Construction crossroads

/ Sunday, 18 March 2012 /
The benefit of these massive hexagons is that you can put a quilt top together in a snap!  There are 64 hexagons here.  As you can see, I still have to trim off the sides so that the edges are even, but we're more of less done.  My husband looks a bit askance at it - the riot of colour and pattern is a bit much for him, but I love it.
Velveteen hexagons
But now I am at a crossroads; I have to make a decision about the next step, and I am having the devil of a time making up my mind.  Here are some choices:
(1)  Wool batting and voile back.  Pros: lovely, puffy quilt, super warm, quilting shows great definition. Cons: can't put wool batting in the dryer, so will the velveteen keep its cozy softness if it is air-dired (think towels dried on the line)?
(2)  Flannel batting and voile/regular cotton back.  Pros: a light, coverlet kind of quilt/blanket, which is something that I've been wanting to make (but is this the right project for it?).
(3)  Velveteen back, flannel or no batting.  Pros: Velveteen on both sides = super luxe!  This is also a con - I'm not sure I could handle so much velveteen.
(4)  Regular bamboo batting, voile or flannel back. Pros: Great drape. Cons: Would be reneging on my desire to do something different with this project.
I am bouncing around among each of these four options - I just can't make up my mind, because each one sounds completely awesome to me.  What would you do?
ETA: Linking to Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday and Amy's Sew and Tell.

Trifecta!

/ Saturday, 17 March 2012 /
Today combines St. Patrick's Day with National Quilting Day, and when they coincide on a weekend, you get a true trifecta of happy day-dom!  I am definitely going to get some sewing in today. I need to finish that little mini for the Doll Quilt Swap, but I am also going to work on a new project that I've been poking along on.  Here's a (not very clear) progress shot:
Giant (9") hexagons from velveteen
I bought a whack of Anna Maria Horner velveteens and I'm using Marti Michell's hexagon ruler to make 9" hexagons.  There are y-seams galore on this, and the velveteen, oh the velveteen!  Let me tell you, it is gorgeous, but sakes alive, it is a pain in the tuchus.  Boy, does it shed like mad! I prewashed it all, and I removed a bundle of lint the size of a small cat from the dryer's lint trap.  The nap on the fabric makes it slightly challenging to sew, and the right sides of the fabric seem to fight each other when you lay them together. Never mind, I'm determined to be the victor! Velveteen, resistance is futile - you will be assimilated!

How The Worst story ends (and an important question)

/ Friday, 16 March 2012 /
People said so many lovely things about this quilt, which I called The Worst, and, to my surprise, it turns out to be the quilt of mine that gets the most business on Pinterest.  When all was said and I done, I had quite reconciled myself to it, and was feeling like it wasn't so bad after all.  Here's another look at it.

I had made it for my DD's best friend at university, who had fallen hard for the quilt she had seen in my daughter's room.  You know how it is when you are always looking for an excuse to make another quilt!  So after taking the photos of it, I bundled it up and sent it off to McGill.  DD knew when I had sent it, and was keeping her eyes open for it to arrive.  Although neither DD nor I told BFF that I was sending her a quilt, she suspected something when the porter at their residence told her there was a package with my name on the return address.  She was so excited she couldn't wait until she got up to her room.  DD snapped this pic (excuse the camera phone photos) as BFF dropped her books and ripped open the package right there on the floor in the lobby.
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She wasted no time wrapping herself up in it.
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And here are the two of them taking their quilts down to the common room for some cozy time!
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It's so nice to see pics of the quilt gone to a good home - and that is how the story of The Worst ends.  (I should call it something else now, shouldn't I?)
And now a question for you.  One of my longtime readers, whom I hadn't heard from in awhile, commented on one of my Flickr photos that she can no longer leave comments on my blog after I made some recent updates.  If you have tried to leave a comment but could not do so, would you be so kind as to drop me an email at wadewool {at] gmail [d_t} com so that I can get a sense of the magnitude of the problem? So greatly appreciated!

DQS12

/ Thursday, 15 March 2012 /
DQS12 top finished
I've been slowly working on this little mini for the 12th round of the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr.  The parameters of the swap were interesting: we had to incorporate at least one of the following: New York Beauty, churn dash, flying geese or log cabin, and if we used a solid background it had to be a colour other than white.  So here is the top of mine, finally finished - it's made of four New York Beauty blocks and a diamond border, and it measures approximately 19" square.  This is the first time I have participated in one of the DQS rounds. I am enjoying the process posts that are going up and wondering which one is mine.  I am trying to be conscientious and comment regularly because participation is half the fun, and in theory you can see what your (secret) partner writes and get a good understanding of her likes/dislikes.  Alas, my partner seems almost entirely absent, so I don't know if she's going to like this or not.  I hope she is working on the project she is going to send her partner (who is not me).

Now, please opine: how should I quilt this?

Gong Show

/ Monday, 5 March 2012 /
Gong Show
Looky looky, y'all!  Gong Show is finished!  Don't ask me how, but I managed to get it entirely quilted, bound and washed up yesterday.  I had expected it would take a few days, but when I realized there was a possibility that I could finish it, I was up until midnight to make it happen.
Gong Show
I adore this quilt.  I think it might be my favourite of all that I have made so far.  And it surprises me because I am emphatically not a brown person.  I never choose brown in clothes or home furnishings.  I don't know what possessed me to order this yardage in brown, but I've had it kicking around forever, and only considered pairing it with this Far Far Away III on a whim.  But I think it totally works as a neutral.  It makes the colours in the other fabrics just pop.
Gong Show
I backed it with some older Joel Dewberry - I have always loved this print and how the deer and birds are embedded in it.  You can see Darla checking out the quilt there in the bottom left of the photo.
Gong Show back
I drafted the templates to make this quilt from an old Nancy Cabot pattern called Chinese Gongs. You can go here to see what it looks like gridded out and easily make your own templates.  Each block is 14" and the quilt measures 70" square, and I used a bamboo batting (my favourite).  I quilted it with Aurifil 28 wt. thread.  It's the first time I've used Aurifil for quilting and I like it well enough.  I don't think it beats King Tut, but I'll probably be using Aurifil for awhile, since I found an online store with it on clearance and I bought a whole whack of 28 and 12 wt thread in many different colours.  The binding is an orange print from Lizzie House's Outfoxed line.
Gong Show block

When I was making this quilt, I kept being reminded of how, when I was very young, my two cousins and I used to stay with my grandmother while our mothers were at work.  At naptime, my grandmother used to write the names of the three bedrooms on little slips of paper, roll them up and put them in her silver sugarbowl. We would each draw one to find out where we would be taking our naps.  My favourite room was my uncle's old room - long since vacated by him but still obviously a boy's room, with his old curtains of orange and brown plaid and the bedspread of orange corded cotton.  The room had a western exposure and by naptime it was bright in there, even with the curtains drawn, and often I would just lie quietly and look at his football trophies or page through picture books.  I could often hear my grandmother taking clothes off the squeaky clothesline right outside the window - they were always dry by naptime.  Something about the colours and images in this fabric line brought those memories of that peaceful room in the '60s flooding back.  I'm going to like having this on my bed!
Gong Show blocks

Edited to add: I am linking this to Amy's show and tell and Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday!  Go look at all the other finishes for the week and spread the love!


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