Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Charity Handprint Quilt #2: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Finished size 53 inches wide by 61 inches high
This is the continuation of my "Handprint Quilts" posts as I just recently prepared three quilts for the three different classes at my twyns' preschool.

For instructions on preparing the handprints, and to see a smaller pattern possibility, see the first post here.

In this quilt I thought I would challenge myself with free-motion quilting. But the course I signed up for did not quite align with my timing to do so. But at the first session the teacher insisted I get a walking foot, so I used this video to confirm attachment and function and off I went to sew some more straight lines! But this time, the difference is, *hopefully* no puckering!

Do you use a walking foot for something other than quilting? In the video she mentions stretchy fabrics, so I'm intrigued if this could help with a) my minky issues and b) my knit issues. I have issues. Sigh.

Quick & Dirty on Quilt #2: 21 students

  • Obtained handprints on original 8 x 8 blocks
  • Used fabric featuring Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? for inspiration 
  • pattern: "Sweet Caroline" by Anita Peluso from Fall 2011 Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts (Digital pattern and photos available here.)
  • Adjusted pattern for 21 handprint blocks plus 21 Brown Bear feature blocks
  • Tied it in with other quilts by using green fabric in border
  • Quilted at home with walking foot in straight lines across diagonals
  • Self-binding from folding over backing and machine finish.
  • Finished size 53 x 61.

Slow & Painful on Quilt #2

First up: adjusting the pattern:
I must have an aversion to following patterns completely. But honestly as I scoured the internet for handprint quilt inspiration I didn't find an interesting pattern that I could play with, and I wanted to do a little more than typical rows of blocks. So I encourage you to see beyond the patterns and put handprints anywhere! Here's me marking up the pattern "Sweet Caroline" by Anita Peluso that can be found here.

For this one I knew I'd mess up the cool blue-and-white checkered pattern but it allowed me to fit 21 handprints and 21 Eric Carle blocks with a cool four-patch filler.  I just trimmed off a few rows to make it fit my numbers and drew in the hands where they would lay.

Origin pattern
Next up: Piecing strings and strings of squares:

I did my best to create enough 'different' four-patch combinations so that no color would be meeting itself throughout the quilt. I also tried to disperse the different colored handprints so that they weren't near each other, but, you know, a lot of those girls chose purple ;).

These squares are cut from 2 3/4 strips, and if you keep feeding pairs into your machine, you will have less thread and time wasted in putting them all together. 

Once again I had to trim the handprint blocks that are 8 x 8 to 5 x 5 for the pattern, on the diagonal! Some of the hands were a little bit larger in this 3-year-old class, so it was a tight squeeze but I managed it (some are less diagonal than others.) 

Finally, the Eric Carle squares were cut from a fabric panel I purchased at fabric.com and I added a bit of trim to each one so that they would also be 5 x 5 to fit the pattern. I tried to stagger those as well.

To finish the quilt I just cut a 5 inch strip of green fabric to match the other two quilts as the border.
The green fabric stretched a little more than I liked. I guess I cut it wrong?
Once again I then wrote each child's name on his/her block with fabric pen before starting to quilt. 

Now onto quilting:
I managed to do all of these quilts assembly-line-style, so I pieced all the tops before starting any sandwich-ing and quilting.

So needless to say once I finally completed the tops I was ready to be done with the project and wanted to quilt, quilt, quilt three days in a row to finish. This was apparently how I found myself double-fisting on coffee:

Like I mentioned I didn't learn enough free-motion quilting before deadline to attempt it on this quilt, but I did get to use my new walking foot! That really helped keep my straight lines straight. If you don't know, the walking foot grabs the top of the quilt with its own feed-dogs while the machine has feed-dogs on the bottom. So both layers are being grabbed equally at the same time and there is less struggling and tugging and bunching. You can literally sit back and let the machine do the work.

I then, once again, trimmed the batting only while leaving the excess backing to fold over for my binding. Self-binding, my savior! As I mentioned yesterday. The only way I do hand-binding anymore is if my mom's visiting and she does it. She knows I always have about ten hand-sewing projects for her on any given time she visits.

And that's it! 

Quilt #2 complete! 

Tune in tomorrow for Charity Handprint quilt #3.

Tired yet?! Me too!!

Did you have other recommendations for me 
for my new walking foot? Do tell!

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