Finished! The Up From Here baby quilt is complete. Some things I might do differently next time, but overall, quite happy with how this one came out. Definitely worthy of being given as a baby gift. And, other than finishing up the one that was already started, I don’t think I’ll ever be hand stitching binding again. Thank you to the folks at Cluck, Cluck Sew!
Four other projects under foot at the moment:
- The mini Fair Isle quilt needs to have the binding finished.
- The (No) Golden Shadows quilt needs to be basted, quilted and bound.
- The Modern Block of the Month needs to have the blocks pieced together (w or w/o sashing???), and then basted, quilted and bound.
- A memory quilt for my son’s best friend who is moving in June.
And of course, I’ve already got some other things picked out!
I had wanted a finish for Finish Up (From Here) Friday, but not sure if it will happen. Just as quickly as Diego the dog moved out, Remy the dog moved in. We’ve now had at least 5 chihuahua mixes as fosters, and I have to say, I’m ready for a dog that you can’t step on. Bring on the St. Bernards, please! Remy likes to try to walk on my legs while I’m sewing.
As for the baby quilt, I decided not to use any batting since the baby is due in early fall in Florida, and just backed it in a light grey flannel. I stitched outlines into all of the flowered parts of the blocks and then added stippling to the entire black and white section. Somewhere in there the machine ran into some tension problems which didn’t work themselves out till the end. It would look odd, but you can’t really see the quilting since it is white thread on a mostly white background, so I decided to just leave it alone and not risk making things worse.
For the binding, I used the leftover floral scraps, some tiny black on white polka dot scraps from another quilt and an extra fat quarter of the blue floral I had used. I tried to line it up so that the black and white binding was on the floral part of the quilt and the floral binding was on the black and white part of the quilt, and that mostly worked out. I stitched the binding down yesterday and was going to start the hand stitching today. And then I decided not to. I slowed down the speed settings on the machine and began to machine stitch it down. After the first few inches, I realized that I didn’t even need pins to hold it in place (though I did order some Clover Clips that haven’t arrived yet). Why did I ever hand stitch anything? It’s been about twenty minutes and I’m more than halfway done. And it is so much neater than my hand stitching. If it’s not done today, then definitely over the weekend!
This will be the first quilt for this year, hopefully finished in time for my stepmother’s birthday in February. My dad’s living room is very modern- blacks and greys with pops of bright colors, so I designed a quilt to go with it.
I started with a (half) jelly roll of colored, mottled strips, and took out a grey with irregular white spots in lines that I had been hoarding from Joann’s. I was very careful to cut my grey into strips going WITH the lines so I wouldn’t have a random polka dot pattern. After I took out the brown, I was left with 18 strips- two each of orange, red, pink, purple, blue, navy and three shades of green. I sewed a two inch golden yellow square onto the end of each strip of color and then didn’t know what I wanted to do next.
So, for the first time ever, I got out some graph paper and my daughter’s colored pencils and started to draw. So much fun! This is what I came up with:
Amazing to plan a quilt out beforehand- I’ve actually never done that before, but rather have always just let it take shape as I went. For this one, I couldn’t decide what to do with the part that I had left white. I went to the fabric store to see what my options were. I didn’t find anything that wowed me. I was maybe hoping for a great tone on tone white or a very light grey on white. But, not finding anything perfect, I decided to just get some Kona White. And now I don’t think I will ever skimp on my solids again. That Kona just feels magnificent!
So, time to start cutting, sewing and pressing:
Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday
I’m in love with disappearing nine patch! Maybe because the blocks are so big and simple that things come together so quickly. I’m all for instant gratification! The piecing, slashing and re-piecing only took a few days and now the back is all done! My husband got out my big white table and now it’s time to baste this one (as well as two others that have been waiting patiently).
I have been wanting to make a quilt for my aunt and uncle’s den. It’s the comfiest place in the world and they let my kids swing from the rafters (well, not literally, but only because there are no rafters). The colors are beige and a pretty golden brown color.
I had some squares left over from a Moda layer cake that I won several years ago in a design contest. I had never used them because they were faintly Christmas-y, but since my aunt is Catholic, I thought they would be a good fit. Browns, reds, minty green and pale blue florals with white and cream. For blenders, I used a white and beige tiny heart pattern and a brown and white floral.
I had been wanting to try a disappearing nine patch pattern and this seemed like a perfect way to show off these squares. Came together quickly and beautifully! The Moda fabrics are so nice to sew with- they feel gorgeous. You can really tell the difference between that and the chain fabric store fabrics.
For the back, I decided I would also do a disappearing nine patch, but with less variety in the fabrics. At the fabric store, I found that little heart print in two other color ways: a pale grey and taupe and a beige and burgundy. I had a little left over of the brown and white floral, two duplicate squares from the front, and in my stash found an almost solid greenish-gold color. After cutting it all up, I’m short about ten squares. None of my browns seem just right, so back to the fabric store to see if there is any more of that heart print…
I decided I wanted to make the back of my brother’s quilt as pretty as the front. So I started auditioning patterns. When I got it down to three, I gave my brother the choices. He selected Jessica Kelly’s (from SewCraftyJess) Simply Woven pattern. Luckily, she has a wonderful tutorial for it on the Moda Bakeshop! I used black Kona Cotton for the rectangles. For all the strips, I cut up what I had left of my batiks that I used on the front. Then I used the rest of the batiks that I had used from my nephew’s quilt.
Then, I realized I needed to run to the fabric store! I got half a yard of a beautiful tribal looking batik.
Finally, all the strips were cut and it was time to start piecing. It seemed so easy to put together. When I went to square up the first block, I discovered that it was about half an inch too small on every side! The culprit? My 1/4 inch seems were more like 2/5 of an inch. Good to know and glad I had only done one block! The next few blocks were no problem once I got my seams right (or at least a lot closer!). And then I learned that YES, you really do have to follow the directions in the order they were written. Here are two more “mistake blocks” to prove it (with the original “too small” one).
I had calculated that I need 30 blocks to be big enough to back the quilt. So now I’m at the halfway point- 15 blocks!!!! I haven’t squared them up yet, but I checked to be sure there is extra room on every side!
Hoping for some more free time in the coming week to finish up these blocks!
Knowing that my quilting needed some help, I took a class at Joann’s Fabrics. In those three hours, I learned so much (really should do it again!). The teacher taught us the churn dash block. I came home with one beautiful block and the fabric already cut to make another. I sewed that together and then cut a few more. The cutting and sewing (and buying more fabric) continued for a few months until I had an almost queen-sized quilt!
The sashing is a beautiful navy with gold fleck and sparkles and the backing is a tiny indigo floral on a light blue background. To join the two pieces for the backing, I made a strip of extra fabrics from the front.
I tried to create my quilt sandwich and discovered that I was stuck. The quilt was too big, I was too small and I didn’t know what I was doing. After three days, several trips to home depot , help from my very reluctant husband, and watching countless tutorials online, the quilt was basted (to the relief of my family who really wanted the living room and dining room back)! Too big to fit under my machine, I hand stitched swirls into the middle of each block and wonky diamonds at each corner where the sashing meets. And today I finished stitching down the binding!
About half-way through the process, I knew that this quilt would be for my grandpa. He is 94, lives at an amazing senior development outside of Philadelphia and is getting kind of lonely. Both my grandmother and aunt passed away last year from cancer and Grandpa is kind of on his own. He keeps busy hosting television shows on his development’s tv station, writing his autobiography (he’s a WWII vet and former school principal) and reading trashy novels. When it came time to sew the binding, I decided to finish up the quilt with thread from my grandmother’s sewing box. I found beige polyester from Woolworths, probably purchased before I was born. It just seemed right. Rather than wait till I see him (I don’t think I’ll be back north till September), this one is getting mailed out tomorrow. And soon thereafter, I will again get to hear, “I love it because you made it, dear.”
Miss you Grandpa!!