Friday, December 9, 2011

Hello! I just wanted to share my latest quilt with you all. I made it for my neighbors' new baby. The parents are hardcore hunters. And I really mean hardcore. As in, they pretty much only eat wild game they've hunted-deer, elk, antelope (they gave us some antelope chorizo and let me tell you it was pretty darn amazing but I digress...), javelina. And the husband is also a biologist for Fish & Game. So when I saw this new fabric line by Riley Blake (pretty awesome name, isn't it? Combines the names of two of my most favorite boys in the whole world!) I knew it had to be the fabric for their baby's quilt. Don't you just love this fabric? I kind of wanted to keep it for myself. I ordered the fabric back in October and waited (im)patiently for the UPS guy to deliver it to my house. Finally it arrived and I ripped into the package only to discover that they had made a mistake with my order. Instead of getting the print with all the animals, which is the main fabric of the quilt, they had sent me more of the blue. :( I contacted them and they said to go ahead and keep the blue fabric and they sent out the correct fabric. But that meant waiting even more (im)patiently for it to arrive. FINALLY I got all the fabric for the quilt and got it done. It's a pretty simple design and a small quilt. But I also decided to try using some of that super soft Minky type of fabric in the quilt. I had picked up a remnant, thinking that I might give it a go. I've seen quilts made with both 100% cotton and Minky but I had mixed feelings about it. I mean, MIXING COTTON AND POLYESTER!? But Minky is so soft and cuddly. So, I decided to do a bit of online research before committing to using it in the quilt. What I found almost made me run screaming in the opposite direction. The general consensus seemed to be that, yes, you could mix cotton and polyester (Minky) but that it was a huge pain. It's nearly impossible to cut square and accurately (which is pretty important with quilting). Plus is shed terribly and made a HUGE mess. And you had to use LOTS and LOTS of pins, something that I frown upon on principle-pins? Who needs pins? Not me! I have this thing where I always try to make do without using pins if at all possible. Do I make things way harder on myself? Frequently. Does it make me use pins the next time? Not if I can get away with not using them. What can I say, I live dangerously. So, anyway, I nearly scrapped the idea of using the Minky after reading all that. But I had enough fabric cut to end up with extra hourglass blocks so I promised myself I'd just make one block with the Minky and see how it went then decide whether or not to use it for the whole quilt. And you know what? I didn't have ANY of those problems mentioned. It cut beautifully, without anymore mess than cutting cotton and I sewed it just fine without using any pins. But then again, I figured it could be because it's not authentic Minky. It was actually labeled Joann Cuddle Fabric or something. Like a knockoff. I don't know. But I had no problems using it until...I started machine quilting. At which point my machine rebelled. Every time I'd hit one of the faux Minky parts the machine would skip stitches and then the thread would break. Grrr! but I consoled myself with the fact that it was a small quilt to begin with and that there were only 13 Minky sections. In the end I do like the look and it feels nice and cuddly. But I don't know if I'll ever try to machine quilt the stuff again. Of course, I say that now but I have enough fabric left over to make another quilt so maybe by the time I get around to making it I'll have forgotten about the Minky problem. But it's so cuddly and soft! How bad can it really be? Sort of like having babies. You sort of gloss over the bad parts and concentrate on the good. Otherwise no one would have anymore babies after the first one.
Anyway, I've also been busy working on lots of Christmas gifts. It's sort of looking and feeling like Santa's workshop here. So, I guess I better get back to it. Until next time...

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