Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gray and Yellow Bricks

Gray and Yellow Brick Quilt

My second retirement is giving me lots more time to quilt, and I'm loving it!  This one makes two finishes within 10 days. 

The idea for this quilt was not my own but was inspired by another quilting blogger, Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation (  Kelly made hers (shown below) with gorgeous Amy Butler prints.  She calls it "Loud and UnRuly."  I LOVE it!

Kelly wrote last week that she plans to create a pattern; I couldn't wait!

So I started plundering through my scraps and found the most wonderful prints in gray and yellow...  (My apologies; most of the scraps came from a purchase of scraps online a few years ago; I remember not from whence they came!)

So here's my unquilted top...  Aren't you proud of me???  I finally remembered to take some "in progress" photos!  I still forgot to take any of the cutting process, but I'm getting better!  I cut 4" squares, 4" by 8" rectangles and 4" by 12" rectangles.  All multiples of 4, so it should come together correctly, right????  More about this in lessons learned....

For the quilting, I decided to do concentric circles, beginning with the square with the horse...  a little above and to the right of the center of the quilt.  That's the only scrap of that fabric I had, so I fussy-cut it.  Since I love it so, I made it the focus...

Here's the finished quilt.  I'm calling mine Gray and Yellow Bricks,,,  

And a close-up...

And one with the backing and binding...

I used my walking foot to quilt this one on my domestic sewing machine.  Once I stitched the first circle around the horse, I simply used the walking foot to evenly space (sort of) each larger and larger circle.  As the circles got bigger, they went off the side of the quilt, which adds interest, I think.

The backing is a gray print from JoAnn fabrics; the binding is a tiny yellow polka dot, also from JoAnn's.  The quilt finished at 39" by 48."  That was not really planned; it's just what I had when the scraps ran out.  But it is a good size for a baby!  Serendipity at its best!

So what did I learn with this quilt???  Remember when I talked about cutting the pieces?  Well, I failed to consider seam allowances when I cut....  so I did LOTS of trimming so seams would match up...  This probably added several hours to my piecing time... and more importantly, tons of aggravation!  One of these days, I will learn to use the quilt designing software I purchased.  It would have told me exactly which measurements to use in order to achieve the results I wanted.  

Maybe next time...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Floating Hexie Quilt

There are a couple very special young ladies expecting babies soon, so I've been trying to get a head start on quilts for their little bundles of joy.  Neither expectant mother plans to use "traditional" baby colors, so I've really had fun trying different color combinations...  some I'd never dream up on my own!

This one is not my original design; it is from a pattern book called Modern Baby, by Martingale.  It is called "Fractured Hexagons" in the book.

I call mine "Floating Hexies."  

I wish I'd taken some in-process photos; must learn to remember to do that in the future!  

The background part went together very quickly; it was just width of fabric strips of Kona solids sewn horizontally, then "fractured" to get the jagged appearance.  Instructions in the book for doing this were very clear and concise.

For the hexagons, I used a charm pack of organic little prints. I swear I thought I kept the package so I could remember the name, but it appears the black hole in my sewing room has engulfed said package...
I made the hexies a little differently than suggested by the author.  I lined them with very lightweight fusible interfacing.  That allowed me to tack each one down with an iron before topstitching/applique-ing each to the background fabric.  I learned this technique when making circle appliques for the first Lulu Quilt.

The quilting is a simple meader/stipple using gray Aurifil thread.  

For the backing, I used a neat print found at JoAnn fabrics; gray with teal.  The binding is a contrasting antique gold with metallic microdots.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this little quilt.  I do want to figure out what I did wrong with the binding; it is a little ripple-y...  (see first photo)  If you have suggestions, please post!

What did I learn this time???  That hexies aren't quite as daunting as I thought they'd be...  but I sure would hate to have done all of them by hand by English paper piecing, which was one of the methods suggested in the book.  Guess I'm just not a purist...  I'm more from the "Get 'Er Done" school of thought!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Special Baby Quilt

A dear friend is expecting her first grandchild any day now.  I wanted to make a quilt for the baby, but wanted to use up some of my scraps.  I found plenty in my chosen colors of gray pink and turquoise.  

Not being one to follow a pattern, I just jumped in and started making little nine patch blocks from 2 1/2 inch squares.  To bring some unity to the blocks, I used a white square in the center of each.  I pieced the blocks with more white Kona sashing, adding a wide strip on which I'd embroidered (by machine) the baby's name. 

 Here's the finished product.

I wish I'd taken some closeups, because the quilting is hard to see...  I quilted pebbles using white Aurifil everywhere you see white.  The rest was left unquilted.  The quilt is bound in a tiny gray chevron and backed with a pink print. 

I also forgot to take a picture of the back, and now the quilt is no longer with me!  I will confess, however, that I wasn't nearly as happy with the appearance of the back as I was with the front.  In my attempt to add lots of texture, I quilted around each pebble 3-4 times.  It looks a little messy on the back.

What did I learn with this quilt?  First, pebbling is VERY time- and thread-consuming!  Next,  I still have lots of work to do on accurate piecing.  (But thankfully, the heavy quilting hides a multitude of sins!)  I learned it might be a good idea to match bobbin thread to backing fabric when doing heavy quilting like pebbling.  Lastly, I learned that I LOVE PEBBLING!!!  Can't wait to do more!

Scripture and Cross Quilt

It's been a long while since I posted; time to get back in the swing of things!

For the past year, I've been serving as our church's children's ministry program director.  At the end of our church's Sunday School year, I wanted to do something for our children's Sunday School teachers.  I made these quilts and presented them at our Promotion Sunday program.  Here are two of the three...  the 3rd photo was very blurry so is not included.

Soon after, one of the teachers commissioned me to make similar quilts for her three granddaughters.  I've been playing around with quilting words into my quilts, so I offered to include a favorite scripture.  

Here's the first finished commission.  The quilting is a little hard to see, but it's Jeremiah 29:11.  The lettering is about 4 inches tall.  

Here's a closer view of the quilting and one showing the binding and backing.  I'm in LOVE with striped bindings these days!

The grandmother was thrilled with the finished product; I am too!  Now I'm waiting for her to select scriptures for the other two commissions....