Friday, February 2, 2018

Quicker by the Dozen... Dozen Months, More Like

Shouting from the rooftops!!!!  The quilt is DONE!!!!  Tell all your friends!  I'm certainly going to tell MINE ;)

I'm so excited (and YES, cue the Pointer Sisters!) that I have finally finished my Quicker by the Dozen quilt, designed by Lynette Jensen (her "about" page on the RJR fabric site), in conjunction with Cotton and Steel.

I actually made this quilt during a class with Meredith Hobbs at Modern Domestic.  She is one of my favorite teachers with whom to work.  I originally saw the quilt kit on sale at MD, and the quilt was hung on the wall.  I fell in love, of course.  I adore me some Cotton and Steel, and the quilt is made up of a mix of fabrics from the different collections.  The kit was sold separately from the class, but other than THAT, I needed only to purchase the backing and batting.  I felt a bit bad in being a bit unoriginal, but it also felt nice to NOT have to choose my fabrics for my first quilt.  I signed up immediately and took the class with four other lovely ladies, including my mother-in-law.

I say this time and again, but I truly enjoy taking classes.  The social aspect appeals to me, likely because I'm home with kids all day, every day, but I also love the atmosphere and lighting at Modern Domestic.  Additionally, in classes, you get tips and tricks - or reminders about details I might otherwise forget in my hurry to finish something.

I took this class last spring and actually had the quilt finished through the actual quilting before I went to Michigan in late June.  Why am I only NOW blogging about it?

Well, I am a silly lady and did NOT like my quilting.  I chose straight lines, which created diagonal squares covering my quilt, but even though I basted my quilt with the help of the other ladies in class, in quilting it, I managed to pinch the fabric in several places.  It just seemed awful to me, and I knew I could bind it and try to get over it, but that seemed so lazy.  In the end, I put it off forever and then finally pulled out every other straight line going in ONE direction across the quilt.  I wanted to do the same with the other direction, but I was convinced to chill out and just bind the sucker - which then didn't begin to happen until a week and a half ago or so.  The stitch-ripping DID end up fixing a few of the pinched spots on the quilt - but not enough, in my humble opinion, so, I just have to avert my ends when they start to wander too close to the mistakes.  I had told myself I was NOT allowed to work on other projects or even think about cutting out new quilt pieces until this quilt was done, so, it just needed to happen, LOL.

One of the more innocent pinches....yikes
I do love it and am so excited and proud.  My hand-stitched binding is quite lovely, though my turned corners aren't super awesome.  And I'm happy I am finally entering it as DONE into Jaclyn Salem's relaxed QAL she has going in her Brooklyn Knitfolk Ravelry goup.

As for the blocks and the class itself:  We focused on two blocks each week.  I think there are six different blocks, 12 of each.  Meredith gave us notes - things that worked for her in the making of it.  It was nice to use the large cutting tables and to work without worrying about feeding small children, aha!  The class was meant to be 4 sessions, but we did push into a fifth session, as we ALL needed more time.  My mother-in-law at this point needs to re-quilt hers and then bind it, but it's so close!  The most fiddly block was the one filled with half-square triangles.  Somehow, most of my mistakes are in the hourglass-looking block - and the V-looking block.  My corners just did NOT want to match up, even though I nested seams, etc.

A bit of a tedious block

See those GREAT matching points??? :O
Also, I found that for me, I just don't trust pressing seams open.  I worry the seams will come apart more easily - BUT in putting each block together, I found that, especially with the smaller pieces, it just helped to press seams open.  I didn't do this throughout, but most of the seams are pressed open.

Supplies I totally used:  Best Press (pro tip!!!  Meredith recommends filling half the bottle with water - cutting the solution to save the dolla dolla billz) and curved pins.  I'm not sure I'd be into spray-basting.  I know it can damage floors over time, and I also don't quite trust it, because I'm a WEIRDO.  Also, I just had to suck it up and empty my iron of water.  I HATE not being able to steam when I press, but my irons just seem to go south super fast when I use the steam option.  So, I had to pull out a spray bottle - which is honestly semi-annoying.  I used quilting gloves, which I believe helped.  They just provide a bit of stick when trying to wield the quilt and push it through the machine.

I also appreciated any and all wee quilting rules I used.  I have had large, long rulers for a while, but over the course of a few months, I used coupons at Joann Fabrics in order to build up my supply of square quilting rules.  As for marking pens, I used various colors of Frixion pens, which erase with heat.  I clearly already have water and air-soluble pens, but MD sells these, and I love them!  (At the writing of this post, I actually STILL need to go back and iron out my pen marks :O )  Lastly, I used a square storage-looking container from Michael's in order to tote my fabric blocks and rulers back and forth to MD.

My mother-in-law and I had tons of fun in class, and I'm just hoping and wishing for another fun quilting class to come up at the shop.  Right now, they aren't offering a class that quite fits what I want to take, so, I am holding out, but I'm getting antsy, aha!

Special shout-out to my friend for allowing me to take quilt photos in HER house, rather than mine!

And...days in the life of!

Future sewing room

In the new house-to-be, the fireplace is demolished...

This will eventually turn into another IKEA kitchen, aha!
Working on a first draft

Our house-to-be....minus a wall - which will turn into a bookcase
Next quilt project - for Camden!


  1. I LOOOVE your quilt!!!! so fun you got to take a class !

    1. i'm so glad, too. classes really make me happy, honestly!!

  2. That quilt is absolutely gorgeous! You've been sooooo crazy busy too!