Saturday, March 05, 2011

A tablecloth quilt?

Back when my dining room looked like this, I had an idea.  I bought all these quarter-yard pieces to help me decide which fabric to use for my window shades.  What if I pieced a quilt from them and used it as a tablecloth?  It would redeem the waste of all the not-chosen fabric, and it would match, more or less, my dining room.  It did occur to me that I'd never made a quilt before.  But, I forged ahead, and this morning, I had this:

At this point in the post, you can add "inexpert" to any description of my quilting skills. For variety, you could use "beginner". I didn't take a class in quilting, or read a book. I did use some instructions from the Amy Butler website for the "Amy's Lotus Brick Path Quilt". I altered the instructions to make a quilt that was longer and narrower than a bed quilt, since that would fit my table. (Insert "inexpertly" here.) I'll admit that I now wish I'd made it one brick longer and wider. I didn't take into account the puckering that happened -- and might not have happened if I had pre-shrunk my fabric. I know better than to not pre-shrink, but the thought of all those quarter-yard swatches unravelling in my washer had me cowering. I'm still not sure I regret my decision.
Amy's quilt had pom-poms.
Mine has tassels, which weren't part of my original vision. I love them.

I briefly considered a bound edge, rather than the envelope construction of the original pattern.  I decided to stick with Amy on this, because I like the look of the un-bordered bricks.   The quilt is machine quilted in the stitch-in-the-ditch method, down each vertical strip.  I backed it with a solid piece of cotton, sold wide for quilt backs.  If I had to do it again, I'd use a more color-full color than the almost ecru neutral I chose.  I used a thin cotton batting.

To close, I'll show some pictures of my first sewing ventures.  Here's my pop-over skirt, beloved and despised by all 4-H seamstresses of the 70's.
I'm the one in the navy and white with glasses.
And here we are in the Harvest Festival parade, later that year.
You can be sure all fabric on that float was pre-shrunk. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

One Kind of Incentive

I'm now in a hurry to finish the Flower Power Throw.  Because a couple of weeks ago, I bought the yarn for this:

It's the En Pointe Pullover, by Alice Tang, from Interweave Knits, Spring 2011.  Thanks to them for the photograph.

Everything about this sweater called to my spring-hungry eyes -- the graceful moebius twist, pretty color, sheer texture.  So, I'm being quite unoriginal and bought just the yarn the magazine used.

I've also bought a longer needle (did you know they make 60" needles???) for my throw, and more yarn.  I'm nearly halfway, and weighing the yarn on my rattle-trap kitchen scale (I have bad luck with kitchen scales), not to mention counting balls, revealed that my fears are probably well-founded.  Not enough.