Friday, November 26, 2010

Lori's Quilt



I finished this quilt last week but I have been waiting to post on it because it is a surprise for my little sister Lori (other sisters, don't be jealous!). I sent it off today, and then I decided that the odds of her actually reading this before she gets it are pretty slim, so here we are. All I can say is hip-hip HOORAY that it is finally done! It only took me 3 months, but I was planning on just busting this one out! My cute little sister Lori moved out of the house and far away to college a few months ago. She is at the same college I went to my 3rd year, so I've been reminiscing a little bit about the good ole days. Anyway, I was talking to her when she first moved into her new apartment (back in August) and she was telling me how her room totally didn't match because she had a red comforter, brown accent pillows and blue carpet. So I decided to make her a little "apartment warming" quilt that would hopefully tie it all together.

This quilt was experimental in pretty much every way! I used fabric colors and combos I have never even thought of using, techniques I have never tried, and fun things with the quilting that I've never done before. The end result was pretty good I'd say...for an experiment :)

Lori's quilt was inspired by this quilt:


by Ashley at Film in the Fridge (free pattern here)

and this fabric:


"Groove" by Caleb Gray for Robert Kaufman

I bought the main fabric (Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin for P&B) before I really knew what I wanted to do with it because it was really the only thing I could find that had red, brown and blue in it (that wasn't hideous). I had seen Ashley's cute quilt on the Robert Kaufman website and thought about using that pattern someday--but I didn't think it would work for this quilt, since the main fabric I wanted to use was lighter colored...and I thought it would look goofy with white sashing...and I wasn't too sure about using red or blue or brown as the sashing either. Well then I saw the groove fabric and it gave me the idea to use the print fabric as the outer border, the solid colors as the inner border and brown for the sashing. So once I had the idea, it was relatively quick to put it all together. I read through the pattern for Ashley's quilt a few times, but I must admit I was totally confused by the instructions...so I just kinda did what I thought would work, and luckily, it did. I've never been good at random...and my brain generally requires some semblance of order in my quilts, so at first it was a little rough to make up each little block as I went along--but once I got the hang of it, I decided it was actually pretty easy.



I wanted to use Minkee for the backing, so I ordered what I thought was the right stuff...but oops! It was really furry. Luckily the place I ordered it from (fabric.com) has free returns, so I sent it back and got the right stuff the second time. Anyway...after the quilt was all pieced, I was so sad that the cute fabric I had used had been cut into pieces so small you couldn't really see how cute it was...there were all these little flowers and birds and stuff...so then (being the genius that I am) I decided I would just quilt some of those flowers and birds onto the quilt! So I traced some of the designs from the fabric onto a piece of paper, scanned it into QuiltCAD (the love of my quilting life) and made my own pantograph!





Quilting it took me a while since I had made this brilliant, however very detailed, pantograph. Plus, to top it off, I made it just barely too big for the space I had to quilt in so the quilting is a little shaky in some spots where I would hit the frame with my machine (oops! lesson learned!) But it is finally done!



After it was all done, I decided I actually like it...I still don't know if the red and blue really go together...but it had to be done. I think if the red were green instead, I might have been tempted to keep it :)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pink, Orange & Brown Stripey Quilt #2



So here is a picture of my most recently finished quilt...which is funny, because I pieced and quilted it back in May. I posted a few pictures of its twin in my very first post...when I was still in the process of quilting this one. I made these for my 2 little girls when I redecorated their bedroom. But back then I wasn't really in a hurry to finish this one, since my baby hadn't even been born yet. Well...baby girl is five months old now, and this quilt has been sitting in my quilting room, unbound, for that long. I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to use for the binding-- but this morning I just decided to pick something and get it done!


It's quilted exactly the same as the other one, in an all-over swirly flower meander - which was so fun to do!



I ended up binding it in the brown large floral -- and I am really happy with how it turned out (now why didn't I think of this 6 months ago?)! The best part is that the binding is really scrappy! When I finished piecing the quilts, I took the small bit of fabric I had leftover and fussy cut a bunch of the flowers to make matching shadow boxes to hang on the wall in the girls' bedroom. So I had to hunt down every single little scrap I had left and piece those together for the binding-- and I just barely had enough! Yes!



And speaking of those shadow boxes...here is a picture of them. Yes, sometimes I do random arts and crafts besides quilting. These shadow boxes were pretty fun to make. This is the second time I have put stuff in these particular boxes, and this time was infinitely faster and better because I learned about liquid starch--and how fabulously it sticks fabric to --well to whatever you want to stick it to! The backgrounds are fabric, and the flowers are a mixture of fabric and acrylic paint. I thought they turned out well for the minimal effort I put into them. I also made a matching valance, bed-skirt and crib sheet. And now I have the second quilt to complete the room! Too bad I am already thinking of changing up the color scheme again...hmmm... guess that means I'll have to make more quilts!



:)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby Boy Circle Quilt



Here's my latest quilt. I made it for my friend Teri's baby boy- Brendan. I've been on a little bit of a circle kick lately, because I think they're cute and fun to make! I used the same method to make the circles as I did for my other circle quilt. Then I used a water-soluble pen to draw grid lines onto the big white piece of fabric, and placed the circles evenly inside the squares. I ironed them on 3 rows at a time and pinned the centers with a safety pin (just in case) and then sewed them on using a blanket stitch.



The animal print is Alexander Henry's 2D Zoo in Pool...I just love this print--and I only have it in one more colorway (it's the brown one) and as soon as i make a quilt out of that one, then I think I can give it a rest! All the circle prints are from various Riley Blake lines, and I don't know why, but I just love them too.



I wasn't planning on putting the 2D zoo on the back because when I first bought it, I only got a little bit and didn't want to buy more because it was a little pricey. But one day I was at Joanns and they were having a big sale so the cut line was really long. As I was waiting in the line, I happened to notice a bolt of this fabric in another girls cart! I thought she must have brought it in with her to match fabrics or something, but I watched, and sure enough, she got some of it cut! It was in the nursery prints section for $10/yard - they had called it something else on the label, but it was the real deal Alex Henry stuff-so I snatched it from the pile of fabrics that were waiting to be put away --and bought a few yards at 50% off! Score!



I debated (for at least 2 days) how to quilt this. I drew tons of little sketches and looked at lots of pictures of circle quilts online, but I couldn't come up with a good plan that wasn't going to take me forever! So in the end I just outlined each circle, and then did a smaller circle in the middle - so it sort of echos the rings that are on most of the fabrics. Then I did something I truly regret! I used stippling around all the circles. WHAT? I know, I know! I strongly dislike stippling. I always have! But I have never tried it on a quilt before, and I was reading this book on quilting backgrounds, and it says that every quilter should have stippling in their bag of tricks (or "in their repertoire" was the wording I think she used). So I decided to try it...and I learned two things: One, I am not very good at stippling, and Two--if I don't like it on other people's quilts, I probably won't like it on one of mine. Momentary lapse in judgment. Well at least now I can say I have tried it!



I bound it in the darkest blue from the animal print, and I can't decide if I like it or not, but it's too late now! Overall I think it turned out pretty well!


Ahhh...baby quilts are fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beth's Quilt -- Blogger's Quilt Festival Quilt



This is a quilt I made as a housewarming gift a while ago for my cute friend Beth. We met when I was a missionary in Texas and quickly became good friends. She and I can talk for hours and hours about anything and everything, even if we haven't talked in a really long time! Beth is 20 years older than me --almost to the day (our birthdays are 1 day apart) but you would think our ages were reversed...she runs and hikes and bikes and skydives --and does a lot of other really cool stuff I wish I had the energy (and/or guts) to do! She's a mom to 4 boys and is one of the nicest, most generous people I know! She is an amazing woman!

Shortly after I left Texas, she and her family decided to move to Idaho (where she is originally from) and build a house. And when I say build a house, I mean, they built it themselves--and Beth did most of it because a lot of the time her husband was still working in Texas! (Like I said, she's amazing!) When I found out she was moving, I decided to make her a quilt. (She probably would have been just as happy with a wind chime or something...but any reason to make a quilt is a good reason in my opinion!)



I used the pattern "Bear Country" by Debbie Field, (with a few modifications of course...I can't seem to follow a quilt pattern without changing it a little). I had a chance to visit the area where Beth was moving, and it is so pretty and peaceful-- so when I saw this quilt pattern, I loved that it had all the pictures of log cabins and bears and fish and elk and all the stuff that reminded me of Idaho. I added the night scene with the mountains--Beth's house is really close to the Tetons, so the mountains are supposed to look like the Tetons, although I must admit, they were harder to make in fabric than I thought they'd be!



Luckily it took them a little while to build the house, because it took me a long time to get the quilt finished! I found most of the fabrics for the quilt at a local quilt shop, and I made most of the quilt pretty quickly but then got stuck when I couldn't find the fabric with the little bear paws on it--or anything to replace it. So a few months later I happened to be at Quilt Market, and I ran into Debbie Field (the pattern designer), and told her of my dilemma and she gave me the phone number to a fabric shop that carried the fabric (score!). So I was finally able to finish the top. Well then I had a baby and moved across the country and it took me another year to get it out of a box and get it quilted!

This was a really fun quilt to quilt! I free-handed everything, going around all the applique shapes, and then making clouds, trees, grass, bear paws, etc. for the backgrounds and borders.



cute Beth with her quilt

So when I finished the quilt, of course I had to sit and admire it for a few days before I sent it to her. I love to do that when I finish a quilt...after all that work there's nothing like FINALLY finishing a quilt! Makes me wonder what Beth thinks every time she looks at the last project she finished...


Beth's beautiful house!


Here's the quilt on her guest bed...makes me wish I had thought to make it bigger!

Enjoy the rest of the Festival!!

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival