Thursday, June 21, 2012

Colleges + Quilting

Miss Main Street will be applying to college for the 2013 school year.  We've been taking her to visit some college campuses to help her decide where to apply.  Our most recent trip was to Muhlenberg College, a nice campus made even better (for Mom) by its proximity to Amish country.  A minor detour on the way home took us to Wooden Bridge Dry Goods in Kutztown, PA.   Wooden Bridge Dry Goods is one of those lower overhead places, on the outskirts of town.  They have lots and lots of fabric, at prices about 20% lower than what I pay at my local shops.  In other words, plenty of scope for going nuts!

I picked up some gold tone-on-tone, to be used in my next gold and blue school quilt.

And a jelly roll of Blitzen,by Basic Grey for Moda.  This is a new Christmas themed collection.  Now I need to find a jelly roll pattern to use.  Do you have a favorite?  Suggestions most welcome!

I wasn't looking for anything in particular and was limited by the fact that Mr. and Miss Main Street were waiting outside in 95 degree heat.  I had to wrap it up when Miss came inside to report, "Dad is out in the parking lot talking to strangers."  Seventeen years old but still hampered by the "stranger danger" brainwashing of the early elementary school years.  I hope she is able to talk to the "strangers" at college, at least some of them, so she can make some new friends.

Anyay, if you are in the vicinity of Kutztown, call in at Wooden Bridge Dry Goods. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quilt As Desired

Those famous last words in the pattern instructions, "Quilt as desired."  Well, I'm at that point on my Pretty Dresses wall hanging.

I got the borders on last week.  Then I planned out the hand quilting.  I'm making use of a stencil I had on hand for the border.  Sewline mechanical pencils are my tool of choice for marking for quilting.  The lead is very visible and they stay sharp, so much more convenient than marking pencils you have to sharpen.

I started by putting a few curved lines of quilting stitches in each skirt.  Next, a grid of straight lines in the background behind each dress.  Instead of marking the grid, I'm using 3/4" wide painters tape (masking tape works too).  I stick a strip down and quilt along the edge, then move the tape over, stitch again, and so on (and so on, and on, and on - it will take a long time!).

This is the center block.  The quilting in the background makes the dress pop.  When I took the photo, I'd finished one set of diagonal lines and had just started the set in the opposite direction.  But I've finished that block now.  Just eight more to go.  I'm not sure what I'll do in the sashing but I am thinking some kind of curved or wavy line. 

And while I quilt, I am mentally planning my next project.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Auditioning Borders

All nine blocks, assembled, with sashing.

The pattern is Pretty Dresses, by Barbara Brandeburg and Teri Christopherson, and appears in their book, Quilting with My Sister.  The book seems to be out of print but you can find it from independent sellers on here.  The original features 16 blocks, placed four by four, but I needed to reduce the size to fit the space where I will be hanging this quilt (in my sewing room), so my quilt will be nine blocks. 

My next step is to add the borders.  There will be a narrow white inner border (same fabric as the background of the "dress" blocks), then a wider outer border.  I searched my stash for border fabric and came up with three finalists.

Choice 1 is a subtle, leafy toile print in green on cream.  Once on the wall, I wondered if it has enough color.

Choice 2 is a smaller floral print in one shade of green on cream. 

Choice 3 is a multi-color print of small flowers on white. 

I am leaning towards #2.  I have a medium green I can use for binding.  The room where this will hang is decorated in yellow, green, and white. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Last Dress

I took the last applique stitch on Friday night.

Here is dress #9.

And here are all nine dresses together on my design wall.

Next up:  sashing and borders.  And then the quilting.  It will be a while before I finish this but I feel like I am a lot closer to completion.