Monday, January 11, 2010

Little Miss Muffet Ate Cherries!

Another little Schnibbles project--tuffets! I've used a charm pack of Oh Cherry Oh! fabric for these, and I think they look quite cheerful. Tuffets can be used as pincushions, or they can be made just for decorative purposes to fill a bowl or basket. Tuffets were the December project of the Year of Schnibbles group. I'm planning to make a few more when I have a little time between other projects.

I wanted to tell you a couple things about making the Madeline quilt, but it was just too late last night this morning. I was having so much fun, I guess, I never even felt tired, so I was up until after 4 a.m. finishing the quilt! And thank you for the compliments, but I have a secret or two to divulge.

First, when I was making the blocks, I decided to do something different from the pattern. The pattern instructs us to add the setting triangles to the four sides of the star blocks--instead, I decided to treat those as separate blocks, similar to the broken dishes or quarter square triangle blocks. You can kind of see in the photo in the upper right quadrant where I've pulled a couple of the blocks away from one another on the design wall.

Some people have a hard time putting together rows of blocks on point, but that's never bothered me, so I thought it would be a good method. I think this way of doing it makes all the corners intersect better. I ran into a problem though. I pulled two star blocks off the design wall to measure them so I could figure out how large to make the quarter square triangle blocks. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the two blocks I randomly picked ended up being just a tad larger than the rest--a little more than 1/8" larger. And because the decision to make quarter square triangle blocks came after the pieces were cut and I was using charm squares, the outside edges of the quarter square triangle blocks were bias edges. The result of all this was that when I sewed the blocks together, I was doing a lot of easing and stretching--and in the end, the quilt top didn't lay as flat as I would have liked!

Now, here's why I'm telling you all this. I'm pretty sure just about all of us make a mistake or two in quilting, right? Before I'd had as much experience, I think I would have been so frustrated with a quilt top that didn't lay flat that I would have just put it away at that point and forgotten about it. The thing is, though, that there are usually ways to fix mistakes--as there was with this one.

When I layed out the quilt for pinning, I tried to make the lines that draw the eye as straight as possible and I pinned at the intersections of seams. If that meant the top puckered a little here and there and didn't quite lay flat, I didn't let that worry me too much. Then, when I started quilting, I stitched along the lines I KNEW would look square--right outside the star blocks. And where the fabric bubbled a little in the quarter square triangle blocks, I used swirly free motion quilting--it tends to take up the loose bits of fabric and helps fool the eye into seeing straight seams.

By the time I finished, the quilt was laying nicely. DON'T, however, take a really wonky quilt to your long-arm quilter and figure she can save it for you--I've heard lots of horror stories about that and she's more likely to baste and stitch YOU! But if it's something small like this and you're quilting it yourself--try it and see! It turned out so nicely that even I was surprised!

Sadly, the weekend has some to an end, but I've had a nice time in the Sweat Shop and I've gotten a few things done. I hope you've had a great couple of days too!


Gran said...

Kim your Tuffets are so bright and cheery and a joy to see. Thanks for the tips on Madeline. You have had a great time in the sweat shop this weekend.

Fiesta said...

Kim I love the color scheme of your tuffets.
I have been meaning to make some just have not gotten around to it.

luv2quilt2 said...

The tuffets are so cute, and the quilt looks great. You've done a great job hiding the problems. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who makes mistakes in sewing.

Phyllis said...

Hi Kim,

It's been a while since I visited you.

I love the pretty pink quilt and I appreciate the tips about how to work around some mistakes. Everything I make has mistakes in it, so am used to finding remedies.

I have a question that I've asked of other bloggers and have yet to receive an answer, so I hope you reply to me.

Where is everybody getting these patterns for schnibbles and tuffets??? I've done a search on the web but not finding what people are making. Are you making the patterns up?

I really want to make some but don't want to just start cutting and sewing only to waste my fabrics.

Thanks so much!

Cindy said...

No "wonky" seen by me. I am still in love with the fabric you chose. I just made two small tabletoppers with L'Amour and I LOVE this Schnibbles made with it now. This is one version of Madeline that I truly will make using the same fabric line since I have another charm pack of it left.

And those tuffets - how bright and "cherry". Just love them.

searchfamilies said...

All very nice beautiful work i love things that have different blocks used
Hugs Janice

Cara said...

Tuffets would be a nice way to use up scraps from a project, and have a reminder if the quilt is going to live off somewhere, too.

Thanks for the info...I'll have to see if it can save one or two tops that turned a little wonky.

PunkiePie said...

The tuffets are cute! I have the pattern for them but I haven't made any. Looks I need to get down to business and make me some! LOVE the L'Amour table topper! It's beautiful!

Dianne said...

Oh my gosh! I love how this turned out! And you finished it so quickly. Didn't we just see those pieces a few days ago, and now it's quilted and bound?! You go girl!

Sherri said...

Those Tuffets are great...and I LOVE your Madeline quilt!!!

Kim said...

I love the quilt. And thank you for divulging your little secrets! It makes me want to pull out my top that doesn't lay flat and work on it again. Maybe there is hope. I'm not sure about the tuffets....wouldn't the smallness of it be hard for an inexperienced quilter? Makes me think of the difference between sewing a blouse for myself and Barbie clothes. Let me tell you, the Barbie clothes were much more difficult!

Carol said...

Kim, what a great idea to make the hour glass blocks for the center triangles. Makes sense, I'm going to do that too.

Greenmare said...

the tuffets are cute but that quilt is FABULOUS!!!!! seriously it's the prettiest thing I have seen in ages!!!! just gorgeous!

dianne said...

love the tuffets! did you stuff them with walnuts shells? i've been meaning to go to a pet store and buy some, but then i think about the 25 pounds of buckwheat hulls that have been waiting for me to make pillows out of them for ... lemme think ... maybe ten years ... do buckwheat hulls go bad?

Busy Little Quilter said...

I love the tuffets.

I don't see any wonky, either. It all looks gorgeous to me.

badlandsquilts said...

your snibbles looks great!

Heckety said...

Looks fine to me...looks more than fine to be quite honest! And I found the same thing that quilting does help sort out woggles!
I am going to make a few tuffet pin-cushions since looking at them all on someone's blog a few weeks back, I thought they looked really dinky and its amazing how different choices of fabric change the designs!

bingo~bonnie said...

very cute and completed early to enjoy before Valentines too! perfect!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie