Posted by Katie
I started this baby quilt at a quilting workshop back in September. I had cute robot fabrics, but I had no idea how to put them together.
I decided to use improvisational piecing, which was a first for me. Improvisational piecing means that I didn’t use a pattern and just kind of added more fabric to each block until I had a quilt.
I started with these fussy cut robots and then began adding borders to each one. I ended up with 10 “squares,” which is an odd number in the quilting world.
I laid them all out and realized which squares were too squat and which ones were too long. I just kept filling them in until they all fit together.
I’m really happy with how it came out.
I hand quilted square shapes around each patch, which actually zipped up much faster than I thought it would. In the past, I’ve used the wrong batting or the wrong thread so I never had had a smooth, enjoyable quilting experience until this quilt.
The baby was born on Tuesday, so we finally had a name! I originally embroidered this using the thread right out of the package which has 6 threads twisted together. After the first name, I realized it was coming out too chunky. My co-worker, and fellow quilter, suggested I use just two of the threads and I’m pleased with how it came out.
Welcome, baby girl!
Posted by Katie
I went to the Long Island Quilters Society Guild show in Garden City for the first time in March. It was a great show! Here are a few of my favorites.
I’ve been to three quilt shows recently, so this week I’m hoping to post a few of the lovely quilts I’ve seen.
The Brooklyn Quilters Guild show is my favorite one. I am always so impressed by the quality and diversity of the quilts, but my favorite part is reading the quilters’ the stories of creating their quilts.
My mom drove me to the show, and on the way, I noticed something strange happening to the Verrazano Bridge.
Seriously! Where is the other half?
We were greeted by the beautiful raffle quilt. $1 to enter!
They also have a silent auction of these smaller quilts.
Love the hand quilting.
There was a challenge to use these fabrics so there were about five quilts using them. I LOVED this one
I also really love the idea of quilting a pinwheel like this. Great idea for my pinwheel project!
Kaffe’s Pickle Dish! I met the woman who made this quilt and she told me it’s for her daughter’s dorm room. What a lovely present! This pattern is so wonderful, and this is such a great way to use batik fabrics.
This is one of the most challenging patterns because of all the curves. The woman who made this used her husband’s clothes after he passed away.
Quilter’s don’t waste! A great use of the selvage edge of the fabric, which is normally just thrown away.
Loved the quilting and applique on this one.
Another Kaffe pattern. Love the fabric choices.
This is a very large scale quilt with bold contrast. It was so striking in person.
This technique is called reverse applique. That’s about where my knowledge ends, but it had a beautiful effect. I saw a group of male construction workers standing around this one admiring it.
I remembered this quilt from the retreat I went to in Newbergh! so satisfying to see it finished. I love the diamond quilting in the center.
I’m always amazed when I see quilts like these. Not sure quite how they work, but they are always stunning. This is the first time I saw one that didn’t use batik fabrics and I really liked the more floral effect.
I thought this pattern was very interesting. I haven’t seen any other quilts like this.
A very ambitious part of me wants to do this quilting in the center of the snowball blocks in my Bounce quilt
This one was Anthony’s favorite. I love bright colors and white mixed together too.
Loved the quilting in this one. My mom is working on quilting a Double Irish Chain right now!
This woman wanted to make a traditional quilt with her rescued 30’s fabrics and reprints, but her husband wasn’t thrilled with the idea of butterflies. The two of them went to a talk on bats that they both enjoyed, so she went in that direction!
She even added a few puns! This one is “blind as a bat.”
This is the best execution of an attic window pattern I’ve ever seen. Spectacular.
1 Comment »
Posted by Katie
I stopped by the City Quilter yesterday to pick up 6.5 yards of fabric for the back of my Pinwheel Quilt.
I first saw this fabric in Lancaster, but I was nervous that it would end up giving my quilt a bug theme.
A month later, it’s the only fabric I think works with the project. I kind of love the bug theme! A few years ago, I went to a talk by E.O. Wilson and became fascinated with the process of categorizing and naming bugs. E.O. has found and named more species of ants than any other person in the world. I think the idea of traveling to remote jungles to find bugs sounds very romantic, but I really respect the painstaking work of actually digging through the dirt, observing these creatures, and recording it for the rest of the world. I am especially thrilled by the people who did this before digital cameras and so they drew these bugs with photographic accuracy. These people were adventurers, nerds, and artists rolled into one.
For the past couple years, I’ve been searching for a book that has sketchings of bugs that I could cut out and frame with almost no luck. I was shocked to find this fabric that has almost exactly the type of drawing and field notes I have had such a hard time finding on paper.
Plus, it matches Aesop’s eyes.
I’ve had a harder time deciding which border would work best.
A few weeks ago I went to City Quilter and found this fabric. It is a coordinating color for some of the fabrics that are already in my quilt, but it’s not in any of the blocks.
It was a fast trip to the shop, and I was there on other business, so I didn’t purchase it until I went back yesterday.
I like how the dark border makes the light green in the sashing pop.
Of course, when I stopped by yesterday, I found another fabric that I loved. I didn’t have my quilt with me, so I wasn’t sure how they would look together.
I like how the butterflies start the bug theme in the front. The backing fabric also has some specs of shiny gold in it.
I am not sure if I like the quilt better with a lighter frame though. I think I’ll take the fabrics outside so I can get some distance and see the colors more accurately…
if Indy lets me step away from the computer.
Posted by Katie
In my last post, I posted a pic of the Scrappy Star pattern I’m planning to make. The quilt is made up of 10 smaller stars, and one large central star. I used the bundles of solids I bought in Lancaster as my starting point, and then I started pulling out fabrics from my stash to build the ten stars.
I started ironing and laying out the fabrics to cut them, but then I chickened out! I’ve only ever cut at a 90 degree angle, and cutting at the 45 is intimidating. As I’m writing this out, however, I’m feeling bolder. How different could it be? I’m still cutting straight lines! We’ll see.
Posted by Katie
There are so many wonderful fabric shops in Lancaster! We stayed in the town of Bird in Hand, just a few miles from Intercourse, and both towns had so many great shops.
A few of my favorites are The Log Cabin, The Old Country Store, Zooks Fabrics, and Burkholders.
I went to Lancaster with my Pinwheel project ready to go, so when I went shopping, I was keeping an eye towards my next project. This pattern from The Log Cabin absolutely blew me away.
I have been dying to do a star quilt since I went to the Super Star exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum. This one seems a bit ambitious, but the instructions are very clear and I am excited to start. I also bought a few fabrics that I just thought were beautiful:
I bought enough yardage of the pink flowers fabric to make a skirt. Now I’m on the lookout for a pattern!
The Country Store was such a wonderful shop with a great collection. I bought two bundles of solid fat quarters. I noticed there are a lot of solids and tiny prints in the Star Pattern, so I’m using these as a base to pull all my other prints together for that project.
I also found the backing fabric for my Bounce quilt. It’s an electric blue that I absolutely love. I have to start pinning all the layers together soon!
I also found this chicken pin cushion. She is filled with walnut husks and she sharpens your pins as you use her.
As we were driving home, we stopped at Burkholders. It is about 45 minutes away from Bird in Hand, but we had heard it was worth stopping by on the way out of town. The shop is plopped in the middle of miles and miles of farm land. We weren’t sure what to expect.
This place was room after room with rows and rows of fabric. It was insane! I had already purchased all the fabric I planned to purchase, but I bought a few packages of batting.
As we were checking out, the man behind the register told my mom and me to each take 10 rolls of fabric from a bin near the register.
Indy LOVED my choices.
I spent the past week in the town of Bird in Hand, PA with my mom and her quilting group.
I learned SO much and had a really wonderful time. I feel like I’ve been sucked into a bit of a quilting vortex. I barely communicated with the outside world for six days.
Just lots of these guys everywhere.
There’s my mom cruising.
We sat across from each other. My pinwheels and I are on the right. You can see my mom and I have different organizational “styles.” To be fair, I was using her machine because I forgot parts of my machine at home, so my organization style is definitely flawed.
Many of the women worked on this project. The picture doesn’t do it justice because the fabrics have shiny gold in them and the projects were coming out lovely. It was a really manageable project to complete in six days.
My mom worked on this log cabin quilt. She bought these fabrics when we went to Lancaster three years ago, so she was happy to finally piece them into a project. The picture, again, doesn’t capture the shiny gold in the fabrics which give this project a very rich texture. She left the top of the quilt in two separate parts so they would be easier to hand quilt. She’ll put it together once the quilting is finished because she is a wizard. I didn’t get a picture of the other quilt she was working on which is quite sick. She brought it to the store to search for a border and the Amish ladies were gathering around with praise. Rain check on that pic.
I finished my pinwheel top!
Most days, my mom and I were the first ones in the sewing room and the last ones out. She was with me after everyone packed up their machines and left helping me mark the rows and iron. She cheered me on as I sewed the final rows together.
The cows were surprised to see me on their fence.
As I was pulling the project together, I started freaking out about the colors. I really didn’t see how it would all go together.
It was a major case of cold feet. I worried I worked all week on something I wouldn’t like. (Wouldn’t be the first time…)
But in the end, I’m really happy with how it came out.
And by the “end” I mean, I still have to add borders around the edges, pick a fabric for the back, and quilt the whole thing. I have a lot more to say about Lancaster, so stay tuned!
I’ve been working really hard on my little Kenmore the past few weeks when it suddenly started stitching like this:
Which looks fine, except I heard a terrible clunkedy clunk sound while I was stitching and when I turned the fabric over, I found this:
I pulled it apart and cleaned it.
Then I asked Anthony to look at it and pull it apart and clean it.
Then I asked my brother, Michael, to pull it apart and clean it. We found a lot of this:
However, removing “this” did not mean the machine would start working again. I found a local repairman to tune it up, but it meant spending a few days without my machine. I dusted off my Singer, and started thinking about a project I’ve been putting off for some time that would require the Singer’s strong, straight stitch.
These are Anthony’s old pants, which I’ve been collecting and keeping under my sewing table for months.
They are too damaged to give away, but I love the colors and the softness of the broken in khaki.
In my defense, that wasn’t a legitimate attempt at a repair job. We were just messing around with the Singer to see how tough it is.
I cut the pants into pants into “square,” ahem, panels.
Then I laid the “shape cut” over it.
And cut strips in 1″, 2″, and 3″ sections.
I started finding some interesting things as I cut. The plan is to piece all the different khakis together like a brick wall. I am finding it a bit difficult to cut neat strips, but I’m learning a lot.
Posted by Katie
After I decided on a pattern, fabrics, and the technique for my next quilt, I was ready to start ironing. And ironing and ironing.
The quilt is made up of two sizes of pinwheels, so after the ironing, I cut a set of 3 & 7/8″ and a set of 6 & 7/8″. There are hundreds of pinwheels so it was a few days of cutting, and I am careful not to have any of that work go to waste so I keep everything very flat and organized.
I keep my things in a shoe box. The larger the foot, the better.
Keeping everything in one place makes it easier to start and stop my projects without worrying about my cats getting into everything. They fit snugly, but they aren’t squished.
After I remove my leftover fabrics, I’m left with my two sizes of squares.
The green fabric on the right is all the same fabric and it will make up a background for pinwheels made out of the blue and grey fabrics on the left.
Because I will use one green piece and one blue piece for each pinwheel, I only had to mark the greens. (Don’t make me do all the work, see previously linked technique)
The larger pinwheels won’t have a background color, but two competing colors. I only had to mark half of them, but I obsessively made sure an equal number of each fabric is marked.
So now she’s all cut out and marked. Time to start sewing!
I bought some new toys at the quilt show.
I was recently cutting out a quilt with stacks of different fabrics and wishing I had one of these boards. I would line the fabrics up by the top fold, then make a cut down the right side of the fabric 90 degrees to the top. I would then have to pick up all the fabric, flip it over so that I could make a cut three inches to the right of that straight edge. With this board, I can keep everything as I originally lined it up, and just spin the board around so the fabric all stays in place. A couple great things about this model is that the mat isn’t attached to the board, so you can just buy a new mat once it gets all cut up instead of buying the whole thing again. Also, as soon as you put pressure on the board, it has a lock so it can’t spin. I was worried about it spinning while I was trying to cut, but it’s not possible. I wanted to purchase this board at the last show I went to, but it was sold out. This time, I made sure to hit up the vendors first.
I saw kits similar to these online just before Christmas time for $45! I think they would make great little gifts for friends or just nice storage for my quilting things, but I was not about to pay $45. This pattern was $8
I also purchased 3 clasps for about $5 each. So pretty!
I love the newer army camo print and I was wondering how I could get my hands on some. I was so happy to score this! I’m not sure what it’ll become.