A little more progress

I’m slowly adding the borders/sashing to join the Ocean quilt blocks together.  I was able to pick up the additional blue batik fabrics earlier in the week.  The idea is to have deep blues at the bottom for the depths of the sea and then get lighter as the “water” gets shallower up near the beach blocks.

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I’m planning on quilting this in pieces so I can really maneuver around the creatures to highlight their details.  So the shark is now one big block with its borders, for example, and the manta ray and angel fish are another rectangular piece.  There will be seven separate rectangles to quilt – much easier than wrestling the whole thing at once.  I’ll add pieces of batting, quilt them, and then seam them together into one big top.

I would be further along if the puppy would stop racing in, grabbing scraps, and racing back out again to chew them to bits in the living room. Puppy sitting and sewing don’t go together well, especially with a not entirely housetrained puppy.

IMG_8254We also took some frisbee tossing breaks.  Every rare moment without rain is cherished by dog and human alike!

 

 

Angel fish

I completed the last paper pieced block for my younger son’s Ocean quilt today.  It is a fairly simple double angelfish block from Silver Linings.

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I added a little more fabric to the top and bottom to elongate the block.  I went ahead and added some more of the sand fabric to the crab block from earlier to make it bigger as well.

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This isn’t a great picture – the lower section isn’t as dark as it looks.  I couldn’t get far enough away to squeeze it all into the picture without screwing up the lighting.

I’ve rearranged the blocks yet again since this picture to put all the beach blocks in the top row.  And there will likely be more adjustments as I pull it all together.

As you can see, I’ve started to add some of the sashing fabric – the plan is to have dark sashing at the bottom for the deep sea, medium blues in the middle and light blues at the top for the shallows. But this is going to mean a trip to the fabric store as I don’t have enough of the medium or light batiks.

Luckily spring break just started for me, so there will be lots of time for fabric stores and quilting projects!  My sewing goal for the week is to get this quilt top fully put together and get one of the pinned sandwiches in my WIP pile to a fully finished quilt.

Sharp teeth

More progress on the Oceans quilt for my younger son!

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I got the dolphins block finished last week. I made some color choices that didn’t work out that well, making the dolphin on the right a little hard to see against the background, but I’m hoping quilting will help with that. And he liked it, which is the main thing.

Apparently I got so caught up in it that I forgot to take progress pics. Assume it looked pretty much like the pictures from the block I started next – cutting out the pattern pieces and then sewing various pieces of batik and marbled fabric to them:

This next block has sharp teeth!

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I’ve been using different blues for the watery background for each block.  I cut it too close this time and at the end had to piece together small scraps to make slightly larger scraps.  And even then I had to make one sliver of ocean from pieces that had the waves going in the wrong direction.  Frustrating, but I wasn’t about to start over at that point!

The pic on the right below is all I had left to put on the final small pieces.  I also snuck in a bit of another dark blue in small places where I didn’t think it would be noticeable.

The next to last step last step is trimming each piece to with a quarter inch seam allowance.  It takes a while with so many pieces.  As I trim I lay them out in the general arrangement in which they’ll be sewn to make it easier to find each piece as I need it.

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And the final result – a fierce denizen of the deep:

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This block was designed by the same person who did the Oceans block of the month quilt that the dolphins came from but it wasn’t part of that QAL.  But he really wanted a shark, so I added this one from her designs on Craftsy.

I think the quilt needs just one more block and then I can start putting them all together.

The arrangement so far, though it may change again:

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Feeling a little crabby

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I forgot to blog this little creature when I made him last week.  He is now my favorite block for the Oceans quilt!  I love the shadow effect.

This block is not from the Oceans BOM, but it fits the theme perfectly.  I got the pattern from Silver Linings.

I mixed the sand fabrics because I didn’t have quite enough of the polka dots left.  I like the two tone effect better anyway. I had only these scraps left when I was done:

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There were also some extremely tiny paper pieces!  This pattern came without the seam allowances, so some of them were so small it was hard to hold on to them.

As usual, my backs are rather a mess of paper bits and crisscrossing seams.  In the face area there are so many folded layers so close together that it got really thick and stiff.

I love the results, and I would definitely buy another of this designer’s patterns.  In fact there are a couple of fish I have my eye on.

 

Shore bird

Another finished block for the Oceans quilt, this time a little shore bird.  The pattern says plover – I thought it looks like one of the little birds we see in the dune grasses at Ocean Shores.

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I gave it a sandy background since they stick to the beach.

The pattern is a free one on Craftsy.

And now I’m experimenting with how the blocks will be arranged in the quilt.  I need at least two more – my son wants dolphins and a shark.

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We are home for yet another day due to weather – freezing rain this time – so I have time to sort through the fabric for suitable grays for dolphins.  The 10th day of school we’ve missed this year!

Oceans BOM – an octopus

img_7794Taking advantage of yet another day without school, I finished a paper pieced block for my younger son’s quilt.   There has been quite a lot of nagging about it lately, so I promised him that I would get back to work on it.

This octopus block is from a quilt-a-long that started in 2015, so I have a lot of catching up to do!  This is the sixth block that I’ve completed, so it joins the sea turtle, message in a bottle, manta ray, sea lion pup, and bluefin tuna in the accomplished pile.

While there were still a lot of pieces, this one was simpler than some of the others. Far fewer tiny little bits to sew together.  Still makes a mess though.

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I have a couple more blocks I want to add, although I’m subbing in some creatures from another source, and then I will be able to put the top together. The plan is wide sashing and borders with some sort of sea themed fabric, and to arrange them with the beach creatures at the top  and the deep underwater life at the bottom.

I also think I’m going to try quilting each block individually before sewing them all together so I can get the details right without a lot of wrestling of a bulky quilt sandwich.

 

Fast fish

A relatively fast finish anyway.  The previous block in this Oceans series took me over a year from start to finish, so the three days this blue fin tuna took is lightning in comparison.

I showed in the last post how some of the sections have a lot of very tiny pieces – here’s another example:

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In contrast, there were some big swaths of background water that made me worried the blue was going to run out.  In the end I had only very small bits left.  Everything remaining is in this picture – it was a tense finish to see if there would be enough!

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The tuna, in contrast, didn’t take a lot of any particular fabric.  I especially liked this one – it looks like fish scales to me.

The completed sections, awaiting trimming and attaching:

And block five, the September 2015 block, is done!

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Next up, an octopus.