Tag Archives: binding

Summer Brick Road

4 Jan

Midwinter is the perfect time to make an “Indian Summer” quilt. The Christmas tree glowed cheerfully in the corner of the sewing room (aka dining room) while I stitched a quilt full of mountains, flowers, teepees, and wandering foxes. And mushrooms. So many adorable mushrooms.

I went nuts taking photos of this quilt, first at my house (before washing) and at a local park (post-wash).  IMG_7746

George Foreman is no different from most cats, she was pretty sure I was meaning to give her attention while I took pictures. Zero pictures were meant to be of her, half of them turned out to be. IMG_7747

If I could only one binding fabric for the rest of my life, Little Stripes would be it. The bias-look of the stripe, the fresh and modern pattern, and the fact that it’s grey (my favorite neutral color), makes it a clear winner. I may turn out to be wrong, but I don’t think it’ll go out of style.  IMG_7755

The backing fabric peeking through here is actually from a Target clearance sheet. So much fabric, for so little. And–the best part–no sewing.IMG_7758

The sun was almost at its brightest when I went out to take pictures. Not ideal, but I needed to get this guy in the mail post-haste. I tried to take advantage of the light, so I got these sunny, creamy-colored photos. On an old red caboose.

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The pattern is “Yellow Brick Road” by Atkinson Designs.

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Apart from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer fabric, I used a few other Art Gallery fabrics, Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets and Kona solids.

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Low Volume Baby

25 Jun

The last few stitches coming into place, the last few threads to be cut, the first trip through the sudsy, cool, gently whirring washing machine. I love those moments that take a quilt from being a bunch of cloth joined together to being its own entity. Something that will live a life that–if it’s going to a new home–you may never know about. It may be trampled, bundled, and spilled upon–if it’s lucky. But as its creator, I’ve hoped for a good way to catalog and chronicle its development. So I’ve come up with a little questionnaire for myself that I can fill out when I finish a quilt so those quiet moments of its construction aren’t lost.Low-Volume-quilt

1. Who is it for?

My college roommate/friend since elementary school who just had an adorable baby girl.

2. Why did you choose these fabrics?

I’ve been hoping to make a low volume quilt for awhile and this was the perfect chance to use a mixture of fabrics I’ve admired to make a piece that was just the right amount of girly. It has some Pearl Bracelets, Prince Charming, Architextures, and Salt Water, not to mention several others. I’m usually nervous about mixing colors and prints, but I loved working with this variety of fabrics.

3. Why did you choose this design?
Even though it’s simple, I’d never tried a patchwork design and I hoped that the simplicity of patchwork would complement the variety of the fabrics. I really enjoyed the process of chain-piecing and making the ninepatch. Something about this, even as simple as it is, says “hey, I’m a quilt!”

4. How long did it take?
A couple of weeks. It could have been finished in a day or two if I had been really focused (clearly I wasn’t!).

5. Was it difficult to make?

It was easy, but being different than anything I’d done before, it still took some concentration. It was a great stress-buster!

6. What did you learn from this quilt?

One thing I learned was that I like muted colors more than I think I do. I usually go for bold colors, but they’re harder to design with (for me), since they demand so much attention. I also took full advantage of chain-piecing, and I’ve been all about that technique ever since!

7. What music did you listen to while you worked on it?

The Great Gatsby soundtrack. (And some other things that have faded with memory.)

8. What would you improve, if you could?

I’m really pleased with this one as it is. I’m always quick to critique my quilts (or anything I do), but I’m happy to leave this one alone. Well, except for the photos I took. It was gloomy outside, so these aren’t the best.

9. What makes you happiest when you think of this quilt?

The thought of baby Lily all wrapped up in it!

Low-volume-quilt-2

Leaves, Trees, and One Happy Bird

2 May

I think it’s pretty fun that I finished my “tree” quilt on Earth Day. I’ve been working on it since December, when my friend and I made a deal to swap a painting for a quilt. Her specialty is painting trees, so we had a great theme to work from.

I struggled to find just the right fabric, to find just the right pattern, to find just the right backing, and so on. And then I struggled with my sewing machine, big time. The fabric bunched, the bobbin ran out at the worst possible times, and the thread tension went wacky. I couldn’t get the tension right, no matter what tricks I tried, and wound up taking the machine apart (for the first time) to try and fix it. I vacuumed it out, I fiddled with the bobbin case, I changed the needle, and nothing worked. In fact, I made things worse, so I put the machine together and took it apart several times over. (Have you ever cried on your sewing machine? Just asking, for a friend.)

I scoured the Quilterweb(tm) for just the right pattern and settled on Lemon Squares from Faith’s Fresh Lemons blog. Since I was using mostly Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella fabric, it didn’t really lend itself to the fabric color arrangement laid out in the pattern. I realized that after I started cutting, and kind of panicked, because I do love following a pattern. In the end, I just made the squares that I liked and added some sashing. I’m totally surprised at how it turned out, but I’m really pleased.

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If you look closely, you can tell I’m still trying to the hang of quilting, but I’m pushing myself a little further each time. While it isn’t a large quilt, it’s the largest I’ve made so far. I learned how to piece more complicated blocks, to select fabrics for each block, to make a scrappy binding, and I even made and improv square! (You can see it at the bottom right in the photo above.)

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For the back, I used part of a twin-sized duvet cover I found at Target on clearance. I really like how it looks with the rest of the fabric and especially with the scrappy binding. The texture was a little smoother and less cottony than usual quilting fabric, so it was a little more trouble to work with than the usual, but the end result was good. All in all, I’m excited! I just need to come up with a name.

Next on the list: a low volume baby quilt and a high-contrast purple and yellow quilt!

 

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