Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday: For Grandma

My poor grandma!!!  She came to visit us from PA back at the beginning of August.  The plan was to stay a few weeks with my parents and then a week or two with her sister up in NW Ohio.  Well... that was the plan.  About a week into her stay, she landed herself in the hospital in congestive heart failure :-(  A week in the hospital and she was good to go.  Left to go to visit her sister and within 3 days of her arrival up there, she had to be brought back down to be admitted again.  Another two weeks in the hospital and they finally released her to a nursing home near my house.  It's been nice having her so close, but it's under terrible circumstances :-(

That being said, I decided to bump up grandma's quilt from a Christmas gift to a "sorry you're not feeling well" gift.  I actually managed to get this entire top pieced and ready to go in one evening two weekends ago!
The pattern is Yellow Brick Road and the fabrics are from the Downton Abbey Fat Quarter bundle I got a while ago.  I honestly should have paid more attention when gals were saying to be sure to read the directions completely before starting...  I didn't and ended up with a mega goof!  Instead of three different block layouts, I ended up with only two.  Whoops!  I just did a little adjustment to the layout and all seems to be OK.  Shhhh... no one will ever know :-D

Fast forward to this past weekend and after all the marathon sewing I did to crank out two more of the Comic Book Button-Down shirts for two of Hubby's friends, I buckled down and wanted to get this one basted.  Only one problem.... I was a bit tired when I decided to start basting this.  "Cheated" by not spray basting and relying on just safety pins.  Ended up with a boat-ton of puckering on the back :-(  Being the perfectionist I am, I had to re-do it.  Problem was I was a little too tired to tackle it Saturday.  Put it to bed for the night.

Monday night I decided to take care of pulling out the 150+ pins I put in, re-aligining everything, and then basting again.  I even managed to tear Hubby away from the football game on TV long enough to help :-)  Fortunately, once it was spray basted this time (Yea!), the pinning went by rather quickly.

So excited to be wrapping this one up!  I really want to give it to grandma before she heads back to PA next weekend (that's the plan).  Now it's on to the fun part.... quilting!  My mom convinced me I need to overcome my fear of FMQ.  Just bite the bullet and jump right in, according to her.  Well.. I'm a bit of a chicken.  There was no way I was comfortable enough doing FMQ to even attempt it on a quilt yet!  Then the light bulb went off!  I ran to JoAnn's after work last night, picked up some simple quilt stencils, and came home and started to practice.

First Attempt - Two pieces of muslin with batting inbetween
Tracing the stencil on the fabric was the easy part!  Man, is this a lot more difficult than I imagined it to be!  The butterfly in the top, right-hand corner was the last one I did on this sample.  I can definitely see the improvement, but I still need much more practice!
Attempt #2 - Extra border fabric, muslin backing, and actual thread I'm using in my project
Attempt #2 went MUCH better than the first!  I think I am finally getting the hang of this!  It's going to take a lot of guts, but I think I'm actually going to attempt this design in the 5.5" squares on my quilt :-)  I even got a butterfly border stencil that I want to use in the border.  Hopefully it won't be too hard.  We shall see!

Let's hope this one is finished up by this weekend and I'll have a finish to share!

Sew Fresh Quilts

Linking back to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social


  1. I'm sure she will love it! I think it looks very good. I hope you can see your markings on the quilt top.

  2. Great FMQ pattern! Don't forget, a busy fabric will hide many crooked stitches. Just keep an eye on your tension and stitch length, a smoother line will follow with practice.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your grandma...but I'm glad she's doing better and even going home soon. I pray she stays healthy enough to get back home. She's going to love this quilt. FMQ is scary to me too. But I want to be good at it and so I've finally been practicing daily. Just 10-20 mins a night and I have improved. My favorite is woodgrain...because it's not curvy. I found you on Bee Social. Please stop by and check out my blog sometime.

  4. Sorry to hear your Grandma has not been well. I love this quilt and those butterflies are fabulous. TFS

  5. It is so sweet that you sped up this quilt to give your grandma something happy. She will love it! I hope she recovers fully and gets back to good health!

  6. Good for you, Jess! Your fmq is looking fabulous! And the only way to get over your fear is to face it. This is great design and will look so pretty on this quilt. Sorry to hear about your gramma. It will be nice to be able to visit with her now that she is so close by. She's going to love this gift!