Sunday, August 31, 2014

Splitting Hares

Yesterday was an enlightening, productive session for me. I completed the new baby quilt design, finished the cutting, started the piecing, and made a new personal rule for myself. I need glasses for distance, but not close work. Therefore, my glasses are on and off dozens of times in a sewing session, and I can't tell you HOW many times I've lost them. How frustrating!

New Rule #1-- If I take them off, they go on my designated doxie tray by the machine. No exceptions!

I had started imagining the quilt earlier this week.  I was intrigued by pictures of the Modern quilts I saw with so many plus signs type motifs on light backgrounds. Modern log cabin quilts kept appealing to me, but I wanted something "original"--if that ever exists in a design. Since babies are a Plus One, the design started there, and then I added the concentric squares like growth rings on trees because, oh, do babies grow!

Things got interesting as I realized two of the fabrics needed special consideration because of the design repeat and orientation. Each strip required two steps: First lining up the fabric so the folds were even across the fabric before cutting. I matched motif to motif to make sure.

Second, after cutting the first initial strip, I layered strip on top of strip to make sure the centers were the same in both the brown and orange bunnies.

The repeat was about 4 inches, and I decided to center the loopy flower fabric between each side strip. When it was laid out on the floor, I saw it still wasn't quite right, and then I thought that should grow in each concentric strip--like a baby. Hence, the whole design has meaning.

I started the center with the intention of working on my sewing skills, too. I reduced my seam stitch to 1.5 mm, and was going to press all my seams open on this quilt. That doesn't work well on a 9 patch, and that was my center block. Uggg. I did see an improvement, though, in how my blocks were holding together, exceptionally, as a matter of fact, until I needed to rip one out! Double Ugggg. So I modified to 2.0 mm, and that seemed to be a good medium. Seams held well, but I could still rip out if I absolutely had to.

Another easy adjustment was centering the loopy flower fabric in the strips. Instead of measuring each strip, I sewed the flower fabric inside both ends of one long strip so I had a circular strip.

Next I eyed and measured the center to the previously sewn strip, the Plus Sign in this case, and only then I cut the ends. It saved both fabric and the headache of measuring. Easy peasy!

I went to bed with a good deal of the top done. Minnie patiently waited.

The colors look washed out in basement lighting.

This morning I pushed on, and finished out the top. Woohoo! The colors still don't look true to me here. It's pouring down rain outside, so it's the best I could do inside.

I think we should call this the Plus One quilt.

Now it's quilt sandwich time. I'm using my 505, and will start machine quilting after lunch. I'm thinking some words quilted in here, some loopy stars and moons maybe. We shall see tomorrow.

Come on, Doxie Girls.
Mama needs lunch.

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