Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Granny Squares are FINISHED

Picking up where I abrubtly left off last week, I'm back with another finished quilt and a few giveaway winners. First the quilt.

etchings granny square quilt

I caught the Granny Square craze that swept QuiltBlogLandia earlier this year/late last year. I had every intention of following the ubiquitous tutorial to a T, but the road to @#$% is paved with good intentions and fabric shortages. I ran out of the solid I was using (Kona Oatmeal, which is one of my new favorites), and I couldn't find it anywhere. Even my go-to online shops had it on back-order. So I had to nix the sashing. At first, I was a bit bummed to go sash-less, but after letting the project percolate for awhile, I decided that I like it better that way.

broken down 
I tried following the tutorial for the block construction. Honestly, I did. But my piecing isn't quite precise enough for things to come out the way they're supposed to. So I came up with my own way to construct the blocks. See here for a quick tutorial.

The fabric I used is Etchings by 3 Sisters, with some Kona Coal thrown in for good measure. I used charm squares in the center of the blocks, and I cut a bunch of 2.5" strips from a few half-yard cuts to round out the other prints for the blocks. I love this fabric. I try not to toss that phrase around too much, I dunno how successful I am in that endeavour, though. But this time I really do mean it.

paisley ftw! 
I think this is one of those fabric lines that I'm going to still love in 5 years. I'm a true traditionalist at heart. What can I say? All those paisleys and florals make me all gooey inside.

feather quilting 
To ham up the traditionality of the fabric prints, I decided to machine quilt some feather shapes in each block. I pulled out my book o' feather patterns from Golden Threads and picked out a design that fit neatly in the blocks (no re-sizing here!).

tedium unplugged 
Since I had never tried any feather quilting before, I decided to use the tracing paper method. This method has its benefits and drawbacks. It's great for transferring unfamiliar designs to a quilt without having to mark on a quilt top. I'm terrified of using markers on my quilt tops, and I'd rather pluck my many chin hairs than use stencils to trace patterns on anything. I'm glad there are people out there who find stencils an effective tool for quilting, home decor, etc, but unless I have some kind of psychotic break, I will probably not be one of those people anytime soon. It's also somewhat efficient - I usually stack and pin 3-5 pieces of tracing paper together, trace the design on the top sheet of paper, and then use my (unthreaded) machine to perforate the design on sheets below. I had 42 squares on this quilt and only had to trace the design about 8-10 times.

map prints are my favorite 
The drawbacks? I'm usually left with a lot of little pieces of tracing paper that get stuck in the stitches and require surgical instruments to remove and many rounds of vacuuming to dislodge from the carpet. Admittedly, if I made consistently smaller stitches, this might not be a problem. Another drawback is that I'm not good at following pre-set lines, so my curves are not graceful arcs. They're wobbly as a 3-legged chair. Go figure, since I'm not very good at following directions either - see above, where I didn't follow the tutorial. That's right, a traditionalist at heart who can't follow directions or pre-set lines.

fmq feather practice 
So I'm thinking that next time, I might be better off spending the time it takes to trace and perforate all those pattern sheets practicing/sketching unfamiliar feather designs instead. Sometimes, you learn these lessons the hard way, amIrite?

scallop machine quilting 
Anyways, moving along. In the border, I did an allover scallopy shell-ish paisley pattern. And I bound it with some more Kona Coal.

DS Quilts backing 
The backing is a DS Quilts print from the Picnic line, I think? The colors match the colors on the top, but the fabric's personality definitely doesn't match the top's personality. I think that's okay, though. It's a nice surprise when you turn the quilt over.

This particular quilt is going to Quilts of Valor. The colors themselves are awfully patriotic, but hopefully, they won't look too closely/ignore the French map prints.

Started: March 2012
Finished: September 2012 (Yes, September. I warned you I was behind on the blogging front.)
Machine-pieced, machine quilted

Also, I almost forgot AGAIN. It's time for me to announce winners for both the OCTOBER and November jelly roll parties. (Thanks to Sharon for reminding me about October!)

The October winner is Colleen, who made a rockin' string quilt!

And the November winner is Anna, who made such an elegantly simple quilt!

I've sent y'all emails - send me your mailing addresses, and I'll get some fabric lovin' in the mail to you ASAP!


  1. Beautiful quilt, Megan! I love it done sashingless!!

  2. I think it looks beautiful without the sashing - and it works so well with the line you used. O, shudder, I hate feathers - I manage one terrific side and the other looks 'blown to the wind'. I'll leave those to my long armer. Congratulations to Colleen and Anna - they were both great quilts!

  3. Very pretty. I love your color choice.

  4. Wow! You go girl! Such a gorgeous finish. I loved etchings too and had to make a quilt from it.
    Happy day to you

  5. I love it without the sashing. I stink at machine quilting, unless it is just straight lines (I'm getting better at those, but, they still aren't the best, either). We always find our flaws when others don't see them. Pretty!

  6. Clearly that's exactly what I call a fantastic blog article! Do you run this domain for private purposes exclusively or you exploit it as an additional source of income?

  7. I very much like your pattern it's beautiful,thank for sharing good i dea !