Quilts for Kids – Completed! May 5, 2010
I just sent off the two Quilts for Kids that I finished, I thought I’d post some “after” pictures to share. This was such a fun project, but I’m happy to send them on to their new homes, I hope they find someone who needs a little comfort. The first quilt is entitled “Underwater Parade” and the second is “The Bug Parade”. I think they turned out pretty well, I really like the striped border and “The Bug Parade”. To get your own quilt kit, complete with fabric and label, go to http://www.quiltsforkids.org
Chicago Modern Quilt Guild April Meeting April 19, 2010
Yesterday was my first meeting of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, a group of quilters who just began meeting a few months ago. It was such a blast! Lots of the members brought ongoing or finished projects to share, and I really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful quilts (and the poetry spool!). We had a workshop led by Angela on ticker tape quilting. Everyone brought a scrap bag to share and a placemat sized piece of material. We dumped all the scraps out and started digging through for treasures! It was so much fun getting to see all the fabrics people have used and combing bits and pieces in to a tickertape quilt. I had trouble leaving the scrap table to actually assemble the quilt, and was one of the last stragglers of the meeting. I’m so looking forward to next month’s meeting!
Kaffe Fassett Squares March 18, 2010
My next quilt project is for me! Yay! I received a book of Kaffe Fassett quilt designs for Christmas (Passionate Patchwork) and decided to make a small version of one of his quilts. I love the way the squares form from the striped fabrics. I scoured most of the Chicago quilt shops looking for striped fabrics in bright colors. I tried to vary it up in terms of size and colors. I’m still having some trouble getting everything even, as you can see along the bottom edge of the quilt. Any suggestions for getting things a bit more even?
Wonky Blocks March 17, 2010
Wow! I’ve discovered the coolest thing, wonky blocks! When you don’t feel like planning an entire quilt out and measuring everything to the millimeter, try a wonky quilt block. To make a wonky quilt block, follow the instructions on the great tutorial from Tallgrass Prairie Studios. I really enjoyed making a quilt this way, it allows a little more creativity and spontaneity in quilt making. I made this quilt for my mom’s birthday present. I’m really happy with how it turned out and it’s going to be a little hard to let it go out the door!
Ok, this is going to sound super basic, but I finally figured out how to machine quilt. On all of my previous quilts I’ve used simple stitch in the ditch quilting with my basic sewing foot. I read online that you can get different feet, a walking foot and an embroidery foot to help with different types of quilting. I haven’t had a chance to use the walking foot yet, it’s for straight stitching. On this quilt I tried out the embroidery foot for the first time, and WOW! It’s amazing! Two important tricks, I wasn’t sure how to attach the foot as it didn’t seem to fit in the lever mechanism, finally I figured out that there’s a screw on the left side of the sewing machine that holds the foot in place. One other important note, it’s a lot easier to use the embroidery foot when your feed dogs are not engaged (the metal with grooves under the needle that move the fabric forward). Some machines have a mechanism to raise and lower these, but mine came with a plastic piece that you snap over them. If you’re a beginning quilter, I’d highly recommend getting an embroidery foot, or borrow a friend’s and try it out.
Here’s Mom with the quilt, I think she likes it!
Flannel Baby Quilts March 15, 2010
I created two baby quilts for newborns coming in to the family, both born in January 2010 (Olivia and Asher). I chose bright patterns with predominant hues in pink, blue, green, yellow, and violet with trim and a backing in a pretty striped flannel. I used a very simple square pattern, with the colors running diagonally across the quilt. During this quilting project I learned about the importance of correctly lining up the bias tape.
When you attach the bias binding, you sew once on the top of the quilt and once on the underside of the quilt. It took me a little time and playing around with fabric before I understood how it works, but basically you fold a 3-4 inch strip of fabric in half (with undersides together) and iron it along the long axis. Then you lay the fabric across the edge of the quilt, overlapping with the quilt front, with lined up edges. The edge of the bias tape along the edge of the quilt should be the open edge. Now, you sew a seam all the way down this edge. Next, you fold the bias fabric around to the back and sew another seam (theoretically in the same place as the first). And that’s the rub, if you sew the second seam too far in it shows up on your quilt top, but if you don’t sew it far enough in, the original seam shows on the back of the quilt. I’m working on finding that balance where neither seam shows, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
Here’s a picture of Olivia snuggling on top of her new blanket 🙂
Miniature Quilts – Star themed March 12, 2010
Now that the baby quilts are finished and gifted to the respective babies, and the class quilt is finally done, I’m on to a new project. My mother in law, JoAnn, has a beautiful mini quilt hanging outside of her quilting room, and it inspired me to try one of my own. For my dad’s birthday I created a miniature star quilt using contrasting blues and yellows. I used Mary Graham’s pattern available here.
During this project, rather too late to use it, I discovered paper piecing. Paper piecing looks like a great way to deal with intricate patterns and small pieces. I’m not sure how it is in practice, but I’ll definitely be trying this method for my next mini quilt.