Straight to the Finish

I’ve made a ton of progress on finishing quilts this year.  I want to make sure to finish a bunch of current works-in-progress to help clear up the clutter in my sewing room.  One of those from the basting session I had a few weeks back is the Triple Barnstar quilt pattern by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock.  She had it on Craftsy a few years back as a quilt kit that contained Birch Farm fabric by Joel Dewberry.  It’s super pretty but not quite my style – and there’s so much white (we’ll get back to that later).  But I persevered and got it finished.  A great friend of mine just bought her first house and I decided this would make a wonderful housewarming gift for her and her family.  They got the keys last week and that’s the kind of deadline that gets things done!

During the journey to finish this quilt, I was trying to decide what to do with all the white space.  I knew the quilting would show no matter what color thread I used so I needed a bit more precision than I normally go with.  I’d already decided on triangle shaped lines to bring out those side triangles.  I then remembered that I got a Hera Marker for Christmas and had not yet used it to help mark quilts.  I tend to go rogue and just do what I feel and call it organic rather than precise straight lines.  I used the Hera Marker in the white sections to score straight lines at even intervals that I could then stitch over to get some crisp and straight quilting lines.The end product really shows how well this worked for me.  I never sew this straight.  It was amazing!I bound it with the Chicken Coop print in all 4 colorways and backed it with the remaining fabric from the kit.I can’t wait to wash this one and get it all crisp and crinkly!

As a funny aside – I did have to unquilt and unpiece one corner once I realized it was not facing the correct direction. I just couldn’t live with it that way and it would have messed up my quilting design for those corners.  I found it when I went to quilt the corner.  But, as you saw in the final quilt, I was able to fix it with minimal damage since it was on the corner and easy to get to.

I finished two other quilts as well but I’ll show those another time.  I bought more batting so I’m now ready for another round of basting.  Many more quilts in that work-in-progress pile to tackle.

Happy Sewing!

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Pillow Play

More Christmas crafting is happening this week. There are a few swaps I’m involved in and I’m curating gifts for my staff at work. There is a lot of sewing on the agenda this month. I started out by making a few pillows and a bunch of keychains.

The first pillow is for a very close friend of my brother. She likes penguins and I wanted to make her something special. I found the penguin paper-piecing pattern on Craftsy. It’s a more classic penguin which is great since I didn’t want a cutesy one for this project. I started out with this Kate Spain fabric and it really was a bit too busy so I unpieced portions of it and remade it with a cursive text print.

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The text print is so much better! I really love that Kate Spain print so I used it as a small border on each side.

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I wavy quilted in a cross-hatch pattern that I really like a lot.

Then I put together a bunch of key fob keychains using all kinds of different fabric designs and webbing color. A good portion of these are for my department at work, some are for other Christmas gifts, and some are for swaps that I am involved in. Heck, I’ll probably keep one myself. They are just so darn cute!

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I also made a Christmas pillow. This project is for one of the swaps I am in. I still have a few other Christmas themed items to make before the end of the season.

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I improv-pieced a lot of green scraps together to make a slab and used my 60 degree ruler to cut out the shapes I wanted. I love this sweet Whimsy text print and knew I wanted to use it as the background for this project. I used raw-edge appliqué to secure the trees and stumps in place. I straight-line quilted the front horizontally. I love the dimension it gives to these smaller pillows. Sorry for the bad nighttime lighting on this picture but you get the idea.

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I made an envelope closure for the back but my pillow form is a bit too fluffy and I didn’t make the panels long enough so a little beer belly was showing through. Next improv decision – button that puppy up. I had these fabulous wooden buttons on hand and created 2 buttonholes toward the center of the pillow back. It is still straining a little bit but looks really cute.

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I’m looking forward to more gifty quilting progress this week because these all turned out so great!

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Busy, Busy, Busy

There is a lot going on and I have not taken too much time to work on the quilting I need to do. But I was impressed with myself that I completed the sandwiching process, which I hate. I just don’t have the room to do it properly and then my back is never completely taut like it is supposed to be. It’s very frustrating. Any tips and tricks are definitely welcome!

After that process, I began the quilting. I’m doing a bit of stitch-in-the-ditch by going around the squares. Every so often, in the small solid squares, I’m going to add this little spiderweb design. I think it looks kind of cool.

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The quilting is coming out pretty well. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through. The quilting on the back looks better than I thought it would even with a horrible pucker of looser fabric back there. Urggh!

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Here’s that pucker. Luckily it doesn’t show up too much on the black fabric. I may end up hand-tacking it down though.

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I hope to make some progress within the next few weeks. Mom needs to have this one by the end of September so she can add it to her Halloween decorations. I’m getting excited for her to get it!