Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Orange Converse Finished Mini Quilt

An orange Converse shoe quilt. That is not something I would have expected to see on my finished quilt list. But when your teenage son has a friend who owns every color of Converse shoes, it seems like a very fitting and appropriate gift.

This is the second time I have used this pattern. It is fun to make.

When paper piecing, one of the most important things to do is to make sure that the pattern is printed at actual size. I forgot to do that this time, which meant that the finished width of the block is about an inch smaller than it should be. It's not an issue since this isn't part of a bigger project, but it was a good reminder to me to be more careful about that.

The sweet girl receiving this mini quilt plans to study music therapy in college so we had to throw in some music fabric on the back.

Oh, that teeny tiny star. Such a nail biter putting that together. As reference, those lines of quilting are a quarter inch apart.

This quilt was fun to make and will be fun to give. My sewing room has been tidied up as this was the last of my holiday obligation sewing. I am sure I will stitch up a few more gifts to give, but those will be spontaneous projects.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Community Quilt - November Believe Circle Block

This month Jennifer asked us to send in a block, or blocks that represented community.

I searched and searched for a house that I wanted to stitch. Nothing was drawing me in until I saw an image that looked similar to this one. I sketched it quickly on graph paper and I'm glad I did because I was not able to find the image again. After thinking about the finished size and knowing I needed to go for something that is a multiple of three, I decided each square on the graph paper would represent 1 1/2 inches.

It was a rare quiet day at home so I took my time choosing fabric.

The cut size of each piece was calculated as I went.

Once all the parts were made, the sections were split out into "blocks" to make the assembly easier.

The block will finish at 15 inches square. The multiple dwellings appealed to me for this project. Oh, and where it looks like there is a stain on the fabric there on the left, that is just where it has not dried yet. I always use a dry iron and a spray bottle of water to press my quilt blocks. I should have waited a few more minutes before taking pictures.

I loved making this block and can't wait to see how the quilt comes together. Sending this one off in the mail today.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bright Rectangles And Diamonds Quilt Finish

This fun quilt top was made by my mom from a kit. She did the piecing and asked me if I would finish it for her so she could give it to her great granddaughter for Christmas. Yes, of course I can.

Since there is so much color and pattern going on in these fabrics, I went with an all over free motion flower design for the quilting. In general, it just adds texture.

But on a few of the blocks the flower design stands out.

I think this is my favorite block. You can see two flowers here.

The kit came with backing and binding fabric, so it was easy to quilt and assemble. Once I decided on the quilting design, the rest of the decisions had been made for me. The quilting is done with a white 50 weight Aurifil thread.

The finished quilt is approximately 37 x 45 inches. It makes a perfect play mat or snuggle quilt for a little girl.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Brighten Up Scrappy Checkerboard Quilt Finish

This is a very special finish. It is the first quilt I will give to my first grandchild. She already has one quilt that I made, but that quilt was made as a general baby quilt before I ever even knew she was on her way. Actually, this quilt is born from the scraps of a quilt I made for my sister-in-law. When I saw I had scraps, lots of scraps in bright girly prints and colors, I just knew I had to turn them into a quilt for Amelia.

The original quilt used a jelly roll of Brighten Up, a fabric collection by Me and My Sister Designs for Moda. The leftovers cut up nicely into 2 1/2 squares. Paired with white squares, this turned out extra bright and fun.

The quilting is a simple cross hatch through all the white squares. It surprised me how quickly this quilted up.

And this is the first quilt I have made with a flannel back. I love love the feel of it. It will be perfect for playing on and snuggling under.

The binding is a solid purple and was completely machine stitched into place.

This quilt finished at about 38 inches by 54 inches.

The butterflies that are the focus for this fabric collection are super sweet.

I also added some complementary solids to the mix of prints. Not to many. Just enough to give your eye a place to stop every now and then.

I can't wait to gift this quilt to the sweetest baby girl I know.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Four Blue Placemats - Interpreting A Gift Request

For Christmas, I'd like four placemats for the kitchen. Blue, please. That was the request from my mother-in-law a few weeks ago.

I had been eyeing this quilt in Kaffe Fassett's  book "Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts" for some time and this project would be a good one to try out a few blocks. First, I had to dig through my stash to determine where to get the best assortment of blues. For this project, the batiks had the best choices for darks and lights.

The original plan was to have two placemats with dark centers and two with light.

Then, I tried mixing up the darks and lights and liked this result much better. Since it is somewhat scrappy, using the same block layout will help the set be more cohesive. Each block will finish at twelve inches so a four inch wide strip was added to the right side of each block. The strips are four different solid blues.

Then it was time to decide on quilting thread. Of these options, I went with the small spool of Aurifil 50 weight thread. It worked best with the variety of fabrics in the placemats.

To make the placemats a little more feminine, I quilted a big flower with a spiral center on each of the main blocks.

For the solid strip on each placemat, I headed over to The Inbox Jaunt and found her Basic Leaf Tutorial to be the perfect design for filling that space.

I love seeing the thread contrast on the different blues.

The same four blues that made the side strips were used for the binding. It was another mix and match to bring unity to the project.

All different, yet all the same.

The backing for each placemat is this fun striped blue fabric. They can easily be turned over and used from the back side for a different look.

The quilting shows up nicely on the back, too.

My favorite part of this project is how it evolved. I had no idea what I would create when asked to make four blue placemats. Each step was a new discovery. And, every part of them was made from supplies I had on hand. That makes them even better.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fire And Ice - A Believe Circle Quilt Finish

I am on a roll with the quilt finishes. This is the third one in a week. It was a bit of a motivator when it was pointed out to me that there are less than 40 days until Christmas, Yikes! This quilt is the September quilt for the Believe Circle of do. Good. Stitches. It did not have any sort of real deadline, but it was one I just wanted to finish. The head and the heart don't always agree.

The theme was fire and ice and each member was asked to provide three 6 1/2" blocks. One all ice, one all fire, and one a mix. The block could be any design they liked.

As the blocks arrived, I placed them on my design wall. I thought I was going to arrange them by color, with the ice in one corner, the fire in another, and the rest in between.

When I looked at them without color, I decided to go with light to dark, which sometimes meant that the colors mixed in differently than expected. It took quite a number of attempts to get this right (at least right to me). This is the final layout.

And here it is in color. At this point, it was looking more like sun and clouds than fire and ice.

One inch sashing strips were added to finish the top. Originally, the quilting was going to be one off set spiraling circle. After I did some rounds, I decided that it needed something more. First, I thought about doing rays out from the largest circle to make it look like a sun. Instead, I went with a second set of circles and let them overlap. The quilting lines are about one inch apart. I was not measuring specifically so it is far from perfect. I am happy with it as a whole.

You can see the quilting better from the back. I thought the quilting might get lost on the front so I chose a solid backing so it would really stand out.

From the right angle, the quilting shows up nicely on the front, too.

I love the variety of the blocks.

This was the first circle to be quilted.

And this was the second set of circles.

The binding is a bright orange. All this quilt needs is a label, which hopefully, will be hand sewn on tonight.

Thank you, Believe Circle members, for taking a concept and turning it into such an awesome quilt.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.
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