15 June 2011

Shhh...can't tell yet...

Here's a detailed portion of a project I've recently finished but can't show off yet. It's a gift for a wonderful young couple I know. They're getting married in nine days and I don't want to let the whole cat out of the bag until they have their gift in hand.

Several weeks ago, I came across this wonderful fabric online from fabrics.com. Sadly, I now see this fabric is out of stock for a few weeks. Whew, glad I got my two yards delivered earlier this month! Each isolated 'tile' is approximately 2.375" x 2.625". There are seven rows of 14 tiles which equals 98 tiles per pattern repeat. This is comparable to the 98 letter tiles plus two blanks that are part of a Scrabble® board game. The character count is close, but not exactly what the boards list. I took only one seven-row set and cut out each tile with a .25" border on all sides. Within the two yards I purchased, I have THREE 'complete' sets of letters. Ah, my gears are spinnin'.

Kona Cotton swatch card
I worked out the puzzle I wanted to use on my travel-size Scrabble board to see where they'd look best. I came up with a layout I liked and started taking inventory of how many blocks of each color I'd need. I realized early on that I would probably like making more custom 'boards' down the road, so bought ample quantities of Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton solids. I chose a brand name fabric to ensure consistency of color now and in the future. I wanted something I could expect to easily find/match today and months from now. At this point, I had no idea how I would create text for these bonus word/letter score boxes.

Finally, piddling about in Photoshop while trying to problem solve along the way, I remembered I bought some inkjet printable iron-on transfer sheets. Hmm. Can I do it? I've got light, medium and dark color blocks. After many tests and trials, I worked out a way to make the cleanest transfers possible. I transfered the text onto already cut color blocks of fabric rather than waiting to iron them on after everything was assembled. This was an important enough process to get right long before assembly.

Altogether, I pieced together 80 rectangles of letters, background color, and bonus block colors. I did a simple quilting job and added a binding made from woodgrain-look fabric from the same collection. Please check back late next week for the whole picture! I'm pleased with how it turned out and love getting to give it away!

This Saturday I'm taking that Beginning Machine Quilting class at Sooner Quilts. I hope to learn how to get comfortable with freemotion quilting. And I'm sure it will be fun finding another fabric source.

I can't believe I haven't worked on my BOM quilt for several weeks. I've pored over my May and June blocks but haven't finished either set of blocks. I have sorted and trimmed the new dark fabric strips I received in May, so that's a start. If I can get out of gift-making mode, I'll settle in to my BOM. And speaking of gifts, we delivered the baby quilt to Miss Cairo. She is such a beauty, has a great set of parents and a wonderful big brother!

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