Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Penguin quilt is home again

Last month I shared a picture of the penguin quilt top I was making for my daughter in her school colours.  I quilted it in time for her to take the quilt on the bus for her spring break band tour to Disney World in Florida but I didn't get pictures of it before she left.  Now the quilt (and the daughter) are home so I can borrow it for pictures.

Penguin applique from "The Proper Penguin" by Robinson Pattern Company, pieced letters from "Alphabet Soup" by Jaybird Quilts, layout by Canuck Quilter Designs

I had trouble getting a photo that shows the overall quilting well.  I used my trusty walking foot to quilt concentric circles centered around the penguin.  You can see a bit of it in the lower right hand corner above.  What my phone camera could not capture at all is the glowing effect of the Sulky orange variegated thread across the greys and black.

To make the quilt extra personal (because that name splashed across the front is so subtle!) I quilted the names of various school activities Laura has been and is involved with.  I typed the words in a large font, printed them, pinned the paper to the quilt and freemotion quilted through the paper around the letters.  At first I tried to follow the outline exactly, but that looked pretty shaky, and bits of black ink got stuck under the stitching.  Once I started using the printed letters as a general guide things flowed more smoothly.  The letters look a little more informal this way too, which I think is a good fit with the penguin.

 Of course Band Tour made it in:

This one is my favourite:

It does say "Fum Fum Fum". That is not a typo for "Fun", though the activity was fun.  These are lyrics in one of the songs sung at the high school Madrigal Dinners.  It's pronounced "foom" and as soon as you say "fum fum fum" anyone who has performed in Madrigal knows exactly what you're talking about.

So there you have it.  The band tour penguin quilt.  I don't have any photos of the band marching in the Disney World parade during their tour last week, or of the quilt in use on the bus to and from, so I'll leave you with photos from last fall's Madrigal instead.

Baroness Laura in full song at Madrigal

Between songs

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

An Ooops! and a fix

Does anyone else keep working when they should take a break?  I did this weekend and it resulted in a bit of foul-tempered muttering.  But then I went and ate some of these and balance was restored so I could go back and figure out how to fix the mistake.

What happened?  After finally getting all 128 prairie points sewn to sides of Vintage Sparkle, I decided to stitch over the corners again to make sure the points were secure there.  I forgot to tuck the batting and backing out of the way first so I stitched through all the layers.  That would have been easy to fix, but I didn't notice.

Next I trimmed the backing and batting 1/4" out from the quilt top all around.  That's OK.

Next I had to trim the batting down further, 1/4 inch inside the top.  Of course where I had sewn through all the layers that wasn't possible.  Here's where taking a break would have been the better option. I was tired and rushing to get this done. My brain didn't think through what the purpose of all this trimming was and I decided I could just trim close to the stitching, which is a 1/4" inside. That's when the big Oops! happened.  I cut through the backing too.

That is the bit of backing that needs to be turned under so I can stitch the folded edge to the back of the prairie points.  I cut just where there should be a fold.  Sigh.  And the extra-vexing part of it is that I wouldn't have been able to fold it under because I had stitched there, so I would have had to unsew that anyway, so why didn't I just do that before I started snipping?  Imagine a horrified gasp, then gnashing of teeth, then a hasty retreat from the sewing room in a panic.

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting are not good for my waistline but they are fabulous for restoring my equilibrium!  With equilibrium restored I marched back into the sewing room, considered the problem and came up with a plan.

 I ripped the stitches I should have ripped earlier, so I could manipulate the top, batting and backing separately.

With the batting and top folded out of the way, I matched the pattern from a scrap of the backing fabric with the pattern on the backing as well as I could and stitched it to offending corner (or perhaps it is the offended corner - after all it was just sitting there inoffensively when I snipped it).

Flip that new corner over to make sure the matching wasn't too bad before cutting away the original ruined bit...

Trim away the ruined bit and trim the new bit down to size...

And proceed as I should have to begin with.  Crisis resolved.  Thanks goodness for leftover cupcakes from the potluck on Saturday night!

Here are the points pressed out to the sides on the front.

I am now hand stiching the backing to the back of the prairie points.  There are 3 sides left to do, but I'm not in a rush.  I'm just doing a little bit at a time as the mood strikes.  I think I might have a finish by sometime next week, unless a squirrel strikes again.

Speaking of squirrels, the one from my previous post is quilted and bound and on a bus heading home from Florida with the school band.  Of course it headed down first, but they are on their way home now, so I can borrow the quilt later this week to take pictures to share.  Stay tuned!