Yellow Plus Pink Quilt

Yellow plus pink 1

Woohoo! I’m done with my Yellow Plus Pink quilt! Man, do I love this one. I started it back in November 2011. In January of this year, I wrote a blog post about it titled “When 1/8-Inch Really Matters” after I ended up taking most of the quilt top apart because my seam allowances weren’t accurate enough to make this pattern work properly.

But I loved it so much then, already, that I went ahead and re-did it. After that, it sat for a while until I got up to The Fabric Shack to find a backing fabric.

Yellow plus pink back

I couldn’t believe it when I found this yellow, gold and pink fox fabric (Timber & Leaf by Sarah Watts). How perfect!

Yellow plus pink 2

I really wanted the plus signs to stand out, so for the quilting, I outlined all of them first. Then, inspired by the education program on free-motion quilting put on by Holly at the August Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I tried some figure 8s inside each plus sign. I actually kept my walking foot on as I did these (I was too chicken to try without), and most of them are pretty wonky in one way or another. Oh, well.

The binding turned out a bit wavy, unfortunately (you can see it best in the first photo). I have read and have been told that it’s really best to pin the binding on before you sew it with the machine. That information is in my brain. Do I take the time to pin, however, when I’m so close to finishing a quilt? Not yet. But this might be the quilt that makes me decide to pin.

Regardless of its many flaws, I still really love this one. Collecting the fabrics was fun. Finding the perfect backing was fun. Even quilting it was pretty fun. Yep—it’s a keeper.

Fabric Basket

fabric basket 1This month for our Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting, we were challenged to make a fabric basket of any type. I have seen fabric basket tutorials and photos, but I can honestly say I’ve never been tempted to make one. And I guess that’s what guild challenges are for!

I did a bit of research online and found this free tutorial for Nested Fabric Buckets on the Whipstitch blog. (Deborah Moebes writes the blog, and her book Stitch by Stitch is absolutely fabulous for anyone wanting to learn to sew or up their skills.)

The tutorial shows three sizes for the bucket: 3.5″ x 7″, 7″ x 7″, and 12″ x 7. I went for the medium one, although I think if I had looked at a ruler to see how big 7 inches was, I probably would have make the larger one.

In the tutorial, Deborah says that she made all three in one night after dinner. The medium one took me only about 1.5 hours to make, so they really do go fast. I used a decorator-weight fabric for the exterior, regular fabric on the interior and fusible fleece for the stabilizer. The basket really stands up well by itself, due in part to the construction method. The three layers of the basket are each one piece, cut into a big plus shape. You just fold up the sides and stitch them together from bottom to top. Pretty easy.

fabric basket holding

Right now, I’m using it to hold fabric ideas for a few mug rugs I’ll be making this weekend (one of which is for a swap for next month’s guild meeting). I’ll probably keep using it as a fabric staging area, at least for smaller projects.

fabric basket 2

A big thanks to Amy and Teresa, the swap/challenge committee for CMQG. I just might be making more fabric baskets in the future!

Assateague Adventure

Assateague horses at beachLast week, Greg and I loaded up the Honda and headed east to Maryland. Ocean City, Maryland, specifically, to hang out with his family. The weather was on the cool side, so we had only a few beach days. But that left plenty of time for miniature golf, arcades, kite flying and a trip to Assateague.

Ever since I’ve been going to Ocean City, I’ve wanted to check out Assateague, a barrier island known for its wild horses. Since we were there for a full week this time, and since we just finished watching the Ken Burns documentary The National Parks, this was the year to do it.

Assateague horses

Anything you read about Assateague Island National Seashore will tell you that there’s no guarantee that you’ll see any horses. Fortunately, we saw three by the side of the road as soon as we crossed the bridge to the island. Then we ran across a whole herd hanging out by the changing rooms at the beach (see top photo). The two horses above were part of that group.

Next we took a walk out to the beach. It was a pretty chilly day, so there wasn’t much activity there (in the human form), but that just made it all the more perfect, in my mind.

Assateague beach

There are three hiking trails on Assateague. We walked two of them, the first of which was the Forest Trail, which was part forest and part marshland. At the far end of the path was an overlook where we not only saw horses, but we saw shorebirds and wading birds, too.

Assateague horses in marsh

Assateague birds

I love wading birds. Great blue herons are my favorite, and we saw several with the binoculars. The large white birds are great egrets. Add in a brown pelican and a willet or two and you’ve got bird heaven. I couldn’t have been happier.

So that’s where we decided to take our required “marginally-longer arm” shot.

Assateague us

The next trail we hiked was the Dunes Trail. While most of the trail was sand, the area itself was scruffier than I had imagined.

Assateague dunes

Greg on Road

The parts of the trail that weren’t sand were old road. In 1950, they built a road on the island and sold plots of land for development. In 1962, however, a storm came and wiped things out, and the Maryland portion of the island was made into a national seashore. The old road was left to weather away.

On the crafty side of things, I did make two hatbands for my sun hat in preparation for the trip, specifically for the beach portion of the trip. Whenever I’m near the ocean, I think sharks, and I happened to have the perfect shark fabric left over from Stella’s skirt.

Shark hatband

Floral hatband

I decided I wanted to go prettier for my other hatband, although this poor fella never got put on since we had so few days on the beach. Maybe he’ll make it on our next beach vacation.

The Quilt I Might Take Apart

Flying birdsLast week, when I wrote about my home sew-in with Emma, I mentioned that we both got a lot done. Well, this is what I was working on that day. On our trip to Memphis earlier this year, I purchased several of these fabric at Sew Memphis because I loved the way they all looked together. I particularly liked the flying bird fabric (1000 Cranes from the Tsuru collection by Rashida Coleman Hale) and the red flower fabric (Dahlia Leaf from the Charleston Farmhouse collection by Felicity Miller), so I decided to try to keep those two as whole as possible.

Flying birds detail

I really love the way the flying birds fabric looks in these 8 x 15-inch sections. It seems like the cranes are just making their way across the quilt.

Flying birds 2

I also like the pieced blocks I made with smaller amounts of other fabrics. I think they turned out cute enough.

The part I don’t like? The red flower fabric. I like the fabric, but the pattern of it is too regular, or something, to have it placed across the entire quilt. I think it’s the small repeat that is bothering me.

So I’m going to take it apart. I’ll try keeping the cranes and patchwork squares as is, and I may try cutting up the flowers to use them in some other way.

I’m not a huge fan of unsewing something this far along. But I’m not loving the quilt. And it’s so much more fun to work on something you love.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know! I’m all ears!