WIP Wednesday – Baby Quilt and a pillow

I have three baby girl quilts that need made. One is going to a friend who is having her second daughter in February, the other two will be for a friend who is pregnant with twins. (!) I want to say she’s due in April.

I got the top for the singleton done this weekend (as my instagram followers know) and I’ve been contemplating how to quilt it ever since. I don’t think I want to do an all-over design. Rather, I think I may do something in each diamond. I was doodling over a picture of it last night. Speaking of pictures, here’s the top!


Hopefully that shows up. I’m writing this on my cell phone.

I was doodling around, toying with an idea I had about chevrons when it occurred to me to do a string quilt. I used instructions from Elizabeth Hartman’s “Practical Guide to Patchwork” but made the blocks smaller.
If you don’t have that book, Film in the Fridge has a good tutorial. I’m going to have a really hard time letting this quilt go. I’m probably going to have to make a queen sized replica.

For the other two quilts I think I’m going to do something simple, like the strip quilt from Tula Pink’s latest market booth.

I also started a pillow yesterday, made with flying geese scraps.


I started quilting it, and got the lighter part done, but when I switched threads for the dark part my machine started skipping stitches, majorly. (my phone says majorly isn’t a word. Psh, whatever.) So, I’ve got to rip those out and either try again or go get another color of thread. I’ll probably give it another go first. Sometimes letting my machine rest over night helps. I understand its need.

Here’s the pillow before I started on the dark quilting.


I hope I can get it worked out today and up in the shop soon.

(Btw, I opened an Etsy shop. Check it out. Link over there —> )


Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced



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“Diamonds and Bowties”

I love Joel Dewberry.

This year for Christmas I got an Amazon.com gift card from my in-laws. I was thrilled when I found a fat quarter pack of Joel Dewberry’s Notting Hill on Amazon for sixty bucks. Of course, I bought it. But it sat unused (un-opened, even!) for months while I looked for the perfect pattern. I didn’t want to cut it up too small, since there were so many awesome big prints. I finally saw a pattern that I knew I could replicate, but by the time I got around to sketching it out I got it all wrong and came up with this:

"Diamonds and Bowties" by Melissa of Tension Issues

I can’t wait to quilt it. I plan on incorporating the diamonds and bowties thing into the negative space and trying out some fun stuff on the prints.

"Diamonds and Bowties" by Melissa of Tension Issues

I’ve also got quite a bit leftover, so I’m thinking I’ll need to make a matching pillow or mini.

What do you think? Have you ever risked a line you loved on your own pattern?


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September 9, 2013 · 10:58 am

“Eat Pork” Quilt

Occasionally, I’m brilliant.

Some friends of ours recently got married, and their reception is today. They do competition BBQ. They’re really good at it, check them out.

So anyway, of course we needed a gift. Luckily, I can make things. I had the idea to turn this:  Pork-Chart_Article-668x419

Into this:

"Eat Pork" Quilt by Melissa of Tension Issues

I love it. I know that usually people wait til they get home to open wedding gifts, but I’m making them open it right there, as soon as I give it to them. I can’t wait. I’m also going to make one for myself. I’ll probably end up making a chicken and cow one as well.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I quilted the background. It was tedious, and I won’t do it again. But I did get to use that little line marking tool. I thought it was a seam presser until I saw a picture on Instagram of one. It worked really well. I kept my lines straight, and I didn’t have to erase anything after.


Then I took the image above, of the pig, enlarged it, printed it out, and cut it up.


Next, I fused Wonder Under onto my fabric and cut out the shapes.


After I fused them onto the background, I free motion quilted around each piece and between them all.

"Eat Pork" Quilt by Melissa of Tension Issues

I also added a little ‘eat pork’ detail, and quilted the tail on. I thought about using rick rack for the tail, but I thought that might be too cutesy.



I think the back looks pretty cool too. I forgot to take the picture before I sewed the sleeve on.


There you go! I’m insanely happy about it. Tickled pink, you might say. Happier than a pig in… well, you know.

I hope the happy couple loves it as much as me.

Thanks for reading!


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Dorothy Hates Me (wonky cross wall-hanging)

I finished this a while ago, but I’m just a lazy person.

Actually, I use my computer as a babysitter so I can sew, er, clean

No, not really. Well, yeah. Nevermind.

Hey! I made something.


Isn’t that awesome? I get the feeling I shouldn’t keep saying my stuff is awesome, but what the hell am I making all this for, right? I had better think it’s awesome.


Look! It’s a quilt on my wall! It’s like I’m an old lady!

So this little quilt is my first actual wall hanging. I’ve been wanting to do a wonky cross quilt for a long time. This was put together pretty quickly, and I had a lot of fun with the improv and figuring out where and how things go together. I think I got it done so quickly because I was working out some anger issues. But I won’t get into that.

I love it. That’s all.

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Tula Pink Top

Tula Pink The Birds and the Bees top by tension issues

Doesn’t that make you happy? Don’t worry, those brown things I just now noticed are leaves, not poo.

This quilt was pieced entirely with Tula Pink’s line The Birds and the Bees, using the Dreamweaver pattern from her book, Quilts from the House of Tula Pink. The pattern was modified a bit to fit with the fat quarter pack I had, instead of the 1/3 yards of each print that it called for. So it’s a bit wider and shorter than the original. It’s also huge. It’s not quilted yet, since I don’t have the cash right now. I haven’t told my husband the quote I got on getting it quilted.


I can’t wait to roll myself up in this like an awesome gay burrito.


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My Scrappy Trip is quilted

I finally got my scrappy trip around the world quilted. Mom and I had a baste-fest over at her house. She basted a quilt she’s hand quilting and I did my trip. It’s a hard thing, to baste two quilts while there are two children and two dogs (who don’t like each other) roaming around, but we did it.

I opted for a simple crosshatch, since I was going to be doing the quilting myself and my machine doesn’t have a big throat.

Scrappy Trip by Tension Issues

You’d be amazed (or maybe not) if I told you how long I hemmed and hawed over whether I wanted the lines to intersect in the middle of the squares or at the seams. I went for in the seams because I like the way the quilting kind of makes it look like quarter square triangles.

I bound it in a kind of wavy stripe from Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom line. I’m not really sure if I like it. I kind of feel like I should’ve picked something bolder to frame it, instead of something that blended in.

Scrappy Trip by Tension Issues

But it’s cool. I love it. It’s my first completed quilt for me. It’s actually the biggest quilt I’ve quilted, pieced and bound all by myself!


I really like the back. I used two rejected blocks. One was a bit muddled and the other was too checker board-y. I used some of the bigger pieces in my stash that I had no plans for, plus an old crib sheet of my daughter’s.


Aren’t those birdies cute? I saved that sheet forever (she’s six now) because I knew I wanted to use it in a quilt someday.

Scrappy Tripalong by tension issues

And here’s one more, me trying to take advantage of the natural quilt propping quality of the massive bush in front of my house. I bet if you zoomed in you can see two kids and a dog wondering what I’m doing.

Did you make a Scrappy Trip during the craze? Did you make two? I admit I’m thinking of another…


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