Monday, July 29, 2013

A different shade of girly pink

My cousin asked if I could use some tractor fabric to make a light little throw for her new baby girl to use at the county fair next month. I applaud the "girls don't need to be swathed in pink 24/7" sentiment (looking at you, Debbie...) so of course I said yes!

She sent the fabrics and asked me to embroider "This is my pink" on the corners. I used a nifty valentine alphabet from CinDes Designs in (by request) the brightest pink I had for the lettering and the meander quilting. The binding is on, but not stitched down yet; that will be a good task for the nine-hour drive back to Pennsylvania. Actually, this little bit of binding will only take me about one of those hours...I'll have to plan a few other things to while (wile?) away that time...

As finished as it's gonna be before I get in the car!

The binding is the same as the denim-print corner fabric.

The blue binding will wrap around to frame this side too.

American Banner

At long last, a few photos of the quilt that my then-10-now-11-year-old designed and made over the last year. He has named it "American Banner." I have a little label to sew onto the back, then it will hang in the GHQG show this weekend.

"American Banner" (54 x 54"), original design by Linus.
He did all of the quilting himself, using a red-white-and-blue Sulky Blendables to do diagonal cross-hatching with a wavy line stitch.
Quilting detail.
He was very involved in every step of the process, from the original graph-paper sketch, to selecting the fabrics (including the back, about which he was VERY particular), to doing all of the cutting, pinning, piecing, pressing, and quilting. I only helped with the pin basting and the binding. The hardest part for me was being patient enough to not care when his attention span petered out with only one little bit left -- but I guess that's the trick with all parenting behavior. He is already in the early planning stages of his next project, and has a goal of entering a quilt into the Vermont Quilt Festival next summer.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Frosty fun

One week until the GHQG Quilt Show, and I have blown through my To-Do list with five days to spare...reminder postcards have been mailed, show programs and fall newsletter are both at the printer, all of my quilts (even the hexagons) are finished, labels are printed so I can sew them on tomorrow...I seem to be ready for The Big Event!!

I spent a few hours of my unexpected free time cooling off with some adorable wintry prints. I adore this red-and-grey combination for the holiday season; very festive and contemporary. The goofy raccoon and squirrel sold me on the animals panel, and for once I actually bought coordinates from the same fabric line, although I confess that the slightly darker red borders came from the Strategic Fabric Reserves in my closet. I'm going to do some feather quilting in the red triangle shapes, some basic outlining in the block borders, and something straight-line based in the grey background...but not until after the show. Only 146 days until Winter!
"Grand Opening" pattern by Maple Island Quilts
The panel came with seven more squares, but I have some other table-related plans for those, also in queue for the After-Show epoch.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

T-shirt embroidery

Earlier this week I took a class on how to machine embroider on a t-shirt. I have had this machine for over three years, but I didn't know how to pick the right stabilizer, how to hoop stretchy fabric, which needle to use, etc. I learned a lot and successfully created one dragon shirt for Child the Younger:

If it weren't for Urban Threads' awesome and unique designs, I would never use this machine.
Next time t-shirts are 5 for $10 I'll try again with some more thread-heavy designs.


The Pittsburgh Steelers fans in my household couldn't believe I made a table runner using ravens in black and purple. I swear it was not an NFL statement.

Spiderweb quilting!
I want more of this fabric...what else could I use it for?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quilting Down the River

(Typing that post heading got that stupid CCR song stuck in my head. Rats.)

I got a nice start on quilting my nanohex river today. I did some simple straight lines in the center of each river piece, and started some rice stitching -- by hand!! -- in the lower right corner. I have a great collection of Sulky Blendables for this process, so I'm switching colors as I move through different segments. The very gradual variegation adds another subtle element to the color gradation across the quilt. The rice stitching looks nifty in the "veg" and "sand" areas, but I'm not sure I'll continue it through the lighter parts of the sunset sky.
Hand quilting!
I need to settle on a name for this quilt since I will be finalizing the quilt show program over the next few days.

Fire Drill class

I haven't posted for a few days because I couldn't find the USB cord for my camera. It was hiding eighteen inches away from its usual spot. (I must be in some kind of intellectual biorhythmic trough...)

Anyway, cord having been located, I can share a few photos from this weekend's Modern Miniatures class, in which we did the Fire Drill pattern.

Liz has been saving her black-and-white-and-red pieces for a while now and decided that this was the pattern they had been waiting for. I really like the black background -- I think it gives a lot of depth to the design -- and I love that she chose to cut off only the top edge and leave a banner shape.

The very thin b&w stripe did not photograph well, but it makes this little banner really dance!
Sue used a very fresh combination of soft greys and a vivid and rich (not neon!) orange. Beautiful and very modern looking:
The repeated pairing of the same dark fabrics down the center of the quilt works well on this small project.

Here's the one that I made in class. I couldn't resist this nifty stripe from P&B's new Hello Dahlia line, and it made the perfect accent for this pattern; it reminds me of both filing folder tabs and canyonlands. I used a red background for my B&W&Red project just because Liz used a black one and I wanted to see the difference. I haven't chopped it yet, but I think I'll cut both the top and bottom edges so it finishes rectangular. Even though I like Liz's banner idea, this little thing would have a LOT of solid red if I leave the bottom uncut.
Much better than my first Fire Drill mini.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Unplanned bag

My fabrics have not been using proper protection, so the bags around here have really been multiplying. Jinkies, Shaggie! This one is my hands-down favorite so far. The pattern is called Novel Approach by Poorhouse Quilt Designs. It's the first time I've used Inn-Control, which is a batting alternative that is made from a slightly stiffer foam-style material. Verdict: I LOVE this stuff! It gave the finished bag such a nice shape and it was super easy to cut and sew. The corners with multiple layers did give me a few "Presser foot too high" error messages but I just squished it down and powered through. This pattern was amazingly easy to construct, and it looks very fun-chic.

This double-line grid quilting took a really long time -- I could have done a free-motion design in a snap -- but I do like the effect. Very polished looking. The Inn-Control was very easy to quilt.

Could there be a better use for a Saturday Evening Post panel?

Gotta love Anne Taintor

I even like the inside -- the bound seams are very clean looking and the grid quilting looks cool.
Now I'm keeping my eye out for other good panel prints, and I recently acquired some lovely embroidery patterns that will be the appropriate size too. So many ideas and fun things to make...!