Button Button’s Orange Peel Quilt-Along

I am a very newbie quilter, as clearly demonstrated in this little piece of work. But I do love the idea of quilting, and I love the finished products. I’m a quilt/blanket junkie from wayy back. My favorite pastime, in fact, is huddling in the fetal position beneath a good, warm quilt, trying to curl my body into as small a space as possible. I’m lucky enough to have quilts passed down to me through several generations of family: I have quilts made by my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my aunt, and my mom. So I kind of have to make quilts, right? I mean, future generations of cranky, likely clinically depressed offspring are depending on me to line their secluded hobbit caves with love! I cannot let them down!

So in the service of continued practice and learning and honing those skillz, I’m joining Julie from Button Button and her lovely Orange Peel Quilt-Along. (You might know Julie as one of the creative masterminds behind Little Dorrit & Co. Their embroidery patterns are sweet and most are based on literature, which of course I adore.)

This particular quilt-along appeals to me for several reasons: 1) it’s totally laid back, chill, no pressure, 2) I’ve admired her work from afar for quite some time now, 3) the mini-quilt she’s already made in this style is beautiful and inspiring, 4) it involves applique, which I’d love to do more of, 5) it involves hand-stitching, which I’m so down with, 6) (and not least) when she found out that several people were interested in quilting along with her, Julie responded on her blog with “That’s so damn awesome!” I love girls who swear when talking about crafting. I just do. Those are MY PEOPLE.

So today, I’ve been digging up fabrics and trying to make some decisions. Ugh. Decisions.

This is probably the most difficult part for me. I am NOT GOOD at choosing fabrics; I’m really not. I have a really hard time visualizing the finished project and deciding whether the individual fabrics are going to work well together.

I’m thinking maybe…

fabric choices

And that’s not a great picture, but it was the best I could do at the moment. I don’t know. I’m agonizing. Not enough contrast? Too few low volumes? I DON’T KNOW. Talk me through this, people. Seriously. What do you think?

Oh, and be sure to check out Button Button and all of her awesomeness and join in the quilt-along, because it’s going to be great.

Peace, out.



My Bad

I had intended to share in today’s post some cross stitch patterns that I’ve been working on, but I didn’t get those finished, so alas, I’ll have to save them for another day.

Instead, I’ll share this little quilt that I’ve been working on; it’s been giving me absolute fits!

I bought a quilt kit to make this baby quilt wayyy back in 2007, when Eliot was a baby, thinking that I’d make it for him. Eliot is seven years old now. In seven years, the progress I had made so far on this quilt was to unwrap the fabric from the packaging, read the directions, and proceed to cut the first piece of fabric incorrectly. Then I cursed the whole thing and packed it away somewhere I didn’t have to look at it and face the shame of having measured once, cut Oh, F*#@!.

Now that it’s 2014, and I’m SO savvy and totally know what I’m doing, I thought I’d pull it back out and finish the thing. THIS QUILT KIT HASN’T SEEN THE LAST OF ME YET.

What I’ve learned this week in tackling this once abandoned project is that though my quilting skills have only marginally improved, my tenacity has increased one hundred fold. Ha! Take that! So yeah, I still eff up pretty badly, but now I tend to just keep going.

So here it is so far, photographed with the help of my very reluctant 7 yr old quilt holder:

baby quilt

A few facts about this quilt: the square second from top left is where I embroidered my nephew’s name, as the quilt is now a gift for him, but I photo edited a sticker over it so as not to make his name public. So that block doesn’t look like that in real life. It looks like a green square with his name embroidered in my handwriting. It’s kind of difficult to make out from this photo, but on the other two matching green squares, I’ve embroidered a star and a heart. All three of those blocks were improvised because of the initial wrong cut in the fabric, which landed me with not enough fabric to make the squares according to plan. Oops. Oh, well. Look at me going with the flow of things!

Also, the brown strips and the two brown corner squares are minky fabric, which is now my solemnly sworn enemy. That shit is ridiculous to sew through. And did I mention this kit was a beginner’s kit? Marked “easy”? Those bastards. This is only the second quilt I’ve ever made. Trust me, you do not want to try to piece quilting cotton together with minky fabric the second time you’ve ever quilted. It induces much unnecessary hatred and hair pulling. I was messaging my sister in the middle of the night with swear words, using descriptive detail to explain what I wanted to do to the minky fabric. Seriously. She assured me that unless Baby Boy turned out to be a seamster, he’d never notice that my seams were hideously not matched up, and he probably wouldn’t care in the slightest. Then we had a discussion about how a seamster sounds like a mob-connected quilter who has tattoos that say things like “I share needles.”

Back to the quilt. I finally got the top pieced (albeit badly) and the whole thing pin basted, and have moved on to the quilting part. As I told my sister, I just hope that as he grows older, Baby Boy will know in his heart that Aunt Rachel loves him so much more than the workmanship on this quilt would seem to imply.

Have a good weekend, all! Come back and visit Monday for more horrible tales from the crafting room. 😉