Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bohemian Festival Quilt



Here's a quilt I finished last week. This one was requested by my sister-in-law Michelle. I think she has discovered the fun of giving quilts as birthday gifts...and asked me to make this one for a good friend of hers who has a birthday this week. 


Michelle asked me a couple months ago if I would make this quilt, and said she would need it at the end of July. I figured it was doable but I knew it would have to wait until after our big move at the end of June. We moved from Minnesota to a lovely little state on the east coast...and lets just say that the transition was a little rough for me. Ok, a lot rough. Things were totally different than I could have ever imagined, and I was so excited to move out here that it never occurred to me that I would possibly hate it!! I was not prepared! After being here for a whole month, things are much, much better, but the first two weeks were kind of awful. There was lots of complaining, freaking out, crying, and hunting for the elusive "weird smell" that pervaded our too-good-to-be true condo. Luckily, I had this quilt to snap me out of it, and all is well now. Thank you, quilting, for helping to restore my sanity! :) 


For this quilt, we first chose the fabric. Michelle said she wanted bright, fun prints with white to accent. After looking a bit, I suggested a couple fabric lines, and Michelle chose Bohemian Festival by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake. I think it was a great choice...definitely bright and fun! Originally I had planned on making a different quilt, but once I mocked it up, I was not in love. So Michelle looked online and found this post showing a few quilts made in this pattern which unfortunately I do not know the name of. Probably something to do with half-square triangles, since all the quilts I saw were made up entirely of half square triangles. Bleh.


I feel like a little bit of a traitor saying that I am not in love with half-square triangles. Seems like lots of quilters really like them, but I am just not a huge fan. The thought of making an entire quilt from just half-square triangles was slightly nauseating (even with Thangles, or programs like Triangulations which make it slightly more bearable).  So I messed around in EQ until I came up with a way to use the least amount of half-square triangles but still get the same look. Here's the block I used:


Now with any block that I am just making up as I go along, it doesn't always work as planned at first. I printed the rotary cutting measurements out of EQ, but it rounds to the nearest 1/16. So the measurement it gave me for the printed squares was 3 11/16. So I rounded to the nearest 1/4 and cut my squares at 3 3/4. No big deal, right? WRONG. Apparently a small amount of rounding can really mess things up. Each triangle ended up being just a tiny bit too big! So when I sewed the rows with 3 or 5 triangles, they were too long and didn't match up with the white pieces (which I cut out as indicated on the rotary cutting measurement sheet with no modifications). So, I am happy to report that it only took me until the 3rd block to figure out a fix: when sewing the triangles together into rows, I just used a slightly bigger seam allowance, and then it worked out perfectly. And with this block I didn't mind using triangles at all...it was actually fun to put them together! YAY!



For the quilting...I looked a little bit online to get ideas of how others had quilted this...and found straight lines, mostly. I thought about looking for other quilting designs, but then just decided to Cynthia-fy it. This quilting is very similar to the quilting done on the Central Park Kaleidoscope and the Beach Umbrella quilts. I can't get enough of this type of quilting. Lots of rulers and loops and swirls...so fun to do. My loops could use some help...they are kind of crazy, but what do ya do?



The back is yellow Minky...so pretty!


Did scrappy binding...I bought a fat quarter pack, and had so much leftover fabric, I figured I ought to use as much as possible...so scrappy binding it is!


Happy Birthday Miss Renee!