Friday, January 22, 2016

Tidal Lace

Wiithin days of writing out my Q1 FAL 2016 List, I have one checked off!  Sit back and enjoy, or zip down through all the photos (there will be a lot) and leave, doesn't bother me, because I am so happy these are done!  And yet... (yep, there is an "and yet...")

It started with the Tidal Lace fabric which I bought last winter to make pillowcases. I wanted the panel to be the vertical edge of each pillowcase.  The first surprise was that this fabric is an aqua to coral ombré, and coral is not really in my wheelhouse. Still I love loved the fabric, so I bought it.  The second surprise was that 2 yards would not make pillowcases the way I had envisioned.

They say to keep your brain young and vibrant, you must use it much like keeping your body in shape, exercise.  Well I did a marathon.  My brain thanks me.

First I googled pillowcase images.  Millions of hits.  Hit "Custom" (who knew you could do that?) and voilà! I saw really interesting pillowcases, the first few of which had either a monogramme, or an image of some kind, centred on the case, not on the band! Lightbulb. What if I centred the panel area on the main part of the pillowcase?
It took a bit of courage to make these cuts!
Yes!  I would have enough to make two pillowcases with a band AND I had 21" left with which I could make a cushion cover!!  Doesn't take much to keep this girl happy.
I trimmed 2 1/4" off the selvage side of the panel, and left 6" on the opposite side.
From here I just needed to cut 6.5" strip off the remaining fishnet part of the fabric and sew it to the other side of the sea creatures panel.

Success! I now had a 26.5 X 41" panel
The reason I had to trim off a 6.5" strip is that had I not, the other side of my pillowcase would have ended above the lacy pink edging you see above, and I wanted to keep that as part of the case.

Laid down a Kona Snow strip for the band. Yep!  I'm liking it...kinda...
Quilts "talk" to me, as I know they do to many of you.  This pillowcase went, "meh."  My brain was running on a runner's high right about now, and I suddenly thought, "What if I FMQ-ed some of the tidal creatures on the band?!!"  I got SO excited!  That bubble-in-your-gut (not from eating dairy products) that makes one feel a sort of caffeine-jittery excitement got me vibrating with creative energy, and I started stitching this:
Traced one of the starfish from the panel, put a piece of batting under the fabric, loaded Isacord, and went to town.
This was the result!
Those of you who have read my blog for a bit know how much I love All People Quilt's Roll It Up pillowcase pattern.  No exposed seams.  I used it to make this pillowcase.  I did have to zigzag (left my serger in Kingsville) the seams where I pieced the panel parts.  No biggie.

Sunday afternoon:
Guest room.  The more I see this in there, the more I think we should have painted the master this colour and not the pale green and grey we did...
This is the reverse side of the pillowcases:
See the horizontal lacy edge?  :-)
Monday this happened:
To some oncoming walkers, two pibbles and a rottie can cause a reaction like the parting of the Red Sea...
Not much sewing, in other words.  However, we had a great walk after my yoga class along the Sarasota Harbour, out to the little island, and up to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a little over 3 km/2 miles.  The cushion was still simmering in my brain, rest assured.  I wanted to incorporate leftover waves fabric from my Cloud 9 quilt along with leftover Tidal Lace.  It took me longer than I anticipated to come up with a pleasing design.  I decided to make 4-patches alternate with 4.5" squares of the waves fabric.  Here comes the first "and yet..."  Where is the Tidal Lace?  Um yeah...  There are oh, six 2.5" by varying widths patches in the outer border, and a couple 2.5" squares in the centre.

Somehow I got the waves fabric going as the main fabric, not the Tidal Lace.  By the time that dawned on me (what happened to your marathon-running brain? you too) I was committed to this cushion cover.  No problem.  This one is going in the guest room and those Tidal Lace pillowcases are going on MY bed in the master bedroom, so I will create TWO cushion covers to cover the boring chocolate brown cushions on our bed, and I should have enough to make two, right?  Went to the panel, thought a bit more, and cut out two 8.5" squares as the starting point for the two new cushion covers for my bed.  Realized, um yeah, guess I now am making three cushion covers...
Thinking maybe offset with log cabin strips surrounding them...or hourglass blocks beside these with strips above and below...hmm
Okay, back to the cushion cover at hand!  However, don't you agree that the 2 yards I had that were not enough for two easy pillowcases, but now have somehow provided enough for 2 pillowcases, patches for a cushion cover and the starting point for two more cushion covers with still lots of fabric left to play with, is just SO COOL?!!  Quilters get this. Quilters live this.  "Make do" becomes "made do and have enough for more!"

So the 4-patches and 4.5" squares were okay, but only measured 12" and I needed 18" for my cover.  I did not take pictures for this building process, and I should have.  I decided to do a white lattice between the units. It brought me to 14".  No problem; I created a 2.5" by varying widths striped final border: 18.5".  Yes.  No.  Houston, we had a problem.  It was like my stomach feels, not bubbles of excitement, but the feeling I get on twirling rides like merry-go-rounds, blechh, when I looked at the 4.5", 4-patches, and 2.5" borders all smooshed together.  The quilt said, nooo.  So I added a narrow 1/2" white border. A bit better.  It now said it needed a frame of sorts, darker.  Enter the teal.  Yessss.  Now the problem is that it measures 20.5".  I like my cushions stuffed, firm, not floppy, kind of like a pair of jeans.  They must fit, not sag, especially on the rear end, right?  I did not know how to solve this dilemma, other than trimming off an inch of the 2.5" border, and that did not look right, nor did I want to lose any.  When faced with a problem, quilt: (notice one L separates the word "quit" from "quilt"?!!) Ditch-stitched and then put on the free-motion foot:

Following the waves; too much fun!
Still contemplating that damn too-wide, but not too-wide because I like it just fine as is, border.  Got two opinions (how I love this QBL), one from Judy who agreed don't trim 1", maybe just 1/2".  The other opinion from MacGyver, who said, yep trim it.  My gut and this quilt said, noooo.

Kept quilting.
Time to make the call.  To trim or not to trim. Laid it down, stepped back, and this happened.  But of course!

Bella said, "It's lovely! Can I have it? Purrr-ease? You forgot to bring my cat cushion you do know."  Well, she is right, I forgot her little pouffe, but no way was I giving this baby to her, although I guess I should make her a little princess-type cushion...  Bottom line, I couldn't trim it.  Lightbulb.  We have some more brown cushions that came with our couch that are brown and red and ivory.  Not a fan anymore, want lighter brighter colours here.  Would this cushion cover fit those??

Oh yes.
I had too much fun FMQ-ing the starfish on the pillowcases, so I had to freehand one on one of the white squares, and then had to do a shell on another.  Some water-evoking back and forth around these babies, and some dot-to-dot for the 4-patches on the diagonal, waves in the untrimmed(!) borders, and finally straight-lines at 1/4" in the white lattice and she is done!

Like I was making them (hey, what do I mean, 'them'; I was making ONE cushion cover for the taupe ugly cushion in the guest room! ONE!  I signed up for ONE on the Q1 list!  Now I'm making...let's see...freaking FIVE?!! or is it six? SIX!!!! I guess, if you count one for Bella)...sigh, anyhow, it fit like I was making them for the two couch cushions all along.

The back.
The waves are lined up pretty awesome, no?!  And yep the back is pieced too.  Didn't have a wide enough leftover of the waves fabric for a good 5-6" overlap, so I used leftovers from the backing of Parisville Weave.
Sidenote: I said to MacGyver last night, I am SO glad I brought down all my scraps this year.  Well, almost all.  I brought down all the Ziploc bags of small scraps (which are sorted by colour) and stuffed the two plastic Rubbermaid bins of blues and of greens into one large tote along with the Ziploc bags, also brought down all my strips that I have been keeping in a separate Rubbermaid bin, which is where I pulled these lovelies from.  I brought some (sniff, not a lot) of my larger rolled scrap pieces and smallish stash, like fat quarter-size.  It's like I get twitchy knowing I can't bring it all, and more twitchy trying to decide exactly what to bring.  I'm so glad I had this.  The reason I had the wave leftovers is because I knew I wanted to back "Finished is better than perfect" with it.  Love it when things just work out.

Sidenote #2: I do my backs much like Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts does, with the exception of not using a double-layer for each side of the back.  Must try that.  This works just fine, and I have cushion covers that are 15 years old or more that have stood up very well.

Covering the boring brown and red cushion:
Do not point out the earth-tones striped bottom cushion, nor the similar reddish-brown lanai cushions for these chairs.  Don't.
Here is a side by side comparison as to how much of a change can be created by just redoing cushion covers!
I know which chair I like best!
Here is a close-up of the quilting I did:
I haven't washed it yet, and I won't be until I need to.  It is a tight fit and I know this will shrink a little.
This starfish is quite a bit smaller than those on the pillowcases, so I didn't do as much detail.  I love it.  I loved doing all the FMQ on here.  Am I falling in love with mini-sized quilts?
Tish is doing her best to encourage this burgeoning love.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: original design
Size: 20.5" square
Fabric: scraps
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Gütermann, quilted with Isacord 100% polyester #4230 in 40 wt, and Essential from Connecting Threads (really love this thread, new to me, no affiliation) 100% cotton 50 wt in white.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF, and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework on Sunday for Oh Scrap!

AND with She Can Quilt for the Q1 FAL party!

'What are you going to make for the second brown and red cushion cover?' you are wondering, I know.  I already have one started.  Similar, but not too matchy-matchy.  Serendipity: there just happens to be one in Camille Roskelley's book Simplify, that I got out of the library again yesterday!
Always wanted to do a Plus Quilt.  May as well do a mini!


  1. You are on a roll!! Good job. Love what you've done with everything.

  2. You did wonderful things with that fabric! I really especially love the FMQed starfish, they are fantastic on the band of the pillow cases and again on the pillow. :)

  3. Your new colors definitely seem more Florida-like to me, and I am sure they do make a big difference! I love your new cushion cover! Thanks for the link to the pillow case pattern, too! I have those on my list to try this year.

  4. Wow...the fabric kept multiplying for all those projects. It's amazing what you can do when you have to be creative to get the most out of what you have. Great job!!

  5. Gracious! It's no wonder you're have too many things going on! Of course, I'm kidding, a lot. I am precisely the same way...0 to 60 much too soon, overflowing with ideas spilling out on all sides. I love, love the pillowcases. The idea to center the design was brilliant. My favorite though are the covers. I really like quilted pillow covers and yours are beautiful!

  6. Holy heck, I get palpitations just thinking about all that. I think your pillow cases are lovely and I love your pillow cover too.

  7. Love your new pillow cover. Great home for all those leftover scraps!

  8. What great finishes, Love how you got two pillow cases out of the fabric and still bad a few inches left over, great job! The colors are very calming for a bed room.

  9. Wowers!!!! I love your cushion covers. I have been thinking of doing more minis, once things settle down over here. I think they appeal to us as quilters because of the instant gratification of having a finished project.

  10. Man alive! You are a stitchin woman!! I love you're fmq starfish and embellishment fury. Would love to have a walk with you and the team, but we'd need snowshoes today here. Keep at it, Sandra. It's all beautiful!

  11. You Go Girl!! Love what your have been doing and your colors (your starfish are great too!) Beautiful!

  12. Loved your humour in this post Sandra! You wondered where your marathon running brain went? In running terms it's called hitting the wall, or more commonly referred to as the "bonk". It just means all your reserves have been used up and your body is telling you to sit and have a glass of wine instead of making it run 10k more. Brain bonk is serious, you need at least two glasses of wine to build your reserves back up.

  13. I'm a big fan of swapping out cushion covers to refresh the living room. I love this one. It's fun to see your creative process. Cutting into your fabric and sewing it back together in the 'right' order for your pillowcases was a very quilty thing to do, with lovely results.

  14. That fabric and these pillows are so you. I love the quilting and your resourcefullness.

  15. Maybe the way the fabric multiplied is along the lines of the Biblical story of the multiplying of the fishes - LOL - you know they're both ocean themed...

    LOVE the pillows and cushion covers.

    Oh Bella <3

  16. I was unfamiliar with Tidal Lace, so I looked it up. Wow, an entire line, and it's all beautiful. I really like what you did with yours.

  17. I love all your pillows. The quilting on the band added a lot. I still have a bunch of pillows on my bucket list.

  18. Looks like you are enjoying your scraps! Well done for getting so much out of them! Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday

  19. These are really gorgeous! Fabulous finishes. Thank you for participating in the 2016 FAL, on behalf of the global FAL hosts :o)


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