Friday, July 28, 2023

Party Crackers dark edition off the UFO stack

 As I mentioned in my last post, I'm on a mission to shrink the UFO stack.  This version of Party Crackers was an easy one to move to the finished stack.  It had been waiting for binding much longer than I care to admit.  It just kept being pushed the bottom of the priority list because it didn't have a deadline.

The dark background version of Party Crackers, Rosie approved, is bound and ready to use.  Well, not right now.  There's a heat advisory right now.  I'll wait until fall to use the quilt, but it is finished!

I actually pieced this quilt top in November 2021.  I think I sent it out for longarm quilting in winter 2022.  I even had binding ready to go when it came home from the quilter's, so I really can't fathom why it's been sitting unbound on a shelf until now.  I don't even know why I didn't share any pictures in progress, because I have pictures.  I guess it's just been a weird and busy few years.

So,  though I'm late sharing, here are some process pictures.

 Fabric Pull
Jason Yenter prints (mostly from the Resplendent collection)
 Grunge for the background

Fabric cut, ready to piece

Chain piecing stitch-and-flip-units

So much pressing!

Block in progress

Quilt top inspection by Rosie, November 2021

Party Crackers Finally finished, July 2023!

I'd like to say I didn't finish sooner because I was undecided about what fabric to use for binding, but I don't think  that much indecisiveness is any better than just not getting around to finishing.  Still, I was indecisive.  I actually had binding strips cut from the medium purple before changing my mind  and cutting the blue I eventually used, but I kept waffling back and forth.  I finally committed to the blue this past weekend and I'm very happy with my choice.  I probably would have been just as happy with the purple.  I'm just happy to have it done!

Of all the quilts I have made, I think this is the one that has sat the longest after quilting, waiting for binding.   What's your best binding story?

Happy quilting,

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Chef's Kiss Placemats

I'm on a mission to shrink my UFO stack.  I know making it disappear altogether is not realistic, but I committed to not committing to new things for a month or two, so I can just play with what's in the stack and see which projects turn into finished objects.

First up, Chef's Kiss!

These were pieced back in March, so it's not a very old UFO, but I needed a finish to spur me on and placemats are quick to quilt.  They're a little slower to bind, because there's a lot of cumulative perimeter on 4 placemats and a runner, but still overall it's was a good way to kick off my UFO busting efforts.

Here's how the project started in March.  Does anyone else stack all the parts after cutting just to see the pretty stacks?

A fair bit of chain sewing...

...and trimming corners...

...and I had finished blocks.

Just a little more work led to finished tops.

These sat until last week, when I embarked on my UFO-busting mission.  I had to make a detour to the quilt shop for thread to match and basting spray.  I usually pin baste larger projects, but I prefer spray for small projects like placemats and runners.

As usual I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt these, so I started with some stitch-in the-ditch with a walking foot, hoping inspiration would strike.  In the end, I kept it simple.  Anything fancy on the placemats would either get lost in the print or be covered by the plate anyway.

I do like the double straight lines in the top and bottom print strips.  They're simple and easy yet dress things up a little.

Next up was the binding decision.  I waffled a little about using a stripe.  I figured out how to match the stripes when making the binding, but I knew I wouldn't have much control over that when I joined binding ends on each placemat.  I considered making a straight join instead of a bias join so the stripes wouldn't be offset where they joined, but this with this particular stripe I might have ended up with a particularly wide stretch of light stripes, which I thought would be more glaring than an offset in the finished binding.

Stripes pretty well matched!

In the end, the stripes lined up almost perfectly on three of the four placemats.  Not so much on the last placemat or the runner, but I don't think the offset in the binding really catches the eye unless you're looking for it. If you are looking for it, you'll find one below.

After I finished these earlier this week, I was at the grocery store and they had a really good deal on roses.  These had just a hint of peachy orange in them, and I thought they'd look just right with the orange in the placemats so they came home for a photo shoot.  

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make them look like a ball of blooms in this short vase, but there were gaps between the roses, so I popped outside and snipped some mint sprigs to fill the gaps.

Yesterday I though the mint looked taller, but I thought maybe the stalk was just floating up.  Nope.  I think it's actually growing!

Anyway, Chef's Kiss is all done. 

I've decided to write a pattern for this set.  Look for a pattern release in late August or early September.  If you don't want to miss the announcement, you can sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Instagram.

I'm off to get reacquainted with the projects in my UFO stack to see which one calls the loudest.  How friendly is your UFO stack these days?  I'd love to know what you're working on!

Happy quilting,

UPDATE:  The pattern for Chef's Kiss is now available here as a PDF download, or ask for a print version at your favourite quilt shop.

PS:  The fabric is from the Fruit Cocktail collection by Fig Tree and Co. for Moda.  If you're looking for some I can share that Quilting Connection, where I bought mine, still had some when I was there yesterday, and they accept phone and online orders.