Monday, March 23, 2009

Psst--quilty goodness in progress

This is what has kept me away from the blog (I mean, in addition to the kids, the husband, the job, the sick, the house hunting,...)

I know I'm biased, but I think it is adorable. Remember, it is based upon the "Once Upon a Time" Quilt by Fun Quilts (It's from the Modern Quilt Workshop book which I highly recommend). I love it. And this version is humongous. It could be a bed quilt. I hope they don't mind. It isn't just me right? This is really cute, isn't it? I don't understand why there aren't more of these quilts floating around the blogosphere.

I really love assembling quilt tops. We'll see how I feel about quilting.


Friday, March 20, 2009

I quilt, therefore I bee.

I'm just poking my head in from first grade quilt land.

I am enjoying it. The quilt is not perfect, but acceptable for my first full quilting experience. For example, I think my quarter inch seam allowance is larger than a quarter of an inch, but I can't figure out why (beyond the obvious I mean).

I had hoped to post wips, but that obviously hasn't happened. It has been fun to watch it come together, flaws and all.

The top is nearly completed and that leaves the actual quilting process. I have a few questions if anyone can give me some advice:

1. The first large square is actually a transfer of the class photo. Cute idea, but I tried testing the image with a wet cotton ball and a lot of ink ran on to the cotton ball. The ink did not smear in the picture though. Do you think that I just pulled some loose dye, or do you think the inks will run if I wash the quilt?

Do you have any suggestions for keeping the dye from running or otherwise preventing a lot of staining if I wash it?

Should I wash it at all?

I have not attached the first row yet, so I can be flexible in my response to the dilemma. Should I try to immerse the photo square in water to see what will happen?

2. For the actual quilting process, I've had lots of thoughts, but haven't settled on a quilting style yet. The very popular stippling method won't work because I cannot quilt over the kids' squares. I will only be quilting the sashing (for lack of a better term) and the border.

I had thought to just stitch straight lines from one border edge to the other. However, I do not trust myself to sew a perfectly straight quilting line.

Then I thought I would just stitch inside the story square borders about one eighth of an inch in from the seam. When I told a fellow crafty lady at work, she freaked out that I would have all sorts of "weak stitches" throughout the body of the quilt (not protected by starting and ending under the binding). I thought it was a bit of an overreaction because I intended to secure my stitches. I've seen lots of quilts in which the actually quilting centers around elements in the quilt, rather than just running to and from the edge. Am I missing something?

Then I thought (still missing the above point completely) that maybe I should combine the ideas: quilt within the edge of the story blocks and run a slightly wavy line (to match the wavy lines on the binding) from edge to edge within the sashing, but not crossing over my small story squares.

Any suggestions?

I know a picture would be helpful. I'm really tired at the moment so I am headed to bed. If I can add a photo in the a.m. I will try.

The quilt is based on the Once Upon A Time Quilt by FunQuilts. I will be doing this quilt again very soon for both kids. Once I've finished the quilt, I need to buckle down and do my next love quilt square though--it is due May 1st. Yikes! At this rate my Chatelaines will be waiting until May.

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