Friday, August 29, 2014

Orange Peel Snowflake Mini Quilt

Measures 20" x 22"

Here is my finished orange peel snowflake quilt!  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I came across this snowflake from Frozen and moments later saw this lovely Joseph's coat quilt and they merged in my mind and I knew I had to make it.

Quilt detail.

I really enjoyed the quilting on this, even if the pebbles got a little tedious.  I used Aurifil #2600 (dove) around the petals and #4241 (very dark grey) on the background.  I used Dove in the bobbin around the snowflake so it would stand out on the back, and then #2545 (medium purple) in the bobbin for the pebbles.  

The fabrics used arCarolyn Friedlander's Crosshatch in grey for the petals, Moda Bella Charcoal, Kona purple on the back and Kona Black for the binding.

Quilting detail--pebbles with a few snowflakes in them.

I used Quilter's Dream wool batting for the first time--I got it off Massdrop about a month ago after hearing such good things about it.  Well, I have a mild wool allergy and did not like the feel of laying it out and cutting it.  Also it sheds a lot.  But it quilted beautifully and has a nice loft.  Next time I will pair it with some Warm and Natural for stability.

I love how the petals stand out from the rest of the quilt!

The petals/peels measure 3" x 3/4".

This quilt was a fun break from commissions, swaps and pay-it-forwards.  It's been a while since I made a quilt for myself, purely for the sake of enjoying the process!

Back detail--pebbles with snowflakes.

Center snowflake quilting detail.

Back snowflake detail.  I need to figure out a nicer method for frequent start/stops when the backtracking is glaringly obvious.

I'm linking up with Quilty Habit's Orange Peel Along--go check it out to see more orange peel quilts!  And starting September 9th you can vote for your favorite!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WIP: Orange peel Snowflake

So, my friend Jessica, over at Quilty Habit, has been hosting a Orange Peel Quilt Along this summer.  I was so busy with the Giant Pink Star quilt that I wasn't really sewing along, other than with good intentions and lots of brainstorming.  Well, this week and next week the final link up is open, and I'm finally making progress on mine!

Working on the layout.  That center part is a Flower of Life pattern, which has shown up in my quilting before.

I was originally going to use a mini charm pack I had, which dictated how small these are.  But when it came to actually using the cute little squares, I just couldn't bear to waste so much I decided to use the backing scraps from the Giant Pink Star Quilt--it'Carolyn Friedlander's Crosshatch in grey.

The background fabric is Moda Bella in Charcoal--it's a little darker than Kona Charcoal, which I'll show in some future post.

These orange peels are actually Joseph's Coat (or Jacob's coat) pieces, but since I got my inspiration photo from Jess, I figured it was okay.  Plus it's the same method for making them, they're just narrower.  I used the interfacing method on these--pressing each section down with an iron so it wouldn't shift around.

Snowflake layout.

It was a bit tricky getting the intersections to look nice.

Once I had them all lightly fused on, I basted the quilt, using some Quilter's Dream batting I got from Massdrop.  I quilted the petals on using my free motion foot, and then quilted the areas between them:

Despite the interfacing there was some shifting when sewing them down.

I am loving the lattice-like look and texture from this quilting!

Quilting detail around the Joseph's coat/orange peels.

The backing is Kona Purple.  Here's a peek at the border quilting from the back:

Pebbles and snowflake quilting!

I'm hoping to finish it tomorrow and share it by Friday!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Zipper-Mouth Shark Tutorial

This zippered shark is very strongly inspired by this pattern and tutorial by Patchwork Posse.

First, I liked that shark a lot, but technically speaking it's not a shark because shark tails are vertical, wheres whale tails are horizontal.  My regular readers probably know I'm a stickler for the details (example one, two, three and four), so I had to come up with a design change for the tail so it could properly be called a shark.  That being said, since making and uploading the new pattern I've realized the dorsal fin isn't exactly accurate in shape for a shark...but I'm gonna let that one slide ;-)  The tail on these sharks is rather large--modeled somewhat after a whale shark tail, for those wondering.  If you'd like the tail smaller, like a great white, simply trim down the tail pieces

My first attempt at putting in the zipper following the Patchwork Posse tutorial.  Shortly after taking the photo I took it all apart and figured out a different method (described below).

Second, the tutorial is seriously lacking when it comes to the zipper section--I really tried following the instructions, but stabbed myself many times with the pins, and it became clear that the way I was doing it was not going to end  So I took apart my "shark" and put in the zipper like I've done for almost every zip-pouch, ever.  And it went so fast and smoothly!  Some friends on instagram wanted to see my methods and pattern changes, so here's a very detailed photo tutorial on making these zipper-mouth sharks!

Small to large fabric scraps
5" metal zipper
Interfacing (I used medium weight with good results)
Shark pattern--print from or download here, cut out and transfer marks on body and lining pieces.

Cut out pattern pieces--I like to cut two pieces at once (one facing up and one facing down so they're mirror image).

Cut out interfacing--remembering to cut mirror image pieces for the fins and tail pieces (although if you forget, it's not a big deal).

Attach interfacing--I think the body pieces are the only ones worth actually fusing it to.  The fins and tails you can just pin together.

Pair up the fin and tail pieces, wrong sides together.  If you didn't fuse the interfacing to them, sandwich two pieces of interfacing between them

Sew around the edges--about 3/8" from the edge.  Don't worry if it's a little messy!

Pink around the edges.

Mark the mid-line of the shark body by folding it in half and ironing a slight crease.  Then mark a spot 1" in from the tip of the body (just in front of my finger) and line up the long narrow tail piece and dorsal fin--pin them in place and fold the body in half again.

Do the same with the other body piece and the bottom tail fin.  Then fold in half along the crease and sew a 1/4 seam along the mid-line crease to anchor the fins (for both the top and bottom).

Now place the side fins and baste them on so they don't shift later.

Get your zipper and mark a line across both sides (it doesn't have to be at the very end).

With one side of the shark body face up, lay the zipper face-down, lining up the mark on the zipper with the mark on the body.

Pin the zipper in place all the way to the other side mark on the shark body--clip in a tiny bit every 1/4 to 1/2 inch so it will curve nicely.

The little snips should be about 1/8", just enough to ease the zipper around the curves!

Lay the lining piece on top, face down (right sides facing), line up and pin side marks first, the re-pin so the three layers are pinned together.

I pin every 1/2 inch or so, especially around the curves.

Using a zipper foot, sew between the side marks (first and last pin), using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I find it easier to sew from the back side.

The finished seam.

Clip the curves, being careful not to snip your stitches!

This is what it should look like at this point--though it doesn't matter if the zipper goes to the left or right.

Repeat for the other side: shark body facing up, zipper facing down, snip a tiny bit around the curves, pin in place between side marks.

Then lay the lining face-down and repin so it will all stay together when sewing.

Sewing on the second side.

Next pin the tail (top and bottom!) and dorsal fin out of the way so they don't get caught in the seam allowance along the sides!  I recommend having the sharp ends towards the end of the shark (like the red pin-they will be easier to remove later!)

Close the zipper half way.

Lay your shark out so that the lining pieces are facing each other and the body pieces are facing each other--with the zipper teeth on the lining side!

Pin and then sew all the way around, leaving a 3" opening in the lining to turn it all right-side out (see where I marked a spot with double pins).

I found it easier to sew it all together still using the zipper foot, especially this thick corduroy one!  The tail is the thickest, trickiest part!  When your needle gets to that mid-line seam, rotate your shark and sew down the other side of the body.

Be very careful going over the zipper!  I usually hand-crank it over the zipper teeth (I've broken needles going over the zipper teeth) and go over the zipper teeth a few times to reinforce it.  Then trim the zipper as close as you can to the seam, don't use your fabric scissors on this!

Going over the zipper can get kind of messy, just take your time, go slow, and be sure to reinforce this part with several lines of stitching.

Trim around the tip of the tail.

Turn the whole thing right-side out through the hole in the lining!  Be very aware and careful of where those pins are on the body pieces!

When you see a fin, gently pull on it.  When you see a pin head, remove the pin.

Ta-da!  Using a chopstick, or long pointy device, gently push out the tip of the tail.

Close the hole in the lining and then push it into the shark body.

Almost there!  Now find some buttons and sew them on (through the body and lining).

Ta da!  One zipper-mouth shark done!  Now go make some more!
These are all scrap-busting sharks-- a whole frenzy of them!  The purple one (far right) was my first, using the Patchwork Posse pattern--so we call it a whale ;-) 

Favorite foods: pencils, pens, paint brushes, candies, legos, and coins.

I would love to see your finished shark--link up here or use #zippermouthshark on IG!  Please let me know if you have any questions about the pattern or tutorial!