Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Catching Up On June - Part 2: Two more 2nd Quarter Finishes

As noted in the previous post, this month the 2nd Quarter Finish-A-Long will come to a close so I am pluggin' along trying to get some of the things remaining from my list completed.

I finished this on the last day of May:

It's the companion project to my "Sweet Land of Liberty" quilt (my BQF entry posted here) and they hang in the same room.  The eagle and the star are in wools, the rest of the fabrics are cottons and all of it came from scraps or stash.

"Let Freedom Ring" was a project from the Summer 2013 Primitive Quilts & Projects Magazine.  The original design had embroidery on it, something I was hoping to get back into with this project.  But pressed for time,  I took a shortcut and stitched the words on my sewing machine with a triple straight stitch.  I also eliminated the branch embroidery in favor of adding quilted feather designs using what I had hoped would be a "slightly" contrasting thread, an idea I got from this post on the Ivory Spring blog.  The thread I finally settled on using stitched out much darker than I expected reminding me once again that I really should test my quilting threads on a practice piece before doing the actual quilting.  But once the quilting was done, I was statisfied that this little piece would hang high enough to mute the impact of the stitching a bit and more importantly to me (at least for this project) it was done!

So far this month I've also finished the second of the three journal covers I wanted to make this quarter (the first was posted here). 

It was fun to pull all the bits that went into this one.  The label on the spine was stitched onto some ribbon I had on hand using the monogramming function on my machine and the roses were all that was left from a pack I had bought six years ago to add to the label of one of my other quilts. The front block was one of the class projects from the online Hand Applique course I took back in 2010 from Quilt University (which is sadly no longer in business).

The back is a block I also hand appliqued.  The pattern for it was from this book:

When I make these covers they are a "scrap quilt challenge project" for me and I try to pull as much of the fabrics for them from my scrap bits. The ribbon over the join between the two backgrounds was also in stash and was couched with one of the decorative stitches on my machine.

Once again, it pays to pay attention when setting up a block for applique.  While I am satisfied with the result (these binders sit on shelf most of the time), I was a little disappointed that I didn't render some of the elements of the flower block accurately because I relied on memory and what the pieces looked like when cut with seam allowance rather than taking my cue from the actual picture of the block as I went from step to step.  Another lesson for the future (particularly if I ever decide to do competition quilts!) but in the end I'm more than happy to be able to log another finish.

Even the inside lining and flap fabrics were from project leftovers and the binding was a fat eighth from stash (and is now all gone).  Another thing I've got to watch is that I was afraid to crowd the applique but was then a little too generous with the dimensions and seam allowance of the cover so it is a little big for the binder.  On the last binder I actually made it a little too small and had to scramble to get it to fit that binder.  The good news, is that I have one more that I hope to get done before month's end so will have another opportunity to perfect my method for making these. 

This project also gave me some free motion practice doing echo quilting, a technique I haven't employed before.  I got to use the echo quilting foot that came with my machine and used the guidelines to control the spacing. 

Picture courtesy Janome.com

My thanks to Amy at Amy's Freemotion Quilting Adventures because I didn't know that was what that foot was for until I read it on her blog!  I thought it was just for stitching over bulky seams.  So that's all the finished stuff to date but there will be some more "in progress" posts and hopefully at least one more finish post as the week moves on.

No comments: