Sunday, April 24, 2011

save me! (from myself)

Astute readers will have figured out by now that I didn't finish my Friday Night Brights quilt as planned. I have two excuses reasons:
1) 168 2.5-inch squares take a hella long time to sew together when you have to keep them in perfect order and orientation. oy.
2) i have an idea to make this even more complicated better!

For reals, though. It took longer than I thought to sew the squares together, so I didn't get it basted and quilted on Sunday as planned. Instead, I finished piecing (and seam-ripping, and re-piecing) the top. There was much swearing.

With that done, I packed the quilt top and headed off to my weekly sewing circle on Wednesday night. We start each gathering with show & tell before beginning work, and the girls were on pins and needles to see my rainbow. There was much suspense.

And then it was my turn. I slowly reached into my bag, caught hold of a corner, and whipped it onto the table with a flourish! The initial squeal of delight that always accompanies our reveals was lackluster and stunted. "What?!" I demanded. There was an awkward silence.

"I dunno...I guess I just thought it would be bigger," said Val.
"Yeah, from your photo it looked like it took up the whole design wall, " said Dayna.
"What's it going to be?" asked Barb.

Harrumph.

"It WAS big," I explained. "It took up the whole design wall! But I lost a half inch from each square when i pieced it! And it's a quilt! A baby quilt....I guess. I'll add a border!"

They were ruthless. RUTHLESS. So we hung it on Dayna's design wall and threw out ideas all night for how to make it a "real quilt."

The next thing I knew, this is what i'd committed to:

Option 1: pink middle

Calm down. Calm down! That's just some fancy photo work.

Or, should it be this?
Option 2: blue middle

OR should I just stick to the original?
Friday Night Brights

Your thoughts? I'd love to hear...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

friday night brights

If I hadn't pre-paid for an 8AM pilates class tomorrow, I'd be writing this at 3AM showing you a finished quilt, I'm sure. Alas.

The Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild is taking part in the Kona Solids Charm Pack Challenge, and we drew the long straw with the brights charm pack. This palette suits me well.


I don't think there were actual rules for the challenge, so I made up rules for myself as follows:

RULE 1: You may pick ONE charm not to use. Everything else goes in.
RULE 2: You may incorporate one other solid
RULE 3: Said solid as well as backing and binding fabrics must come from your stash.
RULE 4: You have to design something you can finish entirely in 1 week.

With that settled, I commenced with ideas and design. Then Butler made it to the Final 4. Then Butler made it to the finals. So when Monday night rolled around and I wanted something brainless to do while I watched the game, I abandoned all pre-planning and decided on HSTs.

Several months ago I stumbled across this video for making quick half-square triangles, and I'd wanted to try this with a charm pack since then. [i realize this is for pinwheels...trust.]

The verdict? It is seriously fast and way less annoying than doing the "mark the center line and then sew in both sides and cut down the middle" method. Actually, this method has an annoyance and frustration factor of exactly 0. I love it.

Back to the Kona Challenge quilt (because seriously, I have to get up in like 6 and a half hours... no more tangents!). Ever since I saw Kelly's  I Love Rainbows quilt, pictured here, I've wanted to make a rainbow quilt with the gradation moving from one corner to the other (as opposed to top-to-bottom or left-to-right).

Monday night I sewed, keeping the charms in perfect color order. Wednesday night I cut the triangles from the sewn charms, keeping the triangles in perfect color order. Tonight, I ironed all of the squares open, marked* each one with a number to designate its sequence in the original charm pack, and started getting things up onto the design wall.

*sidenote: has anyone else been using those Pilot Frixion pens? Merlin's beard! It's like something you'd get from Flourish and Blotts!

Pilot FriXion Ball Pen, Erasable Gel Ink, Fine Point, Assorted Colors 6 pack: Black, Blue, Red, Pink, Orange, Purple (31568)


Where was I? My rainbow! right. It took some finagling, but I'm SO happy with how it's turning out. Even the crappy iPhone photo makes me smile. Success!
Friday Night Brights

Tomorrow I'll piece the top, and hopefully I'll get it backed and basted so that Sunday I can quilt it and get started on the binding. If there was a "slowest binder in the universe" award, I'd get it. I bind at tortoise speed.

So that's how I spent my Friday night. You?