Fifth Quilt: The Peaceful Planet

On August 12th I started the Peaceful Planet Quilt with the intention of giving it as a gift to my niece for her birthday. She was to visit from Washington as a birthday gift from her mom and my plan was to have it done by then.

Everything came together pretty smoothly. I used a simple jelly-roll to sew together all the strips and made a long quilt top with simple borders and a yellow binding. The colors were all green and blue and soft with a very serene nature theme to it.

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I ALMOST made my goal! I was super close to finishing it when she arrived for her visit, then I hit a snag. I was using a needle that wasn’t conducive to sewing through so many layers. This was something I had no clue about! But Lisa over at Lisa in Port Hope popped by and left me a wonderful comment and a link to give me some insight into needles. I had NO CLUE about needle size and the different types! Talk about learning something new everyday, this was news to me.

I ended up finishing my quilt binding with whatever needle I had left and just took it slow to make sure I didn’t snap this one because I have no others left. And you can bet your sweet tushies that I’ll be buying new ones but this time with more information and knowledge about the types of needles I need!

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This quilt got finished up pretty late in the evening but I can’t express how happy I was to have it done and in record time! This one was finished in 3 weeks, rather than 3 months. Or even 3 years! I tend to let projects languish and hang around while I move onto other things. Because this blanket was meant as a gift and I’ve been on a kick with the finishing of things, I really had the spark to get things done.

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I’m super excited to send this gift up to Spokane to my sweet niece who got to see the almost finished project and loved it even then. It couldn’t go to a more loving and sweet girl! And I told her, when things get tough, she can wrap herself up in it and think peaceful thoughts and remember her trip to California!

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The finished product!

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Ok so now to think over this whole process and find a few good points and some learning points.

The good:

  • Sticking with a project from beginning to completion and finishing in record time.
  • The quilt top itself is beautiful and the colors are well organized.
  • Love the color combination of the light blues and greens bordered by the darker star fabric and bound with the clean yellow.
  • The forethought of making extra binding which saved me time.
  • Sticking with a simple top and not trying to get all fancy.
  • Taking my time, not rushing through the steps, and not jumping ahead.
  • PRESSING! I really did make it a point to press the seams opens and to take the time to press in between steps.

The Bad:

  • Basting. I need to improve this area because I rush through it and then things get all wonky.
  • Measuring. I still skip this step in places and that caused some unsightly issues with the back of the quilt.
  • Using the correct needle size! This is new to me and now that I have some stuff to read about it, I’m going to bone up and learn how to choose my needles.
  • Alignment. Instead of aligning the strips from the center and then squaring things off, I lined up one side and the whole thing kinda went crooked. If I had lined up the strips from the centers and pieced them together, I think I would have had a straight top.
  • Quilting. I didn’t do enough to anchor the layers together. Next time I’ll make more of a effort to tie down or quilt the top better.
  • Binding. This is still an issue for me. It’s so 50/50. Sometimes it goes well and I adore my mitered corners, and other times I suck at it. This time? It sucked!


Crazy Mom Quilts

WIP: And Now We Bind

This weekend we had some out of town guests from Washington State. The house was in a major state of disarray as we bumbled along making room for two more bodies in our little condo. One of our guests was my niece who turned 10 just the week before. This trip to California was her gift and we were excited to have her.

I was super excited because the Peaceful Planet quilt was for her! And the whole thing was coming together smoothly, until last Wednesday when I put the layers together and the whole things went wonky. Not only that but my camera broke too. I made it work anyways and promised myself to finish it in time for her to take it home.

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While I was fighting with the damn layers, I was pleased to find that I had enough binding and wouldn’t have to make more! I can’t explain how much this made my day! Not that binding is a pain to make but it was one step I wouldn’t have to take because it was already done. And from what I could tell, the colors were going to work out really well.

That was Wednesday and as of today I’m stuck. Yes stuck. As I worked on the binding and started to wrap up this monstrous quilt (my first full sized quilt) I broke my needle! The damn thing just snapped! So I rooted around and found a few machine needles and popped one in. Within a few minutes that needle had an issue too! I couldn’t figure out why my machine was hitching up so badly until I looked closely at the very tip of the needle and found that it was bent at an angle! Just the very tip of the needle had bent, nothing else was wrong with it but it was catching the fabric as it went through the layers. What a bummer!

So that was needle #2. I moved onto #3 and crossed my finger that it would be the last one and then this thing would be finished because my niece and son were about to go to bed and I wanted to gift it to her. NOPE! I used that needle for a bit until SNAP!!! It broke, too.

I have a feeling it’s due to the weight of the whole blanket pulling against the needle and just snapping it right off. I’m down to one needle left but I think I’ll need to stock up on more if I want this thing finished.

Sadly, my niece left Monday and without the blanket. I did present it to her and explained to my sister-in-law the issue I had but I promised to finish it soon and to send it to her ASAP! She seemed thrilled to be getting her own blanket and I can’t wait to wrap this project up, pack it into a box and ship it off to her.

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

WIP: So Close!!!

First I want to apologize for the HORRIBLE picture quality! My Canon broke the other day and I’m stuck with using either my old Canon (which I gave to my son to play with so it’s not in great shape) or using my phone. My phone’s camera isn’t bad but it’s not how I want to get my pictures done. BOOOO!! And I’m not really ready to drop a lot of moola on a new one. But I will have to soon because I use it not only for the blog but also when we do trips and we have a camping trip coming up in a week. Ugh…
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Anywho, I got down to business last night and started wrapping up my Peaceful Planet quilt. I had to take over my son’s room because he has the most floor space and this thing feels HUGE! It’s only a twin sized quilt but this is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on so I’m a bit amazed and a teeny bit overwhelmed with the size of it all. Using his floor I laid out the back, the batting, and the top. I tried to lay it out as smoothly as possible but my sewing leaves something to be desired. I’m crossing my fingers that over time my sewing will improve and my quilt tops will be better for it!

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Snip snip!

After everything was lined up as best I could, I took the whole shebang back to my room and spread it out on the bed. We’ve got a Cal-King in there so it was a bit easier on my back to lean over that instead of kneeling on the floor. My husband is such a sweetheart. He could tell I was struggling with it lining up so he jumped in and took over the other end of the quilt and helped me out. That little extra tug from him totally made a difference. Now things were all ready for my machine!

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I swear my lighting is MUCH better than this!

I set out to stitch in the ditch around the border with a nice dark blue thread to seal the layers together. I’m kinda on a time crunch. This is a gift and the receiver is arriving tomorrow from Washington State so I’m hoping to be able to gift it in person rather than ship it via the USPS! So I kept it simple and just ran my little Kenmore around the edges. I swear, poor ol’ Shelby was smokin’ by the time I was done!

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Stupid flash!

After it was all sewn together I went back to my bed and laid it out flat again. It didn’t come out too bad! But I did have one corner where the material had shifted so it puckered up. I could have left it but I knew it would bug me forever if I did so I ripped out an entire seam (luckily along one of the shorter sides) and stitched it back up. Once again I trekked to the bed to lay it out and I saw an area where I could make another improvement. When I picked up the seam ripper to fix it, my husband implored that I held off and went to bed. He was right. I could pick the whole thing apart if I allowed myself to think on it so instead I went to bed to sleep on it, promising to fix everything tomorrow. All I have left to do today is fix that one seam and then attach the binding! In preparation for that step, I bought extra yellow material in case my binding turns out to be too short.
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On the side I pulled one of my UFO/WIPs from last week’s post and got some work done on it, too. This Forgotten Project would have been finished if I hadn’t lost the instructions. BOOOO!!! But I got two squares ripped apart and then sewn back together nicely and attached to the nice dark chocolate brown solid squares where the pears are meant to go. And I say “meant to go” because the instructions are no longer on the internet either. The site hosting it is long gone so I have no template for my pears. Grrr…

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Also, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my other squares to line up right and ended up with smaller dimensions than my originals. These things just won’t cut it! So I’m debating just chucking it all in, layering and binding what I have done and calling it a night! I’m good with that!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

Friday Night Sew-In: The Peaceful Planet Continues!

Me: Hey mister, I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Husband: Yeah, what about?

Me: On Friday night, I’m participating in a web-wide sew-in so I’m going to be focused on that quilt I started. Just wanted to let you know so you can make plans if you want.

Husband: Like game time?!

Me: Sure!

Husband: (texting quietly)

Me: Or maybe see the guys?

Husband: Ha! I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I’ll go out and have a wild time and get wasted!!!!

Me: Uh huh, yeah. Sure. You do that…

On Monday, the mister had an appointment at my office to do some computer work. He’s does most of the IT work at my company so I get the pleasure of seeing him once in a while. It’s awesome too when it falls near lunch because then we get a lunch date which is one of my favorite things, besides just seeing him, cuz you know, I kinda like him 🙂

I took advantage of the time together to let him know I’d be holed up in my sewing corner sewing like a mad woman on Friday night so that way he could make plans and not feel ignored. Hahahha, I get so wrapped up when I sew that it can feel like I’m not paying any attention to anyone else so when I know I’m going to be playing along with the Friday Night Sew-In, I give a week’s notice, just to be polite!

This week has been crazy! First was Tuesday! The little man got picked up by his Nana from camp and I met up with her after dinner for a long 5 mile hilly run that turned into only a 3.93 mile run. But hey, I got out there! Then Wednesday I met with the other co-team mom for our sons’ soccer team. I’m not sure why I signed up to do this with all that I already have planned for fall but it seemed like a good idea at the time. After that, we raced to the salon to give my little man a trim. He’s been on a long hair kick lately but I knew we’d need to trim it and make it neat for school and soccer pictures.

Then Thursday hit and we were rushing again. This time to a dinner cruise out of Newport Beach for a business engagement. Like I mentioned, my husband is in the IT field so we have lots of contacts as both clients and vendors. In this case, we were shmozing with a vendor. It’s nice to be shmozed! But this weekday night-out meant I had to leave work early, rush home, pop on a dress and we had to get my parents to pick up the little man after camp. Whew… The planning it took to get us through Thursday was overwhelming.

By Friday night we were all tired and just ready to be home to rest. The little one was not himself but he still got up with me this morning and road his bike 4.5 miles while I ran. Pretty proud of him. It was at the halfway point that he told me he wasn’t feeling well and had a sore throat. So back home we went and all of our plans for today have been cancelled. The plan now is to rest and take it easy.

Last night, I got to get down to business putting together the top of my peaceful plant quilt. All the strips had been sewn together and pressed, now it was time to put them all together to make the completed top. While I worked, I watched Pride and Prejudice. I like having movies playing in the background while I sew, it makes the time fly by.

 

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Getting Started!

I worked in a dark/light pattern attaching the green to the dark blue and the light strip to the medium blue. It came together quickly and the only thing that stopped me was a break here or there to rest my hands or to rethread the bobbin. I was having some tension issues that were really annoying. I’ve got to look up some videos on how to set the tension and fix it when it goes funky.

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Coming along!

In the end I watched the whole movie and got the whole top done! I stretched it out and found it was a bit too long so I ripped out the bottom 4 strips. I was about to leave it as it was but it just felt odd having it soooooo long. Not that it took away from the blanket but I didn’t feel that it added anything either.

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Goodbye!

That dark celestial fabric I toyed with ended up working out perfectly!!! I’m so happy with it already and I’ve only done two borders. When I went back to Joann’s, they had a different celestial fabric that was even better. It wasn’t as dark and also had some swirly designs I felt went well with the circles and dots on a lot of the strips. It tied in better, I believe but still had that deep, rich blue to frame the strips in.

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At the end of my movie, I had the whole top sewn together and two borders attached. Now, I just need to add the longer side borders and press it all down. Soon I’ll be ready to baste it together and quilt the top. I’m not sure what I’ll do. With my small machine I usually just create long lines and follow the seams of the pattern on top. I may just sew from right to left or follow the border around and sew a big rectangle. We’ll see!

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Handmade by Heidi