Sunday, April 24, 2011

Default to stitching...

April has been a busy month! I have a list of projects in my notebook and more in my head that beg for attention, but I am struggling to actually produce a 'finish' before starting something new! I did get one or two things finished up this weekend, but not as much as I had planned - no surprise!

One the quilting front:
Earlier this month, I started a rag quilt as kind of a skill builder for machine quilting.

I found the fabrics in the remnant bin at Joann, but they were all one yard cuts, as if someone had gathered the fabrics for a project and then changed their mind before check out. And, since they were on 'regular' sale plus the remnant discount, they practically paid me to take them away!
I got pink, yellow, violet, green and blue gingham check and small dot flannels and I added a couple of solids from the stash.

Without much invested in the fabric (I used remnant batting, too) I decided to use a pattern for a 'crazy rag quilt' that I picked up on sale, just for professional guidance.

Which was a giant mistake.

I cut everything as directed, sliced up the 'crazy' squares, mixed them up and started sewing them back together, but they weren't big enough to trim to the required dimensions. Since consistent seam width seems to be an ongoing challenge for me, I measured and measured again and pressed and repressed, and finally decided to just make my seams a bit more 'scant' so the blocks would be closer to the correct size.

When I got them all sewn and trimmed, it was pretty late and I should have gone to bed, but I was pretty pleased with myself. I wanted to stack a few together and maybe lay a few in a row and see what they looked like. But, when I started reading about stacking the little sandwiches together, the pattern went all crazy on me. It said to put the 'flannel' square in the middle of the sandwich, despite the fact that earlier it told me to cut batting 1/2" larger than the flannel that was now mentioned ( I know that you can use flannel or batting in rag quilts, but I expected consistency within the pattern) and the 'crazy blocks' were described as a half inch smaller than the pattern earlier had referenced, as well.

The pattern had a website listed which turned out to be a quilt shop in Texas. The same pattern was for sale, but the dimensions listed were a bit smaller. No doubt someone, at some point discovered the error and adjustments were made.I emailed the designer and asked if she had the updated instructions in a pdf that she could send me. I know that I can figure it out without the instructions, but I was so irritated that I would have to re-trim the blocks and the batting! I just wanted to tell someone how frustrated I was at wasting so much time and the amount of 're-do' ahead!

The designer answered my email and said she would 'look into it', but I haven't heard back from her. I have gotten as far as re-trimming all the blocks and I re-cut the batting blocks to the right size. But it has been sitting in a bag for the past couple of weeks.

Anyway, after that frustration, I decided that I needed a project that didn't require so much thinking and figuring out!

I had stamped these onsies in February, with the thought that they might be a travel project for my trip at the first of March.
Blue Swallow
Space ship alien.
Coral Kitty
They are intended for a small girl in Utah. I hope they have just a few more weeks of 'long sleeves' weather so she might have use for them.

The designs are from Jenny Hart's "Sublime Stitching", one of my favorite resources for embroidery patterns. First, because she has so many cute patterns, but also because she is one of the few sources for transfers. Not that I'm lazy, you understand. I just want to be able to decide on a pattern, iron it on and stitch away.

Or at least stitch away after two months or so...


Zany Quilter said...

The rag quilt issue stinks! I hope you can salvage what you have already done...Next project, Kona solids!!!

Gaynell said...

I know your frustration with the quilt instructions.

The onesies are too cute. I am sure the recipient's Mom will like them. (I think the recipient is too small for an opinion!)

Cola said...

The colors are cute for that rag quilt. I hope you're able to save it!! And nice job on the onesies! :)

Allie said...

Gosh I have a hard enough time following a pattern - one like that would do me in forever, lol! I hope you can get some answers, Jan.

I love the onesies, too darling - I like Jenny Hart's designs too.

Patty said...

The onesies are soooo cute! I love Jenny's patterns. And I hope you can finish that quilt. How frustrating!

Martha said...

What a drag! I just hate it when the instructions are wrong. I hope you're not too discouraged, because I think it will be a really nice quilt -- the colors are wonderful.

Great onesies (as usual) -- you always pick the cutest designs.

Sweet_Vee said...

The onesies are wonderful! We do still have need for some long sleeves! They fit her perfectly which means at the rate she is eating, she will outgrow everything in her closet in a few days!

She tells me all the time how much she loves when her Great Aunt makes her such cool onesies. She says she is the talk of daycare!

YES, she did to tell me that!