Cara-Cara-Kumquat

Say that two or three times–it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Cara Cara is a type of sweet navel orange that has pinky flesh, and is an early navel variety.  Kumquats are a small sour orange fruit that you pop in your mouth and eat–skin and all–and although it makes your face pucker up when you first bite into it, it leaves your mouth feeling really fresh.  I pull one off our trees out front when I’m going somewhere as it freshens my breath.  Add them together and you get the name of my latest quilt: that pinky-orange 9-patch that I’ve been working on for a while.

My husband held up the quilt this afternoon in bright sunlight, so it’s really on full wattage.  It’s a little more mellow indoors.

The quilting, by Cathy of CJ Designs, is a heart-and-loops design.

The back is pieced, and is a Marimekko fabric from Crate and Barrel’s Outlet Store (which regretfully moved 90 minutes away from my house–how I am supposed to get my quilt backs now?).  This is supposed to be stylized fruits (see the grapes?) but sometimes I wonder if the people in Sweden have different fruit than we do.  Let’s be real: I chose it for the colors.

Yeah, okay.  I’m proud of those corners.

Had enough?

That’s all for Cara-Cara-Kumquat. It’s going on my bed for a while, so I can really enjoy it.

Halfway? There

I think I’m about halfway finished.  I’m glad to be at this point!

A set of papers to grade are coming in Thursday, and I need to pay attention to more school stuff.  Getting this sewn together–with the sashing around the edges–will allow me to take a bit of a break.

Orangey-Pink Quilt

When we dropped off my sister’s quilt at Cathy-the-Quilter’s, Cathy had my orange and pink quilt ready to come home.  I’m just now getting to it.

My original thought was to piece the binding, using fabrics from the quilt.  But after piecing upteem-jillion pieces on my Come A-Round quilt, I’m about up-to-there with piecing.

So I’m going with this strawberry print by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman.  I usually don’t like white-ish fabrics on a binding, but I’m more than happy to use this and not have to piece!  Cathy did a stars-and-loops pattern for the quilting.  She’s terrific.

Nope.

A Day in the Life. Trying for those first borders. The captions are in the photos.

Not done, but at least I can now go to dinner with my husband.  Our Saturday-night date.

This is what happens when you realize that you’ve cut the piece 16″ and it should have been 16 1/2″.  You piece it.  With whatever scraps you have.  Even though you are creating a new kind of fabric with a two-toned dot.

 

 

Whew!

You know how we feel when we watch an elderly (read: ten years older than my parents) person cross the street, one hesitating step at a time, and there we are in our cars, cheering them on realizing that we are witnessing a tiny heroic moment?

Okay.  Here’s the jump from that metaphor: making a quilt.

And here are some of my tiny steps.

This puzzle shows my pin board, with the last sections of the circles being sewn.  I pull them off, one arc at a time.  I forgot to show paper-piecing instructions, but here’s some of the finishing pictures.

I pin the outside piece to the first arc, then stitch. . .

. . . upside down, with the paper UP.  This is the opposite of what the instructions in the book say, but I found it more helpful to tuck my hand in between the paper-pieced segment and the fabric segment, “pulling” or easing the underneath fabric straight out from the needle, and allowing the paper to dictate my seam allowance.  I don’t go very fast, but have only had one or two puckers in the whole quilt top, so this system must work for me okay.

Then before I rip off all the paper segments (fold back along the stitched line, score with my fingernail, rip), I make a tiny hash mark on the center line, so I can line up the next segment (paper-pieced to fabric).

Here I go again–hand underneath the paper-pieced segment, gently drawing the fabric underneath away from the needle, as I stitch along the paper guidelines.

One of the challenges of this quilt has been controlling the bulk of the seams, as you can imagine.  I finally hit on the system of pressing one segment toward the center, and the next door neighbor segment toward the edge.  Then when they line up, the seam bulk alternates.  Make sure you are consistent all the way around the wheel.  I know there’s that idea about pressing so the wheel looks like it’s floating on top of the pieced background, but I gave up that notion because the bulk was a bigger problem than appearance.

I have to unpick the center stitching lines that are visible just outside the seams.  When paper piecing, I stitched down that line (uneccesary) and now I have a few things to unpick.  But I’m happy with how all the seams are converging in the center.  On the original design (Everyday Best, by Becky Goldsmith and LInda Jenkins), they have dots covering their centers.  I am seriously thinking of leaving those off.

So here it is, as I left it last night: a tiny heroic achievement on the road to the rest of the quilt.