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Posts Tagged ‘deer valley’

05 aug 11 007

I joined the “Finish It Up!” group on Flickr weeks ago and have finally finished a project. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve made significant progress on a number of quilt tops but I hadn’t actually finished anything until now.

I made this quilt as a way to use up some fabric I’ve had sitting on the shelf for awhile that I was no longer in love with. I’m going to donate it to the local Project Linus group. At one point (back in January) I thought I would make one quilt a month to donate but seeing how it is August and I just finished my first one I think I’ll make a more reasonable goal of finishing one more before Christmas. Hopefully since I’ve actually got another quilt top and back ready to be quilted I will accomplish this goal!

I used a plastic hexagon template and mostly fabric from Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley fabric line with a couple random prints thrown in. I found sewing the hexagons together to be too time consuming and doubt I’ll make another one of these again. In fact I actually prefer the back of this quilt! I free pieced the remaining scraps of fabric and really love how it came together.

05 aug 11 006

I found the red fabric I used for the binding in my stash and honestly I have no idea where it came from! Does that ever happen to you? For the quilting I used my free motion foot, dropped my feed dogs and outlined the sides of the rows. The quilting isn’t all that pretty (it’s my first real attempt at free motion) but I like the look of the quilting.

05 aug 11 008

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With my hexagon quilt top slowly chugging along I decided to turn my attention to the quilt back. Originally I was going to piece the leftover hexagons on a mostly solid background, however, there were two problems with that idea. 1) I don’t want to sew anymore hexagons together and 2) I don’t have enough of any one solid to cover the rest of the back.

13 mar 11 003

But I still had the challenge of using the hexagons and solid fabrics that I already own.

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I didn’t make it intentionally straight or wonky so it ended up mostly straight and when I had used up all the hexagon fabric I squared it up and added a cream border.

13 mar 11 018

Then I needed to cover the rest of the quilt back. The obvious solution was a single solid fabric with the pieced square placed slightly off center, I thought a dark red would have been very dramatic and made the colors in the pieced square pop. That is if I had enough of a dark red fabric in my stash which I didn’t.

I knew that I had alot of gray fabric left over from my brother’s quilt so I pulled them all out (four in total) and started piecing them together. I was so close to having enough gray to do it too! When I fell short I covered the remaining area with one of the fabrics I used for hexagons. I hadn’t cut it all into hexagons because it was one of the few from the original stack that I really loved and I wanted to keep some of. But it was also the best solution to the fabric shortage for the back of the quilt…

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Overall I really like how it turned out, the pieced back adds more interest then one solid fabric. I was also able to use up almost all of my original fabric (since I didn’t really like the fabric anymore this was one of my goals) and pull the remaining fabric for the quilt from my stash. While I found the hexagons tedious to piece, I really had to force myself to work on them, piecing the back was a lot of fun. I put as much time into the piecing half the hexagons together as I did the entire back but only really enjoyed the latter. To me that’s the difference between tedious and time consuming.

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I didn’t have a plan for the size of this quilt. Instead I cut 90% of the fabric up and started playing around with the hexagons on the floor. Since I had dramatically different amounts of each fabric I stopped when I felt like I didn’t have enough variety to continue. Initially I was going to do something on the back of the quilt with the remaining hexagons but having pieced 5 rows together I have no desire to piece any more hexagons then necessary! The remaining hexagons will go into the scrap bin or be cut into squares for a pieced back.

Deer Valley Hexagons

Don’t get me wrong Y seams aren’t hard, the only real trick is stopping 1/4 inch from each edge when sewing them together. The problem is that doing so makes the process quite tediuos. Normally when piecing straight lines the rows go together quickly and the quilt picks up momentum but with Y seams and hexagons piecing the rows together is actually more time consuming then sewing the hexagons into a row.

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7 mar 11 001

This past week that stack of fabric became this stack of hexagons

7 mar 11 008

I’ve been observing the hexagon trend for almost a year now and bought the plastic template about six months ago. The fabric is mostly Deer Valley by Joel Dewberry with some Del Hi thrown in to mix things up. Originally I purchased these to make a cross quilt from my husband but I could never settle on a design and he wasn’t in love with the colors so I threw that idea out entirely and decided to finally try out a hexagon quilt. Once it is done I’m going to donate it so someone else can enjoy the fabric and a handmade quilt and I can try out a new technique. I’d like to make more quilts for donation this year, hopefully six or more!

I also want to use more fabric from my stash. I don’t think my stash is to out of hand but I do have fabrics that were purchased months or years ago for a specific project and either I haven’t started the project or I started it and decided I didn’t like it so I stopped. Ideally I want all these “orphaned” fabrics to find their way into quilts before I make any more large fabric purchases.

I imagine this whole project is going to take me awhile since I’ve never tried Y seams before. The trick, apparently, is sew to 1/4 in from each edge so the seams lie flat. Since I’m not very good at eyeballing distances I’m actually marking half of my hexgons so I have a guide when I sew everything together. Let me tell you marking 1/4 in from each edge on a hexagon takes a long time!

What are you working on this week?

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I needed to take a break from quilt making and I decided a quick and easy project was in order. Since I plan on giving aprons as Christmas gifts to a couple individuals I decided to give the Kitschy Kitchen Apron from One Yard Wonders a try.

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The fabric is from Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley fabric collection in persimmon. I can’t remember why I bought them but since one of my goals for my Christmas crafting is to use fabric from my stash I thought these two prints would be perfect. While the goal of the book is to use a single yard of fabric almost every example of this I’ve seen has used at least two different prints except for the one in the book.

The pattern is simple to cut and sew together. There aren’t any pattern pieces to print off, you draw the pieces directly onto the fabric using the dimensions provided. My only complaint with this is the assumption that you can get a full 36 inches from the selvedge edge of a yard of fabric. I don’t know about you but after I’ve squared everything up I’ve got 35- 35 1/2 inches. In this case I had 35 1/2 inches but you ruffle this down to 21 inches anyway so it’s not a big deal. However I’ve used patterns where this has been a big deal so I think pattern writers should be aware of this issue and take it into account when dictating measurements and writing patterns.

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Whenever a pattern calls for topstitching close to the edge I cringe a little, I’m just not that great at getting a precise line of stitches so instead I make every everything 1/4 inch and it works just fine and looks a lot better.

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Janome makes a ruffle foot but it’s a little expensive and I’d rarely use it so I did this the old fashioned way with a large basting stitch and hand gathering it. I use a lot of pins when sewing a ruffled or gathered piece of fabric to a straight piece to ensure the edges stay lined up.

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It was on step 5, attaching the waistband, that I got completely confused. Did you ever read a pattern step over and over again waiting for comprehension to hit? You know it should make sense, but you just don’t get it? That’s what happened to me. The directions say:

“Press one long raw dge of the waistband under 1/2 inch to the wrong side of the fabric” Okay that’s easy enough I get that.

“With right sides together, align the raw edges of the waistband to the raw edge of the apron/ruffle, and stitch.” Stitch what? Stitch how far from the edge? Baste?

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So I did another 1/4 inch seam along the raw edge sewing the three pieces together (the ruffle, the skirt, and the waistband) and “Press(ed) the seam allowances toward the waistband.”

But then it says “With right sides together, fold the waistband in half lengthwise, and stitch across the short ends. Clip the corners, turn the waistband right side out, and press.” I don’t get it… If the waistband is sewn to the rest of the apron how could you turn it “right side out” So after reading it about twenty times, googling to see if anyone else faced the problem and still feeling lost I decided to veer away from the directions and do my own thing.

I folded the raw edge of both short sides under 1/2 inch to the wrong side of the fabric.

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Then I folded the waistband over so that the unsewn edge covered the stitching from attaching the apron, ruffle, and waistband together.

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While I was at it I decided to go ahead and put the apron ties into the waistband 1/2 inch and then sew a 1/4 inch all the way around the back of the waistband.

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I love how it turned out but I still don’t understand the directions….

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The whole project only took a couple of hours and is a great Christmas, birthday, housewarming or hostess gift that can be completely customized for the recipient. It’s so quick and easy in fact making these could easily become addictive. For a minute or two I contemplated giving everyone one of these for Christmas 🙂

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