Friday, February 20, 2015

Problems and Solutions: A Comedy of Errors!

My youngest son is getting married in a few short months.  He requested a quilt that he and his fiance could cuddle under while they watched TV.  He wanted big and bright! 

Last March, I found a pattern to use for the quilt.  Jean from Jean's Quilting Page had written the pattern, first as a Mystery quilt, then, the pattern was published in McCall's Quick Quilting magazine. 

Jean's pattern that I'm using
The McCall's version finishes at 59.5" x 59.5", which, according to my son, was way too small for them to both cuddle under, as he is 6' tall, and likes his quilts to go from his toes up to his ears. 

Since I was going to have to make the quilt longer and wider, I decided that I'd use 8 different colors in the quilt.  Actually, it has 2 shades of each of those 8 colors, along with black and white.  That's 18 colors. A shopping I went.
fabrics for the wedding quilt
more fabrics for the wedding quilt

I sat down and redrew the pattern to fit the colors I chose, and the size I was looking for.   I renamed this pattern.  As a mystery quilt, it was named Snake Dance.  McCall's changed the name to Twist and Shout.  Since this is a wedding quilt, to signify the joining together of two lives, I've renamed it Intertwined
my redrafted pattern
I was going to twist the 2 shades of each color around the black.  Oops!  What I thought was contrasting colors WEREN'T!
the oranges look fine

the 2 shades of aqua look almost the same shade
Back to the drawing board!
newly redrafted pattern

testing the colors, to make sure they look good next to each other
Cool!  This version passed the test.  I had already made 512 half square triangles, and cut out all the strips, ready to sew together, for the middles.
512 half square triangles

strips, stitched together, and,  half sub-cut
OOPS!!!!!!!  See if you can spot the next problem I encountered.
ready to start making the first blocks
See the middle strips?  They are cut correctly.  Unfortunately, the half square triangles are the WRONG SIZE!  Oops!  When I'd figured out what size of Trianglulations to print out, I picked the wrong size.  I needed 3.5" triangles (unfinished), but, instead, I chose 3.5" triangles FINISHED size.  Oops!  My HST's are all 4" unfinished, not 3.5" unfinished.  (can I scream now?!?!?!?)

Back to the cutting mat.  Thank goodness I just bought several more yards of Kona Black, and, that I also bought more material of all 16 colors, than I have needed (so far).  I have about 1/3 yard of each color left.  As soon as I post this, I'll head back upstairs to start cutting more strips, and sewing them together.  I was really hoping to have a complete row of twists done tonight, and maybe more. 

I also have to re-figure how large this quilt is going to be, since all my blocks will be larger. 

PS:  This pattern is really good, and easy to follow.  The problems have all been ME, not the pattern.  I would highly recommend this pattern to everyone to make.  Just don't make the same mistakes I've made.

Monday, February 9, 2015

National Quilts of Valor Sew-in

Saturday was the National Quilts of Valor sew-in day.  Our area had 5 different locations that sponsored sew-ins.  I attended the one at Sewing, Etc. in Yorkville, IL.  Kelly, the owner, lets us use her classroom space every third Tuesday for our monthly Quilts of Valor sew-ins.  Another location was at Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia, where we have monthly sew-ins on the first Tuesday of each month.  Our local group is the Land of Lincoln Quilts of Valor.  You can find info about all of our monthly sew-in locations on the blog.

The National sew-in was my 2nd Quilts of Valor sew-in this week, since I attended the monthly sew-in on Tuesday, too. 

On Saturday, we had 18 people sewing.  Woohoo!  That is the most that we've had at this location, so far.  Everyone brought something to share, or to go with our sandwich lunch.  Yum!

We had some new people that came to sew with us, including Art, who was just learning how to sew.  The ladies next to Art kept him busy 'strip' piecing blocks.  He was having lots of fun.  We also had several people stop by, to find out when we usually meet.  We are hoping to have several of them start attending our monthly sew-ins at this location, or at one of our other locations.

our banner

some of those in attendance
 We also got to present 2 Quilts of Valor to veterans.  The first went to Mike, who thought that his group was headed out to lunch, and didn't know why they needed to stop at this store.  He was very pleased that they stopped.
Mike, wrapped in his Quilt of Valor
The second presentation, was to Art, who was sewing with us.  Art is a Vietnam veteran.  He didn't expect a quilt, either.  He sure deserved one.
Art, wrapped in his Quilt of Valor

We are hoping that Art comes back and sews with us in the future.  He makes great 1/4" seams!

I finished a top on Saturday.  I started it at the sew-in on Tuesday. 
Quilt of Valor top I finished
What a great way to say a tiny 'Thank you' to our veterans.  If you know of a veteran who has served in a war zone, and has not received a Quilt of Valor, contact Quilts of Valor, and let them know.  Each state has someone to contact, that will make sure that the veteran gets his/her quilt.