Friday, October 30, 2009

organized chaos

My next quilt is underway, but before I started, I had a bit of organizing to do. My family thinks this looks more chaotic than organized....but it is....organized that is! I am working with all my favorite fabric scraps, which I have been wanting to do for a while now. Sadly, my daughter isn't really up to sharing me with the sewing machine this week, so it is coming along very slowly. I think she is catching a cold and feels a bit more needy right now and naps aren't coming as easily these days. Maybe I will pull some late nights this weekend to get it done!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a patterned quilt

Like most quilters, I am fully self taught. Up until about 4 months ago, I didn't even know what the names of different types of quilts were, or who Heather Ross, Denyse Schmidt, and Amy Butler were. Then I discovered flickr and the world of blogging. I have learned so much in the last few months about HST quilts, block quilts, log cabins...etc.
I do feel though that since I learned in the dark ages of no classes, books, or computer (not even a friend to learn from), there are some basics of quilting that could make my life easier (like basting with safety pins instead of straight pins...who knew). With that said, I gave myself the challenge of completing a quilt by pattern. I chose an Amy Butler pattern, from her new Softwares cd.
The name of this quilt is Aspen Branches...and I loved the pattern from the moment I saw it.

I do need to tell you that I did make some changes as I went. For example, the pattern has the stripes meeting in the middle on the seams, but I decided to off set them so that they wouldn't line up. The pattern only called for 9 different fabrics, I used 26. I also ended up putting on a boarder that was not called for. In all honesty, I can tell you that I did learn one thing....I don't like following patterns. I had a hard time being confined. I do love the quilt, and think it looks nice in its new home....

but I did not enjoy the process like I normally do. There is something to be said for going at it on your own and making up the rules as you go.
I love my blog reads and flickr addiction....I feel as though I learn so much more from reading blogs than I could ever learn from a pattern, in a class or a book. Besides, the talent found through these two sources is so amazing and inspiring...that I have a list a mile long of things I want to try. I am still determined to do Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl quilt, one day (I want to make it for my daughter's hope chest) and I am sure that there will be tempting patterns in the future, but on the whole it's just not my thing. I like trying to figure things out, and spending countless hours deciding where a block or fabric goes. It was a good experience though, and now I can say that I did it!! I am curious what everyone else's thoughts are on the subject.

As requested, a picture that shows the entire front of the quilt!! It has been used a lot since I originally posted this quilt, so it is a bit wrinkled.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

carry all

This month was the first meeting of the LA Modern Quilt Guild, and I am so excited to be part of this incredibly talented group of women. We all decided that next month we would bring a quilt to share with the naturally my first thought was "I am going to need a carry all bag to drag to and from meetings". I received my new Amy Butler Love fabric last week, and couldn't resist using it for this project.

The pattern used for this bag is from Amy Butler's new Softwares project cd. I fell in love with the pattern because of the two different sized handles, so convenient. The eyelets were not called for in the pattern, I added those on, just to give it a more finished look.

I also love how big it is, measuring 15 x 16.5 inches, when finished. To take the picture, I folded two throw size quilts and stuffed them inside....they both fit in easily. I do think that maybe a large floral pattern might have looked better on this bag, but there's nothing to be done about that now!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

peace quilt

My niece is 15 and her style is somewhere between bohemian and the days of peace signs and free love, you know the 60s. So my goal, to make her a quilt that would capture the feel of both of these worlds. As soon as I saw AMH fabric, I knew that it was a perfect match...bohemian for sure, but it needed a little something to give it that hippie feel.

I think that the peace signs were the perfect answer!

I decided to let all the patterns touch and intersect in order to keep it a bit more organic and colorful. All my left over scraps were used to make the binding, and I love the way that it blends into the pattern of the quilt. Once again, I used variegated thread for the quilting, and it really added to the feel of this quilt.

I am a machine binder, and usually end up with a clean stitch on the front edge of my binding, which looks nice, like I said, clean...but I have been wanting to perfect attaching the binding to the front first, that way the stitch would be on the back. I have tried over and over and had not found a perfect solution. Luckily, this world of blogging lets us learn from others and Red Pepper Quilts had the remedy for my dilemma. She had given the tip of stitching in the ditch on front of the quilt to catch the fold on the like a dream!

This is the end result, I love it, and am SO thankful that she shared this wonderful tip.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


All my Anna Maria Horner fabric is cut, sewn into squares, pressed and its time to lay it all out and decide on the order of things. This last step tends to take me the longest, I have been known to spend hours moving squares around. I do it over and over again until I get that "this is it" feeling.

This is my trim off pile (I always sew my squares a 1/2 inch bigger than my desired size, then trim them after lends to a cleaner finished product), I love the colors and patterns thrown together in these small strips. I think I may start saving them and using it all as confetti in gift bags.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilt Festival: Fall 2009

The quilt I have chosen for the quilt festival was made for my daughter, Isabella. It was made with a combination of her infant dresses and all my scraps. I originally wanted the whole quilt to be made with her dresses, but found that I just couldn't cut into a lot of them....I really wanted her to have them for the day she has a daughter of her own. That is when my scraps came in handy. I also really wanted the quilt to have a warm patchwork feel to it, with a bit of modern thinking. Once, the top was finished and it was time to quilt, I realized that I didn't really want to distract the eye from the prints or the blocks, so I went old school and tied off using embroidery thread. I had never tied off a quilt before, and I am still not sure I like it, but I do love the simplicity of the overall look of the quilt. my daughter has spent countless hours loving it and dragging it around, so I feel like I accomplished the most important part of a quilt.

One of the main things I love about this quilt is that I really feel like it represents a time not only in my life but in my daughters life. A piece of history that she will one day share with a child of her own. I have pictures of her in all the dresses that I used in the quilt so she will be able to connect to that moment in time. I also incorporated a few pieces of her crib bedding, which will also add to the long term sentimental feel to it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

one large improv block!

I was so inspired last week when I saw the improv blocks over at one flew over, that I really wanted do some of my own. Sadly, I was also ready to get to work on my Christmas list...first on the list was a quilt for my niece. I had already decided to make her quilt with Alexander Henry's Natura fabrics.... the dilemma....well the fabrics have REALLY large prints on them, that I REALLY didn't want to cut up into small pieces, what was a girl to do???? One REALLY large improv block of course!!

I have to say that this was the largest improv block I have ever done, measuring at 58 x 65. The happy and colorful fabrics were so much fun to work with and know that it will be the perfect quilt to keep my niece warm and snuggled up tight on cold nights.

I even had enough fabric to make the back pretty. Not another block, but I like the way the fabrics look in a stripped pattern also. The diagonal quilt lines were done using a pink and lavender variegated thread, that really added a subtle and beautiful touch to the quilt. Next on the list.....all that beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric that I got last week, purchased with another niece in mind!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

anna maria horner

A bit of Anna Maria Horner goodness was delivered to my house today! It is such beautiful fabric and I can't wait to sink my hands into it. What to do....what to do.....

but first I have to finish up this project that I have going. Which, when finished, will be my first completed Christmas gift!! I have to tell you that this AH fabric is a dream to work with.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

far far away

My far far away quilt is finally done! It is a bit simpler than I thought it would be, but as soon as I started working with the fabric, I knew that I wanted the patterns to really be the focus. I love the way the stripped quilting turned out, even though it took quite a bit of time. The lines are about 3/4 of an inch apart, except for where the princess is. The wider stripe ensured that I wouldn't stitch though her face, and makes her stand out.

The dresden plate really gives this quilt a special touch, and makes a nice focal point. It was my first time rounding the edges instead of doing the points, and to my delight, I like the finished look. I was worried I wouldn't like the more appliqued look, but I don't mind it at all.

I finished the quilt off with a green and white polka dot pattern to offset the brown and pink.
The overall size is of a standard throw quilt 50x60, and makes perfect addition to the edge of my daughter's bed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

house of flu

The flu bug hit our house this week. I had all three boys home from school, and we all went through the experience of being sick together. With fevers running high, it was actually the quietest my boys have ever little princess on the other hand ran circles around all of us sickos. The post man did bring me some goodies to keep a smile on my face though! Hopefully, my far, far away quilt will be done by monday..and ready to share.

This munki munki fabric is sooooo wonderful in person. I found these little treasures at sewdeerlyloved, which is one of my favorite blog reads.

I also found this lovely Alexander Henry fabric at Fabricworm. I order a lot of my fabric there, they have a great selection and quick service.