Monday, November 9, 2009

Remaking an old quilt

A few months ago I bought a set of vintage quilt blocks from eBay. These had once been part of a quilt and were still attached in rows with sashing. There were 6 rows, each containing 8 blocks. The sashing was detoriating beyond thread bare, it practically fell apart in my hands.

The blocks had been machine sewn. I saw no remnants of actually quilting but some of the blocks are worn spots or torn fabric. I ripped what was left of the sashing. I think the blocks were originally supposed to be 9 inches finished. I say "supposed to be" because the seams were not straight and most of the blocks were less than 9 1/2" unfinished. I trimmed the blocks so they would all be 9 inches square before I put sashing back on them. Some were barely 9 inches! Talk about a challenge, this was!

I cut the sashing from white muslin at a size of 3 1/2 inches wide. I also added 3 1/2 inch wide sashing to the outside as a border. I'm pleased with the results. Hopefull later today I can get a shot of the whole top. Here are a couple of close ups.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's finished!!!!!!!!!!!!

At last! The quilt that took 16 years. It is finished! I just finished hemming down the binding. It was the first large quilt I started when I was first quilting in 1993. The pattern is called Crown of Thorns or Wedding Ring.

It was machine pieced and hand quilted. Each white square has a design in it, the pieced squares have the quilting in the white parts. The finished quilt is about 80 x 80 inches. The blue print is brighter than it shows in these pictures. The backing is white muslin.

Here is a close up of the quilting design (sorry about the shadow)
Here is the whole quilt!


It's DONE!! ::::Doing a happy dance:::::

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A couple of more quilts

This is a quilt I made a couple of years ago. First is a close up of some of the fabric.

Here is the complete quilt with a matching pillow. The back of the pilllow has the same large floral as the border of the quilt. The quilt is about 48x36 - a nice size for a throw.

This one I posted about a few days ago -- I purchased the top in pieces and have sewn it together. The finished size is 39 x 48 inches. I did free motion quilting using my Viking Mega Quilter machine.

I pieced the backing with this large floral I had in my stash and some unbleached muslin. The binding is done in a solid dark blue.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My First Quilt Project

This was my first quilt. A wall hanging that is about 18 inches square. I machine pieced the top and then hand quilted. I didn't know anything about hand quilting and did the "stab" method like you do for cross stitch. This was done in 1993.

Bear Paw Quilt - 1993

Close up of Bear Paw Quilt Wall Hanging

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Other people's quilts

I have some quilt tops and quilt pieces that I have bought off of ebay. This weekend I've been working on finishing some of these projects. The first one was a completed top that I bought. It is made from fabrics that look like they came from the 1980's and 1990's. I used plain muslin for the back and machine stitched in the ditch around each square. As you can see this is a large quilt. It's about 90 x 90 inches. The fabrics are not all 100% cotton, some are more of a sateen home decorating fabric. There is one print that I think I used myself for some home decorating project in the early 90's :)

a close up of the top
The next project came to me in strips of triangles sewn together. The original maker used the machine to piece it. Some of the fabrics are worn/faded but most look pretty good. Some of the triangles are pieced together. Some strips are long then others. I've sewn together all the strips and now will attempt to square the quilt up to some type of size. Looks like it will end up being a small lap quilt.

I love that brown print with the little leaves. Some interesting fabrics in there. This is a bit of a challenge since the original sewing is not consistent. Not all the points are going to meet but I'm determined to get something made out of it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crazy Quilt

More pictures of my crazy quilt. I did this quilt in 1999. I used 12 inch squares of muslin as a base to sew and flip scraps. The scraps are of various types of fabrics from previous sewing projects and quilts. The backing is flannel. Then I machine stitched in the ditched. This is a heavy quilt and gets a lot of use around the house. Since some of the pieces have needed repair over the years, it is always changing slightly as I patch it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Drag around quilts

These are quick and easy quilts for little ones to drag around. I've made some in the past. Recently I made 3 for 3 little boys in a family I know. The oldest of the boys is 4, the youngest was just born a few days ago.

These are just 1 yard cuts of fabric put together with batting and then free-motion quilted. I try to quilt around the motif on one side of the quilt, such as around the Cars on the car quilt.

Baby quilt - letters on the blue side and circles on the yellow side.

Doggie quilt - Dalmations with fire hydrants on one side, little bones & balls on the other with a dalmation print binding.

The Cars quilt - with a small black & white check for the binding.
These size quilts are fun to do and kids love the size because it's easy to carry in the car or in a small overnight bag to Grandma's.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crown of Thorns

Many years ago when I first was learning about quilting I choose this pattern to make a queen sized quilt. Of course I had no idea what I was doing and what I was getting myself into. But I jumped in anyway. Now here it is 16 years after purchasing the fabric and I'm still not finished! Yes, I said 16 YEARS. I finished piecing the top about 10 years. I now have returned to hand quilting the sucker. Yes, hand quilting -- I said I didn't know what I was getting into.

The pattern is called Wedding Ring or Crown of Thorns. I'm about half way through the quilting. Here a block on the quilting frame. It is set on point with alternating white squares. The squares are about 10 inches or so.

Today I learned a valuable lesson -- always use a sharp needle! I was getting frustrated with the quilting and decided to try a new needle. WOW! What a difference! Suddenly I'm zipping along like crazy. Needles are cheap. Must remind myself to change to a new needle every so often.

I'll post more pictures of the quilt in the next few days.

Note: Cats think quilts on quilt frame is kitty hammock - Bailey The Cat relaxing

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quilts in the Mountains

My sister lives in Western North Carolina. She doesn't like to sew but does enjoy collecting quilts. Last weekend I went up to visit and we went out to photography quilts. We went to a few public places that had nice country backgrounds for quilt photos. Here are a few of the photos we took.

This first one is a quilt our Grandmother made in the late 50's or early 60's.

This is quilt my sister bought somewhere. It is beautiful!

This is a lap sized quilt I made a few years ago.

I'm back!

Okay, so I haven't updated my blog in months. Was busy with personal stuff, school and work. I'm now in my last semester of graduate school and unemployed. I've been catching up on sewing projects.

One of my nieces is expecting a baby in October. She is doing the baby's room in yellow and brown. I made this quilt for the baby (it's a boy) using the Snapshot pattern from the book "Happy Hour". Thanks to the Jeanne at Quilts 'N Fixins for helping me pick out yellows and browns.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sewing Update

After many months in the shop, my Viking Quilt Designer II is back home and sewing nicely. Last all it developed a problem of raising and lowering the presser foot randomly as I sewed. After trying a few different parts replacement, the step motor had to be ordered. I seriously think they had to have it shipped from Sweden because it took 2 months! Thank goodness I still own my trusty old Pfaff 7510 and could still do some sewing. Also, thank goodness for the warranty coverage on the Viking - I didn't pay a dime to get it repaired.

I recently made this basic blouse. I will be making it again in other fabrics and with a longer shirt tail. This one is short because I messed up when cutting the fabric out. This is a shirting fabric I got from Hancock's for not much money so even if I just give it away it was money well spent to try out the pattern and getting the fitting correct. Patter is McCall's 5052.

I also have been working on a fleece jacket that hopefully will be done soon. I had to do a lot of resewing to get the shoulders to fit the way I wanted them to. I got up enough bravery to cut the garment back, front and sleeves based to bring the sleeve-shoulder seam up to a higher point on my shoulder. The pattern was loose fitting with dropped shoulders. On me, it just looked like it was way too big and bulky. It's looking better but not complete.
I also ordered some Melton Wool last week. Now I'm afraid to cut into it since it was $16.00 per yard, which actually is an excellent price but more than I'm used to spending on fabric. It is heavier than I expected so I'm waffling on which pattern to use. My original idea was the short version of Vogue 8089 but now I'm thinking Butterick 3573 . Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fleece coat

Last year I made fleece coat of blue and cream fabrics. A few days ago I left it in the car and then my 17 year old son borrowed the car. A few days later he said one of his female friends liked the coat and would I make her one in red & black. Of course I will !

The pattern is McCall's 9576. Hancock's Fabrics happened to have fleece on sale this week also. I used Fireside Anti-Pill Red and Black.

I didn't use interfacing like the pattern called for because it is not noticeable with fleece. The one I made last year was a large size. This one is a medium. I'm happier with the fit of the medium on me. I had been thinking of making me another one with a different color choice. Now I know I really do want another one, this time in medium. The jacket is reversible and has side pockets on both sides.

The jacket goes together quickly and only has 3 pattern pieces. I think the instructions would be confusing for someone new to sewing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goodbye to Joe

A few years ago I made a friend online from Michigan. I have been able to met her in person a few times, along with her husband Joe. They were high school sweethearts who parted ways as teens, married others, had kids, and divorced the others. About 20 years ago they got back together and were still madly in love with each other. They had been living in Michigan for a number of years. This past October they moved to Kentucky to escape the harsh Northern winters. A few weeks after they moved they were in a motorcycle accident. Joe was thrown over the windshield of the motorcycle. His wife, Babe, was okay because she was strapped in the side car. Joe has been in the hospital since that day.

This afternoon Joe passed away. His body could take no more. His wife was with him when he left this world.

Joe was a published author of 2 books. He was charming and fun to talk to. He made friends everywhere he went. He loved animals. Most of all he loved his dear wife.

Goodbye Joe. You fought a good fight, now is time for rest. Goodbye Mr. Author.

Babe, you know my heart is breaking for you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

String quilts

I was inspired by Bonnie of Quiltville to make a string quilt. I started with a pile of scraps from the Newborns in Need group. I tried just working from the scraps randomly but soon realized I needed to do some sorting. I sorted the fabrics into 3 groups - pastels, brights and non-baby. The non-baby fabrics just were not working out very well in the few strippy blocks I sewed.

One of the items in our donated box was some cream colored sheets. I used the sheet like muslin for the base of the blocks. I cut the sheet into 5 inch squares which is larger than what I wanted but that gave me some room to square it back up if it got wonky after sewing on strips.

This was an interesting project but the small sized squares did seem to make this go on forever. It also is a problem that I my iron is across the room from my sewing machine, so I would sew a strips on a few blocks and then go press. I think to be able to do a lot of this you need to have a location where you can spread out your fabrics, have your sewing machine and your iron right there.

In the end I made 2 baby quilts - one pastel and one brights. You can see I did sneak in some dark fabrics into both. Some fabrics ended up in both quilts as they could be considered pastel or bright depending on my mood.

This is the one with bright colors (and some dark colors)

The back has little sailboats on it.

This is the pastel one. The border is just white with small pink dots.

The back is a soft flannel with duckies.

Now that I've gotten it out of my system about making a string quilt, I'm going to pass the remaining scraps along to someone else in the group to see what they can do. I will probably do one again in the future but I will think twice before doing such small blocks. Visit Quiltville to learn all the ends and outs of using scraps to make quilts. Bonnie has some wonderful examples on her website and blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sewing baby things

For charity, not for me! Here are some of the things I made over the past 2 months for Newborns In Need.

This is what we call a butterfly shirt. You can see in this picture that the shirt opens up completely to lay the baby on it. There are small pieces of velcro on the sides and in the front to close it. The pattern is on the NIN website under "hospital shirt" . These are used for babies in NICU that may have tubes or wires hooked up to them. The way it opens makes it easier for the nurses to dress the babies and to examine them when needed.

Here are a few different size/style diaper shirts. All of these are made with light weight cotton and lined with cotton. You can also use light weight cotton blends.
This is a blanket I made with some scraps of material. I had a large piece of the Peter Rabbit fabric and surrounded it with pink strips, then had the white with pink dots for the backing. I machine quilted diagonal lines. Something like this only takes about an hour to do. I think this quilt is about 36 inches by 40 inches.

Here are a couple of sleepers and a lap front t-shirt. The sleeper pattern is in the NIN Pattern Set #1 that can be ordered from their website.
The pattern set is a little hard to follow so it helps if someone can show you how to do it. It takes about 20 minutes total to make one sleeper. The t-shirts go together quicker than that. I sew these in assembly line fashion -- do all the sleeves, do all the neck bindings, do all the sleeve bindings, etc. I don't know if the t-shirt pattern is in one of the NIN sets, I got it from another NIN volunteer. These all must be made from stretchy knits. I use the serger to make them but they can be sewn on a regular sewing machine. I later put snaps on the front of the sleepers. These are all preemie size. Aren't baby clothes the cutest things?

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to help others more, please consider donating your sewing skills to a group such as Newborns in Need. It is a very rewarding experience. It is a great chance to learn new sewing skills and meet new people. Also, you get to be creative as you try to use every little scrap of donated material and make every yard be used to it's fullest potential. The items are so small that you get that satisfaction of completing something very quickly. Best of all it helps comfort our littlest babies and their families.