Testing, 1 2 3, Testing

I would really like to become good (maybe even great?) at this quilting thing.
Since my previous attempt at sashing was fairly mediocre I decided for my mother-in-law's birthday quilt that I should probably do a test block.
Aditionally my cardstock 1/4" seam guideline isn't a very good long term solution since I have to remove it every time I need to change the bobbin. Plus I get sticky tape residue & fabric lint all gunking things up.
I did a little experimenting with my sewing machine and found that I can actually move the needle left or right. Sweet! 
Initial settings

Needle moved to the right
{cough} Probably could have learned that sooner if I'd read the manual. {ahem, moving on}
So I moved the needle to the right a few clicks (6 ended up being the magic #) and I can now use the edge of my presser foot as a guide. Excellent.
See, needle no longer center
I can now sew scant 1/4" seams, the importance of which I learned about here.
So I sewed up a couple test blocks using some scraps and found that the way I press the seams also effects how the block looks.
On the first block I pressed the seams towards the dark fabric on the small white pieces and towards the white on the long white piece and found that the small white pieces seemed to recede and look uneven from the long white piece.
On the second block I pressed all the seams towards the white fabric and now everything looks even. Very nice.

Armed with my newly found sashing knowledge I've started chain piecing. Can't wait for my additional fabric to arrive!

New quilt in the works

My mother-in-law will be turning 96! in the middle of January. She lives in a different state than we do and we plan on visiting her to celebrate/visit with all the family. That gives me two weeks to finish a quilt for her.
I plan on making it a lap quilt, that is actually just for her lap, roughly 32" x 50ish" or so. I want it to be something she can just have on her lap when she's sitting to keep her legs warm rather than the larger 60x80 lap quilts that folks use to snuggle up on the couch with.
Once again, enter Pinterest. Someone pinned this lovely quilt and I think it'll be perfect for my mother-in-law.

I have a Flora charm pack by Moda and ordered some extra yardage from Burgundy Buttons, very nice of them to have a sale on the fabric I need. :)

I've starting cutting into the charm pack and my order from Burgundy Buttons should ship out today so I should be able to get rocking & rolling next week.

Quilt#5 Done, YAY!

I wasn't too sure about the all over leaf pattern on this one but once I bound it and washed it I really love it. I think washing it really helped the quilting show up better and you can see the leaves really well. 

After taking all the photos for the quilts I think I need to jazz up the backs more. Give them a little something something. We shall see.

Alas, my son doesn't have any clothes

Well, today is the first day of winter and my son never got his fall wardrobe.
I was a little tied up with making Christmas quilts for the rest of the family.
Luckily he still fits into his 12 month clothes and is just now getting into 18 months clothes so he's not walking around like the Emperor and his new wardrobe. My little guy is 21 months and boy is he little and pretty adorable if I do say so myself. But what do I know. I'm just his mother.
You can decide for yourself ;)

I WILL be making him a wardrobe...however probably not until 2012, late January / early February.
The quilting bug kind of bit me really hard and I've at least one quilt I need to make before Jan 15th and several more that I'd like to do just because. The just because quilts can wait though so my little man can be outfitted with some snuggly knit fabric that I bought months ago.

Grey ZigZag (Quilt #2) Delightfully Done

This grey zig zag quilt has been my favorite one through all five quilts. I just love the colors and the quilt design and the quilting. Definitely my style.

Aside from losing a quilt block (which I found under my bed) this quilt was a breeze. I'll definitely use this design again if I ever need to make up a quick quilt for someone.

Purple & Green Windows (Quilt#1) complete

Since this was the first quilt I started piecing there's not a lot I have to say about this one. It was sort of a learning quilt. Learning that 1/4" seams are something to really strive fore. I'm still learning. 

I am really please with the way it turned out even though the backing did bleed a little on a couple of the white fabrics on the front when I washed it, which is a little annoying since I washed and dried the flannel 3 times before I put them together, but oh well. Since the flannel is SO soft I'll forgive it.
Hopefully my cousin will love it.

Brick (Quilt #4) Bound & Beautiful

Once again a rush of euphoria. I think finishing a quilt is my new drug of choice. ;)

This quilt gave me a run for my money, but I powered through and am really please with how it turned out. The blue background doesn't quite go with the front but I purchased it back when I had a slightly different quilt design in mind and once I changed the quilt design I didn't think it mattered that much that I needed to buy more fabric. It's how it feels that matters more and since its snuggle flannel if feels lovely.

Blue Zig Zag (Quilt#3) is DONE!

I did the binding on Quilt #4 first out of all five quilts because it has the busiest patterned fabric and since this was the first time I've ever bound a quilt I figured I should start with one where my mistakes wouldn't show quite so bad.

When I finished this quilt I had the biggest rush of excitement! It felt SO wonderful to have it completed and well in advance of Christmas. Such a sense of accomplishment. Binding might be my favorite part of making quilts. Maybe because once that's done, you have a finished quilt all ready to wash, dry and snuggle. A quilt fresh out of the dryer by the way is heaven. Especially one you've made yourself.

Quilt #5 quilted

Quilt #5 was quilted at A Better Quilt like the previous four and I chose an edge to edge leaf pattern that had all sorts of different leaf types represented. 

The quality of the quilting is really wonderful but I'm wondering if I should have chosen to quilt it with straight lines to really highlight the squares. Hmm, well I'll bind it and wash it and then see how I feel.
Binding on the other quilts is going really well.

Quilt top #5 done!

Again, not my best work, but I think once it's quilted it'll look twice as good. I really love the design and I think I'll use it again in the future. I think the border might be a bit too big, I may trim it down.

I think I'll choose a bear or all over leaf pattern for the quilting. This is more foresty than mountainy but I think it'll work just fine for my outdoor loving folks. 

I've got the binding cut out for 4 out of the 5 quilts and have 5 days to get them all complete before we leave for vacation. Pressure's on. 


While I would have loved to have quilted each of the quilts myself there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to have the time to quilt each one before Christmas. So I took them to Judy at A Better Quilt and within 3 days she had all 4 quilts complete. They are BEAUTIFUL.

Quilt #1 Front
Quilt #1Back
I used quilting flannel for the backs because I want them to be all soft an snuggly. Right now they are still a little stiff but once I add the binding and give them a wash I think they'll soften up wonderfully.

Quilt#2 Front
 I am THRILLED with how the quilting came out for Quilt #2, definitely my favorite out of the four.
Since the pattern of the fabric for Quilt #3 was so busy we just did a simple meander pattern.
Quilt #3

 It took me forever to pick the quilt pattern for Quilt #4 but we eventually got it and its lovely.

Quilt#4 Front
Quilt#4 Back
Now all I have to do is add the borders and possibly a label and they will be complete!

And then there were 5

As I was piecing quilt #3 I became increasingly aware that while the color scheme would be fine for my folks,' stylistically it just wasn't them. The paisley fabrics were just too traditional for their mostly native american decorated home. They live in the mountains and I felt they needed a quilt that more accurately reflected their style.
So scrolling through Pinterest (a highly addictive site) I came across this quilt:

I figured it'd be perfect if I could find the right fabric. So after LOTS of searching for something 'mountainy' I came across Birch Bark Lodge by Holly Taylor and a beautiful neutral that looks like sandstone. 

 The Birch Bark Lodge is really great, it's got all the same colors that are in my folks living room rug.

I'm really excited to get it all together and see how it looks.

Quilt top #3 complete!

A month over when I'd hoped to have all four quilt tops completed but I'm very glad that I got them finished before December. 
I learned the hard way with Quilt #3 that you can't sew the two borders together and then sew them to the quilt. Many frustrated stitches ripped out and patched in pieces later it is finished. 

Unfortunately this one has a LOT of tenting going on and I'm afraid I don't know what to do to fix it. I'm sure I probably needed to catch it before adding the borders but oh well. I'll just push forward like I always do. 

Well, on to backing & quilting. I'm sure I'll make all sorts of mistakes with those ;)

Spoonflower Contest results

Doh. Well, I actually did better on my Cameo fabric design than I did on the Advent Calendar one.
Only 76 votes, ranked 34 out of 40.
Oh well. I'll just keep on keeping on and try to enter more contests until I win!! :)
Probably not til I get all my Quilts for Christmas completed though.

Quilt #3 almost done

Another zigzag quilt top almost under my belt. I really like how quickly this no-triangle zigzag pattern goes together. Even when the first 14 blocks get sewn together backwards and need to be re-done. ;)
The fabrics are the same as quilt # 4 except I used the blue paisley instead of green as the 'solid' color.
I think the zigzags would have been more defined and the patterned fabric more of a feature if I'd chosen an actual solid color fabric instead of the blue paisley. Oh well.

So now all I need to do is add the borders and I'll have all four quilt tops finished! Woo hoo!

Quilt-top #4 complete

Whew, I'm very happy to say that Quilt-top #4 is complete.
This one was probably the most challenging to finish because of the wonkiness at the bottom.

It's definitely not perfect but looks fairly decent with the borders added. I wished it photographed better, it looks a little washed out. The fabrics are lovely and I think it looks pretty good in person.