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Archive for the ‘Quilts’ Category

Another Quilt Finished!

At the moment I have a few too many quilts laying half-finished on my sewing room floor.  And a backlog of other projects that were put on hold during the back-to-school, harvest-the-garden rush.  But now that things are back to normal their usual level of  craziness, I have found a few minutes here and there to finish one of the quilts.

This is what I call a cuddle quilt.  Cotton flannel top, and polar fleece bottom. 

I cut the little 3-inch squares from scraps every time I make a flannel project and then when I have a big enough stack I turn them into a quilt.  This is the first time I have used large squares along with the smaller ones and I like the way it looks. 

It is quilted with a wavy free-motion stitch in purple thread!  I don’t usually like to use colours that really stand out, but I am getting more confident with my quilting and I love the way the purple blends with all of the colours.

The back is pieced from four pieces of fleece.  I really do love a pieced back on a quilt.  It just makes it that much more special. 

The binding is, of course, hand-stitched to the back.  Each time I am sitting for hours with needle and thread I start to wonder just how bad a machine-stitched edge would be???  But I persevere, and in the end I know that this last finishing touch is worth all of the time it takes.  And my grandmother would be proud.

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Sew Fun Feature!

I was featured on the Sew Fun blog today!   Eek!  You can check it out here.  And while you are there, be sure to check out the great Sew Fun patterns.  I have sewn them all and highly recommend them.  The directions are easy to follow and I have always been more than happy with the finished product (and been given many compliments when I present them as gifts.)

Have a great long week-end!

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Oddysea Quilt Finished!

My charm square quilt is finally finished! 

Of course, I had to make a trip to the fabric store before I could complete it because despite my large stash of fabric I had nothing suitable for the back and binding.  In the end I really love the way the  dark teal sets off all of the other colours.  And the back is a snazzy blue with gold dots (with a really nice sheen.)

I am enjoying free-motion quilting more and more.  It certainly gets easier with each quilt.  Machingers (quilting gloves), a quilting table and a darning foot have all made it so much easier.  Someday I might even work up the nerve to try a real “pattern!”  This time I just created some nice lazy loops all over. 

I realize that these pictures aren’t the best.  If I still had the quilt with me I’d retake them, but this quilt is now for sale at a local store – eek!  I can’t believe that after thinking about it for a couple of years I am now truly selling my sewing (outside of custom orders, that is.)  I hope there are people out there who enjoy buying quilts and pillows as much as I like making them! 🙂

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Oddysea Charm Square Quilt

Yesterday I finished my very first charm square quilt.  The fabric is Oddysea by Moda and I am in love with the rich colours and the fish blocks scattered throughout.  The pattern was made by creating 9-patch squares and then cutting them in half in both directions.  Putting the pieces together after that was a bit like putting a puzzle together – only because I was determined to have all the fish swimming to the sides and all the shells facing the same way.  (a random quilter I am not….someday I should try to put the blocks just wherever they end up…it would be a good exercise for me in letting go…)

Working with charm squares was fun in that it eliminated one cutting step.  However, I was disappointed to find that all of the charm squares were not cut to the exact same size, which did cause problems later on in piecing the quilt.  What I really should have done was re-cut them all to the same size before I began…. but it seemed silly when the reason I bought charm squares was so I wouldn’t have to do more cutting?!  I’m not sure that I would work with charm squares again, unless I cut them myself! 🙂

I really like the finished top and can’t wait to quilt it and bind it. 

There is a local shop that sells handmade items that has agreed to take some of my quilts.  This will be one of the first ones that I sell.  I am both excited and scared about that prospect!  I have so many ideas of quilts I want to make (and three in progress!) so it will be great to know what to do with them when I am done…but eek!  What if no-one likes them??  The jitters of a new adventure…..

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Click here for my May giveaway!

I am so excited to (finally) be able to share with you my top-secret quilt!

It is the Sandcastle Quilt and Baby Beach Ball from Sew Fun patterns. 

Like all of the Sew Fun patterns it was super-easy to follow and filled with little hints and tips to make your project the best it can be.  I always learn something when I test these patterns – I love the way the circles are made on the beach ball, it made it super easy to get a nice round shape!

This was my second attempt at free-motion quilting and I think I am getting the hang of it.  Although I still think I have a lot to learn, I am really pleased with the way it turned out.

I did a kind of meandering design on the sand part of the quilt and then tried to do “waves” on the blue parts. 

I had fun using up some scraps to make the back too!

If you look closely here at the bottom you will see that I am having trouble with the fabric bunching towards the binding.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong – I took it out and did it again and had the same thing happen.  I think I would have to take out the quilting (eek!) and do it again in order to get it to sit right.  I almost did it too, almost took out all that stitching…and then I came to my senses.  (The perfectionism has to end somewhere, right?)   I am sure some little one will love the quilt despite these few lumps.  Hopefully I can get this figured out for the next one!

Overall I am in love with the beachy design and the bright fabrics.  As always, I highly recommend all of the Sew Fun patterns – they really are what the name says they are!  🙂    I can’t wait to surprise a lucky mama with this one at the next baby shower! 

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Pocket Quilt

Here is one pattern test revealed!  This is the “Pocket Quilt” pattern from Puking Pastilles.    Once again I found her patterns easy to follow and fun to make.

I had so much fun picking out these fabrics.  I had several combinations of colours picked out including girlie pinks, soft-coloured flannels and bright rainbow-coloured solids.  I just love laying out colour combinations and trying to add different fabrics until I find just the right combination.  In the end, these bright somewhat western-themed fabrics made the cut into the final quilt.   The blue rope-patterned fabric  is a remnant of a piece I bought way back when I was teaching preschool and I used it to make a cute cowboy vest for the dress-up corner (I wish I had taken pictures of all the dress-up clothes I made, they were so much fun!).    I love the way it combines with the bandana-patterned red (one of Gran’s fabrics!) and the camping bears and wood grain pieces.  The binding was tricky.  I must have tried almost every piece of fabric I owned before I happened on this brown plaid when I was looking for something else (isn’t that always the way things go?) 

The quilting was done by machine and is all free-motion.  I know it’s not perfect but I think it is some of my best machine quilting yet!   I used the orange thread and the loopy design to mirror the rope pattern on the blue fabric.

And then there is the pocket side!  I used a soft and cosy flannel for the pocket itself.  It’s a very cuddly place to store a favourite stuffie!  (I am thinking I need to make  a horse stuffie to go with this quilt. I think I saw a pattern for one not that long ago on a blog…somewhere….)

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It’s quilting month at Sew, Mama, Sew!   As part of the festivities there is a quilt block sew-along with a new block posted every Monday.  When I first saw this week’s block I did what I always do with projects I want to try – I bookmarked it.  The sad thing is, I have so many projects now bookmarked that I never seem to get around to making any of them.  And no matter how hard I try to organize them in my favourites (folders and sub-folders and sub-folders of my sub-folders) I can never seem to find the tutorial I want when I am looking for it.  (If anyone knows a better way to organize these things PLEASE tell me.  I need some serious help.  Opening my favourites folder is a little like opening the kitchen junk drawer – the very idea of it stresses me out.)

Anyway, all that to say that I decided that instead of bookmarking it, and despite all the half-finished quilts in my sewing room currently, I would do something that I never do – I would make the block Right Now.

And I did!  (Sometimes I even surprise myself!)  I almost got stopped after my visions of a black, white and grey quilt were dashed when I discovered that I have absolutely no plain white in my stash (black, grey and cream just wasn’t going to do it for me.)   But I persevered and I am really happy with the final fabrics I chose.  And all but one of them is from my grandmother’s vast collection.  (yippee!)

So then the fun part.  Cutting the triangles, sewing them into squares, and then playing around with the endless variations of patterns.  This is one of the things I love about quilts.  I once wrote a book about how teachers can use quilting to teach their students math for one of my university classes  and I spent hours hand-drawing the numerous possibilities for each type of block (I’m a geek, I know….)  Here are only a few that my 16 sew-along blocks could create: (pardon the dark photos, it was night when I took these)

Diamonds

Diamonds 2

Triangles - Random

triangles - ordered

Hour Glass

Pinwheels - I love pinwheels.

There is something soothing to me about arranging and rearranging quilt blocks.  I don’t know why I love it, but I do. 

In the end, I chose the random triangles.  I liked the way it kind of dispersed the colour throughout the block.  And I liked that the triangles just got to be themselves, without combining into any other shapes.  Here it is, in it’s finished glory: I can’t wait for next Monday to find out what the next square will be!

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