Braces Quilt Finish

Oh how I do love finishing a quilt! Time for a little celebration, and right now, I’ll take any reason to celebrate:

Braces Quilt Front

 I made the pattern from the block I entered in the GenQ Magazine Block Builder Challenge in June this summer. It really felt great following through on this project. I’m thinking of drafting this pattern… any interest?

GenerationQ Magazine

And here’s how the back turned out:

Braces Quilt Back

I really love piecing all the leftovers from the front to make a back… although I spend more time on the backs than the fronts sometimes. What is really cool about this quilt is that thanks to a friend who has one, I got to use a real longarm to do the quilting!! It was my first longarming experience and I think I did okay… but actually quilting on it helped me understand how to rethink my quilting options for this machine. It is a very different process than using a domestic machine. Here’s a close-up:

I just mimicked the block pattern for the quilting, and free-handed it all. I really like how it came out… for my first try. I’m looking forward to building this skill set as much as possible. The best part about it is that no basting was required!

So now that THAT is finished, I’ve started a gift for the PMQG holiday swap… we exchanged fabrics at our last meeting and I’m trying to use every little scrap to make a nice pillow πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to share photos after our holiday party!

I’ve also secured a few spools of floss to start doing French Knots on the Jellyfish. Time to get busy!

A Quilt Back

YAY! I finished a back for the Braces quilt top I made a few months ago…

Braces Quilt Back

I think I spent way more time on this than I did on the front. I don’t know why, but I really love creating a pieced back for a quilt. This one had a lot of small pieces that were left over from the front that I wanted to use, and I was able to use ALL of them.

This was how it was looking after the first day of working on it – lots of random pieces… and I love how it turned out. Now I can get to some quilting!!! So excited to be at this point, it’s the quilting that makes a quilt come to life.

Speaking of quilting, I also did a French Knot test to make sure I remembered how to make them. My friend Cherri had me try a ‘side-threading’ needle like this one… and I’m sold! Especially since I’m using embroidery thread for the knots… using this needle will make the whole job go much much faster. So all I need now are good thread colors for the Jellyfish and I’ll be knotting away!

At the awesome PMQG quilt retreat I went to last month, we got a goodie-bag with little squares of fabric and some hexie templates – I think they are 1″ in size… much bigger than I’m used to – but I put all those together the other night for another hexie project that hasn’t quite been formulated yet.

With the colder, shorter days – I’m antsy and am glad I have so many projects to work on!

Quick Quilt Top

I just finished a quilt top… YAY! It was a pretty quick one to put together, it was the ‘braces’ block I started last week. 

Braces Block
I figured out how to put the block together and timed myself through every step. So far, this quilt has taken a total of 677 minutes – that’s a little over 11 hours. This includes layout and design time, and fabric cutting. For me, that seems pretty fast! It’s interesting to keep track of time spent – it really enables a quilt to have value.
This one turned out pretty good – some of my points are a little off… but I think that will always be a work in progress. Right now it’s 48″ x 60″ and I’m trying to decide if I want to add a border to make it a little bigger. I like big quilts, even though they are a pain to quilt on my machine. 
Braces Quilt Top

I’m loving this so far – I’ve never been much of a pink person, but I love it in quilts for some reason. This Kaffe Fassett print is pretty awesome – I love super saturated color, and who doesn’t love dots? 

…and now I have another quilt-back to ponder!

Starting Something New!

Time to break out a new pattern from my idea list. The plan is to follow up on the block I did for a GenQ Magazine block builder challenge they had in June. The name of my block is “braces” because that’s what I see when I put a few of them together.

It took about 4 hours to figure out how to put the block together, how I wanted to piece the blocks within the quilt, as well as pick and cut my fabrics.

Cut fabrics for Braces Pattern

After reading this blog post by Molli Sparkles about the value of quilts, and talking to other quilters, I’ve decided it’s important to keep better track of my time spent when sewing AND designing. It’s really important to know the value of your work – even if you decide to give it away… it’s important the receiver has an idea of what it’s worth. As craftspeople, designers, and artists – we as quilters need to become educators as well. Here is another great blogpost from Sam Hunter on great comebacks to those who still don’t understand the value in what we do… my favorite is: 

β€œCan I get a quilt as a donation? It will be great exposure for you.”Did you know you can die of exposure?

So… based with these inspirational thoughts, I pulled out a timer and have it next to my machine – I’m all ready to chainpiece away until I get all my blocks made – I’m so curious to see how long it will take! I’ve always just guesstimated my time, it will be good to have an accurate account.

By the way, I’m still stitching my rows together on the Jellyfish – this is progress as of 8.23.14, I’ve gotten a few more rows done since. There is an All-Day-Sew for PMQG next Saturday, and I’m trying to work it so I can maybe finish it there! It would be super cool to finish with friends around, but I’m not going to get my hopes up yet – there is still a bit to do before the finish line.

Jellyfish Progress 8.23.14