Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quilt Top Progress

This week was very limited in outside obligations, so Laura and I had more time to sew. However, this week was also Mary's 26th birthday and as I had promised, I made her another jewelry case.

This one has TWO felt strips for earrings--they're purple in this case. The pattern for the jewelry case was a free one on Craftsy and came in a .pdf format. I try not to print out sewing instructions or patterns unless there is something to be traced and cut out. However, sometimes I make changes to the instructions and .pdf files aren't editable.

If the pattern is one I might make again in the future, I create a page for it in my quilting notebook, and make notes on any changes I've made. I also make note of where the pattern is found on my computer so I don't spend hours looking for it.

The jewelry case pattern calls for adding frog closures. I've never done frog closures and although I'm sure I could, I don't have any on hand and didn't want to have to buy any. Instead I used an elastic loop and a button for a closure. You can buy white (and maybe black?) elastic cording, but hair elastics for children (the elastic is more narrow in the ones for children) work perfectly and come in assorted colors.

We've worked on quite a variety of projects here this week. I've been loosely following along with the RSC15 scrappy color challenge. I got this pattern for a crayon quilt and thought it was just adorable! We have a fairly bland, unadorned playroom in our house for the grandkids and I thought this quilt would be a great addition to it.

With both of those in mind, I pulled out my medium blue scraps (the color for the month) and cut out the templates for the quilt and made my first crayon. I thought it turned out really cute! I figured I would just make one crayon each month as each color is announced and by the end of the year, I should have a cute crayon quilt to hang in the playroom!

While I worked on the crayon quilt, I cut out a bunch of blue 2.5-inch squares and gave them to Laura to sew together. You can see in this picture what happens when I'm not overseeing the process! Notice the finger poking up through the middle of the piece? Laura smiled for the camera (mostly because she thought it was funny that I wanted her to poke her finger in the hole!) but she was NOT happy to find there was a hole in her quilt!

All's well that ends well and here's her little table runner. It still needs quilting, but that's work for another week.

My main task for this week was to get to the flimsy stage on Hunter's quilt. If you remember, last week, I had the pieces CAREFULLY placed on the design board. Well...Laura and I went down to the studio Monday morning and I had to leave to do something. When I came back, this is what I found--an empty design board!

Laura had "helped" me by removing all my pieces and neatly stacking them into two separate piles! Gee, thanks, Laura!

After arranging my blocks a SECOND time, I sewed them all together, using the webbing method that Bonnie Hunter uses. It worked really well and I was able to quickly sew the rows together and then assemble the whole top. I was amazed at how fast it all went!

By Saturday morning I had the entire top assembled and all the borders added. The inner border is supposed to be "blaze orange." That's an important color to hunters because it's the color of the vests they wear to keep them from shooting each other rather than a deer!

Meanwhile, Laura worked on her quilt too, carefully sewing the blocks into rows. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much more accurate her seams are and she's even doing better at pressing. Again, she's smiling for the camera, but upset with me because I'm not pinning her rows together for her...

Have you ever heard the story of the shoemaker's elves? A shoemaker and his wife scrape together enough money to buy the materials to make one pair of shoes. They cut them out and then go to bed. During the night, these elves come and sew the shoes together for them. The couple find the shoes in the morning, sell them and buy the materials to make two more pairs of shoes, which they then cut out again and again the elves come and sew them for them...and the story continues. I don't really remember the point of the whole story, BUT, I have figured out that "I" am one of those elves! While Laura is sleeping (in the early morning, not at night) I get up and prepare one or two projects for her to sew. When she wakes up and then it's time for us to go to the quilt studio to sew, she finds a project ready and waiting for her to begin sewing! Here is the first set of rows pinned and waiting next to her machine for her to find and work on that day.

And here is her completed top! As she has reminded me several times, it still needs borders, but that's also another project for next week. This elf needs to find the right fabric and cut it out while she's not around!

Here's a "behind-the-scenes" shot of her holding up the quilt. We both got the giggles as she stepped up on the stool to hold the quilt. She's only 4'10" and so not really tall enough to hold it and keep it from dragging on the floor.

One last note this week, in between pinning the additional rows of Laura's quilt together, I worked on the sashing and cornerstones for the Grand Illusion Mystery quilt. I got the sashing all sewn (correctly!) and I found this really cute teal/turquoise fabric that also has some green and pink that match the colors of the quilt. It seems to be a perfect addition.

And with that, I'll close for this week and plan to Get More Done...tomorrow!


  1. You two have certainly gotten a whole lot done (and re-done lol)! I think your hunter's quilt is lovely--like that idea of the orange from the vests they wear! And Laura's quilt came out so well..I like her lime green sashings. hugs, Julierose

  2. You girls are energizer get so much done. Laura's quilt is so cheerful.

  3. Wow....lots of fun and work going on at your house. I love the jewelry case and the crayon!

  4. ROFL OK I can appreciate Laura helping you. I have had that kind of help before. Laura's quilt is fabulous. You are a great quiltmaker elf!

  5. I agree with everyone above! So much done, and the smiles for the camera@ :)
    Cindy (SQT)

  6. Your blog posts make me chuckle!

  7. I LOVE your delightful post entries. I read it after you posted it last month and meant to come back to make a comment. I often think of your relevant "Elves Story" and smile.
    Have you ever though of writing a book about the adventures of Laura and yourself? I really think you should give it some thought.

  8. Very pretty! I like making smaller quilts too...instant gratification! Love your fabric choices!
    to get fabric on demand from weaveron textile.