Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Interleave Fun!

Hi Bloggers!

It's Blogger's Quilt Festival, so it's time for my annual blog post :) Life has been busy but I did have a bit of time to quilt last spring. This quilt has a fun origin story.  Sometime last year, my mother in law came over and asked me if I knew of any good quilt shops.  I told her I did and she said she wanted to go see if any of them were selling any of the quilts they had on display.  I was like, "Umm....I can make you a quilt."  Bless her heart, she gave me carte blanche on basically everything about this quilt (as well as a nice little check so I could go buy fabric) :)

I had recently been looking online at interleave quilts by Lorrie Cranor.  She has some instructions for how to make some fun little ones out of fat quarters.  I tried that out, figured out some techniques that would scale a little better for me, designed it in inkscape, redesigned it in inkscape a few more times, finally found a design I liked, made a few mock-ups and started sewing.  

This was a serious labor of love and it took a bit longer than I anticipated to put it together.  I though it would be easier since it's technically a quilt as you go with all straight lines and I didn't have to figure out how to finish/quilt it.  But putting that much bulk through my machine (even with its bigger-than-average throat size) got to be a little bit of a wrestling match at times.  

This is a full size quilt and measures approximately 80 x 86.  There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 172 or 173 strips altogether---each 1/2 inch finished.  And, as you can see if you look closely, this quilt was constructed with all straight lines.  Any curves you see are an optical illusion.  Cool, huh?

Thanks for letting me share my quilt with you!  Hope you're all enjoying all the amazing Blogger's Quilt Festival quilts!


Friday, September 22, 2017

My First-Ever I-spy quilt.

As I was photographing my Hexagon I-spy Quilt so I could add it to the Bloggers Quilt Festival, I realized that I never took a picture of the first I-spy quilt I ever made.

My first-ever I-spy quilt!

When I made this one, I was a fairly new quilter.  I did some swaps and got a bunch of fabric of questionable quality (that was before I found the ISpyQuilts group on yahoo--they only swap quilt shop quality fabrics).  Since I was a new-ish quilter, I wasn't super experienced at weeding out cheap fabric by I'm hoping all the fabric I included will stand the test of time. But if not, oh well....I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

In planning this quilt, I looked at a bunch of pictures of I-spy quilts online, found a style I liked, and set to work.  It went together pretty easily.  My cute sister quilted it for me on her long-arm machine.

Honestly, the backing/binding is what makes this quilt for me.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this fabric (and if anybody knows what it's called and where I can buy more of it, please let me know).

Hope you're all enjoying the festival!

Hexagon I-spy!

Happy Bloggers' Quilt Festival!  When I first started this blog, it was so I could show off my quilts for BQF.  I haven't posted anything for a couple of years (the more kids I have, the less I quilt) but I was SO EXCITED for the return of the old format (and the randomized prizes instead of popularity-contest prizes) that I decided to go take a few pictures.

My Hexagon I-spy quilt!!!

This little baby was a serious labor of love--It was also my nesting project.  I pieced the top last summer when I was pregnant with my now-1-year-old.  When some people are nesting, they clean and organize things....when I'm nesting, I quilt. :)  I got the majority of the I-spy pieces from an awesome swap group I'm a part of (a yahoo group called ISpyQuilts, if you're curious).

The pieces for that swap were 4" squares, which I cut down with a hexagon template I talked my husband in to machining for me on his mill.  Then, when I started laying all the hexis out, I got the brilliant idea to add hexagonal I did some more talking and wrangled a non-regular hexagon from the machinist husband.

And then I sewed.....and sewed.....and sewed.  As you can see, this quilt has about a billion Y-seams. Thank heavens for my new sewing machine that does neat tricks like raising and lowering the presser foot when I tap the foot pedal and cutting the thread with the push of a button.

I try to make the backs of my I-spy quilts fun and somewhat related to the tops....I couldn't find any hexagon fabric I loved...but I found this stuff that was supposedly ice cubes that looked hexagonal enough for me.

When I got done piecing the top, I was SO DONE with looking at and working with this quilt.  My amazing and very talented sister was kind enough to take pity on me and quilted it on her long-arm to help me get it finished up.

I love I-spy quilts.  I have two of them on my bed (I know! Originally, I thought I'd let the kids put them on their beds but I love them too much to let them go!)  I just love how colorful and interesting and fun they are.  I have another one in progress....I'm hoping to have it done for the next Bloggers Quilt Festival!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival time (or...How do I write a blog post, again?)

Did you get what I did there? Alternate titles a la Rocky and Bulwinkle?'s been sooooo long since I've made a quilt and posted it that I forgot how to even post to my blog.  This quilt is my latest project.  It's for a new baby I'm related to but still haven't met.

Originally, I was planning to do something kinda like this Cynthia Muir original (but with just plain blocks of color).  I had all the blue and green squares made when it occurred to me that I actually didn't have enough of the white I was using to do what I had in mind (I was just using some random white from my stash...and we all know how fun (not) it is to try to match a random white). I just shimmied on down to the fabric store and bought some yellow to add in to the mix.  I sewed a whole bunch of yellow squares to go with the others and set them in a pile.  A few days later, I went to lay them all out to see what kind of pattern I'd like and went, "Oh-oh!"  I had made all the yellow squares 1/2 inch smaller than the other squares.  So...I wracked my brains for about 5 minutes, tried unsuccessfully to call my sister for advise, and then hit upon this BRILLIANT (if I do say so myself) salvage job.  If you didn't know better, you might think I'd actually planned it this way!  Yay!

Hope you're all enjoying the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival--Rainbow Pillows

Happy Bloggers' Quilt Festival!  I've been meaning to post pictures of these pillows for...oh, about 2 years now.  I made them for my mom for Mother's Day in 2012.  The fabric for these was left over from the rainbow quilt my sister and I made our mom from the Summers End quilt kit.  I figured having throw pillows that matched the quilt would be kind of fun and set to work.  And here are the results!

This was also my first time since 9th grade sewing to put in invisible zippers.  After a few false starts, they turned out very well.

I hope you're all enjoying the Festival!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival: Circles!

Yay! It's Bloggers' Quilt Festival again!  And here's my quilt to show you...Circles!  :D

My quilting has slowed to a crawl these days.  Since I gave away all that fabric last October, the pressure to produce has vanished.  I never did post about getting rid of all of that, did I?'s a picture of the boxes of cheapy fabric I got rid of.

Since I'm not feeling obligated to quilt my way through those boxes of junk fabric, I've been reading books and playing on the internet a lot more in the evenings instead of quilting. Sometimes I try to quilt during the day, but when I'm quilting, my children feel neglected and start acting up and it's just not much fun to quilt to the sound of screaming and fighting.  I did manage, though, to make this circle quilt last winter to give to a new niece.

I thought for a long time about what kind of quilt to make for the new arrival.  And once she was born and named, I felt like whatever quilt I made should at least somewhat match her personality (as much as you can determine a newborn's personality from a picture).  I'd been wanting to try a circle quilt for a while so I pulled out some fabric that I thought matched the baby and looked cute together and started sewing.  When I got it done, I realized that I had used pretty much the exact same color scheme as I used for her older sister's baby quilt. Remember this one?

So, there you have it! My first attempt at a circle quilt!  I was THRILLED with how it turned out.  I think it's probably the cutest quilt I've made yet.  I quilted it in the ditch along all the squares and around each of the circles, then packaged it off and shipped it to my cute little niece.

Hope you're enjoying the Bloggers' Quilt Festival!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bloggers' Quilt Festival! Funhouse Quilt

It's Bloggers' Quilt Festival again!  I can't believe the time has passed so quickly since the last one.  My entry this time is my "Funhouse Quilt."

This quilt has an awesome history.  When I very first started quilting, my mother-in-law lent me a book called The It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book (here is the updated version of the book I read).  In a nutshell, this book teaches you how to look at a block or quilt and figure out how it's constructed...and then do it easier.  So what did I do?  I found a really cool looking block that was in the book...and then did it harder!  I was messing around with EQ5 and drew it up and then found myself rotary cutting funky angles and sewing seven million set-in seams (without knowing they were set-in seams or that set-in seams were supposed to be hard).  This was also before I really grasped the concept of a 1/4" seam.  I just sewed with the fabric aligned with the edge of the presser-foot.  This wouldn't have been a problem at all...except for a few things.  The tedium of putting this baby together was getting to me, so I put it in a drawer and took a little break (read: 4 years).

Meanwhile, I got rid of the sewing machine I had been using and started using a different one.  Can you see where this is going?  Yes...when I got done, I had a bunch of different sizes of finished blocks...(because I'm not a perfect quilter, I didn't even have two different sizes, I had a range of sizes...some around 10.5 inches, some around 10.25 inches, some around 10.75 inches).  Yikes!  So I had to use the little trick I developed on this quilt, where I measured and then marked each side of each block with a colored pin according to its' dimensions (big, medium, or small) and then tried my best to match them up.  When it was all done, it made my eyes do weird things (lots of not-square squares and things mess with my head...kind of like a funhouse mirror)---and THAT is why it's called the Funhouse Quilt.

When I got it all done late last summer, I begged my amazing sister to quilt it for me.  Luckily, she took pity on my poor pregnant-and-nesting soul and quilted it for me.  I'm thrilled with what she came up with. The backing is dark blue minky and the quilting looks as good on the back as it does on the front.

 Swirls and flowers...SO cute!

A few weeks before my baby was due, I got a lovely package in the mail from my sister with this quilt (and a few others and some super-fun birthday surprises) inside.  I got to work and machine-sewed the binding on to quilt and then decided to hand-finish it.  I'll probably never get rid of this quilt because I worked on it while I was sort of in labor with my baby.  I say sort of because I woke up to pressure waves (contractions) and went out in to the living room to sit on my birth ball and zone out (I do Hypnobabies).  But NOTHING was happening, so I started sewing the binding.  I did that for a few hours, had a conversation with my husband about buying some equipment, then went back to bed. Later that day, we had our new addition.  Don't worry, between nursing the baby and wrangling the older kids it only took me two and a half more months to finish getting the binding all the way done.  To celebrate, we decided to go to the park and take some pictures!

Hope you're enjoying the quilt festival!!!
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