From My Carolina Home

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Be My Neighbor – Quilting the Beast

After the flimsy was done, I measured the quilt.  It came out at 70 x 96 inches, quite the beast!  So now the decision was how to quilt it.  From the beginning, I wanted to do a cloud fill in the sky parts, and individual motifs and designs on each house.  I needed to decide as it affects the way it is loaded on the longarm, custom quilting gets loaded with the top edge pinned to the leader and quilted from the front of  the machine.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

That, frankly, was an overwhelming idea at this point, with it being such a big quilt.  I could do that and just not finish for this year’s fair, after all there’s another fair next year.  But I just chickened out and decided on a pantograph. So, I need to load it crosswise, with the longer axis parallel to the leaders.  Pantographs are quilted from the back side of the frame.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

That decision affects how I would piece the backing as well, as it is best for the seams to run parallel to the bars. There was only one fabric in my stash for backing that had enough fabric on the bolt.  I needed 5-1/2 yards to get the required 4 inches all around for longarming.  I have a couple of wide backs in the stash, but their autumn look didn’t go with this quilt.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Now, what pantograph to choose? I pulled several from the basket to audition.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I eliminated three right off, as they were not dense enough for the look I wanted. So, these two were the choice. The flowers and leaves didn’t seem to be the right scale for the houses. So, I picked the one on the left below for its feather motif and fairly dense quilting design.  It is called Feelin’ Groovy designed by Michelle Wyman and Terri Watson for Heart and Soul Quilts sold by Willow Leaf Studio.  The width of the panto is 14 inches, so one pass quilts a lot of area.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Backing seam done, it was loaded with Warm and Natural batting. I folded up the bottom to check the square. Yippee, my borders are straight! Yes, I do this on my own quilts. I want to fix piecing or border issues before starting quilting. You can do the same with your quilts using the side of a bed.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

OK, getting there. Next choice, thread color. I auditioned lots of colors, I thought the greys would win, but they didn’t look as good on the houses as a brown tone.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The choice came down to these three.  I had an idea that the light variegated gold might look like sunlight in the sky, but it was too bright for the houses. Ultimately, I decided on the light brown Essentials thread for the top, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

And we’re off! Amazingly, the tension is perfect from the beginning.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The stitching stepped over the appliques easily. I was nervous about that.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I like the look on the lighter colors, adding a bit of pattern to the larger pieces on the houses.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

It disappeared on the busier prints and darker colors.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The birdies did well too, another breath holding moment, or five, LOL!

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Working my way down the quilt, all is going well. I left it for the evening, to pick up again the next day.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Starting again on day two of quilting, new bobbin and it is quilting nicely.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

And in a stroke of luck, the bobbin only ran out on the pebble fabric, so I could tie off and bury the threads and it didn’t show the starts and stops at all.  I did buy a side threading needle to make that easier.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Down to the bottom of the quilting (which is the side of the quilt top), still doing well. Whew!!

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Backing checked, no thread loop runs, all looks great, so off the frame it came.  Amazing!  No trouble at all.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is quilted. I was really afraid that it would be a pain since the piecing has been such a trial.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

But there it is, here’s the bottom half.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

All trimmed, and ready for the final touches. Binding is next, and football preseason is here, so I have handwork to do for a number of days. I need to do the binding, then add all the embellishments like buttons for bird eyes and some other things. After that, it will need a hanging sleeve and a label. At this point, I am ahead of schedule and will surely have enough time to finish in time to show it at the Mountain Regional State Fair.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever had a project that gave you as much trouble as this one has given me?

My blog is about a variety of topics, quilting and sewing, crafting and cooking, reading and travel, mountain living and gardening, and more.  You can follow my blog in several ways, see the sidebar for email sign up or blog-reader links.  I have lots of free patterns for quilters, mystery quilt alongs, holiday quilt alongs, and seasonal events with giveaways.  Please follow me for all the fun!  New projects coming up!!

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Be My Neighbor – Flimsy Assembly

When I left this at the beginning of the week, I had realized too late that I made two yellow houses to go next to each other.  One of those ‘oh, no!’ moments.  What is the good of having a plan if I don’t stick to it?   Well, perhaps it is to let you all know that mistakes happen, and there isn’t anything that cannot be fixed in some way.  I make plenty of mistakes normally, but this quilt has certainly tried my patience.  So now, time to punt yet again.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

The first thought I had was to just move this block to the opposite end. But, I have made one block in each row with the darker color blue, and this would put two right next to each other in the first position on two adjacent rows. So I thought, I’ll swap the two, but as you can see, they are not the same width.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Layout

OK, leave the house in the fourth position, then I realized that the house in the same position on the first row was also yellow. Good grief.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Layout

So, maybe I move the last house to position one, but again, I end up with the two dark backgrounds in the same position on two rows, plus it doesn’t separate the yellow very well.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Layout

OK, so this row goes back to the bottom. The only thing that makes sense now is to rip the first block from row 3 and put it on the right end, so the dark blues are again distributed evenly.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Layout

That is looking better, but now I have birds on two blocks in the first position on adjacent rows, when they were spread out better before.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Layout

But I am not ripping up an applique, LOL, I draw the line there! So, the only thing to do at this point is to swap row one and row two.  OK, maybe I have a good layout now with the colors and the birds well distributed from a design standpoint.  I’m good with it, so this is ready to finish up.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Layout

I sewed the end blocks to the rows on the third and fourth rows. Then, I begin cutting the sashing strips. I use one strip of sky and one of pebble fabric for road between the rows and across the bottom.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

Cutting the strips to measure 60-inches, and pinning takes the longer set up of cutting board and pin board.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

But, in short order the upper two rows are together.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

Then the bottom two rows are sewn.  I only put pebble fabric on the bottom for now.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

Now as I am looking at the two sections together, I see a big open space on the bottom right.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

If I put a bird on that house, it would balance the distribution of the birds. So, more applique! Now is the time to do that, before the upper and lower sections are joined. Out comes the freezer paper, sections are cut and ironed.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

I still should to buy some applique pins, but I am resisting that urge as I don’t really want to do a lot more applique.  I see this little guy as a Carolina Wren.  It took less than an hour to stitch him down.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

Joining the top and bottom sections and finally, the blocks are together with the sashing!

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

I start auditioning border fabrics now too. The light green with the butterflies looked the best.  I also decided to add side and bottom borders of sky blue to frame out the neighborhood.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

Two borders done, a narrow light blue sky fabric and then the light green with butterflies.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

Here’s the bottom corner, with the same strips as between the rows.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

One sky strip on the top with no pebble fabric. The sides have just the sky fabric.  The green is 3-1/2 inches wide.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

And, there it is, finally all assembled!!

Be My Neighbor Quilt Assembly at From My Carolina Home

On to quilting it, LOL!!  Then I’ll need to do binding and all the extra details, then a label and hanging sleeve.  I think I can make it by the deadline now.

What are you sewing now?

 

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Be My Neighbor – Blocks 15 and 16

Stepping up the pace now, my plan was to sew block a week for the next two weeks, sashing and borders in the third week, quilting during week four, and then binding in week five with a week to catch up if I don’t keep up.  But, after the last block was done, and the next one underway, I realized all the handwork I have planned is going to take it’s share of time and I have to add a hanging sleeve and a label to the back.  So, it was time to sew two blocks in a day to move the schedule forward at least a week. Block 15 was supposed to be in these colors, but after I laid out the green, it didn’t make sense anymore. It has such a strong leaf print, I didn’t want to use it.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

But the good news is I found just enough of the orange tree print to barely get a top and three branches for the tree. The pattern calls for seven branches and a top, so I had to expand the trunk and the sky above. I liked that idea better than introducing another tree fabric.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Tree done, with the sky strip to add.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Laying out the rest of the bits, for some reason I cannot now explain, I picked up yellow as the house fabric in place of the green, without consulting my plan. This will come back to bite me in just a little bit.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

I had cut the green piece according to the directions, but it wasn’t fitting as it should.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Measuring again, then looking at the pattern, there is a mistake in the pattern.  Adding up the widths of the pieces across the bottom, you get 21-1/2, not 15-1/2.  I wanted to have the 10-1/2 x 2-1/2 piece under the house stretch across the width of the block as a ground.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

So, another piece cut and finished it up.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Adding this block to the other two on the row, and arghh!! The center of the ground floral strip is still not right, it is bowing up in the middle so I must have cut it wrong.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

You guessed it, yep, had to rip it out and replace it.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

Then I had to change that fabric too, as I no longer had enough of the original choice.  Finally, will call this one done.

Be My Neighbor Block 15 at From My Carolina Home

The next day, on to the next block, the last one!! I pulled out my fabrics from my plan and set to work.

Be My Neighbor 16 1

Cutting out the bits, and laying them out, I started sewing on some of the pieces. It was fun to realize that I was on the last of the piecing for the house blocks.

Be My Neighbor 16 2

It looked so easy, so I dove in without reading the directions. Bad idea.

Be My Neighbor 16 3

The house window floral is directional, so sewing the house needed to be done with care.

Be My Neighbor 16 4

About here was when I realized that the upper cross on the corner was sewed too soon, and the bottom part needed to be separate to complete the house with straight seams.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

Oh well, ripped out a bit more.

Be My Neighbor 16 7

Now, this time I read carefully, as I have messed up on this kind of roof-chimney arrangement before.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

Got it right, no ripping this time.

Be My Neighbor 16 8

Laying out the block again, it is looking better. But even now, I still haven’t realized my mistake.

Be My Neighbor 16 9

More sections sewn, and it is done, whooppeee!!!

Be My Neighbor 16 11

Doing the happy dance, until I placed the last block next to block 15.

Be My Neighbor Block 16 at From My Carolina Home

And there we are, two yellow houses side by side.  Nope, can’t leave it this way.  Now, I need to figure out what to do, what to change with the least amount of hassle.  Yes, there is likely going to be more frogging involved, but just how much is yet to be determined.

What are you working on?


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Be My Neighbor Block 13

Getting back to the Be My Neighbor quilt, I decided to lay out a number of fabrics all at once, and choose the fabrics for the last four blocks all at once. I plan to put the darker blue fabric on the last block in the final row, and I also wanted to distribute the colors across the row.  I have realized that I am going too slow on this at this point, and I need to finish all the blocks, do the sashing, and add the border(s), all before the end of July.  That will give me one month to get it quilted and bound in time for the State Fair this year.

Be My Neighbor Row 4 Plan at From My Carolina Home

I had this wonderful lattice fabric with roses that I wanted to use on one of the houses, and this block seemed the perfect one.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

Block 13 has a large piece in the center that will look like the lattice is climbing up the side.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

So as usual, I cut all the bits, and found a couple of buttons for the flower center to audition.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

Marking diagonal lines, chain sew as much as I can.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

Layout the bits, and sew in sections, again as much as possible to minimize trips to the ironing board.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

I noticed that I ran out of bobbin thread, and after reloading, I got the leaf blocks sewn on the wrong side.  Oh well, it just means that the solid blocks are on opposite sides from the pattern, something no one will notice.  Not ripping that out!

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

Piecing all together, I placed the flower on the patchwork.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

Pinning on the bird and the flower, I used the freezer paper method of applique again.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

It only took me part of an afternoon to get the handwork done.  All the birds will get button eyes, and all the flowers will get button centers once the quilting is done.

Be My Neighbor Block 13 at From My Carolina Home

So, Block 13 completed.  I’m going to have to finish one block a week at least to stay on track.  Next up is Block 14, the sailboat, and I am not going to do a sailboat.  So now I have to figure out what to put in its place.  I’ll do another house of some sort, and I’ll share that with you next week.

What are you working on now?

 

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Be My Neighbor Block 12

Moving on to the next block in this quilt along, block 12 is pretty simple. I knew I could do this one in very little time, so I got out the basket of scraps and began pulling colors. I laid out the previous row so I could see what would be next to this block, and vary the colors. Purple with a floral print seemed the right choice for the large squares, and I can use the lighter purple in the nine-patch blocks.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -2

I cut most of the pieces and set them out on my sewing table for assembly. I decided to do the nine-patches using strips instead of cutting all the little 2-inch squares. Laying out the components, there were only two diagonal lines to draw this time. I chain pieced as much as I could before taking the units to the ironing board.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -4

I did the nine patch strip units and cross cut them, pressing the strips toward the green so the units would nest.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -5

Sewing more units, I looked carefully at the roof knowing that those chimneys would be a pain. So, I carefully pinned them, checked the placement, checked and repinned again.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -6

And still managed to do it wonky. Even with the quarter-inch foot and trying really hard. I can’t break the streak now, apparently.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -7

And so, I took it out and redid the seam. Twice.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -8

The third time was the charm, or at least as good as I was ever going to get it. I turned to assembling the other units.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -9

Final two seams were sewn and the block was done.  The purples really are the same bluish tone, the darker one isn’t showing true in the pictures.  The nine patch colors are pulled out of the purple floral print, and match really well.

Be My Neighbor Block 12 -10

So, those of you really sharp eyed will notice that I skipped Block 11. I have a couple of ideas of how to do that block with all the little houses, but no fabric that will suit for the large windows on each little house. My first thought is to make them all birdhouses, with fussy cut birds in each window. Problem is I do not have any bird fabric. I also thought about using food fabrics, like little farmer’s market stalls. So, I am going to look in the shops for something suitable, maybe one of these ideas or maybe something I haven’t thought about yet. I won’t be able to get to the meeting today for the group as our longarm group is meeting in Waynesville Weaverville at a new quilt shop. Maybe I can find something cute there. We’ll see!

Are you doing the quilt along? What are you working on now?

 

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Be My Neighbor Block 10 and a Quilt Shop Visit

Moving on to Block 10, I feel like I am running out of choices for pastels.  I really don’t want to buy more fabric for this quilt, but I may have to.  A fat quarter or two wouldn’t hurt, would it?  There are still six more blocks after this one.  I knew I wanted a green house somewhere, as the house I remember most vividly from my growing up years was green.  I auditioned a few prints for the star in the center.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -1

I carefully cut all the pieces, double checking the dimensions.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -2

This one has another tree, so I began with the squares on the edges to make the branches, drawing the lines as instructed.  Once again, I used the orange tree fabric.  This used up the last of it, so I don’t know what I’ll do for the tree in the last row.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -3

As usual, I chain pieced as much as possible to speed up construction.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -4

Finishing up the tree, I started on the house. This one will be the green with the swirly print, with a purple star center. Once again, I divided the background on the tree to allow for a ground of flowers.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -6

I had a moment of dismay, thinking I had cut these wrong, but it really was OK. The squares were supposed to be a bit shorter than the rectangle to make the flying geese.  Whew!

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -7

I constructed the elements, then laid it out for sewing in rows, and pressing for nesting seams.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -8

At this point I was feeling pretty good about the construction…

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -9

until I sewed the two sides together and realized that one side was too short.  I wasn’t sure if the bottom piece or the top one was too short, but it was easiest to just replace the bottom.  So the streak continues, and I frogged out the offending piece.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -10

A new piece was cut and inserted.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -11

And now, the piecing of this block is done.  All the points are looking pretty sharp for a change, LOL!!

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -12

All that is left is the applique, and this time I will do a bluebird. I also reversed the direction, as I wanted at least one bird to face the other direction. I already have two facing to the left, so I made this one face to the right. This will be my slow stitching for Sunday.  I’ll add beads or buttons for eyes after the construction and quilting is done.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -15

Last week on my quick trip to Chattanooga, I wanted to visit a couple of quilt shops and I found a fabulous and charming one that I want to share with you.

Chattanooga Quilts

I didn’t have much time, as we were on our way out of town, so at some point I need to go back.  I was enchanted by the ambiance the moment I stepped into it. Stuffed full of fabric and notions, just look at the lovely wood floors! Kim greeted me as soon as I entered the store.

Chattanooga Quilts

That is Kim behind the counter, the store owner. She graciously agreed to allow a few pictures so you could see her wonderful store.  It is beautifully laid out, with plenty of room for browsing, yet full of fabrics and goodies to see.  It has lovely vignettes with pretty lamps, vintage sewing items, antique clocks and more placed around the shop.

Chattanooga Quilts

Charming antiques and warm wood tones make a relaxed shopping experience. Mary Beth was also working that day, and I loved having a chance to talk with both ladies. Mary Beth has read this blog from time to time, and it was a thrill for me to meet a reader! I was having so much fun, and then we began talking about Be My Neighbor. Her shop is doing the quilt pattern in block-of-the-month meetings too. I explained my pebble fabric dilemma that you all have seen, and Kim had a fabric to show me. Smaller scale and more neutral rosy brown tones looked promising, so I got some.

Be My Neighbor Pebble Fabric 1

Here it is with the block row, and I like it!  It has the smaller scale but more neutral tones that you all said would be the best compromise between the first two choices.

Be My Neighbor Pebble Fabric 2

The color blends well with the roof fabrics, and the pastels on the houses. Thank you, Kim!

Be My Neighbor Pebble Fabric 3

I had a few minutes to chat, and see the blocks that are being done by the shop in the lovely classroom space. Just look at how they are embellishing the blocks with stitching and appliques. Lovely, and what a great idea for some of the more plain house sides.  The little scalloped curtains in the windows of this house block are just so cute, and what an inspired idea!

Chattanooga Quilts

I could have stayed for a long time, chatting with these two friendly ladies and browsing all the goodies in the shop, but DH was waiting in the car to get on the road home. But before I left, Kim treated me to a sneak peek of her design for the Row by Row event this summer. It is so cute, I may have to make the trip back during the event just to get the pattern. If you are in east Tennessee for a visit, be sure to visit Chattanooga Quilts, it is a delight.

Chattanooga Quilts

What are you working on now? Do you have a favorite out of town quilt shop you like to visit?

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Slow Sunday Stitching

 


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Be My Neighbor Block 7

Moving on, now I am on schedule of two blocks a month.  Next up Block 7.  I got out the previous blocks along with my spring scrap basket to choose the next house colors.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

I decided on the darker blue for the sky for this block. It has a tree, so I dug out the fabric with the oranges and leaves for that. Daffodils will go on the ground again, and the roof will be the marbled brown. I knew I wanted some pink in this house, so one of the flying geese units will be pink, and the other green, with a white background.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

Cutting the pieces went more carefully this time noting the 1/4 and 3/4 dimensions.  This took longer than sewing the block, even with the boo-boos.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

There were a lot of squares to draw angled lines on this time, so I did all those at once.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

Laying out the sections, they were chain pieced as much as possible.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

This also allowed for ironing in batches, which meant fewer trips to the ironing board.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

It was going really well, and then the ripping-out streak continued. I had to rip out and resew this seam three times before I was OK with the result.  The left side of the roof and chimney just refused to line up to my satisfaction.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

Then I did this, LOL!! More ripping and resewing. Oh well, maybe next time!

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

I got the tree reoriented correctly, the roof matched up a bit better, and the geese set.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

Right and left sections completed.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

And the block was done.  No birdies to applique this time.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

If you are just now finding this series with me, and you’d like to make these blocks too, go to Bear Creek Quilting Free Moda Be My Neighbor for the patterns for all 16 blocks. I’ll be doing two a month until they are done. Here are Blocks 5,6 and 7 together.

Be My Neighbor Block 7 at From My Carolina Home

After I finish Block 8 in a couple of weeks, I’ll add it to this row. I haven’t decided on what to do for the sashing yet, maybe a cobblestone fabric that looks like a street? Or more sky fabric? Or florals? I’m just not sure yet.

What are you sewing this week?

 

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