Friday, May 11, 2012

I Defeated the Rat's Nest...

Or I at least finished the quilt! This morning I decided I was tired of this unfinished quilt taunting me... I had been avoiding it because I didn't know what to do about this.  Today I reminded myself that the purpose of this quilt was to learn how to do some new things... and to finish it... so I re-pinned the crap out of what was left to quilt and finished quilting the darn thing.

While I was at it... I decided to try machine binding the whole quilt... and it went okay.  I am thinking I probably wont be hand-stitching any binding again for awhile. 

This quilt is certainly not perfect... but I am glad I finished it and I learned a ton along the way. 


I tried to get a few pictures while I still had some decent light... it is currently in the wash (and I am praying the thing stays together). At least I have evidence that I actually finished!

And while I was sewing... Lucy was smelling the fresh air and taking in some sun :) Linking up to Whoop it up Friday! and Show off Friday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I started this quilt four years ago.  It was my first project, and like most things I start I decided to make it really complicated.  It was originally 3.5" squares... and then after they were all cut...triangles seemed like a good idea.  Regardless of the squares or triangles I always wanted to do the same pattern.

Somehow... the triangles (and all my weird measurements and ideas on graph paper) all made it through a pregnancy (hence the grand idea of cutting like 800 triangles), being taken out and put away 20 times over the last four years, and a move.  Honestly, these triangles are what made me get my sewing machine out again after being out of sight for a good two years.

I don't remember how exactly I acquired all the different colors (and some of the prints are really quite ugly) and I know I had it in my mind to almost double this size (because I have A LOT of traingles left).  But, as I started to reassemble this thing I wanted to stay true to my original intentions but also make it feasible.

As I write this post, the two completed rows and the rest of the blocks are sitting in a drawer... I am hoping by writing about this crazy quilt I will be inspired to find a way to finish.

I've learned a ton since I started this quilt and I would never make a quilt like this now.  I've even learned a ton since I actually started putting these triangles together a few months ago... I stopped piecing the blocks together several projects ago because I was a bit disheartened by how much the size was shrinking.  As I look at the pictures now... I am almost tempted to rip the seams out of the two rows I have and maybe do a small sashing between each block.  Sashing wasn't part of the original plan... but then again I didn't know what sashing was... and I thought I should make a king size quilt out of tiny triangles. 

I want to finish this thing as a gift to myself back then... I don't want to stray too far from my vision then (even though I think it is ridiculous now)... but I also think it might be okay to show myself from then some of the changes I've made and the things I've learned.

 A little late but I am linking up to Show Off Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Some Progress

Over the course of the weekend, I managed to finish all the blocks for Eli's quilt.  I remembered immediately after starting how much I hated that particular cream fabric.  I think the color is nice... but it is such a pain to work with... but I was lazy and decided to use it for his quilt because I had a bunch already cut at 4" wide.

As I fought with the slippery fabric, I realized I was really in for it if I decided to use the grey fabric I was originally intending on using.  The fabric is a sheet... and it's slippery.  So... gosh darn it... I headed to the fabric store with my partner in crime.

As you can see, Eli is quite proud of this quilt so far.  After he requested his picture to be taken with the blocks, I decided he should have a little more input on the sashing and backing.  Knowing he certainly wouldn't pick grey... I asked him what his favorite color is... "just stripes".  Unfortunately, we didn't find any good stripes... and I did veto a few of his fabric choices... but for the solid sashing on the front he chose a nice yellow and for the back he picked an interesting polka dot combo.

I think for the binding I will use the leftover scraps from his t-shirts and make a scrappy binding.  I think this quilt will really capture who Eli is... the straight conservative blocks (give him a choice of noodles and no matter how fun the choices... he chooses spaghetti noodles) with a burst of sunshine  and silliness.

I hope to at least get the sashing cut tonight -- maybe even finish the top... and someday soon I am going to tackle this beast and it's issues again.

Oh and the 36 triangle blocks sitting on my table.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday! 
and WIP! :)


Friday, April 27, 2012

A Six Dollar Iron...

Last night, I started working on my son Eli's t-shirt quilt.  I decided on cutting the t-shirt squares @ 6.5"x6.5" and cutting a chunky cream border at 4" wide.  I started making really good progress and getting into a groove... and I even started to think -- "I might finish all the blocks tonight!" And then... my awesome 6$ iron started to spew water out of the front plate.  Needless to say, my iron is no longer in working order.

So here is the finished unpressed block (you can kind of get the idea):

I decided to lay out the pieces I finished to try to get an idea of what the top might look like... but without the top and bottom borders on each block it is difficult to imagine: 

I am thinking about using a smaller sashing around each block... maybe this grey:

But... until I get a new iron (immediately after work today) my project will stay at a stand still:


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moving On

I was hoping to finish my FMQ quilt this week -- AKA "The Rat's Nest" but I decided to take a break from removing stitches and start some other projects.  I finished piecing together the 36 squares I cut for my "Chevron Quilt" and started cutting pieces for a quilt for my son.

Chevron Quilt...

I had imagined this would be a quick and easy project, and while it hasn't been too difficult, it has taken longer than I expected (I've been following the tutorial here).  Once I laid the pieces out I realized why it seemed to be taking so long -- it is much larger than I had envisioned! (Excuse the bad pictures -- they were taken with my phone at night-- for a better idea of the fabric click here)

I am hoping to have the top pieced together by the end of the weekend... but that might be a lofty goal. 

And the beginnings of a quilt for my son...

This weekend my son got his first big boy bed and kept asking if we could sew a blanket for his new bed.  So... as we were prepping his room for the arrival of his new bed, I was going through some of his old favorite shirts... and an idea that will save me some money on new fabric occured to me:

And although he wasn't too happy about me cutting his favorite shirts up (he didn't seem to understand that he has out grown them)... he was excited about the start of his new blanket.  So far, all I have done is a bit of cutting:  

I am thinking I will do a solid border of sorts around each piece... hopefully by Friday I will have a couple blocks done (or atleast a plan of attack) and I might use some of his old toddler bed sheets for the back.  I am hoping to avoid buying any new fabric... for now... :) 

Linking up to WIP! :)


Saturday, April 21, 2012


So for the first two-thirds of this attempt at FMQing everything was going fairly smooth... Not perfect by any stretch of the means... but smooth.  The majority of the back of the quilt looks similar to this (excuse the bad picture):

And then... this "Rat's Nest" happened (and this is even after I removed some of the stitching):

So what do I do now? This is on the last third of the quilt. My first thought was to throw it across the room and light it on fire.  After that I thought I could just cut a third of the blanket off... after that I thought maybe I should just remove more of the quilting and try again.  Maybe if I remove the quilting from the "Rat's Nest" all the way over to the right it might relieve it and maybe re pin it... any suggestions?

Is this primarily the result of a bad basting job?? Is this why people use spray basting? I pinned about every 5 inches... but I also don't really know how to start in the middle of the quilt without making a mess of the thread... so I have been working from the sides and I think it caused a bit of an issue -- obviously. 

Anyway...for now I am going to leave it alone and move on to sewing some squares together for my "Someday Chevron Quilt"


Friday, April 20, 2012

A Quick Friday Finish!

I made the following Ipad cover using some leftover scraps from Grandpa's Blanket and from my collection.  Here is the finished product:

I think the thing I like the most about it is the quilting on the back.  I used intersecting lines across the whole back -- and it took forever.  I didn't get a very good picture... but you can kind of get the idea:

I made this on the fly without following any pattern or tutorial... and I ended up with two issues:  I messed up the binding - it has the "ugly side" out on the closing flap and I reinforced the stitching on the opening and now it's a bit snug and hard to slide the Ipad in easily.  But... it works for me :)

I am hoping to get some more work done on my First FMQ Quilt and start sewing my Someday Chevron Quilt but for now I am linking this finish up to Finish it up Friday!