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WIP Wednesday: Kaleidoscopic

Wednesday again? Okay then, grab some coffee, settle in, and let’s talk WIPs!

Having finished Preppy the Whale, I’m moving on to the other baby quilt on my to-do list—this one’s for a girl. After starting with a bunch of HSTs, I decided I wasn’t loving the direction it was taking, and I’ve switched to a kaleidoscope quilt instead.

I’m liking it so far. I think. Also, I think I’ve gotten too much done now to change my mind again. : )

Oh, and. Sleeves. It’s the grain of salt in any quilt show acceptance. You’re soooo crazy excited to have your quilt in a show—and then you realize, that means you have to make a dang hanging sleeve. And hand-stitch the thing onto the back of the quilt. Not my favorite part of the process, I have to say, but at least I can watch lots of brainless TV while I’m working on it.


LINK-UP RULES:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Preppy the Whale Baby Quilt

My Preppy the Whale baby quilt is done (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman). These whales are ready to swim off to their new little owner. : )

This quilt is for my newest nephew, Leo. Leo’s mom is a veterinarian, so I landed on the idea of making him a quilt from one of Elizabeth Hartman’s animal patterns. They’re all pretty irresistible, but I especially loved these whales. They’re very easy to piece, too!

And of course, here’s some of the scallop stitch “wavy” quilting. (It’s stitch #719 on my Bernina 750.) This is such an easy way to quilt something! It’s especially perfect for those of you who haven’t tackled free-motion quilting yet—this is a way to get something that looks FMQ-ey, but it’s not. (Also, can we officially make “FMQ-ey” a word? That really needs to be a word.)

So these guys are off to live with Leo. Have fun, little whales! I’ll miss you!

 

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WIP Wednesday: Aaaand We’re Back

Happy 2015, you guys! I hope your holidays were happy and included lots of sewing time. : ) I had a busy couple of weeks, and am happy to be back to our normal schedule now. Or whatever passes for normal around here.

I spent my holiday break working on a baby quilt. I’m using Elizabeth Hartman’s Preppy the Whale pattern. The baby’s mom is a veterinarian, so an animal-related quilt seemed like a good idea. (Not that she treats whales or anything. But I think she’ll like it anyway.)

These whales are just so darn happy.

I was planning to quilt it with a free-motion stipple, but then I realized—scallop quilting! Because WHALES. This is the same quilting method as my Chandelier quilt—the scallop decorative stitch on my Bernina 750 (stitch #719), along with my even-feed foot. It is soooo easy.
LINK-UP RULES:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
Have a great week!
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WIP Wednesday: Home Stretch

It’s the Christmas home stretch, you guys. Are you ready? Not me, but it will all get done somehow. It always does, right? Right? : )


So remember that second baby quilt I needed to make? It’s now officially for a boy. So I need to finish up one girl baby quilt and one boy baby quilt, like, yesterday. This photo shows how far I’ve gotten on the boy one—i.e., not at all far. : )

In other news, I managed to finish that Christmas stocking I’ve been working on, and it turned out great—except for the fact that it is strangely, comically gigantic. I mean, this thing is ginormous. The pattern says it should be 20″ from the top of the cuff to the bottom of the heel, but mine is more than 26″. A full 6 inches too big! (No, I didn’t check my gauge before starting, and yes, I have now learned my lesson about that little oversight!) Anyway, I’m contemplating washing it and then throwing it in the dryer, in hopes it will shrink. Is that crazy talk? (It’s alpaca yarn.) Any other suggestions, or am I just stuck with this oddly gargantuan stocking? It’s like something Hagrid would knit. LOL.

What are YOU working on this week? Here’s how to link up:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
Scheduling note: WIP Wednesday is taking the next two weeks off for the holidays. Our next WIP Wednesday will be on January 7. Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!
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WIP Wednesday: A New WIP

This week I find myself in need of a couple of quick baby quilts. So I started with the one for the baby whose gender is already known. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gender-neutral baby quilts are no fun. Mothers who want to be surprised: I totally get it, and I’m sure baby quilts were of very little consequence in this decision, but your surprise is highly inconvenient for quilt-making. LOL.

So anyway, I’ve been sewing upA  HSTs for a baby girl quilt. The cool thing about this quilt is that the baby has two older sisters, both of whom have their own quilts that I made. So I can’t help feeling like this quilt should kinda sorta coordinate with the previous two. Or at least look like it belongs in the same family. Since it will literally belong in the same family. It’s a fun design challenge, and it’s also fun to think about this quilt going to live with two older sisters of its own. : )
Other than that, I’ve been trying to bust out the Christmas decorations. I’m still working on my knitted stockings. Charts and color work are super easy for me, but increasing and decreasing and slip stitches and all that nonsense? That’s where knitting starts to lose me, you guys. So as you can see, I’ve finished the fun part, and now I’m toe-deep in scary things like forming a heel. Wish me luck.
And then there’s the tree. In the past we’ve always put our Christmas tree in the front window of what is now my sewing studio. But since I moved the studio into that room, the tree won’t fit there anymore. We’re contemplating actually moving a leather chair out of the family room to make way for the tree this year. But in the meantime, I decided to splurge on a smaller fake tree for my studio. And it’s white!! I’ve been wanting a white Christmas tree for years. Now it just needs some decorations. That’s another of this week’s WIPs, I guess!

What are YOU working on this week? Here’s how to link up:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @lee.a.heinrich.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Twin Quilts for Twin Girls

The twin baby quilts that I was working on last week for my soon-to-arrive twin nieces were finished and gifted to the mom-to-be over the weekend. What a fun challenge to come up with baby quilts that were a matched pair, but not identical—just like their future little owners. : )

I found out at the baby shower that they’re leaning toward Rose as a name for one of the babies, so it’s a happy coincidence that I pieced one of these quilts in rosy pinks. In fact, this quilt features one of my recent favorite Kona colors, Pomegranate.
And the other quilt is all in “my” colors—aqua and lime green and teal. I thought it would be a nice touch to do one of the quilts in warm colors and the other in cool colors.
The blocks in both quilts are paper-pieced blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival (of course!). The pink quilt has the Geometric Star block (I guess I’m kind of addicted to doing this block in solids, since I used it in this quilt as well). The pink quilt got straight vertical-line quilting.
 The teal quilt has the Exploding Star block, which has great dimensionality. I decided on angled straight-line quilting for that one. In case you’re curious how I do my quilting, in this case I marked the center quilting line with painter’s tape, using the 45-degree angle in the block and my longest ruler to guide me. I sewed right next to the painter’s tape for that first quilting line, then removed the tape and quilted outward on either side from there, lining up the previous line of stitches with the side of my walking foot. This kind of narrowly-spaced straight line quilting can take a while, but it’s so worth it!
I have to admit, the back on the teal quilt is a lot more fun. Yep, wood grain again—you know how I love my wood grains! This one is from Joel Dewberry’s True Colors collection from Free Spirit, supplemented by a Laura Gunn Painter’s Canvas print. Sadly, I didn’t have any good matching rosy pink prints for the back of the pink quilt, so that one got an Architectures Crosshatch instead.
And the best part of all: My sweet sister-in-law told me after she opened them, “I was hoping I would get a quilt from you! I didn’t even register for any blankets because I wanted a quilt!” I can’t think of a better compliment from a recipient of one of my quilts. : ) Can’t wait to meet these baby girls, and I hope everybody (mom and babies) enjoys their quilts!
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WIP Wednesday: Babies Need Quilts!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
This week I’m working on a matched pair of fun little baby quilts for a matched pair of fun little babies-to-be.

I know what you’re thinking. I can hear your thoughts out there. “Lee—an almost entirely white baby quilt? Really?” But … but … it looks so cool. LOL. I wanted a sleek, modern, very un-girly pair of quilts for these little girls. I auditioned a lot of things other than white, and nothing was grabbing me, so white it was. (Edited to add: The block above is the Geometric Star block from Vintage Quilt Revival.)

And I’ll tell the mother-to-be the same thing I tell every mom who gets a baby quilt (or two) from me: Use it! Wash it a million times! Love it to pieces—literally! If it gets spit up on and drooled on and stained in a hundred places, that means it’s been loved, which is mission accomplished for me. Nothing could make me happier.

What are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:
1. Link up any blog post from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog.
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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100 Quilts For Kids Baby Quilt

100 Quilts for Kids quilt

Because “in just under the wire” is now apparently my quilting motto, here it is—my entry for 100 Quilts for Kids, the charity quilt drive hosted by Katie at Swim Bike Quilt.

I’m just gonna say it: This quilt is kind of a hot mess. Fortunately, you have to look closely to fully appreciate the poor construction of some of these blocks. And my efforts to minimize the cut-off points just seemed to make the background wonky instead of improving things. So just don’t look too closely. Please and thank you. : )

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That’s close enough!

100 Quilts for Kids quilt

Okay, I actually like this particular block a lot, so you can look a little closer at this section. : )

Other things I like about this quilt: My polka-dot background choice, the red cross-hatch binding, and the deliberately over-the-top vintagey goodness of the whole thing.

I quilted it with vertical wavy lines. This is my go-to form of quilting when I want to finish something in a hurry and without having to concentrate very much. Just set your machine to the wavy-line decorative stitch, adjust the settings to a much longer stitch-length and maximum width, and there you have it. It’s quilting that looks free-motion but actually isn’t. You move the quilt straight, the machine does all the work.

100 Quilts for Kids quilt
Threw a binding on and I was good to go. All told, I spent about two hours quilting and binding this little quilt. It’s nice to go for the fast finish every once in a while. I haven’t yet figured out where I’m donating this, but I hope whatever child ends up with it enjoys it, flaws and all.

The 100 Quilts for Kids linky closes tonight at midnight, but even if you’re reading this after the linky closes, stop over there and check out all the beautiful quilts! What an amazing outpouring of effort and kindness.

Have an A1 day!

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WIP Wednesday: Recovering

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
After battling that delightful fall cold for the better part of this week, I finally got up off the couch on Monday and I’m getting my energy back. About time! Feeling unproductive is the worst.

Cartwheels
almost finished my Waterfront Park Cartwheel blocks when I screwed up some cutting and had to order more fabric. Blurg. Good thing I actually started this project in a timely manner instead of procrastinating until the last minute like I usually do. : ) I love how it’s turning out—it reminds me of shards of broken glass, all jagged edges, but yet sparkly too. And I’m so excited about this quilt, because for the first time, a quilt of mine is going to Market to sell my own wares. This quilt will be up in the booth of one of my pattern distributors, in hopes of bringing in lots of pattern orders from shops.

100 Quilts for Kids quilt

With just under a week to go until the 100 Quilts for Kids link-up closes, I finished my charity quilt top with my stray Farmer’s Wife blocks. A black dot print might not be the most typically kid-friendly print, but I had it on hand and I really like it for the background. And that counts for something, even with a charity quilt, right? (Thanks to all of you who suggested dots!) Now I just need to quilt this one up. I’m thinking it needs a nice red binding.

Finally, I’m working on a shot-cotton challenge for the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild. I wasn’t feeling super inspired by my assigned color—in fact, it kind of left me cold. But I guess that’s why they call it a challenge. : ) Anyway, I think I’m onto something now. But sorry, no pictures—it’s an anonymous challenge because we’ll all be voting!

What are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab the WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

 

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Chevron Baby Quilt

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Baby nephew Jack’s chevron quilt is all done!

I really, really love how this quilt looks. It was inspired by a beautiful similar quilt by Cynthia of Hyacinth Quilts, but I changed up the color placement a bit and added more vertical strips in the middle of the chevrons. (So I guess this that maybe makes this more of a herringbone?)

What I did not like was the actual work of piecing it. Ugh, those chevrons! I found that I had to stop and trim the sides of my chevron strips every time I added another strip, and I had to make sure the seam was lined up with the 45-degree angle on my cutting mat as I trimmed. Otherwise the 45-degree angle of the seams got a little wonky and it wasn’t exactly on the 45. Sew I had to sew a seam, stop and trim. Sew a seam, stop and trim. I’m sure there’s a more efficient way to do this, but I couldn’t seem to wrap my brain around it! If I make this pattern again, I might try paper-piecing it in sections instead.

Chevron baby quilt

But the end result is exactly what I was envisioning—maybe even better. So it was worth all the work.

One of the things I like the most about this quilt is how the solid gray and white herringbone design that covers most of the quilt almost functions as negative space. Technically, I don’t think it would really qualify as such, but that gray-and-white background serves many of the same purposes that negative space would. But it’s just a little more interesting. And it gives the design a whole lot more movement. I love it.

Chevron baby quilt

It seemed to take ages to piece the top, but then it took all of an hour to quilt it. I just quilted in zig zags following the lines of the chevrons. Simple and soft for a baby quilt.

The white binding was a difficult choice for me—since it’s a baby quilt, I wasn’t sure white was the most practical color for the binding. But with all the white bordering all the gray, green and blue chevron pieces, I just couldn’t imagine this quilt with anything else. The binding feels like it’s an extension of that white background, and that’s how it should be, I think.

Chevron baby quilt

My sister-in-law is a veterinarian, and baby Jack is sure to grow up surrounded by animals, so I was determined to get more animal prints onto the back. As a result, the back is kind of a hodge-podge of mismatched animal fabrics. I know I’ve never been big on novelty prints, but I thought I had a lot more animal prints in my stash than I actually do! These two were purchased especially for this quilt—the adorable dachsund print is from Cloud 9, and the porcupine print is from Lecien. Soooo flipping cute. (And doesn’t the zig zag quilting look great on the back, too?)

So this one’s off to Jack for him to enjoy now! But you all should definitely stop back by here tomorrow, because after all the discussion of FriXion pens in Wednesday’s post, specifically about whether their ink really does come out of quilts, I decided this quilt would make a perfect test case. I ironed it, I washed it, I put it in the freezer, and I took pictures every step of the way! I’ve already posted lots of pictures of my tests on Instagram, but I’m also going to do a post tomorrow rounding up my findings for all those who are interested in these pens as quilt marking tools.