Monday, October 31, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2011

Welcome to my Fall 2011 Blogger's Quilt Festival entry!  I'm excited to be participating in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival again.

This is the second quilt I've finished this year and my first blog entry of the year.  After making four quilts in less than a month last year for Christmas, I thought I'd take a break.  It turned out to be a little longer than I thought.  But I'm feeling creative again and this quilt is a little bit of a triumph for me.

I bought this fabric with my mom in mind.  She saw some other red and turquoise fabric that she liked so I thought I would get this bundle and create a quilt for her for Christmas.  Unfortunately I made a huge mistake in my calculations and didn't half even half as much as I thought.  I had my squares all cut out and threw them in a drawer.  I was so upset with myself.  

About a month ago, I was working on another project and for some reason I had this fabric sitting on the table.  All of a sudden I knew how to put them together to make a big enough baby quilt for a friend who had just had a little girl.  I'm so happy that I was able to figure out a way to use these beautiful fabrics and turn my mistake into a success (to me anyway).

The backing is a super soft flannel that I found at Hancock's and I'm so glad that it coordinated well.  I seemed to have a hard time finding anything that would go with these aqua colors.

The pictures are not great because I finished this quilt with minutes to spare before heading over to my friend's house with dinner and this as a gift.  I was getting ready to take it outside for a quick photo shoot when it started thundering and raining.  So, indoors it was.  With my kids trying to help.  In the last photo, my son took the picture while I held it up, but I love how my daughter was in the frame, taking a picture with her camera too! 

This quilt was the first quilt that I sewed the binding on with the machine on both sides.  I usually hand sew the binding and I really like that process, but did I mention I finished with minutes to spare?  

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my quilt.  Hopefully I'll have more to show soon with a few other quilts, but I won't be working so frantically close to Christmas this year!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Finally...Baby Gets a Quilt

My son, Jack, is a funny little boy.  Just before Christmas, while I was in the middle of furiously trying to finish up some of the quilts that I gifted, Jack was adamant that his baby needed a quilt.  He was very persuasive...Casey's babies had blankets and his baby didn't have one.  I had just seen a tutorial on how to turn a pillowcase into a blanket for a doll on MADE and thought it was a cute idea if I were ever in need of making a quick baby blanket.  It turns out that I was in need.

After Christmas, when Casey's babies got whole bedding sets (and bunk beds), the pressure was on even more.  I told him I would look for a pillowcase that we could turn into a blanket for his baby.  After a couple of trips into thrift stores in the last month, I couldn't find any that were suitable for Jack or his baby.  But today, I went to the local quilt shop for their fat quarter sale and they had some Cars fabric.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was just right for Jack's baby's quilt - the right size, the right print and the right price.  For the back, I found a piece of red fabric with street signs.  

As soon as Jack saw the fabric after school, he was begging me to make the quilt.  30 minutes after Casey went down for her nap, baby had a quilt and Jack was a happy little boy.  I sewed the fat quarters right sides together on three sides, turned it right side out, slipped a piece of batting inside and top-stitched around the top.  I was thinking about doing my first free motion quilting on it, but Jack needed a little more instant gratification.  Some night while he's asleep, I might try that.   

While I was making it, Jack helped with the pins and also told me his thoughts on blankets - "The hole blankets [crocheted] are the hardest to make because when you're tying it around, it's hard to make the holes with the wool.  And the bumpy ones are hard to make too because it's hard to make the bumps."  For clarification, his bumpy blankets are just thermal receiving blankets. 

After he got baby's quilt, he ran upstairs to get his quilt and actually asked me to take a picture of them together under their quilts.  He keeps saying it's a very special day for him.  So here they are...nice and cozy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Christmas Quilts, Part 1

I made three quilts and one table runner between Thanksgiving and December 17th!  I didn't really intend to be up against the Christmas deadline so frantically, but I was.  I'm so glad I finished them, especially the one I lamented about in my last post.

The first one I finished was for my mother-in-law.  She just bought a beach house and when I saw Moda's Pure fabric line by Sweetwater, I knew it would go perfectly in her beach house.  I also knew that I wanted to do a square in square quilt so the planning for this one was pretty just took a bit of time to piece it.

I finished the hand sewing the binding the first weekend in December.  We were at our very own brand new beach condo for the first time which is a few buildings down from my in-laws' place.  After I finished sewing the binding on, I snuggled under it for a bit...just had to make sure it was going to work well for a beach house!  

After I washed and dried it, it hung on my stair railing for a few days.  I still get a little shiver of pride when I see what I've created, so it was fun to walk by it every time I went up and down the stairs.

I used a layer cake to make the square in squares and I added a 5" border around it to make it a little bigger.  I quilted straight lines on both sides of the blocks, horizontally & vertically.  I used a sheet for the backing which was a first for me.  It was a Wamsutta sheet that I got at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I loved the feel of it after I had washed and dried it.  I bought a chocolate colored binding at the fabric store.  I think it might be my last store bought binding (unless I'm in a bind - ha ha) because the combination of it and the sheet on the back made it difficult to hand sew the binding.  It just required a little more effort and time because the needle didn't slip through the fabrics as easily.