the top like I normally would. This has to be special. That and the cream thread would look silly on the colorful back. So the obvious choice would be to use a colored thread, right? That would still cause really obvious lines in the crazy patterned back….so, I decided to take advantage of having embroidery functions on my machine, the variegated threads at the store and see what happens.

I did some Google searching (that’s like soul searching, right?), but couldn’t find satisfactory answers to my thread question: Can machine embroidery thread by used for machine quilting? I get the weight, ply, strength blah blah blah issues that MAY occur, but can it be done?? The only thing to do is just try it myself and figure it out by making my own sewing lab.

Enter a $45 dollar receipt for thread. That’s with sales and coupons. Keep that in mind if this whim bites you in the…yeah.

Embroidery Thread Spools
Embroidery Thread Spools

The Signature Cotton thread is a 40 wt thread and the display said it’s ideal for machine quilting. The Sulky is a rayon and I read a LOT of contradictory statements about rayon embroidery thread. Some love it. Some say it bleeds, snaps and isn’t ideal – and that was just for embroidery. I’m going to put this through layers of cotton and batting. I read all kinds of business about bobbin tension issues, using the wrong needle will make embroidery thread snap, etc. I’m a little headstrong and don’t like coulda/shoulda crap. I just decided to find out for myself.

Both A&E Thread, makers of Signature, and Sulky have horrible websites. Just horrible.

A&E Thread has built their website for resellers, not you, the consumer. So, if you can move through a reseller site with ease, you’ll be ok and I will admit they have really thorough specs on their site. If it’s too confusing, hopefully you can find a fully trained reseller (that’s like a flying pig sometimes.) A&E’s site is also built with way too much old-skool coding crap like javascript that I can’t even link you directly to the thread. I have to tell you it’s here and go to “Signature Quilters’ Threads Cotton Variegated Assortment” – not really consumer or reseller friendly.

The Sulky site isn’t much better, but it is built more for consumers. It’s just really messy and looks like a school kid did it. However, you can find Products listed in the mess on the side and you can get to your thread. I can say I have #2240 in 40 wt. listed on this page. Looking at the site, 30 wt. would have been preferred it seems, but life goes on. Their specs are pretty good but you HAVE to read the first paragraph of the answer to poly vs. rayon thread here.  I don’t know who at Sulky wrote that, but I love them. That is a fantastic answer with solid reasoning and a bit of a back-slap thrown in. They get my respect for that and I did read exactly who they’re talking about….what a perfect response. Here’s my love, mwah! They didn’t mention one other bad point about polyester, which is it will eventually cut through cotton. Just nature of the beast. Anywho…

I made some practice pieces of cotton and batting, and loaded up a fun program to practice with. I’m not going to embroider the quilt, but just quilt with embroidery thread, so this is more testing than necessary but more fun too! Plus, I kill two birds with one stone knowing what I can and can’t do down the road.

Liam Program
Liam Program

These first tests weren’t for tension adjustment, but instead just to see if the thread would go through the Viking ok, and the batting and a 90 universal needle and…you get the idea.

I tested the Sulky rayon thread first.

Rayon On Machine
Rayon On Machine

 

Rayon In Bobbin
Rayon In Bobbin

I’m happy with it. It feels flexible through the fabric and really as soft/silky as you think rayon would. It obviously needs tension adjustment, but this was just a machine and material test.

Embroidery Thread Test On
Embroidery Thread Test On

Next, the Signature Cotton.

Cotton On Machine
Cotton On Machine

 

Cotton In Bobbin
Cotton In Bobbin

Again, overall I like it. It’s not as silky as the rayon and the colors come across more…Crayola if you know what I mean. I think if I wanted my thread color to be true to what it looks like on the spool, cotton is a sure bet. It is also easier to adjust for tension.

Cotton Embroidery Test
Cotton Embroidery Test

After some deliberation and input from “Uncle R” I decided to go with the rayon as long as it passed the colorfast test. I read that rayon thread had problems with this, even though the Sulky spool does read “silky, shiny, strong, washable & dry cleanable.” I’m too well-versed in marketing to believe labels!

Here is the rayon thread after cold water, hot water, rubbing, soap and just about everything else I could think of to do to it.

Colorfast Testing Rayon
Colorfast Testing Rayon

Alright! We have success! Good on Sulky!

To get the tension adjusted…or rather to see if it was even possible with the lower 40 wt. through the batting, I tested again.

Tension Setting Rayon
Tension Setting Rayon

I just ran the machine and made little tweaks until it was where I liked it and it has worked fine. No breakage, no snaggle-messes, no cussing like a sailor.

So, for me and the Viking, embroidery thread is working just great as a quilting thread. I have about 1/3 of the quilt done in simple echo-lines on the chevron, and it it looks really cute and fun. I did experiment with a little FMQ and it held up just as well.

If you’re ignoring the extra functions on your machine, this, like FMQ, is another “just dig in and do it” thing. It’s totally worth it…maybe just don’t buy so much at once like I did!

Other details: Kona cotton, Warm & Natural batting…I mentioned above it’s just a 90 universal needle. Get on it!

Baby Blocking AKA Disney Cars Chevron Quilt Part Deux

Sewing Anon

No babies were hurt in the making of this quilt. All characters appearing in this work are real. Any resemblance to fictitious persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The journey of the Liam Quilt Top and Back was arduous for all involved. We almost didn’t make it.

There were some white-knuckle moments.

Action Rotary Cutter
Action Rotary Cutter

So many white-knuckle moments…

Rotary Macro Shot
Rotary Macro Shot

Lessons in repetition.

So
So
Many
Many

 

Squares
Squares

I had to bring in help.

Mama's Helper
Mama’s Helper

We almost ran out of thread.

Cutting Chains
Cutting Chains

My partner had to take a break. The pressure was getting to her.

Seal Does Not Sew
Seal Does Not Sew

I carried on.

No Finger Sewing
No Finger Sewing

The ironing was intense.

Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden

We had a break down.

No More Ironing
No More Ironing

I prayed for matching seams.

Praying for Points To Line Up
Praying for Points To Line Up

There may be need for an intervention.

Sewing Anon
Sewing Anon

Queue inspirational music from the orchestra!

We have a quilt top…

Quilt Top Finished
Quilt Top Finished

AND ladies and gentlemen, a quilt back!

Quilt Back Finished
Quilt Back Finished

Director, photographer, therapist: Robert Wagner

Guest appearance made by: Zoe Wagner

Upcycled Wool Owl Pin Cushion

Mr. Owl

My mom hands me this owl pin cushion and says, “Here, this is for you.”

Upcycled Wool Owl Pin Cushion
Upcycled Wool Owl Pin Cushion

Of course, I think it’s darling and say, “Wow! Thank you!! He’s so cute!”

THEN my mom nonchalantly adds, “Oh, do you like it? I made it.”

My mother, master quilter extraordinaire, carpenter, gardener…ok, she does it all and with perfection but not that fussy kind of perfection, she does it with that comfortable, amiable perfection…sigh, I love my mom. Anyway, mom once described her wardrobe as Goodwill Chic because she is so adept at finding wool, silk, antiques, and more at thrift stores.

One day she just whipped up a couple pin cushions out of some thrifted wool and gave one to me.

He’s adorable.

Mr. Owl
Mr. Owl

He has cute little wings.

Owl Wings
Owl Wings

Cute owl ears…

Owl Ears
Owl Ears

A little upcycled wool bottom to protect my fine, fine furniture.

Upcycled Wool Base
Upcycled Wool Base

And a darling ribbon…

Ribbon
Ribbon

I will have to get come cute straight pins to do him justice!

Lonely Owl
Lonely Owl

Yeah, my mom is pretty amazing.

Disney Cars Chevron Quilt Part 1

Sorted Into Blocks

The Chevron Baby Quilt and headboard piece were so easy and so malleable for my needs, I decided to go ahead with making VIP Nephew Liam a twin size in the same pattern. I bought the fabric already, and just had to commit to how it was going to go together.

Here are some close ups of the fabric with the 9.5 inch square ruler laying on top.

Liam’s mom mentioned she liked the tan fabric best, and from an “OMG that thing is going to be in my house” stand-point, I gotta agree with her. That’s also some of my reasoning behind the chevron pattern – breaks-up the crazy Disney a bit for the adults and leaves a bit of room-to-grow for Liam.

Tan Cars
Tan Cars

That, and the blue cars print is just too big to be cut up. By the time it’s in a 9 inch right triangle, the cars will be too cut up to tell what it is.

Blue Disney Cars Fabric
Blue Disney Cars Fabric

This will leave me with 4 yards of the blue Cars fabric, and I have 2 yards of Cars 2 fabric. I will use these to make the backing to the quilt. I think it will make for a fun, reversible look.

Black & Blue Cars Prints
Black & Blue Cars Prints

For me, it’s easier to do things in batches. I cut aaaalllll the squares from both fabrics first. I pressed and stacked aaaallll the squares. I marked my centerlines on aaaalll my Kona Bone contrast fabric. Is it important to use REAL Kona solids? YES. I promise a rant on that…probably coupled with ‘why you press to the dark side, Luke’ reasoning and all that. But for now: pressing, stacking, marking, matching right sides, pressing, pinning, stacking….

Cut, Pressed, Stacked, Marked, Stacked, Pressed
Cut, Pressed, Stacked, Marked, Stacked, Pressed

Pin, pin, pin…stack, stack, stack. This fabric is not prewashed since I knew I would be using it for a quilt, and when you press fabric with the ‘sizing’ still in it, they stick together a smidge which is helpful.

Stacked Squares
Stacked Squares

See….here it is. My stack of marked and pinned making its first go-through the machine. Sewn 1/4 inch on each side of that line. I just used a #2 pencil that I stole out of the pencil jar off of the big kids’ desk. It’s going to be cut, pressed towards the darker fabric and it’s done with such a light hand it will wash out the first time. No one will ever be the wiser. Except you.

Chain/Batch Sewing
Chain/Batch Sewing

I don’t normally pin, but this is for VIP Liam! I want to minimize the potential wonky quotient a bit and I’m not in a hurry – it’s not like there’s an impending baby as with the last one (I type that like babies don’t cook for 9 months.)

After being sewn, each square is cut apart and pressed open.

Batch Cutting
Batch Cutting

I cut them all first, then pressed them all. I’m fascinated by this batch method. Growing up (and still), my mom will generally make a few blocks at a time…tinkering with color and so forth. Of course, she’s making things like double wedding rings, bear paws, double Irish chains – I have two separate appliqué quilts from her on my walls alone! So…yeah. I have BIG shoes to fill some day.

Okay, back to topic. Pressed open and ready to make blocks.

Pressed Open
Pressed Open

Everyone has their preferred method, but I’m not so hot at doing long strips and piecing the strips together – I prefer the traditional method of increasingly larger blocks. So, I set my squares into the block shape. This is going on a batting that is a 72″x90″ twin – that doesn’t quite divide out into squares so I figure I’ll make an 8×8 large 4-square and have to add top/bottom boarders.

Yes, I figure out the correct math right at this interval. No, I’m not going pro this month.

Sorted Into Blocks
Sorted Into Blocks

Sewn tops….

Sew Top Together
Sew Top Together

Sewn bottoms…

Sew Bottoms
Sew Bottoms

Press and stack, press and stack, press and stack…

Okay, now a little time consuming part. This is the point where I attached the top and the bottom and took extra care to nest the seams – making sure they’re perfectly lined up and the seams were going the opposite direction. Yes, I had to visualize this when pressing my stacks to know before hand and press opposite ways.

Nesting the seams
Nesting the seams

I also took this point to trim all the dog ears or long points from the seams. It seemed inefficient to do it any earlier and to wait any longer would make for yucky chunky wonky nasty seams.

Trim Dog Ears
Trim Dog Ears

Stacked, pinned, and ready to make blocks.

Trimmed, Pinned and Stacked
Trimmed, Pinned and Stacked

and….REVEAL

Squares complete
Squares complete

Oh yeah. Not bad for a President’s Day afternoon.

AND….here is one of the many reasons I always make extra…I know I’m going to screw up.

I wonder how many quilt blocks were invented this way….

Oh Crap!
Oh Crap!

I knew I pinned a center with 2 seams going the same way and I assumed I screwed up ironing. Ugh. Luckily, it’s only one and I have something like 5 more extra.

I mean, I meant to do that for a throw pillow. Yeah! That’s it!

To be continued….

Fabric Junky

Trouble With Tribbles

I don’t have a problem. Really. Like any good junky would say, I’m fine with my addiction; it’s you that has the problem. I could be doing worse. At least I don’t (fill in the blank) anymore.

My fabric stash reminds me of the Star Trek episode “Trouble With Tribbles.” Am I showing my age? I think I’m actually just showing my weird, nerdy step-dad’s influence.

Trouble With Tribbles
Trouble With Tribbles

Of course as I was cropping that photo to square, I stopped and marveled at the gold rick rack for 5 minutes.

My fabric just keeps multiplying. It’s not my fault! My friend, Jennifer, said to me, “My mom has som….” and I said, “YES!!!” before she even finished the sentence about her mom’s old fabric. See. She pushed it on me.

70s & 80s Yellow Calico
70s & 80s Yellow Calico

It’s not my fault…but look how pretty those fabrics are! So easily lends itself to French Provençal, doesn’t it? There’s some mauve and purple calicos that would be ultra modern with some gray or taupe Kona cotton.

That’s my fashion prediction by the way. 80s country drab colors mixed with modern design. Mark my words.

Melons!
Melons!

Oh, look at that melon color….melon colored tribbles! My mom gave me these in a bag last weekend. I love her. She’s my best dealer. We’re going to the Sew Expo in Puyallup. It will be fine. Really.

Blues
Blues

Blues….blues are my weakness.

Kid Projects
Kid Projects

And kids. Kids are my weakness.

MOAR!
MOAR!

Um…and…um, ok. You got me.

No one send me any more sales or coupons or mom’s stashes (except that last one, you can still give me free fabric) because I’m not buying anymore!

Except some Kona solids…because THAT is a LOT of pattern!

And maybe except at the Sew Expo…I’ll need a souvenir!

And…maybe…if…um…look! Tribbles!

Valentine’s Day Quilted Headboard

Close Up

I finished the “headboard” piece in time for Valentine’s Day! I’m really happy with the FMQing and have a better feel for it.

Valentine's Day Bed
Valentine’s Day Bed

Here’s a better close up of the finish.

Close Up
Close Up

It’s very…uh…organic. Hahaha. But that’s how it goes. Practice, practice, practice. I suppose if I wanted something more homogenized, I wouldn’t be making it myself!

There are certainly things to remember for next time. Like…don’t quilt the binding fabric. I suppose this would be even harder to watch if I didn’t leave enough of the backing fabric in that I could watch it better with the little bit of extra. So, if you’re going to use bias tape, still leave wiggle room when quilting so you can make sure it doesn’t get tucked under like this.

don't FMQ binding
don’t FMQ binding

And once you DO quilt the binding, rip it out, and requilt, don’t go and do it again.

Pay Attention Becky Jo!
Pay Attention Becky Jo!

I am thick-skulled. I need extra lessons sometimes.

I cut down the backing fabric to 1″ and used it to wrap around for binding.

Backing for Binding
Backing for Binding

More of my severely right-handed pinning…I try to make them perpendicular, I really do…

Pinning Down the Wrap Around Binding
Pinning Down the Wrap Around Binding

Here it is with some non-Valentine’s Day pillow cases.

Chevron Quilt Headboard
Chevron Quilt Headboard

Yeah. I’m really happy with it. It’s about 50 inches wide, so if/when I get tired of it, it would also be a cute table piece…not a full runner, but a good-sized center runner.

If anything, I hope this inspires people who are afraid of the FMQ on their machine. It’s one of those ‘just do it’ things…you have to dig in and go for it. Who cares if it’s a bit wonky, or imperfect? We can go to Target if we wanted perfectly machined, sterile, boringness, but where’s the fun in that? (BTW, I went to Target last night…hahahaha!)

Free Motion Quilting Practice

Second Section FMQ

And practice and practice and practice…

Free motion quilting (FMQ) is a crazy concept. There’s a FMQ’d baby quilt on one of our walls that has these intricate vines with heart-shaped leaves. Now, if you’re not familiar with FMQing, do this: hold a pencil still in one hand, and move a piece of paper under the motionless pencil, and make a border around the paper around little squares complete with heart-shaped leaves. Crazy, huh?

Chevron Quilt Blocks
Chevron Quilt Blocks

I have a nice pile of blocks leftover from the Chevron Baby Quilt and since I love the fabric so much, I thought I’d make a little wall panel out of the remainder and practice my FMQ skills, or lack thereof.

My Viking prinCESS came with FMQ functionality and an acrylic FMQ foot.

Viking FMQ Foot
Viking FMQ Foot
Viking FMQ Foot Front
Viking FMQ Foot Front

I’ve used it somewhat and I like it quite a bit. I have yet to break it anyway.

FMQ Practice 1
FMQ Practice 1
FMQ Practice 2
FMQ Practice 2

I did some practice and watched some tutorials online before I decided what I wanted to go for on the real deal. I really dig this Leah Day channel on YouTube. She’s really easy going, she’s doing it on a Janome (which I have mad love for as well) and she really gives you the confidence that you can just jump in and do it.

So…I just did it. I’m still doing it….

First Section FMQ
First Section FMQ

That’s my first section. It’s….creative. HAHAHA. I’m good with it though. This is on Warm and Natural batting…and it’s going well. I can feel the difference between it and the Nature-Fil bamboo/cotton blend, but it’s ok.

Second Section FMQ
Second Section FMQ

And here’s my second section – ignore that I was less picky about the pattern matching up. The FMQing is more uniform, but I got a bit of puckering down at the bottom right. Again, I’m okay with it. As I go along, I can feel what needs improvement, how things need to be approached a bit differently and where I can tweak it to make it better. Also, how I may pick a less geometric patterned fabric next time! I won’t have it done in time for Valentine’s Day, but I think it will be cute as a headboard sort of hanging over our bed. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, but so far, I’m diggin’ it.

Chevron Pattern Baby Quilt

Quilt the Quilt

My most fabulous and talented man is from Seattle, and the Seattle cousins are having babies! There are 2 due this spring. We ventured up this weekend for a bit of Zoe’s first birthday, a bit of VIP special delivery, and I took up a baby quilt for Robert’s cousin’s baby shower that we could not attend, but I could not resist making a little something.

I saw this glowing Tiffany blue argyle pattern from the Denyse Schmidt Fancy Free line.

Denyse Schmidt Fancy Free
Denyse Schmidt Fancy Free

It has the silkiest feel to it and is really nice to work with…it’s also never going to make it into my ‘cheap and easy’ category as it’s certainly not cheap, but is sooo very worth it. Besides, when we’re talking a quilt for a family baby, we don’t want cheap to enter into the equation unless it’s happenstance, right? Right. It was 30% off when I bought it, so, for giggles, you’re looking at about 4 yards at around $10 each, and I have a yard leftover…not too bad before batting and all.

I got a 9.5″ square ruler by Omnigrid to make my life a bit easier. I knew I wanted it to be a big, chunky chevron pattern and that I would be repeating the pattern later with the large Disney Cars print, so it was a good buy.

Omnigrid 9.5x9.5
Omnigrid 9.5×9.5

My batting was a baby quilt size 60″x60″ – which gave me plenty of room to work with. When all is said and done, I have 6 half-square triangles (HST) across and down that are 8.25″ once sewn together (6×8.25=49.5″) and that’s plenty of wiggle room.

Cut, Centered & Stacked
Cut, Centered & Stacked

Enter the batch sewing. I borrowed this technique from my Craftsy Block of the Month class. My quilting experience hasn’t always resulted in the best end product, but I have been working on it. While apparel remains my more natural mode, I must grow! hahaha. Okay, seriously. Take your stacks of squares, I’m using a Kona white as my contrast, mark the lighter fabric down the center on all of them, stack them all right sides together (not gonna matter with a solid), and get ready to sew, sew, sew.

First Run of Chain
First Run of Chain

My first run of stitching 1/4″ down one side of the center marked line.

Needle Adjustment for Viking
Needle Adjustment for Viking

On my machine, I move the needle to the right 1.8 points to make the edge of my foot 1/4″ – your machine or foot may make that unnecessary, but this is what I choose to do.

Second Run Chain Piecing
Second Run Chain Piecing

Without even cutting anything apart, I stitched the opposite side of each block’s center line next.

Set, Slice, Press & Stack
Set, Slice, Press & Stack

Alright! Does anyone reading this have any experience with the LEAN manufacturing theories? I always giggle when I’m in this batch-sewing mode and think of that. Anywho, set all of your sewn lines at the same time, cut them all apart, slice along your marked line, and press all of them open. For me, giggling about LEAN and getting it all done in like-batches is easier.

Directional Pattern
Directional Pattern

Now, this fabric has a directional pattern. Keep this in mind when selecting your fabric – it adds a bit of time to your assembly if you need to make sure the patterns are all going the same way.

Chevron Block
Chevron Block

This is where I leave the Craftsy BOM class instructions and move to something simpler. This is more like the Missouri Quilt Company YouTube tutorial idea. I know, I know, I can’t just stick with one thing; I have to mix and match and make my own. I personally don’t love the Missouri Quilt’s version of making HSTs because they’re too wiggly on the bias afterwards for me and honestly, adding wiggly to geometry doesn’t work for me at this time. Maybe when I get better at it.

Sew It All Up
Sew It All Up

Sew it all up! I use the more classic quilt construction by making quadrants of blocks that get sewn together, but if you can sew in strips of blocks, more power to you. I tend to get some extra wonkiness when I do that, so I stick to what works best for me. Less wonky works best for me.

Quilt Top
Quilt Top

My fabulous and talented man can also hold up quilt tops with ease! Aw, he’s so sweet. Hold on a second while I go give him a kiss.

Okay, I’m back.

Now, you baste your top to your batting and backing fabric. Baste as you like…I use spray baste. To each their own. My usual Warm and Natural batting was out of stock, so I tried a new kind.

Nature-Fil Batting
Nature-Fil Batting

It’s like buttah, I tell ya. It is Nature-Fil which is 50% bamboo rayon and 50% organic cotton. It’s a bit more pricey than my usual, but damn was it easy to quilt. Vikings are great machines…better at some things than others, and she can be a persnickety one at times, but she didn’t blink an eye at this batting.

Quilt the Quilt
Quilt the Quilt

Purred like a kitten right through it all, and didn’t even need a walking foot. I just traced the patterned chevron on the white for quilting – kept it simple and fast.

Trimming For Binding
Trimming For Binding

I’m a big fan of the backing wrap-around binding – especially if I’m going to have mitered corners. I trimmed down to 2 inches after quilting. If your quilt is wonky and didn’t stay square after quilting, this may not work as well, but I did minimal quilting and it stayed square.

Sew Down Binding
Sew Down Binding

I wrapped the raw edge of the binding edge in itself, and pinned it down. Again, Ms. Viking had no problems at all purring through through it.

Front Finished
Front Finished

Here’s the front, all finished and pretty.

Baby Quilt Back Finished
Baby Quilt Back Finished

Here’s the back. I had some blocks leftover that I incorporated. I think it looks a little nautical, which is fitting for Pacific NW families.

Altogether, it only took about….10-12 hours I’d guess, including the extra fussing needed for the fabric directional pattern. If you’re curious, with getting some of the fabric and the batting on sale, you’re looking at about $60-70 dollars for this finished baby quilt, not including labor :). I think that’s pretty good. Sure, you can get 3 or 4 blankets at Target for that, but they won’t be nearly as nice or have that special family love sewn in. And like I said, while this may not fall into the cheap category, it was certainly easy.

I’m definitely glad I found a way to make this pattern work for me, and I’m definitely going to do it again. I’m not quite pro yet….here’s leaving you with a close up of a block that did get wonky…

Wonky
Wonky

VIP Liam

VIP Liam 1

There’s a VIP in Seattle. When he says, “Aunt B…” I listen. You don’t understand. He has these giant eyes….and adorable smile….I can’t resist. Then, you know what he does? He has his mom send me these photos in the pj pants I made him.

VIP Liam 1
VIP Liam 1

Look at that face. Could you say no to that face? I mean…he just got done with a cupcake sugar binge with his cousin for her birthday, and he’s still the definition of adorable.

Liam The Charmer
Liam The Charmer

Doesn’t that smile just slay you? Sigh. I have to go. I have to make Liam more things so he’ll keep sending me pictures like this.

Anansi The Spider Review

Hazel & Alex at Anansi
Hazel & Alex at Anansi
Hazel & Alex at Anansi

Hazel, Alex and I were lucky enough to go to opening night of Anansi The Spider. There are still four more showings as of today. I highly recommend going as I mention here in my review on Portland Stage Reviews.

I know I gush about the children’s theatre in Portland, but I really have not been disappointed. If you’ve read anything I’ve written or know me, I’m not one to pull punches, so you know it’s just the honest truth I really am continually impressed.

You just can’t deny the looks on those faces, can you? These are children that see all the comic book movies, love Transformers, and laugh at YouTube memes. Pop-culture invades their lives at public school, in media, everywhere you turn…yet they know the theatre is something special. You can see in this photo taken before the performance, they can feel how special it is to go to the theatre and be given live, unique entertainment.

Please, go with your children and see what is out there. Support the art available in your community. You will be surprised at how truly accessible it is and what a great value you’re given.