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Archive for the ‘quilts’ Category

One of the reasons I haven’t posted in so long was that I was flitting from one project to the next without finishing anything! It was really frustrating for me because I’m someone that likes to focus on one or two projects and see them through to completion. If I’m going to put something to the side than I want to leave it to the side for months. And I really try to keep the number of projects I do that with to a minimum. Right now I have four quilts in limbo land….

But that’s the least of my worries. First I got into knitting, made it 2/3 of the way through a sweater and then ripped it all out- have I restarted? Ummm, no.

Then I got really into the idea of making clothes and got as far as purchasing some patterns, planning fabric and even buying fabric. I even got as far as cutting one set of pattern pieces out. I started with the intention of making a couple patterns from Simple Modern Sewing but they have put way to many patterns on only a couple sheets of paper. Since all the pattern lines are in black and they are all overlapping I can’t tell which lines go to which pattern. It REALLY frustrates me because I was really excited by this book and now I want nothing to do with it! I would gladly have paid extra to have a CD with individual patterns I could print out or for them to print the pattern lines in different colors or ANYTHING to make it possible to discern one set of lines from the other! So I switched gears and bought a couple Simplicity patterns but realized I’m drawn to patterns of clothing I don’t wear. I need clothes that I will wear and use. Enter the simple dress shirt pattern from Simplicity (I think…) I’ve cut most of the pattern pieces out and started a muslin but I can’t concentrate.

I finally realized I needed any easy project, something to express my creativity and gain a sense of accomplishment. But I didn’t want to start anything totally new (I have enough in progress projects at this point!) So I pulled out the fabrics I’ve been collecting to make a Christmas quilt. I’ve always intended to make a simple bowtie quilt. Since it’s soo easy it was the perfect project and I finished up this quilt top in a couple days :).

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I wanted it to be appropriate for Christmas but not to Christmasy. And for me my favorite thing about Christmas is the multi-colored lights. This quilt reminds me of those lights with all its bold colors.

27 apr 12 016

It features a few of my favorite Christmas fabrics but I won’t feel guilty or lazy if I leave it out for all of January and into February.

Ideally I would have made the back and really finished this quilt but I want to wait until Brrr by Laurie Wisbrun comes out and use that for the back.

Brrr! Quilt pieces

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You wouldn’t know it from the total lack of posting lately but I finished some older projects and started some new ones!

First up is my Modern Meadow two sided quilt. I designed it so that neither side was “the back.” While I love the mustard yellow its a very strong color and I wanted something to switch to if it got to be too much.

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I think the soothing aqua blue provides a nice counter balance.

27 apr 12 006

While a quilt can have two different personalities when it comes to the fabric and pattern it can only have one quilt design. That is the point where I stalled for months! I couldn’t decide which side I should base the quilting on and then I couldn’t decide how to quilt it…. Ultimately I quilted it with the circle even though I think the blue side will be up more often. I was drawn to the idea of concentric circles and I think it works well on both sides.

I actually did this on my home Janome 6600!

27 apr 12 009

I used my quater inch foot as a guide and went around and around and around. I won’t lie to you it was at times very frustrating to try and man handle the quilt, go around the circle and keep the stitching straight and even. But I love the results!

You can probably tell that this quilt has spent most of its life folded up. I started it to be a couch quilt for the winter but didn’t get it finished in time. Now its just too hot!

27 apr 12 011

Oh well we are ready for next year!

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I didn’t realize that it had been quite so long since my last post! I spent a lot of that time just hanging out with my family and enjoying not having to travel for work but I did get some crafting done.

This was my last finish of 2011 and one of two that I made solely for donation. I noticed last year as I went through my stash that fabrics that I like when they come out (but don’t love) often ended up sitting in my stash unused. Since then I’ve tried hard to purchase only those fabrics that I really love and in doing so have saved myself money and space! I’m also trying to complete more non quilt projects. I mean how many quilts does one person need? Not to mention the fact that I have so many quilt tops already completed that still need to be turned into actual quilts!

12 feb 12 010

This was my first finish of 2012 (although all but the basting and quilting was done in 2012). I’m working hard to finish everything I’ve already started before I let myself begin any new quilts. At the rate I’m going I won’t be making any new quilt tops until 2013!!

12 feb 12 007

I let this project (and so many others) languish in the WIP pile because I didn’t have the skills or the time to quilt them the way I would have liked to. My original intention was a simple loopy loop quilt design but doing so required time and patience that I didn’t have. And because the the quilt itself ended up a bit wonky any attempt at straight line quilting would have drawn attention to the wonkyness. So I used this as an opportunity to try out a different quilting skill- free motion stippling. For a long time I was scared of dropping my feeddogs and I thought I would stitch myself into a corner and not be able to get out. But overall it wasn’t too bad. There was a bit of ripping when I first started before I got the tension and speed just right. I got myself some gardening gloves to grip the fabric and knocked it out in about a week. My stitch length isn’t totally uniform and I did cross my lines a few times but you can’t really tell. For a first attempt and on such a large quilt I think I did exceptionally well!

12 feb 12 008

Over the break I also bought a bunch of fabric to try sewing my own clothes and I picked up knitting! So far I’ve made a cowl that I gave to my mom and I’m about halfway through a pillow cover. I’m trying to make sure I sew and knit items that I will actually use. When I bought fabric I stuck to neutral colors in simple patterns or solids. I bought enough to make a skirt and two blouses. I figure if I make them and like them than I’ll branch out and the same with knitting.

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05 aug 11 007

I joined the “Finish It Up!” group on Flickr weeks ago and have finally finished a project. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve made significant progress on a number of quilt tops but I hadn’t actually finished anything until now.

I made this quilt as a way to use up some fabric I’ve had sitting on the shelf for awhile that I was no longer in love with. I’m going to donate it to the local Project Linus group. At one point (back in January) I thought I would make one quilt a month to donate but seeing how it is August and I just finished my first one I think I’ll make a more reasonable goal of finishing one more before Christmas. Hopefully since I’ve actually got another quilt top and back ready to be quilted I will accomplish this goal!

I used a plastic hexagon template and mostly fabric from Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley fabric line with a couple random prints thrown in. I found sewing the hexagons together to be too time consuming and doubt I’ll make another one of these again. In fact I actually prefer the back of this quilt! I free pieced the remaining scraps of fabric and really love how it came together.

05 aug 11 006

I found the red fabric I used for the binding in my stash and honestly I have no idea where it came from! Does that ever happen to you? For the quilting I used my free motion foot, dropped my feed dogs and outlined the sides of the rows. The quilting isn’t all that pretty (it’s my first real attempt at free motion) but I like the look of the quilting.

05 aug 11 008

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I love making baby quilts, I get to use fun colors and interesting designs but on a much more manageable scale then an adult sized quilt. But until now I have never finished a quilt before the baby was born. Usually I shoot for finishing them before the baby turns one but I routinely miss that deadline as well… I “justify” it by saying that parents taste tends to change after the baby is born and that as the baby grows things that are cute when they are newborn are too cutesy even a year later so really I’m doing parents a favor by waiting. Plus babies gets tons of blankets when they are born so my quilts don’t get lost in the crowd if I wait. But really I just haven’t been able to get the time and creative energy to make a quilt before a baby was born even if I had seven months notice!

11 mar 11 082

So when my SIL announced her pregnancy at Thanksgiving and said that although they didn’t know the gender they were firmly decided on the colors I knew I needed to get working right away. My original plan was to make two quilts and then give her the gender appropriate one. Luckily for me I worked on the boy quilt first and while I was still working on it she found out she is having a boy. Unluckily for me once they knew the gender and started shopping they completely changed the colors of the nursery… I knew there were good reasons to wait!! But when she changed her colors the quilt was 2/3 done and TH really loves it and since it’s his sister’s child she is getting this quilt! I never expected it to be the crib quilt anyway so the dark brown of this quilt will lend itself well to being used on the floor so the baby can lay, roll, and eventually crawl around a bit. I also think though appropriate for a newborn it is sophisticated enough to be used for a couple years. But from here on out I think I’m going back to “waiting” (procrastinating) until babies are born before making a quilt.

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This is my second finish of 2011 and unlike my first finish I did a decent amount of work on this quilt this year. I quilted, bound and buried all the threads this past week. I love what Oh Fransson is doing on hers but since I’ve never tried free motion quilting I wasn’t game to try it for the first time on a quilt I love so much! Instead I opted for what many consider an old stand by but I’ve never actually tried before- stitching in the ditch.

I really like how it came out, the quilt is so fabulous

DSC_0258

That I didn’t want the quilting to detract from the “map appearance” of it.

I have one more quilt that has already been pieced and basted to finish before I really dig into my WIP pile. But the sense of accomplishment these are giving me is a really motivator to tackle the rest :)

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It’s a bit of a stretch to consider this my first “finish” but it is technically true. I started this quilt in November and by mid-December had finished piecing, quilting and even binding this quilt. But as usual I got stalled burying the thread tails. I really hate this part! The obvious solution is more continuous line quilting where the threads go off the edge of the quilt but it just doesn’t seem to be my style…

I thought I would manage to bury all the threads while traveling home for Christmas but eventually I got bored and the quilt sat in my car untouched until this week when I finally managed to finish it. I really like how it came out and I’m impressed with myself since I pulled most of these solids from my stash and still managed to make it work. The hardest part was the binding, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ran across this one on the sales rack of a local quilt shop and quickly snapped it up. If I had known I was going to use this when I started I would have added a more aqua toned blue but even without I think it all works really well together.

The quilt is for TH’s and my friend B.’s new son F. One of these days I will manage to gift a quilt before the baby is born…. TH and I know F’s parents from the military so the color scheme is fitting and masculine enough to please F as he grows up from a baby into a young boy. It’s also larger than a crib size quilt for the same reason. I hope he loves it!

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