Monday, February 25, 2013

Swirls on the flip side..

I forgot to include the picture of the back of the doll quilt that I recently made. I love this fabric with the pink and blue flowers and owls. I think, but am not sure, that it is a piece of a vintage sheet.

This is a fake quilt sandwich that I used to practice quilting swirls on before attempting the real thing.

Quilting plans for this week include finishing the top of the Jewel Box/Buckeye Beauty quilt, work on the machine quilting of the D9P quilt and work on more miniature quilts.

That seems like a tall order, especially since I will be at work during the day all week!

But, the Jewel Box/ Buckeye Beauty top is almost finished.  I have all the blocks finished and sewn into rows.  I just have to sew the rows together.  Its not as large as some of the quilts I have made.  It will finish at 60 by 72.  I will use it for a throw, or folded on the back of a chair or at the foot of a bed.    I plan to quilt swirls on it and can't wait!

The D9P quilting has just been started, so that will take some time to finish since it is a large quilt.

The good thing about the miniature quilts is that they don't take a ton of time to finish.  Almost instant gratification.  I would love to make one to hang on the wall in a spot behind the pictures of our two daughters' wedding photos.

Here's one more picture of the front of the doll quilt.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Swirls, A Doll Quilt and a Birthday

Today was my birthday, so I took a day of vacation from work. Outside was rainy and very cold, but inside it was warm, with candles burning, music playing in the background and sewing going on in the sewing room.  THE PERFECT DAY!

I wanted to begin and finish a project today, so I made this doll quilt. The pattern can be found HERE. I looked through my scraps to find similar colored fabrics.  This is where having precut strips and charm squares came in handy.  I already had the 2 inch strips and 5 inch squares.  This sped things up a lot.

Even though this quilt pattern is for a doll quilt, I think it would be perfect for a small table runner or table topper.

I've also been wanting to expand my free motion quilting beyond the basic meander that I normally do. I love swirls! So I signed up for a Craftsy class and learned how to make them! I'm really happy about this.

They aren't perfect by any means and I need lots more practice. But for my first attempt, I was pleased. You start out by sketching the swirls like this. I also practiced on a practice quilt sandwich before attempting it on a real quilt. The small size of the doll quilt was great for practicing too.

With more practice I think I will be able to manage making swirls on a larger quilt.

There are so many more FMQing designs for me to learn.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Organize Those Scraps! .... Sewing Room Organization

Here's a little peek at the on going work I am doing in my sewing room. There has been lots of slicing, dicing and labeling going on in there. I have made so much progress, but still have lots left to do in order to get it the way I want it!

Most of my bins are "see through", like these.  These drawers are labeled: 2 inch strips light; 2 inch strips dark and 5 inch charm squares.  When I am working on scraps and have pieces of fabric that are close to these sizes, I cut them and store them in the appropriate bin.

In the 5 inch charm square bin I have a dark stack and a light stack.  Here's the light stack.

These drawers contain 2 1/2 inch strips dark and 2 1/2 inch strips light.



In the top drawer here are 2 1/2 inch squares, 2 1/2 X 5 inch rectangles, and some stacks of smaller squares.

I am trying to fold all the larger pieces of fabric so that they stand up in the drawers like this.  They are sorted by color.  Here are some browns:

Some yellows:

The larger scraps that are at least as big as a fat quarter, but not really big enough to be considered yardage, are being folded and stored in the plastic dish basin type containers.   I won't slice these up since they are bigger pieces.  I want to keep my options open on them. 

This basket sits at the end of the ironing board for throwing strips smaller than 1 1/2 inch.  Its filling up fast!

I have lots of folding and cutting left to do.  But, I don't want to spend all my time on this.  I have been sewing and quilting as well.  Maybe I'll get everything organized in here before long and can just concentrate on the sewing part!

I am studying quilt books and quilting blogs to find quilts that use the sizes of scraps that I have cut.  There are so many to choose from.  I can't wait to start making some of them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Buckeye-Jewel Box-D9P

This post is linked to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.

1.  I started a new project, which I know will shock you. :o)

I'm still sorting scraps and fabrics and having a good time playing with fabrics. Saturday I came across some 3 1/2 inch four patches and half square triangles. ... then while looking through a quilt book I saw a quilt called Buckeye Beauty, AKA Jewel Box, and a lightbulb went off... I could make some blocks like that with the already made patches and hsts.

Of course it didn't take too long to use up the 4 patches and HSTs that I had on hand, so on to the other scraps.  I have a zillion little squares, some of which are already the right size (2 inch).  It is so easy to cut the others to the right size and there are also lots of little 2 inch strips that can be cut into squares.  I also have a drawer of odd triangles, which are easily transformed into the 3 1/2 inch HSTs needed.

I was a little concerned that the contrast between the darks and lights wasn't distinct enough, but when I took this picture this morning.... Look!  The design emerges!

The blocks aren't sewn together  yet, but here are just a few of the many different fabrics in the quilt.  Watermelons, snowmen, all kinds of flowers, pumpkins, dots, sunflowers, you name it, its in there.

Working early in the morning... This is a common sight in the sewing room at 6:00 A.M.  I love to try to fit in an hour of sewing before work in the morning.  An hour or so the night before, cutting the pieces from scraps, yields a couple of blocks ready to be sewn together the next morning.

2.  The second project I have in progress is machine quilting the D9P.  Its a pretty big quilt, about 90 X 90.  I was doing so good with the quilting and well on the way to a February finish...

But then I had some serious sewing machine problems that will send the machine I use for quilting to be serviced.  The nearest "authorized" service center is over 60 miles a way in the big city.  So I relegated the unfinished  quilt to a corner of the sewing room.  I will either wait to finish it after the machine is fixed, or.... maybe pull out my old Singer and set it up for quilting... when I get time.

Have a good and blessed Ash Wednesday!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Week of Scrap Quilting and Scrap Sorting

This post is linked to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced HERE.

I made a lot of progress during the last week on the D9P quilt along.

The number of blocks grew until the "design" bed was covered.

This quilt is scrappy heaven for this scrap lover quilter!

Saturday was spent piecing together the backing for the quilt. In my gift fabric I found a pile of at least 40 pieces of 70s or 80s style fabrics cut into rectangles similar to a fat quarter. Some of them had the edges hemmed to be what I assume are napkins, so I put these into service in my kitchen.

Evidently this was some sweet seamstress's UFO, as most were not hemmed, so I trimmed them to be about 16 inches by 21 inches and sewed them all together in rows. I really, really like how the backing turned out and it cost nothing.   I think I will like the back of the quilt almost as much as the front.

Once the back was ready I proceeded on to pin basting the quilt on the dining room table using Impera Magna's tutorial. I love this method and don't know how I would have pin basted the quilt on the floor. I would have had to move most of the furniture out of the living room. It would be nearly impossible to take over the room for at least a day and a half, especially on Super Bowl weekend and with ACC basketball on the tv!

I do take over the dining room when doing this....., but that's not a big deal.

I am still working on organizing my fabric and making the sewing room more user friendly. I had planned a post on the progress. The progress is slow, but steady. Its not ready for the blog yet though!

I am sorting by color and size, labeling, and slicing and dicing the scraps into strips and squares.  I love how its coming together.  I have several projects in mind that will use the different sizes.   Some of these are maverick/wonky stars, scrappy trip along, string quilts, and more.