Thursday, February 14, 2013

Frankensteining . . . and a Vintage Sheet Baby Quilt

The other day I attempted to take a few pictures of my sewing room.  It has been 10 months since the sewing stuff was relocated to the large bedroom downstairs, and I've never properly documented it.  The problem is that the lighting sucks this time of year so the pictures I've been taking are less than stellar.  Spending a bit of extra time in there recently did, however, draw my attention to something in the room that needed to be addressed.


Design Wall
The batting situation needs to be addressed now that my "wall" is bigger . . . but that's not what I'm talking about.

Yes - - this is my design wall, filled to the gills with blocks from Bee Vintage (my last quilting bee which ended in 2011).  While they are cheery and fun and pretty up the space, it was making me a bit said that they were not fulfilling their ultimate purpose in life.  Which, you know, was to BE A QUILT.

So I made a quick decision.  Right there.  After over a year of staring at them I made a "quick" decision - ahem.  I started pulling them all off the wall like a mad woman and trimming them up so they were uniform.  Then I quickly walked my fingers through my fabric shelves and pulled out a pale pink piece of cotton.  I say "piece" in a very literal way.  I have no idea where it came from, but clearly it was left over from some other project.  And there was very little left on my little makeshift "bolt".

No matter!

We're not over-analyzing this whole thing anymore, remember?  I eyed it up briefly and decided I would "make it work" by just making the sashing pretty minimal, and if necessary cut and sew pieces together if they were not long enough.  I decided that I wanted to keep 3 of the blocks out for this project so I could make a smaller quilt for Kiwi's bed.  I had yet to make this little girl anything other than a stocking so it was high time.  I cut 1 inch strips from my little scrap piece of fabric and worked quickly adding them to the blocks lest I take my time and start thinking too hard about what I was doing.  If you'll recall the blocks have all been made by various members of Bee Vintage and though I love them all, they were not completely uniform.  Some of them ended up having better points after being sashed, some not so much.  This doesn't bother me at all.  These blocks looks so wonderful and sweet together . . . they are just perfect for Kiwi who is a very laid back and easy going little girl.

This was all I had left over after the sashing was done:
Scrap Pile
To give you some perspective, the largest width represented here is only a few inches!

I had a special sheet that I thrifted awhile back waiting to become the back of a quilt . . . I cut into it without hesitation:
Despite the lighting making it appear yellow, it's actually a nice bright white with some dainty little pink flowers strewn about.

Keeping with my unofficial anthem of 2013 (USE WHAT YOU HAVE - - for real . . . MAKE IT DO!) I dipped into my bin of batting fabrics and came up with a piece that was long enough, but not wide enough for the quilt.  Not to be deterred, I cut the appropriate width and then used the leftover remnants to frankenstein the pieces together to get one large-enough piece of batting.

You do know how easy this is to do, right?  You take your pieces like this (I swear this is so forgiving your edges don't even need to be perfectly straight):
Batting Pieces 1
These pieces are straight because I drew them in MS Paint (you're welcome).  My actual pieces were kind of wonky and I didn't bother trimming them.  It was fine.

butt them up together where you need to join them:
Batting Pieces 2
If you've got several smaller pieces to join to match a larger strip, do those first.

and then just zig zag right over the center there:
Batting Pieces 3
MS Paint FTW!

NO ONE WILL BE THE WISER.  This is the sewing equivalent of that old saying, "what goes on in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen."  Or for the non-cooking set, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."  Seriously, it's a piece of batting that is destined to be sandwiched between the quilt top and the backing.  No one is going to see it, and I assure you it will not change the feel of the quilt when it's done.
Kiwi's Vintage Sheet Baby Quilt

I hesitated slightly when it came to binding, but in the end decided I didn't want to fuss with it too much and just cut the backing a bit larger so that I could fold the edges around to the front and bind it up that way.  I think it would have looked cute with a green binding that would have played off of some of the squares, but I didn't have one on hand that went well, so I just let it be what it was.  Remember - - MAKING IT DO!
Quilting Detail

No one has ever accused me of being a great quilter, but I think the quilting turned out kinda fun.  I did a simple box in the center of each block and then shadowed the innermost "star" on the outside by a presser foot width.  It gives the back a little bit of interest this way too.  I haven't washed it yet, but it's already super soft . . . working something up in old sheets will do that for you.  I'm not sure what I'll do with the remaining blocks yet . . . I'm thinking maybe throw pillows for the girls' room?  We shall see.

In any event, it feels good to bring this project to a close.  Not to mention the fact that I now have a blank wall to work with!  Makes me feel better about moving forward on other blanket-y projects now that this one is completed.  Of course, I do have 2 more quilt tops sitting in a drawer waiting to be finished off once and for all . . . :P

Anyone finally getting around to some WIPs?  Tis the season.


Better Off Thread

Linking up with some great parties RIGHT HERE.


jan February 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM  

Those blocks are beautiful! I am chanting the same mantra, these days - using what I have!

Skooks February 15, 2013 at 9:27 PM  

j - It's a good one! For goodness sakes, this stuff has to get used sometime, right?!

Gemini Jen NZ February 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM  

Great job! So satisfying to get a long-term project completed!

Skooks February 15, 2013 at 9:45 PM  

GJNZ - For sure! I'm not terribly jazzed to get on those other tops, but I think I should do it while I still have a little leftover juice from this project. ;)

Liz February 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM  

What absolutely gorgeous blocks! It looks great. I use exactly the same method as you to patch batting together. It works a treat.

Skooks February 15, 2013 at 10:23 PM  

LG - It's a great trick to have in your quilty back pocket. :) Thanks for visiting!

Dee February 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM  

Oh, it's only Tuesday and not even 8:30 and already I'm in love! Gasp! This is amazing! I'm pinning it to gracious!

Sew glad you shared this and the sheet on the back is in my stash as well and I love that you're using it!

Great finish!

Sewing Mom February 19, 2013 at 8:23 AM  

It's beautiful! I have a tote full of batting I might just have to start putting them together.

I love your iron board cover fun. I'm also trying to use things I have. It's hard to not want to buy any fabric when they keep making so many beautiful lines...but I'm trying. =)

Visiting from Show and Tell. Happy Tuesday.

Skooks February 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM  

Thanks, Dee!

I can't believe how long I sat on those blocks. I am so happy it is done and being used!

Thank you for such a sweet comment and for the pin. Please come visit me again. :)

Skooks February 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM  

SM - DO IT! It feels great to use up those pieces on a large project instead of resorting to spending an arm and a leg on a whole new package.

The ironing board cover was a fun project. It definitely makes the ever constant task of ironing a bit more bearable. :)

And yes - - I have not completely learned the secret to never buying new fabric, but I am trying to be conscious of using what I can as much as possible. It's not doing anyone any good sitting on my shelf after all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Julzie February 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM  

Found you through Sew Cute Tuesday, this is a lovely quilt, well done for using what you haven it works really well :)

Skooks February 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM  

Thanks, Jules! I'm about equally pleased with myself for finishing it (finally) as I am that I didn't have to buy anything to finish it.

randi--i have to say February 20, 2013 at 8:05 AM  

I just commented on Flickr, but I gotta say it again. I LOVE this quilt. So charming and fun!

Skooks February 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM  

r - Thank you so much! I did see your comment on Flickr. I'm excited that this quilt is getting so much love. All the ladies in Bee Vintage did such a wonderful job putting some beautiful blocks together for me.

Cathie February 20, 2013 at 5:10 PM  

I love it- their purpose in life. Fantastic little quilt and good work getting it finished up.

Anonymous,  February 26, 2013 at 2:29 AM  

Hi! This is sooo beautiful - like a painting from garden! I love your fabrics and colours and the pattern is so great! Wishes from Greece!

Skooks February 26, 2013 at 10:27 AM  

n - I am so pleased with how this quilt came together. Thank you for your lovely comments.

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