Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival + Castle Peeps quilt

  • I just found out about the Blogger's Quilt Festival and it's pretty awesome! To enter, you have to blog about a quilt you've made. I'd like to talk about the quilt I made for my son.

    Charm Squares Baby Quilt

    The obvious inspiration for this quilt was my handsome boy (I apparently only know how to make this photo gigantic or tiny; I chose tiny):


    I made this for his first birthday, which was October 9th, but couldn't resist giving it to him as soon as I finished it. Before this quilt, I had really only made 1 other serious quilt (I made 2 awkward baby blankets before that that had my "unique" interpretation of what binding should be, and I doubt they're even still in one piece now). This was the first time I bought fabrics because I truly loved them and not just because they were on sale. I wanted everything about this quilt to be of the highest quality too so I bought Gutermann cotton thread, Kona Ash and Coal for the backing and binding and Warm and Natural batting. These were all the names I heard a lot.

    Charm Squares Baby Quilt

    With this quilt I really learned how much patience pays off. I really took my time making sure everything was cut and pieced perfectly, and I think it definitely showed in the end. Everything went together so much more easily too (no forcing seams together). I also hand-stitched the binding, which I hadn't done before. I discovered that I actually enjoy sitting down and stitching at night. It was nice to be able to bring my work-in-progress with me to bed and work on it while watching TV or a movie. I also really prefer the look of the hand-finished quilt.

    Charm Squares Baby Quilt

    I also pieced the back of this quilt (hadn't done that before) and was proud of the little design I came up with. I bought 6 different prints of the blue Castle Peeps fabric, but the pattern only called for 5. I really wanted to use them all though and this specific print seemed to need it's own space. I don't think it would have been so nice cut into small pieces in the quilt top. So this little broken panel idea worked well. Sometimes I think I like the back of this quilt more than the front (I really fell in love with Kona Ash for a neutral solid)!

    Charm Squares Baby Quilt

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not sure if I'm loving this...

So I finished my blocks last night and here they are all laid out:

Modern Meadow layout

I see now why it might be kind of important to keep it one color ("Orange Quilt") because I feel like this looks too messy. I tried to just pick fabrics from one color scheme, but I loved them all so much that I ended up with 13 different prints from all over the place! What do you all think? I really don't see myself buying more of this fabric and making more blocks to switch around, but I also don't want to end up with a quilt dud. Even though I may not love this quilt, someone else might (there is a certain someone who needs a Christmas present)... ?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sloppy Tote + Modern Meadow Quilt Beginnings

I finished (almost) the pleated tote I mentioned in my previous post last night. I have to be honest: I didn't love making this. Besides sewing a straight line, my sewing skills are probably below the beginner level. Cutting patterns, transferring pattern markings, using fusible interfacing... I kinda suck at these things. As a result, this bag is kinda sloppy, though my husband said he never would have noticed any of the flaws had I not pointed them out. Anyway, I guess I'm glad I have this now because I've been in need of a new bag for awhile (something besides the diaper bag) and being able to make one from stuff I already had here at the house from a free pattern was pretty great. I will also say that the directions for this bag are clear and easily understood.

The only thing missing is a button for the closure. I know I have extra buttons somewhere, but I can't find them. I can't imagine anywhere in our tiny house that they could be either, so... I might actually have to buy a button. There are some things I feel I should never have to buy and buttons for craft projects is definitely one of them, but oh well.

(The exterior and interior fabrics are from the "Brooklyn Heights" collection by Kitty Yoshida. The straps are made from Kona Mulberry.)

Pleated Tote

I am happy to go back to sewing blocks for my latest quilt using Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow fabrics:

Modern Meadow Blocks

This quilt is based on Cluck Cluck Sew's tutorial for her Orange Quilt. I originally intended to follow this exactly, but somehow my blocks were coming up a little short and I found it easier to square them up to 6.5" rather than 7.5". This worked out well since I have a 6.5" ruler, but not a 7.5". I also decided last minute to add some wonk to these (also easier if I'm cutting off more).

I'm making 100 of these to make a 60" x 60" cuddle quilt for us to snuggle under this winter. I think 60" x 60" might be my ideal quilt size. I can't wait to see how my new machine handles it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brief Intro + The Goods

Hi, my name is Amber and I'm a stay-at-home mom with a little boy who just turned 1 and I like making quilts. I discovered designer fabric and modern quilt making in August of this year and am completely head-over-heels in love! Since this discovery, I have spent pretty much all my free time quilting. In future posts I'll show all of my completed quilts and get us all caught up. I'm very new to all of this (sewing/quilting/blogging). I started this blog hoping to connect with some of the awesome and inspiring quilters out there and so... here I am!

Yesterday was a gooood fabric day! I received an order from which is overloaded with lime and fuschia even though I thought I was over those colors. Most of these are from the "Timber" collection by Jessica Levitt and there are a few from "Brooklyn Heights" by Kitty Yoshida, as well. The Brooklyn Heights fabrics are disappointingly thin and cheap feeling (not sure if that's how all Bernatex fabrics are or what), so I'm going to be using them to make a handbag (this pleated tote, actually) instead of in a quilt. Quilts deserve higher levels of quality than handbags.

I also participated in a scrap swap over at Talk About Fabric and received my surprise bundle of scrappy goodness from my partner . Nothing like fabric surprises sitting in your mailbox while the baby sleeps! The funny thing about this particular exchange is that she gave me some of the same fabric that I almost gave her. I took the scraps out just before sending thinking I may need them since I haven't finished the project yet. Anyway, scrap swaps are neat :)

scrap swap

Lastly, I received 2 charm packs I won on eBay (for about $6 each, yay eBay). Momo's "It's a Hoot" and Urbn Chiks "Dream On". I picture baby quilts for both of these, but somebody needs to have a baby girl soon...

 charm packs

Oh, oh and Nick (husband) finally helped me finish my TV Tray Pressing Table! I can't seem to get past my fear of the staple gun, so he took care of that part. The best thing about this project is that we found the tray on the side of the road, the batting pieces were left over from quilts and the fabric was free from (I ordered it not realizing it was home decor fabric and when I asked to return it, they just told me to keep it and refunded me for it. A+). FREE table!

Isn't it cute?

pressing table

Wait, wait one more thing! One more BIG thing. My new machine is here and it is amazing! Previously I was sewing on a little, modest Kenmore that wasn't cut out for quilting. I bought it a couple of years ago not realizing I would become a quilt-freak. Most of the problems I had with it were during the actual quilting of a quilt, but now that I have this new machine, I realize that my problems with piecing were the machine and not me! I might actually have some okay sewing skills afterall.

new machine

Ahhh, I love it so much!