Friday, March 14, 2014

Woodland Animals Baby Quilt

My cousin is having her fist baby next month and she and her husband aren't finding out the baby's gender. How fun is that nowadays!?  One of nature's most wonderful surprises :).  Her shower was last Sunday and I was so excited to give her a quilt that was practically still warm from the dryer. 

37" x 52"   ~~  Hands and feet are an illusion.

The colors for their nursery are brown, tan and cream with the theme of woodland animals.  Awwww ... can you say "cute??"  I found the woodland animal print at Joann Fabrics and that led to a simple patchwork quilt filled with the beautiful colors and some framed blocks with fussy cut woodland animals. 



Baby quilts are so fun and enjoyable to sew.  Small enough to layout and quilt easy enough, yet can be large enough to show off a pattern.

Quilting lines in place

Hand quilted with perle cotton #12.


I posted most of the progress pictures on my instagram feed if you would care to follow the (mis)adventures of me and my Rottweiler in our quilting journey.  She's still my assistant but she has slowed down recently.  Most of her help comes from the sidelines now as she is loath to get off of her orthopedic bed.  I've really gotten into the habit of only posting my finished quilts on this blog.  I feel like over the years I've pretty much touched on every topic I can in a quilting blog so I was starting repeats.  Also, it's such a hassle to drag out my real camera to take pretty pictures and then hook it up to the real computer, download, etc. etc.  My iPhone does take nice pictures but for some reason they always looked washed out and grainy on here.  Why???

I think you should move the polka dot print over one space


The big reveal!  It  was a hit :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Waiting for Craig Quilt



Another finished quilt and another learning experience.  I do start each quilt with the hope that this will be the “perfect” one.  Perfect points, perfect color combinations, perfect seams, perfect everything.  I think that is what keeps me going despite my disappointments.This is not that quilt for me.  
56" x 71"
The things I learned from this quilt:

Lesson #1.  I don’t like sewing with pre-cut packs.  These blocks sprung from a layer cake I had won and a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial for making church dash blocks.    I just don’t like the hodge podge of matching prints.  Same prints, different colors.  Different colors, same prints.  Solids that are the exact colors of the prints.  So booooooring.  I added black sashing to try and give it a more cohesive look and I think that did help a little.   
 
Lesson #2.  I don’t like big blocks.  These blocks finished at over 13” and they just seem so bloated and large.  Ok … I'll admit that’s how I feel most of the time so maybe a little transference was going on there.  
Bloated.  Right??  Quilted with Perle Cotton #12

I did take the time to hand quilt and gave each center a different look (that's actually kinda cool).  It involved twirling the large quilt around in a circle on my lap all night while dodging a dog head that wanted to lay on it constantly. 
Is it my eyes or is this blurry?
If you're wondering about the name it's because I had the layer cake and the five inch solid squares sitting by my machine and every time I was all-dressed-up-and-ready-to-go-but-waiting-for-Craig I’d work on a block.  It’s an OK quilt and I’m leaving it at that.  I feel a little sorry for it now that I’ve downplayed its appearance so much.  Craig loves it and it’s his now, he thought it was worth the wait :)

I love how Craig is always up for a photoshoot :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013

I'm submitting my newest quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival and entering it in the hand quilted category.  Apologies to my regular peeps for the repeat, but how can I not enter a quilt I named "ode to autumn" in a fall quilt show.



The beginnings and ideas sprang from a color challenge in the Old Red Barn Co quilting group and a stack of Lotta Jansdotter fabric.  The large prints were a challenge in themselves as I wanted to showcase some of the fabric and was looking for a way to leave big chunks of print.  An improv coin quilt turned out to be the perfect solution.  With autumnal solids and the fall palette I was set on creating a quilt that would honor the warm slices of colors seen throughout the Northeast.


I hand quilted the entire quilt top in mostly straight lines but with some random patterns thrown in there to break it up a little.   Yes, I quilted the whole entire quilt top by hand.  Are you gasping?  I hope someone is because I have to admit I've received less than stellar reactions from my non-quilting friends.  "Wow. That looks like a LOT of work" with a slow head shake was my most popular reaction.  Prompting me to agree and gush, 'Yes, but it's amazing, isn't it?!" Geesh people.  Make me draaaaaaag it out of you .....


The quilting commenced in March and finished in September with serious lulls during the humid months. Perle cotton #12 is my current favorite quilting cotton.  It's a bit finer than #8 but is still chunky enough to be noticed. 





41" x 63"



I can see already that I'm going to be spending many quality hours perusing the beautiful quilts over at the Quilt Festival.  I'm sure I'll find tons of inspiration and with the cooler fall weather I'll be invigorated to start some new projects. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ode to Autumn


Introducing Ode to Autumn ... my finally completed quilt that was started over a year ago.  The beginnings and ideas sprang from a color challenge in the Old Red Barn Co quilting group (original post here) and a stack of Lotta Jansdotter fabric.  The large prints were a challenge in themselves as I wanted to showcase some of the fabric and was looking for a way to leave big chunks of print.  An improv coin quilt turned out to be the perfect solution.  With the autumnal solids and the fall palette I was set on creating a quilt that would honor the warm slices of colors seen throughout the Northeast.


I hand quilted the entire quilt top in mostly straight lines but with some random patterns thrown in there to break it up a little.   Yes, I quilted the whole entire quilt top by hand.  Are you gasping?  I hope someone is because I have to admit I've received less than stellar reactions from my non-quilting friends.  "Wow. That looks like a LOT of work" with a slow head shake was my most popular reaction.  Prompting me to agree and gush, 'Yes, but it's amazing, isn't it?!" Geesh people.  Make me draaaaaaag it out of you .....




The quilting commenced in March and finished in September with serious lulls during the humid months.  I think I've seen this style of quilting referred to as sashiko so if anyone can enlighten me on that I'd be appreciative. 

I'm a little lost in the evenings now with nothing ready to start quilting but this little break has given me a chance to get out my old standby.  Embroidery .... I'm back! I forgot how much I love you. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My next quilting goal in the works

Gen X Quilters Sisters Ten BOM Blocks
I had an epiphany moment a while ago while watching a Fons and Porter quilting show on TV.  The mother/daughter duo were chattering away discussing how they aim to get their quilt blocks perfectly sized as they sew them and not trim them down after sewing. 

Huh? 

You mean you CAN sew a 12.5 inch block and have it actually measure 12.5 inches on all sides when you're finished?  Doesn't everyone just trim them later to a smaller size?   It made me realize I'm really lacking in the most basic of piecing skills.   I decided right then my next quilting goal is to actually read and follow directions and finally master that 1/4" seam.   Is it possible that I could make perfectly sized blocks right from my sewing machine?  I guess I was about to find out .....

At the beginning of my summer sewing lull I joined two block of the month alongs (Gen X Quilters and Sew Lux Fabric) and decided that the least I would do these hot months is to sew the monthly blocks with the mindfulness and carefulness I was missing before. 
My lone 9" block.  The result of  a direction reading deficit.   

First observation:  I don't read directions well.   The Gen X Quilters BOM gives two sets of cutting instructions.  One for a 12.5 block and one for a 9 inch block.  Right off the bat I cut all my pieces and took a break.  Went back later and thought, "Why did I cut all these pieces wrong?" and trimmed them all down to the correct (I thought) size.  That is why you will see one 9 inch block amongst all the 12.5 inch blocks.  For each block I've made so far I've cut at least one piece of fabric the wrong size.  READ DIRECTIONS MOLLY! 

Second observation:  My 1/4" foot makes my seams too large.  When I finally took it off and followed this tutorial to find my perfect needle setting and stuck a piece of tape on my machine as a guide I made much smaller seams.  Now my blocks are actually the correct size when I finish.

Third observation:  Wanting perfection is a learned art.  A couple times when my seams didn't match up nicely or my points were blunted I really just wanted to shrug and say, "good enough."  But I picked apart and re-pinned and re-sewed and re-cut where necessary.  Now seeing how nice the blocks look with everything all aligned and sharp really makes me want to continue in this vein. The gratification I get from seeing a nice, neat block really makes me wonder about myself.  When and why did things like this start giving me pleasure? 

This month's block came out all wrong and I don't know what I did.  Obviously I cut some strips the wrong size so I haven't mastered the following directions part yet but I didn't freak out.  I just left it and figured out a way to fix the problem without scrapping the whole thing.  Now I've got another perfectly pieced block under my belt.  Yes, I feel happy.  At least one tiny corner of my world is neat and orderly. 

Aha!! Another epiphany moment.  I think I just answered my previous question .....

Friday, May 17, 2013

To Boston With Love

Here's my contribution to the To Boston With Love project started by the Vancouver Modern quilt guild (details here).   I'm so excited to be a part of such a cool and thoughtful movement of love and support. 


My boyfriend lived in Boston for six years and every time I'd visit we'd explore a new part of the city and just soak in the atmosphere.  Believe me, we felt the love!  Well ... except for that time I almost got hit by a car in the middle of a very traffic-y street.  Other than that it was all good. 

I can't wait to see the impact of this exhibit when all the hundreds of flags are tied together and hung in the Museum of Fine Arts.  I just read the exhibit has been extended from Memorial Day until after the July Fourth holiday.  Check out the Flickr group to see the amazing flags coming in from all over the world. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Scrappy Trip Baby Quilt

Yes, I succumbed to the peer pressure on instagram and jumped right into the Scrappy Trip craze.  How could I not?  What a sweet quilt to make and then to get to instantly share your progress in the instagram group was so fun.  

34" x 44"


I had won a jelly roll of Fig Tree California Girl by Moda a while ago and this project was a perfect reason to finally break it out.  I still have some strips left over to make a little pillow or a mini-quilt later.  


 Hand quilted with Perle cotton #12 in inter lapping circles.  
I think I've seen this called an orange peel pattern.

Just had to add a gratuitous shot of the assistant :)

I have to say that I've been a little lax with the progress pictures for the blog with the almost instant gratification of posting to instagram.  I'm quickly hooked and love to peruse other quilters feeds for ideas and inspiration.  I'm BaileyGirl_5  if anyone wants to follow me (please ... PLEASE! I have the least amount of followers of anyone I know).  Sometimes getting some feedback is the perfect thing to keep me motivated. 

I just found out that my son's friend is going to be the father of a baby girl in just a few weeks (surprise!) so I think this quilt will find a nice little spot to call home very soon.  
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