Thursday, February 25, 2016

Project Photos: Vineyard Quilt

I finished my Cantaloupe Vineyard quilt and I am so excited to be able to show it off! It was a long process, mostly due to me purchasing each of the 3 yards of the quilt top separately to keep within my budget. There was also an issue of some of my batting getting lost in transit over the holiday mail rush. I literally didn't get my last yard of batting until the beginning of February. The center panel is my 1 Yard Cantaloupe Quilt Block with a yard of my Richard & Regelwyn Portrait fabric split into two sections on the top and bottom. (If you wanted to do a similar quilt without my cats you can use Vineyard Quilt Tiles fabric instead.) The sides are a design made specially for this, Cantaloupe Quilt Frame, that also uses a yard of fabric. 

This is the finished quilt top.

The cats were quilted around just like all the other elements to make them look slightly 3D!

A photo from the side. I had to stand on a chair for this shot, and that's why it looks a little shaky.

The top panel meeting the center block,

and a shot from further back.
The quilt frame with an almost perfect join. I was very pleased since the other side didn't look as seamless.

The center quilt block,

and a shot from further back. This shows the more noticeable join on the right border.

Here's a look at the bottom corner of the quilt,

and here's Regelwyn sitting almost in the exact center of the quilt I'm trying to photograph!

The underside shows off the quilting a lot better, at least in the photographs. I used some cheap plain cotton for the underside, and the first yard that I bought for the center panel came from a different dye lot than the two yards I was given by my mother for the outer sections. It looked a bit odd at first, but now that it's complete it doesn't look so haphazard and blocky.


The completed quilt lining.

I made a little quilt label and hand sewed it in place.

The bottom panel where you can see the outline of the cats.

The join of three blocks, you can see on the quilt frame that I ended up with a slight wave on the outer edge.

And the bottommost corner.
So details on the construction:

I of course didn't intend to create a huge quilt at the outset. I sewed up the central block not truly knowing what I wanted to use the final piece as. So its construction was as simple as possible avoiding my least favorite thing: quilt binding. Call me lazy, but I hate all the fuss and perfection involved with whole process. My method was a sandwich of batting, lining right side up, and quilt top right side down. Smooth everything, pin and sew around the edge leaving a three to four inch gap in one side to turn. Once turned and ladder stitched to close, it's as easy as following the lines along the "patches" with the machine to quilt the whole block.

At the time, it made sense to do it that way, but when it came to adding new quilt blocks with this same method, there was suddenly an inordinate amount of handsewing to do. As I like the invisible join, my trusty ladder stitch ended up doing double duty. On each seam I had to go across the underside to join the linings together, and then along the top edge do the same thing.

In the end it worked out well since the blocks ended up being slightly different sizes due to the varying seam allowances cutting into the printed designs. The most obvious instance was with the sides. There the only seam was in the middle, and instead of going generously over the printed area (to keep the white selvedges from showing) I tried to match up that central patch as close to the end on each side as I could go. This huge block abbutted three other blocks, that ended up being a couple of inches shorter when all sewn together. The hand stitched end allowed me to gather in tiny increments, so that the finished quilt looks quite squared at the ends. It also left me with a slight wave in the outside edge that I found surprisingly attractive.

Anyway, I am delighted with my new quilt, and I learned a ton of things in the process. My cat Richard passed away at the end of January and it is comforting to have a subtle reminder of him on this quilt. I'm sure that it will be with my family for a good long time, and it's exciting to think that after all the quilts and things that have been passed down to me that it will be my quilt passed down in the future.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fabric Photos XXXVI.

Wow, it has been a while since I posted any fabric photos! The holidays and my major crafting projects have taken me away from blogging. There have been probably seven or eight rice socks for various family members, a small zippered pouch for Grandma, a clutch for my friend Diana, another clutch for Mom, a suede wallet for my brother, and some embroidery for my Aunt Jennifer. I didn't manage to photograph any of these projects, but I always want to give people their presents as soon as they're complete. lol

I made a shoe shaped pincushion, which should get its own post soon. My huge quilt is almost finished; all it lacks are the side panels. 

I'm sure there have been other things just falling through the cracks in my memory, but on to the fabric swatches: The colors look a bit off. I tried to put a range of colored thread to help my camera's automatic white balance, and this is the best photo of each swatch.