A Finished Memory Quilt (I love this one!)

Yay!  Four days ago I was frustrated as can be with this one, but I’m happy to report that the quilt is finished and AWESOME!  The too short backing problem was easily solved by adding scraps to the ends which wound up looking just fine:

photo (91)I would not have liked this one if I hadn’t added the contrasting strips throughout.  It could have used a few more slashes, but I was frustrated at the time!

After I basted the quilt, I added a little embroidered note on the back:

photo (96)

This was before I clipped all the little strings.  I even remembered to pull the front of the quilt away so that the writing didn’t come through (backwards) on the front of the quilt.

 

 

Next came the quilting.  I knew that all the colored parts would be quilted and the signature blocks left alone.  I also knew that I needed a design that would not call attention to the fact that the back was probably not exactly lined up with the front (though it turned out to be pretty darn close!).  I kept shying away from the idea of a meandering stitch because I’m just not very good at it, but after a day of procrastinating, I decided to just go for it.  I am SO VERY glad I did.  It seems I have finally gotten the hang of it!

On top of that, I debated for a while over what thread color to use and eventually decided to use a turquoise in the bobbin for the back (which I was already using for the (No) Golden Shadows quilt) and something new for the front.  Since I really couldn’t find the “right” color, I went with a variegated spool- shades of purple, blue and fuchsia.  It is a Sulky brand 40wt. viscose and rayon blend and it is gorgeous!  It is silky and shiny and the color changes are perfect for this quilt.  I may be upgrading my quilting thread from here on out!

The quilting did bring out one little oops: a popped seam that couldn’t be fixed with a blind stitch (it had popped because there wasn’t enough of a seam allowance).  So a few little zigzags in the corner.  It isn’t noticeable unless you are looking for it. photo (94)

And then finally, the binding.  I knew that this one would be machine stitched (I am so DONE with hand stitching binding) and I really didn’t want to buy more fabric.  The perfect purple (and just enough of it) presented itself from my stash and the only problem became finding a thread to blend with it since I knew my machine stitching was sure to have a whole bunch of stitches in the binding itself (and it certainly does!).

photo (93) So through the thunderstorm I trekked to Joann’s with purple fabric in hand to match up thread colors.  Coats and Clark number 3660 was the winner and it blends perfectly!  The purple is less blue and more purple-y than the photo shows, for those of you matching up your thread colors at home!

I also tried out my new binding clips.  I used them to do both the front and the back of the binding- they were great!

And the finished beauty:

My husband was kind enough to do quilt holding duties.  He is about 5’8, so I’m guessing the quilt is a touch over 5 feet.  And I promise that the greenish-blue block at the bottom is straight, I’m just a really lousy photographer!  Thanks again to Kaye Prince of Miss Print for the fabulous Euclid quilt tutorial.

Now back to (No) Golden Shadows!

-Allison

 

A Prowler (and a Backing Fail)

Sewing has again been interrupted by a new house guest.  This time, it is Prowler, a 6-week old foster kitten with an upper respiratory infection.  He gets medicine twice a day and frequent steam showers.  My daughter walks around with him in a makeshift baby carrier and barely lets him out of her sight.  (Which is a good thing because the first time she did, he ran straight into the dishwasher housing and we had to take it apart to get him back out!) Luckily, kittens are much more independent than puppies and so, as long as she is around to watch him (or he is confined to her bedroom and bathroom), I can still get some stuff done.  The problem is that she is going to have a tough time giving this little guy up when it is time for him to be adopted.  We really don’t want to bring him back to the shelter where he will have to go in a cage.  We would much rather see him adopted outright, so if anyone is looking for a little black fuzzball to love, please send us a message!

 

As for the sewing, I did finally decide on a “pattern” for the back of the memory quilt.  I sewed three of the four extra fabrics from the front together, then slashed them to add strips of the fourth.  Less than perfect, but cute and good enough for the back.  It’s not boring and doesn’t rely on right angles which would invariably be different right angles than what is on the front of the quilt.

What I do need to remember is that the vertical and/or horizontal strips should always go first before the diagonals because otherwise things don’t line up properly.  I know I’ve made that mistake before and I’m sure I’ll make it again!

And then, I got mad at my other daughter and took it out on the quilt.  I took what was left of the fourth piece of fabric and just sewed it straight onto the side of the blue and orange one.  So there!  Okay, so I’m not really sure what that might have proven or why my daughter would possibly care or what my point even was.  I’m sure the therapist will have fun with that one.  It did have the effect of finishing the backing.  Well, at least I thought it did.

I taped the backing to the floor, took out the good batting (Warm & Natural Cotton) and taped that to the floor on top, and then tried to lay out the quilt top.  No matter which way I turned it, it was still too big.  Which tells me that either (or both) the quilt top or the backing are far from square (or rectangular) because based on the measurements I took, the backing is five inches larger than the top!  So, now I am stuck sewing scraps around the backing edges to gain just a few more inches.  UGH!

 

 

Josh’s Memory Quilt

The past two weeks has been filled with a lot of fun sewing.  Bright, colorful fabrics and big blocks so my lack of precise measuring doesn’t really matter.  This quilt is for my son’s best friend, Josh.  They have been in class together since kindergarten (four years) and now Josh is moving away.  So, we decided to make him a memory quilt. First I chose a pattern.  This was quite easy as I had seen Miss Print’s Euclid quilt a while ago and had decided it would be perfect for a memory quilt.  Luckily, she had a tutorial to go with the beautiful quilt.  Over the past month, I have handed out fabric (Kona silver) to all the kids in the grade as well as the teachers and some of the administration (it’s a small school!).

image (61)Each person used sharpies or fabric markers to design a goodbye patch for him.  My son chose a quote from Winnie-the-Pooh:

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

photo (89)

There were lots of other sweet quotes and pictures.  I loved the Kona silver as the base color.  White was too stark and the silver still matched whatever I would choose for a background and/or sashing.  Next I chose fabric to border the silver fabric.   Four different color-ways of the same tie-dye-ish pattern.  I wasn’t sure if it would be completely overwhelming, but though busy, it all blends together really nicely.  Little by little the kids have been returning the fabric to me and this past week I sat down and started sewing it all up.  Today the quilt top was finished.  At about 60 x 65, it turned out larger than I expected (especially since I hadn’t tried to calculate)!

Next I will be trying to figure out what to do with the back.  I have a lot of fabric left over, so I want to use it for the back, but I don’t love the look of four big blocks of fabric sewn together.  And I have to be careful about any pattern or blocks that would have to line up with the front.  I never seem to baste the quilt at right angles and when it is all sewn together, it becomes clear that something is a little off.  So, off to search the internet for ideas…

-Allison

Finished Fair Isle

image (54)Well, the mini Fair Isle is finally bound, and yes, I did finish it up by hand.  A one hour wait at the doctor’s office on Tuesday and then two hours for an oil change today allowed me to finish.  (It seems I get the most sewing done at the car dealer- something to think about).  Very far from perfect, but I think it was a decent salvage of a quilt that went horribly wrong. The quilt was backed with a mint green plus sign pattern, bound with scraps from the front and quilted with parallel straight lines at every 1/3 inch.

Some pics:

Now I have moved on to quilting the (No) Golden Shadows quilt.  It will be overlapping ovals in straight lines.  Turquoise and then a dark reddish brown.  Each row is taking about two hours and I figure there will be about 35 rows in all.  Luckily, I am finding this monotony very relaxing!  Here is a picture of the turquoise.  The red will overlap in the middle of the two rows.

photo (86)And finally, I have started sewing a memory quilt for my son’s best friend.  So far it looks amazing!  This one will get a blog post all it’s own!

-Allison

Quilts of Days Past

Since we moved to Florida, I’ve really been working on my sewing.  Now that there is a fabric shop near my house, I find I stop in there at least twice a week (okay, five times a week).  And so, I’ve been sewing more.  Practice may not yet have yielded perfection, but I am improving!

Over the past year, I’ve completed a full sized patchwork quilt (made with another Moda layer cake from my prize package!) which I gave to my aunt and uncle (should have taken pictures first).  That one was the family joke, as I had been working on it on and off for almost four years!

Next up was one I had promised my daughter before we moved.  All her cheerleading friends and coaches made blocks for her with fabric sharpies on squares I had precut, and I finally put them all together. quiltcheermemories2

This was the first time I tried sashing and the first time I tried to stitch-in-the-ditch, instead of hand quilting shapes.   The backing is a beautiful turquoise with gold sparkles (which come off on everything!).

 

My two most recent completed quilts are lap sized- one for my step-niece, one for my step-nephew.  For my niece, we went very girlie since she was only three months old.  I had wanted to try chevrons and had just learned how to do half-square triangles.  quiltrory4quiltrory3quiltrory

 

My nephew always seems to be on vacation in Hawaii, the lucky duck, so for his first birthday, I went with ocean themed batiks in a simple brick layout.  On the back, I used flannel and went with a very cool strip and flip pattern.  Wish I had gotten it straighter when I basted it, but I still love it!

quiltseabricks2quiltseabricksquiltstripandflip2

Allison