Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stash Busting

I am continuing to use up the extra fabric from my blue/yellow/green Mystery Quilt.

When I finally decided to make reverse color blocks for the corners of my extra wide borders, the cutting instructions in the original pattern were for five blocks; so I just made up the extra block. Then I dug out a pillow form that has been in my closet in its sealed plastic bag for at least two years. When I sorted through my scraps, I found some 3.5 inch squares that were a cutting error and decided to make prairie points for an edging.

I made up the prairie points and the sewed on the backing last night during the break between the periods while my Big Bad Bruins were winning the Stanley Cup.
Woo-hoo!!! WTG, Bruins!!

Here is a picture of the back showing the wide, fold-over backing I like to make so that is easily removable to for washing.

I have had to add some other fabrics from my stash to fill in where the original fabric has been used up. This pillow includes a green tone-on-tone that is the same line as the lighter blue in the quilt. I also made four blocks that I did not use for the cornerstones in my custom borders. Today's project will be using those extra blocks to make pillow shams for my two king-size bed pillows.

As you can see, Butterfly is loving the new quilty comforts ...

Jess at the Quilt & Needle has a new Mystery Weekend coming soon. It is being scheduled soon for a weekend in July. I am really looking forward to her next pattern! Hope we have the fabric requirement soon so I can do some more stash busting!

Have a happy, quilty day ... :) Pat

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More to the Mystery

In March, the mystery began with this ...

New Mystery Quilt

... and now it is a quilt!

Plus much more ;)

Here are the scraps and extra fabric ...

This quilt is for me and it is in my favorite colors ... yellow/blue/green. I quilted this pretty top on the long arm at the LQS last Friday. I used a blue and yellow variegated thread and did a free-motion meander. This machine is a Handi-Quilter Avante with a frame large enough for a king-size quilt. I use the precision setting with regulated 9-inch stitch and the needle down position. I took lessons from the shop owner and now rent the machine by job. Although she is always on hand to help set the initial tension and provide technical assistance if need be, I am now pretty much on my own loading and starting and running the machine. This time it only took me about three hours to load it on the frame, thread it up and do the quilting. I have spent the last few days sewing on the binding and getting it onto the bed, with a little help from my furry friends. I made some pillowcases using that easy tube pattern that is so easy to makeThen I had a lot of pretty fabric left so I decided to make some more pretty quilty things to go with my new bed quilt. Here are the first pretties ...

I made new tube covers for my old neck-roll pillows. These are tied at the ends ... with selvage strips for the main fabric ... so they can easily be removed and washed. I did not follow a pattern for these. Just figured it out as I went along. The main "scrap" pieces I used for these were the sections I cut from the long pieced strips I made for the custom borders on the sides of the quilt.

If anyone is interested in how I made the covers, I could do a tutorial ... so just ask. ;)

I have plans to make a bed skirt and valances and make the bedroom sunny and bright for summer while my hubby is home of vacation next weekend can help me with some of the heavy and deep cleaning stuff I need to do to. So more photos coming soon.

On to my next "use up those scraps" project ... have a happy quilty day!

:) Pat

Monday, June 6, 2011

Promises To Keep

This is the fabric and pattern my younger son picked out ... ah ... a few years ago right after I finished my oldest son's quilt. Matt is my engineer so he likes solid fabrics and a sharp clean look. I found the mottled gray Stonehenge fabric last year for the background and he does like this, too. As you can see, it is still in the fabric and pattern stage. At the time, after struggling with the quilting on the large batik and black quilt, I think I decided I was intimidated by the diamond shapes in the stars, although they are strip pieced. I have done this type of star before on a smaller scale so it should be no problem now. ;)

So time to cut that fabric and get sewing ... have a happy, quilty day, my friends ... :) Pat

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More Promises Kept

I delivered the sample quilt for the Through the Window pattern on June 1st. I took this photo at home before I delivered it to the shop. This was my "free fabric" quilt. It was so quick and easy to piece and I loved the flannel teddy bear fabrics.

I quilted this one with the straight dual-feed quilting foot on my Janome. I find this machine sew easy to use. I have included a few photos of the quilting.

Of course, I had my ever present quilty kitty helping me. I think I should teach Mina to quilt.

This quilt is so soft and cuddly and easy to make. I have the fabric to make the pink baby girl one one pictured on the pattern. I want to make that one someday soon, too.

I love making baby quilts ... ;) Pat

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Promises Kept

When it comes to quilting, I call myself "an experienced beginner" as there is sew much to learn ... and in some cases ... learn better. I have only been quilting for a few years.

Well ... actually ... that is not quite true. My first "quilt" was made when my first baby was on the way over 28 years ago and my hubby made a cradle and I made the mattress and bumpers and bedding to size. The nesting instinct was strong back then and I had time on my hands. That first quilt was flannel applique ... and I had never heard the term "fusible" or "needle-turn" or any quilting terms really. I just bought some green and yellow and white flannel and eyelet and gingham, a craft roll of batting and started cutting and sewing ... no pattern. Green and yellow and white (my favorite baby colors) because we had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl until our baby boy waved at us when he was born. I think I drew the bear applique outline on the fabric with a pencil, cut it out and just machine zig-zagged around it. I had so much fun I made a pillow, too. His blankee was cute and he loved it to pieces ... literally. I also did not know I was supposed to take a picture of my quilts. I did take a picture of my baby in the cradle and on the quilt ... so that is what you see above.

I made a purple and white one for the next baby boy. This one had a sleeping kitty curled up on it. My baby girl was less than two years later and the kitty quilt was handed down to her ... but I did crochet her a beautiful pastel rainbow star blanket and set to make it all new.

When my baby girl was packing to go off to the college dorm and the nest was emptying, the nesting instinct struck in reverse and I had time on my hands again, so she finally got her own quilt. After a trip to Jo-Ann;s where I bought a magazine that had a "Learn to Quilt in 10 Easy Steps" and she picked out enough fabric for me to make two twin size quilts. That first quilt was from the magazine. The extra fabric was cute and made into my second quilt without the benefit of any pattern.

After this the quilting bug and bitten me good so I started making other quilty items. I found the quilt shops in my area. I looked up quilting tips and tricks online. I bought a simple table topper pattern and kit. I put together a Christmas wall hanging. Then my oldest son was moving to his first apartment and, of course, Mom wanted him to have a quilt. I bough an easy pattern, "Turning Twenty," and a bright rainbow of batiks and I started making blocks. I decided to make a bigger quilt as he was getting a queen size box spring and mattress so I bought more bright batiks. I made more blocks. Then when I laid them out I decided that I needed to do something to break up all that color. I bought a few yards of a solid black fabric to make something that the quilting sites called "sashing." I added black strips to the blocks. I ended up with so many blocks I made a big over sized queen quilt, two pillow shams and had enough left over for a lap-size quilt.

When it came time to quilt the big quilt for my son, I had a problem. My old sewing machine had a very small throat. The box said it had a "walking foot" ... I had no idea what that was so I looked in the manual to see what it might look like. Did not have that in my assortment of attachments. Finally I found it stuck in the foam packing at the bottom of the box. Aha! Now maybe I could quilt this quilt! Well ... I tried ... I struggled ... I ripped out quilting ... I tried again. I did in the end manage some straight line quiting on the black sashing. The quilt looked very nice in my son's new home. I suggested that he bring it home when it needed to be washed and I would do it for him as it needed a large capacity washer, mild soap, etc. Over time and washings, the batting shifted and got quite lumpy. The last time he brought it to me washed ... um ... this was almost two years ago ... I said I really needed to keep it and try to "fix it." It was, of course, a huge task. Sooooooooo ... it got put aside and my dear sweet son never mentioned it to me.

Two weeks ago, he and his gal moved to a beautiful new apartment. Privately she told me that Jon "misses" his quilt and has mentioned it to her many times and that it would make a good birthday gift for him "if possible." I am actually very happy that she felt comfortable enough to let me know he really wanted his quilt back. I had wondered if it was just one of those things that was all The Mom's Big Idea. So I pulled the quilt out of the closet and took off the binding and began picking out all the old quilting. It was a task. Then last Friday I took it to the quilt shop and rented one of their long arms and did an all-over meander in bright rainbow thread. Last Saturday was his birthday and he got to "view" his gift in progress but it took a few more days for me to sew the binding back ... and here it is!

I will try to get a photo of it soon in its new home. For now it is all tucked into a plastic bag and waiting for him to stop by this weekend an pick it up.

Mina says she wants to go with the quilt ...

;) Pat