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Posts Tagged ‘quilts’

I can hardly believe it, but I’ve won the Extreme Makeover sewing challenge!  I was up against some pretty talented ladies!  Thanks to everyone for your support over the last six weeks! (well….seven weeks….we had two weeks for this last challenge.)  I definitely think I’ve stretched myself as a seamstress and I am so happy with my tidy sewing room.

Here is what I made this week:

A trio of aprons.

This one is from the “Sew Liberated” book (I know, it’s been a theme over the last few weeks, but I have loved having the opportunity to sew from it!)  My favourite part is the corset back.  Check this out:

And then I made two half aprons.

This fabric from my grandmother was calling out to be made into aprons.  I sort of made it up as I went, but I got the idea for a bow in the front from this tutorial.  I had a little fabric left so I made a matching bread bag.  It’s just a simple drawstring bag, but I got the idea here.

Then I made a messenger bag and water bottle tote.  I used the bag tutorial here and the water bottle tote tutorial here.  The applique was inspired (again) by Sew Liberated. 

I always carry a reusable bag in my purse, but it is always coming unfolded.  I couldn’t resist this tutorial for a fold-up pocket tote. 

And then I made two skirts.  The first is, once again, from Sew Liberated.  The one in the book is covered with applique, I haven’t decided if I will applique this one or leave it as it is.  I am really happy with the way it turned out, I’m definitely getting more comfortable with knits!

This second one is based on the two-tier skirt from Sew What Skirts.  I love this fabric, and I loved the two-tiered look, but I have come to realize that I just don’t like the look of elastic waist-bands on skirts.  I think I’d like to try one with buttons while I work on improving my zipper skills! 

Finally, I worked on a very special quilt top. I found the traditional pieced blocks among my grandmother’s fabrics (so sorry for everyone who thought I’d pieced the whole thing myself – eek, I didn’t think of that when I was posting it…).  I also found most of the fabrics she had used to make them.  Last week I created the square within a square blocks and made the pieced border.  (That border caused me a bit of trouble.  I have never done anything like it before, and there were times when I wasn’t sure it would be worth it, but I LOVE it on the quilt!)  This is definitely a quilt I will cherish as made by my grandmother’s hands and my own.  In honour of my grandmother I am even considering hand-quilting it, but haven’t decided yet. 

Total fabric used this week:  19 yards

Total fabric used over 6 weeks: 74 yards!!!  If someone had told me you could use that much fabric in a month and a half I wouldn’t have believed them. 

My sewing room has become a much more neat and organized place.

Before:

After:

Before:

After: (that box is history!)

Before:

After:

Whew!  Must be time to go to the fabric store!   (Just kidding….)

Thanks to Wildflowers and Whimsy and Extra Ordinary Bree for hosting the challenge, and thanks to you for joining in on this adventure with me!

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Don’t you love that feeling when you finish a big project?  Especially when you love the way everything looks when it is finished?

That’s the way I feel about this pretty in pink set. 

You might remember seeing this quilt in progress.  Here it is, all quilted and ready for its new home. 

The quilting is fairly simple, but I really wanted to showcase the applique and I think the simple outlining of the hexagons and then on the applique itself does that well.

And here is the matching doll quilt:

I worked on both quilts simultaneously,  just repeating everything in miniature after working on the big quilt.   Although it would have been possible to make the little quilt exactly the same, it also would have made for a very expensive little quilt, which its new doll-owner might not appreciate! 🙂  I think this one is close enough to be cute!

I also made matching curtains and a crib skirt, which (sorry!) aren’t really conducive to pictures until they are installed in their new homes. 

And then there were just a few scraps of fabric left…..and I couldn’t resist making just one more thing as a little gift to go with everything else….

She is made from the Molly Monkey pattern at Mmmcrafts, and has been on my “to make” list for years and years (but I have never had a reason to make one before.)  I know, I know, she’s not a monkey.  I really loved the idea of using the grey with the pink fabrics, but didn’t think grey was very “monkey-ish” so I decided to turn the monkey into a kitty (inspired by some of the photos on the Molly Monkey Flickr group).  I later discovered there is actually a pattern for the kitty on the Mmmcrafts Etsy shop, too. 

I’m sad to see all of this pink leave my sewing room… but….

on to the next project! 🙂

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   I have completed my first UFO of the year!  I had grand plans to finish one of the big quilts this month, but after opening the shop and then making the top and the dress, I found the month was quickly getting away from me! 

So I chose a small UFO to finish.  It was one I actually didn’t know I had until I opened a drawer looking for something else, and there it was.  This was another unfinished project of my grandmother’s (those UFO’s do like to travel) and I had obviously tucked it away because at the time I didn’t know how to finish it. 

This is what it looked like straight out of the drawer.

I can see why she abandoned it.  The final border is so stretched and crooked that it would definitely bunch up and wrinkle if you tried to quilt this and add binding.  The whole think looked like it was in need of a good iron.

I soon discovered why….

The quilt was made with the foundation technique (like paper piecing but using interfacing instead of paper).  My grandmother must have been low on supplies because she used fusible interfacing on this one – sticky side down.  Which meant that when I went to iron down the seams, all I got was a sticky mess on the bottom of my (brand new) iron.  I turned it over and did the best I could from the front.

Then I removed the border.  It was broadcloth, too thin and flimsy to help this quilt keep its shape.  Luckily I also inherited my grandmother’s fabric stash along with the UFOs and was able to find a matching fabric for the border. 

I quilted around the hat, quilt, and inside border, and used another matching fabric for the binding.

I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out.  I wish my grandmother could see her work and mine combined!  (Although she might give me a lecture on how quilting by machine isn’t really quilting at all so perhaps it’s just as well…. 🙂  )

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Just about anyone with a crafty hobby knows what UFOs are (and no, I am not referring to an extraterrestrial invasion!).  They are the unfinished objects that were started and then abandoned in favour of newer, more exciting, more pressing, or easier (!) projects.  They lurk in hidden corners of the sewing or craft room, sometimes forgotten for years, but in their dark corners they multiply with their secret mission to take over the sewing room! 

During the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day I came across Staci, at The Confused Quilter and have joined in her mission to stop the invasion!

More of a support group than sewing challenge, each of us have set a goal for the UFOs we will finish this year.  There is even a flickr group to post pictures and to keep us motivated. 

This year I have committed to finishing one UFO a month.   This seemed like a reachable goal and will clear up a lot of space in the sewing room (for all those new projects I am going to start this year!) 

When I cleaned the sewing room last year I confined all of the UFOs to a single bucket, promising myself that should the bucket become full I would finish what was in it before starting anything new.  You can imagine how well that worked…..  Here is the bucket now:

At least 3 of the quilts in this bucket I inherited as UFOs for my grandmother.  (You see what happens when you don’t get them under control?  They go on and invade other sewing rooms!)

I also have a pile almost as big piled outside this bucket of clothing and bags, and then there is this poor quilt, which has been sitting cut out on the floor so long that I no longer remember which colours I cut for which part of the pattern. 

And so, in 2011, the invasion will be stopped!   We will sweep the UFOs from all the dark corners and take back our sewing rooms! 

Do you have UFOs lurking in your craft space?  Come and join in the fun!

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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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My mother’s house is full of boxes of things that were removed from my grandmother’s house after she passed away.  It has been a slow and sad process to go through them all and decide what to keep and what to pass on to someone else. 

Among many of the very ordinary things of daily living there have been a few priceless treasures.

Like my great-grandmother’s recipes. 

As we went through more boxes this summer, a few more of these treasures have found their way into my home. 

Vintage linens.  I think these pillow cases are destined for a quilt. 

A doll pattern.  Ordered from the newspaper in 1948!

A pretty little apron.

I was really excited to find this one – a clothes pin apron! 

But the biggest treasure is definitely this:

A quilt from my great-grandmother’s house.  It is worn, stained, and has a few holes, but I love it anyway. 

Thinking of Gran today, with love.

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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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