I was planning on dubbing this the 'Superfast baby quilt' because I decided on a Tuesday that I was going to make a 'superfast' baby quilt for a baby shower that I would be attending on the upcoming Saturday. 

Fabrics & pattern selected on Tuesday

Cutting & piecing on Wednesday / Thursday

Quilt top finished on Friday

Luckily on Friday I determined that the baby shower was actually set for the following Saturday, not the very next day like I'd originally thought. Whew. Getting this quilted and bound in less than a day was really not going to happen. Especially once I started the actual quilting.
I used a pantograph I found through Urban Elementz and made sure it was a fairly simple pattern since this would be only my second time using a panto and first time on something that mattered.

Man was this a lesson in patience that I'm not sure I've successfully learned.
Starting out, I tried to give myself the benefit of the doubt but after four rows I was really bugged by how messy it looked. Like my drawings in kindergarten. Someone has to tell you its a flower for you to maybe recognize it.

So I thought, you know what, I bet I could freehand this better. Nope. Okay. I'm going to ripe it ALL out. Yeah, not so much. After ripping out my free hand attempt I was not even interested in trying to rip out the panto part. Plus seeing the repetitiveness of the pattern kind of hid the flaws a bit I think. 


So I loaded it back on and started the panto again. I eventually did finish it, but it wasn't pretty. I used minky for the back and a fairly fluffy batting and I couldn't get the quilt top to lay flat. I got so many pleats & puckers on the borders it drove me crazy. I was sick of ripping out stitching so I said to heck with it and forged ahead. 

I went for a scrappy binding & decided to hand stitch it on because I wanted to be proud of at least a part of this quilt and spending some time under it made me appreciate it more than I think I would have otherwise.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 36" square(ish)
Pattern: Cluck Cluck Sew Seville
Fabric: 5 Fat quarters from my stash, 3 of which came from Stampin' Up's Twitterpated line & Joann's Minky-like fabric for the backing
Batting: Quilters Dream Puff
Thread: So Fine #50 401 - Snow

Dani's Quilt

I finally got around to re-quilting my niece's quilt

I took off the original borders and added slightly larger ones because they weren't in great condition after I took the original quilt apart. 

I did some continuous curves in the colored sections and then free hand feathers in the white & borders. 

I was hoping that I could bring out a sort of pinwheel effect. Not sure if that came across or not. 
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As I got towards the end, the yellow border was too big and I ended up getting some bunching happening. Not quite sure how to prevent that. Probably need to pay closer attention when adding borders to a quilt. This one is not remotely square since I didn't think 1/4" seams mattered back when I made the top almost 11 years ago.
Puckers, boo. 
This border turned out nicer I think.
Free hand feathers, not too shabby.


 I did a newly learned technique on this one for the binding. Glue basting & ladder stitch. Holy cow was that cool. No pin sticks or aching hands and the binding looks beautiful. Looking forward to trying it on many more quilts to come.

Bound & washed
I like the wrinklyness. I hope my niece does too. She's not quite 3 yet so I'm guessing she won't have too strong of an opinion at this point. :)

Ready to go
Quilt Stats: 
Size: 42" x 31"
Pattern: Hour Glass Crib quilt from Fons & Porter's For the Love of Quilting Magazine
Fabric: purchased from local quilt shop 11 years ago
Batting: Quilter's Dream Puff
Thread: So Fine #50 401 - Snow 

Mom & Dad's Native American inspired quilt - done!

Overall I'm really please with how this quilt turned out. It's always so neat to see how quilting transforms a quilt top into something even better. I wished I could have done the curved quilting in the lighter tan areas but I didn't have a ruler big enough to span that section and free-handing it was a mess. 

Did some swirls in the light brown section, didn't turn out too bad I think. My favorite parts are in the dark brown section which I can't photograph very well.

 Even the back looks pretty neat. So they have a reversible quilt if they ever feel like it. :)

Quilt stats:
Size: Queen 86" x 93"
Fabric: Various from local quilt shops & online (Stonehenge, Batik, Michael Miller - Kokopelli)
Batting: Quilter's Dream Puff 
Thread: So Fine #50 in 403-Putty, 424-Chocolate & 425-Brown Sugar
Pattern: Made up by me from a needlepoint design my mom did

Deciding what to stitch

I have finished the quilt for my folks and am very pleased with how it turned out.
Before I share the finished 'masterpiece'. I wanted to chronicle how I came up with the final quilting design.
My idea
 I was really stumped on what to do for the center diamonds. So I went to the Machine Quilter's Resource forum and asked for design help. I got some really great feedback, especially from a really nice lady named Peggy. She provided the sketch below:

Peggy Holt's idea
I was blown away! Incredible. I loved her introduction of curves, it absolutely transformed the overall design.

So now my big dilemma was my ability to execute various elements. This is only the 3rd quilt I've ever quilted (on a long arm or otherwise).

In progress, stitchin in the ditch

I started out with all the stitching in the ditch and straight line quilting and then went through and did a meander around the kokopelli's. Annoyingly I found that I could stitch decently moving from left to right on the long arm but as soon as I tried to move from right to left the thread would start shredding.
Instead of investigating the issue I just plowed forward always making sure I was moving from left to right. Daisy will be getting a thorough spa cleaning before the next project is loaded and hopefully I can fix the problem of shredding thread.

Next post...the finished quilt (woot!).

Up next for finishing - Mom & Dad's quilt

I don't have a large enough space to lay out the quilt top in order to take a decent photo...but here it is ready for quilting.

So I'm hoping to start quilting this weekend and we'll see how long it takes for me to finish. :)

Make it Right Challenge - Jacket complete!

This jacket turned out pretty dang well. I'm so thrilled that I actually finished it! I'm really good at starting to sew clothes and then giving up when things get too difficult or I make a mistake. I took my time and if I started to get frustrated I simply put it down and came back to it the next day. It was awesome...and only slightly obsessive. ;)

I was going to try to make my own pattern but I just don't have the skills for that so I chose a basic jacket pattern from Vogue, V7975. I altered the sleeves so they were shorter and changed the neckline to more of a V-neck and didn't bother with a lining.

I pre-washed all the fabrics first, mainly because I somehow got a spot of oil on the panel and had to get that out so it wouldn't be a problem since I knew I needed every scrap of the panel in order to complete my project. Pinterest to the rescue...little dot of Dawn liquid soap on the oil spot and it washed right out.
I actually washed the batting too because I wanted to be able to wash the finished jacket without having to worry about crazy shrinking/wrinkles.

I split the panel up into 4 sections. 1 section for the back, 1 section for the side fronts & backs, and the remaining 2 sections for the sleeves. I did have to do some piecing to each section in order to make them big enough to cut the pattern pieces out of. I don't think you can really tell that I pieced it though by looking at it. Which is good & bad....good that it blends in, bad that it took a bit of time with no real addition to the overall look. C'est la vie. 

After getting each section pieced large enough to accommodate all the pattern pieces I quilted them on my long arm.  The under arm sections in the bright citron color I straight stitched on my regular sewing machine with a walking foot. I was really impressed with the Aurifil thread I used because I was able to use it on both my long arm & my sewing machine with no issues...and I still have a ton of it left. I think I have at least half a spool left and that's after a lot of piecing, quilting & sewing...very impressed. 

I read a Threads article that was really helpful in choosing the right batting for quilted garments. I decided to use Quilters Dream Wool because I wanted the jacket to have some structure to it.

So now I'll enter it in the Make it Right Challenge and cross my fingers. :)

Projects stats:
Fabric used: 1 Angela Walter's Right Angle Panel, Art Gallery Pure Elements in Lemonade, Mystic Gray, Light Gray, Moonstone, Midnight, Tile Blue
Pattern: Vogue 7975 - altered
Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool
Thread: Aurifil Mako 50/2 color #2600

Hubby's T-Shirt Quilt - D to the O to the N to the E

Yep, I'm a nerd. Moving on.

I actually finished this in April and forgot to add it to my 'finished projects' list.

It is now at home amongst the beagles & cats that reside on our sofa. We get to use it occasionally too. :)

May doGoodStitches / Quilts for Boston

This months' blocks went to the Boston Modern Quilt guild and their Quilts for Boston relief effort.

It is so heart warming to see the quilts they are making from blocks sent from all over. 

Make it Right challenge

I just realized that I haven't blogged much this month but not for a lack of sewing. Just a lack of pausing to document stuff. 
I decided to make a quilted jacket for the Make it Right challenge. I have been obsessed with it.  

Every night as I'm going to sleep I think about the next step. 

I only bought one panel, so I had to do some piecing to make some of the sections large enough.

I was in such a hurry to get my fabric that I didn't plan very well. I had wanted to incorporate navy in some way but when I was planning out the jacket I just couldn't make it work without altering the feel of the jacket. I wanted it to be a 'spring' jacket and the navy was just making things too dark. So I ended up using it for the backing for one of the quilted sections. So the inside of the jacket will be navy & turquoise. I definitely didn't get enough fabric. I've been piecing things together in order to make things work. 
I'm almost finished though and have really enjoyed each step of the process. I foresee quilting more garments in my future. 

April do Good Stitches Blocks

I really liked the block we made for April's Promise Circle of do Good Stitches and I think I've finally figured out how to get my blocks to come out 12.5" or more square. Pressing the seams open and doing an even scanter 1/4" than I was doing previously really helped. Also I've started using a shorter stitch length which has helped with the edges from unraveling....of course when I have to rip out my stitches it is a bit of a a little, lose a little. In the end it all came out good.

The tutorial for this block can be found on Fresh Lemon Quilts site.

Totally Groovy Crib Quilt - done!

I'm on another quilt finish high! 
I LOVE how this quilt turned out. The texture of the quilting is fantastic even if the actual quilting isn't. 

I love the the contrasting thread on the back, it looks really cool. 

boo, bird nests on the back...gotta figure out how to prevent that, it's annoying.  

Quilt Stats: 
Pattern: Carolina Patchworks - Groove; Crib Quilt - Finished Size 43" x 52" 
Fabric: Kona solids - Coal, Deep Rose & Curry
Batting: Quilter's Dream- Dream Puff 
Thread: Superior So Fine #50 ; 409 Smoke, 416 Rose Petal; 422 Mustard

Spring Fever

Finally!!! It's more snow on the ground! The winter lethargy has lifted and I'm all gung ho to get some projects started, finished and what not. I think I need to list all the projects that I currently have buzzing around in my head.

1) Finish quilt top for Mom & Dad's RV
2) Make something cool for the Make it Right Challenge
3) Finish April blocks for do Good Stitches Promise circle.
4) Make blocks for Quilts for Boston
5) Finish binding on Groovy Crib Quilt
6) Figure out how I want to participate in the Retro Rubies QAL, baby quilt for our babysitter or toddler quilt for my son's bed...decisions decisions...

I'm really close to finishes on several of the above so I'm excited to start new things.

I also got some yard-work done today too. The strawberries are actually starting to invade the mint. I tore the mint up since it's taking up an eight foot section of my garden. We'll see what my devastation will do...that mint is tough...I will NOT allow it to take over the roses though. I will persevere .

Oh yeah, #7...get the camera working so I can take pictures of all the stuff I'm getting done!

Groovy crib quilt almost done!

I finished up the quilting on this last week and I AM LOVING IT! My camera decided to go squirrelly on me as I was trying to photograph it and this was the best shot I could get. 
The quilting in the yellow & pink areas came straight out of Angela Walter's Free-Motion Quilting book. The gray area was a little bit less successful since I meant to do a different orientation of quilting but loaded it on the long-arm in a way not conducive to that. No worries...overall I'm really please with how it turned out. I'll be back with more photos (once that camera starts behaving) after I've put on the binding. 

March do Good Stitches blocks

Whew, being sick for the majority of March was a real bummer.
I was able to complete my blocks for the Promise circle of doGoodStitches though (again on the very last day of the month).
I was excited to see the block the quilter chose for March because it was one that I had pinned on Pinterest.
Then looking at the instructions I was a little dismayed because each of those tiny little squares is cut out individually...around 120 1 1/2" squares. Gulp. That was going to take forever. Luckily I have a Sizzix machine so I did some searching and scored a Sizzix die that was on clearance & had a 1 1/2" square on it. Sweet!

Little Miss Shabby scrapbuster #1

Little Miss Shabby scrapbuster #2
Once you have the squares cut out the blocks go together really quickly. I did mess up the first block by not reading directions correctly, but luckily it was easily remedied and only required a little bit of time with the seam ripper.

Jumping on the band wagon

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Just wanted to get set up while I have spare moment.

A bout with bronchitis has demolished March for me. I am bummed and really over coughing.
Hope to get some things accomplished & photos taken before Easter comes around. We shall see.

T-shirt Quilt has been quilted!

This was a blast!! My very first quilt using Daisy.
I knew exactly how I wanted to quilt the non t-shirt part of it so I drew lines with this nifty little chalk tool I picked up at a nearby sewing machine shop, seriously cool shop by the way, if you're ever in Denver you MUST check it out! Aaaanyway, I digress. So I drew the lines on the quilt which actually took a lot longer that I thought and caused some minor shoulder strain holding up the ruler but I persevered and completed it. Whew.

I am SO stoked on how that part of the quilting turned out. It was worth every aching muscle of marking. :) I didn't really think about the t-shirt quilting other than I knew I was going to stitch in the ditch around each one. Some t-shirts turned out better than others. There are some that flat out just look like scribbles and I have no idea how to make them better so I'm just going to leave it...pretty sure it's going to end up as a cat bed for the majority of it's time so no sweat off my brow? back...what's that saying..aaaaanyway...moving on. 

I'm not a big fan of the whole meander quilting but I gotta tell you that it is a very essential tool in quilting. It really helps make other parts look good and I surprisingly got the hang of it pretty quickly. I used it on a lot of the shirts and probably should have used it on the ones that look like scribbles. So now I know. Meander is your friend. 

It is pretty heavy so I wasn't able to hang it up anywhere to photo so I laid it on the bed and balanced above it on a vanity to take a lopsided photo. The only thing left to do on this bad boy is to add the binding and get the hubs to take some decent shots of it. I hope he likes (& USES) it.