Dr Seuss baby quilt

I was sooooooo excited to finish this quilt – the first quilt I’ve actually finished in 2014, I apparently forgot to post it. Wooooooow … This one was ridiculously easy, but for some reason it took me freakin’ forever to do the binding. The entire quilt could easily be done in a single weekend, but I managed to drag it out for more than three months, because that’s how I roll.

Cat in the Hat baby quilt

Yes, that IS my son holding up the quilt while sitting in bed, because he was too lazy to stand up and hold it up for me. Fortunately, he has ridiculously long arms, so it worked. And I don’t have to apologize for his funny faces he makes while holding quilts as I take photos. LOL

This week, though I’m on vacation, I have yet to spend any real quality time in the studio. However, that should all change today, as my only plans for the day involve sewing, although I suspect that at some point, I will end up leaving the house; isn’t that what always happens? But my focus today isn’t another quilt – it’s t-shirts! I am tired of the baggy, ill-fitting t-shirts that are just not really my style that I keep finding in stores these days. I’m certainly no seamstress, and alterations terrify me, but I am really not impressed with the RTW clothing I’m finding lately. The t-shirt pattern I’ve chosen seems to be a fairly easy one, that has some fitting already. I’m sort of hoping I can get two of these shirts made, if not today, definitely this week.

If this goes well, I may be ordering tons of knit fabric to make some t-shirts. I have lots of ideas, including some embroidery and other embellishments. 🙂

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Backing

Last night I sat in my studio and contemplated the backing for the practice quilt, and I decided that I just don’t know what I want to do about it. I’m tempted to go buy a piece of solid fabric then piece a side strip to it using funky fat quarters. So, until I can decide what it is I need/want to do with the backing, I’m just going to leave practice quilt on the wall staring at me.

Tonight, my plans are to clean up my studio (which doubles as the master bedroom) and maybe start cutting a new quilt. I had originally thought to make the Craftsy 2012 BOM (Yes, the 2012 BOM), but now I’m leaning toward using the yellow, black, grey and white I’ve been collecting to make the Wishes Quilt from Fat Quarter Shop. On the other hand, I thought that the Wishes quilt would be great in some bright solids on a black background … I could do two, I suppose. Both quilts will be great skill-builders. The Wishes quilt is a BOM that’s current, so I’ll only be able to make a couple blocks right now, but that’s ok because I have another quilt I’m ready to start …

The first of the baby quilts I’ll be making for my daughter’s baby, due in July, is about to start being cut. I am going to pull out my QuiltCut to see if I can improving my cutting skills for the solid blocks – at this point, I think they will be six inch blocks. I’m looking forward to making this quilt!

Tomorrow, I will post photos of … well, something. 😀  I am a bit surprised I haven’t finished anything so far this year, so maybe the baby quilt is a good place to get that ball rolling. 😉

Baby Quilt Completed

When I planned this baby quilt, I had a much different vision for it than the way it turned out. I bought the charm pack Bungle Jungle by Moda, planning to use it in conjunction with a cute construction truck panel. The parents of the baby for whom the quilt was to be made were not, at that time, able to agree on a theme for the baby’s room – I think she wanted a jungle theme, and he wanted cars (he’s a car enthusiast). Well, clearly construction trucks are not sports cars, but I thought it was a good compromise. I had it all worked out in my mind and I couldn’t want to get it done. I figured the quilt would be about 42″ square. I was really excited.

But when I got everything home and I started working on the quilt, I hung the panel up on my design wall and noticed that it wasn’t quite right. The print was off by more than an inch from the top of the panel to the bottom – this particular panel was printed longways from selvage to selvage making it 42″ high and about 23″ wide. My original plan had been to frame some of the charm pack squares and put them down the sides of the panel, but it was clear that wouldn’t work too well, because it would accentuate how skewed the panel was, so I decided to cut the panel up and use it as squares. Except, that didn’t work either, because even the squares were off once I cut it up. And it was designed in such a way I couldn’t really straighten it up at all, and trust me I tried. In the end, I had to completely abandon the panel, which really really made me mad, but what could I do?

Once I realized that I’d spent three weeks trying to work out this problem, and I still had nothing to show for it, I decided to just sew the charm squares together and add a strip of Project Linus fabric to the top and bottom to elongate it bit to make the front of the quilt. I decided to back it with some cream colored fabric from my stash, and I even got as far as pinning the sandwich together like that then realized I really hated everything about the quilt. I think it’s because it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, or maybe it was because I was disgusted with the panel, but the quilt sat on my table for two weeks while I painted my new studio and moved in and I barely even looked at it the entire time. Then one day last week, I was on my way to the office and I realized that the answer to my dilemma was in my fabric stash. I had bought two yards of American Muscle Car fabric to use for a quilt for my son, but he wasn’t really interested in it.

And here is the result.

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I like it much better now that I’ve incorporated cars into the quilt as I originally wanted, but I have decided that I am unlikely to buy large panels anymore. That was way too much trouble, and even though it’s not a lot of money, I wasted $7 on it. And my next charm pack purchase will be put to different use … Actually, I’m working on that now, so look for a post about it soon. 🙂

Until next time,

Me

Three Things Thursday

Borrowing this idea from my friend Heather at 365 days of awesome …

1. I’ve been quiet lately because I’ve been painting and moving into my new office/studio space. It’s quite small, so it’s taking a lot of planning and organization but I’m nearly there. During this move, I took the opportunity to weed through all my stuff and decided to sell three large storage totes’ worth of fabric. None of it is quilting fabric, and most of it I purchased more than 10 years ago, so I doubt I’ll miss it. I also found some fabric that made me think I really need to make myself some skirts for fall (suede like fabric) and buy some boots.

2. I was very nearly ready to back the baby quilt I’m working on when I started the studio space, all the way to the point of having the sandwich pinned together. It just didn’t feel right to me, though – I’m not sure if it’s because of the trouble I had with the back, and the subsequent changes (more on that in a later post) or what, but I didn’t like it. Then I remembered some fabric I have in my stash and thought, that’s what I’ll use! So once I get the studio in shape, I’ll take it all apart and repin it. Then I just need to quilt it, bind it and then I’ll post it, along with the story that goes with it (there is definitely a story!).

3. Am I the only one who’s more than ready for fall? I mean really, this heat is so oppressive! I keep dreaming of cooler days, cute fall clothing, and boots! (Note to self: BUY BOOTS this year!) I am already working on a Halloween quilt, and looking at fabric for a fall quilt … It’s not likely I will get both done this year with everything else, but … yeah. I can at least buy the fabric while it’s available and make it for NEXT year, right?

Until next time,

Me

Sorta Finished Quilt

I say it’s sorta finished because the reality is, it’s done but not the way I wanted it done. See, I broke not one, but two embroidery machines making this quilt. OK, maybe I didn’t break them, but they stopped working. The result is that three squares I wanted to embroider are not done, but at this point I just have to go with the flow. It doesn’t look bad, but it does look weird, because three of the squares are across the top. However, overall, I think the quilt looks ok. I’m not completely pleased with it, but at this point, since it’s headed “across the pond” I need to get it out the door, and I can’t wait any longer for machine repairs. /sigh

 

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What I like about this quilt is that it’s the first one that employs a lot of fabrics that I dyed myself – all the solids were done by me. The only purchased fabric in the quilt is the Winnie the Pooh/Tigger fabric. It was relatively quick and easy to make, and a fast finisher, except for the small problems with the embroidery. I think this is the last time I employ embroidery in my quilts to “tie” them off – I would need to invest in a more reliable, expensive machine for me to feel confident in doing anything too big (this was a baby quilt, only 3′ square, and it didn’t get finished despite using two different machines!). And I want to start focusing on free motion quilting – which will be interesting. I’ve done some practice squares, and I need to keep doing them, but nothing that’s been really great. I need to start spending at least 30-45 min a day practicing so I can get really good. Or even somewhat good.

I should have a photo of “ugly quilt” to post this week as well in it’s finished state. More about that then.

Happy quilting!