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.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quilt lotto

Well, thanks to DH for giving me a little free time to finish my blocks for the Block Lotto this month.
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Friday, January 7, 2011


So it seems that this will be a rather quilt-y kind of year!  For starters, the International Quilt Festival is coming to Cincinnati!  While I am toying with taking a day off work to take one of the classes that are being offered, I may just go to browse and look around with the other ladies from the sewing circle.

Next, I am finally taking my turn to host the sewing circle meeting this month, now that we have a house and are mostly settled in.   I am looking forward to it and depending on how DS behaves, I may host it a couple more times this year.

Third, I hope to finish the quilt for DS in the next couple of months.  I have all the pieced blocks quilted, but I just have to decide on a design for the setting squares and the borders.  I think I will do an internet search for quilting stencils and try to find something.

Fourth, I am working on a little quilted advent calendar.  It is just the right size to take on trips to visit DH's family.  I found the panel at Joann's and thought it would make a nice family tradition to start next year.  Growing up, I always enjoyed it when Mom bought an advent calendar or when we got out the Jesse tree.   So, I decided to combine the two traditions and make little Jesse tree symbols that fit in the pockets of the advent calendar.  Each day of December, DS will have a new symbol to take out of the advent calendar, we can read the Bible story associated with that symbol, and then hang it on the Jesse tree.

Fifth, I have decided to join a quilt block lottery. This will give me the chance to have some different, small projects to work on each month when I need a break from the other projects I have going.  Also, if I am so lucky as to win a group of blocks, I can turn them into quilt for one of our guest beds/air mattresses.  When we were planning on having DH's family spend the night, I realized that we do not have nearly enough blankets so a block lotto quilt might be just what we need.

And finally, I have found one of the cutest ever pieced baby quilts in a new quilting magazine that I got.  If I get the motivation to finish DS's quilt, I'd like my next project to be something a little smaller than twin size.  Of course, by that time, I may have found another really cute pattern to use instead.