Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another One for Community Projects

I brought some blocks home Monday evening from NAQG Community Projects workday. While returning all my sewing supplies to their rightful places at home I pulled the blocks out and decided to arrange them on the design wall. Then I decided to just sew a few together and I ended up staying up until 1 a.m. and finishing the quilt top. Yesterday I got it quilted and this morning I added the binding and label. I did a faux piped binding again. This time because I had found a piece of fabric i wanted to use for the binding but it was only 8" by width of fabric. I knew I would need 5 WOF strips to bind the quilt. My normal binding is cut in 2.5" strips. But if I do the faux piped binding the binding fabric is cut 1.5" and the piping fabric is cut 1.75" so I had enough to do that. And I do like the extra little pop the binding gives to the finished quilt. In this case it helped carry the white used in the center blocks out to the edge of the quilt. My freehand quilting design on this quilt is loops and asterisks.
I used some polka dot fabrics I bought a few years ago for the backing. I hope some child in a crisis situation finds some comfort from this quilt.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So I have been busy...what's new? Ginger made a little quilt top and had me quilt it for her...she told me what to do in each area. This was not done on Lizzie but on my regular sewing machine
I think the feathers turned out rather nice and they are small, as you can tell in the following picture:
After a busy week and weekend I spent the next week wishing I could just stay home but still had too many activities . But I did manage to get some quilting done. First I had a top from Guild community projects, a simple large 4-Patch alternated with muslin squares. Fabrics choices were, shall we say, interesting. I would not have used fall colors green and pink together, but someone was using up leftovers. Anyway I quilted an all over design which haven't named, with green thread to break up that big expanse of muslin. After quilting I bound it with green and added a pink piping to help tie the blocks together. Once it was finished I liked it.
Next I quilted a top to be given to one of the members of the family moving into the new Habitat for humanity house when it is finished. This quilt just needed the design on the fabric outlined and then I quilted sign shapes in the border.
Lastly I quilted another for Community Projects. I like this one much better. Scrappy half square triangles with strategically places white/cream triangles. I decided to do an allover freehand design that I think I will call meandering flourishes. It was fun and fast to do and you can really see teh quilting well on the back of the quilt.
Yesterday was community projects day and I turned in my finished quilts, but I came home with lots more than I left with in the morning. 2 more quilts for Habitat house (one queen size!), 2 more for tops for Community projects, and 2 sets of blocks for community projects, one of which I have already sewn into a finished top and I think I will quilt it next! The other set of blocks is all arranged on the design wall and should only take a couple of hours to get sewn together . But the most exciting news is I also brought home 2 quilts to quilt for someone who will be paying me to do them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quilting Makes the Quilt.

I brought this quilt top home from guild. The powers that be was decided it was too dark and boring to give to a child in crisis.
Truly, it is rather boring. I think someone put it together, decided they didn't like it and donated it. So I figured I had nothing to lose by practicing on it. Ginger loves cats and liked the quilt because it has cats on it. I decided it is time to finally actually try quilting a feathered border...freehand feathers, although I did chalk in a spine line to guide me. I outlined the cats and the frames around them and meandered in their background. Due to a mistake I made a slight tear on one of the frames, so I went back and and added a looping design to cover the tear and actually it improved the quilt to lighten up hat dark frame.

Then I had to decide what to do in those big light squares. I knew they really wouldn't show on the front but went with feathered wreaths, with a feather/loop design in the corner of the block and a rose in the center. Since the back of the quilt is a black background print, the quilting shows up quite well on the back.Yes, my feathered border isn't quilt show quality, but its certainly not bad for a first attempt. All in all the quilting really does this improve this quilt, but I knew it could. I never decide a quilt is a failure until after it has been quilted. And even then I have had a few that improved with a washing and drying. I think I will probably be donating this one to Wrap Them In Love, through the Sunshine online guild. Ginger has at least 7 quilts already and one is a "cat" quilt.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I've been Busy!

I mentioned an idea for a 4 fabric quilt using the block lotto June block on Monday. Well, I had actually picked out fabrics on Sunday, and Monday afternoon I went ahead and made the quilt top. 3 hours and 15 minutes from fabric to completed top, start to finish including cutting time. Not bad!
Tuesday I decided to get the 2 tops Pat F. in Sunshine guild had sent for quilting done. And I did get them both quilted, even though I also had potluck and meeting at church Tuesday evening. Wednesday I was supposed to take a friend for a doctor appointment in the afternoon, but she cancelled so I was home until 4:00. I sewed bindings on the 2 Sunshine Quilts.Hard to see but the one above is quilted with a meandering half sun swirl design. The quilting shows a little better on the one below. It is a baptist fan variation.

And then I pieced a back for my quick quilt. And got it loaded on the machine before I had to leave for the evening. After Choir practice I quilted it with freehand baptist fans, which I think turned out a little nicer than the ones on the string quilt. My spacing of lines improved a bit and quilted all the way across the quilt one row at a time in opposite directions. This morning I made a faux piped binding as i had seen in this tutorial and after my morning routine I sewed it on the quilt.
I am quite pleased with how it turned out. It's amazing what a difference an 1/8" line of white piping can make. Actual working time on this quilt start to finish was less than 8 hours.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's on my design wall this Monday?

First on the design wall is the ABC Blue work quilt top I started at community projects day for Giuild. Anne embroidered the bluework Sunbonnet ABC;s blocks and and it was a quick quilt to make. Hopefully I'll get it quilted before guild meeting (the 20th)

On the other design wall are the blocks i made for this months block lotto. Finding and cutting the fabrics was the time user on these. The actual sewing time for the 9 blocks was less than 15 minutes. And it got my mind working and i have selected 4 fabrics and will soon be making a whole quilt top with this block. 4 Fabric quilts aren't my usual choice, but since the blocks go together so fast I won't have time to get bore working with the limited selection, and i will give me another top to practice my quilting on! I do want to do a scrappy quilt with this block, and who knows....I could win the lotto blocks and the blue/green/purple scrappy palette suits me just fine too!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Quilt for Father Jarek

At the May Ladies auxiliary meeting we voted to give Fr. Jarek a monetary going away gift, which Marilyn gave to him that night. At that time he expressed a desire for the ladies to make him a quilt, with a patriotic fabric theme. So Marilyn called me the next day and I was thrilled. I had thought about giving him a quilt but had no idea what colors he might like. I said I thought it would be great if the ladies would sew blocks and i could put it all together and quilt it. I said I'd design something and make block kits to distribute on May 14th at the regular quilting day. I picked 2 background fabrics from my stash and found 17 red and 18 blue fabrics to make 35 star blocks. The block design kept star points well away from the edge of the blocks, so all blocks could be trimmed to the same size. With so many different seamstresses, some of whom had never made a quilt block, I didn't expect them all to come back the same size. On the 12th I handed out block kits and demonstrated the sewing of the block. Amazingly I had all of the completed blocks back in my hands by May 25th, which is really pretty amazing if you have ever done a group quilt. Meanwhile I ordered backing, border and sashing fabrics which arrived before I had the completed blocks. I trimmed all the blocks down to the same 10" size and it was an easy matter to get the top together. I had it done by the weekend. Life was busy so didn't get to put the quilt on the machine until Thursday morning, but quilting was done before I went out for the evening.
I made the binding before bed and sewed it on before taking the girls swimsuit shopping on Friday.

After a successful shopping trip, I decided to go ahead and use the leftover fabrics to make a small doggie quilt for Father Jarek's dog. I had a piece of extremely high loft batting and I think it will make a nice place for Phillip (the dog) to nap.