Part 8: Along For The Project- My First King

Done and delivered!!

I had such a great time going to my bestie’s Bridal Shower, it helped that it was held at her parents gorgeous house on the Chesapeake Bay. I only took one picture of the view, yea only one, I had to hold back….

One of the best parts was when her dad answered the door and didn’t even recognize me. My first thought was, yup I gained about 40 pounds since high school (doesn’t help that I was about 20 pounds under weight in high school). Hopefully it was just the sunglasses.

On to the quilt, to sum up the experience of making my first king-sized quilt is: I’m not sure when I really want to make another king-size, hahaha. It was a love/hate thing, and I totally love that it is in the hands of it’s recipient now and no longer residing as my current elephant in the corner of my living room. Wonderful thing is that she loved it, and everyone else who was there to see. All of the ripping stitches and late night sewing was totally worth it in it’s 10 foot by 10 foot existence, one of those labor of love things.

Note to self section:
-trim all corners/points that stick out past the block within the seam allowances, yea it shows
-when free-motion quilting lots of curvy-ness, up the tension on the top thread
-when in doubt just pin the stinkin’ binding, it turns out right the first time
-don’t go crazy with the thread color on large quilts, just blend
-do not use interfacing with applique, it sucks
-I really like closely stitched straight line quilting, and it’s easier

Other than the gorgeous bride-to-be (right up there), the beautiful house and views, and the party with awesome food (as always Kim) it was so great to finally see my besties from high school again. We have all grown so much and yet are exactly the same 4 girls when we get together, unfortunately I am still the loud/random one (working on that, but it’s hard when you’re related to Derek…). Miss you ladies already!!

The rest of the posts about the progression of My First King can be found by clicking the link.

Keeping It SimpleThe DIY Show Off

The Girl Creative

Photobucket

Rounding Second

I knew yesterday was gonna be a good one, from the moment I woke up.

I didn’t say perfect, I have 4 kids people, and a trip to the post office was in order for the day… enough said.

However, overall, yesterday was pretty amazing. Amazing like that feeling of rounding second base because you’re third base coaching is yelling and you’ve just realized you hit a home-run/infield home-run. That moment that you achieved something amazing, but you’re not quite done yet and the best part is yet to come.

Photo Thanks to The Baseball Zone

Side note: I love LOVE love baseball.

To start the day off, it was about 4am, and all was quiet on the home front. I tip-toed downstairs to a waiting sewing machine and a great project needing some love. There is nothing like waking up and being able to sew for 2 hours *hopefully* uninterrupted.

New stats on the quilting of the King:

Sashing: All
Blocks: 20 of 25
Block Border: 10 of 25

Man, I am almost done! It’s kinda funny how I keep calling it the King though, sometimes I feel like I’m talking about Elvis….

Another great and wonderful thing about yesterday was that I started a new knitting project: Pickles Plain Vest. I have had this post in my bookmarks menu for what feels like forever (said with a Sandlot voice… hehe), and I absolutely love it! Reading all the reviews on Ravelry.com sealed the deal, everyone was so happy that it knit up so fast. In my experience, most things that are knit with 2 strands of yarn go quick. I really like how it’s coming along. You can check out my project here: My First Plain Vest. It is a work in progress, and pictures will be coming soon.

Possibly one of the absolute best BEST things that happened yesterday was that my little guy finalized his potty training!!! Oh YEA! I can’t even describe accurately how monumental this moment is. It is not that he’s taken forever to do it, he’s only 3 1/2, but now I only have one kid in diapers. He was almost done about a month ago, but of course he had to get a week long stomach flu, and everything was at a stand-still. I don’t think I can ever have more than one child in diapers again, well at least I hope not. We went from having 3 kids in diapers to only 1 in one year. Score.

I think a trip to Target for some more big boy underwear is in order for today. Hopefully they have batman/joker ones, those are on request.

Part 7: Along For The Project- My First King

Progress feels good.

As of 4:37am this morning, I have quilted this much of the King:

Sashing: All
Blocks: 8 out of 25
Block Borders: 10 out of 25

Does that count as half-way yet? 

I have decided to do straight-line quilting in the sashing, random free-motion quilting in the block borders, and stitching in the ditch of blocks. I quite like how it’s turning out, and honestly I think I like the back of the quilt just as much than the front (if not more).

I also am using gray thread for top on the sashing and in the blocks, white thread on the top for the block borders, and white thread for all of the back. It looks nice.

I love this quilt, but I’m not sure how many more Kings I’m going to make… at least ones with a deadline. gees

Haleluah!!

I finally finished picking out all the quilting I did on my first King.

Now, I get to pack it away till after Christmas so I can get all my presents done… whole ‘nother world, holiday gift making is.

Been lots of busy lately too.

Got another custom request, this time it’s a quilt though. Here’s my fabric pallet I’m using:

There’s some from the ‘Boy, Oh, Boy’ line done by Holly Holderman. I just love this line and the girly one she did like it. Whatever isn’t in this line is just coordinating fabrics. Gotta love Chick’s N Stitches for nice selection.

I bought between 30 and 40 pounds of apple seconds at Willey Farms in Townsend, DE yesterday for $10, oh yea.

So, last night I made my first batch of applesauce. My house smells amazing!!

I’m hoping to get 2 more batches of sauce and one batch of apple butter out of the lot. I love canning.

Part 6: Along For the Project – My First King

Lets just say that I really liked the varigated blue thread for the quilting that I choose, I wanted the quilt to be “different”.

Lets also say that when I started quilting it, I really liked it. It looked good on the dark green.

Lets further say that I continued to quilt, that day during naptime, and made quite a bit of progress, quilting 4 of the 15 inch squares of the 25 total in the quilt.

The next day, I wasn’t so sure I loved it anymore. So, I didn’t want to work on it…

Yea

The day after that, I decided I didn’t like it anymore at all. Enter the seam ripper, but not quite.

I completely lost my desire to work on this quilt, OHHH NNNOOOOO!!!

So, what was I to do???

What any sane quilter would do, I got out a large plastic storage bag from a blanket I bought quite a while ago, and I folded my giant, king-sized quilt up, placed all the extra fabric and scraps on top, put it in the bag, zipped it up, and put it away.

Crap, now I have ANOTHER ufo on my list…

This thought lingered, and so did my dreams of finishing this monster (noticed the transition…).

An idea!! I can just use white thread and do straight-ish lines on the quilt, that is after I take out all the blue…

So, I have been pulling quilted stitches out for about a week now, working on it while I wait in my rocking chair for babies to fall asleep. I think I will be done pulling it out within about 3 days.

Now I’m excited about it again.

And it only spent about a month in exile…

Part 5: Along for the Project – My First King

I felt like I was making great progress, then I started the quilting.

You see, the kids and I cleaned the playroom in the basement, vacuumed and all. Now I had a place to pin the quilt layers together.

Check.

Next, I make sure I have at least 5 bobbins loaded up, and I’m ready to roar on this thing. I made sure that I finished all the smaller projects to clear off my sewing table. Lets rock.

This is what is looks like to machine quilt a King at home, with just a regular sewing machine… Only half of it made it into the photo. Feels like madness. haha (in my best pirate-y chuckle)

Now, I’ve quilted enough of the quilt to use up 2 bobbins, and now I’m second guessing my thread color choice.

I really want to pull it all out and switch to white. I feel like the variegated blue is just taking over, not that I think the blocks need to really stand out, but I feel kinda like they’re getting lost. And, the back was just white with 2 stripes of the scraps towards the edges, and I am just not liking it with such dark thread.

Err, decisions decisions.

Part 4: Along for the Project- My First King

Yesterday morning, I was sewing along (3:30am when I started). Double checking my organization and photo to make sure that I was putting all my blocks where I wanted them and in the right orientation. Check and check.

Everything was in the right place, just not where I expected it to be.

 (That’s like a whole inch off…)

Now, mind you, when sewing a KING there are about 120 inches of error that can be incorporated into this in either direction.

Lesson learned: pin vertical strips to match in the middle, that way they’ll only be off by a little bit on both ends. That is, unless you are anal (I am) and feel the urge to take apart the WHOLE THING and get it to be exact. I am going to fight the urge on this one just because I don’t want to do all that work again… I know, I’m horrible, and may just be embarrassed to give it now, errr.

Part 3: Along for the Project- My First King

This summer is just kicking my butt it feels like…

Progress on this quilt feels really s-l-o-w, maybe it’s because it’s a freakin king-sized quilt. (Please remind me to rethink doing a king next time…).

Does it feel slow cause I’m in the middle of doing my least favorite part?? Uhh, yea. I like making the blocks and quilting it, not so much the in-between, or the hand binding for that matter.

After I finished framing all my blocks with a finished 3″ border, I got out my original sketch to figure out what I wanted to do with the sashing.

What do you think? I think I forgot how much I love coloring, and sketching… (I know, my sketch isn’t square… just run with me)

I didn’t want to do anything typical, like keeping it simple and making all my sashing one color. No, why would I keep a king-size simple???

Anyway, I really like how it’s coming along. I have all the horizontal sections of the sashing sewn on, and I’m about 1/2 way through sewing the blocks together vertically. Sorry, forgot to get a picture of that.

Wow, typing it all up makes me feel like I’m making progress, and the pics help a little too.

Off to take my Amish Friendship Bread out of the oven… (I made coconut this time, yum!)

Happy Sewing!

Part 2: Along For The Project-My First King

This is what my progress looks like while trying to entertain the big kids on Sunday:

I have decided to commit all of my crafting time to this quilt, it needs to be finished. I am the queen of unfinished projects that just linger… yea.

Starting from where we left off before, I am not going to send this quilt to a long-arm quilter, since it will be about $200 to have it done. Apparently I need to be in the long-arm quilting business…

Back to the whole sashing issue as well, I am still not sure what I want to do. I bought some yellow, dark blue, and darker green to play around with. My only issue is that they are “new” prints, meaning they aren’t in any of the blocks.

So, I was originally thinking about bordering each block with a 2 inch sashing, alternating between the blue and yellow to make almost a checkerboard effect. Then I didn’t like that so much. Now, I’m thinking of making somewhat of a cross in the corners of the blocks, using an angle to join them mid-block instead of a straight seam. This way, I could use the yellow, blue, and green I bought, and even throw in some gold or other colors too. I’m really liking this idea…

Yesterday, I laid out all of my blocks and played with them until I had it all the way I liked. The middle block is missing, I know, haven’t gotten there yet. I’m planning on doing applique of the bride and groom’s names with a heart or two. Here’s how it looks:

With each of the blocks that are not symmetrical, I tried to have them be different orientations within the quilt, the only one I didn’t do it with was the bow tie block.

Oh, a little trick to keep your blocks the way you want them when you stack em up: start from one side and pick up the first block, lay it on the next one, then pick both of them up, put them on the next one, and so forth until you just have one pile for the row. Do this with each row, you will now have a column of piles. At this point, I like to use pins to mark which # row it is from the top. The top row gets one pin, the second row gets two, etc. Then I just stack them up with #1 on the top, #2 under that, etc. Now you have a pile of blocks, and you know where you want them!

I’m really hoping to get this quilt done soon, I have a baptism dress to make (LOVE this baptism dress), a bathing suit cover-up for the baby, some pjs, and lots more Christmas gifts… oh the list is even longer I think…

Along for the Project – My 1st King

During 2009 I participated in a Block of The Month club with the Quilter’s Hive in Newark, DE. I felt that I needed to work on a few quilting skills, like triangles, and this particular club is only $5 for the entire year (yea, the entire year). So, sign me up…

I, of course, figured that since it was such a great deal ($5) that I would do two blocks each month.

Each month I was very glad to work on these blocks, having something I knew I was going to work on and I knew it would get done. It was fun going to the shop each month to get my new fabric and block style that I was going to make, you don’t know this for each month when you start, luckily they did a color scheme I liked: yellow, blue, green, and flowers (morning glories were one of them, love me some morning glories). If I lived closer, I would gladly do it again!

Back to the project, sorry.

Now I have 24 blocks that I had no predetermined project in mind for. Wow, I thought of everything the past 6 months, and nothing

I found out about a week ago that one of my best friends from high school is getting married, yay! Yay for her, and yay for figuring out a project to make with my blocks. Even better, her favorite color is yellow.

Now I’m making my first King-sized quilt!! I can even tie some sentiment into it since I want a 25th block to make the quilt an even 5×5 blocks, hello appliqued names and a heart! I’m so excited.

The original plan: each 12×12 block will have a 3 inch white border, and for sashing between all of them I will use up my scraps to make finished 3 inch sashing, all finished with another 3 in border of scrap stripes and then another 3 inch white border, bound in a green.

Well, I have all the stripes of scraps sewn in 18 1/2 inch strips, and I don’t even have 1/2 of what I need to do the sashing…

So, now I’m gonna cut each in half, width wise, so I will have enough to do a border around the whole quilt that will be a finished 1 1/4 inch.

To solve my sashing dilemma, I’m gonna head over to Chicks N Stitches (my fave local hotspot, wink wink) and get some coordinating blue and yellow to do for sashing. New idea with the sashing: sew it so that every other block will be bordered in blue or yellow, giving it a somewhat checkerboard look, you with me?

Oh, I am also hoping to send my quilt out to a long-arm quilter for the quilting. I really don’t want to try to fit a king through my little Singer, yikes.

On a side note, I LOVE summer… I can actually quilt and feel like I make progress 😉