Category Archives: Tula Pink

Tula Pink Saltwater Quilt

Saltwater quilt

Back in 2012, in the early days of my (decidedly one-sided) love affair with Tula Pink, I bought a fat-quarter set of the Saltwater fabric collection, which I promptly left to marinate for three years because it was too stressful to cut into. But when I got a half-square triangle die for my Accuquilt a few months ago I went to town with it.

Although I have issues with the accuracy of the Accuquilt, for which many helpful people on Instagram provided useful tips (which I appreciate but will not be following because (a) I am lazy and (b) I didn’t buy the stupid thing to generate more work for me), I’ve become a confident enough quilter to know how to fix those kinds of problems when piecing.

Inspired by this gorgeous quilt by Sarah at coopcrafts* I combined the saltwater triangles with a variety of white-on-white fabrics, so even though the overall effect from afar is plain white, up close you can see the different patterns. Cutting the entire quilt top took maybe an hour or two, and piecing it was a complete breeze, since the die eliminates dog ears and there’s no need to mark anything.

Chain piecing action shot

Chain piecing action shot

Schnitzel helped.

Schnitzel helped.

You don’t really need these right now, do you?

After I started cutting into the set I realized that I had an unequal number of FQs in each of the three colourways, which meant I had to be creative when laying out the quilt and which I think I managed.

Layout

For the back, I loosely followed Elizabeth Hartman’s Mod Mosaic tutorial to create a long strip made from the leftover scraps.

I love this fabric line unreasonably much.

I love this fabric line unreasonably much.

After I made a strip the width of the quilt I edged it with some Saltwater strips from yardage I had purchased on other occasions (truth: this is the only Tula Pink fabric line that I actually like. I find the others super-intricate, but equally creepy. Elizabeth? EEP), and then finished off the back with some more white-on-white fabric pieces.

That's a very subtle light-blue thread.

It took longer to make the scrappy strip than it did the entire quilt top.

Saltwater quilt back

I used straight-line quilting to outline each square with matching thread and used a new-to-me thread, Mettler, which I was really pleased with. Unfortunately, this kind of quilting leaves ton of threads to bury, which normally I would bury as I go, except that I’m a dumbass and cut a super-hot chili with bare fingers the morning I started quilting, and my hands were ON FIRE for well over twelve hours, making it impossible to do anything more precise than shoving the quilt in and out of my machine. You’ll be pleased to know that dipping my hands in a vat of after sun and aloe vera made the pain go away a few minutes before midnight. Anyway.

P1040280

That’s very light blue thread on the right.

For the binding I used a method I came across on Instagram and had tried on a baby quilt a couple of weeks before, and you guys, I am NEVER going back to old-school binding. I’m not joking—the no-tails method is much easier, much more conducive to scrappy bindings because you don’t need to make a super-long continuous binding strip, and gives PERFECT corners. Recently, while flipping through Sunday Morning Quilts, I saw that this method is actually in the book and I think I must have dismissed it on my first read because it seemed too complicated (it so isn’t). I also decided to go a bit thinner on my binding for this quilt, cutting it 2.25″ wide instead of 2.5″, and the quality and fullness of the binding is spectacular by comparison. I may even go down to 2″ for my next quilt.

Can I help you bind, mom? I'm sure licking your hand for an hour will help get this done in no time.

Can I help you bind, mom? I’m sure licking your hand for an hour will help get this done in no time.

I used the blue/white octopus fabric as my main binding fabric, and each side of the quilt got a small scrap of one of the other colours to punch it up a bit.

Pop of colour in the binding

Although I finished the quilt top about a year ago, I didn’t get back to it until the end of the summer, when I decided to try to enter it into the Erding Patchwork Messe, where I exhibited a couple of quilts last March, too. I worked like a fiend for only to find out that they wouldn’t accept a late submission, so it’ll have to wait for the next one.

* If you aren’t following Sarah, do yourself a favour and do. Her HST quilts are a thing of beauty.

The Whine and Cheese Quilt

“The colour of their  bedroom? Uh… sort of yellow? And wine?” said the 16-year-old son of our friends, for whom I was making a surprise silver anniversary quilt.

  1. Are you sure?
  2. Ugh, really?

This quilt was already starting out from the very far corner of the depths of the dog house, because the combination of yellow and wine has never even entered my resolution.

But off I went, rummaging through my stash to find yellow- and wine-coloured fabrics that actually went together. There wasn’t much there, I didn’t think, so off I went to the Dutch fabric market in Freising in the hopes of finding something to go with what little I could find, and found nothing except for background fabric, of which, it would transpire, I bought a questionably small amount.

I was planning to make Tula Pink’s Fade to Pink quilt, except for it needing to be yellow. AND wine. Have I mentioned? About the yellow and the wine? Ugh.

But off I went, reassessing what I had in the stash and buying a massive amount of fabric from Doughty’s Online (great shop), partly for the front and mostly for the back, of which, it would transpire, I would use very little, because the yellow? It was brown. Which I now have in my stash, a stash in which it has no brown to keep it company, because, as lazy daisy says, brown is not a colour.

So I started cutting, and things were looking pretty awful. I had to rearrange a few times and to replace some of the fabrics that just didn’t seem to work together.

The first try was just wrong. The brown. No.

The second try was getting there in terms of the colours, but the darks seemed to overwhelm the lights and the whole thing looked unbalanced. Still the brown’s fault.

The third try had all my bells ringing.

And then I started piecing, and though I wasn’t wholly convinced, it was kind of, sort of looking not terrible.

And then I pieced the top together, and huh. It was kind of okay!

basic top

That’s not terrible at all!

The original pattern is for an 80″x80″ quilt, which would be a little too small, so I had to come up with some creative expansion—I should say this right now: I don’t like quilts with borders—at which point the background fabric shortage reared its ugly head. Luckily there was another Dutch fabric market in Munich, so I rushed off to get some more fabric from the same vendor, only to discover he no longer had it. I wept. Then I bought three meters of a fabric with a different pattern, but the same colours.

When we moved into this house a year and a half ago, I popped into Ikea one day to get some shelving, and found a single yellow duvet set in their returns room. I didn’t have a plan for it but it seemed a good pattern and a good colour so I’d kept it in my stash and thought no more of it. The yellow seemed to work so I popped it out of the packaging, only to find out that it had a yellow-on-white pattern on the reverse! KISMET! I took it all apart and cut a few stripes of the yellow-on-white to make the border strip, then surrounded it by another wide strip of the background fabric, for a finished quilt top of around 95″x95″. In the end the original purchase ended up sufficing. It’s still a border and I’m still not a fan, but it’s subtle enough.

Then I went on holiday and tried to rouse some inspiration for what I would do with the back. I looked for inspiration all over Sweden!

And then we came home and I found it right there, where I had apparently left it!

From there it was a race to the finish. I had less than a week to finish putting together the back, quilting, and binding before the anniversary party. The back took nearly an entire Saturday, and I basted it that same day. I spent the entire Sunday plus three more evenings during the week quilting straight lines in the sashing. I attached the binding on the Wednesday night and started hand sewing the binding the next night. Four episodes of The Good Wife (Hey! SpyDaddy was on The Good Wife!) later, at 1:30am, I was halfway through. The next day we drove up to the party (five hours away) and I sat in the back of the car and did most of the rest. Things you discover when you sit in the back seat sewing: appalling shocks. I did the last meter of binding late into the night once we’d arrived. The next day I sprayed out the water-soluble markings and took it out for a bit of a photo shoot. (Tip from a champ: photographing yellow things outdoors is like one of those Facebook party invites that go viral and a thousand people turn up at your three-bedroom suburban house for the party your parents didn’t know you were having, except they’re bugs.)

But I finished in time for the party and you can add this one to the list of quilts that I didn’t much enjoy making but ended up not wanting to give away.

Finished top

Finished back

Finished back

Quilting detail

 

(They just called – they loved it!)

All the things

Yeah, yeah. Sew your stash, finish-along, quilt-along, WIP Wednesday, Finish it up Fridays, quilting resolutions. Whatever. I’ve committed to none of these for 2015, but what I am trying to do is sew more regularly, and not just on the weekend. Or if not to sew, then to do something sewing related at least every day.

This is what’s happening here at Arsch der Welt at the moment. Firstly, it’s been a glorious winter. Yes, I said it, even though it has been snowy and freezing. I am absolutely in love with our tree-lined drive in all seasons, but in winter the bare trees strike me as most beautiful. AND it turns out you can see the Zugspitze peak, which is 160 kilometres south of here, right from the end of my driveway. This absolutely delights me.

No filter.

No filter. The Zugspitze can be seen when you look to the left at the end of the driveway. Joy!

Sewing, you ask?

On the go:

Tula Pink City Sampler: I finished off all one hundred blocks after an insane three-day sewing marathon in which I sewed about fifty five blocks. I split the quilt into six segments, adding white sashing. I’m quilting each segment as I go with straight lines that echo the piecing in each block. Hopefully it’ll all fit together when I try to attach the segments. Cross your fingers that it does, because I’ve submitted it to a local quilt show and have to deliver by the 19th of this month.

Missing U quilt: My blocks for this one started out really random, but have turned more into a free-form log cabin as I’ve progressed. I want to make this one a king size, so need nearly fifty blocks. I’ve made twelve so far. I’ll definitely QAYG this one, with the back of each block a matching colour to the front.

My first few blocks, made back in England. I've added about 8 or 9 since.

My first few blocks, made back in England.

Saltwater quilt: The only FQ bundle I’ve ever bought is Tula Pink’s Saltwater, and I’ve been sitting on it for at least two years. I’ve now cut up the entire range using the Accuquilt 4.5″ HST die and sewn the HSTs. I’m missing a couple of the FQs in the blue range, so I’ll have to see whether I have enough units, but am going for a simple (though still up-in-the-air) layout. For now, I’m putting this one on the back burner since I have a couple of looming deadlines.

Pink-brown baby quilt: I made this from a fabric line sample pack I bought at the Festival of Quilts a couple of years ago. It’s basted and I’ve started FMQing it, but got distracted by Christmas sewing. I have no planned recipient, so quick, someone get knocked up. I’m so uninspired by it that I have no pictures.

Broken Herringbone: Does it really count as a WIP if I only made one block, well over a year ago? Don’t know, it’s haunting me all the same. I’ve actually made quite a few of these blocks in the run up to Christmas, but used them in table runners.

Green broken herringbone block

Green broken herringbone block

Recently finished:

Totem’s blue-square quilt: A project that came together fairly quickly – read about it here.

Upcoming:

Silver anniversary quilt: The party is on August 1, 2015, so I best get cracking. I’ve just settled on using Tula Pink’s Fade to Pink pattern, from Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.

Carpenter quilt: I have an awesome carpenter. He’s building me an awesome bespoke sewing workstation, charging only for the materials (mostly cheap Ikea work tops). I therefore must make him and his wife an awesome quilt. Don’t know what yet. Another gradient quilt? Dunno.

Tinker Tote bag: I started this Craftsy class* (affiliate link, see disclaimer below) bag ages ago and it’s been staring at me reprovingly ever since. I’ve tried to get back to it a few times, but needle issues with constant skipped stitches have stopped me from making any progress on this one, which is lame, since I’m mostly walking around with a freebie messenger bag someone gave me at a temp job fifteen years ago and really now, do I even own a sewing machine?

* An affiliate link means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from the company I linked to, in this case Craftsy.com. I only recommend products and services that I use and love, so I know you’ll be in good hands.