Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Wednesday, Quilt Top Complete!

 WIP #1: Party time! Checkit. It's a finished quilt top! Man, that feels good. :)

Here are some things I learned while making this quilt.

1. I don't like white backgrounds as much as I thought. Something about all the white space bothers me. I think that's why I like patchwork so much, it fills in all the space with color! I wish I could go back and use a greige (gray/brown) color instead. I think it would warm up the quilt, and make me feel better about snuggling under it with a glass of red wine. (This is a very important and practical consideration!)

2. I really wish I had used a "design wall". I laid the blocks out for this quilt on the floor, and I thought they looked good. When I see the quilt held up I realize some of the blocks would have looked better in a different orientation. I think you might get a better (or at least different) perspective viewing the quilt on a wall, because you can look at it as a whole, straight on. I have the room for a design wall, I guess I better get to work!

3. Buy good fabric. I bought a cheaper kind of white fabric than usual (I usually get the Kaufmann stuff from JoAnn's, but they were out so I just grabbed something). If you look closely (below), the fabric puckers along the seams with white fabric. :( I didn't experience the puckering with the prints, or any other time I've sewn, so I can only assume it's the cheap fabric?? The only other thing I can think of is that I really need a new iron. My iron is really large and heavy, and doesn't work very well without steam. But if I do use steam it steams like craaaazy. That might have caused the cheaper (thinner) fabric to wrinkle like that. Anyone have any suggestions for a new iron?

4. Learn how to use my friggin DSLR camera already. I bought it, I kind of know how to use it, but my pictures are always really blurry and I have to fix them in editing. Not good. I have a Canon Rebel Xsi. If anyone has any tips on photographing quilts with that guy, (ie settings) I'd love to listen! :D

5. (Phew, I sure learned a lot on this one!) I need to figure out a better way to photograph my quilts. I don't always have someone to hold them up for me, so I am going to do some brainstorming on how I could hang them.

Now I just have to decide how to quilt it. I have an idea, I just have to figure out how to do it! I am having trouble finding an example of it, or a tutorial. I've seen it on one (or more) of the really big modern quilting blogs. It looks like this:

It's just random lines with turns that cross each other. I'm thinking I'll just have to do some practicing.  Has anyone tried something like this?

WIP #2: EZ Dresden Challenge
Not much progress on this one. I'll be tackling the rest of this guy in the upcoming week.

WIP #3: What's next? I am thinking I am going to need to make a quilt using 100% of what is in my stash. My quilting "budget" has taken a little bit of a hit lately! But ya never know.. :P

I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced, hosted this week by Amy, from Sukie, Don't You Know Who I am?  I'll be stoppin in to as many blogs as I can to see what you are up to! Thanks for stopping by! :)


  1. Beautiful! That quilting design would be perfect - but I've never used it. I have a Panasonic (*I think*) cordless iron and I LOVE it!

  2. I think it looks great ! Oh, and I like "griege" too! No camera suggestions since I don't have a dslr yet. As for pics, I think yours look good - I put up a clothesline in my backyard to use for pics if that helps at all.

  3. The wonky square top looks wonderful! Although I see what you mean about the whitespace. I don't mind it, because it makes your colours pop, but it does make you want to fill it with something!

    Lovely WIP Wednesday post!

  4. I really love your wonky square rings. Maybe you won't mind the white so much when it's kind of knocked back by quilting? It will also make it look more snuggly in a glass of wine way (you are a girl after my own heart).

    The squiggy quilt reminds me a bit of Tokyo Subway

  5. It does feel really good to finish a top. The accomplishment feeling comes in stages for me. The top, the quilting finish, then the finished binding. Great job. I do know what you mean about the cheaper fabric. I have some as we speak.

  6. Looks great!! I have a Canon Rebel xsi and I love it! I do find that if my light is low it is better to switch to manual focus and adjust the settings myself. Your pictures look great. I can't wait to see how you quilt it! The white is beautiful with the bold, patriotic colors, but grey would make it warm. Both ways are beautiful and different. :) That's what makes quilting so much fun, all the options!

  7. I LOVE how this turned out! I'm a fan of the white, although I can see how grey would look awesome. And I love the one red square. I want to try making a quilt with blocks like these.
    I totally know what you mean about the cheap fabric - especially when it is white. I just finished a quilt top of my own using lots and lots of cheap white fabric. The rest of the fabric was designer quality. The white stuff puckered a little and I'm nervous the seams will show through when the quilt is finished. I guess this is what happens when you sew on a budget!
    I'm super excited to see your quilt quilted!

  8. Gorgeous quilt top! I love seeing the red, white and blue in such a fun pattern! I understand your feelings on white though, especially since I am such a mess!

    I have had the *exact* same problem with solids puckering, but it was actually with Kona white (the Moda prints were fine). I use the Sunbeam Steam Master and in my case, it had to do with steaming. As long as I leave the steam off, I don't get the puckering.

  9. Your quilt is beautiful!!

    1. I don't particularly love white backgrounds either. I think even cream works better for me than white. Not quite so stark. I do love using gray though!

    2. I wish I had a design wall too. I use the floor as well, and so far it has worked for me. I mostly wish I had a design wall so I have somewhere to stick my blocks when I finish them. I'll often use painter's tape to stick them to the wall, just to get them out of the way, but I don't really like putting tape to my fabric.

    3. I've used cheaper fabrics too and have come to the realization that it is not worth it. I think most of your wrinkling at the seams is probably from the fabric you used. I use steam most of the time when pressing and I do not get those wrinkly seams when using steam with good quality fabric, but I will get those kinds of seams with or without steam on cheap fabric.

  10. Love your quilt and think that quilting design will look fantastic.

  11. I just did a quilting pattern like that on the Polaroids quilt. I hated it! It was so annoying to turn the quilt a lot. I won't do it again unless I am so gifted as to be able to free motion it. I've heard that free motioning square corners is really hard. Besides being hard, it also didn't come out that great. Make sure you baste REALLY well!

  12. I like white, I think it looks crisp. But I did make a quilt with some old stash of white and was really disappointed. It had been around forever, apparently since before I bought *good* solids! It looks like that quilt won't hold up quite as well as others I've made... Live and learn...
    As for irons, I *never* use steam. If I want steam I use a spriter bottle. I have ruined way too many things with rusty looking oozy water coming out those steam holes. I've had several Rowena irons, over the years, and am currently using a pretty lightweight Sunbeam from True Value, the closest place I had to grab a new iron on a Sunday, LOL! Works good, I like the price!

    Your blog looks great, by the way. Now I have to go read more!

  13. I love this quilt. I think it looks great. We are always harder on ourselves than anyone else is, so I didn't notice the things you pointed out. Good luck with quilting it. I've never tried something like that as i'm usually a straight-line or FMQ looping kind of girl so far. :)

  14. Your quilt is great! I love the wonky squares.

    That kind of quilting is actually pretty easy to do free-motion, especially if you don't mind if some of the squares end up a little wonky themselves. I would practice drawing it a few times first, filling up a paper or a white board. It is almost exactly like loopy quilting, you just do straight lines instead. It might help if you say "point, point, point" when you want to change directions. It helps if you hesitate just a teeny bit to be sure you get corners. Good luck!

    Love your Dresden Challenge so far! I'm looking forward to seeing more of that one!

  15. I love the quilt top!

    I wish I had room for a design wall! I read somewhere that in lieu of a design wall, take a picture of the blocks laid out on the floor. Looking at them on the monitor can change your perspective, and you can even flip the photo around to see if that changes how you see colors/spaces/other issues. So, until you get your design wall done, maybe give that a try!

    As for the square loops (that doesn't really make sense, but that's how I think of that pattern, since that's basically what it is!), I think it would be perfect for a wedding gift quilt I'm making this summer. But it's a wedding gift, and I'm just not confident enough with my FMQ to try it. I doodled quilting patterns a lot in class (such a good TA) :) and I could just never get this square loop thing to work for me. It always ended up looking repetitive and not random, or I'd back myself into corners. My brain doesn't work well in that way, apparently!

  16. I think you did a wonderful job. I understand about the fabric. Sometimes I purchase a lower quality of fabric and then find out it doesn't work as well. Remember, we are our most critical critics! Although you would like a different color all over, the quilt looks wonderful (even in white!)

  17. I love your wonky squares! Thanks for sharing what you learned - I think that was great. Here's a super design wall tute for you -

    And I highly recommend taking a class to learn how to use your dslr camera. I took an online class (Oh Shoot! at and it was really helpful.

    Good luck with your quilting on this. I am sure you will do an awesome job!

  18. Love the wonky ring squares. I like the white background and the way it makes the rings pop!


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