Friday, May 24, 2013

Follow The Leader Top

So, I finished piecing my Follow the Leader top earlier this week, and here it is:

Before I say to much about this quilt I just want to say that I had a struggle with this quilt, and my personal opinion is that the pattern had some errors and short shortsightedness, but that's just based on my experience and yours might be different. The first issue is that I believe the uneven nine patch blocks should have actually been a quarter to a full half inch larger in order for this pattern to work better. The size they are made to does not give you enough room to trim the rows down to what they ask and still have a perfect 1/4" seam allowance. I wound up with a lot of extra background. Normally I would have just trimmed to the perfect 1/4" anyhow but because of the pieced border I didn't want to make my center to small. There is at least one error in the pattern concerning the inner borders. If anyone is making this quilt and can't find the error just comment or message me and i'll try to explain. I just really had a lot of trouble with the size of this quilt. Things just kept not being the right size. I really struggled to get the flying geese border on because it was just a bit to long but not so long that I could just take one of the flying geese out. It was frustrating.

If I did this quilt again, (which I most likely will eventually since I'm not happy entirely happy with this one) I would either A) make the center squares a quarter to a half inch larger and see if that fixed the excessive seam allowance issues or B) I would make the center squares the size specified but go ahead and make the perfect seam allowance anyhow and then I would either adjust the sashing width to make it the correct size, or if I got really lucky just subtract a flying goose from the sides if that math worked out better and C) I would not use the method that they suggest to make flying geese because it leaves no seam allowance and I was unable to trim my geese at all. Instead I would use my Eleanor Burns Flying Geese ruler.  I'm not a crazy point Nazi.  Its just some of the points are way off (some more than a quarter inch!) and I hate when my quilts look like I don't know what I'm doing, especially since the original quilt is so beautiful. I'm also hoping that maybe once it's quilted it might hide, or minimize the severity of some of the mistakes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I had some left over strips that I had forgotten about from a quilt that I just started binding yesterday, and I was thinking what could I do with them? I've been a little obsessed with pineapples lately because I've been planning making a reproduction pineapple quilt and I'm also signed up for a non foundation piecing pineapple class in September, so I thought it would be fun to make a little pineapple to try it out.

I never realized how small one inch of fabric is! Each one of the little strips finishes at just half an inch. I want to make 8 of these so I could make a little Fall table topper to match my little quilt that I'm binding but after making one, I don't know if i even want to make the big reproduction pineapple anymore! It's just so much work and it does not go fast. We'll have to to wait and see if I stick it out of If I add this to my UFO bin.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Effie & Ollie Elephant

This weekend I attended the Sew Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. My husband is so supportive! He has been to 3 craft related shows in the last 3 weeks. It think now I'm obligated to give him some time off! While there I bought a pattern called Effie and Ollie Elephant by Heather Bailey and I just sewed the eyes on yesterday!

The stand that I bought the pattern from had the elephants made in many sizes and then the pattern itself had a sheet that said had much to enlarge the pattern by in order to achieve each size. This is the "Ex Large" which is the original pattern enlarge 500%. I used home decor fabric because he is SO BIG and I'm glad I did! He took 3 (36 oz) bags of Poly-fill  (His head still looks like it could use more stuffing but I think it will even out once it settle) He is heavy! The ear fabric is cotton quilting fabric that I backed with interfacing. I think you could do the whole elephant that way with no problem.

He went together pretty easy. For me the hardest part is always sewing up the bottom by hand.

I had to go over it twice with 4 layers of thread at a time but it made kind of a pretty "x" pattern. It's not the most attractive closure but at least it won't come open! I would defiantly do this again, and in fact I'm already planning to make him a, slightly smaller, friend sometime soon. He is too cute! Wouldn't he be great in a nursery? I can't wait till the next time I need a baby shower gift!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I've been in a bit of a quilting Limbo this week. I spent most of my time getting the pieced back for the Dreamweaver quilt together so that it could head off to be quilted. As I said I will not quilting that giant quilt on my home machine! My regular quilter is recovering from surgery so obviously not taking quilts in right now, so I decided to ask another quilter that does fabulous work at my guild to quilt it. She also has an injury and isn't taking large quilts right now. So, hopefully I'll find a good place for it to be quilted soon.

I also attended the Sheep and Wool festival this weekend. As I don't do a lot of knitting these days I didn't buy any yarn, although it did spark my curiosity about weaving, but we had some great food! Lamb Shepard's Pie! I will most certainly be trying my hand at duplication that dish soon.