Sunday, July 2, 2017

Q2 Project Report and Life Event

Can you believe we're just over halfway through 2017? The year seems to be flying by at record pace! Kids have a way of keeping things busy that's for sure. I'm pleased with my progress on reaching several mid-year project goals. Both baby quilts that were started at the beginning of the year have been completed and the purple quilt, which was blogged about in the previous post. I never got around to blogging about the owl quilt. No, when I finished it I just listed it in my Etsy shop because I just didn't have time to chat about it here. 

Still working on the first improv project using Solvy blocks and started another improv piece (I know, I was bored with the first one and needed a break), then started a quick little patchwork quilt using a charm pack from the "Paradiso" fabric collection designed by Kate Spain  for Moda from my stash, which is almost finished as of this writing. 

The painted canvas project is still waiting to be finished. Speaking of canvas, I experimented with mounting the little Amish inspired quilt to a gallery wrapped canvas and I very much like the result. Not sure at this point whether I'll list it in my Etsy shop, as I'm really enjoying looking at it hanging on the wall in my sewing space for now.

Okay, so let's talk about the little owl quilt now shall we? When I bought the fabric I initially intended to make a whole cloth quilt out of it because of the scale of the print. However, when I finally got around to making it I realized that I should've bought a smidge more fabric to account for the orientation of the print. No big whoop really, I stitched on a couple of top and bottom borders to get it to the appropriate size and it was good to go. I used a scallop stitch for the quilting, which accented the owls feathers then threw in a few zigzags to accent the chevron metallic fabric. I really didn't have the "right" fabric for the binding in my stash but I found a great clearance fabric at JoAnn's for $3 a yard, and ya I bought what was left on the bolt because, well $3 a yard?! 

To finish the binding I used a slightly different method of machine finishing that I now LOVE, thanks to a discussion I had with my sweet quilty friend Julie. With this method there isn't any "blind" sewing and hoping you get it right, no this finish is intentional and uses the stitching on the other side as a design element! Score! I'll attempt to explain how I did it in the photos below...

First, attach your binding. Hold up, no, first you need to decide which side of your quilt you want to attach your binding to. Why? Because, when you are finished you'll have a line of visible stitching and you need to decide if you want that "design element" to be on the front or back. Savvy? Okay, here we go. After your binding is on you'll want to press it away from the quilt then fold it over and press it really good, you could even use a bit of starch. Also press your corner miters in the direction you want them as if you were hand finishing. On my quilt I chose to attach the binding to the front and fold over to the back so my design line would show on the front.

Now fold over your binding and put under your foot for stitching. I used my stitch in the ditch foot and then moved my needle to right just slightly so I could stitch as close to the edge as possible. This is the magic step people!! You can see exactly where your stitches are going to be and your line on the other side is intentional! Why is this exciting? Because, with this method there aren't any missed stitches that run off the binding because you can't see them! Also, I chose not to start in a corner but just a couple inches away so I wouldn't have a bulky start. When you do get to a corner just sew a stitch or two past and then pivot your needle and keep on going!

Below, you can see the stitches on the binding on the back of quilt are consistent and close to the edge and the design line on the front looks nice and clean.

Of course, it got all the final photo treatment due to a finish
 and modeled by one of my favorite quilt models! 
Up in a tree where an owl would be.
Owl Always Love You Baby!

Progress shot of the "Paradiso" patchwork quilt. 
Binding just needs to be finished.

The Amish inspired mini quilt mounted on canvas. I found several examples on how to do this via Pinterest and used a tutorial I found on the Serendipity Patchwork blog as a starting off point. I looked for a 12x12 black canvas so I could be lazy and skip the painting and waiting part but was unable to find one. Not that I don't want or like to paint, I want to paint more often, but I was really excited about getting this done! So, I painted the canvas black, the whole thing! I don't know, I just couldn't paint the edges and leave an unfinished space behind the quilt--that would drive me nuts knowing it was unfinished underneath and what if I ever want to remove the quilt? Well,  to ease my unfinished project anxiety I did it so it would be ready for another project if ever that was the decision! Oh, but what about the holes along the edges from the needle you ask? Well, those could be covered by ribbon or some other something...Okay, moving on, I had already added a binding before ever thinking of doing this so I stitched in the ditch along the binding seam with black thread.  Worked swimmingly! To finish I tied off at a spot behind the binding between the quilt and the canvas top. 

Here's a peek at the new improv that I started using a Solvy block...

And here's the status of the one that I needed a break from. It's been like this for several weeks now. I walk up to it every now and again with my ruler to decide where I should slice next and then I back away and pretend it's not really there...and you know what? I'm totally okay with that. 

I mentioned something earlier in the post about how kids can keep things busy, right? Here's the life event part of the post...On May 13th, on the feast day and 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, our daughter Phoenix was received back into the Poor Clare community in Barhamsville, Virginia. I mentioned back in January that she was continuing her discernment and was working as a CNA at a local nursing facility. Just a few weeks after writing that post she told us that she believed her discernment was leading her back to monastic life. Having returned she is once again with her twin sister Cheyenne, who returned last year on August 15th. While the monastic life is hard they have both expressed their joy of once again being a part of the community. We miss them both but are happy for them that they are following the path they believe is right for them. In the photo below, Phoenix is being welcomed by Cheyenne, wearing the same dress Cheyenne wore for her re-entry, and then to the right is a photo of her after donning the postulant garments.

And here they are just before we left to head back home,
from the left, Postulant Cheyenne, Mother Abbess and Postulant Phoenix.

As always, thank you for stopping by!


  1. So good to hear all your news! The quilts are amazing! I love the mounted one and your owl model. ;)

    1. Thank you Denise for stopping by and for your kind words! :)