Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Red Barn on Hold

Red Barn on Hold

I'm having to wait to finish the binding since the puppy is already putting the quilt to good use...

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Stroller Blankie

One of the gifts Ben received was a small quilt, about 24"x36", with a fuzzy back. It is the perfect size to tuck around him in the carseat or stroller, and I have gotten so much use out of it! I can also see him easily dragging it around as a security blankie when he gets older. So when I needed a gift for a baby shower, that's the first thing I thought of!

Evan's Quilt

The size makes it a great way to try out a little bit more time-consuming piecing, so I used the directions that Quilt Dad posted on Moda Bake Shop for the sliced up 9-patch block. My dimensions are different to give me a 11.5" block (3.5" squares for the 9-patch, 2"x5" and 2"x6" for the strips).

Stroller Quilt

The fabric is Riley Blake and was really fun to work with, I love the colors! I splurged and backed it in pale blue minky. There's no batting so it's very soft and cuddly. And can I just say that my seams matched up on this quilt better than any I've made before. I got quite a thrill from that.

Big Improvement

I had planned to try stippling on this because I thought the size would make it very manageable but I was short on time and didn't want to risk messing up. I also used the monogram feature on my Janome for the first time for the label. I probably won't do this too often but it's nice to know it will work in a pinch!

Janome Label

At a small 24"x36", is it still okay to call this my first finished quilt of 2010?

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Off to a Good Start

I guess posting my goals online really helped with my motivation!

I've already finished the circle quilt top, trimmed the Red Barn quilt and cut the binding, and I have the Feeling Stitchy swap buttons planned and on the hoop.

Buttons on the Hoop

It's a good thing I have this strong start - we are going on a ski trip at the end of the month and it is amazing to me how quickly that will be here. Planning and packing seems to be a lot more complicated when you throw a 3-month-old into the mix!

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

March Already

I feel like I have a new appreciation for the expression "time flies" now that I am watching my baby grow. It is hard to believe my little boy is already two months old! The days go by so quickly, and I never do everything I think I can accomplish looking ahead each morning.

For example, I only have a few seams left on the circle quilt but these strips have been sitting here for over a week waiting to get sewn together.

I also got the Red Barn quilt back from the quilters and it is waiting to be trimmed and bound. Of course, everything that was stored in the nursery is now stored in the guest room where this quilt will live, so I have a little work to do to make the bed ready for its new covering!

To give me a little more crafting motivation - to get back on the horse, so to speak - I joined the button swap at Feeling Stitchy. I can't wait to get to work!

In the spirit of looking ahead, I think I will post some March goals. I am keeping them quite simple, because my to do list often gets filled with baby snuggles - and laundry! - instead of sewing time.

March Goals:
1. Buttons for swap - finished and mailed on time!
2. Finish circle quilt top.
3. Bind Red Barn quilt.
4. Pick up guest room enough to make the bed!

Administrative Note: I've upgraded to threaded comments! From now on I will be replying in the comments, and it will show up tied to the original comment on that post. If you include your email when you comment I believe you should be notified that I've replied. Hopefully it works smoothly!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back at It

Ben is taking naps pretty well in his crib now, so I find myself with my hands free and able to spend some time in my craft room!

After some much needed straightening up, I got back to work on the circle quilt for Ben's room. I can't wait to get this quilt done! Of course, this is never far from my side:

(We love our monitor, by the way, if you happen to be in the market...)

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving!!

New Runner

I am off to spend the day with family and friends but wanted to share really quickly - I did manage to finish this little table runner for my centerpiece.

Fall Side

Inspired by this quilt by John at Quilt Dad. It's reversible, so I can use it for Christmas, too (but that picture came out blurry, I'll try after dinner). I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Circle Progess

I told you I'd be boring you with circle quilt updates! All the circles and squares are cut and arranged. Now it's on to assembly!

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Rainbow Sherbet!

The rainbow sherbet quilt is done!

White Binding

I love this quilt so much. I wanted to keep the design simple because the fabrics are so bright and happy on their own.

Rainbow Sherbet Throw Quilt

I've discovered a better balance of relying on my walking foot versus pinning that has drastically improved my piecing accuracy - I figured this out while making the 9-patch blocks for AmandaJean's quilt-along. This is a big step for me!

Throw Thrown

To preserve the white border I just did a white binding. I was going to do a pieced binding but I am using this same fabric for the circle quilt and need all my scraps!

Made with Love

Sentimental label. I couldn't help it!

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Cutting Circles

This is a little more difficult than I anticipated. Luckily, I am taking Liz's suggestion to do raw edges on the circles so perfect cuts aren't as critical. I am so excited to see this quilt start to come together... I'm sure you'll get sick of the in progress shots so I'll try to keep myself under control!

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bright Back

For the back of the Red Barn quilt I decided to do something bright and a little surprising. My husband said "that's kind of weird." I'm still pleased - I hope it comes out like I picture it, it's definitely bright!!

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pinned & Ready

The Rainbow Sherbet quilt top is basted! Since this is going to be a lap quilt instead of a bed quilt, I'm quilting it to fleece, of course. I wanted a pale orange fleece but ended up with this blue, which I still love. I don't think I'll be able to wait until the baby arrives to cuddle under it. I promise this is the last tease of this quilt, I won't torture you with it again until it's done! (My iPhone sneaked into the picture - I play books on it while I'm working on basting, helps with motivation!)

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Top Two

Finished Red Barn Top

I finished the Red Barn top! Last night I had an appointment with Karen for a long arm consultation to quilt this. I can't wait to see it! I've never gotten a quilt professionally quilted before, I think it's going to be fantastic.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Only a Quilter...

I think I can truly call myself a quilter now. Who else would get this excited about a new iron? I'd been using my ~$20 iron from college until now, but I finally had to replace it. It had developed a crack by the handle that released hot steam right onto my knuckles, not good. I love my new iron.

It even has a digital display, so fancy!

Monthly Goals
I can't believe it's November! I seem to be consistently ambitious with what I think I'll get done each month and I don't think I've done any better with my November goals...
1. Finish Rainbow Sherbet Quilt.
2. Finish circle crib quilt.
3. Bind Red Barn quilt when it comes back from the quilters.
4. Do prep work for my Christmas gift project.

October Goals:
1. Finish Gma's handbag.
2. Bind and label QBB quilts.
3. Finish Rainbow Sherbet quilt - top, quilting, binding, the works!
4. Finish Red Barn quilt top.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Now that I am beginning to work on a nursery for my own baby, the design of the crib quilt has become a sticking point for me. I will be using the same fabrics as the Rainbow Sherbet quilt, but I can't decide on a pattern. There are just so many options, so many quilts I've bookmarked.

Photo credit sallgood.

What about this circle quilt by Wonderful Life that AmandaJean posted about recently?

Photo credit Ashley.

Or one of Ashley's awesome tutorials, for a modified bento quilt.

Photo credit Aneela.

I've been wanting to do a hexagon quilt for ages...

A few other ideas:
Quarter Circles (.pdf Free Spirit free pattern)
John/Quilt Dad X-Quilt
Windmill Whimsy, another one from Ashley

I could go on and on... Any preferences? Other ideas? I'm paralyzed with indecision!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting a Lot of Use

Arranged Quilt Along

I finally have all my blocks arranged for the original Red Barn quilt along. Slow? Yes. Worth it? I have no doubt it will be. My new quilt wall made this so easy. It wasn't quite big enough to arrange all the blocks, but only two rows short - not bad!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have long wanted a quilt design wall, but do not have an open wall in my sewing room to accommodate such a thing, even temporarily. What I do have is a wonderful, huge set of Ikea shelving with doors - basically a big wall!

Why didn't I think of this before? For now I'm using some spare batting to arrange my Rainbow Sherbet quilt. It's just taped to the top of the shelves, and I can roll it up (quilt blocks in place) if I need to put it away for a little while. Perfect!!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ready for Delivery

The three QBB quilts are done just in time for delivery at the Quilt Show! The fact that it took me a year (since last Quilt Show) to get my act together and make these quilts is a little embarassing. (Especially when I see AmandaJean's amazing Quilts of Valor project.)

Quilting is probably my favorite activity right now but I am certainly not very quick to produce completed quilts. Oh well, it still feels good to finish this project.

I'm sharing these in the order I made the tops. The first one up there I just took the fabric samples, arranged them on the floor (my "design wall") and filled in the gaps with my stash.

For the 2nd and 3rd, I got progressively more creative. I think the red, white, and blue quilt is my favorite, but the salmon and teal is a close second. I love thinking of the Ethiopian children cuddling under these on cold winter nights! Thanks again to Carolyn for quilting, Karen for trimming them up and running them all over town, and my mom for donating batting, backing, and time to do the binding. Go team!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Slow Progress

This once a week posting is really not my intention. The crafting is happening, the photos are even happening, but making it to a published blog post seems to be the missing step...

Strips in Progress

Over the weekend I did get a good amount of time in my sewing room. The strips for the Red Barn quilt along are slowly being pieced together and I'm getting my sewing chair back. I have about five more sets of strips to sew together, then cut all the blocks. I'm a little worried about arranging all these for the top. Any suggestions for arranging a queen-sized quilt without a quilt wall?? I don't think I have any floor space big enough!

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Step Two

The QBB quilts are quilted! And gorgeous. Carolyn did an amazing job. I got the binding machine-sewn on this weekend and my mom will hand-sew two and I'll do one. They should be easily done in time for my mother-in-law to deliver to the Quilt Show next week. I love this teamwork approach to quilting!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sneak Peek

Thanks for all the book recommendations yesterday! In addition to reading the "classic" Interview with a Vampire, I spent a little time in my sewing room.

I made some progress on the piecing for the Rainbow Sherbet quilt top. We're not actually going to have a twin bed in the nursery after all (the room is too small) but this will make a great cuddle blankie in the rocker. Finishing this top was on my September Goals list, needless to say it isn't finished on time!

I also got started on my Grandma's handbag, another unfinished September goal... My grandma always requests colorful fabrics, I think these fit the bill! After the bright Sherbet quilt fabrics, I'm loving the more muted colors.

Monthly Goals
Hard to believe another month has gone by! My October list is primarily finishing up my September goals...
1. Finish Gma's handbag.
2. Bind and label QBB quilts.
3. Finish Rainbow Sherbet quilt - top, quilting, binding, the works!
4. Finish Red Barn quilt top.

September Goals:
1. Family Projects - Karyn's necklace & Gma's handbag.
2. Three quilt tops for Quilts Beyond Borders.
3. Red Barn quilt-along quilt top done. Nope.
4. Rainbow sherbet quilt top done. Nope.

Let's see if I can do a little better this month!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009


I finished the three quilt tops I wanted to do for Quilts Beyond Borders! Carolyn, who landed at my site while searching for QBB, has very generously offered to quilt them, and then when I get them back my mom has offered to handsew the binding. What teamwork!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Sweetpea's Quilt

My cousin Megan is having a baby any day now (affectionately named Sweetpea in utero). Their nursery is brown and green, and when I saw this fabric, I knew I had to use it for their baby quilt!

Sweetpea's Quilt

It is Natureology by Studio e in brown. Normally I try to mix and match designers but this was so perfect, I had to keep it simple to show off the fabric. The finished quilt is 38"x44", perfect for playing on the floor.

Sweetpea's Quilt Back

The back is Kona cotton with a pieced strip. Quilting is in parallel lines perpendicular to the fabric strips.

To give proper credit, this quilt was heavily inspired by this one. Thanks, Ashley!

Sweetpea's Label

I used an Irish blessing on the label. I hope Sweetpea gets a lot of use out of it!

A tip for those using my label method - I got a set of colored fine-tip Sharpies, and some of the colors seem to bleed. Black and brown did okay but the two blues I've tried have some issues. So test before using on your final label!!

Updated to add: Miss Avery Camryn was born as I was posting this! Welcome, sweet new little one!!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Flutterby Finished

I finally have a snuggy lap quilt of my own!

Flutterby Quilt

Please excuse the photography. My normal quilt-holder is working late nights on a crash project, so I had to make due.

Flutterby Label

I also added the label.

Quilt at Home

This is the quilt's normal home. It will help bring some color to my neutral living room. Well, neutral, plus a red wall.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Drowning in Strips

Quilt Along Strips

I have all the strips for the Red Barn quilt along matched up and ready to sew. I don't even want to think about how many 44" seams this will require. That's what I get for deciding to make this a queen-sized quilt! Maybe it's time to test out that on/off button on my new machine instead of using the foot pedal...

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Labels

After reading tons of different posts on different craft blogs about how ladies do quilt labels, and trying several myself, I am finally to a point where I like how I do mine. Since I received a couple questions about the wedding quilt label I thought I would share my method.

1. First, I love using white fabric in my quilts, and I save every last scrap when I'm cutting it up! I don't always want a large label so those scraps come in handy. I decide how big I want my label, usually 3"x4" or a little smaller, and trim the scrap to that size plus 1/2" for seam allowances.

2. Sometimes I skip straight to step 3 for a simpler label but usually I use some of my patterned fabric scraps from the quilt to create a little border. When trimming these scraps, be sure to add 1/2" for seam allowances to the width you want showing around the label. Mine are usually cut ~1" wide so there's only a thin border.

Sew to the short sides, and press, then to the long sides, and press.

3. I also save all my scraps of freezer paper. Find a piece that at least covers the white part of your label.

Iron it, shiny side down, to the back of the label. This will make the fabric more stable for writing on.

4. I plan out the label lightly in pencil (since I always wash my quilts before giving them away, the pencil will wash right out).

Then I trace the final label with a fine point sharpie. I've tried other fabric markers but have had the best results with a plain old sharpie! I know there are methods out there to print your labels on your computer but I love the personal look of handwriting.

5. Peel off the freezer paper, make sure my label is squared up, and find another scrap of white fabric that's as big as my whole label and trim to match. I sew them right sides together with a gap for turning.

6. Turn right side out. Use a knitting needle or chopstick to push out the corners.

Press well.

7. Pin in place on your quilt and handstitch down. I just read a great tutorial for ladder stitch that I might try on my next quilt for invisible stitches but lately I've just been using a blind stitch. I don't have a photo of this step because my example label is for my flutterby quilt which is not quite ready for a label!

This is just what I've found works best for me! There are tons of label ideas out there so look around and combine them all to be your own special method.

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