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CaleyH 02-08-2021 01:02 PM

Caley's Adventure in Quilting
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I thought I would start a thread that is just dedicated to my adventures in the wonderful world of quilting. I will just give a brief description, and how I feel about it, along with the picture.

My first is a Nancy Rink Designs quilt call "Tucson. Needless to say, this was truly an adventure. The strip star was something I had never tried before, and apparently, after what seemed like a dozen measurements, I still managed to goof the size a tad. The reason I know something was amiss is that when I tried to attach the granny squares as Nancy calls them, they were too long. I ended up[ having to add black fabric strips to make things the proper size, so that those granny square strips could fit. And as it was, the big star was apparently a tad lopsided, so that those additional black strips didn't completely fix the problem. I ended up having to make both the black strip addons and granny square strips match during the sewing process.

I also botched the trimming process to get things to proper size. I've never trimmed such large fabric squares, or strips, so that also entailed some extraordinary sewing adjustments to make things fit. That just means I have tiny puckers here and there where I forced things to fit.

This is my quilt because of the terrible problems I encountered. Hopefully I can fin a place for it.

Cheshirepat 02-08-2021 01:31 PM

It's actually looking pretty darn good to me! Once it gets quilted (and yeah, I didn't believe it either until I saw it happen with my own work!), all sorts of pucker and 'fudged' bits will look so much better! The colors and design are just lovely... I hope you finish it up and enjoy!

Tartan 02-08-2021 02:17 PM

Lovely top! Once it is quilted, it will be wonderful!

helen in ok 02-08-2021 02:22 PM

Looks pretty darn good to me too.Love the colors.

Jordan 02-08-2021 04:06 PM

Very beautiful quilt and love your fabric choices.

CaleyH 02-08-2021 04:10 PM

Thanks Everyone. The fabrics are per the quilt plan by Nancy Rink. I just wish I could've put things together better. I've found a few spots where somehow failed to sew the seams properly. I guess the fabric can snake out of alignment on its own when you least expect. I'm still having to go back and look very carefully to ensure all the seams are sewn properly.

SallyS 02-08-2021 04:15 PM

It looks beautiful! Great colors. You'll enjoy and appreciate it more as some time goes by after you've finished it.

pocoellie 02-08-2021 05:10 PM

I too, think you did a pretty darn good job on it, and as was said, once it's quilted you won't be able to see your "mistakes".

Sync 02-08-2021 06:03 PM

Looks good, wonderful bright colors.

Barb in Louisiana 02-08-2021 09:03 PM

What a pretty, bold, colorful quilt. I love how you made adjustments and just went for it when you needed to. So many would have gotten fed up with the issues and just gave up. I agree that after quilting and washing it, you won't even notice those puckers.

Homespun 02-09-2021 03:09 AM

It is beautiful.

jcrilley 02-09-2021 05:40 AM

Sure looks good to me. Love the colors!

granky 02-09-2021 06:05 AM

Pretty quilt!

EmiliasNana 02-09-2021 06:27 AM

Gorgeous colors that really pop on that black background. So glad you persisted and finished this beauty.

oksewglad 02-09-2021 06:42 AM

It looks good from here! It sounds like you have learned a great deal from this project...I think we have all experienced those "oops" you have described. The big thing is that you observe as you sew to improve your sewing skill. As you make more quilts, keep this one as a reminder of how far you have come. We all have to start somewhere.

MicheleC 02-09-2021 08:25 AM

Thatís a lovely top!

juliasb 02-09-2021 08:53 AM

First of all you did a great job! There are no quilt police here! I love your star and the nine patch adaptions that surround it. I will quilt up nicely I am sure of it. It sounds like your quilting is going to be just fine. Be inspired.

CaleyH 02-09-2021 09:24 AM

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First, I wish to thank Nancy Rink for the wonderful quilt design and colors she provided. I am happy with how it turned out, even if I had to fudge the big parts assembly process.

Today I lay out the backing, and the batting; then I get to do the tedious process of basting the three layers together.

For the moment that is all I will be doing, as I still need to practise both free hand quilting, and also ruler/template quilting. I definitely don't want to botch the quilting process on something like this.

Probably also assemble the three layers to my half square triangle quilt I did before this one. Will add the picture of it, as this is where I will be posting my new quilting endeavours.

Quiltwoman44 02-09-2021 11:54 AM

Well i'll tell you. It is awfully pretty!! great job. Be proud of yourself!! Only machines are perfect!

CaleyH 02-10-2021 05:51 PM

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I'm still trying to clean up the piles of stuff I created while learning how to sew quilt blocks. I must have done about a dozen. So I decided that I needed something to practise FMQing on, and created this five 12 inch block table runner top today.

The only problems I saw were the points where the border fabric was joined to the blocks. I cut off a few of the points because, while learning, I didn't really understand about things like 1/4 inch seam allowance, when it came to the borders of each square. I used left over backing material for the border

Attached is a picture.

Jingle 02-12-2021 02:36 PM

I like all of them, didn't see any mistakes.

I love the colors in the first one, gorgeous.

We are our worst critics.

Be very proud of them.

CaleyH 02-16-2021 07:35 AM

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Phyllis, Thank you so much.

My experiment making a table runner is finished. It consists of five 12 inch square blocks. They were made when I was first learning how to piece.

My quilting consists of diagonal squares in the center part, and long curvy work done on the borders.

Since I still am having troubles with free motion quilting, I just used a regular foot, with the feed dogs up on the machine.

I carefully moved the fabric sandwich along the curved lines I drew on the fabric with a heat erasable pen. I think the curved lines came out fairly nicely for never having done anything like this before on a quilt.

Making the binding strips wasn't a problem, which I was happy accomplishing without the problems on my previous attempts. But when I got to the joining of the ends, I just couldn't figure things out, even aver watching several videos, and trying to duplicate what I saw..

The problem probably was caused by my bad memory. I had forgotten how wide my binding strips had to be, so I made it two inches. I then laid it down on the edge of the quilt top, and sewed a quarter inch seam along the edge to bind it to the sandwich.

After that I pressed the binding fabric over.

Then I turned it all over, and folded what fabric was left in half, and then folded that onto the bottom of the quilt sandwich.

I sewed the binding onto the bottom. I left one foot between the ends of the binding. That's when I couldn't figure out how to join the two ends. I ended up just doing a straight 90 degree stitch, instead of the bias 45 degree stitch that was required.

The corners also suffered because of my bad memory.

I went back to YouTube, and finally found a video that I think I understand, and discovered how bad my memory was. I guess you have to do this binding thing quite a lot before the technique stays in your memory.

Even with the myriad of imperfections and mistakes, I still like the results. It's not something I would gift to another person, but it will work just fine along my old dresser top.

SusieQOH 02-17-2021 05:48 AM

Jingle is right: we are definitely our worst critics.
Your projects are beautiful !!!

pbraun 02-17-2021 06:19 AM

Thanks, I think, for explaining the problems. As a beginning quilter, I never know which of the mistakes to just problem solve and make it look okay. Yours is way beyond okay. And maybe that is what quilting is all about. We have a vision but rarely for us beginners does it ever look or feel like we envisioned.

CaleyH 02-17-2021 09:22 AM

SusieQOH, Yes, the both of you are correct. We have a vision of perfection, but that rarely happens, unless you have something that automates everything. Then, that takes the fun out of the endeavour.

pbraun,, Welcome to quilting. You'll do just fine. I started with basically never sewing anything, except by hand in the military when I needed a uniform fixed

Just watch a lot of videos, ask questions, and then sit back and think about what that information can do for you. Pick what seems the easiest way for you, as there are usually dozens of ways of doing things.

But the most important part of any hobby is just to have lots of fun doing it.

Thanks so kindly for the nice comment. I do like the results, but as we are always doing, want to do it better. Time will allow us to learn, and with that learning, we will get better. CaleyAnn

CaleyH 04-26-2021 02:03 PM

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I'm trying something new. I watched a video that gives the instructions on how to do this.

The lady calls them "Square Diamonds"

My efforts aren't as nice as hers, but I hope I will improve as I do more of them.

I wanted to cut out these, but discovered that the center is quite thick because of the eight points in the center. I needed something that would allow me to align the seams, yet not move around because of the center thickness.

Solution is to take one of my cutting square (4 1/2 inches), then drill a small starter hole. I then clamped the template down on my drill press, and used a 2 inch hole saw, and very slowly, and carefully cut the center out of the template. Now I can place the template atop the cloth, and have it lay flat, allowing me to make precise cuts.

I know that many of you do not have the machinery nor the experience to do this, but maybe your husband or a friend could do this for you. I've got so much experience in so many fields that I pretty much can do anything I need, other than make repairs to complex machinery like sewing machines. Guess being in the Air Force for 24 years kind of forces you to learn all kinds of things you would never think of doing.

Below is a picture of four of these pieces I've sewn together, along with the 4 1/2 inch square plastic template I modified to allow me to make those "Square Diamonds.

The material I found at Walmart listed as Waverly SD Black. It was only 3.44 per yard. I wanted something to practise making these blocks without breaking the bank.

I had to modify the instructions given in the video to make things work for me. Where she had a repeating pattern of about 28 inches, my pattern repeated every 12.25 inches. I ended up cutting squares four inches square, which gave me a total of sixty different sets of 1/2 square triangles. Not sure what size this quilt will be, but then, this is another of my adventures in quilting. I'll play things by ear.

oksewglad 04-28-2021 02:43 PM

Love your fabrics! I have just been auditioning similar pieces for a tshirt quilt and now have an idea of what to do with the other 4-5 2 yard pieces I have in my stash...oh and thanks for the tip!

CaleyH 04-28-2021 04:45 PM

oksewglad, Thanks so much. Glad my efforts have given you an idea about what you have to work with.. Would love to see what you come up with.

Watson 04-28-2021 08:36 PM

Love reading about your quilting journey. Your quilts/table runner are gorgeous.

My favorite binding video is this one. He is an engineer so he really breaks it down and makes it easy. After going step by step along with the video numerous times, I can even do it by myself!

Finishing binding ends.

Karamarie 04-29-2021 10:46 AM

We learn as we do and you are certainly doing a good job.

CaleyH 05-07-2021 03:25 PM

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I've finally finished the 60 blocks of square diamonds. I've attached a picture showing nine of them in the way I hope to display them.

I am hoping someone can provide a suggestion of what I could insert in the blank block areas. I have silver coloured fabric that I thought might be OK, but then, maybe something nicer than just plain silver blocks would be better?

Masking these 60 blocks was a real challenge. I definitely didn't get all the blocks cut perfectly for each set, so some of the centers aren't quite perfect. But I do love how things turned out. It's just amazing that all 60 blocks are different

oksewglad 05-08-2021 08:49 PM

Now you are gaining confidence because you are meeting challenges head on! Your fabric choice should complement, not detract from your lovely blocks.

sewingsuz 05-08-2021 08:56 PM

All you went through, it looks very nice. I am glad you stuck with it!

Quilty56 05-09-2021 03:07 PM

You are doing a great job. I heard it said once that our mistakes show that the quilt was made with love by us and not fabricated by a machine.

I know that some things I do better piecing and others I struggle with the piecing.

CaleyH 05-09-2021 04:31 PM

Thanks so kindly. I will go with the silver blocks between the square diamonds. I think I will use some kind of light blue for the outer half squares, along with a strip around all of it. Then I will use what I have left of the fabric I used for the square diamonds around all of that. I wonder if there is such a thing as a neutral light blue?

I'll have to audition the blues until I find one that just seems right with the diamonds and the silver. I've done that, and sometimes it takes days for something to just click, that says that's the combination of colurs.

CaleyH 05-10-2021 02:45 PM

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Here's my first experience at making a baby quilt. The mushroom and Fawn fabric was gifted to me last year. I thought I should attempt to make something with them. It measures 52x40 inches, which is probably a bit large.

The effort was quite an experience, not really knowing how to put things together Since I've never really made something from other than jelly rolls and precut squares, this was truly a challenge. I had to piece things together as I went, trying to keep some kind of symmetry. So not all the blocks are the same size.

I was limited to the thread I had also. I had just one colour that was close to pink. I also haven't been successful doing binding the way it is supposed to be done. I tried the diagonal strip joining, and ended up with my strip seams alternating . So I just pieced them together like any fabric seam. I also have not yet figured out how to sew a straight line when trying to secure the binding. I kind of go a wobble along the edges.

While nothing like the works of art of experienced quilters, this came out OK for a first attempt. Now I just have to find someone who isn't too picky about things being perfect, so I can gift it to them.

pocoellie 05-10-2021 04:45 PM

It looks fine, Caley, and whichever baby receives it, won't care how it looks. Quilting is supposed to be fun, so don't be so hard on yourself.

oksewglad 05-11-2021 06:34 AM

First off...it looks great and think of what you have learned. Next...don't point out the discrepancies; no one sees them until you do so! And washing the quilt will hide them even better. Also as long as the stitching is secure and it holds that's more important. You seem to be a fly by the seat of your pants gall (a kindred spirit!) Might I suggest getting some graph paper to help you with designing. It sets a hard copy of your visual for you. Keep up the good work!

CaleyH 05-13-2021 02:53 PM

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I think I have the fabric chosen for the Square Diamonds. I'll be using the silver to alternate with the Square Diamonds, then use the charcoal for an outside border.

Not sure what I will use for the binding or the backing. Still trying to determine that.

CaleyH 05-26-2021 01:40 PM

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Finished my "Black Diamonds" quilt. It's 60x53 inches, which probably makes that a lap quilt. I used various shades of gray to bring it all together with the diamond blocks. This was definitely a fun project. Always enjoy trying something new, and I really like how it turned out.

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