Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Starry-Eyed Christmas Quilt

I finished a Christmas quilt in time to actually use it for Christmas! I think I started it early this year, abandoned it and finally dug out the almost finished blocks a few weeks ago to get 'er done.
Fabric: Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics.  I was lucky enough to pick up a bundle of this fabric after Christmas last year.  And even luckier that another shop had some yardage still left for me to bind it.

Here's my favorite part: the quilting.  I free-motion quilted a paisley pattern all over the quilt.  Technique found in Angela Walter's book Free-Motion Quilting. It was a bit tricky to figure out where to go next and how to get there.  You have to plan ahead a little bit, but once I got the rhythm down, it was pretty simple.  I could see how this would be very easy on a long arm quilting machine, but it's a little tricky on a domestic machine because you can't always see where you've been and where you're going.  I got myself into corners frequently, but eventually figured out how to get out of those easily too.

I love the texture the quilting created.

I'm playing roulette a bit with the backing.  I bought flannel sheets at Target when they were on sale for $20 a set . . . that's two quilt backs for $20! This one was a red flannel set and I washed it 5 times, using salt and vinegar to set the dye.  I would throw in a piece of my background fabric in each load.  The first time around it was very pink. By the 5th wash, it didn't look too pink anymore . . . I'm hoping that it was just fuzz from the flannel making it look pink at all.  Cross your fingers for me.  The flannel will make a nice cozy, cuddly quilt, but I hope I don't regret the red.

Bound in the red and white stripe from the Countdown to Christmas line.

Finished size: 64" x 80"
Finished Date: November, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm So Lucky!!!

I've been so lucky to win, not one, but two bundles of fabric over the last few weeks and they both arrived yesterday!!!
The lovely Amanda, has a beautiful, well-curated etsy shop called Westwood Acres.  She has a great collection of beautiful bundles and I was lucky enough to win this fat-eighth bundle of Lucky Penny by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics.  Amanda is so kind and generous and I love that she's found a way to work from home and play with her gorgeous children too.  Pop on over and check out her collections.  I may or may not have bought a bundle of Chicopee and some dictionary prints too.  She has Lucky Penny and Notting Hill in stock too . . . hurry, go see, I'll wait.

I was also lucky enough to win a bundle of Amy Butler's Spots from the Fat Quarter Shop via Rachel's blog p.s. i quiltHow lucky is that?! I'm thinking this will be a king size quilt for my bed . . . it's about time I make one of those.  Right now, I'm considering a large herringbone pattern.  Can't wait to get started.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


No hobby should either seek
or need rational justification.
To wish to do it is reason enough.
–Aldo Leopold, "A Sand County Almanac"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Halfway Through the Hustle

There are only 50 days left in 2012 and I've been "Hustle"-ing to get projects done and clean my slate for the new year. 
Kelsey Sews

Here's my list from 50 days ago and my progress:
1. Finish quilting the HST quilt and get it bound. 
2. Whoooo Are You Mini.

3. Halloween Table Runner.
It's ugly, so no picture, but it did get done.
4. Thanksgiving Dresdens Tablerunner.
I have made progress on the quilting, but still in a state of un-done-ness.

5. Christmas Stars Quilt.
Progress! Top is assembled and quilting has commenced.

6. Vintage Christmas.
No Progress.

7. Christmas Advent Calendar.
No Progress.

8. Terrain Hexagon Quilt.
No Progress.

9. Lots of Bee Blocks: Not Your Granny's Bee, NuBees, and Polaroids . . . all need to be put to use.
No Progress.
I've shamefully added a few other projects, but at least I'm making some progress on this list here and there.  Here's to another 50 days of hustling.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Scrappy Halloween Finish

This is Scrappy Halloween.

Scrappy Stash Quilt Along at Ellison Lane Quilts.  There's still time, if you hurry.  Here's the tutorial.

In the spirit of scrappy stash, the back is made from fat quarters and left overs found in my stash.

Free-motion quilting by me.  I started with diagonal lines and stitch-in-the-ditch radiating out from the center with the intent of making one large, dense spider web.  But the farther I got from the center, the sloppier it got.  So I added some diagonals and straight lines to the outer sets of 4 blocks and made 9 spider webs instead.
This left space between the webs that I filled with hundreds of little spiders and their webby trails.

Finished Size: 49" x 49"

Binding: Timeless Treasures Charcoal Sketch
(Now, a word about this fabric.  I bought this upon the recommendation of some fellow bloggers.  Although the print is really fun and a great blender, the fabric quality is atrocious.  I was trying to make hexagons with it and you can feel the difference, not to mention the horrible amount of fraying because of the loose weave.  If you care about quality, do not buy this fabric.)

Christmas Table Toppers Finish

I had hoped to have this quilt finished, but quilting hundreds of spiders is taking a lot longer than I had expected.

But the Halloween quilt WILL be finished today, because I need to get the top below done before Saturday.  My sister will be here and we'll be pinning quilts . . . "you pin my quilt and I'll pin yours."
I did, however, finish these table toppers.  I had some abandoned swoon blocks that were too Christmasy for the quilt I was making.  I just stitched them right sides together to the batting and backing, turned them inside out, edge stitched around the outside to close the opening and give it a good finish and then quilted them free-motion style.  They'll make nice little table toppers for a poinsettia or other little Christmas decoration.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quilting the Scrappy Halloween Quilt

I've been having fun with the quilting on my Scrappy Halloween Quilt . . . but it is taking forever!
I quilted a grid in the ditch of the blocks and then diagonally to make some asteriks shapes.  I used these as a guide to free-motion quilt a spiralling spider web out from the center.  I was going to go across the whole top with just one web, but the farther out I got, the messier in got.  I ended up with 9 webs.
In the spaces in between, I decided to quilt little spiders and their trailing threads of web.  Here's a little video of stitching a spider I was able to upload to my flickr stream, but not here (boo hoo . . . I'm becoming more and more technically un-savvy in my old age.)
On a side note, here's my cute family . . . they were testing the light while we waited for the entire extended family to gather.  This won't go on any Christmas cards or anything, but that's my fam (with me wrestling the 2-year-old to keep his hands out of his mouth).