Sunday, October 31, 2010

Challenge Quilt - Part Two

I finished the quilt blocks, here they are! They took the rest of the month and I am sure I have been a bear to live with, but I am done and ready to put my quilt in the challenge! Here are the rest of the blocks and their information:

Mama Kass - only one of the five blocks (the largest though!)

Here is the fabric key for her

About two-thirds of the way finished!

A finished Mama Kass that is ready to have her borders put on! I don't really care for the fabric selections that came in the fabic pack, but it works for this quilt and when I do it again (wink wink), I will probably get my own fabric selections.

Zag - one of two zebras, but when all is said and done, I only had time for one!

Fabric selection - I was a little put off by the designer of this pattern. When I ordered the fabric packs, she shorted me on the white fabric (read - totally left it out). I was confused since there were a few conficting requirements on the pattern and instructions so I emailed her. She re-iterated what I knew about what I had but kept insisting that I had all I needed. Turns out, I needed the white just like I thought and I still didn't get a response from her! Grrr. Too bad she does really great patterns or I might be totally turned off.

Zag's pattern was 4 11x17 sheets put together.

Zag's face piece.

Zag finished piece really is BIG.

Giraffe at the Waterhole fabic selection

Giraffe at the Waterhole pattern

For some reason I didn't take a photo of the finished piece, you can see it below with all the other finished blocks and in the next post with the finished quilt.

Beaver fabric selection

Beaver pattern and fabric key

Beaver face - so little!

Finished Beaver piece

All the blocks are done now and ready to have their borders put on and be sized to fit together. This is the arrangement of the six blocks in the quilt.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Challenge Quilt 2010

This is going to be a long post, I have been putting this off and have a bit of a backlog of blurbs and photos.

When we were on the Quilters Safari in April, Liz and I decided to do the Calapooya Quilts "Civil War Quilt Challenge 2010". The premise of a challenge quilt is thus: you get a fat eighth of a specific fabric and the challenge is to incorporate the fabric into a quilt project that is specified by the challenge sponsor. Calapooya's challenge is based around the OSU vs. UO Civil War football game in Novemeber. They gave us a choice of fabrics that represented OSU and UO in some way: OSU is a mottled print that resembles a cheetah or giraffe print;
UO is green stripes. While the UO print would have been easier to design something around, I can't do that! We both picked the OSU side and were each given a fat eighth of the OSU fabric. The other requirements for the challenge quilt were actually quite minimal: the minimum lenght of each side is 30", the quilt must be bound with a hanging sleeve and is due in the shop by November 1, 2010.

I've been looking at a quilt project for about a year now, it was always something that looked fun to do, and this challenge quilt seemed to be the right time to spend the money and try the project. Since the challenge fabric is like an animal print, I decided to go with a safari/wild animal theme. The quilt project is called "Safari" and is from the Silver Linings Originals website: She also has a beaver pattern that I am going to incorporate into the design and the label of the quilt will be "Gone Wild for Beavers" or something like that.

I ordered the patterns and the fabric pacs, since I don't have a lot of time (month or so!) and didn't want to have to chase down all the fabrics I would need for this round. There are six safari patterns in the quilt and she included the background strata fabric and instructions as well - bonus! I also have the beaver pattern and Liz and I went and bought that fabric last weekend. In the safari line-up are: Zig and Zag (two zebras), Mama Kass (five elephants), a Roaring Lion, a Giraffe at a watering hole, and a Giraffe Colony. The beaver will be added in there as well, along with a few borders and the title somewhere on a border.

I started out with the Giraffe Colony since it has two colors and is a larger pattern. Both make it easier to show how this works for those of you who don't know what this is or how to do it. You start out with your pattern and instructions which tells you what colors and how much of each fabric you'll need. In this case, there are only three colors (one is for the border so only two are used in the actual pattern).

After you have your colors, it is a good idea to put small samples or swatches on your reference pattern so that you always have something to compare to when you are working your pattern.

I make a couple copies of the pattern, mainly because I don't like the vellum she prints her patterns on, but also because if I screw up, I haven't destroyed the original pattern. After you've sorted out your fabrics, it is time to prep the pattern for sewing. It is totally up the to person sewing the pattern on how to do this, the designer doesn't recommend this, but I prefer to cut up the entire pattern before I get to sewing. Then I stack the pieces in order in an envelope and work my way down. The pattern has three different elements to it: 1) colors, 2) segments, and 3) sub-segments. Each segment is made up of sub-segments which is comprised of the colors. You have to cut the pattern apart to sew the colors into each sub-segment, then sew the sub-segments together into segments, then the segments get sewn together into the final pattern. Here is what the Giraffe Colony looks like cut apart:

All of the little pieces are the sub-segments. After you have sewn the colors onto all of your sub-segments for a particular segment, you sew those together. Here is what a segment looks like (upper right hand corner of the piece):

After you have all the sub-segments sewn into their appropriate segments, you'll get a less fragmented-looking puzzle like this:

When you sew the segments together to finish the piece, it looks like it is supposed to, not a broken puzzle:

I have finished the Giraffe Colony and the Roaring Lion so far and am in the process of working on Mama Kass and the other elephants. Here is the Roaring Lion stuff.

Fabric selection:

Reference pattern and fabric swatches with instructions:

Sub-segments ready to put into segments:

2/3 of segments sewn together:

Final piece:

Ella is home!

Ella is the newest addition to the garage - an all-black 2009 Suzuki GZ250. The same type of bike I learned to ride on in the Team Oregon Basic Rider Training Class.

We bought her September 18th at the same place we got Josh's bike: Cycle Country ( Josh rode her home since it was raining buckets and there was a home game for both OSU and UO so I-5 was a zoo. We drove the back roads and like I said it was pouring but we made good time and I've never been to Stayton or Scio, so it was a first for all kinds of things!

We also bought a helmet and jacket so I could atleast ride Ella when it was nice outside again. I don't plan on being an all-weather rider like Josh is so the pants, boots and heavy-duty gloves can wait until next Spring/Summer. It does smart when the bugs hit my knees and shins though.

I've ridden about 150 miles on her so far - we've been riding for an hour or so after work on clear nights and explored the Brownsville-Crawfordsville-Holley area. We also rode out to McDowell Creek Falls, the first time we've been out there all year! I am looking forward to learning more on her, I am already getting more comfortable and confident (I do catch myself repeating the acronym, SLRP: Slow, Look, Roll, Press, when I approach and execute a turn though). It is starting to get rainy, it being fall in Oregon and all, so I don't expect to get much more time on her, but I am excited for the trips to explore the area when the weather gets better again.