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!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Grandpa's Blanket

I love blankets – all different kinds whether they are handmade quilts or store bought fleece or old downy comforters. A good blanket is always dependable and comforting – like a good hug from a friend or family member.  I find the process of making a quilt to be the same – dependable and comforting.  Describing the quilting process this way may seem odd to some but I enjoy taking something apart, cutting it into tiny pieces, and painstakingly putting it back together again into something new and different (and maybe even a little meaningful). 

One of my favorite steps is taking something like this:

And making a nice neat pile like this:

And eventually, all those neatly cut pieces are pieced together into a finished product.  I'm calling my first finish (and first link to Freshly Pieced WIP) “Grandpa’s Blanket” as that is what my son has named the quilt. "Grandpa's Blanket" helped me reach a couple of quilting firsts -- this is the first quilt I attempted to do any quilting “outside the ditch” as well as attempt a real binding.   

More importantly, I made the quilt as a way for me and my son to remember my dad who recently passed away after an 8-year battle with cancer.   My dad helped to create the foundation I have built my life on by teaching me to accomplish my goals piece by piece.  When I was young, he always told me when things were overwhelming to make a list of what needed to be done, and knock each step down one by one. In addition to the strength he showed me, he taught me there is no better way than a hug to show someone they are safe and loved. 

The front of "Grandpa's Blanket" was made from 20 different shirts of my dad's – and now that I am thinking of it this way – it’s almost like twenty different hugs all sewn together as one.

The back of the blanket is an old airplane blanket from a trip I took to China when I was 15 (almost 15 years ago).  Even before being diagnosed with cancer, my dad and I deemed this his “fighting blanket” and it became our go to blanket to cure all ills (from being cold to fighting cancer).   

I think my dad would like the idea of the front of the quilt serving as a reminder of the comfort and support I could always find in him... while the back will serve as a reminder of the courage and strength he showed and taught me. 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Someday Quilt

Like many quilters, I have developed a bit of what I like to call a fabric "collection".  It is small compared to some I have seen online -- but it is rapidly growing.  With this "collection" comes a lot of dreaming about quilts I would like to make someday and the big decision of what to do with the different fabrics.  I spend a lot of time looking through blogs and at Flickriver. I will just search something like "green quilts" or "strip quilts" and thousands of pictures come up and fill my dreams with someday fancy stitches and someday beautiful quilt patterns. 

Awhile ago I bought the following DS Quilts fabrics with absolutely no plan as to what I would do with them.  It was the first time that I didn't buy a pre-cut bundle which only increased my anxiety of cutting into them more because I couldn't decide what to do with them or how I should cut them.

Recently, I discovered this beautiful chevron quilt... which led me to find this tutorial... which led me to contemplate making some version of the two quilts someday.

Well yesterday became my someday as my three year old son Elias decided to bogart my machine to work on his "beautiful project for nana". Obviously, this left me machineless.  And so, since I couldn't continue work on my first FMQ quilt... I finally threw caution to the wind and cut 18 14"x14" squares of each of the following prints:  


In thanks to Elias's "Beautiful Project for Nana" (shown with all its beauty below), I have finally made a decision and have begun the ground work for at least one of my someday quilts.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Post of Firsts

This is my first blog post and my first blog for that matter.  Recently, I have become a devout quilting blog follower and have found heaps of inspiration to attempt to create new things and complete personal challenges.  I am one of the lucky few to be registered for the and have been wanting to make more connections in the online quilting community.

Rather than attempt to compose a creative self-intro for my first blog post... I figured it would be best to just dive into what it is that drove me into creating a blog. My most recent project is compiled of 9 fat quarters - 3 random prints (kind of ugly) - I found in a bin at Joann's.  I wanted to make a simple top to attempt to FMQ my first quilt.  So without further ado... here is where I am with it thus far:

The top:


It is by no means perfect; but, I have found the whole process more forgiving than I had anticipated.  I found (and find) lots of inspiration at many, many, many blogs... however I usually start my quilting prowl at the following sites:

Crazy Mom Quilts
Sew Festive Handmade
In Color Order