I am continuing the Best Weekend Quilts 2013 blogging fun by telling you about my weekend quilt based on a pattern from the special issue available at your local quilt shops or at QuiltandSewShop.com.
Oh Sew Blue by Chris Hoover
I decided to begin with the pattern for Oh Sew Blue found on page 41 of the issue. The pattern in the magazine is a fun throw with 12 blocks. Mine will be a graduation present for my granddaughter. Don’t worry, she doesn’t read my blog and she isn’t on Facebook so I’m not spoiling the surprise when I tell you about her quilt. When I asked about color choices, she said her favorite colors were black and yellow but if I made it, anything would be wonderful. So of course her quilt is going to be black and yellow. I found lots of choices for both yellow and black fabrics but I wanted a yellow-and-black fabric to pull it all together. Mary Kate and I found the perfect fabric: Straw Daisy from Michael Miller Fabrics.
I make my grandchildren a queen-size quilt for graduation so the first thing was to enlarge the quilt. I decided to enlarge this one by simply making more blocks. Instead of the 12 blocks, I needed to make 49 blocks. The name seems obvious. It will be Oh Sew Yellow.
Early in the week, I took the fabrics home and laid them all together in my living room, where I could glance at them every time I walked by. When I am mixing a lot of fabric together, I preview them in that way; laying them out to see if any of my fabric choices don’t seem to go. I did pull out one yellow fabric and I decided on which of the several black/gray choices I’d use. These are the ones I did not use.
I'll save these for another day.
Now I want to tell you a little about my strategy to maximize my time on the weekend. First, I told Bake, my long-suffering husband, I would be staying at the apartment. The six hours of drive time for the round trip to my real home is too much time to waste on a sewing weekend. I also told him he was welcome to come to the apartment for the weekend but I would be ignoring him. I think I said it a little nicer than that but the message was he’d be on his own.
Friday night after work, I got my groceries for the week and put them away. I cleaned the apartment so I wouldn’t be distracted by cleaning chores. I cooked a big batch of soup so I’d not have to stop to prepare food. Then I was ready to begin.
I borrowed the Alto’s QuiltCut2 fabric cutting system from the office because it works wonderfully for cutting multiple layers of fabric as long as the blade on the rotary cutter is nice and sharp. I cut eight layers at once which means my cutting time was decreased by about 75%.
Ready to cut strips
I was done cutting at 9:59 p.m. Friday and I stacked the cut pieces in five stacks to make mixing them up as I sewed easier.
I put the clock in this photo so you can see when I finished cutting.
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early, excited about my plans for the day. Here is more of my strategy, I don’t turn on the computer so I’m not distracted by email or Facebook or Pinterest. I turn on the TV but I choose something I don’t have to watch closely: HGTV, the Food Network or the Hallmark Channel (I watch it so much almost everything is a rerun to me).
I sewed the blocks in sets of six and put them on my design wall as I finished them. Here is what it looked like at 2:00 in the afternoon.
It's looking good!
At 2:30, the drama began. My machine quit working. Completely quit working. When I pressed the foot control, nothing happened. I panicked. First, I called Bake. He said he would bring me one of my other machines but he really didn’t want to. I can’t blame him. It’s a long drive and I’d ignore him after I thanked him for bringing the machine.
Next, I sent a text to our oldest son to see if there was a machine at his house I could use. He replied telling me there was a machine but it had bobbin issues. I tried to take the foot control apart, thinking it was probably just a loose or frayed wire. I couldn’t figure out how to get it apart.
I called the only sewing store close enough to get to before it closed to see if they had a foot control. No, they didn’t. So I sent another text to my oldest son and said I was coming to get the machine. Bobbin troubles could be something I can fix. But just before I left the apartment, I reattached the foot control to my machine. Lo and behold, it was working again! Evidently when I was wiggling it around trying to get into the insides, I got lucky and the wire went back where it belongs. All of that took just over an hour but I was back in business.
I finished assembling the quilt top before I went to bed.
The completed quilt top
Sunday morning I sewed together all the 2½” scraps into long strips. I started with quite a pile of them. I thought they’d make the back more interesting.
This is the beginning of the back of the quilt.
I ended up with three strips long enough for the back of the quilt. I had intended to then go to the fabric store and buy yardage to finish the back of the quilt.
Scraps to use on the back of the quilt
However, I decided to switch gears because I really, really didn’t want to have another UFO so I stopped working on my weekend quilt to finish quilting the red mystery quilt. I thought I could get it done in just a couple of hours. FOUR hours later, it was finished, but by then the fabric store was closed so I couldn’t get the fabric for the back of Oh Sew Yellow. So I shopped my stash for other black and yellow fabrics to make the back. I finished piecing the back and went to bed and heaved a big sigh of relief. My weekend quilt project went really well even with the glitches.
The back of Oh Sew Yellow
Monday morning, I brought the top and the back of Oh Sew Yellow to work. Susan suggested we have a basting party. I can tell you that was music to my ears. If I pin baste a queen-size quilt at my apartment, I have to do it on the floor. I simply don’t have a surface anywhere close to big enough. It takes me three to four hours. Our team effort had the quilt basted in just under an hour.
This weekend, I went to my real home. We have a new puppy I wanted to meet and I had to be sure Coco was a quilting dog. And sure enough, she likes quilts.
Coco is inspecting the basted quilt.
I’m doing a simple loop-de-loop free-motion quilting pattern on Oh Sew Yellow and have spent 3 hours on it so far. I’m about one-third of the way done. As always, I’ll keep you posted and show you photos when I’m finished. Graduation is May 26, so it won’t be long. I’m truly enjoying working on this quilt.
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