Wednesday, July 3, 2019

alli's graduation quilt

I forgot to take a photo of the finished quilt.  Then I forgot to blog about it.

Getting old is hard!

But seriously.

My brother's middle child graduated high school this year.  I knew I wanted to make her a quilt.  I had made one for her sister for graduation a few years back, so I also needed to make her a quilt.  You know, fairness and all that!

I started much earlier this time.  Jade's quilt I finished in a few weeks.  (Maybe less?!)  I wanted to be more prepared this time.  I had seen a quilt on Pinterest that was crosses that tesselated into each other, but no pattern.  So I drew one.  And took no photos of that either.  (And honestly, I still have the sketch, but my method of getting photos off my phone is via Facebook and that is not playing nice at all today, so you'll just have to imagine me sketching things.)

I went shopping for fabric.  I had this grand plan of jewel tone fabrics.  I found none.  Well, okay, some.  But I needed like 5 and I found like 2.  Maybe.  Apparently that is not the plan for colors this year.

I ended up not using the grey, as you'll see.

I cut and cut and cut pieces, according to my kinda-calculations, and took this with me to a retreat in January.  I decided against even trying to make this since it would require the ENTIRE thing to be layed out before I could piece it.  That would take a lot of time and a lot of space and I just wasn't sure this retreat was the place to do that.

So I did it at home a few weeks later.

Emma helped, of course.

Freddie also helped.  (Look how tiny he was!  He's as big as Emma now and I think he's still growing!)

Finally, after much effort and some less than helpful comments from the Peanut Gallery (also known as my husband), I had things randomly placed enough that all the crosses were surrounded by other colors.

This took a LOT of labels to make sure each column was ready to go.  I was afraid something would go terribly wrong (as it could easily do with all those pieces), but there was nothing to do but start sewing.

(You can kinda see my sketch under the stack there...)

As I sewed, I draped the strips over my ironing board, just to see that everything was coming together properly.  I'm not sure if I would have caught a mistake this way, but I'm sure it helped.

(Obviously Lexie was helping here, though you can just see her toes!)

Thankfully, the whole quilt went together without a hitch.  There were even very few seams to match, but that was also came with a learning curve.  Usually the seams that match are regular and even and expected.  These were much  more randomly placed.  Well, not actually random, but it seemed that way compared to most quilts I've constructed!

Finally I had a top!

I took a few photos while I was quilting, but mostly because Freddie was being so cute.  Of course, black cats are hard to photograph and make them look less than evil, but here we go anyways...

You can see, behind Freddie, the hearts I quilted into the quilt...just a little bit.  He was so tiny here still that getting on the quilt didn't cause much trouble.  No lumps like the Twirly quilt.  Of course, this quilt didn't sit on the frame three days either.  I quilted it in just one day.

I'm not sure what he was thinking here, but it sure looks like trouble.

Both of those photos are also the best I have for the back photo.  I do have more of that upstairs, but I'm tired and it's hot and I'm just gonna use those for acceptable excuses tonight.

In April, my dad requested me to hang out with him while he was recovering from that nasty crap that went around for months.  My mom was away and he was wary of his inhaler and so I went to spend a few nights with him.  What better thing to take along than a quilt that needed binding?

My baby sister, Shandy (one of my parents two cats), helped.  Obviously.  She burrowed right under and snuggled up to me.  It took a while for her to decide this new person in her house was okay, but once she did, we were friends again.  (I helped rescue her and get her to my parents many years ago, but since I don't see her all the time, I'm a stranger.)

Finally, my niece graduated a few weeks back and her open house was weekend before last.  I forgot to get a photo of the finished quilt and the photo my mom took of her opening it was basically her with the bag.  Apparently the idea of her HOLDING the quilt was lost on her?  Oh well, she loved it and was excited about it, and that's all that matters.

In other, more recent, news, the books continue to be constructed, despite the heat.

Books 22-24.  And I'm caught up.  I made the last one early this morning, but not soon enough to get it onto Instagram before it and Facebook took a vacation.  For some folks.  Apparently not everyone, as my hubby is just fine.  Do you know how annoying that is?  We were using the same wi-fi, just different phones and different accounts.  His loads just fine.  Mine is like "oh, try again"...which is as good as banging your head into a wall because it does nothing.  I know the folks who do the fixing know, but it's still annoying.  That's how these blocks are being shared and I'm enjoying seeing them all.  Oh well.  Just goes to show you how dependent on that stupid phone I've gotten.

Instead of worrying about it, I worked on the baby quilt!

Freddie helped, of course.  And looks angry while doing it.  He was super squirelley at this point, trying to lay on whatever he thought I was using.  He went from block piles to the book to my notebook to blocks on the floor to empty spaces on the floor.  (He figured out the places on the floor that were still carpet only would get fabric, so he would get attention.  It worked.)

See.  Still angry.  But not at all angry.  But look how BIG he is!  Those rectangular blocks are 12.5".  He's a big boy.  Healthy, crazy, loving big boy.

Eventually I got all the blocks placed and he lost interest.  Some of the blocks needed to be cut in half.  Others needed borders before they were ready to go...or be cut in half or quarters, as this pattern is a little wacky.

I got all the sewing and cutting done and finally was able to pick up labelled rows.

And decided why not just sew it together?!  The shower is a few weeks away, but I've got nothing better to do and it's not going to get any cooler in the coming weeks, so if I'm already acclimated to the hot sewing room, why not just keep going!

Before I knew it, I had a whole top!

It's fairly still outside today, though there is a gentle breeze (which felt rather nice in the shade).  Not enough to keep me from getting a decent photo of the quilt, so I'm happy.

That darker blue really sticks out in the picture, but I think it looks less stark in person.  And I am NOT taking it apart!

I've pieced the back and made the binding, so all that's left is to quilt it!  Not today, though.  It's getting late and I want to try to do that earlier in the day, before the house is too hot.

The pattern (and book it came from) aren't handy, but I will be sure to share when I finish the quilt.  But it is AWFUL.  I hate to say that because I know someone worked very hard on it, but there were so many mistakes...

And one last photo...

I bought a new iron.  This one is incontinent and spits.  I didn't realize it spit until I was using it while wearing shorts and had hot water spit onto my legs and feet.  That isn't okay.  But it works fine otherwise, so I decided it could continue to hang out with me, but be a dry iron.  Which works out fine, since I can't turn the steam off on either it or the replacement iron (unless you turn the temperature down, but then it's a game whether it will try to steam and spit or not...) and when doing paper piecing, you really don't want steam.!

Time to go figure out dinner...

Happy quilting,


Frog Quilter said...

Beautiful quilt. Your kitties are very cute and photogenic.

Marsha B said...

Beautiful graduation quilt, it looks like it takes some concentration to get everything in the right place. Great job on it! The books continue to be so fun. The baby quilt is amazing, too. I love how it goes together! Have a Happy 4th!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Haha - getting old is not for wimps! Lovely graduation quilt - nice, soft colors. I like draping strips over my cutting table as I go along, too - it DOES seem to help to see that everything is coming together properly. Love your helpers - and your books! The baby quilt is a top already?!?! - you're like an energizer bunny - LOL - ;))

---"Love" said...

The fabrics in the first quilt are really pretty, and your new books just are amazing. That last quilt looks a bit complicated, but it really is pretty too. About your iron, why don't you just use a mist of water from a spray bottle? I never put water in my iron! Have never seen one that didn't spit! ---"Love"

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Busy Katie! I love your book blocks and of course, this one took so much effort/planning to keep it straight. I really admire your patience and skills. Lovely work, all of it. And cute helpers are always a plus in the process.

a good yarn said...

In all honesty, I said Oh Wow - out loud - when I scrolled down to the picture of the quilt. That is a cracker of a quilt! You book blocks are fab. What a terrific way to showcase fabric that is otherwise lost when cut into smaller pieces. Little Freddie is not so little after all, eh?

Preeti said...

I love love love your book blocks. They are fantastic. Did I tell you how much I love them - every single one of them!!!!