Archive - August, 2008

Ha.

Quiet from me these days as it’s family time in New Hampshire (I miss my sewing machine!!) but I found this funny.  Clearly the focus of my blog is QUITE clear!!

Hmmm...

A simple tote

Just whipped up this tote that’s a gift for my sister who I’m off to visit in New Hampshire, where we all grew up.  She lives in Gabon, Africa so we don’t get to catch up in person that frequently and I’m very excited. I offered to make her a bag and she requested a tote.  Here it is!

Bird Tote

It measures about 12″ x 16″.  Hard to go wrong with this amazing Anna Marie Horner Drawing Room fabric!

And the inside, which I always use as an excuse to keep free motion quilting in, oh… every project I make!  I’m on a sewing supplies buying ban so I had to line the bag with scrap quilt batting (I’m all out of interfacing!) so why not quilt it?!?

Bird Tote - Inside

I hope she likes it!

My favorite quilting resources

First little glimpse at progress on the commissioned coin quilt.  Just the binding left to go!

Quilting on Coin Quilt

I’m really no expert, but I’ve been asked by some people about the various steps of making a quilt, and as I’m completely self taught (I’ve learned everything from blogs and books!) I thought I’d put all of my favorite tutorials/posts in one place.  I’ve read a lot of blogs about the process of making quilts and to me, with these specific posts, anyone can make a quilt.  I’m proof of it because this is how I learned!

In terms of making the quilt top, to each their own!  That’s where it’s all about taste and design.  The one thing I am not is a perfectionist, so I’m not all about perfect piecing.   I’ve gotten better with practice and this is a great place to read about the details, from cutting to pressing

http://quilting.about.com/od/piecingtechniques/Piecing_Sewing_Methods_for_Quilters.htm

Sizes of different quilts and different adjustments can be found here:

http://www.amishcountrylanes.com/Pages/QuiltSize.shtml

For basting layers of the quilt:

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2007/09/one-way-to-baste-quilt.html

For quilting there is lots to be read but I’m personally a free motion quilter.  I love this discussion on flickr.  It’s filled with lots of specific tips from different quilters.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/quilts/discuss/72157604324619530/

And this post with a video is amazingly helpful!

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/03/free-motion-quilting.html

Once you’ve quilted all that’s left is the binding and this is a great tutorial:

http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/continuous_quiltbinding/index.html

And then your quilt is all done!!  I’ve made many quilts simply by following all of these directions.  I’ve never had another quilter see how I do any of my work so there’s a good chance they would look on in horror at my methods, but in the end, I always end up with a pretty quilt, so I don’t worry myself too much with that!  I have so much fun making my quilts and that’s what matters!

A full sized coin quilt top!

I recently got commissioned to make a full sized version of my gender neutral baby quilt and I just finished the top.  It’s clearly inspired by a stacked coin quilt, but I like wider and fewer columns than you usually see.

Coin Quilt Top

I made some changes on the color scheme in order for it to read a bit more adult than the baby version.  There’s still the same warms (orange & yellow) but I have more blues and greens and also added the chocolate brown – it reads a bit dark in the photo…  The plan is to also bind it in brown.  I really really love brown as a neutral and I think that combined with the bright colors and white sashing/framing, it makes the quilt lively, yet grown up somehow…  I can’t wait to get the back made and then quilt it to see it all come together!!

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt

I got this one all finished up and washed!

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt - Both Sides

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt - Back

Meandering free motion quilting + a quick wash and dry = crinkly goodness!!

What a Bunch of Squares Baby quilt - Detail

It came out much better than I had initially anticipated so I’m really happy about that.  It’s the Denyse Schmidt pattern but I made fewer blocks that measured 15″ square, so it now measures about 45″ x 60″.

What fun it is to make blocks without really worrying about perfectly measuring and cutting.  As long as they were vaguely the right size, and there was variety among them, they were “right”!  Then framed them all in white and I was done with the top!  Quick and easy and FUN!

Yum!

When you start a day off with the mail delivering this how can you go wrong? Had to get some more of the wonderful Katie Jump Rope (and more) for a commissioned quilt and magically some other lovely (mostly pink) fabric snuck into the order… how did that happen?!?

New Fabric!

I’m making lots of progress here… Just have to hand stitch down the binding now!

What A Bunch of Squares being quiltedWhat A Bunch of Squares Progress

I just realized that the fabric I mentioned is designed by Denyse Schmidt, and the pattern of this quilt is too.  Gee – think I’m a fan??

And to wrap up this post, I’d just like to say how wonderful this whole community is. I know that this is not news, but I started my blog so recently and to have so many lovely people say such nice things to me right off the bat is really so so wonderful. It makes me happy! So thank you!!

A baby quilt top completed

I just finished a gender neutral baby quilt top for yet some more friends who are expecting. It’s the Denyse Schmidt pattern “What A Bunch Of Squares” which I love. It was fun to make as I didn’t really follow the pattern. I just made squares in the style of the pattern, meanwhile making sure that there was variation among them.

One Block

These colors were requested and it took me a long time to get inspired by the fabrics. I decide to use more solids than I usually do in order to push myself out of my quilting comfort zone. As the top started coming together I started to feel a bit better about it… I’m not sure.  I do love the design, and I know that once it’s quilted and crinkly it always improves.  Hopefully it will only grow on me from here!

What A Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt Top

I sometimes make bags too…

When I feel like making something that I know I’m going to finish in one or two sewing sessions, I tend to make purses.  I wish I had the courage to start making myself some clothes but it just isn’t calling me…  Hopefully some day.  A skirt or two – that’s what I need to start with!

Here are some of the bags I’ve made:

Spring Tote

And here are the results of my obsession with the wonderful Mail Sack Pattern from Pink Chalk Studio.  Kathy’s blog was one of the first that I stumbled across when I started discovering the crafty blog world and it has provided me with endless inspiration!

Gender Neutral Baby Quilt

I know that I mentioned this quilt in my first post, but I thought that I’d post more specifically about it.  People seem to have reacted well to it, so here are some of my thoughts on how I came up with it.

I was very influenced by all of the wonderful stacked coin, or chinese coin quilts that are on flickr.  Like this one, and this one.  So simple and modern and beautiful!

From there, the parents had requested light green, so I had that as a jumping off point.  I went with colors that I felt really are not specifically boy or girl-ish.  As much as I love to use loads of pinks, to me, the instant that there is even a little pink in a quilt, it becomes girly.  That and bold florals.  I feel like a Dad looking as a quilt with loads of flowers in it just won’t think it’s right for his baby boy.  Granted, there are exceptions to everything, but this is my thinking…  Add that all up, (plus lots of fussy cutting of Heather Ross‘ amazingly fun and whimsical fabrics) and you get this result!

Gender Neutral Baby Quilt

Gender Neutral Baby Quilt Back

Gender Neutral Baby Quilt Close Up


Gender Neutral Baby Quilt Back Close Up

Gender Neutral Baby Quilt All Folded Up

Update: A few people have asked about the measurements of this quilt… it’s 45″ x 60″. The columns are 6″ wide and all of the sashing and the border are 4″ wide.

Pink Squares in Squares Baby Quilt

I finished this quilt yesterday and tomorrow I’m off to the shower where it will be given as a gift.  I’m super happy with how it came out.  Pink and baby, yet with wonderful fabrics and not too cutesy…

Hopefully the parents love it as much as I do.  Do any of you struggle with giving away your quilts??  I find that the initial idea of letting it go can be tough, but then I realized that once I finish a quilt and put it away so that the cats can’t roll around on it and get it dirty, I only look at the photos of it anyhow.  So I figure, I still can!  Plus nothing makes me happier than getting photos of babies layin’ around on one of my quilts!

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