Monday, April 14, 2014

Finish Along 2014 Quarter 2 - To Finish List

Hello friends! After my three finishes in February, I haven't done very much sewing. For the whole month of March, it seemed like nothing I sewed was turned out correctly. So I took a little bit of break and I spent as much time outdoors as possible. It has been such great weather for biking! Now I feel rejuvenated and ready to get back into the sewing room! Here is a list of projects I hope to get done this quarter:

Carryovers from Last Quarter:
1) Zig Zag Love - This quilt has come a long way since last quarter! It went from a million pieces to a fully basted quilt. There is another picture of this quilt on InstagramStatus: In the process of quilting.
2) Charley Harper/Botanics Baby Quilt - I didn't make much progress on this quilt, but I did buy the backing material and come up with a quilting plan. Status: Quilt Top, need to piece backing and quilt it.

New Additions:
3) Crimson Cross Quilt - This quilt was the first quilt I started and the last time I wrote about it was on January 25, 2012 (my very first WIP Wednesday!). It is in the exact same stage as it was that day! I didn't realize at the time that 80"x90" was not an ideal size for a first quilt. :D  I am not in love with it, but I do want to check it off my list! Status: Quilt Top, needs to be quilted. I will most likely be sending this one out for quilting.
4) St. Louis 16 Patch Status: Quilt Top, needs to be quilted. I will be tying this quilt.

There are only four projects on the list, because I am really itching to start a new project too! I'm thinking either Blossom Heart Quilts Bright Sky pattern or Kathreen Ricketson's Step Lively pattern from Little Bits Quilting Bee...or both!

Linking up with the 2014 Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Two Backyard Baby Quilts

I finished two very simple baby quilts last weekend. Both quilts are made mainly with the Backyard Baby fabric line, with a few blenders and solids mixed in. The names on the backings are made with from blank pages... My First Alphabet pattern.

equilateral triangle quilt personalized quilt back

(click images for larger view)

Equilateral Triangle Quilt

This quilt is a gift for an old college/work friend. I meant to have it ready for her baby shower, but I missed that deadline completely! The baby just had his first birthday. :D I looked through her pictures on Facebook and saw a lot of orange, aqua, green and cute critter prints. When I found the Backyard Baby fabric collection at a local quilt shop, I knew it would be the perfect material for this project.

Each of the seven rows consist of nine triangles and two half triangles. I used the Hex N More ruler to cut the triangles out of 8" strips of fabric. There is not an "official" line for larger triangles on the ruler, so I used the solid line above the Half Hex text as the bottom marker for cutting the triangles. If the points aren't clipped, each triangle side is 9.5". The quilt top measured at 43"x 53."

Using white thread, I quilted straight lines 3/8" away from both sides of the all the seams. The binding is Lush Running Stitch in Orange. The binding is hand-stitched to the back with Aurifil 28wt Golden Honey.

plus quilt personalized quilt back

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Plus Quilt
My husband requested this quilt for a coworker. It only took me 6 months to get around to finishing this one! I used the fabric that was left over from the triangle quilt.

This quilt design is really easy and I can understand why it is such a popular quilt pattern! It will definitely go on my "I Need a Baby Quilt ASAP" list. I used 3.5" strips of fabric, because that was the most efficient use of my remainder fabric. There are three block sizes(unfinished) in this quilt: 3.5"x3.5",  9.5"x3.5 and 6.5"x3.5". The quilt top measured 36.5"x 51.5."

The quilting is a diagonal grid with white thread. The binding is Green Fun on the Vine from the Backyard Baby collection. The binding is hand-stitched with Aurifil 28wt Medium Spring Green.
  quilt labelsUp until now, I have not been labeling my quilts! These adorable labels are from Miss Label. I purchased the 5/8" Satin Sew-In Loop Garment Care Tags, with logo on the front and washing instructions on the back. The process was really quick and simple. On November 11th, I uploaded the logo and typed out the information for the front and back. Miss Label sent me a proof on November 12th and they shipped it out on November 13th.

The one downside to these types of labels is they can be removed easily, but I prefer them on less personal quilts. (The website on the label is under construction at the moment, but it is going to be a barebones pictures and contact page: just an extended version of the label.)
  binding Both quilts have Warm & Natural Needled Cotton batting, which is 87.5% Cotton/12.5% Poly. After quilting and washing, each quilt lost approximately 2" off the quilt top measurements.

With these two finished, I am done with all the urgent baby quilts on my list! (until the next announcement!)

This quilt is part of my Finish Along 2014 Quarter 1 List. I am linking up with Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio, Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday which is being hosted at [Amy's] Crafty Shenanigans this week.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Quilty Fun and FMQ

I finished two baby quilts this past weekend. I'll be sharing those with you later this week. Three finishes in one month...I don't think that has ever happened to me before! It was the perfect storm of the husband being out of the country for a few weeks, followed by him being really busy with schoolwork (and me leaving the house a mess/not cooking). ;)

Besides the baby quilts, I have been working on two other projects:

1. Quilty Fun

The Quilty Fun quilt has been such a joy to work on. Lori's enthusiasm for sewing is contagious and it really shines through in her writing. The above picture is the left side of the quilt. My favorite block grouping is the quarter square triangle set in the middle. I would love a whole quilt with that block in those exact same colors. I'd probably make the blocks a tad bigger though!

I felt like the little jumping gnome in the blue house when I saw that it was "Neighborhood Houses" week! The house blocks are so adorable. You can see everyone else's blocks at the sew along's Flickr group.

2. Free Motion Quilting

I have also been practicing FMQ. I am loosely following along with the Free Motion Quilting a Sampler class on Craftsy.  I won't ugly up your feed with my unphotogenic practice sandwiches, but I uploaded them to Flickr. In a few years, I hope that I will be able look back at those pictures and see how far my quilting has come. It is really addictive. I intended to just quilt one practice sandwich to see how went, but I ended up going until I ran out of solid fabric!

Like I've told a few of you before, my experience with FMQing is much like my experience driving in Mario Kart: I can't stay on the path and I have no idea where I am going! My stitching flows better when I am thinking about anything except quilting. I guess that is where the recommendations to drink wine come in!

The picture above is last thing I quilted. I am starting to get the hang of it and I feel a little more comfortable about trying it on an actual quilt now. My plan is to do a few more practice sandwiches and then I am going to quilt a Jelly Roll Jam quilt. The Jelly Roll Jam quilt is small and print-heavy. It was such a quick make that I won't be too upset about any mistakes!

I am also reading First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli. In addition to FMQ instructions and advice, the book features non-fussy projects to practice your quilting on. The Wiggle Bottom cushion is the first project in the book. It is fun project, because you can practice different designs on each strip. I'm looking forward to doing more projects from the book as my skills improve.

I'll be continuing the Quilty Fun and FMQ projects this coming week. I also hope to make some progress on the Zig Zag Love quilt top.
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