Jolly Bar Jazz Quilt

I have the distinct pleasure of participating in a blog hop to introduce The Fat Quarter Shop’s Jolly Bar Jazz quilt pattern. If you want to see more examples from the blog hop, you can head over to the Jolly Jabber Blog!

I’d also like to add that

In case you were wondering, a Jolly Bar is a pre-cut exclusively available at the Fat Quarter Shop. It measures 5” x10” or half a layer cake. This pattern uses 2 Jolly Bars and some background fabric yardage. I chose Zen Chic’s True Blue. The colors fit my living room perfectly and the prints are beautiful. For example:

For background yardage, I used Michael Miller’s soft white cotton couture. I already had a bolt in my sewing room!

This pattern was a delight to make. I don’t usually make quilts with big blocks (or big pieces, which you know if you regularly read this blog), but it was fun to assemble 12 blocks 17 inches in size. It felt so fast. Here’s an example of one block:

Yes, that is some spiral quilting in the block there. I did it with a walking foot and it is far from perfect, but it looks good here. I alternated the spiral quilting with some straight lines in the blocks. This is what that looks like:My original plan had been to bind it with the background fabric with the remaining Jolly Bar pieces interspersed. Then I looked into the yardage closet and the first thing I saw was the perfect blue Bella solid.I also practiced sewing my binding to the back and then machine sewing the front with a zigzag. This is the second time I’ve done that and it was better than the first time.

And now, here is the finished product!

The finished quilt measures 65” x 84”. The pattern is available from the Fat Quarter Shop. So,of course, are the Jolly Bars. There is also a YouTube tutorial. It’s quick and gorgeous!

Thank you, Fat Quarter Shop, for this opportunity to take part in my very first blog hop. Remember to check out the Jolly Jabber blog for links to other posts with this quilt. Also, you can find in progress pictures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #JollyBarJazzquilt.

Quilt on!

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Been Quilting Up a Storm

I spent several days quilting the Jolly Bar Jazz quilt for Friday’s Blog hop. I did not feel good about some of (let’s be honest, most of) the quilting I did, but I only ripped out a very little bit of one spiral. I can’t show pictures of the finished product until Friday’s blog hop post for that.

My first thought had been that since the quilt blocks were so square, we needed some curved quilting. I thought about a huge walking foot (because my free motion really needs some work before it sees the light of day) spiral. Since there really wasn’t a great place to start in the middle, I decided to do individual spirals in the blocks. Do you know how many times I spun that quilt through the machine to make these way less than perfect spirals? AAARGH!

Here’s the beginning of one. If you look closely, you can see how bad this really is!

After the first spiral, I decided that just to be on the safe side in case I got really sick of these spirals, I should quilt alternating blocks with the spirals. Then, if after six, I was really sick of them, I could do something else in the other six blocks and it would look planned.

As it turns out, that was a very wise plan. I was sick of the spirals after two. I think I wouldn’t have gotten so sick of them if I had felt like they looked at all good. Of course, once they are washed, they look fine. Especially from a distance!

I decided to do straight lines in the alternate blocks. I think those actually took quite a bit longer than the spirals because there were so many starts and stops.

As you can see from the above picture, I also did the same  straight line idea in the sashing . In the borders I did three wavy lines. 

I didn’t want to quilt it too heavily because I wanted it to be soft and usable. Wool batting puffs up perfectly so I got my wish.

Come back Friday morning for the final reveal!

Quilt on!

Yep, I Have Been Sewing

And using my machine to embroider!

I mentioned the two Quinceañera pillows. I have gotten as far as getting the designs finalized and one of the fabric squares for a pillow actually embroidered.

I just have the bigger pillow to embroider and then some fancy assembly. I’m hoping to get those finished by the end of this weekend so they are ready for the party, which is a couple of weeks from now.

Now let’s rewind to last weekend. I got the center of the Lone Star quilt assembled and then put it away for awhile. I need to spend some time (that I currently don’t have) figuring out why one side is an inch longer than the other three before I put narrow white borders on it. So it is currently waiting its turn.

Then I made the blocks for Getting to Know Hue for last month since they are due this Saturday (or next Monday or Tuesday). Then I got started on my new project – the Jolly Bar Jazz Quilt. The Jolly Bar that I am using is True Blue by Zen Chic and it has some of the most beautiful fabrics. Look at them! I may need to purchase some yardage of a couple of those prints. So pretty!

On Labor Day, as I sewed, I watched some Craftsy classes during their All You Can Watch Day. One of the things that I learned doing this was that a mobile phone photography course is not a good choice for watching while sewing because you really have to look at the screen all the time to learn anything. The other major thing that I learned was that watching weaving classes is dangerous. Let me repeat all the time – I don’t need to buy any more equipment for a hobby. Seriously I don’t.

Because I just bought another sewing machine. Until Tuesday I was a one machine girl and that one machine weighs 50 pounds. Let’s just say I wasn’t taking that machine anywhere to sew days or classes! So since I was at the sewing machine dealer learning a few things about embroidery that I had apparently forgotten since I never do it, I bought a smaller machine. Maybe a little more expensive than I should have, but I had my reasons (different feed dogs and needle threader being two of them). She’s still in the box since I’ve been a little busy but I will soon get her out and then take Ella in for a cleaning.

I also purchased an upgrade kit for Ella. When I got it home and started to move in the direction of doing the upgrade I found that Brother apparently doesn’t realize there are actually homes without a Windows computer. Luckily Carolyn is willing to bring her laptop over and let me use it so I’ll get that done next week. I wanted to be sure my embroidery was done in case something went wrong.

What’s new in your neck of the woods?

Quilt on!