Monday 7 September 2020

UFOs No More - 2 projects

I get bored easily. And maybe distracted by new projects too easily. So, I start new projects before the current one is finished - over and over again. I have more UFOs than I care to count. And some of them have disappeared in the mess that is my quilting/crafting studio (or somewhere else in the house). Daughter and grandson move in and out, r
enovations in the studio, and rooms have to be rearranged and projects disappear, only to reappear when I'm looking for a different one... But I'm trying to do better!

I don't remember how long ago my niece Tara asked me for a set of placemats. She loves Christmas, so I opted for Christmas ones, and decided to go one better and make a matching table runner. I picked up these patterns, probably at my local quilt shop. 

They're from Pieced Tree Patterns, and are quick and easy. That is, they are quick and easy if they're not interrupted by renovations and you then have to find the pieces and the patterns and the time...

Now, I'll digress slightly to explain why I decided to finally finish this set now. Some time before, my brother-in-law in Michigan paid me to make him some masks. (I wasn't going to charge him, but he insisted on paying me - he's generous to a fault). He has a larger than average head and was finding that the elastics broke on the standardly available masks, so had been wearing one of the ones I had made for my sister, to the point where it was getting ragged. So, I made and mailed his custom made masks, plus some ear savers and a couple of extra masks for my sister. I made the mistake of just sending them through as small packet, no tracking. And then we waited and waited. As the weeks went by, I finally decided to make him a new bunch of masks to replace the ones that had gone missing. This time, I determined to send them in a trackable parcel and to make it more difficult to lose, I decided to include the placemat set I hadn't yet finished for my niece, this sister's daughter, who lived nearby. That way the parcel would be bigger. But I had to finish the set first, which I did.  And I had the parcel all packed up and addressed in my truck, ready to mail when I got off work. Then I got the text from my sister that they got the masks! Seven weeks, that's how long it took! So, now I have some oversized masks that I should probably try to sell on our local buy and sell Facebook group. Plus the box that I originally had the placemat set in is now too big without the masks. I need to find a smaller box before I can mail it. But at least it's done.

Looking at them altogether like this, I think they are just too busy. The print is too big and if I had to do it over again, I would have selected different fabrics. The focus fabric in the centre is fine, and the other fabric doesn't look too bad on the table runner, but almost overwhelming on the placemats. However, spread out on a table, it won't look quite so bad either. See the individual placemat at the top of this post. But, it's still too busy. Smaller prints would have worked much better. 
If my niece gets tired or dizzy from looking at them, she can always turn them over. 
(I really love this backing fabric and wouldn't blame my niece if she primarily uses this side. LOL). I quilted them using the Poinsettia Fantasia pantograph from Meadow Lyon. I wasn't entirely happy with it, because, to me, the poinsettias came out too abstract looking. If I ever choose to quilt poinsettias again, I think I will look for a different pantograph. I never took a close up of the quilting for that reason. 
Next on the UFO agenda was my grandson's dinosaur quilt, Dinosaur Days. Again, I don't remember when I first bought it. My grandson was old enough to express to the clerk in the store where I bought the kit that the T Rex in the panel was Grandpa B___ (my ex-husband). 😄 (I still find that incredibly amusing). But it was long enough ago that Damian didn't remember I was making it. And this year, I determined to get it finished for his birthday, August 30. Thank the Lord, I was able to find all of the pieces (in different locations in the studio) and the pattern and the backing fabric. 
Isn't this amazing fabric? Every once in awhile, I find a piece of fabric that it so appealing that I'd like to just disappear into it and live happily ever after. The scenic fabric in Wintry Woods is another such fabric. Unfortunately, like most directional fabrics, I had to do a vertical seam to keep the scenery going in the same direction as the quilt top, since the quilt top was directional as well. Not a favourite thing for longarmers to do, but it's not the first time I've had to do it. 
Getting home from work one day, while I had it on the longarm frame, the light coming in the window was just perfect to highlight the triceratops in the quilting.
I never did get a picture of the stegasaurus because it didn't show up as well as the triceratops. However, my grandson was impressed that even the stitching was dinosaurs in his new quilt. I used Dino Jungle from Urban Elementz for the quilting. With this pantograph, I had the opposite problem from Poinsettia Fantasia. It was too detailed and accurate. All of those points, angles and corners made for very tedious and time-consuming quilting. I'm happy with the results, but what a lot of work! I couldn't help but think that an apatosaurus would have been much simpler to quilt than stegasauruses and triceratops! Again, if I ever do another dinosaur quilt, I will likely look for a different pantograph. I think Dave's Dinosaurs gives sufficient detail to make the dinosaurs recognizable without being so time-consuming.

Once the quilt was done, I had to find a place to take its picture. I have a sloping front lawn, and with my tallest stepladder on the public sidewalk, I was able to get a full-length portrait. 

This quilt is 76x96", so a generous twin bed size or a skimpy double. Here it is on my double bed. 
Admittedly, it doesn't look great with the pink-flowered bedskirt, but Damian isn't going to have to worry about a bedskirt. I bought Damian's bed when he was a toddler and had "graduated" from a crib. It's got a thin mattress and is fairly low to the ground. It's a good, safe bed for a small child, but this quilt is really too wide for it and will be dragging on the floor. However, in a few years time, we will get him a full box spring and mattress and the quilt will fit fine. And the good thing about this quilt is, because the dinosaurs are realistic and not toy-looking, it's not limited to just being appropriate for small children. 
One oddball thing I found about this pattern: it showed the side dinosaur borders with the dinosaurs facing in, not out. So when hanging like this, the dinosaurs would be upside down! Obviously, I chose not to follow that part of the pattern. 😃 And I'm going to keep this pattern around as one that might work well with other panels and their coordinating fabrics. 

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