Friday, September 27, 2013

The Mario Quilt, Finished

Finally done! This quilt was a lot of fun to build and put together, all at the direction of my eight year old son, who dictated each aspect of the scene --- from having half a "Goomba" (that funny looking, one-eyed creature on the bottom left corner), to the shadows under the floating-in-midair coins (top right).

I absolutely loved collaborating with him, although I did suggest in the beginning that we do the scene so that it fit just on the center, the part that would actually sit atop his bed, and thus be able to see all of it. We could do a border around the edge. He didn't like that idea, and wanted the border to be further extension of the scene. The other boys claimed too that the quilt needed to be edge-to-edge in order to have the level of detail we wanted; I was not willing to compromise on how small to make each patch, and so edge to edge it is.
on my bed, showing the full scene, edge to edge

Even though it does, in fact, hang over the sides and mean the whole scene is not fully visible at once.

on his bed, scene not fully visible
Still, I quilted it up this week --- I used YLI Invisible thread for the quilting, and King Tut variegated blue to white in the bobbin, to match the sky blue backing fabric. The two threads worked beautifully together!

This quilt was easier to quilt than some of my others, due to a couple of things. One, I bought actual pins while in the US, so it was much easier to baste, and the basting stayed put. Huge difference that made. Huge. Also, I ironed/pressed everything before I started this quilt and as I went along. The fabrics were all ironed and starched before I cut; the sections were all pressed as I finished each one; huge difference. Next time I will remember to give a final press to the top and iron the backing fabric, tedious as those jobs are. The other factor was size; the last two quilts I've done have both been for a full sized bed, while this one is for a twin. That little-bit-less bulk made it so much easier to handle!

It's now been washed & dried --- love using Shout Color Catchers --- the red next to white, and the black against the yellow and light blue both had me worried. I threw in 8 color catchers (which all came out just barely the lightest peach color, so maybe the fabrics didn't bleed terribly anyway) and it was totally fine. Whew! I'll probably keep using color catchers for the next few washes just in case; better safe than sorry!

I'll start cutting the fabric for my husband's quilt next week....this weekend, I need a break!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Shopping Trip! aka, What's Next in Line?

My family & I recently went home for a visit to the US, and of course I hit my favorite quilt shops while there. Fabric in Brazil is expensive, not as fun, expensive, harder to find, and expensive. As I loaded up on yard after yard of fabric, a little worried about the price, I reminded myself  "it would be four times this in Brazil....."  Amazingly, I stuck to my plans for shopping and didn't go crazy with extras.

First up -- backing for the Diary Quilt. I failed to snap a photo before I sent it off to my very dear friend & long-arm quilter, who will finish it for me, but I got a really yummy butterfly batik in blues & greens. I kind of think it's too modern for the front, and a little part of me wishes I'd stuck with the cream colored print that was old letters, or else the tone-on-tone cream & beige that was dandelions. I shied away from the creams because I didn't want the back to show dirt. I am probably going to second-guess that decision for a while, but I'm telling myself two things to help --- one, the butterflies are significant, and I do love that I found a great butterfly print. Love it. Two, I think a modern back to a traditional front fits since I'm a more modern quilter; it gives one more level to the "past, meet future" aspect of the quilt. And anyway, it's done now; too late and too expensive to change it at this point. (yes, I did consider buying the other fabric and saving the butterflies for something else.....but that many  yards is a lot to just buy extra.....).

Second up -- backing for the Mario Quilt. My boy requested sky blue, so that's what he got. I had a moment of panic last night thinking I forgot to get thread for the bobbin -- I'm using clear thread by YLI for the front -- until I remembered I have some blue-to-white variegated King Tut I can use, if it's not too much for the bobbin.....

backing fabric for the Mario Quilt
Third and almost last, the next in line -- a quilt for my husband, The Chemist. We are facing a move soon, back to the US, but he'll be traveling back & forth quite often. I wanted to make him a quilt he can keep at his "other home" so he's still sleeping under something I made, even while he's away. Sappy & sentimental, I know. It will be an oversized couch quilt when he gets done traveling.

I had him look through images online and pick out a rough idea of what he wanted. He found a strip quilt that was sort of color-blocked, and said, "That one. I like that. But in a different color scheme.....I want it to fade from blue to red...."

I panicked only a little trying to figure out how to get from blue to red without so much purple that it stopped looking masculine. Then I took my mom & sister shopping and we wandered a quilt shop for a really long time, looking at every single purple fabric in the store. I almost gave up, and then I found it, a red & blue overlapping thing. Once we had the purple, the rest was a cinch. I even found a perfect variegated thread to quilt it with; can't wait to get started!
fabric, in order, for The Chemist's color-change quilt
 For real last, I did buy a few things just because. The multi-on-black Sew Heavenly print, which is now out of print, which I have loved and wanted since its debut. I still hope to find the cream tone-on-tone of it, but no one seems to have that one.....(sigh). The Chemist got me the all blue version and the multi-on-blue version for my birthday last year.....I couldn't resist snagging some of this, too. I think these will be incorporated into a back for another couch quilt. I really have a thing for bold, busy backs as a way to showcase fabric I love.
SewHeavenly by Dan Morris for RJR fabrics
 and, who can resist a few fat quarters?! The 2 dark blue are to replace some I borrowed from my stash for the Diary Quilt border; the rest are just 'cause they seemed awesome. Fat quarters are my downfall.....I have yards and yards of stash made up of fat quarters.

just for fun
 What fabric style do you buy? Yardage? Pre-cuts? Fat Quarters? What is it you just can't resist in a fabric shop??