Sunday, December 15, 2013

A CHALLENGE FOR SURE

William asked me to make him a new bedspread quilt this fall.  He wasn't too specific except that he wanted a Missouri State University theme and colors (maroon and white).  Since they were the "Bears".  I thought I would put the MSU Bear in the middle, put bear paw blocks around it and then do a border of 9 patches, using MSU logo fabric; which I designed in EQ7.  Sounds simple enough, right?

I took this bear face to the local Staples and they enlarged in in 3 different sizes for me; 12", 16", and 24".  I have thoughts and plans for all 3 sizes.

Challenge #1:  I couldn't find any MSU fabric in Missouri.  I wasn't able to actually go to Springfield, where the college is.  But I did search online and in our hometown and in Joplin MO but to no avail.  There was no MSU logo fabric to be found.  Ok, plan B.   What if I learned to use my embroidery machine; that I've had for 2 years and haven't attempted to use yet.  I got my book out and not only did I learn to use the embroidery module of the machine but I managed to digitize the bear logo.  Whooo Hooo!!! (And believe me there were plenty of challenges in learning to use the machine with connection of laptop to sewing machine, to hooping, to stabilizers to use, thread breakage, broken needles, and restarting after said thread breakage.)

Challenge #2:  I couldn't find the right shade of maroon that didn't have a flower on it.  Finally, a maroon fabric with a leaf.  I also found a stripe that had the right shade to match but the white wasn't "white" it was more off white.  So the next challenge was to find a white that wasn't white but didn't read cream either.  I settled on an Andover Dimples fabric.  I called my favorite quilt shop and ask them to send me 3 yards on Wednesday before Thanksgiving thinking it would be in my mailbox when I returned home from Missouri.  Nope, no such luck.  They didn't mail it out until Monday after Thanksgiving, which didn't arrive in my mailbox until Thursday.  That set me behind a few days.  DARN! 

Challenge #3:  I traced the enlarged bear face onto the steam-a-seam light, cut it out, ironed it on and realized I traced the 16" bear instead of the 24" bear.  Oh well, I'll use the 16" bear for another project.  Back to the tracing board to trace the 24" bear onto the steam a seam.  Took it to the ironing board, started ironing it on my fabric and realized I was ironing it on the background fabric block instead of the maroon fabric!  YIKES!!! I was able to rip it off the back and get most of the steam a seam off and salvage the backing fabric (as I didn't have enough to cut another 30" block). Back to the tracing board and stealing some steam a seam from my good friend Robyn, ironing it onto the maroon fabric, cut it out, and appliqued it to the background block.  WHEW!  That took way longer than it should have and I planned for.

And then the piecing began.  Look at all these half square triangles I need to make. 192 to be exact.

 Sew two half square triangles together and sew them to a white square.

Sew 2 more half square triangles together and sew them to a maroon "paw" square.

Sew the half square triangle strip set to the half square triangle paw set.  Then sew a white strip to the paw unit.   
Finally the last step, and we have 12 bear paw blocks.  Whoo Hooo Again!!!



On to the nine patch blocks that I had to modify and embroider.  

Notice I need to work on my hooping skills and centering skills when I embroider.  Hopefully the quilter can quilt that out. (wink, wink).  Still not bad for my first attempt.  
 And finally, putting it together.   I know you don't know this but it's put together differently than what I designed in EQ7.  The bear paw blocks were suppose to surround the bear's face and the 9 patch blocks should have been at the top and bottom.  However, due to the timeline of Christmas being just around the corner, I opted not to rip it out and re-do it.  Oh well, if I hadn't told you that you would have just thought I planned it this way.  Oh yeah, wait, yes... yes, I planned it that way (wink, wink).

Hopefully quilting it won't be as much of a challenge as getting it to this point.  

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3 comments

  1. I bow to your gift...
    What a lucky guy!
    your friend, candy

    ReplyDelete
  2. You did a great job!! Digitizing the logo and learning your embroidery machine in this short of a period was really great!! I'm sure he will love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great job with the embroidery! I may be missing something, but couldn't you just switch the top bear paw/9 patch rows with the bottom ones to get the bear paws around the center bear?

    ReplyDelete

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