Posts Tagged ‘anna maria horner’

Lush Rubik's Cube

After taking so long to find some of these Lush prints and then hoarding them for the “perfect project” having this quilt top done feels a little anticlimatic. I think it’s because there are so many other prints in here that it doesn’t feel like a “Lush” quilt. My intention was to add interest and color with the other prints but now I feel like the deer prints have been lost in the mix…

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Don’t get me wrong, I love this quilt and I love all the colors in it. I just think the next time I won’t use anything but solids with the Lush prints and I’ll stick to the predominate color scheme of blues and greys so that the deer stand out. Oh well.

What are you working on this week?


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jul 10 11 001

I’ve been pretty good lately about turning fabric stacks into quilts or rather I’ve been very good about turning uncut fabric stacks into cut fabric stacks. Since that means they are one step closer to actual quilthood I view this as progress ;).

Of course this also means I “need” to create new stacks of fabric. Since I’m still on a strict fabric budget I pulled all of these from my stash. They are a mixed bag of solids (from various manufacturers) and prints. The butterfly fabric is going to be used for the backing but it inspired the rest of the colors.

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jul 04 11 009

These blocks are time consuming! I spent most of last weekend cutting out the 153 squares and surrounding solid white fabric then spent most of this weekend assembling the cubes. Too bad I’m only half way finished with them! I think I need one of those cutting machines…

I was worried the quilt would be boring if I used all blues and greys so I tried to add interest with the red, yellow, and green. I really like how it is coming together! I have to finish 7 more of the cubes and then attach the surrounding white fabric to complete the blocks. Once that’s the done the entire top should go together in an hour or so.

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jun 24 11 245

Can you believe this is my first online fabric order since winter?!? I don’t even look online anymore since we are trying to keep to a budget but I couldn’t resist the Ghastlies by Alexander Henry. I missed out on them last year and wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice! Of course I still want the green ones so I may have to scope out Etsy and see what I can find.

I’m trying to be better about not buying fabric collections as a whole unless I have a specific plan in mind. I’ve seen “I Do” by Cherry House a couple times and although most people probably wouldn’t think of the Ghastlies and an “I Do” quilt I think it could be really interesting.

I Do - full view

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When I first got into quilting I spent hours cruising the internet looking for free quilt patterns. I figured I would give quilting a try as cheaply as possible to see how much I would enjoy it and if I would stick to it. After spending hundreds of dollars on yarn and scrapbooking supplies only to give away those supplies a year later I’ve learned the hard way to be more cautious about my own interests.

This quilt was one of the first to catch my eye and while I loved it I knew that my non existent skills could not do the pattern justice- all those angles and triangles!

"birdcage on a chain" quilt

So I downloaded the pdf from Anna Maria Horner’s blog and filed it away. I thought after two years of quilting that I was finally up to the task and rather unfortunately I was wrong…. Although the pattern is by no means perfect the real problem for me is that this is not a beginner pattern and I’m still a beginner.

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There is only one actual error in the instructions for this quilt. You are directed to cut 16 “G” shapes but you really need to cut 8 “G”‘s with the right side of the pattern piece and 8 “G”‘s with the wrong side of the pattern piece. It’s a curious error since you use the right and wrong side of pattern pieces in a couple of instances and the directions are correct for the others.


As I said this is not a beginner pattern. There are not a lot of instructions and no tips or tricks for piecing. Anna gives some instructions for the border, backing and binding but even those are not very comprehensive. Now one could argue that these are free instructions and you get what you pay for but this is a professional fabric and pattern designer and I expect more from her because of that.

The pattern was made fabric from Anna’s Drawing Room collection and you are supposed to use the picture as a guide for cutting and placing your fabric. That’s fine if you are using the exact same fabrics but if you aren’t (and I wasn’t) it’s hard to keep straight what needs to be cut from what fabric and where said pieces are supposed to go. This is further complicated by the fact that the same pattern piece is used with multiple fabrics. I ended up writing my own fabric key and then labeling where each fabric went on her diagram for piecing. If I was really organized I would have created my own key and diagram of the quilt labeling each piece.

Where I really ran into trouble was sewing the row of angles and triangles to the row of rectangles. I was over an inch off! I stretched and pinned the heck out of it but it’s not pretty. I have bubbles and some puckering that the quilting can’t hide. I’m not sure what I did wrong because I had no problems attaching the rows of angles and triangles to another row of angles and triangles. I think my cutting and piecing was consistent enough to match those twos rows up but not precise enough to match those rows with the rows of rectangles… Oh well.

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Changes I made:

The only change I made was to omit the sashing and I used my own binding instructions. After being so excited about this pattern I was really disappointed how it all came together. I was ready to give up multiple times. So by the time I came to the sashing I really didn’t want to put any more effort or fabric into this quilt. This is the same reason I used fleece instead of batting and a fabric batting.

What I Loved:

My personal troubles with this pattern aside I still really love the idea of this quilt. It’s the perfect pattern to showcase larger prints like Laura Gunn (who I used) or Heather Bailey to name two. In a world of quilt patterns that seem to focus on smaller prints this is a welcomed change. I also loved quilting this, the pattern allows so much for creativity in creating a quilting design. You could stipple it, you could follow the lines, you could create “cages” like I did, and on and on.

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The process of this quilt was personally frustrating to me but the quilting process, deciding what to do, and seeing it come together- that I loved!

Would I do it again?

No, I’m sure a more experienced quilter could pull this off but even in a couple years I wouldn’t try this again. When it was all said and done I liked the quilt but I didn’t love it and there are far to many quilt patterns to try in the world to repeat one that I’m not absolutely in love with.

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Cruising on the high of finishing my miniquilt in a day I decided to go back to this quilt and try to knock it out.

The top is completely pieced.

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But now I need to hand applique the fussy cut birds. There are twelve of them and since I plan on raw edge appliquing them it won’t take me too long but I’m still not looking forward to it!

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After purchasing four more prints and elminating two of those pictured here I had all the fabric I needed and could start cutting. Now everything is cut and the rectanglular pieces are sewn together- that was the easy part. I still love this quilt pattern but it’s just not for me, it involves a lot of angles that require very precise cutting and piecing. It’s definitely not a beginner pattern. The first two rows that I sewed together were way off… I stretched it out, added a ton of pins and got it sewn together but it doesn’t look very good. I’m seeing it through and sewing the rest of the rows together but I don’t have high hopes for how well this quilt will turn out which is a shame since I love these fabrics so much….

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