Sunday, February 3, 2013

Penguin Quilt

This year my quilt guild's winter workshop featured the Drunkard's Path block. I think the reason it's called the Drunkard's Path is because who ever came up with this block was very familiar with that particular path, if you catch my meaning. (I think it also helps the quilter if she's a little familiar with that path, or at least the bottle at the start of that path.) Once I figured out what I was doing it did start to get fun. I'm getting ahead of myself though, so lets back up and start at the beginning.

Here are my fabric choices for the quilt. As the name suggests the black and white fabrics will become penguins on the dark blue. The orange will be used as beaks and binding. The dark blue will also be used to make fish which will be on the white. All of these blocks will be on point alternating with solid, light blue squares.

 I forgot to take a picture of the black before I cut into it which is why it looks like there's so much less of it. You might be wondering why there's so much black fabric left if I've already cut all of my blocks. In December my husband gave me EQ7 (computer software for designing quilts.) I had several mock-ups of my penguin quilt before deciding on the final layout. One of the nice aspects of the software is that it gives you a yardage estimate for the quilt. I've never made a queen size quilt and I know that the Drunkard's Path block wastes a bit of fabric so I decided to trust the software when it told me to buy 18 yards of fabric. (Yes, I thought this may be a bit much but I frequently regret it when I don't trust the pattern so I did.) After cutting out all of my blocks I realized that I'd only used half of my fabric. Turns out that if you have two quilt tops in your project file EQ7 assumes you want to make both quilt tops. I think I'm going to figure out a way to use the extra fabric for the backing of this quilt.

I think rather than calling this quilt Penguin quilt (which is a working title, when it's finished it will be named Feeding Time) I should call it Comedy of Errors. So far I've had at least one problem in every step. At the workshop was the worst. My machine started growling at me at about 10 am and when I got back to lunch it began clunking and then stopping. I frequently have conversations with Jenny (my sewing machine) about proper behavior. I give her regular brushings and make sure all of her parts are in order, but lately she's been complaining more and more. Because of where I live, my work hours, and the hours of the shops around here it will mean sacrificing two entire Saturdays to take Jenny to the repair man and get her back. I am making plans for this trip, but my husband and I have been contemplating getting a second machine for several months now. Yesterday I decided it was time for Jenny to meet her new little Brother, Samuel, Sammy for short. 

Sammy comes equipped with multiple feet for quilting, an extension table for quilting, and over 100 different stitches, including a basic alphabet that I suspect will come in useful when I make quilt labels. I plan on playing sewing with this machine a lot in the next few weeks as I work on the penguin quilt. When I finish the  quilt top I'll do a proper review of Sammy.

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