One-Yard Wonders projects

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunshine Sunday: Quilting

Woke up to ice on the back steps and a light rain falling. The temperature is hovering between freezing and not freezing so we've decided to stay home today. We started with a delicious breakfast of homemade French toast, bacon and fresh strawberries and blueberries. That Violet ate more than both of her brothers! Well, she didn't eat the bacon but she did have two full pieces of French toast, half a pint of blueberries and a piece of toast with jelly...

After breakfast we all cleaned the downstairs for awhile and took turns chasing Violet. Now we're having a lazy hour to do whatever we want while she naps and before lunch preparation begins. Mazy and Bo are spending it this way:

Yesterday was a great day. We met Shawn's sisters at his parents' house and had a sewing day. Thanks to Shawn for entertaining kids all day so I could focus on sewing.

Unfortunately for his mom and sisters, my project kind of took over the entire afternoon and soon Sandy and Belinda were helping me with it. But I really, really appreciated their help with matching colors and cutting out shapes. And I loved "shopping local" in Belinda's fabric stash. :)

So here's what I was working on. The picture below shows what I started the day with: I had 12 18.5 x 18.5-in. squares for the quilt background. I'd also traced a ton of flower shapes onto fusible backing paper that allows you to iron pieces of fabric onto each other. It's called applique. This quilt is going into Violet's future bedroom. It doesn't look like much, but you would be surprised at how long it can take to find 12 coordinating fabrics that are suitable for backgrounds, and then arrange them so there are no greens touching, and no oranges too close together, not too many bright pieces at the top, etc.

Step 1: Choose your background fabrics

Once I was happy with the backgrounds, the real work began: finding coordinating fabrics to create the big flowers that would be sewn onto each background square. So we started laying out fabrics and seeing what worked and what didn't work. It's a fine balance of finding lights, mediums and darks so your quilt has a lot of contrast. I'm not very good at that, but Shawn's sister Sandy is excellent at it. Here's us pairing up fabrics with the background blocks, and a cheeky little helper who crawled over to play in the fabrics.
Step 2: Choose coordinating fabrics for each block

Once we started cutting out the flower shapes, you could really begin to see the quilt come together. This quilt has three different flower designs that appear four times on the quilt. I have lots of leftover circles and flowers that I'll be able to use on pillows and wall hangings. 

Step 3: Cut out flower shapes in coordinating fabrics

By the time we finished at about 7:30 p.m., we'd designed, cut out and ironed down all the flowers. Now I need to zig-zag stitch around every single flower shape to secure it to the fabric, make some ruffles to finish the flowers that look like big doughnuts and find complementary border fabrics. I'll sew it all together and ship it off to Shawn's aunt to be quilted and voile -- a quilt is made!
Step 4: Cut out and iron down flower pieces

Won't this make for a fun, bright focal point for Violet's future room?! I can't wait to start on all the pillows and wall hangings that will go with it. And poor Bo, I showed him the fabric for the quilt I promised to make him and said I'd get it cut out yesterday so I could begin sewing it, but I never made it that far. I'll work on it this week, I promise!

Stay dry, stay warm and enjoy your Sunday!

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