Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to Quilting

Here is some quilting on a quilt back.  Some 5 petaled flowers and random swirls and leaves. 

And feathers!  I got a little funky and did a little something in each feather. 

Christmas projects got me off the quilting track for a while, and now there is lots of catching up to do.  So stay tuned for more quilting updates!  Signing off to go quilt!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Puzzle Ball!

It's a Puzzle Ball! 

I received this book as a Christmas gift a couple years ago, and it is definitely a gift that keeps on giving!  I've made several of these puzzle balls as baby gifts as well as a few other projects in this book.  It has a lot of super cute ideas in it.  The puzzle ball looks like a complicated project, but once you piece a couple of the sections, its actually pretty easy.  And once you get all the sections pieced on the sewing machine, the rest of it can be finished on the couch covered up in a blanket in front of the TV. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

I decided to make a few Christmas gifts.  I would post a pic of them all done, but they are already wrapped up and under the tree.  This block is called Christmas Star from Quilt Blocks Galore.  If you havent found this site yet, bookmark it right now.  It is awesome!  There are a bagillion block ideas for any skill level.  I think I might try to crank out a couple more of these mini-quilts before Christmas officially hits.

I did change the look of my blog a little bit.  Hope you like it!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pieced Scrap Border quilt, an insane project, and a blizzard

Here is my pieced borders quilt top.  I used (gasp!) an old white sheet.  Its the first time I've used a sheet in a quilt. 

Then my mom pulls out this quilt that she started 30 plus years ago, when she was still single.  Seem similar??  Kinda weird!!

Except her version makes mine look pretty simplified.  Each side of the hexagon has to be lined up and sewn individually.  Thats pretty much the reason why this project is still unfinished.  (And mine is NOT!  ha ha.)  The fabrics are scraps from jackets, dresses, and various things she had made.  She also used a white sheet.  This is authentic vintage fabric people!  :) 

She's had all the pieces cut out and ready to go.  I helped by sewing in 3 hexagons and then I'd had enough.  She has made it a goal to add 1 hexagon a day in the hopes to finish it in a year!  Good luck Mom--We are going to hold you to it!

And this is what it looks like outside today.  This picture actually does not do justice to the howling wind and swirling blinding snow going on out there.  We are currently under a blizzard warning. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

UFO Extravaganza!

Over Thanksgiving weekend my mom, sister and I had a UFO Extravaganza!  We got so much done that we had to arrange this photo.  We tallied up over 20 projects that we worked on.  Some were almost done when we brought them, others were both started and finished (like the quilt top on the left and the sweatpants), and then a few were just started and not quite finished (like the paper dolls- we ran out of fusible web).  We're pretty proud of ourselves nonetheless. 

Notice my pieced square border top is done!  *on the right*  I'll post a better picture once I get one taken of it during the daylight; which means this weekend.  These short days are getting old in a hurry. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm Still Here!

I'm still catching up from my 6 day Thanksgiving weekend which was jam-packed full of sewing.  More on that later.  This is a baby quilt made by my Sister. 

It's pretty rad for a baby quilt.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another Baby Quilt...

...this time in blues.

Once again I quilted something different in each block.  I also washed and let it lay flat to dry.  I usually don't do this before I gift a quilt away, but this time I did.  I like the fresh, clean and crisp look of it before it gets all wrinkled and crinkled. 

The back is flannel.  I inherited some binding scraps and this red piece was the perfect length-not only did did I not have to sew another strip on, but I didnt even have to trim it at all!  How crazy is that?

Monday, November 15, 2010

A quilt in progress...

This weekend I was motivated enough to start a new sewing project.  I've been wanting to make this quilt tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts for a while and once I started piecing 1.5" strips, I could not stop. 

42 Blocks.

And I still have plenty of pieces left over.  The plan is to use these up in a border. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heritage Squares

This quilt was made by my fiercely quilty family for a cousin's wedding.  It is super scrappy!  We actually made this in a weekend sewing extravaganza, but we each came with a handful of blocks already pieced plus some ready to assemble- so we might have cheated a little bit.  OK- Actually even with the "cheating" we just barely got all the blocks made and laid out onto the floor by the time everyone had to leave.  But then I spent the next couple weeks tweaking the layout; shuffling a block around here and there, looking at it without glasses or contacts, in the light, in the dark, squinting really hard, looking from the corner of my eye, from close up, and from a distance to try and get the lights in the center, darks in the 2 opposite corners, and then the mediums in the opposing corners.  It took some time and effort but I think the resulting effect was well worth it.

Looking at these pictures now, I still see some blocks that perhaps should have been switched around.  But it got kinda tricky because we had duplicates of some of the pieced blocks, and some of the spacer squares were repeats too, so making sure that no 2 fabrics were next to each other got challenging after a while. 

For the quilting I did wiggle-waggle-loop-loop-loop, and repeat.  I stayed in the dark parts and left the little light squares unquilted which resulted in a somewhat trapuntoed effect. 

To give you an idea of the scale- the spacer blocks were 5 inch squares and the littler white squares are 3/4 inch squared finished.  This Heritage Squares pattern was featured in the Sept./Oct. 2005 Quiltmaker magazine.  I really love how it turned out- as did the bride and groom.  I kinda want to make another one now.  :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Constructive Criticism

This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

I bought a jelly roll of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and then had a hard time figuring out what to do with it.  Flipping through a Connecting Threads catalog I came across this pattern called Sweet Nothings.  I was going to order the pattern when Mom says "Oh, You can just figure it out and make your own pattern".  yeah, what kind of quilter am I when I cant even make my own pattern?!  So I drew it out and made this.  There were 50 different fabric strips and each strip made 2 blocks.  There was 1 duplicate block that was extra.  I quilted swirls all over and stayed up late sewing the binding on so that I could enter it into the county fair.  I stayed to hear the judges comments, which was... humbling.  She could tell that I did the binding in a hurry because my corners were not very crisp and neat.  But i did manage to get a blue ribbon!  And I made a point to learn how to make better binding corners from then on.  :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

For Sewing on the Road

I've been wanting to make a little sewing kit to hold all those little supplies to make it a lot easier to take projects along with me.  I nabbed these Kaffe Fassett fabrics at the AQS show a couple weeks ago with this project in mind.  It was a difficult task finding the right button.  My selection is a bit limited and green one was the perfect color, bit it just was not big enough.  So I stacked it on top of a bigger one.  Then I realized that I would have to stitch it on INSIDE the little pocket...

A little tricky.  I used Rae's pleated pocket tutorial.  The left side features a bit of ceiling fan chain to use to thread a spool of thread or bobbin onto. 

And everything gets snapped in with a couple flaps of felt and some sew-on snaps.  I wouldnt play hacky-sack with it, but I don't think anything is going to fall out with the normal tossing about.  Unfolded it measures 5.5 by 12 inches.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Feathers in a Square

This quilt was made by a local lady who happens to be 97 years old!  It is for her very lucky granddaughter who graduated high school this year. 

She made a fancy-edging-flappy-deal around the inside of the squares with the dark green.  Im sure there is a technical term for it and that someone out there knows what it is.  Please let me know :)  I was searching for the right feathery pattern to do in the squares in Sally Terry's Hooked on Feathers book when i saw this one-It was perfect!  They were pretty fun to quilt too. 

High-loft batting really shows off the quilting on the back.  I la-la-loved this quilt!  I had a hard time giving it back to her. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Irish Chain for a Wildcat

This quilt by Karen was made for a Kansas State fan.  She is new to quilting but I think she did an excellent job piecing this ambitious pattern.   

I tried to do a more "manly" quilting design and like how this one turned out.  It makes me think of a fancy paint job on a hotrod motorcycle.  Irish chains are tricky to quilt with all those diagonal sections and then the big open spaces which are flattened on the edges of the quilt. 

And then there are those tricky little grey squares that looked perfect for a little star inside.  I somehow managed to have Karen go from hating everything about this quilt to loving it.  Woo-woot!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

AQS Show

Last weekend I attended the AQS (American Quilter's Society) Show in Des Moines.  My head is STILL spinning from the overwhelming amount of quilt gorgeousness.  You could spend an entire day just looking at the show quilts, then another entire day shopping at the hundreds of booths and vendors from across the US- and still not see nearly all of it! 

I also took a couple of longarm quilting classes from Judy Woodworth- an award winning quilter and super nice lady.  Boy, does she make it look effortless!  We watched as she demonstrated numerous designs, then we were able to attempt some of the designs on the HQ18 machines they had set up. 

This is a wholecloth, quilted by Judy and painted by her husband.  What teamwork!

This quilt is called "South of the Border".  I thought that this was the front of a wholecloth quilt, but this is actually the BACK.  wow.  The front of the quilt is pictured in her book- Freemotion Quilting. 

I decided that I really need to upgrade my machine to one with a stitch regulator.  Maybe next year I will take one home with me!  I need to start saving asap.  Anyway- Judy was really encouraging and she even signed my book!  If you get a chance to take one of her classes, I would recommend it. 

The AQS Show will be in Des Moines each year until 2013.  If you can swing it- Its definitely worth the trip.  It will provide you a humbling kick in the rear to up your quilting techniques and inspire you enough to last the whole year through.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Scrappy Baby Quilt

This baby quilt was inspired by Crazy Mom Quilts Color Wheel Quilt.  I have lots of scraps that I can never seem to get rid of--they just keep multiplying!  So when I saw Amandajean's post, I thought this was a great way to use them up.  I love using scraps, but sometimes scrappy quilts can look a bit chaotic with a bajillion different colors, patterns, even textures.  This way, it is still very much scrappy, but dosent look like a huge pile of confetti.   Gee, sort them by color...what a genious concept!!  Now I keep a stock pile of different colored blocks on hand to whip up a baby quilt in a jiff. 

Here's how to make it:

1. Sort scraps by color.
2. (The fun part) Sew pieces together randomly until you get a big enough block.  Mine measure 10" square, 9.5" finished. 
3. Square up your blocks.  Any sizable trimmings can go back into your scrap pile to make another block!
4. Sew on sashing.  I think I cut mine 2 or 2.5 inches, I cant remember.
5. Quilt it
6. Bind it.
7. Take a picture of it.  I try to keep a photo album of all the quilts I make.  Although, I sometimes forget to snap a picture before I give it away. 
8. Give it to a baby.

There you have it--My very first tutorial!  Details Schmetails.

I quilted a different design in each block....except for 1 repeat.  Can you find it?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Funky Log Cabin

This quilt was created by my sister.  The log cabin blocks have strips of various widths and sizes for a wonky effect.  She is the Queen of Wonk and Scraps.  So, how the heck do you quilt this??  Well, I thought about the light verses dark areas and decided to highlight the contrast with different textures.  And I wanted to be able to quilt the whole row of dark areas and light areas in one complete pass- without having to stop, cut the thread, reposition the machine, do another section, stop, repeat a thousand times.  It takes me forever.  Me no likey.

I did loopy loops in the dark, and a more linear design in the light.  Can you see in the dark area how I squeaked through to the next section?  In the border I practiced my feathers.  I use the "Hooked on Feathers" technique by Sally Terry.  I really like her method and how there is very little backtracking.   I am lucky that my sister is not too particular and that she lets me use her quilts as guinea pigs for new designs.  And she makes quite a few of them!  Keep 'em comin!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Black Apple Doll

I made this little cutie for the daughter of a friend for her 1st birthday.  This was before I painted her eyes and mouth with black fabric paint though.  She's a little bowling pin-headed, so next time I will add some girth to the neck area.  But all-in-all I would say she was a success!  I wasn't sure about how thrilled a one year old would be about a doll (is 1 too early to play with dolls??) - but she loves it!  Winner!