Quilt Projects

Click directly on the image(s) above
to open the slide show in a larger window.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rescued From The Round File

I did it. Rather than tossing this almost-wall-hanging-that-never-shaped-up into the wastebasket, I finished it.

It's now a little 15-1/2" x 19-1/2" doll blanket. And I have just the little girl in mind to give it to.

I made the backing from the bunny fabric . . . had to piece it to have enough . . . and used Thermore for batting so it would be light and easy for the sweet girl to wrap around her favorite doll.

For quilting I did straight-line stitching in the ditch. Put on a yellow binding and another UFO is finished thanks to the encouragement from my blogging quilting friends!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Featured Quilt of the Week - "Sunshine and Lilacs"

I started making this baby quilt by selecting the backing. I had intended to use yellows, purples, and oranges, drawn from the backing fabric for the piecework on the front of the quilt.

I had no trouble at all selecting yellows and purples, and I really liked the way they all looked together. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make any auditioned oranges work. It took a while (slow learner?), but then it dawned on me that there are times when I need to be flexible enough to let go of preconceived ideas and let the fabrics speak to me. Well, okay then. I guess I don't need the oranges! The only orange color you'll see is in the few blocks of backing fabric I used on the front for continuity (and a few dots of orange in one of the lilac fabrics).

This was an enjoyable quilt to do in the wintertime. So bright and cheerful and a reminder of the colors of our coming spring.

I quilted it in an all-over meandering stitch which I think does a good job of pulling the whole quilt together.

I especially like the quilting on the back where it gives a sense of the flowers scattered helter-skelter in a rolling field.

As usual, you can get more information on this quilt by going to my website and clicking on "Shop Now."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Downhill Skiing and Making Potholders

Inspired to try to use up some of the leftovers from the unwanted wall hanging I blogged about yesterday, I made a couple of potholders while watching the Olympics on TV last night.

I've always enjoyed the Winter Olympics more than those that take place in the summer. The men's downhill skiing last night enthralled me as I stitched away. (Once I commented to a good friend, "In my next life, I'm going to be an Olympic downhill skier." She gave me a quizzical look with her head tilted to one side and said, "But . . . you're not even a good downhill skier now." I don't know why she had to look at it so logically. Ya gotta love true friends for telling it like it is.)

I didn't use a traditional block pattern for these . . .

. . . I just threw things together for both sides.

As for the wall quilt I talked about yesterday that I was going to dump, one of my quilting blog buddies, Beth of Love Laugh Quilt, gave me the inspiration to make it into a doll quilt. The wall hanging is only about 15-1/2" x 16-1/2" so I think I'll add a wider border top and bottom to give it better proportions and finish it up as a doll quilt to give at Easter time to a very special little toddler.

I feel much, much better about that than dumping it. Best of all, it will be out of my UFO box!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm Getting Ruthless

Ruthless is defined as merciless, pitiless, relentless, remorseless. (Also sadistic.) Yup, that's me all right.

I've been digging in a couple of boxes of UFOs weeding out ones I want to finish and those that I would be wiser to dump.

Today we have a dump-ee. Dump-er? Dump-ped?

I started this wall hanging a few years ago when my husband was still teaching third grade thinking it would be good to hang in his classroom during Easter time. No matter what I've done to it, I just don't like it.

It's a shame, too, because I tried to use such a cute widdle wabbit fabric.

But, come on, there are so many quilting projects I'm excited about doing, why should I waste my time on something that has turned out to be a chore? (I read once that if a quilter isn't failing at least 50% of the time, s/he isn't being creative enough. I think this here little project definitely helped push me toward creativity . . . in other words, failing 50% of the time.)

As usual, I have many extra squares that I cut for the four patch blocks. I don't want to stuff them in my scrap box, so I think I feel some potholders coming on. Anyone in need of some new potholders?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Building Bib Inventory

Add ImageWa-hoo, these bibs are fun to make!

I start by picking out an old traditional block pattern and make it in a 6" size. Then I add a bottom, two sides and top to form the basic bib shape. Making them gives me the chance, if I wish, to experiment with blocks I've never pieced before. Sometimes, I find a particular block doesn't go together easily and I make a note that this wouldn't be one I'd want to repeat forty or fifty times for a full sized quilt.

Of course, the reverse is true, too. I'm finding blocks that I like piecing and that appeal to me visually. They give me all kinds of ideas for new quilt patterns and lay outs.

I get to play with a variety of fun fabrics and can finish a whole project (one bib) in a short time. Not quite instant, but still gratification!

After the front of the bib is constructed, I pick out a coordinating fabric for the back. It gets sandwiched with batting and the front, and then the quilting can begin.

Lastly, I attach a snap fastener at the top and . . . one more bib to add to the collection that will eventually be listed on my website. These really are fun to make.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Featured Quilt of the Week - "Springtime Applique"

Not to toot my own horn, but I think this is a pretty little quilt. It measures 37" x 45-1/4".

The delicate colors remind me of springtime flowers and the scalloped edges might even be said to resemble flower petals if one wanted to take the imagery a step farther.

On this quilt I broke my rule of doing only machine quilting, which I feel ensures durability, on my baby quilts. I did do a small amount of hand quilting around the circle clusters to make them pop out a little.

The backing fabric is a lavender with small white flowers. I think it was a good choice because all the machine quilting plus the minimal hand quilting show up quite well on this reverse side.

Usually I say that I want my baby quilts to be used and worn to shreds. But I have to admit that this particular quilt would make a lovely wall hanging in a baby's room, if so desired. (Oh heck, I'd still rather see it used!)

As always, you can go to my website to see other pictures of this quilt, or contact me for more information or questions.

P.S. Does anyone know the name of this appliqued block of circles in a cluster? I've been unable to find a name although I know I've seen it on old quilts.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Almost Like Christmas

It's almost like Christmas when you find a piece of quilting that's been tucked away for a while. Either that or I've gone 'round the bend and my memory is on the way out.

I just found these two completed baby quilt tops I had made from Evelyn Sloppy's book "40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts." Neither will be for sale because they're obviously not my original designs. But as soon as they're finished, they will be ready to be given to sweet, little, new arrivals. I already know of one eagerly anticipated birth due end of this summer.

This one is entitled "Cheerio" and appears on page 41 of the above mentioned book. What fun this one was to make! I could do it over and over again using my rather ample stash of scraps. I put a slightly different border on mine than was shown in the book.

This is "Peppermint Twist." As the name might imply, it was done in red and white in the book (page 111), but I choose lavendar and white for mine. It's constructed of just one simple block reversed and went together quickly.

Am I going to work on finishing these two quilts right away? Probably not as I was gone a lot this past week and never got back to working on more of my reversible quilted baby bibs I'm trying to get ready for listing on my website. But no matter. The two tops are now hanging on my design wall and I'm enjoying looking at them. It's been so long since I've seen them that it's almost like finding forgotten presents!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Sampler Blocks" Baby Quilt Done

It's 6:40 Thursday morning and I just finished the last few stitches of the binding on my Sampler Blocks baby quilt.

I didn't end up getting into bed early on Tuesday night, but last night I was reading in bed by 8:30. (My husband maintains I don't "read in bed" but rather "sleep with the book on my chest." Books last a long time this way.) After my requisite eight hours (maybe a little more last night), I was awake at 5:15 this morning. As soon as my morning latte was brewed, I was sitting sipping and finishing up the binding. (Now that's the way to start a good day!)

I'm very pleased with the way this quilt turned out. My daughter saw the it "in person" for the first time yesterday and suggested I make more quilts using this multiple block pattern. Besides lending an old-fashioned feel to the quilt, including all the different blocks certainly does add eye-appeal. Using the same group of fabrics but switching them around in the various patterns held my interest with no problem throughout all twenty blocks. I really wouldn't hesitate to start in again today on another quilt of the same motif. I'd have to select twenty different blocks this time around, of course. There are so many lovely traditional blocks to choose from that I know I could happily make many, many quilts and never repeat a block.

Although the backing is pieced, it's still simple.

Okay, binding done. Check. Start new project. Check. But whoa a minute here! I think I'm going to be strict with myself and sandwich and quilt another (maybe two?) top(s) I have completed on my design wall. As much as I say piecing a quilt is my favorite part, there really is a lot of satisfaction to be had by holding the totally finished project in my hands.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Home Stretch - Binding

Earlier today I promised myself I was going to get into bed early tonight with a good book. I didn't sleep well last night and was draggin' my wagon all day today.

But, of course, now when I'm so close to finishing my sampler block baby quilt, I can't resist putting in a couple of hours tonight hand sewing on the binding.

I once asked a friend who is an extremely talented quilter what her favorite part of the whole quilting process is. Without hesitation, she replied, "The binding. Because when that's done, I can start something new!"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Featured Quilt of the Week - 'Three Cheers for Bright Squares'

For this baby quilt and in order to purposefully create a 'scrappy' look, I used many different fabrics.

Vivid colors make it a cheerful, stimulating panorama for baby's developing eyesight.

I carried the same patchwork of colors into the piano keys border.

There's also a lot of color in the pieced backing of this quilt.

The back could easily have been used as the front of another quilt! I'm sure 150 years ago, when fabric wasn't as readily available as it is now, a young mother might have pieced a quilt top much like this one . . . using remnants left over from making clothing for her family.

Because this baby quilt measures 35½" x 39", it's small enough that a toddler could easily carry it around him or herself. It's also a good size to cover a little one while in the car seat or stroller.

If you'd like to read more about and see other pictures of this baby quilt, simply click here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rescued from the Home for Wayward Quilts

Add ImageOkay, this baby quilt top really didn't have to be rescued in any way . . . just sprung from the "To Finish" box that it's been trapped in until I could figure out how to quilt it.

I knew it was too busy for much else other than an all-over quilting motif, but the right inspiration just wouldn't come. I think I've got it figured out now.

Also I wasn't sure of the fabric I wanted to use for the backing. Now I think it's going to have to be a pieced backing made from the two fabrics I couldn't decide between, because it's so big that neither piece totals quite enough yardage! Solves that problem.

The design of this quilt came from my love of the old, traditional block patterns. I used about nine different fabrics, mixing and matching them in the twenty blocks. All the blocks (whew, took a long time to construct all of them!) are held together by the yellow dotted fabric of the sashing and outer border.

I had a great time learning how all the different blocks were made. While I gained a lot of piecing knowledge from the experience, I also now have some new "favorite" blocks that I know I'll use again in other quilts.

Here are close-ups of just three of the blocks picked randomly from the quilt.

This one is called the Improved Four Patch block.

The above block is called Tombstone Quilt. Terrible name, but attractive block!

Then we have the Cheyenne block. This one really appeals to me, and I know I'll use it again.

I hope to get started on the quilting soon and will post pictures when it's done.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Working on the Bibs

Here it is Friday night and I'm ready for a big night out to celebrate the week's end. Not. More likely that I'm going to be ready for an early-to-bed night than anything else.

Most of my energy this week has been spent trying to hold back the hours in each day from slipping through my fingers so quickly. (And how's that workin' for ya? I can report I was totally unsuccessful and am now exhausted.)

Not having posted anything on this blog since Monday is not usual for me. But try as I might this week, I couldn't get into my quilt studio until today.

But . . . a good day it was. Besides doing a bit of much needed clean-up in the room, I spent time trying to figure out the new pattern for my reversible quilted baby bibs since I've decided to retire my old style which tied in the back.

I've been debating whether to use a snap or Velcro for the closure, and I think I've settled on the snap. Two things I don't like about the Velcro on the bibs: 1) They can be very scratchy on baby's delicate skin; and 2) the Velcro tends to grab onto lots of other fabrics in the washing machine and/or dryer often resulting in a twisted mess.

This is the front of the first bib I made today.

And the back side.

Second one . . .

. . . and the back view.

Both of the above bibs were made in the pillowcase method with no extra binding on the edges, and I'm pleased with this design. This will probably be the way I'll now be making them to list for sale on my website.

The bibs measure approximately 8-1/2" from side to side and 12" from bottom of the bib to the top of the snap closure. This size makes them very adequate for when baby starts feeding himself and food tends to make it neatly into his mouth only a small percentage of the time!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Featured Quilt of the Week - "Double Pinwheels at the State Fair"

The Double Pinwheel block is so appropriate for a baby quilt. Do they still make those little hand-held toys that are plastic blades on a stick and whirl when you blow on them? Even if not, you can have your own colorful pinwheels on this quilt.

Not only was this block enjoyable to make, but I had a lot of fun making it as scrappy as I could.

Digging through my considerable stash of 30s fabrics to find my very favorite ones was no chore at all. Of course, when I finished, it looked as if there had been a whopper of an explosion that had strewn all these cheerful prints all over my quilt studio.

This quilt is square in shape, measuring 42" x 42" and would be great for a little boy or girl.

The coordinating backing I chose is a light purple with a small white flower on it.

I quilted it with all-over wavy lines to represent the breeze which will keep the double pinwheels spinning, and spinning, and spinning.

You can see more pictures and read more about this quilt by clicking here.

This particular quilt is one of my favorites that I've made to date. I hope it appeals to you for your own little one or perhaps to give as a special gift for a newborn or toddler you know.