Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Ho. Ho. Ho. Last week I decided that what our family really needed was a little family of snowmen stockings for Santa to put our loot in. It was (mostly) a lot of fun. This was my first attempt at applique and I have to say...I like it! I am pleased as punch with how they turned out! I looked at bunches of snowman stockings online and then made these up all by myself. Woohoo! We still need to decide who gets which stocking and put buttons on the hats for embellishment and so everybody remembers which stocking is his/hers...and I might add hanging hooks even though we don't usually hang our stockings...these turned out so cute that I just might decide to hang them up to admire them every December.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival: Blue Boxes

So, I'm getting this one in just under the wire. Good thing my sister called me to hassle me about not having anything new up on my blog or I would have missed the Bloggers' Quilt Festival entirely.

This quilt is one I made for a friend's baby shower. She's set to have their first baby on Monday and I'm very excited for her! I tried really really hard not to buy anything for this quilt...and almost succeeded. My cute sister sent me the fabric for the back and I hit my stash for the fabrics in the top. The only thing I had to buy was the binding. The binding fabric looked really cool when it was laid out flat--kind of like crinkly paper.

So here is the front:

And the back:

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Hope you've all enjoyed the Festival!


Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well, here it is...the whirligig quilt. I saw a really awesome one of these on the display wall at Quilt, Etc. It was red and white and black and really much more spectacular looking than this one. Now, having sewn one together, I can't say that I'll ever do another one. A million of the same boring little block over and over isn't exactly my cup of tea. After I drew the color scheme up on EQ5, I commented that I'd either love the final quilt or hate it. I had no idea that I would feel as ambivalent about the finished product as I did about the drawing.

This picture really really doesn't do it justice. It's a lot brighter and happier in real life. It was a bit backlit by the sun so the colors look all washed out. I did a scrappy binding...not because I have any particular love for scrappy bindings (in fact, I MUCH prefer non-scrappy bindings)...but because when I went to look for more of the pink stuff to bind it in, Joann was all out. Besides, I'm really trying not to spend any more money on fabric if I don't have to. I had the binding scraps sewn all together on angles and had to unpick and sew them back with straight 1/4 inch seams because it was too short to go all the way around when sewn properly. Oh well, right? I also would have loved to have this quilted but tied it anyway. It's so sad to see all my beautifully matched intersections hidden by ties! But by the time I got done piecing it I just wanted to get it DONE.

Hmm...I don't think my camera likes the bright pink very much. Anyway. I think I'm giving this one to the neighbor girl. Hopefully she won't hate it and oh well if she does. I was aiming for twin size...but something in my math was way off and so it's a lot smaller than I was shooting for. Still plenty big enough for a nine-year-old to wrap up in though.

The end.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Andy and Samantha's wedding quilt

This is Andy and Samantha's wedding quilt.

My sister and I made this quilt several years ago to give to my brother and his wife when they got married. One of us found the pattern somewhere (neither of us can remember where), we both went and got the fabric, and I got to work piecing. I used the square in a square ruler because we decided to do it at the last minute and time was of the essence. Using square in a square was fun and made it very easy but resulted in lots of little off-cut triangles that haunted me until I just closed my eyes and threw them in the garbage one day a few months ago.

Once it was all pieced, my sister quilted it.

I actually forgot all about this quilt until a few weeks ago when I saw it on the bed at my brother and sister-in-law's house!

And here it is at the wedding!

Hope you're all enjoying the Festival! Happy Quilting!

Amy's Creative Side

Sunday, May 1, 2011


So, I think I might have a problem. I keep on making Project Linus quilts even when I don't intend to. It may be because I really don't want to move all the donated fabric when we move house again this fall. Or maybe it just lets me get all the experimental quilts out of my system (don't worry, I'm filing the successes away in my head so I can try them again with even better colors and fabrics).

In any event, here are a few quilts I've finished up in the last month or two. These were followed by several that are so un-noteworthy or ugly that I didn't even bother to photograph them (If I don't take a picture of it, I didn't really make it, right?)

This is one I started a LONG time ago. I dug it out, slapped the border on it, tied it, and bound it. Probably should have used yarn that didn't unravel so badly...but oh and learn.

A few months ago I discovered fabric swapping. Totally. Totally. Addictive. One of the swaps I did was blue "noodles" (2.5 inch strips cut selvage to selvage). I picked out my favorite ones from all the ones I got back...then I made this quilt out of the rest. I made this using a method I read about a long time ago and then promptly forgot about. Luckily, I remembered it just in time to make this quilt (and several more). You basically sew the top together and quilt it all in one step...super fast...then trim it up, slap on a binding and you're done!

This is more fabric-swapping fun. I originally discovered fabric swaps because I'm planning to make an I-spy quilt for my kiddos and didn't want to have lots of leftovers (since I only need a 6 inch square of each fabric). I figured while I was swapping for that quilt, I may as well send in some of the Project Linus flannel I had to swap for some different prints. This quilt is one of two. If you've seen one random I-spy quilt, you've seen them all.

Nancy and Jessica...the freecyclers who keep on giving. The floral print in this one came from them. I found the coordinating yellow, green, and orange in my stash and went to town.
This quilt has a twin...

I decided to do this one as a fray quilt and I have to say, I really like how it turned out. The purple and hot pink peeking through from the back really help tie it all together, I think. And I actually think I'll keep this one and give it to somebody I know.

And another striped one. These are just so easy! Now I need to try not to get burned out on them...too much of a good thing and all that jazz. In fact, all of the un-noteworthy (un-photographed) ones use this same method. Maybe I am getting burned out...maybe that's why I haven't really quilted in the past month. Hmmm...I'll have to get back to you on that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Aubs' quilt!

I finished Aubrey's baby quilt! I got the red fabric from Nancy and Jessica (my freecycle friends). When I went through the fabric they gave me and saw these red heart squares (already cut out and ready to go), I knew immediately that I was keeping them for myself. I've been so busy making Project Linus quilts (for, like, years) that I really haven't made many quilts for our family. I decided that it was about time for that to change.

I am thrilled with how it turned out. After I got the top done, I went shopping for the backing. I knew I wanted something cuddly but I'm not made of money and really didn't love the selection of minky at Joann. As I was standing in line at the cut table with some minky that I wasn't really thrilled with, I saw a lady with some of this other cuddly fabric in her cart. Needless to say, the minky got put back in favor of some bright red cuddle fleece. When I got home, I laid the top on the back and found a big problem--I was not planning on putting batting in the quilt (can you imagine how heavy and hot that would be?) but the sashing looked terrible because the red showed through. Another problem I realized was that the back was slightly stretchy...a nightmare for me to try to quilt. After thinking for a few days and asking some much more experienced quilters on a message board, I came up with a plan of attack: spray basting with white muslin instead of a batting layer. And I have to say, it worked out beautifully!

Sunday afternoon, I went out on my driveway to glue the layers together. I put down an old sheet and the cuddle fleece layer and started spraying. I stuck the muslin onto the back...then sprayed again and put on the top. At first, I was really worried because it didn't seem like it was sticking very well at all...but it was COLD outside. The glue set right up as soon as I brought the quilt inside.

I spent the rest of the night quilting 1/4 in. inside each red square. It looks really really cool on the back, too (unfortunately, the camera couldn't auto-focus so I can't get a picture of it, so you'll just have to take my word for it). My only task now is to find a package of dye-catchers to wash this with because I have a sneaking suspicion that the red squares weren't pre-washed. Yikes!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some Pseudo-Hack-Job Quilts

After we moved, my husband (Charles) told me that I needed to start working through some of the fabric in my stash so he won't have to move it again when we move back to our old place (in t-minus 7 months now). I have bolts and boxes of fabric that someone(s) donated to our local Project Linus chapter. Most of the stuff on bolts is REALLY ugly and a lot the stuff in boxes is in pieces too small to use for a quilt-back. I told the boss-lady (Our chapter coordinator, Kathy) that I would do my best to work through some of it. That was over a year ago.

I also have boxes of fabric I got from some new freecycle friends (Thank You, Nancy and Jessica!). Among the fabric they gave me were a bunch of pre-cut 5.5 inch squares. I'm keeping my favorites to make quilts for my kids but figured I'd use a lot of the fabric they gave me for Project Linus quilts. Hey, it was given to me, so I don't mind giving it away.

With this in mind, I decided to get as many quilts as possible done so I can get some of this stuff out the door. Luckily, Kathy said some of the blanket-making groups that meet monthly can help with finishing the quilts (since I seem to have a quilt-tying aversion these days). So, this week I've been making tops like a mad-woman, finishing UFOs, and washing up fray quilts that have been sitting in a bag for a long time. The name of the game is use only what's on hand (no buying anything else!)

First up, we have the UFO twins. This one I finished...

This one I just did the top. Sadly, I don't have anything very great for the back. It's an ugly mauve print....but whatever, it's a back, right?

Next, we have two random I-spy-ish quilt tops from the pre-cut squares Nancy and Jessica gave me. This one is smaller and just has boyish fabric. The back will be light blue flannel.

And a twin-sized one that includes some girly prints. I have a salmon-colored sheet I got on clearance somewhere for the back of this one.

Some other random freecycle person gave me a box of fabric like 5 years ago. Among the stuff they gave me was a Raggedy Ann/Andy print. This quilt uses a big piece of that for the back and smaller pieces, along with the stripes, for the top. I think this is probably the most hideous quilt I have ever made.

This is just one I threw together to try to get through some juvenile flannel someone donated.

And now for the fray quilts:
I put this one together trying to work through some of the smaller pieces of flannel I have around.

I actually really like how this one turned out. It has some really random flannel on the back (that's jewelry or something you see there...and you wonder why someone gave this fabric away?) I think I like the way fray quilts with finished edges look.

You see what I mean about bolts of ugly fabric? Unfortunately, this isn't the worst of it (I can't even think of how to use some of it, it's so ugly.)

And one I mostly like. This was a lot cuter in my head but I didn't have enough of the plain pink flannel and ended up piecing the sashing. The really sad thing about this quilt is that the only thing I have for the back is a big piece of that ugly Powerpuff Girl fabric from the quilt above.

And last, but not least, a shout-out to my awesome engineering-er-ific husband. When I washed the fray quilts, I also washed the first twinner quilt, which is backed with some lousy walmart flannel. Needless to say, it looked awful coming out of the dryer. I told Charles I wished I had a lint roller....he swore up and down that I had one...and then went and thought up something better!

This is my rolling pin, wrapped with packing tape sticky-side out.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Clara's Baby Quilt

Ta-da! Here is the quilt I gave to my sister-in-law Clara at her baby shower last weekend. After I pieced it, I decided that tying it would ruin how it looked (plus, I'm really not in the mood to tie quilts these days), so I just stitched in the ditch on my sewing machine using a walking foot. It's no pro-job, but I thought it turned out okay...there's a little bit of fabric shearing in a few places...but it looks better than I thought it would. Considering that I didn't use high-quality fabric, I don't expect that it will last forever but it should do the trick for a few years, at least.

The funny thing about this quilt is that it is the one that convinced me that my husband's aunt was right. When I first started quilting, I got SO bent out of shape when she said, "I feel sorry for people who try to quilt on the cheap." I thought she was just being snooty at the time (this is the woman who has a cedar ROOM to store all her fabric in). Now, I get it, though. I made this quilt on the heals of making several block-of-the-month blocks with quilt shop quality fabrics and I have to say...there IS a difference. I still intend to use up my stash of discount-store fabrics but I'm going to try to just buy good stuff in the future.

Clara's quilt!
Unfortunately, I didn't even think about getting a picture of her with it at the baby shower. Oh well!