Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A history of (my) quilts

I recently had a reason to add up the number of quilts I've done so I thought I'd catalogue it here to document the past 3 years.  My first quilt is one I started in middle school but never finished.   It is still at my mom's house and she finished it last year to use as a blanket for the couch in the basement living area.

This is my second quilt.  I started it in Jan/Feb of 2008 and finished it in June 2008.    It is a simple Irish Chain pattern which I really like and I may use that pattern again in the future.
My second quilt is from a pattern I found in a magazine.  The magazine pattern was for a queen sized quilt which I didn't dare to attempt so I chose to make a crib sized version instead.   This became a gift for DH's nephew's baptism.  I think I started it in July 2008 and finished it in September or October of 2008.

I can't find a picture of my third quilt.  It is a kit from Joann's called Winter Wonderland.  My grandma gave the kit to my after I mentioned that I wanted to start another quilt but I didn't have any ideas.  She had gotten the kit on clearance and with her employee discount several years and had sewn together the first couple sets of blocks.  The rest of the blocks were applique which I had never done before.  I started that quilt in November of 2008 and I don't think I finished it until around December of 2009.

My fourth quilt is inspired by a pattern called "on the fly" I saw in BHG's American Patchwork & Quilting (DH got me a subscription for Christmas the year before).   I wanted the fabrics in each dragonfly to be different so that meant that I got to raid Mom and Grandma's stashes for scraps and also start building my own stash with the various fat quarters I bought.   This one took me almost exactly a year to complete and was my main/only project for 2010 (well, that and buying a house).

This is my fifth quilt.  Just a small wall hanging made from string scraps.  It went together really quickly and now hangs in the dining room most of the year.

My sixth quilt is this little Advent calendar.  It was just a panel from Joann's that I got on clearance in January 2011.

I wanted a quick little quilt to finish so I started this 4 patch as my seventh quilt.  I was able to get it pieced in just one day thanks to DH.   It didn't get quilted for a few months after that though.

This star is the center of my eighth quilt.  This one is still a work in progress.   I started it in the spring of 2011.  It's a little more of  a challenge than I realized when I started it so it's not even a completed top yet.

My ninth quilt was started to give me a break from the star quilt.   The fabric is a Running Eighths that I got for $2/yd and I just had to make something with it.  The pattern is Crossroads from American Patchwork & Quilting.  This on got finished in June 2011.

My tenth quilt was thrown together in late August/early September 2011 from some blocks I was planning to enter in the quilt lotto but didn't so I could make this crib quilt for DH's niece's baptism.

I can't find any pictures of my eleventh quilt.   It is a stacked coins crib quilt with light green fleece backing.  I made it for another baptism on DH's side of the family.

My twelfth quilt is shown in the background of this next picture.  The pattern in Buckeye Beauty and I am making it for out next little addition due in March.   I've started quilting it by hand and I hope to finish it during all the car rides we will be taking over the holidays.

Wow,   I can't believe I've done/started 8 quilts in the past year!  And that's not counting the pants I made for DS, the Jesse Tree, the firefighter costume, all the lotto blocks I made and a few other small projects throughout out the year.    I now have the blocks for 5 more quilts: 3 I Spy crib quilts (one started), and the two sets I won from the Block Lotto this year, plus the fabric set aside for 2 more crib quilts I'd like to make eventually.  It looks like 2012 will be a busy year for quilting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November happenings

 Well, November has been a fairly busy month for us.  My brother is engaged to a wonderful young woman and her family invited my entire family over for dinner at their house.  They have a small farm, with lots of land an even some chickens.  We had a really nice evening and DS enjoyed playing with his cousins and the other little kids around.

We also found some time to go out to the park and play.  One weekend, DS really wanted to go see some boats but he fell asleep in the car on the way to the river so we just turned around and let him sleep on the way home.

Best of all, we found the time to go see the train display at the museum center!  I had to resort to tickling DS in the car on the way there to keep him from falling asleep, but it worked.

 This display has been setup every year for the past 60 something years downtown, but this is the first time it has been moved to the museum center.

DS had a great time seeing all the trains, he even go to ride in one which just made his day.  All this excitement just wore him out though and he was down for a nap about two minutes after we got in the car.  A visit to Mimi and Papa's house for dinner just made for a great day all around.

We hosted my family for Thanksgiving again.   It worked out well so DH could get a good day's sleep and still make it to the party in time for supper.  While a bit crowded at our house, it's nice to let Mom and my sister have a break from hosting the family gatherings.

The following Saturday saw us taking a trip down to Louisville to eat a Thanksgiving meal with DS's family.   It was just a day trip this time which meant we had Sunday to recuperate from all the festivities.

November update

Well, it's been a while since I've made my last post so I thought it was time for an update.  These are the blocks I made for the October block lotto.  I posted them just one day before the deadline.  I originally started working on a Sunbonnet Sue block, and I packed it up to work on in the car on our trip down to Nashville but it never made it into the car and I couldn't find it at home so I made these blocks as a last minute entry.
 I'm glad I did because I finally won!  I now am the happy owner of 49 different 8" sampler blocks which I plan to turn into a quilt for the guest bed in the basement once I finish a few other projects.

These are my block lotto entries for November.  It's not exactly my style, but it would still be nice to win again.
There is no block lotto for December.  The coordinator is in the middle of changing jobs and recovering from some severe allergy problems so she called a break for the month.   I won't mind taking a month off since I have 3 other quilts in the plans for this month.

If I can find the time to take pictures, I will upload some photos of the crib quilt I finished for DH's nephew due around Christmas and of the progress I have made on our bed quilt.  

I've been avoiding the bed quilt because I couldn't figure out how to trim up the blocks so that they would make a nice, non-poofy star center.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and sew the eight sections into pairs and then trim the pairs to a 90 degree angle since triming the 8 sections to a symetrical 45 degree angle was too hard to figure out.  Now all 8 sections are sewn together, but I have to figure out how to eliminate some wavy edges on the star before I add the background fabric.

I've also got the pieces cut for two more crib quilts but haven't started sewing them yet.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New creations

So this is one of the first things DS has ever built.  He came up and showed it to me a few weeks ago, then he started flying it around the house with these swooshing noises.  After a round of twenty questions, we realized that he had built the Starship Enterprise and he was making the same sounds you hear as the starship flys across the screen in the opening sequence of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stories to remember

First story.... A couple of weeks ago, we were cleaning up the kitchen after supper and DS decided he would help so he pulled the broom out of the closet and started sweeping the floor.   The next thing I know, he is lying on his back on the kitchen floor and bench pressing the broom!  I can only guess that he learned that from watching the babysitter's son do some of his training exercises for his football team.

Second story ....Last night we were visiting my parents.  My brother had made an apple pie and it was cooking in the oven.  Some of the filling must of spilled in the oven and it started burning then the smoke alarm went off.  DS ran into the kitchen, put his hand over his nose and said "uh-oh, hat-truck Mom?" (Hat-truck means firetruck).  We all started laughing, I guess something has sunk in from all the times he has watched episodes of Fireman Sam on Netflix.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Violet quilt

Well, as of my last post, I had just realized I needed a crib quilt to be finished in just three weeks.   So in the interest of time, I finished all the lotto blocks for August, but instead of entering them in the lotto or making a wall hanging, I turned them into this quilt:

I really like the backing fabric.  I had originally basted the quilt with a plain muslin back, but then I noticed a lot of puckering and slack in the quilt so I took out all the pins to rebaste it.  Then, before I got the time to re-baste, I found this fabric in my stash and although I hated to part with it, I think it makes a great backing.  I was hoping to find something to do with it that would show off the lovely pattern and this certainly fits the bill.

I had hoped to use a stencil for quilting the sashing.  I thought I had the perfect stencil, but when I started to trace it on to the quilt I found out that the stencil was 10 inches long but I needed one 10.5 inches long in order for the pattern to match up correctly in the intersections.  Maybe next time I can plan ahead and make the sashing the correct width to fit the stencil I want to use.  This was my first quilt with sashing wide enough to quilt in so it was a learning experience.

I did end up with 2 blue violets that I entered in the Block Lotto for August, but I didn't win.  Funny thing though, the person right below me made only a few blocks and she ended up winning.  So if I had just entered the full 9 blocks I planned to, I probably would have won!  Oh well, I'm happy to make this quilt for DH's goddaughter and I barely got it finished in time.

In other news, DH and I just celebrated our 4th anniversary!  We will be taking an overnight trip to a little cabin and leaving DS with grandma and grandpa.  I'm a little worried about DS, but I know my mom can handle it and I'm really looking forward to a couple of days with just DH and I.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Long overdue update

Well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve posted anything here.  Not a whole lot of sewing going on lately.   DH and I are expecting another baby in March so I’m still in the first trimester yuckiness and I’ve been going to bed at least an hour early each night which really cuts down on sewing time.  I have been able to finish these blocks for the block lotto though.  The checkerboards were for July and the violets are the block for August.   I have more of the violets nearly finished and I plan to make a wall hanging out of them.

I also found a pattern for this really cute toy tent.  Once I made the tent, DS decided it worked much better as a hat.

 In other news, we have had a really busy summer.  DH and his dad successfully installed air conditioning to our second floor bedrooms just in time to keep us cool during the record 90 degree heat wave we had in July.  There are still a few small parts of the project to finish, but they can wait until the nice weather is gone. 

We have been having several rounds of house guests too, starting with DH’s dad helping with the AC, then his 2nd oldest brother and his family.  They spent a weekend with us and we had a really nice time going to the park and walking around the nearby town center.  Their 2 young daughters were taking some beginning sewing classes so before they left on Sunday I helped the girls and my sister in-law to make their own little needle books.  They seemed to really enjoy it. 

The next weekend was a birthday party at the pool for my dad, my two sisters and my brother in-law.  We had DS wearing a flotation vest and water wings in the pool and I think he had a blast.  He didn’t want to get out of the water and really enjoyed playing with his cousins in the pool. 

The weekend after that we had planned to go camping with several families from church but the forecast was for 90 degree heat and rain all weekend long so we cancelled those plans in favor of a dinner together at one family’s house.   Saturday we went to the fire museum hoping that since DS is really into fire trucks that he would have a good time.  Unfortunately, the manikins on the various exhibits scared him.  There was also a fire truck that you could climb in and turn on all the lights and sirens.  For some reason he was scared of that too.  I think it was the noise. 

A couple weeks ago, my parents invited us to a fundraiser dinner.  They had bought a whole table of tickets so we sat with my parents and my two oldest brothers and their dates.  Many of the friends I haven’t seen in a while were there too and it was nice to get to catch up with some of them.    We also were able to find a babysitter in the area to watch DS so we could enjoy a long awaited night out.    I was somewhat worried about how DS would handle the babysitter since we almost never leave him with anyone other than my mom, but he did fine.  Now, if hiring a babysitter wasn’t so darn expensive, we might go out a little more often now that we know someone who can babysit for us. 

After one weekend to relax and catch our breath, this past weekend was spent visiting with DH’s oldest brother and his wife.  They made it up to our house Friday evening.  On Saturday we went to the zoo for several hours since they had never been to our zoo.  In the evening we went to a minor league baseball game.  It was a really nice night for a game, the temperature had cooled off and our seats were in the shade.   DS had a great time because the stadium had a petting zoo and a playground off the third base line so he didn’t have to be stuck in the seats the whole time.    He also got to play a “bubbles” game on Aunt Paula’s cell phone and that just made his day.

This weekend we have DH’s oldest sister and her family coming up overnight.  This is their annual major league baseball game weekend and DH will be joining them for a night at the ball park.  I’ll be staying home with DS since neither one of us will do well staying up until the game is over.

 I just realized this morning that DH’s newest niece is being baptized in September.  I made a baby quilt as a gift for her older brother’s baptism and would like to make one for her baptism too so I guess I’ll have to get sewing if I’m going to have it ready on time.  I just have to decide on a pattern.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Layout choices

I finished the star points on the queen sized medallion quilt I am making for our bed!  The pattern (Sarah's Wedding Quilt from Fabric Trends magazine) calls for a layout like this first picture.

 But I'm also thinking of making the layout like this picture:
DH and I like a larger quilt with plenty of overhang so the second layout would be a way to make the center of the quilt bigger.  On the other hand, the top point of the star might get tucked under the pillows with this layout and I think that would look a little strange.  I'd also have to make more blocks for the pieced border and I'm low on scraps for this quilt, but I think I could manage it.

I really need to try it out on the bed but DH is working hard to get some AC into our bedroom and that means lots of drywall dust and stuff everywhere in our room - not a great place to try out quilt layouts.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UFO completion

Last week I was able to finish the quilting on this lap quilt (The pattern is Crossing from the June 2010 APQ Magazine).  The only thing left is to bring the binding to the back and sew it in place.
Of course, after I had the whole top sewn together, I  realized that I could have planned the placement of the tan blocks too, instead of just the darker blue blocks and that would have made a better pattern, but oh well. I'll leave it as is.

With that quilt waiting for a few hours of TV time to be completed, I unexpectedly got motivated to finish this Advent Calendar, it only needed a rod pocket and a rod to hang it up.  Then I put together this Jesse Tree to go along with the Advent Calendar.  I have some symbols I printed off the internet that I am going to laminate, and then attach Velcro to the back of each symbol so it will stick to the wool felt of the Jesse Tree.   Every day in December, DS will be able to pull a symbol out of a pocket on the Advent Calendar and place it on the Tree.

I also found time to finish a husband-sized baby sling that I started two years ago and never finished.  DH asked for his own so he could take turns holding DS and not have to bother readjusting my sling every time.  We don't have any need for it right now, but maybe in the future.

Then I made a little hexagon needle book from this tutorial.   I have a picture, but it's still on the camera and hasn't made it on to the computer yet.   I really like it and I have plans to make a few as gifts for the sewers I know.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WIP (Work in Progress)

Well, no pictures yet, but I have been practicing my free motion quilting by quilting a different design in each 4-patch block of the blue/tan/white quilt.  I have 6 blocks left and then I hope to sew the binding on before Saturday.   We might be going to my SIL's house on Saturday and last week she was asking me some questions about how to quilt and bind a wallhanging kit she wasnts to make.  If I can get the quilting done, I'll take it with me to her house so she can see how the whole thing goes together.

After that quilt is finished, I plan to work on our bed quilt again.  It seems to take a lot more time to piece because I have to square up each block after each piece is added (the center is a large medallion star made up of eight diamond log cabin blocks - the diamond shape means I have to square things up to keep the correct angle for the next row.)  I've decided to start a crib quilt and use those pieces as my leaders-enders while working on our bed quilt.

Hopefully I'll have a few pictures of a finished lap quilt to show next post.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yet another busy weekend

So yet another weekend has come and gone and we have packed it as full as possible.   Saturday we went down to visit DH's sister and her family in Louisville. 

DS hates to have his picture taken lately, but he loves to take the pictures himself.   DS got ahold of the camera and I helped him take this picture of Daddy after supper on Saturday.

Sunday was Pentacost and the church we went to had all the readings read in another language and then followed by English.  I was told they used Russian, German and Greek.  It was kind of interesting, but I was confused at first until I realized this was something sepcial planned for Pentacost.

After lunch we made a quick visit to DH's brother's house to see some new improvements that they made in their yard, including a new playset and couple of compost bins.

We drove home and got back in town just in time for dinner at my niece's birthday party.  Then, we left early and stopped at a graduation party before finally getting home around 8:45 on Sunday evening.   I can't wait for a quiet evening at home.  All the chores can wait, I want to sit down and sew or watch a couple shows or just spend time with DH and DS.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Other happenings

So this blog was really supposed to be about the everyday things in our life but has lately become only updates on my quilting projects.  So here is a new post to get back on track.

We finally have grass again!  The drainage holes we dug have been filled in with gravel and covered over with top soil.  Most of the clay soil has been removed and we put down grass seed a couple weeks ago.  Right afterwards, it rained for several days and while the drainage holes helped, there was still standing water for several days so we were afraid the seed was all drowned out.    I'm glad it wasn't, otherwise I would start seriously thinking about making a yard out of moss.  (I'm still considering the moss for the around around the rain barrels).

The garden DH built for me is working out well.  It's only 2 feet deep so it very easy to reach in and weed, or train the peas to climb the strings.  The plants are doing well and for now there is enough dirt to accommodate DS's constant digging.

My parents are getting ready to make an offer on a house.  It will need a little remodeling to fit our family but there will be plenty of room.   The backyard ends at an open field - great for baseball and football games.  My parents know several other families very close by so I think they will really like the area.

I took DS to the zoo on Saturday.  We got there right as they opened and  left before the day got too hot.  DS lead the way and took us down this path to the Wildlife Canyon just as they started letting people feed the camels.   I think we spent at least 20 minutes there and he probably gave the camels 8-10 treats.   Not many people were down there so the keepers were very generous with the camel snacks.

Now it's time for DS to go to bed so I will stop my blogging for tonight.

Monday, June 6, 2011


So, after several weeks and 748 seams, 816 triangles became 272 squares...

...which became 136 rectangles...

...which became 68 5.5" blocks.

These 68 blocks will become the border for the Queen sized quilt I'm working on.     Now if I could just get the center of the quilt done...

June Blocks

Here are my blocks for the June Block Lotto drawing.  I still have not won after 5 months.  But the way I figure it, people only win once every seven months, so I still on pace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May diversions

I got tired of working on the queen sized quilt I’m making and so I decided to stop and work on a fast little, project. I had picked up 2 yards of a fabric on the clearance rack of Joann’s. It was this “running eighths” print – eight different, yet coordinating prints side by side running the length of the bolt. Each print was a little over 5 inches wide, which made it ideal for cutting up into 5” squares. I’ve been waiting for a good project to make with this fabric ever since I picked it up. Looking back through some quilting magazines from last year I found a pattern that would be quick and easy to sew, but still look a little different from the four patch baby quilt I made last month.
Here is the top – I plan to bind the quilt in the same fabric as the sashing and make the binding the same width as the sashing.

I’m trying to make this quilt entirely from my stash (except the batting since I don’t keep that on hand) so I decided to use 3 one yard cuts of Stonehenge fabric that I bought online, but didn’t like once I saw it in person. While it’s not anything I like well enough to put in a quilt top (especially 3 yards worth!) I think it works well as a backing.

You might think that 3 fabrics from the same line might all be the same width, but evidently, that is not the case. Hence, I had to add the strip of blocks along the side to make the backing wide enough. I hope that I can be careful enough when basting the quilt to make sure the backing stays squared up in relation to the top.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Winter Wonderland quilt found

I finally found this quilt!  It was lost in the storage room ever since we moved last summer and I only found it recently (after winter was over, of course).

Grandma gave this to me when I was looking for a new project to start. It is a kit from Joann's and she picked it up on clearance with her employee discount several years ago and never finished it.  She had already pieced the log cabin and rail fence blocks so I got to do all the applique.  While I'm not going to swear off applique in the future, I think it will be used sparingly.  This quilt was started in November of 2008 and was finished in December of 2009.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trip to the Zoo

Well, we finally made it to the zoo for the first time this spring.   My sister-in-law took this video of DS that I just had to share.  Of course, I'm sure it was much more cute to DH and myself than it will be for anyone else, but I'll share it just the same.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April happenings

So I've finally had a chance to quilt the baby quilt I started a few months ago. Unfortunately, that chance came because I was under orders to take it easy this weekend after a miscarriage this past Friday. I originally planned to donate this quilt to charity, but now I think I will hold onto it as a reminder of the little one we lost.

This is an Advent Calendar that I started right before Christmas. It was a nice little hand quilting project to take on road trips.  It still needs a rod pocket and I also plan to print little Jesse Tree symbols to go in the pockets.  Each day of December, we can take a symbol out, read the Bible story connected to it, and hang it on a Jesse Tree.

And finally, here are some blocks I made to go into a sampler quilt our sewing circle is putting together.   I always like to try someting new, and with only two blocks to make, I don't mind spending some extra time on a complicated pattern.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday boy

Here is the birthday boy! Once we got to the cake, icecream, and presents, I think he actually realized that this party was for him.

The past two weekends have been major house-project weekends. Our backyard is now torn up and muddy - all part of an effort to improve the drainage. Quite a few electrical projects have been worked on. We now have much better lighting in the basement and garage, and some added conveience with new outlet boxes and light switches.

 DH has made a start on the rain barrels which will be going behind the garage, it will be nice to have free water for the garden this year. We have planted a couple blueberry bushes too. I don't expect to get much if any harvest this year, (in fact I think it is recommended to pinch off all flowers to make the plant focus on growing) but next year should be nice!

And still very little sewing going on. I made one block to go in a friend's wedding quilt, but nothing else. I did get to go to the quilt show this year. It was huge! I only had a few hours to spend there and I think I only saw half of it. That half was enough though, I got a dozen FQs and 4 or 5 stencils.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March update

I just realized it been nearly a month since I wrote anything on here so I thought it was about time for an update.  After all, what good is an online journal if you don't write in it?

Here are the blocks I made for the March Block Lotto.   I like how the pattern comes together and the block is really easy to do.  I am keeping this one in mind for a quilt to go on the guest bed, even if I don't win the block lottery.

In other news, well, there hasn't been much progress on the sewing front this month.   I did finally finish quilting and binding a small Advent Calendar wall hanging that I plan to use next Christmas.  Before it can be put away however, I need to decide on a way to hang it up.

I started work on the queen sized quilt I'm making.  I ordered the fabrics online last month, but after seeing them in person, I decided some of the tans were the wrong tone and I decided to use medium to dark blues instead of the light blues which I ordered.  I think I will put a lot more thought into my fabric choices next time I order online.

Once I got new fabric purchased and all the fabric was washed, I started to cut into it while watching TV in the evenings.  I figured it would be much easier to assemble the quilt if all the pieces were cut ahead of time.  Unfortunately, I really was not in the mood to cut that much fabric, (it took me 4 nights to cut it all) and I didn't pay attention to the pattern and I ended up cutting nearly all the blue pieces wrong.  Some of the pieces were salvageable, but once again, my impatience ended up costing me time and money to get additional yardage for all the blue fabrics.  

I still haven't dared to cut into the new blue fabrics.  I haven't really felt up to much sewing at all.   DH and I are expecting a new little one at the beginning of November and that has seemed to really drain my energy the last few weeks, not to mention the stomach virus going around our house.

Oh, I have started another project though.  All the scraps created from my cutting mistakes on the blue fabrics inspired me to start a long-term scrappy quilt.  I decided to use 2" hexagons and any pieces too small to be a whole hexagon will be cut into either 1/2, 1/3, or 1/6 of a hexagon and pieced together.   Right now I am just cutting out the pieces and haven't tried to sew anything together.  This will be a hand project  so that I can have something to take with me on road trips to visit the in-laws, and also someting to do while the sewing room/office is undergoing some construction.  My machine is setup in the basement and waiting to be used, I just forget that it is down there so that might be part of the reason I haven't done much sewing lately.

I think I forgot to mention the Quilt Outreach quilt-a-thon I went to back in February.   I was really kind of fun, even though I was only there for a few hours.  I think I counted 39 sewing machines (including Grandma's) in use and there were several other people helping to press tops and make sandwiches (including Mom, my little sister, and my cousin, Allison).   Maybe I can help out again sometime.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friday Morning

So late last week, DS woke up early and he played in my room while I was getting ready for work.  One of the first things he did that morning was to take my cell phone off the charger on the nightstand and start playing with it.  The following conversation ensued:

Me:  Who are you calling?

DS: Da.

Me: Oh, well, Dad can't talk on the phone right now, he is still at work.  We'll talk to him later when he is finished.

DS:  'kay

I guess that DS decided that if he couldn't talk to Dad, he would at least send a text message, because the next thing I know, I get a text message from DH asking me to explain the text message he got from my phone (gibberish sent by DS).

Who knew a not quite 2 year old could have the courtesy not to call someone when he knows they are busy?

Monday, February 21, 2011

String Fabric project

So after making the heart blocks out of string fabric for this month's block lotto, I had some leftover pieces. I wanted to do something with them and this is what I came up with.
Now it just needs a little quilting and then a rod pocket and it will be a nice little wall hanging for some where in the house.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I just ordered 18 yards of fabric online and spent all of my project money!  I'm rather nervous that I won't like it or something.  I hope I picked the right colors.  We will see when it gets here I guess.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New projects

Well, I didn't win the block lotto my first month.  I really like the blocks though and I've already though of different ways to use them so I may be making more just so I can experiment with the different blocks and get a little more practice with machine quilting.

The February block for the block lotto is a string fabric heart. Here are my two blocks so far


I've got enough string fabric made for four more blocks.  I hope to get them done by the end of the month.

I was able to spend several hours quilting on Sunday thanks in part to my DH.  He took care of our son so I could get a little work done.  It also helped that I woke up at 4:00am and couldn't go back to sleep so I got up and started quilting.  I was able to piece an entire top for a crib sized four-patch and even get it put on my frame, ready to go when I want to get started again.  I'll have to get some pictures of it when it is finished.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's finished!

My first ever, bed sized quilt is finally complete!  It only took a year from start to finish.

Leo really seems to like all the dragonflies, I couldn't keep him off the quilt!

Each dragonfly was paper pieced in 4 parts and then sewn together.  I really had to raid Mom and Grandma's stashes because I didn't want to use any fabric more than once in the entire quilt.

This was my first foray into the world of free-motion machine quilting.  I tried to stich-in-the-ditch around all the dragonflies but I found that my arms and hands really don't have enough control with the free motion foot on the machine so my quilting is rather poor.   I really like the backing fabric I found.  I was at the store to buy some plain muslin for the back when I found this lightweight denim with the embroidered bugs on it.  I really think it complements the quilt much better than a plain backing.

So, lessons learned from my first bed sized/machine quilted quilt:
  1. It helps to buy all the fabric for the top at the same time - I spent several days/weeks trying to find a fabric for the border that would help to tie the whole top together.
  2. Don't try to use embroidery thread in a standard sewing machine - That cost me $80 to fix my machine.
  3. A frame might make machine quilting much easier - I bought a small one that I can't wait to tryout on my next small project.
  4. I really prefer the look of hand quilting over machine quilting. 
All in all, I had a really fun time watching this quilt come together.  The last couple steps of a project are always the most exciting because you get to really see the light at the end of the tunnel and can envision the finished product.

I've got plans for another crib sized quilt to be started soon.  Or at least I thought I did.  I saw a new block today that may convince me to change the pattern I was going to use.