Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pinwheels Easy as Pie!

Did someone say pie?  Sorry - I distracted myself there for a moment.

Have you seen this tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on an easy way to make HST's and then pinwheels?  (Be sure to check out her ironing board cover - I love that fabric!)

Super easy!  Look what I did this morning ...

Love it!  I used two 5 inch squares and ended up with a block that is about 5.75 inches large.  I had a few minutes before work so I only finished one.  I can't wait to get home and get back to it!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rack 'em up!

The Daisy Chain lap quilt is finally finished and has been duly tested several evenings in a row on the couch.  Here it is on a quilt rack that my mom purchased for me ages ago.  I wish she could see the rack with my own quilt on it.   

This is my first quilt, so please gently ignore any crooked seams or things you would have done differently.  This was the brightest room in the house today, so would you please also excuse the presentation on the doors of my fabric stash cabinet!?!? I couldn't bear to put it on the floor just yet for a full photo shoot.  How silly is that?  Here's the front:

And the back:
It completely slipped my mind to make a label, so I intend to embroider the details or applique a label soon.  I love the large panel in the back.  It's visually soothing compared to the front.  I just read a great blog post by Julie of Jayburd Quilts over on the Robert Kaufman blog.  She shared some wonderful photos of her quilt backs and opened the discussion to ask how people like to prepare their backs.  Since this is a lap quilt which will live on my couch and get lots of use, I didn't want the back to be scrappy or seem unplanned.  The math was easy to figure out with one large leftover bit and a frame of white.  The wide binding was a way to fix an error that happened during quilting.  Ooops - the cat is out of the bag now!

Not bad for a first try!  I'd like to do a coordinating pillow cover for a throw pillow, and then my next project is a narrow quilt to fit on the backseat of my car for Katie's travels.  Let's be honest, its to protect the backseat upholstery from muddy, leafy, dirty, detritis-filled paws!

Happy stitching!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night....

I couldn't play in the garden yesterday because we had such terrible thunderstorms all day, so I hit the sewing machine instead.  I made great progress on my Daisy Chain quilt.  I added the aqua border (even though I wanted to start quilting it right away) and I'm really glad I did. I think it adds a cheerful touch.

This is my first quilting project where I've actually gotten far enough along to quilt.  I have lots of WIP's, but no finished objects.  Its a lap quilt, so I cleared off the dining room table to baste the sandwich.  It's so challenging!  Now I understand why this is almost everyone's least favorite part.  Most experts recommend cutting the batting larger than the top because of how things move when you quilt, but then how can you be sure your top is perfectly matched to the backing?  Oh the headache that ensued!  I even left the backing a little larger than it needed to be, but no matter how I wigged things around and pinned and re-pinned, I still ended up with an uneven sandwich.  For my first try, its not too bad, but its no where near professional looking.

Here we are, pinned and ready to be quilted!

 After dinner I headed to the machine to quilt.  It was definitely an experience!  I did simple straight line quilting, with the normal foot and white thread.  Diagonal lines across the charm squares in only one direction.  I considered using a colored thread to quilt, but I went with white and I'm happy with the outcome.  It was manageable in my little Singer - I just rolled up the right side of the sandwich to keep control as I stitched.  You can really tell as you stitch across the seams - the machine sounded different.  I had to rip one line because I ran out of bobbin thread but other than that (and some crooked sewing) it was kind of fun!  Stressful but fun.  I didn't mark the top at all, just eyeballed it (hence the crooked sewing!) which added to my anxiety.  I could almost hear my mom saying "just take your time and do your best!"

I created a panel of the large scale print with white sashing for the backing.  All that's left is the binding which will be a navy print from the line.  I'm so excited, and so proud of myself for getting this far.  I can't wait to snuggle up with the finished product!