Minecraft Quilt

Last November, I started piecing a quilt using a free pattern by Kelli Fannin. I appreciate the generous sharing of such a great pattern, design, and instructions. The Minecraft quilt front is made of 12″inch blocks representing the characters in this video game. Fat quarters of the Minecraft colors were used to make the blocks. The blocks and the sashing were fun and easy to make.
The major problem that I had was when it was time to sew the rows of blocks together. I sewed the top three rows together, and then sewed the last two rows as a section. When I went to sew the bottom rows section to the top section, I realized that the bottom section was wider than the top section. I do not know where the mistake was made. I checked and re-checked the sizes of the blocks and the sashing, and all resulted in the correct measurements. It was so frustrating. This was right before the Christmas  holidays, so, I packed everything in a box and put it away for a better day.
In mid-January, I pulled everything out and started problem solving. I did not want to rip and redo. A bit of trimming helped to make things more square, but the bottom was still wider than the top. I could not cut anymore without damaging the face on the blocks. I put my Math Hat on and started making calculations for taking in seams without having to rip all of the seams. When I had some numbers with which to work, I took the quilt sections to the Mesquite Bean. I knew I would get some excellent advice. Nancy works at the Mesquite Bean, and she is one of my go-to people. We brainstormed and she showed me how I could take in a bit of each seam from the bottom section to make the blocks and sashing line up correctly. There were also other quilters in the store who gave their two cents of information and ideas. I love the way quilters are so willing to help. I know that Nancy likes chocolate chip cookies, so I made sure she got some the next time I went to visit her at the shop.
After the top was pieced, I started piecing the dragon for the backing. The dragon was made in three sections. The challenge with the dragon was the number of small pieces in different colors. The pieces ranged in sizes from 1.5″ to 7.7″ x 24″. Once the dragon was completed, the next problem was building a backing above, below, and on the sides of the dragon section. Once again, I put on my Math Hat. Then I went to Nancy for her to check my numbers. I also needed some fabric for the binding. I had bought some yardage of a licensed Minecraft Fabric. There was not enough for the whole backing, so I had to piece. Even though this was a quilt filled with challenges, I ended up enjoying making this quilt. I always used to tell my students that it is fun to learn, and I found this quilt to be a fun learning process. Now, I have to sew the binding…not my favorite part. But, I cannot wait to see the faces of the recipients of this quilt.

Never Say Never

One of the quilts I made in my first year of piecing quilts, was a Darth Vadar quilt. This quilt was made of over 200 squares that were 2.5″. I was happy with the results, but upon completion, I said, “Never again!” Piecing such small squares with accuracy, when it was only about the third or fourth quilt I ever pieced, was absolutely challenging. Well, how soon we forget!
Last November, I began piecing a Minecraft quilt. The free pattern is by Kelli Fannin. My hat is off to Kelli! She designed such intricate and true to character blocks. She captured the dimension quality of the Minecraft game. The blocks are designed to resemble the characters of the game. The 12.5″ blocks were easy enough to make. Kelli also designed a pattern for the Ender Dragon. She used this piece as part of the backing. I decided to give it a try. The sections for the dragon were made of pieces running the gamut of sizes from 1.5″ squares to 7.5″ x 24.5″ squares. Cutting, sorting, and organizing and keeping track of the pieces just about did me in. I cut and pieced only one section at a time. It took me three days, one for each of the sections. I just about called it quits today, when I realized I had sewn in a row in the wrong spot. After a coffee break, I got back to it. I am happy to say I finished the dragon.
Now, I have to figure out how to finish piecing the back. My original plan was to make more character blocks that Kelli provides. However, I thought that this might distract from the dragon being a focal point. Also, I am a bit tired of cutting the tiny pieces that are required in making more character blocks. I had purchased some Minecraft fabric that might be enough to use to frame the dragon. I have pieced a backing for some of my quilts, but usually, the pieces were all the same size. The dragon is about 5 inches shorter than the width of the quilt. Then, I have to account for the extra fabric for quilting. I have crunched some numbers, but I am still unsure as to what to do. My best bet is to visit my friends at the Mesquite Bean and ask for help. On Tuesdays, they have an open sewing room in the back. There will be plenty of quilters ready and willing to give advice.

Friday

This new year, I am finding that I am not as organized as I would like to be. I have a rough idea of projects and things I want to do; but nothing is set in stone. I still have not figured out what to do about the problem I am having with no more space for photos on my blog. Tierney sent me the link where she explains her photo management. Thanks, Tierney! The problem is how to change the situation as it stands now. I had already upgraded once, but I took up all the space with those unedited photos. I have to consult with my sons to see what, if anything, can be done.

One of my interests for this year is to learn embroidery stitches. Two of the local quilt shops I visit are each having Sue Spargo embroidery classes, but it seems I can never make it to any of the classes. I am trying out new stitches on my own and making small art pieces. One of the pieces I embroidered was a selfie for 2020. The other piece was a combination of techniques. I drew a bird on muslin, and used water color pencils to add color. I sewed some burlap onto a leftover floral charm fabric. Then I added a silk backing. I am also working on another piece where I embroidered the dove, tree, heart, and butterfly that I drew on some linen blend. I am liking this project better than the 365 Day Button and Embroidery project that I started. In this project, a button and or stitches is added on each day of the year.

My Meemaw friends and I had a Wabi-Sabi day, last Sunday. Three of us decided to use these Wabi-Sabi days to work on new quilts. The fourth buddy is helping with whatever needs to be done. Since I had just returned from out-of-town, I did not have anything ready for the quilt I was planning. Instead, I helped my friend cut and get ready to piece her first quilt. This past Monday, I visited Las Colchas to get the fabric for my next quilt. The shop has a great selection of Tex-Mex prints. I have been wanting to make a quilt to celebrate my family culture and heritage. I chose a pattern from the book, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket. The book was loaned to me by one of the Meemaws. She recommended one of the quilt patterns that she had chosen from this book to make a quilt for herself. She thought that the pattern would showcase the vibrant color and design of the Tex-Mex fabric, and I totally agree. I pieced the backing for this quilt, using a fabric which features milagros.

I am also working on a Minecraft quilt. The free pattern is by Kelli Fannin. In November, I had pieced the top three rows, and the bottom two rows. When I went to attach the two parts, I realized I was off. The bottom piece was wider than the top. After fooling with it a bit, I threw it in the This-Is-Driving-Me-Crazy bin. I pulled it out this past Tuesday, and took it to the Mesquite Bean. The helpful people at this shop gave me some suggestions that would require minimal rip and sew. Thanks to these friends, I was able to piece the top together today. Kelli Fannin created a dragon block for the backing. I plan to try this out tomorrow.
Note: Phyllis, if you are reading this blog, this quilt is a secret!

Last week, while in Round Rock, I went on a birding walk around the lake where one of my sons lives. It was my first birding walk for the year. Then, this Wednesday, the Meemaws went on a birding walk by the river in the King William area of San Antonio. So far, I have seen 21 different species of birds this year. Bird watching is so exciting!

*In the video, the linen blend that I used for the embroidery projects, shows an exaggerated version of the fabric. The fabric is really not that grainy.