Tag Archive | quilting

More Baby Bibs

I made some more bibs and wanted to share them with you.  I used the same basic pattern as back in October of 2012.

With a couple of modifications.  I used buttons to close the bibs and I mixed and matched some fabric to make it more fun.  I also put monograms on one of them.  I think they turned out adorable!

Girly bib

Girly Bib Back

Girly Bib 2

Girly Bib Front

Boy's Bib Back

Boy’s Bib Back

Boy's Bib Front

Boy’s Bib Front

They aren’t perfect, but I’m not sweating it too much.  They were fun to make and the babies are going to be getting them filthy anyway.  More importantly, aren’t they adorable?  So much fun!

I need more of my friends to get pregnant so I have a reason to make more of these!  Come on – get to it! Make those babies!  It is spring time after all…


String Quilt

Put your sunglasses on — and delight in my first attempt at a string quilt:


I swear to God I think it took me two years to finish it.  Of course that is not due to degree of difficulty and certainly not the quilt’s fault. We all know whose fault it is — WORK, specifically my JOB, that seems to interfere on a regular basis with my awesome creativity. So other than just the time consumption, there were a lot of things I loved about the process I  went through to get this thing done. For the first time, I used the paper piecing technique — and I am just about in  LOVE with paper piecing because it is so exact and perfect.  I started with an 8X8 square, and used a glue stick to position the center strip:


As you add each string (it’s really a strip) to each side, set your sewing machine stitch width to almost nothing . . . I don’t know the exact term or number for that, my machine and I communicate through telepathy. After you trim the block using the paper as your guide, this will  ensure that when you go to remove the paper from the back, it is almost perfectly perforated to tear right off without ripping your square from hell to breakfast.  Then you are left with something like this:


I could have just sewn all the pieces together as they were, but why would I do that when I could go completely overboard and sew a border around each block? What was another year of my life anyway? Plus without the borders it was burnin’ my eyes a little.  Here are a couple of close ups:












I fell in love  with a duvet cover once.  Then I realized what an huge pain in my brain it was to deal with a duvet cover.  I am still not exactly sure how it was supposed to work, but it made a great back for my quilt:




Quilted by the fabulous Cowtown Quilter,  bound by hand. And most importantly, FINISHED!

Sneak Preview: The Aunt Jan Quilt — Round 2

Just a quick post to show off some blocks for another Aunt Jan Quilt.  My sister requested this to give to a friend for her birthday, and then both of us forgot about until, oh, about a week before.  So even though it’s not finished, we were able to snap some quick pics so she could wrap those up as a present to let her see the glory to come.  And upon opening said package, the receipient practically burst into tears. Which is exactly how you should receive a hand made gift! Tears and lots of fuss over how wonderful it is.

I can’t believe I signed on to do another one as it uses A LOT of fabric and involves A LOT of ironing, but I  love the way this turns out and it’s worth all my fabric and time.

Don’t even get me started on how obsessed I am with those little flamingos!

I’ll post up the final product when I get it finished.  Happy Birthday to Rhonda!

Finally . . . The Delicious Mess is Done!

Finito!  The first quilt I ever made and it only took me six years to get this little project wrapped up . . .

Mine all mine!

Some of you may remember the “before” picture:

I have to give all the credit to my friend Kendall, who was the first to show me how to guide my obsession for fabric in a positive direction.  I’ve hoarded fabric for years and then I discovered a little habit that would not only demand lots of fabric, but would require me to go out and buy MORE.  How perfect.

I have lots of excuses as to why this took so long, most of them are flat out lies but a couple are actually applicable.  One issue was that once I got the fever, I made everyone else in my life a quilt and this poor thing got pushed aside time after time.  Another issue is that I’M BUSY.  And then I think I had another baby in the midst of all this . . . yes, I’m pretty sure I did.  So I got all kinds of crazy determined one weekend and fixed all my little split seams, designed a back for it, and actually drove it to the quilter’s place.

It’s just a simple strip quilt, starting with a fussy cut square in the middle, with strips sewn on clockwise until it was big enough for me to curl up in.

LOVE that center square!

Back was just a gathering of scraps I had:

I would like to point out two things about this quilt.  First, this ADORABLE fabric that I fell in love with.  I don’t even remember where I got it but it’s so cute — little Mommies and Daughters all dolled up and looking like I picture myself and my daughter, even though we’ll  never, ever be this cute or coordinated. Way more likely that we  will get caught by the paparazzi running around in t-shirts that should have been thrown out years ago, cutoffs and flip flops.

Only in my Pretend World

And second and most important, this quilt is MINE for me to keep and love forever and ever.  The first quilt I ever made and the first quilt I’ve ever kept!



Mother’s Day Quilts

For Mother’s Day this year I used my novice quilting skills to make two quilts.  One for my mom and one for my boyfriend’s mom.  Thankfully they both liked them.

I had some fat quarters I hadn’t used yet.  I picked them up at Joann’s. Well, let me make a confession real quick, I have an addiction to fat quarters.  I love them.  I have a hard time passing them up.  So needless to say, there are more than just a few fat quarters in my sewing room at any given time. Also needless to say, most of the projects I do, use fat quarters.  Anyway…. moving on….

I sewed the fat quarters together and selected a fabric for the back.  I slapped them together and tried my hand at free motion quilting. A simple wavy line was all I was up for, but I did it.  I chose a thread that would stand out and dove right in.  Here’s what they looked like:

Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray

Yellow and Gray

Yellow and Gray

Each quilt took me about 6 hours to complete.

No Piecing Quilt Tutorial — The Aunt Jan Quilt

Don’t even get me started on how awesome this quilt turned out. This was a gift for my fabulous Aunt Jan. It took me about 6 months, but if things like WORK would stop getting in the way, I could have whipped this up in about a month. When I was finally able to give it to her, she was so thrilled she wouldn’t let it out of her grasp even when my 2 year-old son/monkey/forest creature was dangerously marauding through the living room with Cheeto fingers. She went over every individual block  and even sent me a picture of it on her bed when she got home. I could write a whole book on how wonderful Aunt Jan is – but I will sum it up by saying she is THE BEST in so many ways.

But back to showing you how you can make your own version of my Aunt Jan Quilt. I’m going to say this is my original design, only because I’ve never seen another one like it. If I’m stepping on someone’s toes here, WELL I’M SORRY. Keep in mind I’m not that great a quilter. I wing it on a lot of stuff, like ironing and sewing straight seams. I dream up all kinds of crazy things to make. A lot of them do not turn out well. And then sometimes I hit the jackpot. This was one of those times.

Your block size for this quilt will be a finished 12X12, which means I think you cut it 12.5X12.5. Or you can do a finished 13X13. Whatever. If you’re like me and you always forget about the seam allowance until you’ve cut $100 worth of fabric, just make sure all the blocks are somehow the same size.

Looks so good you want to take a bite of it.

This is an applique quilt – which means no piecing required! You’ll be cutting lots and lots of different size circles, so I highly recommend a good circle cheater template and lots of extra rotary blades. Oh, how I love my circle cheater. Put a fresh blade in and let’s get started.

Each block will use approximately 8-10 circles of various sizes so get busy. You can use as many different fabric patterns as you like. You will be cutting circles from a 10 inch diameter down to 3 inch diameter, so get your scrap bag out. Myself, I’m not very matchy-matchy. Whatever you decide, this is a very colorful quilt and it’s going to look good no matter what you do.

The key to making this quilt a workable design is the use of my fave applique product, Heat Bond Lite. For each fabric circle you cut, cut the same size circle of Heat Bond Lite. This will keep the edges from fraying and give each circle stability.

So now you’ve got lots and lots of fabric circles and Heat Bond Lite circles, and you better have a good iron with a setting called “Blazing”. Iron the Heat Bond Lite to the back of each circle.

Now for the fun part. Fold your circle in half, then in half again, then in half again. Just like making paper snowflakes in kindergarten. Not too thick. Snip off the end of your folds – this will ensure that all of your circles are centered. Now you will be trimming up the other end which will ultimately be the design on the edge of the circle. Cut waves, zigzags, whatever. I will warn you that an intricate design will be difficult to achieve – keep your cuts big and bold.

Snowflake fold

Snip the tip

The most important ingredient in making my quilts (besides love, awwww) is the simplicity of the design. This is way easy, despite the number of steps involved.

Now you will begin the process of stacking the circles from biggest to smallest, one of top of the other. Since you already ironed each of your blocks in quarters to establish the center point (of course you have!), start with your biggest circle, centering the hole in the middle over the center of your block. You will  notice that the fold lines in your circle tend to line up with the quartered lines on your block as well.

I couldn't have picked a more blinding color combination if I'd tried.

Peel the backing off of each circle and iron it on top of the previous circle, again centering the hole in the middle. Stack them until you are satisfied with the design.

I usually cut out some kind of tiny applique piece as my last piece in order to cover up the hole in the middle. You can always just take it down to the smallest circle if you would like – just remember when you are cutting the design edge during the “snowflake” part, not to cut the tip off of the smallest circles.

Slice of cherry pie applique in middle. Adorable.

Once you feel like you’ve ironed  every piece of material you have ever owned, you may be done. Then you sew your blocks together with quarter inch seams and then send pics to your friends with a caption that says  “a little something I whipped up over the weekend”.  I took mine to the quilter and then did the binding by hand.

I really only put this picture in here because I'd just had a manicure.

One thing I did that I consider an extra step (now that I’m looking back on it), was go over every circle with my sewing machine before I sewed my blocks together, starting in the middle and spinning it around in a spiral. I was concerned about the edges lifting up and getting folded over by the quilting machine.

Once I took this to my quilter (after I had spiraled every single circle, of course,)  he told me in the future this would be unnecessary. The adhesive from the Heat Bond Lite would keep the edges down in order for the machine to quilt across them, and the many layers of adhesive did not cause any problems for the needles on the machine. He was able to quilt almost to the absolute center and certainly enough to quilt all my edges down.

Scrappy squares on back -- my new go-to design for the backs of all my quilts.

I hope that I have explained the construction of this design to you clearly – if not, just ask!

Strip Quilt and Matching Pillow Case

I am new to quilting.  Elisa is the person responsible for creating the sewing monster I have become.  At work one day she was telling me how much fun she had quilting and well, I just had to try it.  I drank the Kool-Aid without a second thought!

Here were her instructions:

Cut strips of fabric (as many as it takes to get the size quilt you want). So I purchased some fabric and began cutting strips of different widths. Because I thought it would look better than if they were all uniform.

Pick a fabric for the back.  I did.  I fell in love with a batik fabric. I went with only one fabric for the back. You can use more if you like.

Pick the batting for the inside.  I did. I prefer Warm & Natural Cotton batting.

Pick the fabric to bind the quilt.  I did. A simple brown.

Now to put it all together you:

Sew the strips together in whatever combination you want.

Make a sandwich out of your quilt top, batting, and quilt back.

Trim the edges to make it square.

Her instructions were to “stitch in the ditch” So I sewed in the seams of my quilt top through the batting and the back.

I was so impressed with myself. I was actually quilting! Unbelievable!

Now for the not so fun part. At least for me…

The binding. I cut my fabric in 3″ wide strips, sewed them together into one long piece. Ironed them in half long ways so they were only 1.5″ wide. Then I followed the tutorial Elisa suggested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INh6sVKJRrA  This woman is amazing!  Her tutorials are gold!

I sewed my binding and viola, I had completed my first quilt!  I drank the Kool-Aid and was in the club!

Strip quilt & matching pillow case

Strip quilt & matching pillow case

I was so excited I decided to make a pillow case to match.

In my house any pillow case on the sofa needs to be removable and washable.  We have a dog and she is allowed on the furniture and loves pillows.  In her mind all the pillows are there for her to lay on.  She just lets us borrow them from time to time.

To make the pillow case I used the left over fabric from the quilt and sewed enough strips together for the front.

I used the lovely batik for the back.  I over lapped the opening on the backside an inch or so.  That way I can easily remove the case, but the pillow won’t be accidentally exposed.

Pillow case opening

Pillow case opening

Completed quilt and matching pillow

Completed quilt and matching pillow