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Hello all,

it is finally done and I have already spent several days snuggling up under it to finish my thesis and cure my little ailments that came up due to the sudden decrease of stress - the two reasons I haven't been around as much as I would have liked to :-/

But back to the fun stuff:

decke_intro

I promised a longer post about this one, and I'm more than happy to deliver. I'll share the process of making the quilt with you, the lessons learned and then have some more pics of the finished quilt πŸ™‚

So it all started in November 2015, after I had done some HST place mats for my mom, that I thought "this design would look good in rainbow colors as a quilt". So I raided my tiny stash and started cutting squares.

anfang

Not only was I missing several colorsΒ  - I had only about 150 of the necessary 552 squares :-/ With additional help from friends, who were so kind to help me out with their stash, plus some additional fabrics bought (the purplish and pink fabrics weren't really in anyone's stash) I ended up with a rainbow of squares.

alle_farben

From there I went on to make a whole bunch of HSTs and always laid them out row wise to find my preferred arrangement.

hsts auslegen

Even though I took a lot of care with the layout, somehow the same fabric ended up beside itself three times - it's not really noticeable, but you know....I know πŸ˜‰ Some months ago, I was finally done piecing the top and basted it on the terrace of friends of mine.2016_08_27_zickzack_arnolds_scaledQuilting gave me some troubles, because it's quite a large project...quiltenBut after having chosen not to go with the organic lines, but instead with a curvy stitch from my machine, it went on easier. When the quilting was all done, I was so excited to get it finished, that I continued sewing late into the night. Luckily I had found some fitting binding tape in gray with white dots on the market shortly before finishing, so I didn't have to cut and press the binding myself <whew>

binding decke_mit_backing

And then it was finally done and ready to snuggle into πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

decke_komplett decke_gefaltet

Now to the lessons learned throughout this project:

  • cut the HSTs to size after piecing them (yes, I was very naive....)
  • don't serge
    - I serged all allowances, after piecing the HSTs and rows, thus I couldn't press the seams open and got a whole bunch of bulk
  • press, don't iron and don't use steam
  • use high quality thread
    - this I especially noticed when quilting. The lower quality threads ripped or stitches were left out.... until I got that figured out, it took hours and I thought my machine was broken :-/
  • use sharp needles
  • write down all settings
    especially with a long-term project like this, write down:

    • stitch length
    • needle size
    • needle offset
  • trust your intuition when you think that the machine makes different sounds or runs differently than normal. By the end of the project I now know every sound my machine should make - and which it shouldn't!
  • Clean the machine on a regular basis - if you think you're machine might need a clean - it's probably already overdue πŸ˜‰
  • use more pins for basting
  • use same quality faabrics
    I have a bunch of different quality fabrics in this quilt - which doesn't make life easier
  • use sharp blades on the rotary cutter - and they're dull much faster than you think...

2016-button-250-bestI think I learned a lot more than that, but this is what I wrote down along the way.... so with the finish of this quilt, I can check off one of my 2016 FAL Q4 goals πŸ™‚

Now I'll be off, visiting all the wonderful blogs I haven't been able to read (or comment - shame on me) in the last weeks...

Hope you're having a nice sewy fall so far πŸ™‚

Vanni

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Today I have a little progress report on the "zig-zag-rainbow quilt" for you. (I should really think about a name for it - now that I write about my works, it makes all the more sense to actually name the projects πŸ™‚ ) After having basted it on the terrace of my friends, and now that it is dry again, I could start quilting it. My first idea was to use organic wavy lines, so I started out with that in the middle of the quilt - the pink area.

2016_09_organic

It wasn't really what I was looking for :-/ I had a really hard time to manage the quilt and kept drifting somewhere far from where I wanted to go... maybe that hadn't bothered me too much if I hadn't decided on quilting in the same colors that the fabric is, i.e., pink on pink, red on red and so on. In addition to that, I thought that it would be clever to try and stay close to the seams, to fix the seam allowances with the quilting - so now I have all these tiny nooks all over the organic lines. So instead, I went back to my wavy/curvy/serpentine stitch an started quilting along the seam lines.

2016_09_quiltingΒ  2016_09_closeup_brown_quilting

Afterwards I also started quilting the wavy lines in the middle of the HSTs, which makes a distance of approximately 4.7cm (~1.85") between the quilted lines. I've now quilted one half with the wavy lines on the seams and the brown and grey sections already have the "half-way quilting". Just ass an overview of the whole quilt I'll share the following picture again:

2016_08_27_zickzack_arnolds_perspektive

So what's left to do?

  • add the half way quilting in the yellow, orange and red section
  • push the undo button in the pink section (I liked the idea of Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl to think of the seam ripper as a undo button....I hope it is okay for you if I adopt that phrase?)
  • quilt the top half on the picture above

Let's see how much longer that will take πŸ˜‰

Hope you're having a wonderful week and linking up to Let's Bee Social @Sew Fresh Quilts,

Vanni

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Last week we got the good news that friends of ours have become parents - it's a boy!! We knew about the pregnancy but several months ago, I just wasn't into quilting as much as now. It's really amazing how fast some things change... So now that the little baby boy has joined us on this planet, it was time for a baby quilt intermezzo this weekend.

First things first: shopping on Friday for some blue-ish fabrics. I wanted to use big blocks, because I still had some blue fabric with cars, trucks and trains at home, which I think looks best, when you have more to look at. So I needed some fabrics to go with that as well as some backing and came home with the following:

2016_09_fabrics

The fabric on the very right is the one I had at home, the others are new. The polka dotted and fox fabric are from Robert Kaufman - fabrics our local Karstadt sells under the label patchworkland.de. The prices are tremendously high though! The solid is a no-name cotton, which worked perfectly with the polka dotted fabric. I wanted a dark fabric for the backing, because the blanket will probably spend a lot of time on different floors πŸ˜‰ There were several different possibilities in dark blues, but I finally went with the stars and moon fabric - it's so fitting for a blankey...

I then cut up 21cm x 21cm squares (8.27" square) and sewed them together to 20cm finished squares (7.87"). This left me with a very small seam allowance, but the car fabric I still had at home didn't allow for more. After having sewn the rows together, I thought that it might have also turned some of the car fabrics around, so they don't all look in the same direction... but oh well. In the final layout the different squares are lined up diagonally.

2016_09_complete

I quilted along the edges of the squares with a (my right now favorite favorite) wavy stitch on my machine - light blue on the top, dark blue on the back. Since it were really old threads I "inherited", I don't know the manufacturer or the color name/number, but they worked perfectly for this project. The binding is a bias tape - perfect for a quick machine binding finish.

2016_09_folded 2016_09_quilting

Now it's finished and ready to be shipped to our new earthling πŸ™‚

Hope you had a quilty weekend as well!

Vanni

Linking up with Let's Bee Social @Sew Fresh Quilts

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I've finally made it and my huge (approximately 2.10m x 2.30m/ 82.6" x 90.6") quilt top is finished - and photographed πŸ˜‰ Good friends were so nice to let me baste it on their terrace, which is pretty much the only place where I could spread it all out.2016_08_27_zickzack_arnolds_scaledThis is my first FAL Q3 2016 finish πŸ˜€ (original list here)Β  It was actually quite nice basting it outside - it was hot all day long and then it finally cooled down outside. Inside it was still way too hot. But basting outside does have its downsides....The colors attracted some flying ants, so I was somewhat busy to swipe those all off again and again. And then the cat fell into the pond (1st time ever <groan>) and the shortest way back into the house went straight over my quilt top.Β  I wouldn't have thought, that a cat's fur can hold THAT much water. So I had to finish basting a partially soaking wet sandwich before it got too dark outside.

Here's another picture, where I tried to straighten out the the dimensions:

2016_08_27_zickzack_arnolds_perspektive

Most of the fabrics are actually "scraps" from other projects I did before. In addition to that, two friends of mine raided their scrap bins for me. So there are a lot of memories attached to this quilt top.

And now it's time to quilt this little one πŸ˜‰ I'll be quilting it on my home machine, with wavy lines. I don't quite know yet, whether it'll be free style wavy lines (organic lines?) or whether I'll be taking a wavy stitch from the machine. We'll see....

Linking up with, Let's Bee Social @Sew Fresh Quilts, Oh Scrap @Quilting is more Fun than Housework and Fabric Tuesday @Quilt Story. Both buttons/links can also be found on my side bar πŸ™‚

2016 FAL

Have a wonderful week!

Vanni

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This week has been quite successful in terms of sewing.... I started two new star projects. The first is a new long term skill building project: A quilt full of paper pieced stars, inspired by this treasure chest of free paper piecing patterns at Wombat Quilts. The first star is pieced and as you can see, there's been some startup problems. But I'm confident, that this will get better with more practice - and more attention on the size of the scraps used πŸ˜‰2016_pp_stern1 IMG_6409
The second project I started is a series of rainbow star pillows. I initially got inspired by the Rainbow Rose quilt-along. But I just didn't want to start another quilt, when having two on my list already. So I thought I'd scale it down a bit and make several pillows with rainbow stars.

2016_stern1

This first front is derived from Leigh Laurel Studios. I am very happy about the alignment of most squares, which at least worked out in those rows, that weren't influenced by the white fabric.

IMG_6410

I tried one of the wavy stitches from my machine for quilting because I am thinking of using it on my zig zag quilt as well. But I think I need to add some more quilting to it.

IMG_6413

So what have you been up to? Linking up to Let's Bee Social πŸ™‚

See you around,
Vanni