Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Warning: There's pink in this quilt too

Not sure why there's been so much pink in my quilting life lately. At least this one isn't a baby quilt. It's an old UFO. Four applique blocks have been finished for 10 years now. The plan had been to do six, but I decided that after 10 years of no progress, another block was probably not going to happen.

For seven years, I've kept this magazine with the blocks because I liked this pieced sashing.

But it didn't work. The scale was too big and it was too busy for the applique. But the print fabric looked good. Even my husband agreed.

I had only a yard of the border fabric. Also years old so no hope of getting more. Not that I would have. I prefer the results of making do, which pushes you creatively. I extended the sashing into the border to jazz things up a bit. And the border width was determined by the amount of fabric available.

For awhile I considered adding the sashing fabric around the edge either as part of the top or as very wide binding, but it was too much.

Instead I'm going with regular size binding in a not-quite pink shade. My husband suggested the fabric, and it is the perfect choice. You can see it on the right in the picture above. I'm surprised sometimes by how helpful he can be and how willing he is to give his opinion.

Below is a picture of the whole quilt. The colors are more accurate in the picture above. We are into that time of year where it is perpetually gray skies, and it will be awhile before I can get a better shot.

55 x 55 inches. 
Applique from the book 'Prairie Flower' by Barbara Brackman.
Now, I need to find my next project.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yes, another pink baby quilt!

41 x 41 inches.
The baby quilt was for one of the neighbors. I had the top done ages ago, but with all the work travel this year, I hadn't gotten around to quilting it. Then a For Sale sign popped up in their yard, and I had the motivation I needed!

The backing is a soft pink minky. A little slippery to work with and did it shed when cut! I was covered in pink bits for days, but I'd use it again because I think babies will love the feel. I do.

The quilt was based on the pink fabric from my stash. The pattern is one of my own that I've made before, which leaves large areas of the focus fabric visible. The colors for the rail fence and star blocks are taken from the colors in the focus fabric: blue, teal, yellow and red. An odd combination, but a happy one.

For the quilting, I used the zigzag stitch from this quilt, and quilted a grid of horizontal and vertical lines.

All fabric from the stash and scrap basket except for the backing. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A pink finish

44 x 44 inches.

The very pink baby quilt was finished right as the baby arrived. A girl as expected. Hope she likes pink as much as her mother.

The back is a warm and soft flannel. Probably getting lots of use this week with its unseasonable cold. Temps below freezing and wind chills even lower. Brrrrrrrr.

Machine quilting in the ditch with the lines extended into the background.

I can't seem to get the colors quite right in any of my pictures.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A very pink baby quilt

The couple whom I made this quilt for are having a baby girl in a few months. I thought it would be fun to use the same pattern from their wedding quilt for the baby quilt.

The top is done, but it will be awhile before I get it quilted as things have been busy around here and that will continue for some time to come. And, I'm not sure how I will quilt it. Suggestions welcome.

44 x 44 inches.

The back of one section. I pressed the seams open.

I made changes from my original plan as I went along, deciding to float the star in a field of pink.

All fabrics were from the stash and the limited amount of each one determined the design direction. Thankfully I had enough of the background pink, which is a very old Jinny Beyer that has made it into many quilts. I have no idea why I bought that much of that fabric. It must have been on sale!

A few scraps will become a block that might make its way onto the back. Binding is done, but back is waiting for a trip to the quilt shop. I don't have anything in my stash that will work.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Baby quilt process

I made this baby quilt on a deadline.

Baby quilt, 40.5 x 40.5 inches.

Digging through my stash I found a cute fat quarter of animals in race cars and pulled fabrics in orange, yellow, green and blue to go with it.

I decided to cut strips of racing animals and fill around them with rectangles of other fabric. The fat quarter happened to have the selvage on it, and it is "Go Mice Go" by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman Co.

Once everything was arranged on the design wall to my liking, I sewed the pieces together in rows and then the rows together.

I read on a blog somewhere about using the specialty stitches on your machine for quilting, and I tried it with this quilt. It took maybe five minutes of tinkering with the settings of the zigzag stitch to get a look I liked.

 These poor mice and goats are traveling a bumpy road!

Nothing in my stash worked for the backing, but I found the perfect thing at the quilt shop.

I had just enough of the backing fabric to make the binding too. And, I mean just enough. There are two small pieces 2 1/2 inches by about 3 inches left over!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Equal parts sewing and unsewing

I think I may have sewn this top twice. I took it apart early on to change the fabric behind the eyes. And there was more unsewing when I decided that the stripes in the background fabric should all go in the same direction so it looks like the arcs are appliqued on one large piece of fabric. 

I had to spread the top out on the floor and shoot it from the stairs to get the whole thing in the frame. 

These last few weeks have also involved a fair bit of unsewing on the borders. I had a limited amount of the fabric I wanted to use for the border, and the only way I could make it work resulted in bias along the edge where the border strips would be added. I starched the fabric, I was careful, and still the quilt waved enthusiastically at me! I ended up adding the border strips and then redoing the applique along the edge to fix the puffiness. There is still a bit of that, but I'm hopeful it will quilt out.

When adding the border strips, I measured the quilt width at the top, middle and bottom; averaged those totals; cut the strips to that size; marked the top and strips at the quarter points; matched those points; and eased the fabric to fit the border to the top. Then I did the same for the other sides. This really helped square things up.
A view of the top back.
 I still need to make binding and a backing, but I have the fabric for both. I think this is one for the long armer. I'm not sure how to quilt it, and it's so large I'm a bit intimidated to do it myself. Can't find the piece of paper where I calculated the borders, but I think the top ended up at 82 inches square.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sewing at the art museum

View of the blanket project from the upper level of the Tacoma Art Museum. 
Yesterday I visited the Tacoma Art Museum. At the entrance were several people stitching colored strips cut from wool blankets to a background that looked like it was made from old Army blankets. Artist Marie Watt invited everyone coming into the museum to stitch on the project. She is planning to add the metal cones from jingle dresses to the inner part of the piece.

The artist was also collecting blankets for another piece she is working on. While I was there a couple people brought in blankets, and she had them write down the stories of the blankets. Eventually that piece is to be cast in bronze.

After I looked at the exhibits, I sat down with the others in the sewing circle and stitched, listened and talked. It was nice to spend some time sewing with others. Usually it is a solitary experience for me.