Saturday, September 3, 2011


I've begun work on a quilted wallhanging for my mother.  She recently updated & redecorated her house (part of the house because she wanted to, part because a big rainstorm on an adobe house is not a good thing--ever!).  Lots of new colors & furniture, so she & a friend decided a pretty wallhanging would be just right for the living room...

When I was in ABQ we picked out the pattern & started shopping for the colors.  When I returned home, I had the background & border fabric, plus a start on the fabric for the twisted pinwheels (see what the finished quilt will look like--6 bunches of 4 twisting pinwheels with a narrow & broad border). I also had the paint samples my mother had used.  If you look closely at the quilt, you might notice that those 24 pinwheels have 14 different fabrics, so it's a fairly scrappy quilt.  I wanted to get that variety into this quilt, so went to Hancock Fabric today (which I can't believe I never found before--it's closer than JoAnn!).  Hancock also happens to be very close to a big hardware/home improvement store--so everyone in the family can be happy with one 3.5 mile drive down Highway 1.  I found 4 more greens that will work with the paint samples I was sent home with; we had trouble finding the greens in ABQ, though the turquoise & reddish/orange fabrics were easy to come by.

I also decided not to use the actual gadget that came with the book my mom found the pattern's quick & easy, but wastes a LOT of fabric.  I can't stand that--because any leftovers will get added to my stash!  So after a few tries and lots of sewing/unsewing I figured out how to use almost all of the 5" block, rather than lose about 25-30% of that block.  To give you an idea, according to the book, a 5" block would end up about 3.25".  But my version ends up w/ about 4.5"!  That's using the 1/8" mark on the quilting foot.

I like the way the test square came out, but it definitely demonstrates one of my weaknesses: although I consider myself quite visual, I'm not so good at shades.  So, the 2 lighter shades, which look pretty different in person, really blend into a double-twisted-pinwheel-blob because they're not different enough.  I will definitely get the Roommate to assist with this--he's good at the different shades.  In fact, the biggest quilt I ever made (my 2nd) was all sorts of blues & greens.  I had the washed/ironed fabric on the back of our futon--and he put them in order by shade gradation, so when he wasn't around I could still keep the quilt going.

It was a good test run, though, and I only need to make six of these squares...this first one took a few hours, so obviously, if I put this one aside as a lesson, I haven't wasted  that much time.

What do you learn about yourself from sewing?!  Do you have any weaknesses that wouldn't otherwise appear?  How do you get around them?  Just curious...

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