Sunday, May 14, 2017

The One That Got Away


I finished this shop sample yesterday. 

Of course with us being located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland we are all about the 
Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. 


I first designed and made this quilt with just one crab blue and the rest oranges and reds. In case you didn't know, the crabs are blue when they are alive and they turn red when they are steamed. Therefore, the name, The One That Got Away. It is traditional to eat the crabs outside on a picnic table covered with newspaper. So, the backgrounds for the crabs are fabrics with lettering and text.  



We had the AccuQuilt Die made of  the crab for last year's Row By Row, so we thought it would be a great idea to kit this quilt. There are 42 blocks with 22 different fabrics for the crabs (2 of each red/orange plus one blue). 


The crabs are all pre-cut and pre-fused, and the background blocks are all pre-cut. We thought it would be a great idea to also kit it with all blue crabs. It seems like today a lot of people decorate with blue. 

Now I am not so sure if that was a good idea. We have sold a lot of the kits with the red/orange crabs, but only a couple with all blue crabs. 

I have been desperately wanting one for myself with all blue crabs, so I thought it was time to get one made. I will use it in the shop for a while, and when we are done with it there I will take it home.   



Before I fuse my crab to the background, I like to stiffen it a bit with Terial Magic. I prefer this to a stabilizer applied to the back. The more Terial Magic you use the stiffer the fabric becomes, and the best part is it washes out. No stabilizer to pull off. After I have the background as stiff as I like it, I then fuse the crab in place. 



Once the crab is fused in place it is time to stitch it on. I like to use a double blanket stitch because it really outlines the crab. First I stitch around each leg, and then come back and stitch around the shell. 



Then I sew on all 84 eyes with the machine. First I put them all on with glue stick so I don't have to worry about them getting out of place. Then using a regular zig-zag stitch, I set the length to 0 and adjust the width to fit the holes in the buttons. Once you set up for the first button the rest is a breeze. It probably only took about half an hour to sew on all the buttons.



Now it is time to lay out the blocks the way you would like to piece the top together. I wasn't sure how I wanted to lay out the first one I made, so at I tried it with all of the crabs facing the same way, and then scattered. To me there was no question, scattered was much better. 




I quilted with a simple wave from side to side. This could easily be done on a domestic machine. 



 As soon as I got the binding done I threw it in the washer and dryer. 

I absolutely love this quilt!
I can't wait to take this one home. 

Now I hope we can sell all of those blue kits we have made up.
If you would like one, call the shop and we would be happy to ship it to you.
410-476-6166.

The One That Got Away Kit is $139.99. 
This includes everything to complete the top of the quilt including binding.
 Does not include batting and backing.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Quilts Around the Bay



In March Quilt Vine participated in the first annual Quilts Around the Bay Shop Hop. Nine shops from around the Chesapeake Bay participated in this event. Our theme this year was Bay Life. Each shop designed a block to fit in with this theme. Then each shop made a quilt using their own setting and choice of fabric. 


We have this quilt kitted and it is available for purchase through December 31, 2017.

This quilt kit is also available in our Etsy Shop.



Each shop got to choose which creature they would like to represent on the quilt. We were fortunate to get the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. We have done a lot with the crab. Last year we had a custom Accuquilt Die made, so the crabs in our kits are pre-cut and pre-fused.  

When I made the first sample block I used Robert Kaufman's Essex Metallic in Sand for the background and it was perfect. 



We then decided we had to use Robert Kaufman's metallic fabric in all of the blocks. 
The pictures don't do it any justice, but the metallic fabric is spectacular. 
You really do need to see this quilt in person to appreciate it. 



This is my first try on most of the blocks and 3 of them had to be reworked. First of all the Fish block was not working like this. We thought the metallic would be better for the fish than the background, but when we put it with the other blocks and their backgrounds were metallic it just  didn't look right. 

Then there was the terrapin block. At first we thought we needed the perfect shell fabric, but none of the fabrics we tried seemed to work. So we decided to go with a basic, like all of the other fabrics were, and do some detail stitching for the shell. 

When I thought I was ready to put the quilt together, none of us liked how the horseshoe crab block stood out. The black was much too dark and that had to be changed to a lighter fabric. 



While I was making the blocks I was also playing around with the setting on the computer. At first I really wanted to put a Jelly Fish in there somehow. In the Summer the Jelly Fish are everywhere and I felt like an injustice had been done that none of the other shops had chosen the Jelly Fish. But in the end I just didn't like any of the settings where I put in the Jelly Fish.




My next thought was that for Quilts Around the Bay I wanted to try to make the setting circular. Because I used several different backgrounds I really felt that the blocks needed to be framed. I liked them just framed but felt there would be more of a wow factor if they had a shadow. When I saw this layout on paper I knew what had to be done with the Geese Around Block. 



It just had to go in the center with no frame!

Thank goodness I had put off doing that block for last because I did not want to make that one more than once.



Next came time to audition fabric for the frame, shadow and background. Often when we audition fabric at the shop we will lay it on the cutting table and go up on the steps and look down. It is also very helpful to take a picture.  


I was floundering around with several fabrics for the background. I really liked this one but was not sure if it would be the perfect one for a bay quilt. It looked like it had some chemistry figures and maybe some trigonometry figures. Then I read some of the paragraph. It is difficult to read but it talks about an island and a  cove and water depth. When I read that there was no question that this was going to be the background! This fabric is by Moda.




Finally, when all of the other blocks were done and the background was chosen,  I conquered the geese around block. I don't do a lot of paper piecing, so it was sort of like relearning it.  Since the background is not metallic like the other blocks the goose and the flying geese are metallic.


I couldn't be happier with this quilt. 


I love the setting.


I love the fabric.


I even love the simple quilting.


I love everything about this quilt. 

If you love it too, the kit is available until December 31, 2017




The pattern for just the block and the block kit are available.



We also decided to take the same idea and make it as a runner or wall hanging. 

The runner pattern and kit are available.



Next year's shop hop will be March 2-11, 2018.