Then I felt compelled to make a pink one anyway so I made the ice cream quilt. It was fun!
These are two quick blankets I made for Project Linus. We have started meeting each month and we pick a color in which to make a blanket for the next month. Well, I got busy and missed pink and purple, so when it came to blue I was still in the mood to make a baby girl blanket, not a boy one. So I used this blue rosebuds and made the first one. I used a strip of flannel as a flange and then trimmed it up to make it raggedy just for interest.
Then I felt compelled to make a pink one anyway so I made the ice cream quilt. It was fun!
I belong to a couple of quilting forums on Delphi, and one of them, the Scrap Quilting Forum, is having a quilt-along hosted by the wonderfully encouraging and creative Char. Each month there are two blocks – a double nine-patch and another block, so we'll have 24 blocks at the end.
After much hemming and hawing, I decided to use four different purple fabrics I have and a dark gray background. I confess, the gray fabric came from a 100% cotton sheet I got for my daughter that she never used. It's darker and more masculine than I'm used to, but these four purple fabrics all work well with gray. I'm showing the first two month's worth of blocks plus an extra double nine-patch. One more block and I'll be moving on to a new purple...and feeling ready for that!
I made this quilt awhile back...and yeah, I posted it before, but it's good for another round, don't you think? From time to time, people get interested in this pattern on various forums, and mostly they think it looks incredibly hard. And yet...it's not!
The technical term for the block is Quarter Log Cabin, because you start in the bottom corner and build out. Then you sew them together into blocks of four. The only tricky part is hoping your seams are accurate and that the strips line up nicely, but what I learned from this is that you can't see any imperfections from a distance...
In an effort to encourage others to try this pattern, I've provided a graphic of the layout. It's a total of 36 blocks, six by six, put together into blocks of four and then assembled like a nine-patch block. Not hard at all. The only word of caution I would offer is to make sure the last log is quite different from the starting square. I had planned to end my blocks in red, but then that had a red log poking into a red square, and that did not look good, so I had to add the blackish border, making my blogs even bigger than anticipated, but it all worked out in the end.
Hope this helps people wanting to make this quilt – feel free to ask me any questions!
Here is an I-Spy blanket I made from a swap. I have to be honest, I think it's the one and only I-Spy I will ever do. Partly because I am not at all good with mismatched scrappiness, and it bugs me when fabrics are really, really different, like soft pastel prints and modern prints and cutesy prints all mixed up. I realize that that is perfectly okay in a quilt like this, but somehow, it takes away from my quilting pleasure.
PLUS, this blanket had everything go wrong. The first time I worked on it, I had all the blocks set up just right on a design board with some sewn together, and my cat jumped on the board and sent them all flying. It took me many months to want to figure it all out again.
When I did, I was working with that sense of "Just get this done," which really never turns out well. My sewing friend (a teen who is learning to sew with me) was helping, and we stitched entire rows incorrectly. Even she was discouraged, and I took on all the seam ripping tasks. I was so glad when it was done. But it is done, and I can now cross an I-Spy quilt off my bucket list.
Now this one, I gotta brag. This was made from some screamin' deal fabrics. I bought five charm packs that were solid samplers from Connecting Threads on clearance. There are 24 colors to a pack and they cost about $2 a pack regularly and they were discounted a lot (I am embarrassed to say I don't remember the final price because I've made (ahem) multiple purchases of their clearance samplers in the past).
Anyhow, I bought five charm packs. I cut one pack into four 2.5" squares, so two little squares and two big squares with two black squares made a block. I did the snowball corner thing on the corners of the black blocks to get the bow tie effect and tied on black buttons in the middle of each black section. All in all, it was a pretty simple quilt to make, it's a good size (54" x 72"), and it looks all modern and cool. And the fabric was a screamin' deal – that's the icing on the cake for me, truly.
I bought some more samplers and am working with them now. Stay tuned...
Oh, and both went to Project Linus!
These are three recent finishes that make me happy. I used fabric from my stash, fabric I'd been plotting to use for ages and am happy to have move along to a new home, specifically, to Project Linus and to some child in need.
For this quilt, I used some charm packs I got for a supergooddeal from Connecting Threads. Like so good, I had to buy them. I bought five packs in this color way, and five in another. The possibilities were endless, so much so that it's taken me YEARS to decide on a plan, which was most definitely not the plan.
Anyway, the fabric in between was from a garage sale score. I made one other quilt with this fabric. It's beautiful, all purples and blues and greens. Interestingly enough, it came on rolls of 3". It went perfectly with the charms, which were made into four patches with a snowball corner. The last charm pack I used to make the quilt longer. Not exactly a work of art here, but a finished quilt nonetheless.
Now this one is utilizing my Kaffe Fassett fabric. I used a solid piece of each, then cut little strips and made the scrappy bars. I ended up liking the scrappy bars best – they're so colorful up close! I used some blah fabric from Joann's that came in a three-yard package – called cream, it's actually pale yellow, which worked for this. The backing is turquoise blue fleece.
I used the Elmer's washable glue method of basting to attach the top to the backing, and then I stitched in turquoise around the scrappy bars. Confession: this is the most ambitious quilting I've ever done. I then did the birthing method and tied the top/batting to the backing with turquoise embroidery thread. Again, not a work of art, but done.
The sunrise baby quilt – isn't that so darn cute? I found the pattern here:
One thing I learned the hard way – trimming the sides and lining them up to reattach was a little more tricky than I expected. If I had noticed that *some* of the seams match up and used that fact as a guide, it would have gone much better. But I like it, I think it's very cheery. Kudos to the pattern designer on this!
So I've been working on some quilts for a few of my daughter's teachers. My daughter is a senior this year, and there are a few people I really wanted to thank for the support they've given my girl. These people have helped her, and they've helped me as well. It's been hard to let go of her, but knowing I was releasing her into the hands of people who would take good care of her has eased the way. I am grateful for the support they've given us.
The first one is my Neutrals quilt. It's for a lady I always think of in shades of brown. Normally, I don't think of brown as pretty, but somehow she and these fabrics make brown wonderfully warm and inviting. She's kind of an unsung hero, so this quilt seems appropriate. I think it's gorgeous!
The second is called "Outside the Box," and it's a quarter log cabin block. It looks a lot harder than it is. In fact, I was pretty intimidated by the pattern, but it went together surprisingly well. The colors are bold and dramatic, which is appropriate since the recipient and I have frequently bumped heads, but still in the long run I am grateful that she continued to give her best to my daughter even when she and I were at odds.
On the Neutrals quilt, I sewed little abalone/mother of pearl buttons at strategic places, and on the Black and Burgundy, I actually applied a binding the traditional way, something I try to avoid at all costs. It was partly a triumph of fabric; there was one fabric I had intended to use but didn't have enough. This was totally my fault; I didn't measure anything in advance, I just jumped in and started sewing. In fact, in a previous post I detailed how I had to shop to find just the right fabric for the outer log because of my, uh, miscalculation. All's well that ends well, though, because I used the original fabric for the binding. It's black with red berries on it, so the red just shows up and ties it all together. Good times.
It's always sort of bittersweet to part with quilts I've made. I tell myself, though, it's better to put them in the hands of people who will use them, love them, and feel good every time they see them rather than letting the quilts take up space in my sewing room. I tell myself that multiple times when necessary!
Oh, and the pillow – no picture of that, I guess. I had actually made that teacher a quilt a few years ago and didn't want to make her another one, so my daughter suggested making her a pillow in the same fabrics. That was a pleasure, because it's my favorite fabric of all time (see it in the bar at the top of the blog) and she's one of my favorite teachers of all time. Win-win!
But I am working on one just like it. I was inspired, I truly was. I decided to make quilts for two teachers. Granted, I have till the end of the school year, which just started, mind you, so no stress, right?
But then I threw on two more quilts on my list of things to make, one for my nephew and one for his new wife, and I think they should be delivered by Christmas since they are wedding gifts and the wedding was early September...
Now, I have the fabric and the patterns in mind for their blankets, so that should be no problem. But I feel compelled to finish this one for the teacher, first. And I have all the blocks done, even. Took some time, I miscalculated greatly by not realizing a few things with this pattern. First, I decided to use a bunch of fabrics I had pulled together over time from my stash -- blacks, grays, creams, reds. What I didn't consider is how much of each fabric you need, and that you need more of the fabric as you work your way out on the block, because the strips are longer. So I had some fat quarters I wanted to use, and for one set I had *just enough* fabric, and for the others -- not enough. Quick change of fabric mid-way through piecing 36 blocks -- never a good thing.
One important consideration with this block is that the inner most fabric in the square and the outer most fabric should have a lot of contrast, because they are going to be touching. Duh. Didn't see this coming, and I had two reds against each other and that did not work. I had to go fabric shopping (something I normally love) to find just the right fabric to make this work (can't you just feel the other three quilts on my list of things to do drifting further and further into the background?). It took four stores to find the right fabric, and I even went to the local (very expensive and not friendly) quilt shop. Finding the right fabric was tough because the other fabrics had some white, some cream/gold, some gray -- and it had to be predominantly black but not too dark. Impossible task or what? But I found it -- a sort of viney-with-little-leaves black fabric that's kind of mottled in the background with gray and hints of cream. Perfect.
So the blocks are all done, and now? I'm afraid to sew them together. Matching the seams up is crucial in this pattern, and I -- I admit this with total honesty -- am not the most accurate quilter. I am afraid to think how these seams may NOT match up. I don't know how to even start. My instinct is to start with the middle square and make sure those four blocks go together evenly, but then what? My quilt will be six blocks wide by six deep (smaller than the picture). So do I work in quarters of the quilt, or in thirds? What has the least potential for disaster, I keep pondering.
Which brings me back to the three quilts on the back burner. I find that thinking about patterns for those quilts helps me not think about how to tackle this quilt. But I feel too guilty to start one of the others with these 36 blocks staring me in the face.
End result? No quilting getting done.
But...I have been tackling some projects for our upcoming Project Linus craft fair. I've been embroidering for pillows, and I tackled baby booties using up fleece scraps. I've done this before -- I try every pattern I can find, most don't turn out, I settle on one pattern, make a few pair, then swear I'm done with baby booties forever. Till the next craft fair. The booties are so darn cute. Even if they don't stay on a baby's feet, they are still cute for decoration, don't you think?
I just looked at the to-do list on the side bar. Geez, those three projects aren't even on my horizon anymore. I have a boatload of projects in front of them.
Here's a quick quilt I threw together for Project Linus. It was simple, using a cute print that had been donated and a nice coordinating solid. I used batting and some donated white material for the background. I did the birthing method instead of binding.
And...I wasn't paying attention, and I sandwiched them in the wrong order. Now, I've done this more than once, so it was all the more aggravating. I don't even notice until yes, after I've stitched all the way around, and yes, after I've trimmed all the excess fabric.
Then I go to turn the blanket inside out and think, "Hey...this doesn't look right."
And the only options left are to cry, to cut off the seam I've just sewn, or apply another backing through the birthing method. I chose the latter, so this is a good, heavy blanket. Ha.
I tied the corners of touching blue squares and stitched along the bottom blue rows. Nothing fancy, but sweet, warm, and cuddly. Perfect for Project Linus! And even better, no longer to
I made this for the friend of a friend who is about to undergo chemo. I was told she loves purple (as do I), so I used up an assortment of purple fat quarters I had as well as a darling little print that had wreaths of purple flowers. It has the softest minkee-like fabric on the back in deep plum. The quilt kind of reminds me of grape Kool-Aid!
Because I make a lot of blankets for Project Linus, I'm always looking for ideas to make quick quilts. I've tried row quilts, but they never look as good as I'd hoped. On the one below, I even used rick rack on the black strips separating the fabrics to add a little pizzazz, but it still wasn't quite what I was looking for. The fabric was donated by a cool girl who had her own little fabric store in a little resort town. I guess these patterns weren't big sellers, but they went together well. I guess I didn't use batting on this one...hmmmm.
This was another attempt at simple and modular. The best thing about this blanket was that the fabric was donated by a woman who had held onto it for years before finally realizing she'd never sew a quilt and so donated it to Project Linus. When I sent her a picture of this blanket, she was just thrilled, and so then I was just thrilled. And that doesn't even count the good feelings of knowing it went to a child in need.
Here's another that seemed simple...but the seams didn't match up from the two columns. I hate it when that happens! I hid it as best I could with a thin sashing between the two columns and rick rack down the sash. I guess I was in a rick rack phase. My only complaints about rick rack are that you never seem to get enough of it in those little packages, and stitching straight through it always makes me feel like I'm driving on a really curvy road, and it's kind of dizzying.
So back to scrapbooking. It must have been in my pursuit of embroidery patterns that I ended up scrolling through a scrapbooking site (some stamps can make for good embroidery patterns; just sayin'). I found some sample page layouts for a scrap book that I thought could work well for a simple, modern quilt. Here are a few.
These templates can be found here: http://bearnecessitiesscraps.com
I thought the layout under the number 10 could look good with embroidered squares in the three middle boxes and coordinating fabric around them. Or these layouts could work with panels, which are usually too skinny to be practical. I just did something with a panel...too bad I forgot about these layouts. Oh, well. I will post the panel blanket once I get it done. Right now I'm in the middle of a very purple quilt, so I'd better get back to it!
How did I come up with this name for my blog?
I will never be recruited into the Quilting Police – I am not a perfectionist when it comes to quilting. I prefer my quilts done (not that I don't have plenty that are only partly done and many many more in the dream stages). I also like to get a deal on fabric, and I like to use up my fabric efficiently. I created this blog to show the method of my madness...
Some of my favorite sites: