I really want to do something creative on the Circle quilt but I'm not a relaxed enough person to just wing it. That means plenty of pondering, review, research, test sandwiches, and in this case, a mini mock up of the actual quilt. The exercise was fun and was worth the effort for a few reasons.
Of course, being able to audition thread and quilting designs on the actual fabric one intends to quilt is a realistic eye opener of how the results will look. I have used a bunch of different Batik fabric colours and all that white background so I want a thread that will look good on all of them. The weave and weight of the Batik is different than the quilting cotton so I also want to see how the threads behave and what size needle works best.
I could have just made a test sandwich of squares of both fabrics but I suddenly had the idea to make a tiny version of my quilt using the leftover scraps. I used my Olfa circle cutter to quickly cut out the circles and I just glued them to a piece of background white Moda. I even went as far as a skinny border although those strips didn't stick down as well. I think it's really adorable and when I have finished my experimental quilting, I'll quickly serge the edges and use it as a mug rug or machine pad. It's about 14-1/2" x 11-1/4". I can play around with the quilting too!
I haven't used the circle cutter more than once (and that was just to see how it worked when I initially bought it) and I was really impressed! It is so smooth at cutting the circles using the small 18mm blade. I re-watched the 'how to' video on the Olfa website and followed the instructions for perfect results. I can see doing some raw-edge applique polka dots in the future - it's really fun and easy!
I've been busy cleaning up the loose ends in my workshop: I made backing for the Piece of Cake II quilt and then spray basted the layers. I have given up hauling everything to the garage to baste (which means having to wait until it has been cleaned of winter muck and is much warmer) since I really wanted to get this job done now. I set up my tables in the basement, opened all the windows, and sprayed sparingly. It worked SO well and I am going to stick with this method for sure. I got the Circle quilt and the Piece of Cake quilt smoothly stuck to their batting and backings and now they are draped over another table just waiting to be quilted.
I also made the binding for the larger Piece of Cake quilt using some pretty red print Miss Kate fabric. This Camille Roskelley project was made entirely from my stash so I'm really happy I could make it work. I also feel less pressure with it because I have done so many quilts now that I can relax and have fun finishing this one which didn't cost me any extra money. I have been considering my options and might try a double cross-hatch quilting design since I've never done it before. While I was in the groove I made the binding for the circle quilt as well; both bindings were stitched on my darling little Singer Featherweight.
Finally, I finished graduation albums for my son and daughter and a sweet album of my mom. The kids have taken many photos of her doing silly things (she was a willing participant!!!) so I put them all together in a small slide-in scrapbook. It looks great and will generate fun and fond memories of her every time we look at it. It feels amazing to knock out all these creative UFOs I've had piled up since we moved and life got 'crazy'. I powered through cleaning the house (which always feels good) and even made hubby an apple pie (for Pi day, 3.14), which he has been patiently waiting for (his favourite). All in all it has been extremely productive around here lately!