Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Retro Flowers Mini

Retro Flower no. 4

Earlier this week Retro Flowers no. 4 came to be. I think she's the most understated block so far, but this Filigree print always seems to enhance other prints, so I quite welcome her simple beauty.  Every time I finish one of these blocks it's like a little sewing high. That goofy "I did it!" smile breaks across my face and I think again that Christina Lane deserves major props for creating such a pretty block.

Retro Flowers mini

So, I knew all along that I was making a mini.  Are you terribly disappointed?  I wanted a quite reachable goal as my first project with this pattern and I also had in mind to hang the mini over my ironing board.

 Retro Flowers finished!

But, as it turns out I think the mini looks even better here, on these luscious green walls.  Our "green room" is our entry room, my office and our homeschooling room with an art area for the kids.  It's one of my favorite rooms because that particular shade of green just feels so good to me.

 it's new home

Those curtains were the fateful project that inspired the purchase of a rotary cutter and self-healing mat.  I guess I owe a lot to that moment, and to my friend Miranda who told me I would never regret the investment.  Good golly, was she right!  Please, please, please don't hesitate to buy a rotary cutter set up if you like to sew.  You think you like sewing.  When you have those tools you'll find you LOVE it.  (See here for info on sewing tools for getting started.)

Backed in Urban Outfitters coverlet

I backed my mini with some leftover fabric from an old Urban Outfitters coverlet.  It's kinda stiff fabric, so this seems like a good application.  Oh, and I skipped batting.   Is that bad?  I realized I don't want a puffy look for my hung mini's (this being just my second) so batting seemed conventional, but unhelpful.  And my binding is a Ghastly Clover print from Fresh Modern Fabric.

Anna Maria Horner pearl cotton

Being a mini, this quilt was ripe for hand quilting.  Here I'm laying different colors of pearl cotton across the quilt to make my selections.  All of the colors I settled on are from Anna Maria Horner's pearl cotton sets, with the addition of yellow.  The pale gray pearl cotton doesn't show up in these pictures, but looks nicely subtle in person.

sometimes tidy

Me being me I couldn't choose just one color of thread for the hand quilting.  Once decided, I cut pieces to length and pined them at the start of each stitch line.  And, happily, they did not get tangled!

Hand-quilted

At first I thought I'd stitch around the petal shapes, but after some hemming and hawing these straight lines won the day.  It's a nice contrast to all the curves, me thinks. And, oh did I enjoy the hand quilting!  It's time for me to pull out the Loulouthi quilt and finish her up as well.

Mini finished!

So, I'm quite happy with the finished quilt.  I love her pretty-modern vibe.  The black flower totally does it for me.   Now I will take a moment here and thank Christina (again) for making this charming design. It really forced me to dive head first into sewing curves and I couldn't be happier with the journey so far.  If your heart has fallen hard for this design, but you really feel intimidated by the challenge, I know you'll be in a different place having come through the Curves Class.  So, yes, I do encourage you to sign up for class!  I have been so blessed by your reaction to the Curves Class already.  A very warm thank-you to all who have encouraged me to follow this path! 

p.s. I'll be sending out a welcome email to everyone who has registered for the class so far tonight or tomorrow.  The welcome email will include a link to purchase Christina's retro flowers pattern at 50% off.  Thanks for your patience!

39 comments:

  1. Everytime I see you have made something with that retro flowers pattern, I smile. This one is no exception. I may just have to buy the pattern one day.

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  2. Gorgeous. I really love that pattern. you did a great job with it. I love the hand quilting.

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  3. Very cute! Do you have a good technique for sewing a dowel pocket? Or how were you going to hang it? I just ran into this and my sweet mama helped me out {she's so clever}. Here's a picture of her technique {http://tiptoetango.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/pohoiki-10-2011-131.jpg}. Let me know if you need instructions. I'm always hesitant to hand out advice...seems intrusive. So take it with a grain of salt. Xxo

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  4. It's so nice...you did a great job on the hand quilting. Makes me lean more to signing up for class...not to mention I really want to learn how to make things like the tree on your blog banner [I forgot about it yesterday =)] and the scallop quilt. Hope to sign-up tonight...just have to double check with my husband :)

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  5. really pretty rachel. I can't wait to try Christina's pattern.

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  6. So Pretty...the final stitching makes the quilt.

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  7. Oh, my!!! That's just too adorable. I LOVE the way it turned out, absolutely gorgeous!!! And that hand stitches enhances it it beautifully. wonderful mini!!!

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  8. I see on the quilt pattern that the designer reccomends a special foot and acrylic templates. Did you use those items and are they necessary for success?

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  9. what a lovely mini quilt and the hand quilting just finishes it off perfectly

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  10. This is gorgeous! I especially love the added detail of the hand quilting-- it works perfectly with the pattern, what a great addition to your green room!

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  11. LOVE that you made it a mini and am very excited about curves class and trying this pattern!

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  12. Thanks for the suggestion on the dowel pocket. I do have something planned that I expect to create a tutorial for, maybe in a few weeks.

    I did not use the special curves-sewing foot that Christina recommends. It was pricey for me and I found that with practice things went well anyways. But, I did use the nice acrylic templates from Tabslot. They were a pleasure!

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  13. I love that mini, especially the fabrics you chose, perfect!

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  14. i love it, rachel! you now have me extra excited for our february do. good stitches quilt!

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  15. I like your hand quilting. It really makes those individual blocks stand out.

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  16. Love these retro flowers, love the quilting.

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  17. i love waht you've done with your retro flowers - it looks beautifully simple and perfect against your green walls - well done you

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  18. Gorgeous! I adore the pattern and what you've done with it! I'm so excited for the class to start so I can make a stunning Retro Flowers as well :)

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  19. Very cute quilt! And I love your colorful hand quilting.

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  20. You're mini is quite lovely! Nice job with the hand stitching. It looks like it was made to live on that green wall. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. That is just gorgeous .... the block that you said was the most understated is the block I love the most. I think it's beautiful. You are so clever.

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  22. I think it's fabulous! I love the hand quilting lines, just gorgeous. And I think you did the right thing not adding batting - sometime somethings look better "flat"

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  23. Your mini is really great! I have a suggestion for "batting" in minis that keeps them nice and thin, but still gives a little body - I use white flannel and buy it in multiple yards when it goes on sale at Joann's for $2.50/yard.

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  24. Just beautiful! It's inspiring me to try out hand quilting!

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  25. This looks beautiful! Can't wait to tackle it in the curves class. I think this would look great in the Circa 1934 fabrics, and I happen to have a stash! Very excited!

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  26. It looks fantastic! I am especially loving the straight stitching, it really works for this mini. It makes me want to try another and go with your original idea of stitching around the petals and see how that looks. Very curious to see that version now! :) ...now to just get the sewing room put back together.

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  27. Ah, I love it. LOVE it. The fabrics, the stitching, the backing, love it all! I cannot wait to try Christina's beautiful pattern.

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  28. I enjoyed seeing this turn out. Love the binding you chose. The handstitching gave it a nice finished/quilted look, batting is so over-rated!

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  29. Love, love, love!! And I love your green wall too -- my green is in the living room and I can't get enough of it! What a perfect spot for that quilt.

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  30. oooooh! Very super-nice handquilting! : ) I'm so surprised you won't do hand binding : ) I'm teasing you...

    Congrats on the classes! That's so awesome. I am busy in embroidery & art classes, (teaching & learning) otherwise... trust me, I would! Curves are HARD for me.

    all the best
    Monika

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  31. This quilt looks so nice and cosy! Great work!

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  32. This quilt looks so nice and cosy! Great work!

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  33. This is really cute! How do you do your hand stitching? Do you just lay it in your lap or do you use a quilting frame? Your lines are just so nice and neat!

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  34. Elle - Thanks! I do use the Snap Ez quilt frame. I think my lines are straight since I used the seam ditch as a guide. I quilted right beside the seam ditches, so that the stitches would not disappear in the seam itself.

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  35. i am sooo behind on my blog reading! i love this little mini rachel. it is stunning. the fabric is perfect. the backing... perfect... i LOVE the handstitching. it is perfect in every way!

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  36. I love this simple design with awesome use of modern fabrics! Can you provide a link where we can buy/download the pattern? Thanks!

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    1. Sure! You can buy it here: http://sometimescrafter.com/patterns/retro-flower-quilt-pattern/

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