Sunday, January 26, 2014

Willows Wall Quilt

Here's a quilt I made forever ago. Ok, it was just last spring...but it feels like forever ago. I started it right before my sweet baby girl was born. I had just finished the Watermelon Wedge Quilt but still had about 3 weeks of pregnancy left, and I was bored. Or stir-crazy. Or...I just felt like starting another quilt! So I did.

This was fun to make because it was small and somewhat of an experiment. Originally the design for this was on some fabric I made on Spoonflower a few years ago to decorate the family room in my Minnesota house.

(Story time!) I had been trying to figure out what to do with that basement room since we moved in. It had yucky green walls and these horrible cornice boxes above the windows that had a maroon, green and gold wallpaper border running down the center. I needed a new color scheme for the room that would look good with the brick. I was also on the lookout for a different border to replace the ugly one, but no luck. Then my mother-in-law (HS interior design teacher) told me about liquid starch and how it can stick fabric to walls. So I started thinking about using fabric instead of wallpaper. Then my little sister Kaeli came to visit and we decided it was definitely time to redo the basement. So Kaeli, being the brilliant design genius that she is, suggested orange and aqua for the color scheme. We hunted for a week for the perfect fabric, but of course, did not find it. So I decided to make my own. I had been wanting to make something on Spoonflower since I discovered its existence, but hadn't gotten around to it. It was so exciting. Kaeli told me I should make fabric with some of those "willow things" on it. I had no idea what "willow things" were, so she drew me a little sketch and I loved the idea! I looked for the sketch but couldn't find it...luckily, at one point it was up on my bulletin board...

It's tiny...but there it is! So anyway, I made the fabric design using inkscape (of course!!). Then I had the fabric printed, used it in the cornice boxes and for a couple pillows. It worked out well, and I really love the design. So long story short (too late) last spring I decided it would make a fun wall hanging.

The background is mostly paper pieced. It was the only way I could think to make the design precise with all the different angles and overlaps. And I had never paper pieced anything, but it worked out perfectly. The little ovals are appliqued on using fusible web and a blanket stitch. Fun fun!

I quilted it on my regular sewing machine...I figured it would be easy to do the straight lines that way and it was. I used painters tape as a guide and it turned out alright. At first I just did the vertical lines, but decided to add the horizontal ones just for fun. I was planning to bind it in the same color, but I ran out of fabric! So I used a slightly darker green instead. It works. 

And I gave this one to my cute friend Laura in New Hampshire. She loves this had to be hers. She lived across the yard from me and we hung out all the time. And she was nice enough to watch my older girls while I had a baby! I even conned her into making her first quilt even though she said she could never do it...and let's talk about was super cute! She had never used a sewing machine, but she did it all herself and even machine quilted it and did a great job! The best part is that she loved it, so there's a good chance her first quilt won't be her last! Her husband just bought her a sewing I'd say mission accomplished! Quilting bug...planted! :) Miss you Laura!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Petals and Stars Quilt

Here's another quilt!! This is one that had been on the back burner for over a year so I am happy that it is finally done!!

I made this one for my little sister Juli. She was up next for a new quilt...I told her I would make her one she could take with her when she went off to be a missionary in Montana. So I asked her what colors she liked, mocked up a couple quilts and had her pick the one she liked best. This was the one she picked. She left in August and I didn't have time to make it before she left, so I told her I would try to get it done by the time winter started in Montana. I bought a bunch of fabric and started cutting it out...and then I got pregnant. Eerrrrrrrk! (That is the sound of all quilting activities coming to a screeching halt for 4 months). Yeah. I don't know what it is about early pregnancy that makes me not want to even look at fabric--it is super weird. But luckily it goes away eventually. Unfortunately, by the time I felt like quilting again, it was January. Winter in Montana was almost over (right?) and I had a bunch of other quilts I was all excited about. Ok, ok...and the thought of piecing a bunch of curves revived my nausea. Soooo...onto the back burner!

In September I realized that I needed to get cracking on this quilt...Juli had been gone a whole year and it was almost winter again in Montana. I wanted her to be able to enjoy her quilt for at least a couple of months before she came home from her mission. But I was still not looking forward to piecing curves! I was worried that the points wouldn't line up and it would look goofy. So I put it off for a little while longer. Then one day I decided that rather than piecing a gazillion curves, it would be so much easier if I just sewed squares together and appliqued the curvy petal pieces over the top of the seams. Yes! Much easier!! So that's what I did! And it was easy. I just centered the petals over the seams and pinned them on one row at a time. Then I sewed them down with a blanket stitch in matching thread. The best part was that I was able to do a whole row without breaking thread! When it was done I flipped it over and cut away the extra fabric on the back. Why didn't I think of doing this before??

The fabric is a little bit of everything...anything gray, aqua or chartreuse that I could get my hands on. Originally I was trying to get all the grays to match perfectly...but in the end I was just using whatever I had! There is even some of the leftover gray from the Simply Rectangles quilt. 

There were lots of cool ways I wanted to quilt this but due to time constraints I decided to just do a quick panto. I wanted something loopy and fancy but easy. So I found one called "Modern Tatting" that was really pretty, but it had a bunch of tiny loops that I knew I didn't have patience I simplified it and I am very happy with how it turned out. I backed it in light gray Minky and bound it in the matching charcoal. Then I sent it to cute Juli for Christmas. :) 

And she will be home in 3 days! Yay! Welcome home Juli!! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Quilt Calendar

I know this girl who likes to make quilt calendars as Christmas gifts for her mom, sisters...other female get the idea. She loves putting the quilts together and then making them look amazing (or mediocre...depending on the photo) in pictures. :)
Well one year, she got a little behind on the making of the quilts, and thus did not get the calendar done in time. It was tough for her to admit defeat...but she was not superwoman, so everyone got something else for Christmas instead. But today, even though it was half way through January, she decided to finally finish getting the calendar ready for printing. And then she ordered a test print. It was a happy moment. :)

Annnnd...the back is the same as always, but with a new font. I am printing them on as usual since they never disappoint! So...those of you who are generally on the calendar receiving list, get excited! You will be getting your calendar...eventually...because I really want to do a test print this time so it is perfect and because really,  at this point, what's the rush?? ;)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Simply Rectangles Quilt

Here's a quilt! A fun quilt! A quilt I made back in November.

I did this one for the Fall Festival at my daughter's school. They were having a bunch of bucket raffles...and what's a good raffle without at least one quilt, right? Seriously, sometimes I just need any excuse to make a quilt! And since I took a 3 month break from quilting over the summer I was a little behind on my quota for the yearly calendar. So I thought it would be funny if I tried to finish 5 quilts in less than 2 months...starting with this one. Hahaha. (I almost made it!)

When I decided to make this quilt, I was thinking I would just grab a jelly roll and whip something out. I had seen Simply Style by V and Co. for Moda and thought it was so cute. I almost bought the jelly roll, but then decided to just get 1/4 yard cuts of my favorite fabrics in the line...I knew I would have leftovers--so I thought it would be wise to have leftovers I might actually use. 

For the pattern... I just got it from one of my favorite prints in the line...

Fat Quarter Bundle of Geometric Frames from the Simply Style Collection by V and Co for Moda

I love it! I just pasted a picture of a swatch into Inkscape, made the rectangles, messed with different color layouts and figured out the measurements. The size of this quilt is 80" x 82" but it was really fast to piece since the blocks were simple and huge. 

For the quilting, I decided to do a pantograph because they're so fast! I wanted one that was interesting since there was so much white space and I thought something angular would look best. I found this's called Sparkler. I think it's perfect!

For the back, I found this sweet chevron print at Hobby Lobby. The gray matched the gray on the front perfectly! And I love Hobby Lobby cause this stuff was less than five bucks per yard! Awesome! And I bound it in white.

So the best part was that the principal of the school ended up winning the raffle for this quilt and she was really excited. :) 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Alex's Wedding Quilt Pattern

Happy New Year! Hopefully everyone had a great holiday! Mine was crazy busy as usual. I have about 6 quilts I need to post--just haven't found the time to do it! So hopefully that will be happening this month! Anyway, over the past few weeks I have received several inquiries about a pattern for this old quilt. The design for this quilt actually came from the Layout Library in EQ6--it is one of the irregular grids. So if you have EQ, you can make this any size...but for those who don't, now there's a pattern for the throw size I made for Alex. Get it HERE!