Project the Next

I made Henry a quilt back when he was in a crib, but now that he's in a big-boy bed I owe him a new one. We had a talk about it and he decided he wants dinosaurs.

So in keeping with my theme, I chose a book from my library (one I've never made anything out of). Here it is:

This book is called Easy Quilt Projects: Favorites from the Editors of American Patchwork & Quilting. The pattern I chose is called "In the Meadow." It appears on page 11.

This pattern does indeed look easy, just as promised by the book's title (it's just squares and rectangles, without any borders). And I really need easy right now, after that nightmare-of-triangles chicken quilt.

I had a little bit of a tough time choosing fabric for this one, because I initially went to a fabric store that didn't actually have any dinosaur fabric. But you know, I can't walk out of a fabric store without any fabric, so I bought a bunch of greens thinking I'd find some dino fabric in green, for sure.

And I did, but the line also came in a blue, so then I went back and bought some blues. And then the ladies on the QuiltingBoard suggested adding some oranges and yellows so it wasn't just a lot of cool colors, so I bought more fabric and got rid of some of the other ones I was planning on using. So I bought way too much fabric. But hey, that's what my stash is for right?

Anyway here's my final palette:

 I'm going to cut and sew at least part of it on Friday, state of mind permitting. :)

Harry Potter Party Invites

Dylan is on a Harry Potter kick, so for his eighth birthday party we're doing a Harry Potter theme. Which means of course that I had to come up with a Harry Potter party invitation. Hello, Photoshop.

I love doing these, they always make me laugh.

For this invite I chose a poster from the Deathly Hallows, featuring the devastatingly handsome Neville Longbottom:

In case you aren't with me on the whole "devastatingly handsome" thing, you have seen him recently, right?

Yes, that's right. I thought so.

Anyway I got Dylan to pose for me, looking as Neville-Longbottomish as he could, and then I Photoshopped him into the poster:

And then I laughed for about 20 minutes.

Sans-blood, of course (this is second grade after all).

After I was done laughing, I changed the date from 7.15 to the date of the party, and on the inside I put "(Being a 7-year-old, I mean)" You know, as in "It all ends: being a 7-year-old." Which I thought was marginally funny though I'm not sure anyone else will get it.

Cute, though. Can't wait to send them out!

Chicken Quilt

OK, here it is: my chicken quilt. It turned out OK, if you don't look at the back.

The pattern came out of Farm Girl Quiltsand is called "Fields of Red Clover" (page 30). 

Just about everything that can go wrong with a quilt did go wrong with this quilt. First, I have no business messing with triangles. Seriously. I don't know how I managed to get my seams so wrong but after I was done sewing all of the triangles together those little keystone blocks were so much bigger than they were supposed to be that I had to trim them all to make everything fit. Same with the sashings. So this quilt is maybe 10 or 15% smaller than it's supposed to be.

Then, I noticed that some of my seams were coming apart. When I flipped the quilt top over I found loops on the back. How I didn't notice this while I was piecing is beyond me. Amateur. So I had to rip some of the seams out and sew them again.

Then after I sewed the border on I noticed that it wasn't even laying flat. This must be a symptom of the seams being so off, I don't know. So I had to take the borders off and retrim them to make the quilt lay sort of flat.

Then I bought fusible batting. Oh no, never again. It didn't lay flat out of the package and it didn't stick very well, so I ended up with tucks all over the back after I quilted it. Huge, terrible, awful, worst-ever tucks. Some of them I even ripped out so I could redo the quilting, because they were that bad.

But does it pass the "12 feet away from the back of a galloping horse" test? I think so. And I did manage to get a pretty cute photo of it anyway. The question remaining, of course, is if I ought to still give it to Monica given how many problems it has. Maybe I'll just promise to make her another one when, you know, I'm a little better at this. :)

Agitate Manually

I'm almost done with Monica's chicken quilt, which I'll post in another day or two. Really this is just about as close to a disaster as any quilt I've ever made, but I'll vent on that later.

I bought Heirloom Fusible Cotton Batting to use in it, because I thought "Ooo, no pinning." then when I got home I read the care instructions:

OK so I know quilts need special care, but seriously? Who is going to spend the time to "agitate manually" every time they need to wash a quilt? If someone gave me a quilt with those washing instructions, I would put it on a shelf. Occasionally, I would unfold it and look at it, but then I would fold it up again and put it back on the shelf. Quilts were made to be used, and that means they should be washed.

Also, I've never heard of "Orvus."

Also, I can't dry anything flat because my kids will walk all over it. Monica has dogs, so her problem is even greater than mine.

At least one person told me that these washing instructions are CYA, but I think I'll avoid fusible batting in the future (and quite possibly all batting from this particular company, if the washing instructions are similar). I need simplicity in my life. That means cold water, gentle cycle, tumble-dry low. I will even spring for Woolite. But I'm not going to stand over my machine for 15 minutes and "agitate manually." Give me a break.

Miss Andrea's Quilt

Dylan's wonderful former kindergarten teacher had a baby on Wednesday, beating her baby gift by five days. Ah! I really did try to get it done on time, but [excuse, excuse, excuse].

Happily, I did finish it and I think it's pretty cute. I based it on this pattern, which I pinned a couple of months ago. One thing comes immediately to mind, and that is that this quilt doesn't fit into my whole "quilting my library" tagline because Pinterest isn't exactly a part of my library. But I needed simple and cute, and digging through that stack of dusty books didn't exactly fit into my idea of "simple," though I'm sure I could have found something cute.

This one will do, though. Here's the finished quilt, which is basically just one very large log cabin block:

OK not completely finished, because I had to Photoshop out a bunch of threads and safety pins. Which brings one more thing to mind, I need to learn how to photograph quilts. This ain't no shot of a beautiful quilt tossed casually over a white wicker chair in someone's beautifully manicured back yard, none of which describes anything about my house. But you get the idea. Those pink polka dots on white are the backing, a really soft minky fabric. Cute and easy!
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