Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Challenge recap

Actually, recap sounds like it's over, doesn't it. And it's not. Psych! Well, to me anyway. I truly thought I would get this done this year, but I'm a little crazy.

So, I was supposed to do three versions of the nine quilts in the book. So that's 27 quilts total. And how'd I do?



Quilts completed: 8
Tops completed: 25
Tops to finish: 2

The big thing I learned this year is that I tend to work in fits and starts. I get really obsessive for a while, then don't do any sewing for a month. You have to be steady all year to get a project of this size done by deadline. So not my style, apparently.

The whole thing has been fun and I'm looking forward to finishing everything up. But I'm also looking forward to going back to a more random way of working. The hope is I can keep the discipline of finishing the project while I do random quilts. It's easy to get caught up in the next one when you don't have a deadline to work against, leaving tons of UFOs sitting in bins around the room.

My plan for this year is to finish the quilts from this book, then focus on the UFOs (not necessarily quilts) sitting in shoeboxes. And to do a quilt to enter at the state fair - my first competition attempt.

How'd you do on your 2011 goals and what's in the plans for 2012?


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Challenge: A Star is Born - Neutral


I can't believe I did this. Well, OK, I can. As I was updating my challenge list with the latest finish, I realized I hadn't done a post on this quilt. Which then led to realizing I never took pictures of it. Argh!!

I had decided to give this one to my chorus for an auction in a basket with several baby toys I made to coordinate. And in the rush to get it done, apparently forgot to take any pictures other than the in-progress one above. Sigh. I am so annoyed because it was one of my best finishes to date, the quilting actually being quite well executed. And it was adorable overall. The red and white fabrics were ones I found in my mom's "stash" after she died last year. They aren't cottons, but were just too cute to pass up using. Until I started cursing them in triangle form. Didn't handle bias well, shall we say. And triangles are already curse-worthy in my book so it got doubly bad at times.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Challenge: Baby Squares Jamboree - Boy


Yeah! One more down. You'll notice I didn't do the scalloped border this time. All those curves just didn't seem right for a boy quilt. (And yes, I wanted to get it done and a curvy border takes a lot of time.)

This one started with some bird fabric I found and was easily paired with the various colors of the bird. Looking at it now, I think it would have been better with the darker green as the inner border than the lighter, but oh well. I quilted it with a large version of the same pattern I used on the girl version, working with the nine-patches rather than doing it within each square.

The back fabric was something out of my stash I had bought with the purpose of using it for a back someday. Loved how the colors just worked so well with this one.




Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Challenge progress

Less than a month to go and it's my busiest month for work. Which means I'm going to have to admit I'm not going to make my challenge goal. Sigh. At least not to have completed quilts.

I've kind of revamped my goal to just be to finish the quilt tops at this point. Almost. I think I can get that done with the exception of two of the hand applique ones. And I have all the batting I need to finish everything off as soon as I find some time to get them basted. I'm sitting here with 10 or so completed tops, three more almost done and three others to be sewn. So it's entirely possible to make it at least this far to the goal by the end of the year.

A stack of completed quilt tops and shots of them in progress. My design wall has been getting quite crowded of late with at least three quilts going at any one time.






Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vintage-style baby quilt pattern for a boy


Forget redwork. How about a little greenwork?

Check out this cute boy's quilt pattern that combines vintage-inspired images to embroider with a energetic zig-zag border. The images are of a boy and his dog at play - outside even! - and you could actually work them up in any color. But I do like the green in the picture.

The three designs include the boy climbing a tree, riding in a wagon and fishing down at the pond, complete with the surrounding landscapes. Finishes up at 41"x50", although you could add or remove borders to change that up.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clear out your bins with the scrap baby quilt patterns

I've never kept it a secret how much I love scrap quilts. I have drawers and drawers and drawers of fabric all chopped up into small pieces waiting to go into one. (Just as soon as I finish my challenge!)

So I was really drawn to some new patterns I ran across recently. Most aren't billed as being baby quilts, but they're certainly sized appropriately. Which makes them baby quilts in my book!



Jelly Roll friendly. Finished size 41 1/2"x 56 1/2".



Quick stack-and-slash quilt with floral applique border
Finished size 54"x 60"



Finishes large, but easy enough to adapt to baby size



Finished size 48"x 58". Fat Quarter friendly.



Uses Quilt-As-You Go technique. Prairie points create dimension and textural interest.
Fat Quarter friendly. Measure about 35.5"x 45.5".



Fat Quarter friendly. Finished size 52.5"x 65.5".



Fat quarter friendly. Baby size finishes at 42"x 42".

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 11, 2011

Yummy baby quilt patterns from Modern Relish

The guild I'm a member of is focused on modern quilts. (Which I love but don't do exclusively. In it for other reasons.) The style in recent years has definitely moved toward modern, which I do think is a good thing for baby quilts since the pattern designs tend to be much simpler than some traditional patterns.

So I really do like this line of quilt patterns I found from Modern Quilt Relish, all with a modern bent and sized for a baby or child's quilt. And all would work well with scraps whether you go for a monochromatic look or a wild and bright color scheme.













Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Baby quilt projects moving right along



Madly working on getting blocks together and I'm making quite a bit of progress. On the left, blocks waiting to be sewn together. In the middle all the danged pieces of the borders for the dog flower quilt going together. These things have a billion triangles and tons of pieces so it's taking forever to get the blocks together. The picture on the right has blocks for two more quilts coming together. (I messed up the sashings on the black and red one because I thought I didn't need to review the directions first. Boo.)


I've ended up in the middle of several tops at the same time because I'm chain piecing like mad. Some of these quilts have so many pieces to the different blocks that it takes quite a while to actually get one block done. So I'm running lots of things through at once. Not sure if that's making it go faster, but I certainly feel a bit more productive because there's always something progressing.

I've done some reading lately about the Frixon gel pens with ink that disappears with heat. (And returns with cold!)

Some people are leery of the pens because the ink does come back in the cold, which implies it never leaves. But in many of those cases, these are quilts that never got washed. So I'm not sure if it's something to be truly concerned about.

But I do have one great use for them - marking templates. Sometimes pencils and pens just don't want to show up. The bright colors of these pens work quite nicely for that job. Yea!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Challenge: Trip to Bali - Girl

This is the first pattern where I've completed two versions, so there is definitely a comparison to be made between fabric choices. And while I didn't use batiks, the fabric packs I used had more of a tropical feel, giving them more of the Bali look of the original.

I goofed up on my elephants on this one. Not that the casual observer could tell. They're supposed to rotate as they go around the top and I did them all straight up and down. Which means the top has a distinct "top" to it. Not a biggie.

Closer view of the fabrics and the straight-line quilting I did in the center. I also did the inner squares of the blocks in a contrast (as called for in the pattern) something I didn't do in the boy version. Interesting to see that difference.
I did a version of an edge to center design from Leah Day called Spiral Illusion. Since the center was all squares and empty spaces, I was able to follow the edges to complete the design. You can kind of see it in this picture. The borders - ugh. I tried a free motion version of straight lines that I ended up not liking much. Wishing I could combine the center design here with the border design on the boy quilt.
A bit better view of the quilting design from the back. You can see the lines that go across and around as well as the lines that go at the angles. Really a great way to fill that center.
And this wouldn't be complete without mentioning the back fabric. It's a flannel I found on the red tag rack at Joann's during one of those times when they put the rack on sale for another 50% off. My favorite time to shop! I've picked up all kinds of yummy goodies that way, including this flannel that happened to be a perfect color match for the fabrics I had. One of the best color combos I've had in a while. And flannel is such a nice backing fabric. (Even when you have to piece a stripe and it's now going in two directions.)



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 Challenge: Trip to Bali - Boy

From the first time I saw this pattern, I thought muslin and homespuns. And then discovered I never want to work with homespuns again. Argh.

That said, this really did come out lovely. From this far away, at least. I'm really rather proud of it. Just looks incredibly cosy.


Now the quilting ... half good, half not. I attempted to eyeball Baptist fans for the center. They didn't come out so very nice and even. Alas. But I wanted something different from what I did on the girl version of this quilt and that's what I came up with. Should have stuck with what I knew worked. The stippling I did around the elephants really came out nicely though. Getting much better at that stuff. And it really was the best option because working around those applique guys wasn't easy.


I know I said I wasn't going to use the homespuns to do the back, but the thought of just tossing them made me ill, so on the back they went. It actually wasn't as bad as I expected. And I just pulled the edges over to do the binding - not the best way to go, but far quicker than the alternative.

Despite the fact that my stippling and free motion in general is improving, there are still issues I can't always figure out. Like this lovely snarl on the back. It's not in a place where I would have stopped, so why the heck is there suddenly all that extra thread being pulled in from the front? One of these days I'm going to have this all figured out. I think. But right now, the mysteries still abound.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Challenge update


Getting my sewing machine back meant I could get back to business with my challenge projects. I rapidly started work on a new quilt, getting all the blocks assembled and the stars appliqued. Oh - and the billions of triangles in the borders done. You know I was having fun with those. (/sarcasm)

With the machine out of commission, I started working on more hand applique, which you can see to the right of the first picture. But machine in place meant I could start assembling others and get the center of the dog version completed.

The plan for the primary colored quilt above is to donate it for an auction my women's chorus is having - our major fundraiser for the year. So I'm putting together a basket that includes that quilt and some baby toys I made that coordinate. I have two sizes of soft blocks, some fabric "blobs" that stick together with velcro and a nosy square. (The noisy part is some popcorn plastic wrap. Shhh. Don't tell.)

The last thing going at the moment is yet another quilt. These 12x12 blocks have been done Nad I'm just trying to ensure I have a pleasing pattern going here. And being annoyed because some of the colors apparently didn't get cut out to precisely the right sizes somehow, so things are already wonky. Bah. (Love the color scheme going here, though.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a stick of gum. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog that I would use personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”