Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Love!

RRCB completed top

Oh my! I really like the look of this quilt top. I am so happy with the way it has turned out. At first I was a little concerned that I had used such a mish mash of pinks from barely there pale pinks to magenta to hot hot hot pink and as I was putting it together I was having a few misgivings. I kept thinking that I was too liberal with my neutral selections and that my greens were incompatible and on and on I went. Now that it is together I can truly say I love it - thank you Bonnie Hunter! I learned a lot making this quilt top. For instance, I couldn't understand why we were instructed to sew the inner border strips together on an angle (like binding) and pressing them open until I was sewing it to the string blocks. I then realized that there were already so many seams from the string blocks that we didn't need to add more to the mix. This quilt top is far from perfect, I have a few little poofy areas because when I was sewing the blocks together I must have been stretching/easing them together to make them fit and my vertical/horizontal seams don't all align absolutely perfectly but I am okay with that. Once it is quilted and washed it won't be noticeable. I also a had a little bit of trouble when I added the corners to the outer border. In the instructions, Bonnie warned to make sure we had lots of overhang when we added the borders so that we wouldn't lose our corners from the inner border. I thought I had left enough but only one corner turned out correctly - lesson learned. I am not going to change it because I think it looks charming. This was the first mystery quilt I have ever made (and the most challenging) and it will be staying with me! Now I just have to layer, baste and quilt it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Red Update

I had been so busy working on my RRCB quilt top that I totally neglected working on the scrap challenge. So to remedy that I decided to cut some red fabric in preparation for a quilt I will be making a family member. I quickly pulled out my red fabrics and ironed the ones that needed it and I started cutting. I eventually will  need rectangles that measure 3.5" x 6.5" and I got as far as cutting the strips 3.5" wide but did not get any subcut. As I was cutting the strips I set the strings aside so that I could make more of these.

I made 5 last week and I added 4 more today. These string blocks will be used in a future project that I have an idea percolating for. I am not in a big hurry to work on it other than just collecting red strings to make more blocks. I still need to collect many more red fabrics for the quilt for my nephew so as I pick them up I will cut them into strips and make more string blocks from the remnants as I go. I will have most of the preparation done for 2 quilts well in advance of actually making the quilts - I like that! Hop on over to soscrappy's and check out what everyone else has been working on this week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rolling Out Roll Roll Cotton Boll

Roll  Roll Cotton Boll under construction

Wow! I had not worked on this quilt since sometime in Jan/Feb and I kept saying that I needed to get back to it because everytime I walked into my sewing room it was letting it's presence be known. It has been quietly yelling at me for months. Well, it is finally getting it's turn because I started working on it again yesterday. When I had put it away I had all of the blocks and all of the outer border components made, so I really just needed to put the top together and sew the border units together. You might think that would be fairly easy to accomplish but when you add my wonderful little helper into the mix things become a little more challenging!

Molly helping with the top (de)construction!
This is actually an after picture of her because I had her groomed today. She has been really suffering with the heat and humidity (thankfully we do have central air) but everytime she had to go out I felt sorry for her. This is what she looked like a little earlier today.

Molly @ 8 months
 She is my constant companion and I am really enjoying her!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quilt of Valour - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

Pathways - Quilt of Valour

The next item on my list of things to work on in my sewing room was my quilt "Pathways". This quilt started out as a quilt for a family member but as I pieced it together I just kept thinking about our Canadian Veterans. Of course, this is completely understandable because the block pattern is called Soldier Star. I finished sewing the top together today and I expect that I will baste and quilt it over the next few days. I still have to decide which fabric I will use for the backing and binding so that may delay the completion a little bit. I would have liked to use some of the green fabric from the stars as the binding but unfortunately I don't have enough left. I really did do a good job of using it up - I only have a few scraps and squares left. A possibility would be to make a scrappy binding and use strips of the other fabrics in the quilt top...maybe. It's funny, I didn't notice that the bottom left corner of the quilt top looks like I have more of the lighter blocks concentrated there. When I was laying it out to sew together I thought I had the light/dark blocks fairly balanced throughout the quilt. I guess I must have switched some around as I was sewing it together. Oh well, I won't change it now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Red/White

Not too much going on around here! I pulled out all of the red strings that I had and I only got 5 - 8.5" blocks. I don't know yet what they will become part of but I am sure I will eventually think of something. I have really buckled down and am doing a major "scrap sorting/clearing/get projects finished" overhaul of my sewing room.  As part of that, I found some 2.5" red/neutral hst parts. Some were already sewn into hsts but many of them were just cut into pairs ready to be sewn together. This was from some long ago abandoned project that I don't even remember any more. I sewed them together into hsts and pressed and trimmed them and they are now ready to be used in "some" future project.  There were also a few that I ended up trimming to 2". One of the projects that made it to the top of my list of things to do was my Project Linus pink baby quilt - see my previous post. This quilt was from May's Rainbow Scrap Challenge and it is now complete and ready to be donated.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Project Linus / Pink Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Project Linus Newborn Quilt

I have been puttering around in my sewing room the last couple days just clearing away the last bits and pieces of previous projects. It's amazing the mess that can come from making quilts. I had made a little list of the things I wanted to get done before I tackled any new big projects. After diligently working away and crossing items off my list my Project Linus baby quilt finally made it's way to the top. When I picked it up to work on it yesterday it was just a completed quilt top and last night it was a completed quilt. When I had put it aside, I had already made the binding so that was all ready to go. It is not very big so it really did not take much time to baste and I had so much fun quilting it! I tried something new - it is free-motion quilted with loopy circles. I think they turned out great other than a few spots where my stitches got a little big going around some curves. I must remember to slow my hand movements down or speed up my machine as I go around.

Quilting Close-Up
Love the Backing!
I started making this quilt in May for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge which was, of course, the colour pink. As I was making it, and again yesterday, I couldn't help but think about who might receive this sweet little quilt. I wonder if it will go to a family that is celebrating the birth of a healthy baby girl or to a family that is going through a very difficult, stressful time. I hope that whoever receives it knows that it was made with love and care. This little quilt is newborn size and finishes at approx. 30" x 40".

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fisherman's Dream

Fisherman's Dream

I have been working in my sewing room but not spending any time sewing. I have been cutting fabric for a new project, cutting and sorting scraps and ironing!! My sister Cheryl normally irons most of my fabric for me but when she visited last time she helped me tidy my sewing room and then we worked on her quilt. I think the ironing party is all over - she won't have time anymore now that she is making her own quilts and I will just have to do it myself! So I thought I would show a quilt that I made for my husband last year. Judee from meinca recently showed some fish fabric panels that she had purchased to make a quilt for her husband. I had bought the fabric for my husband's quilt quite a long time ago...I can't even remember when but it sat languishing in my fabric pile for several years. When I first saw these fish panels I immediately thought they would make a wonderful quilt for my husband - I just didn't know what to do with them. When I was setting up my sewing room, I rediscovered the panels and thought that I had better get his quilt made. I wanted to use all of the panels, including the smaller ones, but I had to figure out a design that would somehow incorporate them. As you can see I used the smaller panels in the corners and in the center area between them I made bear paw blocks. Bears like fish don't they? - I figured the bears left their tracks behind! I also used a small check fabric that reminded me of a net as an inner border and the black fabric I used has dragonflies on it. I quilted in a large meander pattern with beige/black variegated thread - I thought it looked like fishing line all over the quilt. This quilt is not large, it finished at 62" x 82" - perfect for a couch quilt.

Fisherman's Dream Pillowcase
I had enough fabric to make a pillowcase too. I wanted to carry the fish theme over to back of the quilt but I did not have enough fish fabric so I bordered it with a stripe fabric of blue/beige. I love how it turned out and more importantly so does my husband.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heaven's Above it's Done!

Heaven's Above...It Must Be Love!
I sewed the last stitches in the binding and label last night. I really love the way it turned out and I hope the recipients will too. I know this sounds silly but I always feel a little nervous/unsure/insecure about making and giving a quilt to someone. I know this quilt is gorgeous and I like it so much I think I will make one for myself but I still have little self-doubts. I really need to get over it!!! This quilt really is a family affair - many of the fabrics used had belonged to my late sister-in-law Wanda and my mother-in-law and it was my husband that chose the pattern from a couple that I had shown him. "Heaven's Above...It Must Be Love" is a wedding gift for my husband's cousin's daughter Julie and her husband Rick - try saying that 5 times!

This quilt finished at approx. 84" x 100" and I quilted it using a meandering design. The only deviation that I made from the pattern was I added an extra row of blocks to the length of the quilt. I just felt it needed to be a little longer. I had a bit of trouble getting started with the quilting. It took me about 2 hours to get everything set up correctly because my machine was not stitching properly. I had to rip out my work twice and adjust my machine settings, change the needle, change the bobbin, rethread the machine, rinse and repeat until I finally got it right. Once I got it set up correctly it really was smooth sailing with the quilting. I think I had so much trouble because I had laughed at my sister Cheryl (the new quilter) when she called me and told me how much trouble she was having trying to learn to free-motion quilt - serves me right!