Quilting Project Archive
This page contains the entries from the Quilting category. For categories with more than 50 entries, please use the search form to locate older entries.
For those of you who can't come to the Common Threads Quilt Show, I thought I would share a few photos of my booth. I wound up with half the size I originally intended - there were over 900 quilt entries so some guest exhibitors had to share. There's a bit of everything in there: home dec., clothing, costumes, bags, plush. If you're a frequent reader of this site, you'll recognize some of the projects!
If this is your first time visiting, Welcome! Have fun looking around: you'll find my Etsy shop is full of goodies (although most Superhero Aprons will be up sometime in the next two weeks), projects are (generally) on the sidebar, tutorials can be downloaded (you can also find more at The Sewing Republic), and there are lots of links to explore!
Easy Friendship Ring Quilt
I wish I could take credit for this fabulous quilt, but I can't. It's made by Wendy Hill author of Easy Bias-Covered Curves: Create Quilts with WOW Appeal. This is a unique project that uses the techniques from her book. Continue reading this entry for all your supply information.
23- Fat (or regular) QTRS (prints - 1930's fabrics or other scheme)
6 1/2 yards- background fabric (or a scrappy mix of neutrals to equal this amount)
3 yards- border fabric (same as background or not)
Quarter-circle template (purchase or make)
1/2" bias maker gadget (with plastic center)
9 yards- backing fabric (cut into 3- 3 yard pieces)
Binding- 1 yd or assorted scraps equal to this amount
Batting- king-size or larger than 88" by 99"
Rotary cutter/mat/grid ruler
Basic sewing supplies
Keep The Selvage
While surfing the other day, I came across SelvageQuilts.com and was completely fascinated by the quilts and designs made by the selvage edge of fabrics. There's even a mini tutorial on how to produce similar results on your own. If you're not interested in making a quilt, but a few quick projects instead - here's some instructions for a slevage bag and scarf. Now it's time to start saving those selvage edges and start getting creative!
Yippie Ki-Ay, It's Done!
What's quilted, bound, washed, and ready for use? The Yippie Ki-Ay Cowboy Quilt!
I finished the rest of the quilting on this project by doing a simple square shape inside the larger pieces. I opted not to do any more stippling so no one could closely look at my work (I figured the pieced designs hid my flaws), but also to give it more puff in places since I was afraid that it would be too stiff with all those meandering lines. Now that it's washed, I'm wishing I would have done the whole thing with the stipple effect - it really does have a nice feel in those heavily stitched areas!
I also sat down and worked on the binding to this one as well. I made the binding a bit 'chunkier' than what I have ever done before, I thought it gave it a nice, 'bubble' effect around the edges. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with how the edges turned out - for once, my miters turned out perfect!
Now that this big project is done, it's time to tackle cleaning up the mess in the sewing room and make room for the next project(s)! What are you working on this weekend?
It's been awhile since I've given an update on me, so I thought that I would start off this post with the 37 week belly shot:
As you can tell from the title of this post, I'm "feeling" the effects of the last month of pregnancy! Thankfully, there's only 3 more weeks to go because I'm not sure my stomach can grow any more!
I've also been plugging away at the Cowboy Quilt and am happy to report I've finished all the actual quilting!
Normally, I would say that I enjoy piecing the top together and dreaded doing all the quilting itself, but this time was different. I think that there were two factors involved:
1) Size matters. For once, I'm making a small quilt (45" square), manipulating the fabric around and through the machine was so much easier than working with the bulk of a lap size or larger.
2) I had fun using a new tool.... the Stitch Regulator! This is one my favorite features of the machine I'm using. I do have to say that although it's fun to use, practice makes perfect! I did spend some time practicing on a mini quilt sandwich before I moved onto the Cowboy quilt. I found that it is much easier to manipulate the mini size than a full blow quilt, but after quilting the entire project, it got a lot easier and I felt more comfortable with the entire process. One thing that would have helped quilting gloves - I now understand why quilters use them!
Here's a close up of my handiwork:
Back To The Routine
Spring break is over, which means it's time to get back into a weekly routine. Before I plunge into housework, I'm going to spend some time in the sewing room and (attempt to) finish quilting the cowboy quilt. Since the material I chose for the back wasn't large enough, I had to piece together a little something. I chose to make a border around the main fabric:
I'm hoping that I've centered it up enough with the top that the border doesn't become lopsided! I'm also using the border fabric for the binding on the quilt as well - hopefully, I'll be read to add that soon!
Just A Few Photos
I've been busy sewing away at the cowboy quilt - I've managed to piece together all the blocks and now have a quilt top!
In the mean time, my package from my Oh Baby swap arrived yesterday. Here's all the goodies my partner made for me:
2 knitted bibs (they are in great dark colors to hide stains), 2 adorable hand embroidered onesies (I love the "My mom's so CRAFTY she made me" saying), a baby door hanger, and my VERY favorite the baby viking hat. I've had this on my Wists for quite some time and am so happy to finally have one. Thankfully she made it big enough that it should fit next winter!
Now onto sewing up the backing and doing the dreaded basting of the quilt.....
Do you hear that? It's the sound of relief.... why? I finally finished everything that had deadlines! Whew! Since a lot of my energy was being devoted to these projects (you'll be hearing about these in the future), I feel like I can work on some things that are a bit more complicated, time consuming, and just for me!
The first thing I did was sit down and calculate how I was going to make the Cowboy Quilt. To achieve a baby blanket size (45" square) I've decided on using only a portion of the quilt pattern - I reduced the number of blocks that I would make and eliminated the two outside borders. From there, I decided how much material to cut, sat down, pulled out the rotary cutter and went to work.
Now I can work on piecing everything together.
I couldn't resist - with (almost) a month of no new fabric purchases, I broke down - a local quilt shop was having their First Friday Frenzy fat quarter sale and I had to stop by. I've been itching to make a quilt for some time now so I decided that I would make something simple and small like a baby quilt. I literally spent an hour in the shop deciding (and changing my mind) on what fabrics and fat quarters to purchase. I finally found inspiration and went with a cowboy theme - I am really hoping that the ultrasound technician was right and this baby is a boy!
I also changed my mind on what pattern I was going to use last minute as well. While standing in checkout line, I decided to pick up the Fortune Cookie Quilt pattern designed by local quilt artists (and more) - Two Chicks Designs. I picked this one since it seems to show off the fabric designs better than my original idea the only problem - the size ranges for this one is lap and queen, so I'll have to modify it a bit (bring on the math!).
So, without further ado, here's my haul:
While I was there, I also picked up a few 'extras'. You never know when you'll need a fat quarter (or two) for some fun purpose! I have a few projects to finish up, but I'll be starting the quilt soon. I'm thinking it will sew up fast - it sort of reminds me of the types of quilts you see in books like Laps From Fats: 11 Lap-Size Quilts to Make Using Fat Quarters. In the mean time, I've posted this project on the sidebar!
Inspriation And Shopping
I just love the holidays. Stores seem to have such a cheerful atmosphere (unless you go shopping on Black Friday and then it's more of a 'fend for yourself' type attitude) and I'm so inspired to create fabulous gifts! Speaking of inspiration, I recently received a copy of Quilting Art's special publication,Gifts (you can check out the table of contents here). Included in this debut issue are 17 quilted and mixed media projects - many that can be made in under a day. I'm sure that I'll be sewing up a few wine bags (for those holiday parties), wrapped boxes, and napkin rings before Christmas arrives!
While we're on the subject of holiday gifts.....
I made another for my swap partner! A Blythe inspired shirt!
She recently purchased a doll for herself (I'm so jealous, I've been wanting one for years - I have such a thing for big headed, big eyed dolls) so I thought I would make her a shirt that she can proudly wear and say that she's a doll owner! Once again, I used June Tailor's Print and Press transfers and have to say I'm still really impressed with the quality of the final image. I'll have to ask how it washes up.
I've also been doing a bit of fun shopping. On a trip to Wal-mart, I stopped by the fabric department and found two gems: Some gray sweatshirt fleece (which I couldn't find anywhere else in the city) for $2\yd and a silver, metallic rib knit for $1! I also broke down and purchased Wee Wonderful's Gnomes - these two were too fantastic to pass up. Besides, gnomes have really grown on me lately ever since Travelocity started running those traveling gnome commercials. Last, but not least, I broke down and purchased Aranzi Aronzo Cute Dolls, Aranzi Aronzo Fun Dolls, and for Taylor, How To Be The Best At Everything (The Girls' Book) (they even have a section on how to design your own clothes). Whew! Now with all that shopping done, I'm headed back to the sewing room to do some sewing!
Thankfully, I've had a good chunk of time to spend with my sewing machine over the past few days. So much so, I've actually finished my swap partner's stocking! I took the quilted pieces that I talked about yesterday (they are dog themed fabrics) and cut the stocking shape from them, added batting, lining, and a cuff and, volia! A stocking. Of course, it sounds much easier than what it wound up being, the batting didn't cooperate, the cuff puckered in spots (which required lots of ripping out stitches to finally get it even), and of course lots of pins to get all those quilted pieces lined up! However, I'm really pleased with how it turned out in the end - let's just hope most things I make fit inside.
When I got the latest Joann's flier, I was really inspired by Debbie Mumm's quilted stocking on the cover. So much so, that when I decided on what kind of stocking to make for my partner (on in this case, her dog, Sara), I opted for a quilted one. Little did I know of the work that laid ahead of me!
First came the process of cutting lots of 2 1/2 inch squares - well over a 100 of them! Then, the work of sewing all those little chunks of fabric together. Of course, I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to seam matching as well, so I spent a lot of time pinning to assure everything would be even. After several hours of working, I've managed to come up with two 'sheets' of quilted fabric.
Now comes the actual part of making the stocking itself. I've decided not to use the Debbie Mumm pattern (it's free and can be found here) only because it requires enlargement on a copier - and I truely despise using the copier for patterns. Instead I'm making my own stocking shape and going from there. Whew! After this project, I may get that quilting bug out of my system!
Sometimes I Quilt Too
Lately, I've been feeling the urge to start up a quilt. I've made one for almost everyone else in my family, except for myself. I haven't settled on a design, but a local quilt shop is having a fat quarter sale ($1 each) and I intend on loading up and possibly finding a pattern then. In the mean time, I thought that I would share some of my larger patchworks. So read on for show and tell time!
One of the first quilts that I made after taking my beginning quilt class was this one:
This was a birthday present that I made for my father while he was bedridden with cancer. He used it regularly until he burned a small hole in it (he smoked up until the day he died) and was afraid to have it put back on his bed for fear of burning it up completely. I used Atkinson Design's Lucky Stars pattern for this one - a decievingly easy pattern to make since the stars 'float' on the background. Seeing that I liked this pattern so much, I made it again. This one was for Bret:
After making two quilts, Taylor started wondering where hers was. I found the most adorable quilt kit at Hen Feather Quilts (you can tell I shop there often for supplies) - a pink and purple princess theme with chenille inserts. The back (not shown) was pieced together as well using leftover fabric scraps and a piece of glittery fairy fabric from my stash (I didn't purchase enough backing so I winged it).
The last quilt that I made was a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law:
For this one, I used Good Intentions Caddy Corners pattern (from the Laps From Fats series) and one of my favorite quilt lines - Moda's 3 Sisters Seaside Rose (now retired). I also made my mother-in-law a matching tote to go along with it.
Occasionally, I get books in the mail to read and post a review on my site. The other day, however, I received a package, but instead of an instructional book, it was a DVD - Sally Collins Teaches You Precision Piecing. For those of you who have been reading this site for awhile, you may remember that early last year, I took a quilt class to make this quilt. Since I've never had the opportunity to try an instructional sewing DVD before and I had an actual class to compare to, I was anxious to test this out!
The Precision Piecing DVD is 75 minutes long and covers all the basics. Here's the general rundown of the menu:
Basics of rotary cutting (covers everything from preparation of the fabric, how to cut, and safety)
How to make and cut fabric with a template
Preparing to sew (how to achieve a perfect 1/4" seam allowance, how to align your pieces)
How to chain your pieces to limit thread usage
Sally Collins is a friendly, informative instructor and makes piecing quilts easy to learn at home. The only drawbacks to this method (as opposed to taking a class) is that you loose the feedback you might receive from your teacher, the ability to ask questions, and the opportunity to see how others in the class use colors to change the look and feel of the quilt. However, if you're looking to learn on your own - at your own pace (it's nice to watch a DVD late at night instead of trying to fit a class into your schedule) then I recommend checking Sally Collins Teaches You Precision Piecing. At the moment, I'm only seeing the DVD available through the C&T Publishing website. However, you can order her book Mastering Precision Piecing through Amazon.
New Tools, Magazines, and Books
I've added a new section to the sidebar today - Tool Reviews. It's not very often that I find new tool products, but when I do, I use them all the time. Today's new tool is the fast2cut Foolproof Circles.
Foolproof Circles are hard plastic templates that come in 4 finished sizes 3", 6", 9", and 12" (1/4 seam allowances are included). Lines are included on the template to help design wedges and arcs for quilt designs such as drunkard's path and circle play. It does take some practice to use these templates - it's much easier if you start off using a smaller rotary cutter, but those who are more experienced using one will (especially those who use a rotary cutter for cutting out fabric for patterns) do just as well with a larger size. Of course, you can always trace the template and then cut - but the rotary cutter is much faster. If I would have had this tool when I started making pin cushions, I could whipped them out much faster (it sure beats using a compas)!
In addition to my new toy, I mean tool, I also bought a new magazine yesterday - Adorn. Apparently I missed the first issue, as this is only the second publication for this title. It reminds me a little bit of Craft, it's a similar size (but not nearly as thick), it covers a wide range of topics - from wool felting to sewing and beading, and has patterns or instructions to several different projects. The sewing section is small, but I loved their version of the Built By Wendy top, Simplicity 3964 - almost enough to buy it!
Speaking of magazines, Zaneta was so wonderful to send me 2 Australian Stitches that I've been pouring over all week! At some point I'm going to try the "Tops With A Twist" - a section on taking your favorite basic t-shirt top pattern and adding a twisted neckline to it. I also purchased the November issue of Patrones which finally arrived at the Stoff-Art ebay store. I can't wait for it to arrive, there are so many things that I want to make from this issue. You can check out the design pages here and here.
I also have a couple of more books to read and review including Fast, Fun & Easy Christmas Decorations: Festive Fabric Keepsakes to Create & Embellish, Toys to Sew: Dozens of Patterns for Dolls, Animals, Doll Clothes, and Accessories, and Threadbared: Decades of Don'ts from the Sewing and Crafting World (which I plan on reading once Taylor is fast asleep, because I am anticipating great hilarity).
Mariner's Medallion Quilts
The weather is turning noticeably cooler, the leaves are changing, and it's time to snuggle underneath fluffy quilts. It's this kind of weather that gets me in the mood to start a new quilt. So, it's only fitting that today's review is on a quilting book - M'Liss Rae Hawley's latest title, Mariner's Medallion Quilts.
Now that I've tackled my first paper piecing project, I can understand why this particular technique is so popular. You're able to produce perfectly formed, intricate designs without having to cut precise pieces or best of all, do math. That is exactly what Mariner's Medallion accomplishes. Never paper pieced before? No problem, M'Liss walks you though (both through pictures and written directions) all the steps so you get a perfect compass point every time. Keep in mind that although there isn't any math involved, there is still lots of cutting. M'Liss also includes a very helpful section on selecting fabrics that help make your mariner's medallion stand out by selecting fabrics that have a variety of values. To top it off she adds extra 'pow' to the quilts by giving tips for using design in your center circle - either by interesting fabric placement, machine embroidery, or by adding embelishments.
But the book doesn't quit with just the compass point. It also gives a ton of ideas on how to use it - pillows, clothing, and of course, a huge varitey of quilts ranging from wall to bed size are discussed. The center medallion is only the starting point. M'Liss adds houses, trees, sunrises, boats, lighthouses, bargello borders, and a variety of stars and designs to the borders (all of which have included instructions) which is not only beautiful, but adds so much interest to the quilt. Honestly, there is so much information included in this book, it's hard to cover it all.
Like most quilting titles, the book itself is softcover. All the pattern and templates can be found in the back of the book, however, you are responsible for tracing them off yourself. Mariner's Medallion Quilts also includes numerous color photographs - some instructional, some informational, and some inspriational! If you're interested in sewing quilts, especially the paper piecing kind, this book is definitely worth checking out.
Small Quilting Rant
I forgot to mention the other day, I got a new Hancock's of Paducah catalog the other day. I probably didn't mention it because I wasn't too "inspired" by it this time around. Don't get me wrong - the fabrics are beautiful and they are nice to flip through, but where are all the cool new patterns and books?
It seems like everytime I get one, I see the same ones each time - with a new one tossed in here and there. And some of the new ones are just random sized squares pieced together, does anyone really need a pattern for that?
Maybe it all boils down to the fact I haven't really been in the mood to quilt. I did go through a big period of time where I made quite a few (about 5 in 6-7 months), but then, I didn't do any real garment sewing during that time either. Maybe I burned myself out on making quilts? or maybe there have been so many great garment patterns (not to mention fabrics) out there lately? Whatever it is, I'm going with the flow - I'm definately on a sewing roll lately!
I Didn't Procrastinate!
I really wanted to spend the evening looking at\shopping for fabrics - I got a Joann's gift card (from using my Joann's CC so much) in the mail yesterday and I heard fabric calling my name. BUT, I still had my Shattered Glass Quilt to finish.
So, I told myself that if I finish the quilt tonight, I'de go shopping to fill up my stash! It only took a few hours, and I was finished - and I have to say, I am really pleased with the results. I wan't sure how this was going to turn out, but I really like how you can see the arc pattern throughout the quilt. I wasn't sure that you were going to be able to make it out since everything is so bright, but I think that the purple border really helps bring out the points. WHEW, I'm happy to be finished, this quilt really took some concentration. I think that I'll wait awhile before I start another quilt, this one took a lot out of me!
Well, tonight was my last class for my quilt - out of the seven women, only three of us showed up. One left shortly after the class started because she didn't bring her machine. Why would you sign up for a class, pay money, and not attend the classes?
The other woman and I stayed for 2 1/2 hours and sewed. I had to give up, I started making too many mistakes and had to use the seam ripper one too many times. I've got about 3/4 of the quilt put together and I'll need to do the outside border too.
The same teacher is going to do a Karen K. Stone Quilts next. OOOOH, looks fun!
2 More To Go
I've been working hard at trying to get all my homework done for Monday night's Shattered Glass class. I've got 2 blocks left to go - roughly an hour's work, provided that I don't make any mistakes!
Overall, the whole construction process is pretty simple, but I've found that setting up your work area is key to making things go faster. First off, placing your cutting mat (and rotary cutter) next to your sewing machine sure makes it easy to trim off extra fabric after you've sewn them together. Putting your iron (I'm using my cool new mini craft iron) next to your work station so you never have to keep getting up and down also helps.
I'm interested in seeing how all this looks put together. Right now, it looks really bright. If I decide to make this pattern again, I'll have to remember to use very light, light varigated fabrics for the background - I think this would help tone down the quilt a bit and let the points 'pop' more.
Tonight was my first class for the Shattered Glass Quilt. I was the most inexperienced quilter there - and the only one who hadn't paper pieced before. Thankfully, I had spent all that time the other day cutting all my fabric and folding all the templates so I could get right down to business.
The teacher was nice enough to spend the first few minutes teaching me exactly what I needed to do (several times) and then stood over me while I did the first piece and figured out how and where to cut off all the excess fabric. After about 20 minutes I was feeling comfortable with the whole process, it just requires concentration while your working. The only advantage that I had over the other quilters is when it came to sewing the curved piece. I was pretty much the only one who had experience in that area. Who knew all those setting in sleeves would pay off eventually?
Apparently, everyone had issues with the pattern in one shape or another. Everyone ran short on fabric. So, if you're planning on making this quilt, count on either going back to the fabric store for more or just buy extras in adavance (especially when it comes to the light, background fabrics). I realized tonight that I am short as well. I'm going to either have to make a trip back to the fabric store in the morning to see if I can't match up 4 fat quarters or punt, look in my stash, and see what I can come up with that will work. The instructor said that there were several errors in the directions. I never really looked over the directions, just followed what she told us to do, so I can't speak on that right now. Maybe, after I'm completely done, I'll re-read everything and see what she's talking about, but I'm afraid that I'll get myself confused if I do that now.
Overall, the class was great! 3 hours of sewing with 6 other women who love to sew, talk fabric, etc. And, I learned something new! Now, to get more fabric, complete my homework, and get ready for next weeks class!
Rotary Cutters, Templates, and Paper Folding
I spent the better part of today cutting the fabrics and folding the templates for my Shattered Glass class that starts on Monday. Originally, I was going to wait until the day of (nothing like procrastinating, eh?) - thank goodness I didn't, what a task that was!
According to the directions each template should be folded on the sewing lines. There are 18 templates, each with 11 sewing lines. I felt like I was doing origami by the time I was finished!
Then came the cutting. There were only 8 fat quarters to cut, but each one had to be cut into pretty small pieces....many of which had to be further cut by the shaped templates (mellon shapes, triangles, etc.). I packaged them all together in ziplock bags and labeled them so they are all ready to go. Needless to say, this whole process took approximately 4 hours.
My only complaint thus far is the fabric requirements - or at least the description of what type you need. For example, when I read 4 light colored variegated batiks, I assumed that they could be 4 of any light color (which is what I did). I think that the author wanted 4 of the same color. I don't think that this is going to pose a problem until it gets to the lattice. It called for 2 dark colored batiks. I chose a hot pink with blue-ish\purple swirls and a blue with purple swirls. I really think that the quilt would look better if everything was the same, but I'll just write the whole thing off as some sort of artistic license and make it look funky (or ugly?).