Tuesday, April 26, 2011

{FiW} Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Fresly Pieced

I propose we change the name of this weekly post to {FiW} Wednesday...as in FINISHED it Wednesday.

(which I guess should be {Fi} Wednesday, but go with me, here.)

Because there were a LOT of finishes this week. Phew!

Well, two. But that feels like A LOT when you consider how long those things have been on my WiP list.

First, I finished my pineapple blocks for Yolanda in the Bee Happy Bee. I was (as usual) intimidated by her blocks, mostly because of what I've heard people say about pineapple blocks. She found a pattern by Allison Quilt Designs (called the Crimson Rambler) that didn't require paper piecing, and assured us these weren't difficult. I believed her, really I did! It's just that I had to finish Libby's blocks before I felt like it was fair to start Yolanda's. AND...and that's a big and...I knew I needed to be able to do them when I could concentrate (read: not while the girls were awake and playing) and when I had a large enough block of time to finish them (read: not while the girls were simply napping). But I found time to wrap my head around the process, and another chunk of time to get them finished. I really like the way the two I made turned out, and I can't wait to see her finished quilt! It'll be stunning!

Yolanda's Bee Happy Pineapple Blocks - together

My other big finish this week is the quilt I have been working on for the Quilts for Japan drive. There has been a wonderfully huge push to encourage the quilters of the world to make quilts for the people who were devastated by the earthquake/tsunami that hit Japan in March.

I've had this design in my head since I started swapping hexies in (funny, Yolanda's) hexagon swap on Flickr. (Yolanda is clearly a big part of my quilting life this week!)  The Quilts for Japan drive was just the push I needed to actually get the hexies out and work them into a quilt.

I have decided to call this my "TNT Quilt." Mostly because the best thing that could happen to this quilt is if it got just a little too close to a stick of dynamite. :o) No. Really, it's because I tried SO doggone MANY new things with this quilt. Get it? Tried New Things? Catchy, no?  For starters, I used quilter's spray adhesive to hold the hexies on until I raw-edge appliqued them down. Second, I used Kona Premium muslin for the white. It was VERY nice to have a whole piece of fabric and not have to piece anything. I also added a little yellow hexie for the label.

TNT Quilt ~ The Back

Oh, and FYI - the hexagons were all cut with the Accuquilt Go! Studio hexagon die.

Next, I quilted it myself. (TOTALLY new thing for me!) I knew this was too big for me to quilt on my home machine, though, so when my rock star friend, Traci, and I took a long arm class at our LQS, I knew this quilt was destined to be quilted on the big APQS Millenium (a.k.a. "Millie". Unique, no?)  The class was really good, but I didn't have enough time to finish it there that day. Thankfully, I have a wonderful neighbor who offered to watch Mookie (who will be 3 in a few weeks! Gasp!) last Friday morning while I went down and finished this. I took Sprout (and a bag full of toys) with me.

Just in case anyone is wondering, the floor of a quilt shop is probably not the best place for a curious 11 month old who thinks every single thing on the floor belongs in her mouth.)

Sprout didn't last on the floor nearly as long as I was hoping, so I'm thankful I had my Ergo with me. She fell asleep as I was quilting this, which is suprising considering how much commotion and noise that machine makes!

TNT Quilt ~ Quilting Close-up

I have to say - I was surprised at how much the backing and the top moved and shrank during the quilting process. Well, and during the trimming process! I had to cut a LOT off to square it up!

And then came the binding. (sigh). I decided that since I needed to finish this quilt quickly (Lecien, a Japanese fabric distributor in California, is offering to send them to needy families in Japan), I needed to machine bind it. I really should have taken a step back and watched some tutorials and talked to people who machine bind, because I could have used some serious help! My corners look like something the dog would roll in, you can sometimes see the stitches from the other side, and it's not perfectly even all the way around like it would have been if I'd hand-bound it. BUT I don't know how many months later I would be finishing it if I'd had to bind it by hand!

(notice how I am not showing you any pictures of the binding? I'll leave that to Kelly and her superstar binding!)

Mookie has helped make this quilt from the very beginning. Since she loves to swipe the hexies and make a "fairy path", I had to explain to her that this quilt was for a special family. A family that doesn't have a home anymore. A family that is very sad. And so anytime I was working on it, she would talk to me about the family, and ask me a zillion questions. When I showed it to her this morning and asked her to help me take pictures, she was very excited. I love that she's compassionate even at a young age. :o)

TNT Quilt ~ She Understands

The finished quilt is about 50x80". Kinda long, but that's okay. That's how long it had to be to incorporate all the hexies. I like that the quilt "became," for lack of a better term. I had no plan (which is very unlike me) - just a handful of hexies that I wanted to use. The quilt dictated the rest for me. Rather like how a novel "writes" itself, well this quilt "created" itself. :o)

TNT Quilt ~ On the stairs

And since Sprout was such an integral part of the making of this quilt, I will shower you with a handful of gratuitous baby shots. :o)

TNT Quilt ~ She matches the quilt

Sprout (and a smidge of the TNT Quilt)

TNT Quilt ~ Sprout Playing

Now then.
Back to the works in progress...
I haven't touched anything else all week. :o)  I haven't started anything new (including the bee blocks for Janice that are about to be a month behind...).  But I've got a few more things that I have to finish soon, so I hope to get to work on them tomorrow.

For my sake, I'm just going to type out a little list. I know I'm going to need to refer back to it soon enough. :o) 
-Audrey's mug rug (and about 3 other mug rugs for other people)
- A few more infinity scarves
- My Robert Kaufman Kona Solids Challenge Quilt
- A few bee blocks
- My birdie stitches blocks

Oh, and in the "canvas" department, Dave and had a little "wine time creations" of our own on Friday night. It was Good Friday, and I thought it would be nice to paint something to reflect the sacrifice Jesus made for us that day. I showed Dave a few photos of my idea, and we got started.

Even though it was Good Friday, we painted the scene for Sunday morning.

Dave wants to paint The Scream next. I'm not sure, but I think that one is going to have to go in the "unspeakable wifely duties" category. (I do not like that painting!)  The good thing about Canvas and Cocktails is that you don't have to paint what the rest of the class is painting. Thank goodness! :o)

I hope you have a great and crafty week!

(Yesterday's bad weather moved on and left us with a clear, bright morning for taking outside pictures.)

TNT Quilt ~ From Colorado to Japan


  1. Very pretty quilt finish, indeed - and what adorable children you have! Thanks for sharing your long-arming experience :)

  2. Congrats on longarming your first quilt! I've definitely got that on my to-learn list. Your hexie quilt is spectacular. What a beautiful gift for a family in need. And kudos to you for teaching the kids compassion early on. The world needs more of that.

  3. Your hexagon quilt is fabulous. Little sprout looks right at home on it.

  4. The hexie quilt is FAB-U-LOUS! Love the colourful hexies against the white. Great job!!!

  5. Melissa, I love the quilt! 50 x 80 is huge! I just finished my biggest quilt ever and it was maybe a little smaller. I did use my machine, I'm going to have to learn to use a long arm. I'm going to have to FIND a long arm near me first though. My favorite painting is the Scream. I sometimes use send it to a co-worker to explain my mood on some days. It just pretty much sums up some of my days at work!

  6. you are one busy girl!

    your hexie quilt is great! i love how the colors descend (or ascend!). and your little one is just adorable! such a sweetie!

  7. I LOVE that hexagon quilt! Beautiful! Congrats on finishing so much this week!! Yea!

  8. Wow- you got a lot done this week! Love your hexi quilt! Beautiful!!!

  9. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh the girls and the quilt are adorable!!!

  10. Just noticed you belong to the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild! I am moving home to Colorado in two weeks! (Can't wait!) Tell me, good things happening in CO with quilting? Good fabric stores? I'll be just north of Monument.

  11. it's awesome. and please don't put me and superstar in the same sentence! 6 quilts, melissa. SIX to get it right. i don't have the others around to prove how bad they were, so you'll just have to trust me on that. :)

    love the paintings, too! such a thoughtful thing to do on good friday!

  12. Your hexagon quilt is gorgeous. Fantastic job!

  13. That quilt is GORGEOUS!! I like your paintings too : D The Cocktails and Canvas sounds like so much fun!

  14. Wow! I love your hexie quilt. What a generous donation! I think Sprout needs one of her own. :)

  15. The hexies look great! Love it!

  16. I really like how you did the hexie quilt!

  17. I love your hexagon quilt! I like it when things aren't completely symmetrical. It captures the eye!

  18. The hexagon quilt is simply beautiful. And I love those blocks!

  19. Make that "catches" the eye. Not sure where my brain was going there...

  20. I've been working on a Grandmother's garden quilt with pieced hexs, but I LOVE your quilt so much I think I'm going to make one like it before finishing. It's simply gorgeous!

  21. Oh I just love those rainbow hexies!! And what a cute model you have :-)

  22. I'm attempting to quilt with a machine we paid $60 for at Wal Mart. In other words...machine quilting is completely out of the question for me.
    I learned the tieing method through sewing club at church.
    I wouldn't mind hand stitching the top of a quilt but I just have no idea how I would find the time to do it!

  23. LOVE the hexie quilt! Great job! Don't worry about the binding. It's only us quilters who notice it :).

  24. For no plan, the hexie quilt is just gorgeous! So is your little model : )

  25. What a beautiful quilt and I love those blocks you're working on!

  26. Great hexie quilt! & congrats on the quilting!

  27. Your hexie quilt is beautiful! And that is exciting that you are learning how to long arm quilt :)

  28. The hexie quilt is so beautiful! You did such a great job with that. I can't wait to see my mug rug!

  29. Love your hexie quilt.....can you tell me how you put the hexies on the quilt as I would love to have a try at your method. Many thanks.

  30. Two finishes in a week IS a lot in my book! That hexagon quilt is incredible!! I love it! What a great use of hexies.

    Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday. : )

  31. oh dear! Another "just gotta make one of those" to add to the list!! That quilt is wonderful. Love the fact that you just fused the hexies in that manner. It looks great and BTW that's a superb photo of the quilt outdoors.

  32. I just saw a picture of your lovely quilt on Pinterest. I love hexagons and your quilt is beautiful.

  33. Saw this on flickr and love it! Had to visit your blog. I will be back (my twins and 2 month old need me now). New subscriber!

  34. Absolutely stunning your wee too too...I look forward to creating one for our hop...I may even make a couple...lol ( very small ones, you will see)


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