Wednesday, October 28, 2015

a weekend of Yuma: the 3:10 to Mendocino

I've had a lot of Mendocino Mermaids in my collection since I went on a buying spree back in 2012 - 2013. Actually, since I found a couple of bolts of it on the cheap (as in $10/metre, which is cheap in Australia - most fabrics are $20/metre) and bought the lot.

I made one quilt out of my supplies already (The Seaweed Is Always Greener) and had enough for a second.

Let the cutting begin! #yumaQAL #mendocinomermaids #310tomendocino #eep

Looking at the leftover scraps, I have enough for a third...but that's for another post.

I had vague ideas about what to make with my collection, but until Gotham Quilts' pattern for the Yuma Quilt came out, nothing seemed quite right.

What initially caught my eye about Yuma? Those little white triangles on the bigger triangles. Before I realised that was the fabric print and not the piecing. D'oh! I thought it was really cool and fiddly piecing. Yeah, nope. But the pattern is still very cool and I thought it would look good in Mendocino - the big pink and gold prints for the large triangles and a melange of other prints for the small(er) triangles.

When putting a quilt together, there's always that little niggle of doubt. "Maybe this isn't such a good idea." "I don't know about this." "Should I add more fabrics? Take away more? "What if I perpetrate a horror of colour and style upon the quilting world and can never show my face around the intarwebs again?"

I had a couple of those; firstly when I realised that in order to have prints properly directional, I would have to cut them on the diagonal...

@pinkyingblog better angle for Steel vs Slate? #yumaQAL #mendocinomermaids #310tomendocino

Progress! #310tomendocino #mendocinomermaids #yumaqal

Luckily I had enough fabric, and what I didn't have enough of, I could group together. (And now have a lot of scraps that would probably make pretty decent HSTs... Something to consider.)

That moment when you think "wow, this could really really work!" #310tomendocino #mendocinomermaids #yumaqal

So far, so good. That was the easy part.

Then there was the layout check and the panic that ensued when I realised that laying out the blocks as the instructions indicated would mean that I had pink and gold HSTs blending with the pink and gold large triangles.

..and then that moment when you're not so sure...  😳 #310tomendocino

There was the question of what to do about the centre blocks - I was initially intending to use the pink, blue, and brown memaid medallions as centres surrounded by the pink and gold mermaids, but that was making the quilt too busy-and-bright for my liking.
Top, bottom or neither? #310tomendocino

Putting some pink and blue mermaid medallions helped calm things down, and I could keep the brown mermaid medallion as the centre of the quilt (black hair, olive skin mermaids; yesyesyes) and use some pale blue scraps to border it.

It got a bit patchy, especially when I mis-cut 8.5" to be 7.5". D'OH. Luckily I had just enough to cover that missing inch.

Bright and early Sunday...  #310tomendocino

I could tell you about the drama of 12.5" squares vs 12" squares which comes down to Sel Does Not Read Instructions Well. It's long and involved and you don't want to hear about it. Instead, I will tell you (or rather, show you) of What Happens When Maladicta Wakes Up From Her Snooze:

*sigh* #cats #310tomendocino #catsofinstagram #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal

Luckily I'd taken a photo before she rolled around in my layout.

And then there was The Problem Of Seams.

Specifically, seams on the diagonal.

Seams. On the diagonal.

It's like a convocation of All The Things I Hate But Which Quilting Loves To Land In My Lap WHYYYYY? (see: The Eternity Quilt and Swarm - each a bajillion triangles, cut on the bias, sewn together and UGH...and the ridiculous part is that I keep doing it.) My seams are...well, a more precise quilter would say "complete shit"...but I like the subtle misdirection of "flexible".

I will never win a prize for perfect seams in any universe.

But that's okay. I make it work. And (mostly) nobody notices. (Until I point it out. Which I have to stop doing.)

I'm presently trying to decide on whether To Border Or Not To Border. I like my quilts big, and this one is still in the Not Quite Big Enough category right now.

But it looks really good - especially in front of my house, with the rosebush in the background!

And done! Wondering if it needs a border...  #310tomendocino #yumaqal #yumaquilt #mendocinomermaids

Also in the background of my pic with Smokey:

Me in @cottonandsteel frock with happy, purry furry (Smokey), and the #310tomendocino in my workroom on a warm spring Sunday afternoon. #mendocinofabric #mendocinomermaids #yumaquilt #cats #catsofinstagram #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal

I'm debating whether to quilt this one myself or to send it away. I'm inclining towards sending it away, because I rather like the machine-quilted quilts that I have - they're loosely quilted, so still soft, but it's strong and a nice all-over pattern. And not much effort from me. (Always a bonus.)

I was hoping to finish it in time for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, but alas, no time. Everything is crazy right now, and while November should calm down a little, I don't think it will be by much! Sprinting to the end of the year now!


  1. This is a gorgeous quilt! Great way to showcase some fantastic prints. I love Heather Ross fabrics!

    1. Thank you! The Mendocino line is lovely, and so soft!

  2. As soon as I read cut on the diagonal, I thought "this could be a problem" but you have worked around it and your quilt looks really great, DO NOT POINT OUT YOUR ERRORS (sorry for shouting) most people don't notice them anyway. There is a method of cutting triangles so you don't get the bias edges on the long part, it involves cutting 4 triangles from larger squares, but I think it is probably better for non-directional prints.

  3. Great quilt top. I like these fabrics too, but never purchased them. Funny comment about your seams. I prefer the the satisfaction of a "finish" more than the perfect finish. It makes it more handmade and your very own.


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