Saturday, January 5, 2013

Making Easy Street: I'm done!!

Woo hoo!  I prevailed!  I am finished piecing Easy Street, which has a new nickname: "The Bohemouth" LOL.  Honestly, this project reminded me why I don't do many King quilts.  The borders alone took longer to make and attach than assembling the center did.  :)  That said, however, I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out and I can't wait to finish it and put it on my bed.

But it's done.  Yay!  Backing is ordered.  Yay!  It'll go to the quilter sometime in February.  Yay!  Now that it's pieced and ready for quilting, I don't have it hanging over my head.  And now I can move on to other projects that need doing.

I loved the unexpected pop of color with Bonnie's choice of red-violet inner border, so I kept to that idea for my quilt, though my inner border is more of a magenta.  I knew that I wanted to add in a pieced border, and since we had used 4-patch blocks in the center of the quilt, I thought I'd use them again in a border.  The final border is a print that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it.

Isn't that fabric just gorgeous?  It has purple and teal in it, so it works beautifully with the fabrics in the center.  And it has just a bit of that magenta as well, so it ties in nicely with the inner most border.  It's like this fabric was designed specifically for my quilt.  I love it when that happens.  :)  Can you believe it took almost 3 yards of material for that outer border?  Whew!

Here is a close-up of the borders.  I'm really liking how they play together.  I was originally going to use my leftover grey for binding, but now I'm thinking teal would fit the bill better.  What do you think?

And now, it's time for my machine to go to the "machine spa".  She's squeaking from all the work she's done... then again, she's due for her annual cleaning and oiling anyway.  She's been my trusty quilting companion for at least 12 years, and all she's ever needed was regular maintenance.  I do most (all) my piecing on my Juki TL-98E.  She only does straight stitch, but she does it very well... and I can't live without my automatic thread cutter!  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making Easy Street: Clue 8 Day 3

I did it!  I managed to assemble the center of the quilt.  I'm sorry, this isn't the best photo in the world, but I don't have any place to lay it out and get the entire quilt pictured.  And the lighting is terrible too, but what can you do?  I live in Oregon, it's grey and dreary most of the winter.  :)

Next step: shop for border fabrics!  I've designed borders to bring this sucker up to a King size quilt.  Yes, I'm crazy LOL.  One of the borders will be pieced, so it will keep the spirit of the crazy busy center.  The other two will be plain and simple fabrics, but I'm hoping to find ones that will be able to stand on their own against the center.  I do like the pop of red-violet that Bonnie added to her quilt as an inner border, so I'll be keeping that idea. You can see her finished quilt here.

I'll also need backing.  I hope to find a WIDE backing material that will be big enough, wish me luck!

And while I'm waiting for the border fabrics to be washed, I will begin on my next commission quilt.  Honestly, I should be able to piece it in a day or two, so there's no big pressure there.  :)

Did you work on Easy Street?  How are you coming along with it?  I must say, I don't like assembling on-point quilts, though I love the way they look once finished.  I'm glad I "suffered" through this one LOL.

Edit 01/03/13 4:13 pm:

I went shopping today for border fabrics.  Here's a photo of the quilt center laid out with the fabrics I chose.  The second border will be pieced with teal and green (at least that's the current plan LOL), and the pink is mirrored in the outermost border fabric... the tips of the stamen coming out of the flowers are the same pink.  More photos to come as the border is created and added!  :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Making Easy Street: Clue 8 Day 2

More progress has been made on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Easy Street!  Yesterday, I managed to finish all 16 of Block A.  Today I started in on making all 9 of Block B.

Like with Block A, I began Block B by laying out all the pieces I would need.  I needed to cut more of the green 3½" squares, I was short by 24, but that was easy.  :)

Then I got to work.  This block went together quickly (relatively speaking).  There were fewer blocks to make, plus I already knew the order in which I wanted to sew the units together, so there was less head scratching and more sewing going on.  Even with a 2-hour break for lunch and other obligations, I was able to finish all of my B blocks while there was still sunshine!

Of course, I had to see how my A and B blocks played together, so I laid one next to the other.

Oh wow.  There was still sunlight, and after seeing this, I couldn't just pack it up for the night.  So I began to assemble the top.  I decided to make it in two halves and then join them in the middle, like Bonnie recommended.  These blocks are huge, but that makes them come together pretty quickly.  This is as much as I was able to complete before it was time to cook dinner.  I have two of these units, only one is pictured.

I'm liking this more and more!  Originally I was going to make this for my daughter.  But she has two (or is it three?) quilts that I've alread made for her... which she doesn't use.  She prefers the zebra print fuzzy blanket she found at Target.  OK well, since this is going to be pretty big already, I'm just going to make it BIGGER so it will work on my King bed.

Tonight I will design up some additional borders to increase the size of this quilt to a good sized King quilt.  Tomorrow I will finish assembling the blocks, but then I need to take a break to do a commission quilt.  That one will be SUPER easy, especially compared to this project LOL.  Once it is done, I can get back to finishing up this quilt.  Don't worry, I'll share photos once it's done.  :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Making Easy Street: Clue 8 Day 1

Clue #8 is the final clue in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Easy Street.  She wasn't kidding that we'd be having a rapid-fire finish!  Whoa.  Yesterday she published Clue #7, and I managed to get that done.  So was I totally wrong in thinking I could finish Clue #8 in one day?

Well.  Either I underestimated the amount of work in this final clue, or I overestimated my ability and speed at which I could assemble these blocks.  Probably a good helping of both LOL.  I had originally wanted to finish this clue today.  But as I got started and began to understand the true amount of work involved, I thought I would just finish all 25 blocks (16 of Block A and 9 of Block B).  Around lunch time I realized that I'd be lucky to finish just the 16 of Block A by the time I had to cook dinner.  I was right!  After starting at around 9:00 am, I finished the last block just before 5:00 pm.  Whew!  And I promise I didn't goof off.  Much.  :)

I began the day by laying out the units needed for Block A.  We had to make 16 of this block.

Here are the pieces for all 16 blocks, all laid out.  If you take a moment to consider the size of these blocks, you'll understand why it took so long.  Each block is comprised of 25 units, requiring 24 seams to finish the assembly.  Yes, I counted.  I'm a geek that way.  :)

I started sewing.  I sewed and I sewed, taking a breaks for lunch and the bathroom as the need arose.  I checked my email a few times (there wasn't much) and my Facebook account (things were pretty quiet there too).  Mostly I just sewed.  And sewed.  And pressed.  And sewed some more.

But I did it!  Here is one of my finished "A" blocks.  I was hurrying to get this one finished so I could take a photo before the daylight had faded too far.  The photo at the top of the blog shows the pile of all 16 blocks.

Whew!  I'm liking how this is turning out, even though it is a lot of work.  I was going to make this for my daughter, but now I'm thinking that maybe I should just add the borders, make it King sized, and use it for myself.  I mean, every bed in this house EXCEPT mine has a homemade quilt on it.  I think it's time my husband and I had a quilt of our own, don't you?  :)

Tomorrow I'll begin working on the Block B units.  There are only 9 of those... but as I was laying them out tonight, I discovered that I'm short on green squares.  I'll need to cut 24 more before I can assemble those blocks.  That's OK, I'll do it in the morning.  Right now, I'm pooped.  Have a great night!