Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to Fail With Style: Tutorial

I wanted to post this tute yesterday, but I got distracted by the Creative Stitches and Crafting Alive Show. My darling Husband stayed awake over 24 hours so that he could watch the kids for me, and then he gave me a hundred dollars to spend. I have the most perfect Husband. I forgot to take pictures at the show, but I scored big time for my stash. I can now say that my stash is no longer pathetic.

Here's what I came home with:
- 25 fat quarters
- 4 fat 1/8's
- a huge spool of Aurifil for piecing
- a tiny bundle of black and white "sweet sixteenth's"

That is a total of 35 new fabrics! And since I can't resist, 20 of these fabrics have already been chopped up to add to my Jacob's Ladder. The cupcakes and b&w bundle are joining the collection of fabrics for the Pixie's new quilt. The plan has evolved from "black and white and pink" to "black and white and pink with emphasis on cupcakes." If it turns out well, I might write a pattern!

Now for the Feature Presentation: How To Fail With Style.

I wanted to use some old quilting hoops to frame wall art, and I pieced some hst's to fit one of my hoops. Here's what I did with it. Watch for the fail.

1. Prepare backing and batting. Spray baste quilt top to batting only.

2.Trace the hoop with a water soluble marker.

3. Measure hoop height, and add seam allowance. Use an easier-to-see marker to draw this line outside of the hoop tracing. I used the holes in my seam gauge to do this step.

4. Pin lace, right sides together, along the seam line you just drew.

When you get the the join, just turn back the cut ends and pin close together.

5. Baste the lace to the top/batting sandwich. Sew all the way around. Leave and/or replace the pins in the lace. You need it pinned out of the way for the next steps.

6. Place the backing face down on top.

Pin well all the way around. Mark a place to leave open for turning.

7. Turn the whole unit over so that the batting is on top, backing on bottom. Sew together, following the previous basting line, or just a hair inside of it. Leave an opening for turning, back stitching at the seam ends.

8. Cut around the stitching line.

9. Turn very carefully because there are still lots of pins holding the lace out of the way! Tug the lace gently to pull out the seam allowance, and press from both sides. The edges will be quite thick. If you can think of a good way to prevent this, do tell! Pin the opening closed and give it a quick hand stitch closed (not pictured). Pin baste the layers of your mini quilt. It will now be layered in the right order. Quilt as desired.

10. Fail alert! I quilted in such a way as to have the quilting disappear under the hoop frame. Before I was finished quilting, I was impatient to see how the finished product might look so I put it in the hoop.  See the fail?

Look closer: I did not account for thickness of quilt sandwich or thickness of wooden hoop. Way back in step 3, I should have added 3/4" instead of 1/4" for seam allowance. Hoop height PLUS 3/4" would have given me a full inch and a half outside of the frame line. Remember to do this if you use this hoop frame idea.

11. Plan B. I added more quilting. I ditched the frame. I hung the completed art on the wall between the girls' rooms because they were fighting about whose room it should go in.

I still love it, mistakes and all. This blog is all about the process, and I intend to keep it real and not edit out mistakes. I'm certainly not a perfect quilter. I love to break the rules. The quilt police haven't found me yet!

This lace and hoop frame idea would be great to use for dressing up nurseries (for the baby who already has a plethora of quilts), it would make lovely easy holiday decor - for any holiday. I might make a round quilt with a pieced wreath and hang it for Christmas. If you use the idea without the frame it would make lovely table runners, you can add heat-resistant batting for fancy potholders and trivits. You could trace any wierd shape you like before "bagging" the the limits of your imagination.

Coming up this week: much cutting. Much piecing. And much, much rushing.

A very talented local quilter has agreed to collaborate with me to get Rambo Bright finished before Thanksgiving. I need to bring it to my brother and his wife; It's already past the promised date!

It is also still in pieces! This will be a lot of for updates.


  1. Love all the cupcake fabric you found. So nice your husband was able to watch the kids and send you with some cash. You do not want to miss that show. You can learn so much. Or just get in the bad habit of buying more then you need.

  2. Oh, it was so nice of him to give you some money that you "had" to spend there. :) And I really like the colors in your wall hanging.

  3. Whoop whoop for great husbands and quilting projects that turn out great even if they don't turn out the way you planned it!!! Whoop whoop whoop!!

  4. This has so many possibilities! I love it! (You should definitely keep such a great husband, you know.)


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