Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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Sometimes it’s best to just walk away

The robot star quilt and I were having quite a battle when it came to the actual machine quilting.  (The next quilt is definitely going to be hand quilted).  I finally had to set it aside for a week and forget about it.  I was just getting stressed over it and I don’t sew to be stressed out–I sew to rid myself of stress.  I have enough stressors in life without my hobby becoming one too.  I finally came back to it.  I even learned by myself how to do continuous bias binding and once I figured it out, it seemed very easy.

So time for the final reveal of the quilt–I would have liked to do a little more quilting to make it crinkly but it wasn’t to be this time.

Robot Star quilt based on Jeni Baker's Vintage Star pattern.

Back of the Robot Star Quilt

And the label –since the green fabric on the front has robots, I put a robot on my t-shirt in the label.

Robot Star Quilt Label

Pattern:  Vintage Star Tutorial by Jeni Baker of In Color Order

Thread:  Varigated yellow, blue, and green threads by Guttermann and an orange thread by Guttermann

Fabrics: Blue Kona, Caleb Gray’s Robot Factory, Betz White’s Stitch(the chevron stripe), Robert Kaufman Stripe and some assorted fat quarters that didn’t have a selvage.

Binding:  Robert Kaufman stripe.

Now I’m off to work on a pincushion for the Modern Quilt Guild’s national pincushion swap,


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That’s me the eternal optimist…

I must be delusional to think that I can whip something easy up quickly.  I seem to do this to myself every other project.  (I apparently read too many sewing blogs where everything turns out beautiful.)

I started quilting the robot star quilt–it’s not going well.  Here it is basted

Basted robot star

So far so good.

It went downhill after that.  I spent 2 hours machine quilting with a cream-colored thread.  I had originally envisioned doing something different in each triangle and doing some echo quilting in the blue Kona sections.  It was horrid.  I’m fine if I use my presser foot as my guide but when I try to use the seam guide to quilt in wider swaths, things just go askew.

Horrid quilting 1  So I spent 4 hours and ripping out the unfortunate quilting and posted it on my local modern quilt guild’s site to ask for suggestions since these women are super talented and everything I’ve seen them do is exceptional.  So many wonderful suggestions–most involving FMQ (cue scary music) which I’ve never attempted.  I do need to try FMQ but I’m not ready to do that on a baby quilt that I want to give as a gift soon (–um like last week soon).  At the rate I’m going, I should have just hand quilted it.  I would have had better control at least.

So last night, I went back to the drawing board.  I’ve got 3 echo lines done inside the star with a blue variegated thread–I’m ripping out the inner outline because I just couldn’t keep my seam guide where I wanted it.  Once I get that line of thread ripped out, I guess I’ll draw all my lines on and go back to using my presser foot as my guide since that’s what works for me.  On the upside, I’ve finally figured out how to pull my top thread to the top so that I don’t get a big nest on the back.:)

I did an embroidered label for this quilt too and it’s ready to go as soon as the quilting is done.

The label-I put a robot on my t-shirt for this one.

I’m still trying to decide what to do for the binding.  I toyed with the idea of doing continuous prairie points around the entire quilt but I think maybe I should do that another time after I practice it on something little first (seeing as how the quilting has delayed me).  Which fabric would you choose for the binding?  I pretty much have plenty of each except for the orange  argyle and the brown with blue dots.  I have a lot of the striped fabric (an organic cotton from Robert Kaufman that I got on sale at Crimson Tate)–this fabric is so soft -perfect for a baby quilt.

Well, off to seam ripping…


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The quilt that almost wasn’t

Don’t laugh…this was a difficult quilt for me.  After this statement, I’m sure that everyone is thinking I tried to do a lone star or a hexagon quilt(the hexagon quilt will be a much later post).  Now look at the picture–I know right?  Everyone is saying–“What?, it’s a nine patch–how on earth is that difficult?”

I learned a few things with this quilt.  I started this quilt in October 2010 in the middle of my first quilt project (an appliqué quilt that I have yet to finish)–it was supposed to be a quick quilt that I could have ready for Christmas.  I just finished it last month.  Did you know that you shouldn’t pre-wash charm squares?  I do now but not until I pieced all the nine square blocks and couldn’t figure out why none of my seams matched up.  You should have seen me measuring all my seams to make sure that they were 1/4 inch.  After confirming that they were, I began measuring the charm squares that I had left and found that they weren’t the same measurements and found that they weren’t 5 inches on every side–2 of the sides were less than 5 inches.  I’ll admit, it took a while before I realized that it was my fault.  i distinctly remember commenting to my mother that charm squares were not cut precisely.  (I can’t even tell you when I realized that my pre washing is what shrunk the charm squares but I know now that it was.)  So, I took all the charm squares apart and re-sized them so that they were equal on each side.  Christmas came and went and I put the project aside because it was no longer urgent.

Christmas 2011 came rolling up and I finally finished piecing the quilt and started to quilt it with a walking foot. I broke 3 needles and eventually the walking foot before I gave up on it that year.  Note to self…always have the stitch width at “0” when using a walking foot.  But, I finally purchased another walking foot when I did my son’s improv owl quilt and set about completing this quilt.

It is now finished!  the embroidered label is on it, it’s washed and I’m pleased with it (even though it’s smaller that it was supposed to be and it has little quilting tucks/bunches in it).  I didn’t give up on it and in the end, it doesn’t look too bad.  I’ll probably use it as a table topper during the holidays.

Lil Bee July 2012

Next post, my improv kindle pocket:)

Mr. H and his quilt


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All worth this smile…

Close up pic of improv Owl quilt.

It’s finished.  I sewed on the label and tacked down the binding today.  As I said previously, I didn’t do a lot of quilting on it since Mr. H. just wanted it done.  I think the organic (read crooked) lines turned out really well on this improv style quilt.  I just did a scrappy binding.  This quilt contains fabric from all my favorite local quilt stores.  On the back, I put my test block and his initials.  I embroidered the label–I think I’ll put my little icon on all my labels from now on but I probably won’t embroider all the additional text (just on special quilts).  Here are some more pics–it hasn’t been washed yet so it doesn’t have the crinkly goodness yet.

The DH and the quilt at my parents house.

The back with Mr. H’s initials–lil Bee had to be in the pic.

The gratuitous label shot. I have to say I’m a little smitten with my label. I know it’s not perfect but it adds that frou frou touch to the quilt.