LuLu’s Garden


Do Your Own Thing

The week of March 18-March 24 I had planned on attending a do-your-own-thing retreat at the Woodland Ridge Retreat center. My plans changed, however, when we were given the opportunity to go on a long-awaited trip to our daughter and son-in-law’s restored cabin. The dates for the retreat and the visit to the cabin overlapped. Even though I had really been looking forward to the opportunity to sew to my heart’s-content the trip to the cabin was much more important.

Rather than totally giving up on my desire to overdose on sewing I decided to declare the previously designated retreat week as my in-home sewing palooza. Once I had decided to do that, the BIG question was—-what would I work on? My list of available options was longer than my arm. After much thought I decided to finish a quilt top I had started last summer. The quilt is called LuLu’s Garden.

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LuLu’s Garden by Washboard Quilts
LuLus Garden Quilt Pattern
Fabrics and Pattern for LuLu’s Garden

LuLu’s Garden was designed by Pat Riley and published by Washboard Quilts. I first introduced you to this quilt on September 8, 2017, in a story called Quilt Retreat Day Seven. The project was one of three being considered as my next adventure. Rather than choose this quilt I decided to make my Teacup quilt instead.

My-Teacup-Quilt
My Teacup Quilt Top

After completing the Teacup quilt I found time to cut out the pieces for LuLu’s Garden. LuLu’s Garden had sat idle ever since.

Day One

Now that LuLu’s Garden was chosen I went in search of the tub containing the pattern and fabrics.

LuLus Garden in Tub
Project Tub Containing LuLu’s Garden Parts Department

After opening the tup I briefly read through the instructions for the pattern, then removed the previously cut fabrics. With all of my supplies at hand I began stitching together the 294 pieces.

By the end of the afternoon I was ready to begin assembling the seven rows. Before I could to that I had to shuffle and arrange the blocks into a cohesive arrangement. After photographing several options I decided to go with this one.

LuLus Garden-Arrangement Set
LuLu’s Garden Block Arrangement

Next up…adding the sashing between the blocks and stitching the rows together.

Day Two

Picking up where I had left off I dove right into the process of making the sashing strips for between the blocks and rows.

Sashing Strips for LuLus Garden
Sashing Strips for LuLu’s Garden

From there it was onto row assembly.

Sashing Added to LuLus Garden
Sashing Added to LuLu’s Garden

By the end of day two three of the seven rows were finished.

Day Three

The remaining sashing pieces were added to the last four rows on day three. To finish the quilt top all I had to do was add the outer border.  The strips for the border had already been cut but not stitched together. Before stitching them together, into one long strip, I added 45° cuts to the ends of each fabric strip.

LuLus Garden-Ready ForBorders
LuLu’s Garden Ready For Borders

When all of the border strips were connected I took measurements of my quilt top. The first border to be attached was the sides. I calculated their length by running my tape measure vertically through the center of my top, from the top edge to the bottom. After cutting and attaching those pieces I repeated the same steps for the top and bottom borders. This time I used my tape measure to calculate the distance from side to side by laying it horizontally across the center. The two remaining sections were then attached and with that my LuLu’s Garden quilt top was finished. LuLu’s Garden measures 47”wide x 52 1/2” long.

Here is a peek at LuLu’s Garden.

LuLus Garden Ready for Quilting
LuLu’s Garden Ready for Quilting

My next task is to create a quilt sandwich and apply the longarm quilting.

By the time my LuLu’s Garden quilt top was finished I had chewed up the majority of my sew to my heart’s content week. The remaining days were needed for laundry and packing to go to the log cabin. I had hoped to get a lot more of my sewing projects accomplished but you know how it goes. So many projects, so little time!

Thank You for visiting with me today! I look forward to our next encounter.

Talk with you soon.

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Regatta Quilt is Finished


Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us has been hosting a QAL that began on January 1, 2018. The pattern called Regatta was designed by Daniela at Block M Quilts. Instructions for the quilt are provided at the above link. This is how the author’s quilt looked when she was finished.

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I decided to join  the QAL when Roseanne first started talking about it late in 2017. Being the rebel that I am I chose to modify the instructions by changing the dimensions as well as the colors of the fabrics.

Updates on my progress were shared via these two posts:

Regatta Quilt Update

Regatta Quilt Progress.

These were the fabrics I chose.

Regatta-Fabric-Selection
Regatta Quilt Fabrics Selected

Now that my quilt is finished I can share photos. My version of the Regatta quilt measures 28 1/2” x 73”. Inside the quilt sandwich is a layer of Warm & Natural batting. The backing is a leftover piece of batik from another quilt. Attached to the back is a sleeve for hanging and a label. I bound the raw edges with a black cotton binding. When deciding how to quilt my item, I looked to the black squares for my inspiration. Seeing them zigzag across the quilt gave me the idea to repeat the squares horizontally by quilting a square swirl across the rows.

Regatta Quilt
Regatta Quilt

Regatta Quilting Closeup
Closeup of Regatta Quilting

Regatta Quilt Slice
A Slice of Regatta

My next photo provides a closeup of the backing as well as the quilting.

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A View Of The Regatta From The Back

The final photo of my Regatta quilt is one of my favorites because it shows the texture of the quilting. The shadows created by the stitches make the quilting appear three-dimensional.

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Regatta Quilt Texture

My Regatta quilt is now officially DONE! This quilt was a fun and easy project to make. I’m so glad that I decided to participate. The finished quilt will make an awesome addition to my quilt stash.

Thank You so much for visiting today! 😊

Talk with you soon!

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My Window Box


The Birth of a QAL

Window Box is the quilt that started the ball rolling for our current Mystery QAL. Tracy at It’s A T-Sweets Day read my initial post and fell in love with the QAL idea. Together we designed and implemented a new QAL. The rest is history.

A Little Background

My quilt began its journey darn near twenty-one months ago. That’s probably not too unusual for most quilts. Works of Art take time and I think this quilt certainly falls under that definition.

Back in June of 2016 I went on a shopping adventure with a group of ladies. Purchased by each of us was a piece of this fabric.

Challenge Fabric
Challenge Fabric

Jointly we decided to challenge ourselves to create a project using the fabric. The goal was to finish our piece, then gather again in six months for show and tell. Sadly the meeting never took place. In fact, I don’t even know if my traveling companions made something with their fabric.

My Commitment

I was determined to follow-through on my commitment. I searched my quilting books looking for a suitable pattern until I found the Window Box in a publication called Color Shuffle: New Quilts from Karla Alexander.

Getting Started

With my pattern selected it was time to pull fabrics. From my stash I found an abundance of possible candidates. After narrowing down my options I got to work slicing and shuffling, then stitching them together.

The process from piles of fabric to finished quilt top took six months.

I finished the top while on a sewing retreat during the summer of 2017. The completed top waited patiently to be quilted until mid December.

The Finished Quilt

I had so much fun when I finally had the opportunity to quilt it. Using a brightly colored, variegated thread I stitched a straight-line geometric pattern.

I’m so thrilled to reveal my quilt. Please enjoy the following photos.

Window-Box-Quilt
Window Box Quilt

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Window Box Closeup # 1

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Window Box Closeup # 2

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Window Box Closeup # 3

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Window Box Closeup # 4

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Window Box Quilt Backing & Label

As you can tell by the volume of photos I am head-over-heals in love with my quilt. I’m so glad I decided to use the fabric color combinations that I chose. I’m also very, very thrilled with the quilting. I just can’t say enough about how pleased I am with the finished product.

The Inspiration

How cool that this Window Box quilt has been the inspiration for another QAL. Even more exciting is the fact that I am not the only one participating and actually making something this time. 🙂

On to the next reveal!

Thank You!

Thank You so much for sharing your time with me! I always look forward to our visits. Talk with you soon!

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My Teacup


Block Magazine

I was once a subscriber to Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Block magazine. The magazines I received are still resting on the reclaimed cabinet in my office. Shown below are some of them.

Block-Magazine
Some of the Block magazines that I own

I’ve spent many hours browsing the pages of each one of those books. On the back covers I wrote the names of the quilts I might oneway like to make.

Back-of-Block-Magazine
Back of Block Magazine

One of the many quilts I fell in love with was the Teacup quilt, published in the Fall Vol 1 Issue 5 magazine. As you can see by the above photo it was one of the projects I listed on the back cover.

Teacup Quilt Pattern
The Block magazine that has the Teacup pattern

Let’s Make It!

Having fallen in love with the Teacup pattern I set-out to make one for myself. After browsing the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s website I chose a grouping of fabrics to purchase for my project. Buying the fabric, for me, is always the easy part. Finding the time to make it is what’s hard.

I had the fabrics for the quilt sitting in a tub for more than a year. Last summer, on one of my sewing retreats, I finally was able to get started. The quilt was a fun and easy quilt to assemble. Unfortunately the pattern has an error. It wasn’t until I had all of the blocks made that I discovered it.

A Pattern Error!

As I laid out the blocks to decide on their placement I realized I only had half of the blocks the quilt pattern called for. Being puzzled by this revelation I went back to the book to figure out where I went wrong. As I studied the pattern I realized that the quantity of fabric called for in the pattern was incorrect. The pattern listed only one package of 10 1/2″ squares (aka layer cake). In order to make the correct number of blocks I should have purchased two packages.

Letter to the Company

I contacted the company to point out the error.  They thanked me for the information and credited my account for $5. I guess the $5.00 was supposed to make me feel better. $5.00 was not going to make it possible for my quilt to ever be the size I was anticipating.

No Longer Available!!!

Since I waited so long to actually start making the quilt the fabrics had since gone out of print and were no longer available. On top of that I had purchased enough fabric to make the quilt backing to the correct size. Obviously I can use the extra fabric on another project, but that’s not the point. Had I known that my quilt would be much smaller I obviously wouldn’t have purchased as much. Thus, their $5.00 compensation paled in comparison to my level of disappointment and the amount of money spent on this quilt.

MSQC’s Pattern Corrections

Missouri Star Quilt Company publishes a list of pattern corrections for its subscriber to refer to. As of today the error that I found is not listed on that Missouri Star Quilt Company’s pattern correction list. I’m disappointed that my revelation has not been shared on their website. If you decide to make the quilt yourself make sure to adjust the amount of fabric that you purchase. Otherwise you too will be disappointed.

Ok, enough about my disappointment! Let’s get back to my very pretty quilt.

Moving On

In December of 2017 I was able to finally find time to finish my Teacup quilt. Using a straight-line geometric pattern, swirls, a paisley design and white thread I quilted my Teacup project on my longarm machine. Here’s how my sweet little quilt looks now.

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My Teacup Quilt Top

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A closeup of the geometric meandering

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A closeup of the binding, and border quilting

Teacup-Backing
The back of my Teacup Quilt

Conclusion

Throwing aside the disappointments associated with my experience, I must say that this darling little project sits very high on my list of favorite quilts. I am so pleased to have it in my arsenal of finished quilts. 🙂

Thank You so much for visiting with me today. I look forward to our next encounter.

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Note: At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I was once a subscriber to the Block magazine. My experience with one of their patterns and the company’s failure to correct the issue had nothing to do with cancelling my subscription. I made the decision to stop receiving the magazine because I felt I had more than enough ideas for possible quilts to make in the future; let alone finding the time to make them all. I’ve also found improv quilting to be my preferred avenue to follow. I’m not saying I would never make a pattern quilt again; it’s just not as likely as it once was.

Regatta Quilt Progress


Prior to today, other than choosing my fabrics, nothing much had been accomplished on my Regatta quilt. I’m participating in Roseanne’s quilt along over at Home Sewn By Us. She started the quilt along at the first of this month. The quilt along is a go at your own pace kind of project. There’s no pressure to share updates and no etched-in-stone deadline.  Although I believe she may have given us a suggested deadline of December 31, 2018.

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The Regatta quilt, according to the instructions, measures 57″ x 74.” Not wanting to make another large quilt right now I decided to cut the size in half by only using strips that are 2 1/2″ x 21″. In the pattern the author used varying shades of blue for her color choice. While I thought her quilt was beautiful the blue just wasn’t something I was interested in. Instead, being the vibrant color lover that I am, I selected a rainbow of fabric strips for my project. I’m also swapping out the white filler strips and blocks with black fabric. White is also not on my top ten list of colors. By making these adjustments I have exercised my right to add my own flair. 🙂

Regatta-Fabric-Selection
Regatta Quilt Fabrics Selected

Day two of my experience began with converting the patterns template to fit my strips. I am fortunate to have tubs of pre-cut 2 1/2″ fabric strips. Just about every time I purchase a piece of fabric I cut a 2 1/2″ strip from it and stash it away in my color coordinated strip bins. Then when I have a need for random strips of fabric I already have an inventory to draw from.

The first thing I did was to read through the instructions. I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t, only to find myself confused and making mistakes. Of course, even if I do this step, it doesn’t guarantee my project will go perfectly. Who never makes a mistake! LOL! Included in the instructions a page with a grid of the quilt diagraming the measurements per strip. I found this to be soooo helpful!

After reading through the pattern and seeing how they assembled the individual rows I decided to calculate how long each segment should be and cut them accordingly.

Regatta-Quilt-Template
Regatta Quilt Template

As you can see from the photo above I first calculated the measurements as prescribed by the pattern and then refigured them to fit the size I wanted to make. You can tell from my scribbling that I had to readjust my numbers several times. I’m so glad I did these calculations because I knew before hand exactly how long to cut each 2 1/2″ strip. Cutting them to size meant I would not have to trim them at the end. It also made for less fabric waste.

With my plan all mapped out it was time to cut my strips and begin sewing. Before calling it a day I had all of my colored strips cut and laid out on my table. I also cut the black filler strips and blocks. I was even able to stitch together eleven of the colored rows with their black filler blocks.

Regatta-Quilt-Yellow-Strips
Regatta Quilt Yellow Strips

Day three was the grand finale. After picking-up where I had left off I chained pieced the remaining rows.

Regatta-Quilt-Chain-Pieced-Strips
Regatta Quilt Chain Pieced Strips

The rows of colored strips were then joined together with the black filler strips. Thankfully I only made a few mistakes while stitching them together. A couple of the sections were sewn together in the wrong direction. With this pattern those kind of mistakes are easily spotted. No big-deal though. 🙂 All I had to do was remove the stitching and turn them around.

By the end of the day I had my Regatta quilt top assembled and pressed.

Regatta-Quilt-Top
Regatta Quilt Top

Here’s my finished quilt top.

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With my quilt top already to go it is time to cut the backing, batting and binding, then get busy and do the quilting.

Looking back over the process and the outcome I achieved I am pretty pleased with the quilt’s appearance. If I had it to do over again I would make a few changes in the arrangement of the colors. I probably also would either reduce the number of strips used or cut the strips narrower. If you remember my original goal was to make a smaller quilt. I did achieve a smaller quilt by cutting the width of my strips in half. However, I failed to consider the length of the quilt and therefore didn’t reduce that size at all.

So, that’s where my Regatta quilt top is at. The next time I share an update I will be finished with the quilting.

Thank you for sharing your time. I look forward to our next visit. 🙂

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