Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunset Pineapple Quilt

A local quilt shop, The French Seam, partnered with the state fair this year to put on a wonderful sewing contest. Naturally, I chose to enter a quilt into the contest, as I don't feel my skills in accessory and garment sewing are ready for public criticism just yet.

Here is my entry into the sewing the challenge.

Sunset Pineapple_full front
Measures 64" x 72"

Even though I did not place, I did get a lot of helpful feedback. SO, here's the story of Sunset Pineapple. :) The main thing to keep in mind with this quilt is that I started it about 2-3 weeks before the state fair deadline. Not a good idea...

Sunset Pineapple_full back

For the contest, The French Seam gave us a hand full of color card choices to choose from and I chose Hubby's favorite color Orange. I had never made an orange quilt before so it seemed like as good a time as any.

Sunset Pineapple_cool front angle

The block in this quilt is a paper pieced Pineapple Block, which knocks off one of my "bucket list" quilts. When deciding the colors to go with "Orange", I knew I wanted to do an ombre effect with the pineapple blocks. Yellow and Red were the first colors that came to mind that blend well with orange. Hence the name "Sunset Pineapple".

In order to keep all of the blocks and colors organized I used a mirror and dry erase marker to design the layout. It was easier to try different block layouts with the dry erase marker and mirror rather than the traditional pen and paper.

Sunset Pineapple_mirror plan



Sunset Pineapple_papers ripped off
Probably the most unforeseen, time consuming part of making this quilt was pulling off all the tiny paper pieces after the quilt top was assembled. Even with Hubby and his best friend helping, the papers took hours to tear off. Though it probably doesn't help that I am rather OCD when it comes to tearing off the papers. :/














Sunset Pineapple_glass test quilting
For the quilting, I had no idea what design I was going to use at the start of this project. So I took the glass off the coffee table and laid it on the quilt top. Then using my trusty dry erase markers, I was able to draw different quilt designs without any actual commitment.














After the quilt top was assembled, I only had one week to baste, quilt, and bind before the state fair deadline. The final quilt design was more bare minimum than I would have liked, but that's okay. I probably would have had a lot more time to do extra quilting if it didn't take so darn long to bury all those thread tails!

Sunset Pineapple_front quilting detail
Sunset Pineapple_back quilting detail


















In the end, though, I believe I achieved the overall effect I was going for with the quilting. By quilting diamonds in the reds, it draws your eye to the off-white triangles making them the "center" point. It also creates a "circle" effect to help create movement in the quilt (when you stand farther away).
Sunset Pineapple_semi close up quilting

Overall I am very pleased with this quilt. Even though it wasn't ribbon worthy, it is still a winner in my mind. :)


Friday, May 16, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Spring 2014

Hello Everyone! This is my first ever entry into the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I'm so excited to be able to participate this year. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Darcie Mair, and I'm a self-proclaimed quilt addict. And now enough about me, let's get to the quilt (which is why you all are here anyway). :)


purple quilt

The quilt measures 96 inches by 96 inches, the biggest quilt I've made to date. I used a slightly modified (to make it bigger) verson Jaybird Quilts' pattern "Framed Coins" from her book "Skip the Borders." You can find her blog and book here.

This quilt was made for my best friend Shannon. The idea for the quilt was decided on a whim. We were both in a wedding (about two years ago) for our other friend. During the wedding we spent a lot of time together (as bridesmaids usually do). We were staying at Shannon's house and she was perusing a magazine one evening we had some small down time. She came across an outrageously girly zebra print bedspread and made a small comment something to the effect of "I like zebra stripes; I need a new comforter".

I just turned and looked at her and said "Done and Done". And then the quilt was made. I immediately thought of this pattern to use, it just screamed Shannon. Then all that was left was for her to pick the color, and for me to find some zebra print fabric. :) Good thing she's my best friend because I don't make just anyone a quilt this big on a whim. LOL


purple quilt front

My quilt holders were a little short on one end.  You should have seen them teetering on folding chairs desperately trying to hold up the quilt long enough for me to snap a good picture. Maybe in the future I'll have to find some taller help. :)

On to the details. For the purple I used Kona Wisteria, Crocus, Tulip, and Purple. The black and white prints are a random assortment (and impossible to name them all). The actual construction of the quilt was actually pretty easy and kind of fun playing with the layout of all the blocks.

purple quilt back

The back of the quilt was pieced together using scraps from the front and polka dots. I love polka dots. :) Any chance I get to use them I do.

This back and I have a love-hate relationship. It started out really awesome, until I ran into partial seams, short sides, and too little fabric. I had to really scrape together enough fabric leftover to get a back big enough to quilt the darn thing. There may have been a few swear words floating out from the sewing room that day...


Purple Quilt-quilting in progress

The quilting of this "beast" really gave my arms, shoulders, and tiny machine a workout. I may or may not have looked into buying a used long arm machine because of this project. (And am still entertaining the idea even though this project is finished)

At first I thought free motion quilting would be the easiest because I could work in small sections...yeah....no. I ended up using a walking foot and straight lines to give my arms a break. I used a purple variegated sulky thread that blended the four shades of purple nicely.

purple quilt

The result ended up really nice. You can't see it in the picture, but in each black and white rectangle I quilted an X. I think the straight lines help bring out the purple nicely. Or maybe that's just my opinion because it is really the only quilt pattern that would work. ;)

Also, check out that binding! It is from Lotta Jansdotter's new line "Sylvia" that I purchased at Crimson Tate. Gotta love a great local shop with a fabulous owner to help pick out binding for you. :)

I'm linking up with Amy's Creative Side for the Spring 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival. I really hope you enjoyed this quilt, and I definitely look forward to seeing all the other maginificent quilts blogggers enter this year. 


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finished Purple Quilt!

I finally finished Shannon's Purple Quilt! It only took...er...2 1/2 years... Luckily she was very patient with me. In fact, from the time the idea of the quilt was hatched to the time it was finished, she met and got engaged to the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with! Hopefully he likes purple. ;)


purple quilt

The quilt is a massive 96 inches by 96 inches. The biggest quilt I've made to date. Normally queen sized quilts do not need to be *that* big to fit on a bed, but this pattern was difficult to change the size. I used Jaybird Quilts' pattern "Framed Coins" from her book "Skip the Borders." You can find her blog and book here.

The pattern in the book wasn't quite big enough for Shannon's bed, so I had to modify it by adding some extra blocks. But the pattern is written in such a way that the quilt would have ended up either way to small or way to big. I opted for way to big. :) Of course, during the process, I sorely regretted that decision.


purple quilt front

My quilt holders were a little short on one end. Teehee. You should have seen them teetering on folding chairs desperately trying to hold up the quilt long enough for me to snap a good picture.

Anyway, on to the details. For the purple I used Kona Wisteria, Crocus, Tulip, and Purple. The black and white prints are a random assortment (aka impossible to name them all). The actual construction of the quilt was actually pretty easy and kind of fun playing with the layout of all the blocks.
purple quilt back

The back of the quilt was pieced together using scraps from the front and polka dots. I love polka dots. :) Any chance I get to use them I do. Perhaps this is why I love Shannon because she got super excited when I showed her the backing fabric.

This back and I have a love-hate relationship. It started out really awesome, until I ran into partial seams, short sides, and too little fabric. I had to really scrape together enough fabric leftover to get a back big enough to quilt the darn thing. There may have been a few swear words floating out from the sewing room that day...


Purple Quilt-quilting in progress

The quilting of this beast really gave my arms, shoulders, and tiny machine a workout. I may or may not have looked into buying a used long arm machine because of this project. (And am still entertaining the idea even though this project is finished)

At first I thought free motion quilting would be the easiest because I could work in small sections...yeah....no. I ended up using a walking foot and straight lines to give my arms a break. I used a purple variegated sulky thread that blended the four shades of purple nicely. I think Amy over at 13 Spools is starting to rub off on me with her love of variegated threads. LOL

purple quilt

The result ended up really nice. You can't see it in the picture, but in each black and white rectangle I quilted an X. I think the straight lines help bring out the purple nicely. Or maybe that's just my opinion because it is really the only quilt pattern that would work. ;)

Also, check out that binding! It is from Lotta Jansdotter's new line "Sylvia" that I purchased at Crimson Tate. Gotta love a great local shop with a fabulous owner to help pick out binding for you. :)


purple quilt pillows

Sometime during the 2 years it took to make this quilt, I did manage to whip up a few matching pillows. Again using scraps from the main quilt. These pillows were used as a distraction when the actual quilt was too frustrating to work on. AND they were a surprise. :) Of course Shannon hid her face while holding them up for me. Silly girl. The back has an overlapping flap closure so that if she needs to wash them, the covers are easy to remove. Plus, more polka dots. :)

I apologize for the lengthy post, but this quilt deserved some major blog time. I've been talking about it forever, and even though it had its ups and downs, I'm kind of sad to see it go. But at least it is going to a good home. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fabric Basket Tutorial

In an attempt to organize the sewing room, I've been making quite a few fabric baskets. When the Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild asked if I could do a little demonstration at the April meeting, the only thing I could think to do were these cute, easy baskets. Since some of the members of the group couldn't make it to the meeting, I decided to post the tutorial here. It really is a quick and easy project, so hopefully you have fun with it!


Fabric Basket Tutorial


**All seam allowances are ½ inch, unless otherwise noted.**


1.   Start with 2 fat quarter (18 x 22 inches) sized quilt sandwiches. *Note: this is a good opportunity to use up those quilt sandwiches you made while practicing your free motion quilting.*

practice quilt sandwiches

2.   Trim and square each sandwich to 16 x 20 inches. *Suggestion: Move and rotate the cutting mat (as opposed to the sandwich) to prevent any shifting of the layers.*

quilt sandwich trimmed

3.   Cut a 4 square notch into the long (20) side of each quilt sandwich.

notches cut out

4.   With right sides together, pin along the two sides and bottom, which is the shorter length you just made by cutting the notches.

5.   Sew the bottom side and press seam open. *Optional: Use a walking foot to keep the layers aligned.*

6.   Sew the two sides together and press seams open.

7.   Pull the bottom corner of the left side seam and the left corner of the bottom seam together. (See above picture)

8.   Match seams, right sides together and sew. Finger press seam open.

notch corners together

9.   Repeat step 7 for the right side corners.

10. Turn basket right side out.


outside flipped rightside out

Almost Finished!


Fabric Basket Lining

The lining construction is almost exactly like the outside.

1.   Start with 2 pieces of fabric 16 x 20 inches.

2.    Just like the outside quilted pieces, cut a 4 square notch into the long side (20) of each piece.

3.   With right sides together, match and pin the two sides and bottom side.

4.   Leaving a 4 gap (to turn the basket later), sew the bottom side and press seam open.

notched lining

5.   Sew the two sides and press seams open.

6.   Just like the outside, pull the side seam and bottom seam notch corners together and sew. Repeat for left and right side.

7.   Your lining should look like the outside now. Leave it wrong side out.

lining sewn together



Sew Lining to the Outside of Basket

1.   Find the center points on both the outside and the lining by folding in half (seam to seam) and marking with a pin.

outside middle points

2.   Place outside INTO the lining Right sides should be together. Be sure to tuck the corners of the outside into the lining securely.

outside placed in lining

3.   Matching seams and centers, pin around the edge. Make sure to match the seams of the outside to the seams of the lining or the basket might not work.

lining pinned to outside

4.   Sew along the top edge.

5.   Pull the outside through the 4 gap you left in the bottom seam of the lining. Be sure to push out those corners!

bag flipped rightside out

6.   Sew the gap in the lining closed.

7.   Tuck the lining into the outside. *Tip: Align the seams and push the corners of the lining deep into the outside so that it stays in place.*

bag pre top stitching

8.   Iron the top edge flat.

9.   *Optional: For a cleaner look, top stitch along the top edge with a ¼ inch seam allowance using matching thread.


*Suggestion and Optional: If the lining starts to pull out of the basket, sew a button (on the inside) to the bottom of the basket. This will keep the lining secure.*


All Finished! Stand back and admire your work!





Fabric Basket Tutorial
Finished lining