April 26, 2019

Cherry Blossoms; Finally Finished

Way back in 2014 I started a quilt. Here it is 2019 and I can finally say it's finished.

Interweave quilt pattern with Amy Butler

Cherry Blossoms was one of 4 quilts I made during early explorations and development of a pattern called Interweave. While this was the first quilt I made of the design, it ended up being the last one to get finished. It was quilted at the same time as the others but I just never got around to binding it. Then I simply forgot. Can you relate? A project gets tucked away and you forget about it.

Credit goes to the BoulderMQG UFO challenge for motivating me to finally finish Cherry Blossoms. The guild challenge for 2019 was to list 6 projects and specify what we wanted to accomplish. We were encouraged to have a variety of goals from simple to more involved. This was certainly an easier one and far overdue. But then I guess all UFOs are overdue aren't they? Of course I have far more than 6 UFOs. Way more! But at least I'm making the effort and things are getting done. Done is good!

Interweave quilt pattern with Amy Butler

The colors are spot on for 2019 with Pantone's Color of the Year, Living Coral and Kona's Color of the Year, Splash. I've loved this color scheme for a long time. Most of the fabrics are from older Amy Butler fabric lines like Love, Cameo, and Soul Blossoms. I've been a fan of her fabrics for years and will certainly miss her lines now that she has moved away from fabric design. : (

The colors feel very summery and make me think of swimming pools and flower gardens in the tropics which probably isn't reflected in the quilt name. I chose the name Cherry Blossoms because my favorite fabric in the quilt is of the cherry trees in bloom. I hope to get a good photo in the wild once summer arrives and things are little more colorful outside.

When I design a pattern, choosing which fabrics to feature as the main cover quilt can be one of the hardest decisions in the whole process. Since the pattern is designed to showcase large scale prints, I chose a range of Kaffe Fassett blues for the cover quilt.

Interweave quilt pattern with Kaffe Fassett

Another variation of the pattern features a single Amy Butler fabric for the main horizontal sections.

Interweave quilt pattern with Amy Butler

The last version (and my personal favorite) is this smaller black and white with warm floral accent strips.

Interweave quilt pattern with Kaffe Fassett

One of the best parts of pattern design is exploring all the different versions and looks that can come from the same design. I know some people make something once and then they're done. I find it really fun to make something again and again to explore new looks. What about you? Do you make the same design more than once or is once enough?

I haven't joined a linky party in a long long time so thought I'd join in the fun again. I'm linking up with Cheryl's Favorite Finish Link Up because I finally have a finish. WaHoo! Go check out what some other quilters finished this month.

If you're interested in the Interweave pattern you can learn more about it here.


April 15, 2019

What Was I Thinking?

What was I thinking? Seriously.

I don't usually prewash my fabric. I know there are many of you out there that do and I tip my hat to you for being that motivated. It's not a task for the feint of heart. Unless you diligently prewash every single thing you bring home each and every time you buy fabric. Otherwise it can be a big confusing mess.

Having heard stories of bleeding solids and ruined quilts, I decided to prewash the solids I plan to use for my BoulderMQG color study quilt. A project I have yet to start but I do still plan on making it so bear with me. The color study will return . . .

That led to deciding to prewash ALL my solids. I have several modern quilt ideas that will use all solids so why not be prepared?

Well . . . it took FOREVER. And technically I'm still not done as I haven't done the grays yet. I used color catchers in every load and there was very very very little bleeding. Seriously. That bit of aqua was the worst it ever got after loads of washing in all colors. Was it really worth all this effort?

The bigger problem I encountered was fading along the fold lines. My fabric is stored on open shelving but it never gets any direct sunlight so I was quite disappointed to see just how many cuts had faded along the fold. Nothing to be done about that but it does make me less likely to stash solids until I know how to avoid the fading. For now I'm storing them in tubs behind closed doors.

I have four tubs of freshly washed solids now. If only I had the motivation for those modern all solid quilts right now. Hopefully later this year . . .

At this point, I'm wondering why I got myself into this mess. And where does it end? What if I find other solids stashed away for a particular project like I did last week? Now I need to wash those because I've washed all the others. And what about projects that might mix solids with unwashed prints. Oy!!!

I'm not telling you this to start up a debate on prewashing. To each their own when it comes to that decision.

But I am curious about something. If you are a prewasher what is your process?

  • Do you wash everything first before adding it to your stash? 
  • Do you worry about mixing prewashed fabric with unwashed fabrics? 
  • Do you worry about using precuts (unwashed) with prewashed fabrics?
  • Do you have problems with fabrics fading along fold lines?

It feels like I've opened a HUGE can of worms and I am regretting my decisions. Where does it end?