Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Wipey Box Circle Quilt

Here's my entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival! I know I seem to be making a lot of circle quilts lately, but this is the first circle quilt I ever planned on those other quilts were like...research. And it is FINALLY done. I started plotting this one a couple years ago--shortly after I had my first baby and I spent a lot of time looking at this:

Yes, the wipey box! After glancing at it several times a day for 4 or 5 months, I decided that this design would make a really cool quilt. So I kept thinking about it every time I looked at it for about the next 6 months. Then I made a little mock-up in Inkscape, messed with the colors for a while and finally decided on black, gray and greens. I spent some time trying to find the perfect fabric but in the end I decided to use all solids because I thought prints might compete with the design a little too much.

Once I had the fabric, I printed out my little mock-up from Inkscape, blew it up on the copy machine and figured out the scale (i.e. 1/4 inch on paper = 1.25 inches on the quilt). To make the circles I used the same method I have used on my other circle quilts (see those here, here, and here)...fusible interfacing. It worked out really well since I was stacking several circles on top of one another-I didn't want it stiff or bulky and this method eliminates extra fabric layers.

Since some of the circles were huge (the biggest one is 24 inches in diameter) I had to figure out a way to make nice round circles that were pretty big so I could trace them onto my fusible interfacing. I did this by taking a piece of mat-board and tacking one end of a long thin piece of cardboard to the center of it. Then from the spot I had tacked the cardboard, I measured 1/2 the diameter of the circle I needed, stuck a hole in the cardboard with a sharp pencil, and drew a circle. It worked great! I pinned the background up on the wall in my dining room (since that's where I am going to hang it) and every time I finished a circle, I would slap it up on the wall and leave it for a few days, move it over a little, leave it for a few more days (repeat) until I liked it. This went on for about 3 months before it was done.

And then finally, my favorite part: the quilting! I quilted lots of different patterns, circles and swirls into the different circles and did 1/2 inch straight lines in the background, so it's kinda fun to look at. It took me a while to quilt since I changed thread colors (and bobbin thread) several times and used rulers a lot. Then my quilting machine decided to have a little meltdown right in the middle so it took even longer than I planned to finish it!

Oh, and I used some more of my awesome $2 per yard fabric for the backing--no picture but it's black, green, gray and white stripe. By far the best part about this quilt is that I am keeping it! (YEAH!)

Check out some amazing quilts at the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!

Amy's Creative Side

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Alphabet Wall Poster

Due to a small quilting machine breakdown, I haven't been able to finish a quilt for a few weeks. So in the meantime, I decided to make this little alphabet poster to go in my girls room (among other things). It feels good to finally have it done since I've been plotting it for a while. Story time! For Christmas this past year I decorated our bedroom (see it here). As part of the decor I decided to make this dandelion picture to go over our bed. (Super easy--it's just a canvas painted with acrylic and a vinyl wall decal).

I decided I wanted to use an 18"x36" canvas but at the time couldn't find one locally--so I decided to just buy one online. The place I got them charged $30 (with shipping) for one canvas or $60 for five. It seemed a little ridiculous to pay that much for one when I could get five for twice as much, so I bought the five, figuring I'd use the extras for other art projects or sell them to my artistic friends. Well when they came, one of the canvases was damaged. I called the company and they said they'd send me a replacement. Well you can see where this is going...don't worry, they sent me FIVE MORE. I called them back and told them what happened, and they said I could just keep them. Now I had 8 extra the wheels in my little head started turning...and this alphabet poster is what I ended up with.

I looked on etsy under "alphabet poster" for some layout ideas. Then I downloaded a bunch of cute free fonts from and made the letters and colors in Inkscape (shareware version of Illustrator) so I could see exactly what it would look like. Then I printed out all the letters, traced them onto fusible paper(mostly for stability--I probably could have used fusible interfacing, but it didn't occur to me at the time), ironed them onto the different fabrics(the same ones I used in the quilts), cut them out and arranged them on the blank canvas (without ironing) and used liquid starch to make them stick. Easy. And totally cute. I actually later came up with a good idea for a border (since the wall I hung it on is the same color as the canvas) that I should have allowed room for, but alas, I didn't. No worries, I still have plenty of canvases left...I can always make another one! :)

yay for decorating!