Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crumb Jar Quilting

It seems like I just go from one are of my scraps to the next, tackling whichever is the most out of hand.

2" scraps
First it was the "stacks," which are larger pieces. Those went into the Rainbow Waves quilt.  Then it was strings, those became several small and large quilts.  Most recently the crumb jar was packed full and could hold no more.  The last time it got full I cut 1.5" pieces from it to make the Sherwood Forest quilt.

2" squares from the crumb jar
This time I decided to cut 2" pieces. I separated out the 2" squares but also cut a pile of crumbs that are 2" on their long side.

Tonight I sat down to sew and quickly made a bunch of these mini nine patches. More to come tomorrow!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Squirrely Triangles {Triangle Quilt Along}

Happy Friday Finishes! My Triangle Quilt Along quilt is done and I decided "Squirrely Triangles" would be an apt name. 

These fabrics were pulled 100% from my stash, about a dozen or so, based off the color palette from the squirrel and bunny fabric.  I'm super please with how my spur-of-the-moment fabric pull came together! The colors are so soft and pleasant.

The thing about triangle quilts-- the reason they are so "squirrely" are the points.  Paula at The Sassy Quilter did an excellent job guiding us through the steps to make these quilts successfully.  Personally, I think that perfect point are overrated (you can read my little rant about that here).

All the same I was tickled to find that probably 70% of my points in this quilt are what I would call "good."  (Full disclosure: I didn't starch.  I mixed quilting cottons and cotton lawns.  And my precision cutting leaves something to be desired.) What I'm saying is, if I could do it, you can do it, too.

I quilted it very simply with my walking foot, outlining all the seams in yellow thread.  I like the little stars this makes at all the intersections.

For binding I went with a yellow solid double fold, machine stitched down to both sides.  Binding along the zig zagged edges was time consuming, but not that difficult.

The backing is a cute floral with the same teals and greys as the top. I wish I'd found something more gender neutral, but oh well.

Label sewn under the binding.  It's done, washed, and ready for duty!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday and the Triangle Quilt Along.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Still Stippling

Quilting away on this beast and thanking God for the friend who modified my sewing desk. Quilting this myself would have been impossible without a recessed machine.

Happy Wednesday! Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

After the two aqua string quilts (here and here) I was feeling like I needed to make a more girly quilt.  And while this one isn't exactly pink and pastel it certainly is feminine!

I started with that babushka fabric (near the top of the quilt), which came from a Hawthorne Threads scrap pack, and pulled fabrics to match the colors.  Many of the other fabrics in this quilt also came from scrap packs. I cut WOF strips in assorted widths from the available fabrics and laid them out in a simple stacked layout.

Two of the strips are ruffled, and idea which I can't take credit for but unfortunately can't find where I saw it first.  The other strips got various FMQ designs. It was super fun to match the thread colors and pick a design for each strip, please humor me as there are lots of quilting photos below!

This cool purple flower fabric got a waving FMQ that goes around the flowers, creating a bubbled texture.

This was my last decent sized piece of this orange fabric. I'm normally not much for orange, but I have loved this fabric.  It got my favorite FMQ design, leaves on a stem, while the strip above it got the square-spiral (an Angela Walter's design).

The large scale flowers got Angela Walter's flower power design in a cranberry colored thread.

The babushkas got a simple stipple.  Those cranberry colored strips on either side of it are corduroy, a lucky find in the remnants bin ages ago that worked out perfectly in this quilt!  I bound the whole thing in a crisp, spring-y green solid.

With the various quilting designs, the ruffled strips, and the corduroy this quilt is a feast of textures.  I opted to back it with soft flannels and I had the perfect colors in my stash.

The quilting texture shows up soooo nice on the back.

The quilt measures 40"x50", a generous toddler or baby quilt.  Quilt Inspector Wilson has declared it fit for duty!

This quilt is listed for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly {Triangle Quilt Along}

Work on the triangle quilt continues.  I forgot to get a pic of the finished top before I began quilting it, but I'm not quite ready to show you the whole thing yet.  So, in the interest of brutal honesty and full disclosure, I thought I'd show you some of my points.   That's right, no artfully blurred shots from a distance here. Up close and personal and definitely not perfect.

This one classifies as a "good" point, although not perfect.
Points are the main reason triangles are so scary, because it's so difficult to keep them, well, pointy and get them lined up just so. 

"The bad."  Ok so they don't line up. I'd like to point out that are all still pointy, though.
From close up it's easy to see all the mistakes, but I promise, once you get done quilting it no one will ever be examining your points that closely again. (Unless you enter it in a show.  Bah Humbug on them!)  Also, I think that echoing the seam lines with quilting does a good job of distracting from less-than-perfect points.

And the just plain "ugly".  I should be ashamed. And yet, I'm not ;)
This is my personal beliefs on quilting:  it doesn't matter whether your points line up or your Y seams lie flat or maybe you have to quilt down a few tucks when you're quilting.  Only another quilter would ever notice those things, and they ought to have the decency to forgive you. We don't quilt for other quilters. We quilt for new babies and ailing grandmothers and happy newlyweds, who can't quilt for themselves or else they wouldn't need us. And believe me, none of them will even notice the points.

This is one of my favorite things about quilting. That things can go really, horribly wrong with the design and you'll still wind up with a good blanket that can keep someone warm and comfortable.  Quilting is so forgiving!  And so are the people we quilt for.  So relax, chop off a few points, enjoy your quilting and don't agonize over a few mistakes.

The elusive "perfect" point.
And when it does all come together perfectly, smile, enjoy it, and maybe take a picture to brag to your quilting buddies, but don't let it define you.

Just my two cents :)

Linking up to the Triangle Quilt Along.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Quilting

No sooner said than done, my freshly modified desk and machine were delivered back this evening and I am already quilting away!  The triangle quilt along quilt is first up on the machine.

I'm going with the traditional straight line quilting on this one, outlining the seams. I will also be leaving the zig-zag edges rather than trimming them.  I'm also working on the Rainbow Waves quilt bit by bit.

This pic is from when I basted it (of course Wilson was helping).  I am planning a simple stipple but it is such a large quilt that it will be a real bear to quilt.  Here's to a happy day's quilting!

Linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday

No Quilting (For Good Reason)

Not much quilting been going on lately, and I have to admit my fingers are getting itchy.  You see, I have finally begun to long hoped-for process of converting my computer desk to more of a sewing desk, complete with a recess for the machine so the bed will be level with the desk.  A friend is converting the desk for me and had to take the machine for a couple of days to fit it.

Every time I think of something I want to do, then realize I have no machine, I just have to remind myself that it's for a good cause.  So that this (pic above) isn't the case anymore.  Can't wait to get my machine and new desk and get back to quilting.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Strings and Robots baby quilt

A fun small finish to show this week!  This quilt was made from the leftovers bits of strings from the Sidewalk Puddles quilt.  I shared a WIP shot of this quilt when it was a top and I hadn't added the red yet. I decided to tear it apart and added the 1/4" red strips and I am sooo glad, because I LOVE it!

The quilt measures 31"x36" and uses the same aqua string scraps and Moda grey as the Sidewalk Puddles quilt.  I'm not sure of the name of the red solid I used, but I adore the modern look it gives this little quilt.

I quilted a stipple in the string sections, stitch in the ditch, and a ribbon candy wave in a couple of the grey areas.

The little red lines are just a quarter inch wide, but add a major punch.

The backing is this fun robot fleece I got on sale ages ago that's been waiting for just the right quilt. I used batting AND fleece, so the quilt is extra soft and cuddly.  It's machine bound with the same red solid used in the top.

I haven't ever used fleece as a quilt backing before (at least that  I can remember) so I was afraid quilting it too densely would make the back not as soft. Turns out I didn't need to worry, the backing stayed nice and fluffy.

Label in place and all ready for a little one to love.  This quilt is listed in my Etsy shop.

Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More Triangles and an Awesome Hat

Progress is coming right along on the Triangle Quilt Along quilt.  All 12 rows are now sewn.

While I sewed my rows together I had a movie day.  On the suggestion of a reader I watch "Last of the Blonde Bombshells" (excellent!), then I watched "RAGE" (Jude Law in drag!), then I watched the first two "Hobbit" movies.  (If you enjoyed the first Hobbit movie you really need to watch the extended edition which is out now, some great stuff added back in!)

Now, I have to make a detour here to give you some background knowledge. See, I love hats.  Really. It's the only item of clothing I have a problem with buying more and more of.

This one is my favorite.

Hard to beat a good beanie.  Sadly I lost this one.

Lost this cap, too :(  

Anyway, some of you may see where this is going by now.  I've decided to make myself Bofur's Hat!  One of the dwarves in the Hobbit movies has this fabulous hat that look a little bit like a bomber hat with more eccentric ear flaps.

This is prototype 3.0 made with cheap suede and polyester fluff from Hancocks. I have a nice piece of leather sheep's hide (wool still attached) coming to make the final version.  The best part is the hat is totally functional. Those ear flaps flip down and can wrap around my neck and the back of the hat extends almost down to my collar. It ought to be very warm.  My leather should be here in a week or so, I can't wait!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and the Triangle Quilt Along.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Triangles on the Wall

My design wall is a bit of a blank slate today, awaiting the rest of the Triangle Quilt Along rows.

I'd better get busy!

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Splashin' in Sidewalk Puddles {String Quilt & Tutorial}

I finally made a list of all the things I need to blog about, and realized how behind I am! March just got the better of me, it seems.   Partly I spent a lot more time at work than I normally do, and blogging was what go dropped out of the schedule. I have been quilting like a fiend, however! (I quilt as a stress reliever, so the more stressed I get the more I sew!)

This quilt I named Sidewalk Puddles got done a while ago.  I even posted the tutorial, but I waited so long for a sunny day to take pictures, that I forgot to ever post the finish.  This cute little scrap quilt was made with all the aqua strings from my scrap bin and Moda's dark grey solid (it looks similar to Kona Coal.)  It finished at almost 50" square.

The design uses easy (no pin) curves and a method similar to a stack and slash quilt.

I quilted wavy lines in the string pieced sections and outlined the horizontal seams all with light grey thread.  The horizontal lines reminded me of the cracks in a sidewalk. 

The binding is scrappy, an aqua solid, a textured aqua, and a little bit of a grey polka dot.

For the back I used some leftover bits from other projects.

Of course it got one of my new labels, still loving these!

The quilt is listed in my Etsy store.  If you'd like to make a similar one, check out the tutorial here.
Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Working on Wednesday

Today is my one day off for the week (through the weekend).  You might think I'd be sewing like a mad woman, but it's a lazy sort of day. Wilson isn't helping.

I did make a folding lunch sack, complete with waterproof, washable PUL fabric lining. I also quilted it onto some leftover batting to add insulation.

These patchwork squares were cut from the scraps made when I cut my triangles for the Triangle Quilt Along. I love how they look together.

What I am mostly working on today is sewing together the rest of the blocks for my Rainbow Waves quilt. Maybe I will finish the top?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.