Sunday, January 10, 2010

Split Nine patch

I realized it's been a week since I blogged at all. It's been busy around here, but not so much with sewing. I did finish the blocks for my split nine patch. There are two ways to do a split nine patch, and I did the version with a solid center square.

Here are rows 2-10, I didn't realize I chopped off row 1 until I uploaded the photo.

Rows 11 and 12 are on the floor, the bamboo shade I use for a design wall isn't long enough to hold it all. I just finished taking it off the design wall, all nicely piled up and labeled to be sewn together. I'll take another photo when the center is together. The quilt turned out much pinker than I expected. There are about twice as many cream colored squares than the other lights, but the pinks and peaches really took over. That's fine, and I like it, but I have to use a different border now. I'm hoping to get the center done by tomorrow, and lay it out on the guest bed so I can audition some other options.

I am not sure I have a fabric I really like for the border in my stash, now that it's looking so pink. (It looks much pinker in person than in this photo) My original choice definitely doesn't match. Right now I'm thinking narrow navy border, followed by a narrow cream, and finished with a piano key blue border. This quilt is supposed to be mainly blue, and I think it needs more blue in the borders to fulfill that goal. I might use my original border fabric for the backing, I have enough of it to do so.

I made a few all yellow 8.5" string blocks, and now that I've started on the green strings I divided out some of the lighter greens and made a few light green 8.5" blocks. I think I'll do the same with the blues, and I'm thinking there is a baby quilt in this. I'm making bigger blocks because I want to put them with another fabric and turn them into HST's. I'll have to figure out how many light blocks I can make before I figure out a layout.

Here are some of my 6.5" green string blocks. I have a bunch of green strings so I should end up with quite a few blocks. It's funny, I make my SIL two quilts a year for her to use as prizes or raffle at her gymnastics meets. One of her meets is the Shamrock meet in March, and one is Stars and Stripes in the fall. I had chosen a pattern for the Shamrock meet quilt, but I have so many things going on right now, I was wondering when I would get to it. I looked down at the green string blocks, and had an "aha" moment. I'll just take the green string blocks I'm already making, and use it for her Shamrock quilt. With some white sashing, and green cornerstones, I should end up with a big enough quilt to work, and it is something I was already working on. I can always quilt a shamrock in each square, and just stitch-in-the-ditch on the sashing. This is doable, and a lot less stressful than starting another quilt!

I ended up with 58 autumn blocks before I ran out of golds for the center strip. I threw the extra strings back into the misc. color pile. I knew 58 blocks wouldn't work right, but I just bought a quilting program and I got to play with different layouts and figure out something that would work. I would love to own Electric Quilt 6.0 someday, but it is more than I want to pay right now. Instead I bought Quilt Design Wizard made by the same company. It doesn't do as much as the more expensive programs, but it still does a lot. I love how the measurements of the quilt are on the bottom of the page, and I can see immediately what adding sashing or changing block size does to the quilt. I've designed a couple of quilts on it already, it is so much fun! Quilt Design Wizard retails for $30, but I found it from an Amazon seller for $17.

I made a big purchase yesterday. I ordered a cabinet for the Juki. DH said it was OK with him, but now I really need to sell this frame so I have room for the cabinet. I spent a lot of last week searching for sewing machine cabinets online. The Koala cabinets are my favorite, but their price tag is definitely prohibitive. It's free to drool and dream, but not to buy :-) I like my Arrow cabinet for my Bernina just fine, and Arrow has excellent customer service. You can't order directly from Arrow, even though the cabinets are shipped directly from them. I ended up ordering this cabinet, from this source.
I've ordered sewing machine feet from this site before, and they are very quick to ship. I had checked Joanns online, they had this cabinet on sale, with free shipping and a free insert. When I added it to my cart, they added a $20 fee for a special delivery (They said free shipping, how does that work?) and the taxes were so high it was almost $750.

I emptied my Joanns cart, and went to I had looked around and I knew they had one of the better prices on this cabinet. I was familiar with them since I had ordered from them before. I put the cabinet in my cart, and the insert which was separate, not included like on Joanns. I found an online coupon for this site, that was $75 off a $750 order. I figured it out, and it would actually bring the price down to order more stuff. Don't you love that? I got some more bobbin savers, some bobbins, a Big Foot darning foot, some Invisigrip for my rulers, and a different brand of quilting gloves I've been wanting to try. I added all of that, put in the coupon code, and the price went down by $10 from just the cabinet and insert price. No taxes and my whole order got free shipping. It was under $700. It's still a lot of money, but I have a few things I'm planning on selling and that should make up a lot of the cost. I will sell the frame, the stitch regulator, and the Pattern Perfect set.

I wish I could have found a less expensive option that I thought would work. That is a lot of money, but since I am mainly going to use this cabinet for free motion quilting, I really wanted the extra quilting leaf. I checked the price of cheaper cabinets with a quilting extension, and the extensions are so expensive, the cost is about the same. I think it's just that everything is so expensive these days. DH is a gem though, and didn't complain. He did insist that I get a cabinet that could handle a larger machine should I ever get one, so that narrowed my choices too. I had to get a large opening cabinet. Maybe someday, 10 or 15 years from now, I can find a used Bernina 820 to put in it ;-)


Stephanie Newman said...

NICE split nine patch Melodie- this is really pretty. I think blue is the way to go for borders, however you end up piecing them. You could also consider auditioning a pale pink border in place of the cream one...just to see how it looks.
Stephanie in Oz.

ann said...

hi have discovered
the same way i did that warm colors don't take as many to change the color of a quilt as cools do. BTW that is a beautiful quilt