Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Batik Slash Finish

This quilt is finished! Another quilt that has been waiting to be finished for far to long.

My sister and I had a lot of fun photographing this quilt, and who wouldn't? This quilt is so nice. I really love it!

I had a hard time deciding how to quilt this. With all of the blocks not being the same size, I felt a little limited on how to quilt it. I did not want to stitch-in-the-ditch with ditches that did not line up. I did not want to do any straight line quilting either because of the same reasons. In the end I decided to make "petals" much like I did with Serenity's quilt. I cannot remember which blog I read that showed how to do this. When I do I will update with the link.

I decided that it needed another quilting line and quilted down the middle of these "petals" for more stability and looks. Also, here is a close look at the backing and binding fabric. It is a bright batik that I thought matched the brightness of the quilt. I could not decide on a fabric with so many batiks to choose from.

This quilt will sneak up on you!

It's getting closer!

Almost on top of you!

BOOM! It got you!
I warned you. ;) My sister is goofy.

A full shot of the back.
Although this quilt was originally going to be a gift (four years ago), I had no current intentions other than to finish it. I really like this quilt and think that I will keep it. Although I give many quilts away it is nice to keep one every once in a while. So, I have hopes for the use of this quilt in the future at my home, but for now I will curl up under it.
It measures: 42" x 52"

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tiger Pride

I made this quilt for the girls soccer coach as a big thank you for letting me be a volunteer-helper coach. Being an assistant coach has meant so very much to me, and I do not know how to express my utmost thanks for such an opportunity without making and giving a quilt.

It is in the school colors: black and gold (and a little grey). It has flowers in the fabrics, but I figure you know GIRLS soccer and that his wife will probably use it more than he will. He enjoys the cold weather that starts the season. I did make it very long (on accident really...shh) so that they can share if they go to a game together (obviously not one he is coaching) or she brings their (grown) children.

Many of the fabrics were originally purchased for the 2016 quilt and, with the greys, did not work well with the black and old gold of that quilt. This quilt it more yellow and grey with pops black.
I purchased a few more fabrics and pulled a couple from the stash.

This yellow was from my stash. I did not realize that I had used a strip from one end until I had cut into it and started to piece, so I found a scrap of yellow and threw it in. I think it works well, and I do not think anyone will really even notice it. This is really the only one that was left after trimming the sides to match. You know, over trimming to the point where it would have been just fine to leave the strip the original size. So, this is a long and slender quilt.

I am really rather excited to finish and give this quilt to them. I hope they are excited to receive it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Quilty Goals: April Update

I have been very busy in April. Not all of my business has been quilt/sewing related, but it was all fun!

Quilt related:
I finished the houndstooth quilt! Woohoo!

The Batik Slash is almost done. I have the binding on one side. I just needs to finished sewing it on to the other side and bury the threads (so close!).

I also finished a quilt top (I have not had time to blog about) that was not a part of the quilt goals, but you know how it is. Things get added.

Non-quilt related:
Well, this year I was an assistant JV and V girls soccer coach. I LOVED it! I am sad that it is over for the year. I am looking into ways to improve my coaching skills and cannot wait until next year.

Varsity went to state playoffs! It was a first for the soccer program at this location.
I am so proud of these girls. They worked hard to get to the playoffs and played hard throughout the game. This is the best team! I am thankful to have been able to help coach this wonderful team.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Houndstooth-Bama Finish

I have decided to name this quilt Bama.
It is a very fitting name for an Alabama quilt. I thought of a few other names such as Bear, Paul, Bryant, Paul Bear Bryant, Alabama, Alabama Tide, Tide, Roll Tide, and Houndstooth, but the only name that really stuck with was Bama.

I gave this quilt to the person that it was promised to as a wedding present about four years ago, oh me! She loved it!

Since I decided to finish it the size that worked best with the fabric that I had for it (or could find that I had original fabric for this quilt) it finished as a baby quilt; 38 1/2" x 42 1/2". Fortunately they have a baby and it works great for her!
I quilted free-motion swirls (roll tides) in each block and used white in the white parts and black in the black parts. I also quilted in the ditch; straight in the long diagonal using white and around the outside in black (I think that description is confusing, so trust me it outlined all of the blocks). I think it worked very well.
The backing is Alabama fabric and the binding is houndstooth fabric in grey. I still have a whole lot of these fabrics, so be prepare to see them in the future. Most likely since I have so much they will be backings of some quilts, but we will see how it the creative juices use them.
Although I was not a fan of the process while making this quilt; now that it is finished I want to make two or three more. It really was not terrible to make; more annoying than anything working with the bias, however, the end product is so worth it!
Also, I love taking pictures in a field of canola! There is just something about so much yellow! Everywhere you look is yellow. I just love it! Yellow was my first favorite color, so I am a little partial to yellow.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Houndstooth Finally

I have had this quilt planned for so long! I even started making and piecing it using the tube method.

I used 2 1/2 in strips and I did not know what size the blocks would be once I cut them, but during the sample blocks, I found that when I cut them they measured 5 1/2 in cut. I think that maybe I am doing something wrong because they were not perfectly square. So, I trimmed them to 5 1/4 in. I am sure that if you wanted to use precuts you could cut the strips a little smaller and trim the squares to 5 in.

This is an excellent video on how to make the quilt the way that I planned and started making mine (way back in 2011).

I am so excited to be finally making this quilt. I had a fourth of the blocks pieced and trimmed. I also had most of the fabric cut and ready to sew. I had all of the black fabrics prepared. If I had the white prepared I have lost or used it.

So, I cut some white fabric and got to work.

I pieced all the rest of the blocks then cut, pressed, and trimmed them. I laid them all out to see how big this quilt was going to be.
Originally, like the Batik Slash, I was going to make this a lap quilt, and just like that quilt I am finishing it just like it is.

I love the way that this turned out. It is very pretty and I know that the receiving family will love it so much!
I cannot decide exactly how to quilt it. I don't want any white thread on the black parts or black thread on the white parts. So far I have quilted on the diagonal where the blocks meet. I have a few ideas, so I will start more quilting soon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Quilty Goals: March update

On this last day of March, I am here to tell you that in March I have worked hard on my quilty goals. I finished a quilt for a friend by putting on the facing. I also completed two quilt tops: the Auburn quilt (blue, orange, and tiger) and the houndstooth quilt top (I will be posting about it in the next couple of days).

I have also started quilting the Batik Slash and the houndstooth quilts.

I would go into a little more details, but I am exhausted tonight.
I am off to dream of quilts and free motion quilting on these two quilts.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Strip: Orange, Blue, and Tigers

Back in late August early September, I bought these
fabrics to make a quilt for a friend. I never got started, so I put this on my quilt goal list.
This past week I found a little time to cut the strips and later a little more time to start piecing.

 I had this half way pieced and left it on the table. With my prior engagements cancelled, I was able to finish it up.

I knew I had to take a picture of it now or I would not have a flimsy to show.
I do not think there is enough blue fabric in this quilt but plan to use it for the binding which will work great.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Finishing the Unifinished 4: part 2

Before I began quilting this quilt top, I looked how to finish a hexie quilt. I was not looking forward to binding this quilt and I was looking for tips on how to put a binding on an edging like a hexie quilt. Instead of finding how to put a binding on a hexie quilt, I found how to put a facing on one.
I found this blog describing how she had finished a grandmother's flower garden for a friend. She used this video as a guide to help her finish her quilt. It helped me also (a LOT). The only thing that I would change is that I would make my facing strips wider if the edge is deep. I'll try to explain what I mean a little later. 
 When you put the facing on, there is a LOT of pivoting, but it is VERY worth it! Basically sew a basting stich on the front.
I did not follow instructions by sewing this as a scant 1/4". I think that it would have been better to sew under the quarter inch, but I did not realize until I had finished and was not going to take it all out. Instead I left it and it worked fine. I suggest sewing less than I did, but don't stress if you do as I did. It still worked great.
This is a lot of sew, pivot, sew, pivot, sew, pivot...

...sew, pivot.
I did not take a picture of the next step of sewing and pivoting on the back of the quilt. Why must I forget to take pictures that would help!
So...you cut most of the backing and binding away; pin the facing to the front; and sew it on just a little under the basting (this is where the quarter inch is used). This means there is more of the same sewing and  pivoting on the back. Don't worry, it won't take long, you are almost finished, and it is WORTH IT!
When you finish with all the sew/pivots, you cut away the batting and facing fabric, clip the corners, and flip it over (just like binding) and whip-stitch it to the back (again, like binding). DONE!

Okay, this is what I mean about the deeper sections. The picture above is showing (what I am calling) deeper than the picture below. The video only shows how to work with the hills of the bottom picture. It did not show the plateaus that I worked with in this top picture.
Both sections of facing in these two pictures are the same width. The difference is the depth of the valleys. The facing on the back of the hills were just as I hoped but with the plateaus there was barely enough to cover the seam. Again, I would cut the facing a few inches wider.

Once you have the facing whip-stitched to the backing you see the awesomeness of the facing, especially on a hexie quilt! It really shows off the edges of this quilt without doing something drastic to make a binding work (such as cutting them off!).
The edges look so clean and impressive! All of that pivoting pays off big!

And now the reveal of the finished quilt!
This low-contrast hexie quilt is just so sweet! I think the subtle quilting is was the best way to quilt it. And the facing! What a difference the facing makes! I think I will put a facing on more quilts even those without irregular edges.

With the front being low contrast, I decided to go a little bolder with the backing. This print and its colors seemed like the best fabric to match the front. I finished the bolt which was long enough for the back, but not wide enough, so I decided to tone the boldness down with solids. I had the white and yellow fabric left from the last t-shirt quilt I made and thought they worked great. I did briefly consider using a plum for the facing, but I had the yellow AND thought it would really look better. I am so glad that I did not change my mind and pick up some plum.

I am just in love with this finish!
I delivered it to my friend who, along with her daughter, is also in love with it. Her daughter loved it so much that it has become her quilt. Now a fourth generation is falling in love with quilts. When I was leaving this little girl informed me that she wants to be a "sew maker" when she grows up. Best way to melt a quilter heart!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Finishing the Unifinished 4: part 1

Last week I showed you the quilt that I finished for her last May. This week I am staying on my quilty goals by finishing the second to the last quilt top that I am finishing for my friend.
This hexie quilt is so very sweet. I really love it! I am very glad that I was able to finish this quilt for her. It feels like an honor to finish this quilt.
Does anyone know if this is considered a grandmother's flower garden? I am not sure with the background being two different colors.
This quilt is hand pieced. My friend tells me that two or three members of her family worked on this quilt: her grandmother and two aunts worked together to make this quilt.

This is my favorite block. I did not notice until I was quilting that this block has one different fabric. The color and pattern of the mismatched block match very well. It is hard to notice unless it is pointed out.

I thought about a few ways to quilt this wonderful quilt. I looked at ways others had quilted hexie quilts and decided that I would just quilt with straight lines from top to bottom. I think it looks perfect on this quilt.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Finishing the Unfinished 3

I cannot believe that I never showed this quilt!

It is a Roman Coin quilt, and I think it is lovely! It is hand pieced and is one of the five quilts my friend asked me to quilt for her.

I finished it May 2014, and she gave it to a family member as a baby quilt for a sweet little girl.
I looked for a while at Joann's for backing fabric that would match quilt and found this fabric, which I think works perfectly with this quilt.

I love that with this quilt there is some mirroring. The center row is completely mirrored and several others are mirrored with some of the coin fabrics but not the background fabric, but not all of the blocks match.

The four corners are mirrored and all the same.
With this quilt going to a little girl, I thought that using more pink would be perfect. I pulled this fabric out of my stash. Sweet little hearts.

I quilted this in a straight line. Soon my friend will wonder if I can quilt in any other way. Ha! It is easy and goes well with a quilt top that has been made for sometime and needs finishing. Also I think that it does not take the spotlight off of the quilt top.

So, there you go. A wonderful quilt finished. It is lovely and I have been told that the precious little girl loves it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Batik Slash Sash Flimsy

I started this quilt summer of 2011.
When I started this quilt I had someone in mind and I planned to make this a lap sized quilt.
I, of course, thought I would have it finished by now, but other projects continued to get more attention. I worked on this some last spring and again put it to the side. Since I am working diligently on my 2015 quilty goals this one has come to the top.

It is NOT a lap quilt, but it is okay to change plans.

It IS a wonderful baby quilt. Even though many of the points do not meet and some are cut off, this is a beautiful quilt. Technique does not always take center stage, nor does it always have to.

This quilt was pieced on two different machines. I am not certain if that is what made the blocks different sizes, but I've heard that it can. Especially if you do not know where your true quarter inch is located on the machine you are using.

For the most part, the size difference in the blocks do not affect the quilt. I trimmed all of the blocks to three different sizes as close to its previous size and in groups of four. Then I joined these groups into rows. I put a border on each section to make up for the smaller blocks. I am going to trim these borders after quilting to square up the sides.

I have a backing for this quilt and will start quilting it soon.

A little something extra: a picture of me spreading this quilt on the fresh snow for a snow picture. Enjoy the purple sweat pants.