Love Letters to Friends, As Well As Very Important Musings on Earth Shattering Matters:
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Drunk Babies

I sent two quilts out today, both started a way back in 2013.  The first was this here baby quilt for a former lifting buddy of mine, Mags, who has since gone back to greener pastures in WI and has just last week spawned her very first infant, Anne.  Hooray Mags!

The proud parents didn't find out the sex of the baby until she was born, though, so Mags gave me free rein to pick colors and do whatever.  I started with some wonky stars but didn't like them, so I gave this one a shot: a version of Julie Pickles' Mod Pop.  I say "version" because I didn't buy the pattern, since I already have a Drunkard's Path template that I could use for this sucker: lord knows I needed the practice on curved seams, but also it amuses me to make something for a baby called Drunkard's Path.

So this is the basic block, using my giant pile of thrifted men's shirts as the grays.  The plan for the color part, since I was not tied to anything gender-specific or nursery colors, was ALL the colors:  a colorwash quilt.  Exciting!  Turns out, though, that the best way to do a colorwash quilt is NOT to start with something that is yellow, orange and green and work out in a circle from there.  Bad plan, for not the least of which reason is that it turns out I didn't have all that much green in my stash to begin with and should have husbanded its use a little more carefully.  As it is, "green and pink" ended up being one of my color areas, to confusing effect.  To wit: this ended up in the middle -

...with pink/green above and purple below, which is surely not anybody's version of a color-wheel.  And yet I persevered, meanwhile discovering I was heavy on reds and aquas and light on dark purple, blue, and, of course, the elusive greens.

 The green corner was rather a disappointment, and encouraged me to go on a spending spree for green fabrics that were not hideous christmas ivies; alas, most of that got delayed by Hell Freezes Over 2014 weather and so my green corner is a bit lackluster. In the final analysis, though, that might not be a bad thing - this way it goes not only from color to color but also from lighter to more saturated in general, and so it flows, sort of, despite my efforts rather than because of them.  Am rethinking that bright green solid in the bottom center, though - that's a little neon for what's going on around it.  It's not quite as glaring in life as it is in this picture:

The back is simple gray flannel with a panel of rainbow dots....naturally, the panel was not quiiiiite long enough to legit fit, so I ended up bookending it with a sliver of more gray flannel to make it work.  There was probably something a little more inventive I could have done here, but then the child had the nerve to go and be born on her due date, and I'd spent too much time tinkering with greens and pinks and placement and GAH! and had to get hopping.

I still think it's an accomplishment sewing fabric with a noticeable linear pattern in a straight line.

I did the simplest of all simple quilting by stitching in the ditch around each square, which I think is a pleasant window-pane effect - I'm not a fan of super heavy quilting. I don't actually want to cuddle under a heavily quilted quilt because of how stiff it feels to me; and,  in my humble opinion, the cuddle is the entire point of HAVING a quilt.  So simple quilting it is, with a fetching red dotty binding that I think adds an appropriate amount of childhood whimsy.  Those little Clover clippy things my sis-in-law got me for Christmas, and they are the bomb.  Any opportunity to reduce my chances of pin-sticking myself under my thumbnail is greatly appreciated, because: ow, that mothereffing hurts.

After the wash: delightful crinkly flannel windowpanes yay!

While I didn't set out to make an eye-spy quilt, I think at some point I'm going to have to try one, because I find myself grinning inanely when I manage a fussy cut like this here dark purple koi:

This fish is totally farting, yes indeedy.

Towards that end I feel fully justified in blowing the rent money on more fabric with sweet little characters like this guy (particularly in green) because, you know, pre-planning!  Also fabric hoarding.

Here she is basically finished, though the binding was a work in progress still.  I think I'm getting faster at the binding business, because I finished this one in one good half-Sunday's work, while watching most of Season 8 of "Supernatural."  (Parenthetically, I can't BELIEVE that show has been on for 9 years: I mean, I get the eye candy boys and all, but seriously, I binge-watched the first 7.5 seasons over Christmas last year, and by the end of that I was mouthing their lines before they were.  I understand they will end after season 10, which is a good long run in anyone's book, so I hope they can flesh out a decent finale season and put the poor undead thing to rest at long last.)

Meanwhile, back in quilt-land, tragedy struck in the 11th hour as the post-washing review yielded this ripped binding fabric - I honestly couldn't tell if I just plain missed an edge while I was sewing the binding down, or if this fabric was just crappy and cheap, and ripped while in the wash.  I fervently hope for the former, in the interests of this whole thing not disintegrating the first time Mags tries to wash the drool out of it.
Quelle Horreur

The fix wasn't particularly difficult, but it did make me hyperventilate a little. Who wants to send an already-destroyed present to someone?  Eesh.

The fix is in

 And so Mags' quilt de bebe is the first finish of 2014, and it's off to Madison in today's mail so I hope it arrives mostly still pieced.  And welcome, wee Anne!  I'm sorry to not have more greens to give you. Given the bad-assery of your parents, I'm sure you'll be doing kipping pull-ups in no time.