They are finally done, and not a minute too early as those babies are due any time now! I am so excited for this sweet family and hope and pray for all good things for them. What a blessing to be able to be a part of this.
Well, here they are- all finished and super cute! This “Houndstooth” pattern by V and Co. has been so much fun to make, especially using the Quarter-Square Triangle Ruler by Creative Grids. The color combo just about lit up my world, and I hope it does the same for those sweet babies. Their mommy has been waiting a while for them, and deserves a lovely nursery to welcome them!
I hope this isn’t the photo that WordPress chooses to post to Facebook, only because it is not nearly as fun as the others! Along with the quilts and knitted pillows, I also made crib skirts for each crib. I love this domino dot in black and white- it is a great punch to add to the solid colors in the quilts.
I was really excited to find the backing for Baby Boy’s quilt. The architectural bridge drawings just seemed to give it the right finishing touch. Modern and sophisticated, but also decidedly boyish.
And just as I loved the backing for Baby Boy’s quilt, I was just as thrilled about the backing for Baby Girl’s quilt. The birds softened the lines of the houndstooth, and the color was perfect.
The crib quilts finished about 40″x40″ with each square in the quilt 2 3/4″ finished, but the pattern does have directions for larger quilts. However, the larger quilts use the larger version of the Quarter-Square Triangle Ruler and each square in the quilt is larger.
I hate that there is so much glare on this photo and that I didn’t notice it before I shipped off the quilts! Anyway, switching the dark and light greys made Baby Girl’s quilt a little softer palate than Baby Boy’s, but still modern and crisp. I really love how both turned out.
All laid out and ready to roll- don’t forget not to turn on the ceiling fan! This is the version of Houndstooth by V & Co that I am making for a set of twins. This is the one for baby girl. Baby boy’s quilt has the greys switched around, making his a darker quilt, and mint green in place of the peach. I’ve already pieced baby boy’s quilt, and now it is time for baby girl’s!
Unless I am working on a project that required row piecing, I actually really prefer to piece my quilts in sections. I find that I am better able to maintain accuracy this way. You can see here how I have pieced this top in sections, starting with smaller units and building up to larger ones.
Using this method means I only have one especially large seam (usually right down the middle, or thereabout) to deal with, which makes me happy!
Finally- my tops are both pieced! Amazing how much smaller quilts are from when you lay them out on the design wall to when they are all put together!
Firstly, I cannot turn this pic to the correct position no matter what I do. You’ll just have to turn your head or your screen or whatever. Loving technology at this moment. Secondly, I love rulers. I can’t even tell you how much I love rulers. I love this ruler, the Folded Corner Clipper by Prairie Sky Quilting. I don’t actually know for sure what particular project it was created for, if there even is one, but it cuts a perfect 45 degree angle. I use it most often for piecing binding, like in this photo. I also love The Binding Tool by The Quilters Mercantile Inc. It takes a minute to get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s fabulous.
You are probably going to get sick of hand binding pictures. I can’t help it. I really enjoy doing it, so I have to show it.
Here’s an interesting problem that comes up from time to time- especially on white or black fabrics. When the fabric is being manufactured, occasionally a stray thread from a previous run flies around the room and ends up getting woven into the new run. It’s not a flaw- it’s just something that happens. Kind of like finding a little piece of stem in a can of green beans. Anyway, this little blue guy doesn’t belong, so I just carefully pick it out using the same needle I am sewing the binding on with.
You can see where I have pulled the stray thread, however, it will just about disappear after the quilt is washed. No matter how you look at it, this little spot is way less noticeable than the blue thread that I removed.
Sometimes, things just don’t go as smoothly as one would like. Actually, most times. I often remind myself that if I am not picking out stitches, it is only because I am not sewing enough. It’s really just a matter of statistics- if you sew a lot, you pick a lot. Kinda like the Babe at home plate. Just sayin’.
Pardon my finger. Anyway, I really love Aurifil thread. It sews beautifully. It is strong and thin. A bobbin wound with it will last longer than you can predict. However, I have to say that when the spool starts to get this low and is in a horizontal position on my machine, I start to get a bit on the agitated side. This is why…
I am not sure if you can really see what this picture is depicting, but as soon as I say it, you will know exactly what I am talking about. The needle is un-threaded. This is because that skinny Aurifil spool messes up the thread tension, and unless you remember to pull some excess thread through the needle every time you start to sew, I promise you, it will come un-threaded. (I don’t even think un-threaded is a real word, but I couldn’t care less. So there.)
Ahhh, the joy of 3 1/4″ square fatigue. I will let you find the mistake. May as well have flashing neon lights if you ask me, but it may not be super obvious at first. Moments like this are the reason I listen to calming instrumental versions of my favorite songs. I was enjoying some fabulous Nat King Cole at this particular moment and found myself singing “Unacceptable, that’s what you are…”
As I have mentioned in previous posts, why make a mistake once when you can do it repeatedly? This is why quilters cuss. This is also why I have started listening to hymns and other favorite Christian artists while piecing (450) 3 1/4″ squares. Just to help me remember who I am.
Well, all I can say is that while this pic makes me look very organized, it is only because you can’t see the rest of my room. Or even just the rest of the table. I think my sewing studio might have to be a topic for another day. I always see posts of the cleanest, most beautifully decorated sewing rooms imaginable. I think we need to start posting pics of real sewing rooms. Just saying. Anyway, I digress.
So, after getting all of the squares cut, I had to carefully organize them in the proper color rows. Remember the “crazy” part? You know, the part where I just can’t seem to follow the instructions and make the quilt as it is shown on the cover. Oh yes, it’s all coming back now. This pattern is supposed to be made with only two colors, which of course is a lot easier than 5. If you remember from the first post, I started with 6 colors, but that is because one quilt is for the baby boy twin and the other is for the baby girl. The boy’s quilt uses mint, and the girl’s uses peach. At any rate, after everything was cut and put in careful order on my cutting board, it was time to put it on the design board. I actually had a couple of options for layout, so I tried this one too-
I liked this layout best, but I sent a pic of both layouts to the Mom-to-be to see what she thought. She agreed, so I was thrilled!
Yes, that’s right, masking tape on the switch for the ceiling fan. It really bites when someone turns on the ceiling fan and suddenly things start falling off of the design wall! Especially when those things are 3 1/4″ squares!
Okay, sew here’s the dealio- The pattern “Houndstooth” makes multiple sizes, which is always a plus in a quilt pattern if you ask me. (I don’t know why, since I rarely actually follow the size directions, but whatever.) Anyway, there are actually two different Creative Grids rulers you can use to make this pattern, based on the finished size of the quilt. Well, it really is asking too much for me to actually READ the back of the pattern when I buy it, so of course, I bought the ruler intended for the larger size, not the baby size. This is a problem.
I tried to figure out how to make it work, but it just wouldn’t. You would have to continually flip the ruler to get the right cut, and that defeated the purpose of buying the ruler in the first place. The pattern does include a template that you may use instead of the ruler, but let’s be real, I am way too lazy for that.
So, what else could I do besides break down and buy the correct ruler? It really did make a difference.
Okay, so now to the nitty gritty on how this thing works. I LOVE these specialty rulers by Creative Grids. They have so many that are so helpful, and as we all know, the right tool makes all the difference! Okay, so first off, this is the 2 1/2″ Strip Ruler. The trick is that you are actually initially making a tube. You sew your strips together in sets of two, and then sew two sets of those sewn strips together into a tube. To use the ruler, lay it on the tube vertically, just the same as you use a normal rotary ruler. Do not try to use it horizontally- it is uncomfortable, unnatural, and you are likely to make a mistake while cutting. Also, I found that the 28mm rotary cutter works best with these kinds of rulers. Cut your tube using the ruler’s diagonal edge as your guide. You will end up with . . .
this! You do have to pick out the seam at the corner after you have cut your pieces, but it is no biggie. Because the cuts alternate, you end up with alternate blocks. If I had followed the directions in the pattern, these actually would be identical because there were only two colors used in the original pattern.
Yummy, don’t you think? This is the fabulous color combo picked by a savvy soon-to-be mom of twins! She’s having one of each, and this is going to be one knock-out nursery.
We actually picked the pattern, “Houndstooth” by V and Co., before we chose fabrics, so that played a part in why we went with solids. As you can see, the pattern is intended to be two colors, and obviously we have more than that. Here’s where my craziness enters. Why follow directions when you can make yourself nuts making up new directions? We wanted the colors to alternate in the houndstooth pattern, with a consistent background color to tie it all together. This meant making a lot of notes on the pattern to figure out how much to cut of each color to get the appropriate number of strips to in turn get the correct color pattern. Confused yet?
This pattern has multiple sizes included in the instructions, and the baby quilt calls for 1 1/2″ strips. I determined how many strips I needed of each color and laid them out for sewing. I began by sewing the strips into groups of two, carefully following the color lay out. When I do things like this, I do not do mass sewing. In other words, I do not go ahead and sew together all of the sets of two. I actually only sew enough together to make my first set of blocks, in this case, a white to a light grey, and a white to a dark grey.
It may seem like a good idea to speed through this part, but really, it isn’t. Especially when working with 1 1/2″ strips. I try to slow it down to prevent sliding and inaccurate seam allowances. 1/8″ is a lot to lose when you only have 1 1/2″ to work with.
Okay, maybe not THAT slow. I was starting to want to punch somebody.