Tuesday, December 18, 2012

bali pop quilt finish!

i finished this bali pop quilt last night, it will be a gift for my niece autumn, who is two years old.
i got the balipop at bolts in the bathtub in lancaster, ca, and picked up some starry night backing at joann's.
i used a pink star print for the binding and i signed and dated the quilt on the back bottom corner.
i loved working with batiks, they are the same on both sides, so i had to be extra careful when making the top! but they are so gorgeous.
finished size is 52 x 56, a child size quilt.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

jelly roll quilt FINISH

i made this jelly roll quilt for my friend sherri as a birthday gift.
i ordered a jelly roll from fat quarter shop called birds & berries by lauren and jessi jung for moda fabrics. i thought it fit sherri's personality and the prints reminded me of her. i also mixed in some solids from a bright kona solids jelly roll.
i tricked sherri into picking out the backing fabrics, she had no idea the quilt was for her. i love the florals she chose from joann's.
used straightline quilting on my singer machine and then made the binding from an orange polka dot. i like using dots for bindings. i think all the fabrics somehow work well together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

jelly roll quilt in progress

i started a jelly roll race quilt to give to my friend sherri, her birthday is coming up. besides being my good friend and adopted family member for the last ten years, sherri is my quilting buddy. my pattern has been to order fabric online for quilt tops and then go with sherri to a brick and mortar store to pick out backing. she has an incredible eye and it really helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of during the fabric selection process. i ordered a jelly roll online, all prints, and added in about a dozen solid strips of complimentary colors to beef it up in size.
somehow the stripes run vertically? i'm not sure how this happened.
my cat natasha approves. so the funniest part of all of this to me is that after i finished the top, i dragged sherri to the store with me to pick out the backing. i stood back and let her make all the choices, she was very excited. i LOVE that she picked out the back for her own quilt and she didn't even know it! sherri also helped me smooth and pin the quilt sandwich together. this is always the most challenging part for me, i need some tips!
i did straightline quilting on my machine, and just finished the quilting a couple of days ago. i had ended up cutting the back a little short, so i had to add a couple of solid strips for coverage. not ideal but quilts are patchwork, right?
her birthday is sunday so i just have to do the binding by then! i can't wait to give it to her! i will do a finish post with better photos when it's all done!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

mod half-square triangle quilt FINISH!!

finished quilting and binding today! Half-Square Triangle quilt, inspired by quilt story, this design is also called depression block. finished dimensions: 64.5" x 64.5" (fits the top of my queen bed nicely) fabrics used: aviary2 by joel dewberry, from southern fabric (charm packs). bella snow charm packs from fat quarter shop. backing and binding from my local joann's.
here is my signature block :)
someone has already claimed it for their own...

forward momentum

Today I made insane progress on my quilt.

When I woke up I had 13 blocks not sewn together.

I finished the last three blocks and then sewed all of them together,
completing the quilt top.

Sherri came over and we discussed the size and if i wanted to do a frame. we decided it was a good size since it fits the top of my bed pretty well.

then we went to joanns. She helped me pick out fabrics for
the backing. Unexpectedly, a green paisley was the one that spoke to both
of us. Green?? There's no green in the entire quilt but somehow it worked.
I also picked a muted orange print to pair it with. I chose a dark brown
with white polka dot for the binding, I'm going to attempt to make my own
bias tape with it. We also chose a muted blue thread to quilt with and
picked up some batting.

Once we got home I was excited to move forward. I sewed the backing fabrics
together quickly (one seam) and pressed them. Then sherri helped me put the
quilt sandwich (quilt top, batting, backing) together. This is the hardest
part and where I get the most frustrated but sherri helped a lot. We
smoothed and pinned and smoothed and pinned. And smoothed some more and
pinned some more.

Then she helped me guide the bulkiest parts of the quilt through the
machine. I did HALF of the straightline quilting tonight!!!! Half. Tomorrow
I quilt the rest and then try to bind it.

Feeling awesome about it. Yay!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

half square triangle quilt progress

it's been a long hot summer of no quilting. i just tend to put sewing away in the heat, but it's starting to think about being fall outside and i recently resurrected my project!

i am doing a pattern based on quilt story's HST quilt.

previous progress (feb 2012): 184 half square triangles made. 1 block (of 16 hsts) made.

current progress: day one i put together five blocks.

 day two i churned out four more. i got to the point where i realized i was going to need more fabric. i ordered more and within the week i made 64 additional half square triangles and one more block.

8 blocks shown. i want this quilt to be 16 blocks, which i think will give me 64" x 64" for the pieced top.

i find it very therapeutic to line up my seams, to sew the edges together.

 i love the contrast of the traditional piecing pattern and the modern fabrics, and i love using a lot of white.

i am excited by my progress and hope to pick out a (brown? maybe with small blue calico pattern?) backing really soon!! i want to add a frame around the pieced top and use the same fabric for backing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

work in progress

i decided my next quilt would be based on half square triangles. i'm still working with precuts, but HSTs are the next step in adding a little more complexity.

i fell in love with the collection aviary 2 by joel dewberry in the saffron colorway. orange and brown and blue..yes, please! i ordered charm packs from southernfabric on etsy and they arrived promptly. i also used bella snow as the solid from fatquartershop, again. the fabric sat around for awhile, until i got the germany quilt finished. but as soon as the germany quilt was bound, i was immediately making half square triangles!

i followed this tutorial and was able to churn them out very quickly. i really love how versatile HSTs are and i love all the different patterns that can be made with them. pinwheels! or just arranging them simply in uniform rows makes a very attractive pattern that i love as well. in the end, i decided to go with the large diamonds that are shown in quilt story's HST quilt tutorial!

our colorways are quite similar!

this is the result of working my way through one charm pack, i have 2 or 3 more to go. i would like this quilt to be big enough to go on a queen bed.

i'm really excited to piece this and choose a backing fabric!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the german flag quilt

after finishing my first REAL quilt (for me!) i asked my son what kind of quilt he wanted. he is really into germany and said he wanted a germany-themed quilt. we talked about ideas for that and what it might look like, and we decided to definitely use the german flag colors. i thought a jelly roll race quilt would be fun and easy and lend itself to a very graphic modern pattern.

i ordered jelly rolls in 3 colors and the top WAS very easy and fun to sew! i did it over two evenings, only because of my own time constraints, it went very quickly. i love the idea of the jelly roll race and would like to make more quilts like this as gifts. they go together so easily and are small enough to be machine quilted in my regular machine.

here is the completed top. 
then, something went awry. i washed and dried the top. the yellow strips seemed to shrink at a different rate and became very puckered. i ironed, steamed, pulled and tugged, and got it into the best condition i could. then i made my quilt sandwich and started quilting, from the middle out.

i did straight line, stitch in the ditch quilting on my machine. the machine had no problem handling the thickness, but i had a hard time with the puckering and it got very sloppy. i also didn't get my backing fabric all the way smooth and things were going downhill fast. i got frustrated and stuffed the whole thing in a closet! i just needed to step away from the quilt!

the wip ended up in the closet for several weeks as i curated an art show that took all my spare time. after the show opened and all the craziness died down, i came back around and got the quilt out last weekend. it wasn't as bad as i remembered, and it was very pleasing to sew these nice straight seams. as i got to the ends of the quilt it was smoother and easier to work with. after two nights of working on it, it was done! i bound it with black bias tape.

my son was pleased.

the edges are a little wonky and there's plenty of wrinkles and puckering. i'm still getting the hang of this quilting thing. i think the lesson here is DON'T WASH YOUR TOP. or prewash and preshrink everything, which i elected not to do since they were only 2 inch raw edge strips. surely the edges would have raveled and been harder to work with? hmmm.

it is a cozy quilt in a good size, and i like the straight line quilting. i love the modern, graphic, bold colorway and pattern. i would definitely like to make more jelly roll quilts!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

piecing my life back together

in september 2011, i was in a time of great emotional turmoil. i was inspired by quilts i had seen on the internet and was itching to distract myself with a new project. i did a lot of research and decided to try to quilt "for real": actually looking up methods and tips and tutorials instead of just barreling ahead like i had always done before.

i found this tutorial on the disappearing 9 square. i was excited because it seemed easy to do but with a complicated patchwork-look result. i thought using charm packs would help me concentrate on piecing since i wouldn't have to worry about cuts.

i chose my fabric carefully, i wanted something that would represent me. i decided to go with nautical fabrics, since i love all the imagery. i found this great "by the sea" charm pack at clotide. i also got "american banner rose" and bella snow and bella red solids charm packs from fatquartershop.

working on this quilt gave me much comfort. i found great satisfaction and emotional parallels in piecing squares together, cutting them apart, and rearranging them to suit me. i was literally piecing my life back together, rearranging my thoughts, and putting aside the ones that didn't work with my vision. everyone asked me who the quilt was for. "it's for me," i replied every time.

i found the border/backing and the binding at joann's. i quilted it by hand and finished in in november 2011.

the quilt ended up being a lot smaller than i expected, it is a lap quilt size. i was a little disappointed in the size at first, but it looks just fine laying across the back of my couch and it definitely works for cozying up while watching tv.

i am pretty proud of this quilt, even though it has a few blemishes. i consider it my first "real" quilt.  i named it "anchors aweigh".  and here is my signature block :)

my quilt history

i have long been a fan of quilts and quilting. i always loved seeing the family quilts that my aunts and other relatives made, and i had a sunbonnet sue quilt when i was a little girl. when my son was born 13 years ago, i attempted a couple of quilts:
 my first project was way too ambitious. i tried to copy a complicated family quilt. i had no idea how to cut or piece! it ended up as a small playmat for my infant boy with only 6 blocks.

when my son was a toddler, i made a childsize tshirt quilt from his daddy's tshirts. again, it did not turn out very well because i didn't know what i was doing!

in 2009 i made a dodger quilt to take to baseball games, but it was not pieced at all. it was one solid panel on the front and i handquilted over the design. here it is before it was bound.

that one turned out ok, it is very warm and cozy due being fleece with batting inside as well.

these were my meager beginnings and my humble attempts.