Look at all this super cute ocean themed fabric! My friend Karen, who blogs over at KaHolly, sent all these pieces to me last week. Wasn't that sweet? She thought I would get around to stitching them up into a quilt long before she would, since it's been marinating in her stash for about five years. I couldn't resist working with them right away.
It's a series of 12 squarish panels that can be sewn into a soft book or a toddler quilt, plus some nice coordinating scraps in bright colors. I used the scraps for cornerstones, added some mottled yellow sashing and pieced this up into a simple 3x4 layout top. The bold, happy fish designs do the heavy lifting to make this fun, so I think simple piecing was all it needed.
Fabric panels are notoriously uneven in size, and these were as much as 3/8" different in height and width from each other. However, there is a curvy, squiggly darker blue printed on the edges of the blocks, making an easy transition to the yellow sashing, no matter what the overall size. The top is about 36"x46", a good toddler quilt size. I'm going to donate this one to Little Lambs, which is one of the charities for Hands2Help this year. Sarah announced the challenge today; go take a look if you're interested. The quilts aren't due to be shipped until June, so I have plenty of time to quilt up these fishies. Thanks so much, Karen, for sending this packet of fun!
Meanwhile, I completely finished this quilt, called Olympic I-Spy. The Sunshine Online Quilt Guild had a little challenge during the winter Olympics games to stitch something up in the colors of the Olympic flag: red, blue, yellow, green and black.
I used those colors to border little I-spy blocks in contrasting colors. It was fun and fast and the colors are bright and cheerful.
I sandwiched the top up with this happy red and white heart fabric and Warm and Natural batting. It's fairly thin, so the whole quilt is sort of a lightweight summer piece. The binding is a bright stripe in all the Olympic colors plus orange, but it works fine.
I did big, soft floppy feather quilting to keep it snuggly. This motif is fast, fun and forgiving of a bit of lumpiness and asymmetry. Being personally both lumpy and asymmetric, this works well for me. My feathers are getting better in the middle of the quilt, but edges are still a challenge. I also managed to catch a big fold in the backing all along one edge, so a bit of frog stitching needed to happen (rip-it! rip-it!) Quilting will keep you humble, folks.
Here is the quilt being inspected by Number 17. It passed with flying (Olympic) colors, and then took a spin through the washer to get rid of cat hairs and other impurities. The cursing I did during the stitch ripping washes out, right?
Olympic I-Spy has already been shipped off to one of the coordinators for the Wrap A Smile quilt charity. You can read more about WAS here if you're interested. I didn't think I'd have time to mail any more quilts while we were still in the US, but we've been sitting in Key West for over a week waiting for a good weather window. Please note that this is NOT a complaint!
We use maps like this to help us decide when to leave on longer passages. The trip to the closest Bahamian island, Bimini, from here will take us about 24 hours. So we're looking for the map to be white and the lightest blue along our route during that time. That medium blue means the waves could be as high as 6 feet, which can be uncomfortable (but not dangerous.) Given the choice of enjoying another few days in Key West vs. getting bounced around on passage, we'll most likely keep waiting for smoother seas. Like quilting, boating is supposed to be fun!