Monday, February 21, 2011

Max's Robot Circle Quilt

Yes, another circle quilt. I made this one for my new nephew Max, at the request of his cute mom (my sister-in-law). When she found out she was having a boy, she told me she was going to decorate the nursery with robots. I remembered seeing the David Walker robots fabric and thought it might be perfect. She liked the main robot print but thought the coordinates were too bright, so she picked out the other fabrics she wanted to match. I threw together a couple of designs in EQ and let her choose the one she liked the best, and this is what we ended up with. I think it turned out really cute.

The circles were made with my favorite fusible interfacing method (roughly explained here) never fails! It was super fast to do these on the squares too. For the quilting, I got a little crazy. In the past I have struggled a little bit with how to quilt circle quilts (See my issues with stippling here). I wanted it to seem kinda sciencey (new word I just made up) so I did all the robot blocks with a grid around the circle and then a few randomly placed squares inside--they are all different--so that was fun. And I got pretty well acquainted with my mini ruler.

Then I used rulers to make this pattern--it's supposed to look kind of atomic...

...then on alternating rows I did this swirl with a groovy board--so fast--I love it!

And here it is in the nursery!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cutest Baby Girl Quilt EVER!

Here's my latest quilt. I made it for my friend Jill's baby girl, Ali. And OK, maybe it's not THE cutest baby girl quilt ever, but it is definitely the cutest baby girl quilt I have ever made! It was easy and fast too! (Thank goodness, since I am currently about 4 months behind on all the baby quilts I need to make!)

This quilt was inspired by some art prints I saw online back when I was looking for some inspiration for the pick-up sticks quilt. There were three different prints, and they were so cute--I thought if I took some of the elements from each picture and combined them--it would make a darling quilt. I love the names of the prints too. And when I was looking for these prints again to put them on here, I discovered that there is another one in the series...called Titanium. Cute, cute.

I drew up a little sketch so I wouldn't forget about it. I wanted to start making it right on the spot, but I had about 6 other projects that had to be done first and I didn't have the fabric I wanted to use for it (or so I thought). I looked online at fabric for a few days but couldn't seem to find what I had in mind--then I got smart and looked through my stash and found exactly what I needed! And it turned out just how I had first pictured it, colors and everything. So all in all, a success!

Here's a picture of my sketch. Originally I was going to put a leaf on it-- but I showed it to my husband and he was not a fan...he convinced me to try putting rings on it, so I messed with it for a while and finally ended up with the row of little rings. And can I just say that it was so fun to have my cute husbands input on this quilt! Usually he just says, "that looks great honey" (or something similar) and goes back to whatever he was doing. Seriously wish he was a quilter! He'd be good--but he's told me he has to draw the line somewhere...

I made this quilt using applique on a single piece of fabric. The patterns for the flowers and the circle in a square were taken from the art prints and all the other shapes I just kinda eyeballed when I cut them out.
I quilted this using my favorite swirly flower meander, and stitched around all the shapes. I contemplated quilting inside some of the bigger shapes, but decided to just leave them. I was going to piece the back with the scraps I had leftover so I could say I didn't have to buy anything for this quilt, but in the end I couldn't do it. So I bought some more of the black dotty stuff for the back and I am really glad I did. I also used the black dots for the binding and I love it!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doll Quilts, etc.

Here are a couple of mini quilts I finished yesterday. I made them for my oldest daughter who is turning 3 in a few days. I have been getting a little crazy with the presents. Don't ask me why I think a 3-year-old needs all the junk I have been making and buying for her--I couldn't tell you. Anyway, for Christmas we got her a dollhouse, and I have been watching her use her own big blanket and some burp rags as blankets for the dolls. So for her birthday I decided to make a mini quilt to go on the bed in her dollhouse.

This is the first one I made. Since it was so small (9 x 12) I decided applique was the quickest method to use. I ironed fusible web onto the back of a few strips of fabric, peeled the backing off and cut the strips into random square-ish shapes. Then I ironed them on and stitched them all down with a straight stitch. I quilted it with little baby flowers, but sadly you can't really see them. Oh only took about 10 minutes total to load and quilt it. If only all the quilts I made were that fast!

Then, being the obsessive girl that I am, of course I had to "try it on" the bed the minute I had it done. This involved sneaking into my little girls room while she was sleeping and snatching the little bed out of the dollhouse so I could see if it fit. Close enough! Then this morning I slapped it on the bed and snapped a few pictures when she wasn't looking. I love being sneaky!

So after I had cut all the pieces for the first quilt, I still had a few strips left over that already had the fusible web on the back, so I figured why waste it? I'll put it on the back! Then I had an even better idea--I'll make two quilts! (Cause two quilts are always better than one, right?). So I cut some of the strips up at random angles and ironed them on. I decided to just quilt around the shapes for this one. Binding these was not difficult, but it is frustrating that when you make a quilt this small, the imperfections seem to be multiplied by a factor of 1000. It drives me a little crazy that I couldn't get the binding not to look wavy and crooked...but what do you do?

While I was making this quilt I had it in my head that it would be for the living room--I was thinking it would be good as a throw for the little couch...but really...what 3-year-old knows what a "throw" is? Ha ha. I know I am funny. The dollhouse came with a little purple scrap of fabric that we assumed was supposed to be a rug, but she uses it as a blanket of sorts for when Tinkerbell falls asleep on the I thought maybe she could use this quilt as a rug. Whatever.

So I also made Miss Madi a couple other apron and a dress. The apron because she has recently become my little helper in the kitchen (and is perhaps the messiest child alive) and because she looks a little silly wearing one of my aprons...way too big for her. I just sort of made this up as I went along. I got the fabric at Hobby Lobby--it's duck cloth but it isn't too heavy or stiff and after I washed it it felt really nice. It only took me about an hour and a half total to make, and it looks a lot like mine. I think she is going to love it.

The dress...well she is the queen of wearing dresses. She loves to twirl. I have made several little dresses for her in the past, and they are all getting too I was planning on making a few more this spring. A couple weeks ago we were in the laundry room and she was looking at the little red dress on the Clothesline wall hanging and she said, "Mom, I want to wear that dress." So I made one in her size. I already had the red polka dot fabric that I actually bought last year with the intention of making her a little dress...but I decided I didn't want her to look like Mini Mouse so I stashed it. Well I was more than happy to pull it out last week to make this dress! I love it when I already have exactly the fabric I want/need! I sort of used McCalls 5836 as the pattern. But pretty much the only thing I followed was the bodice pattern. I added more length and width to the skirt, gathered it all instead of making pleats and made up my own straps. Easy easy. Finished it in a couple of hours. I am considering adding some ruffles along the top edge of the bodice, but we'll see if that gets done in time for her birthday. Now all I need to do is make that princess cake, and we'll be all ready for the big THREE!