Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Australia PINK Streak of Lightning - Finally Finished! ...and a Spoonflower review

My goodness, this one has been staring at me saying, "Quilt me! Quilt me! Quilt me now!"

Reminds me a bit of our granddaughter for whom it was made.

This quilt was the inaugural project of the International Mystery Tour Club in our shop that we started in 2005, so this quilt is older than our granddaughter, Maykayla, who will be 8 when she receives it for Christmas.

This was a very simple quilt to make. We used Triangles on a Roll to make the half-square triangles. I still must not have cut them exactly right because I had some issues putting them together, but I finally finished piecing the main portion of the top late last year and added the borders earlier this year.

I loaded it on the frame on my birthday a couple of weeks ago and after basting it in, I ran into some hiccups and had to run the first pass in non-stitch regulated mode; seems we knocked a cable off its normal position and I couldn't get it to stitch while moving east and west. Hubster took a look at it the next morning, found the issue and resolved it. It's good to have a mechanical minded mate! And yes, it would be better if I were so inclined. I'm working on it.

I quilted big flowers like the ones in the borders, and my usual swirls and other doodles.

I love to doodle. I know it's hard to see some of the quilting because the thread blends so well--that was my intention.
 The back:

I do believe I will now refer to this quilt as "Pink Fluff". And I'm still not a lover of pink, but now I like the quilt; quilting always makes the quilt.

The label: I design the majority of my labels in Photoshop Elements (I'm currently using version 9 because I have an OLD laptop). I always printed my own labels but lately have had issues with the fabric not wanting to feed through my HP printer. I decided to give Spoonflower a try.

Unless you live under a mushroom, you have probably heard about Spoonflower--they digitally print your designs on fabrics, wallpaper, gift wrap, etc. I uploaded the designs for this label and Cheyanne's (Chinese Nachos). While I typically design my labels to print at 8" x 10", you can get your designs printed as a swatch for only $5.00 USD, and that's an 8" x 8" piece. I modified my designs to fit in the swatch size and ordered it printed on basic combed cotton. Your designs can be printed on Kona cotton, knit, faille, voile, canvas, and other weaves.

It's very easy to upload the designs and you will see a preview of how your design will look; the first image below is the design in a tile format:

This image shows your design centered; this is the format I use for a single label:

I've heard of Spoonflower customers making their own generic quilt labels and printing it so they can cut one or more out and write in the particulars with a pigment pen. Neat idea!

I am very happy with the results. While the swatches were a tiny bit on the stiff side, they were no more so than the pre-treated fabric sheets you can purchase from Electric Quilt, C. Jenkins and Printed Treasures, and far better than the other brands that won't be mentioned here. It will be interesting to see how the colors fare after several washings.

Icing on the cake was the shipping charge of only $1.00. I'll eventually buy a new printer and print my own again, but in the interim I'll be using Spoonflower. I'm now entertaining the idea of having custom gift wrap made for birthdays and Christmas!
Now, about that binding...I decided to try a flanged binding following this tutorial. I was sick this past week and should not have attempted this while on stuff for a hay fever attack, but hopefully I've learned my lesson. The technique is easy enough, it's just that I should have used the pink for the wider strips instead of the narrower strips. I know our granddaughter won't mind, so I'm ok with it.

Finished size: 55" x 78"
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch
Top Thread: Superior Threads So Fine in Daffodil
Bobbin Thread: Filtec Magna-Glide Delights in Lemon Ice

Speaking of Christmas, that's it for quilted Christmas presents--WOOHOO! So what's next? The Christmas bed quilts--I still haven't appliqued the snowflakes on Pinetree Village, but will soon, and it will be next on the longarm. I've also pulled fabric for another Christmas bed quilt and have decided on a third Christmas bed quilt, but haven't pulled the fabric for it.

I have had the most wonderful time pulling fabrics for the second Christmas quilt AND the secret project. The euphoria that surrounded me while fondling just doesn't get any better. I need to remember that when I'm cutting and sewing.

The home dec surge continues. Katrina and LeiLani took me to dinner on my birthday and we stopped at JoAnn's on the way home. I don't normally buy fabrics there, but they were having a red tag sale on some home dec fabrics and I found one that coordinated perfectly with another piece in my collection, and I've decided that I'll redecorate the front guest bedroom with these fabrics. Jack brought to me another pillow that needs a zipper.

Good times. Go quilt!

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