Archive for the ‘quilting’ Category

I bought a bunch more Moda scrap bags, these are leftovers from making the precut jelly rolls and whatnot. I was able to buy particular designs so I got several of each kind including ones to match the previous purchase.

I spent the evening going through them to see what I’ve got, sort into rational groups and generally play with a pile of fabrics. They are selvedge strips of varying widths, more or less all 32 inches long. Each scrap bag contains (mostly) fabrics from the same line, but occasionally others are mixed in. I have a couple ideas for projects but so far the only thing I’ve done was with some odd strips from an earlier bag. I bought more of the same so I combined them together.

bundles of multicolor strips of fabrics

The designs represented are Birdie, Nature’s Notebook, Secret Garden and Eden.

I had to think about it a while, but now having done a couple of things with pre-cut fabrics for quilting I’m happy with the results. I’m not a huge scrap quilt fan so I don’t need to obsess over how many different designs are in my project. I buy several jelly rolls because I want duplicates, plus the ability to divide the set into multiple projects and still get something decently sized. I don’t see myself doing a complicated original design out of a pre-cut set, but I’m also not doing many of those kinds of quilts.

A matching collection of fabrics is nice for gifts, I don’t have to worry about getting the arrangement just so because it will look good pretty much whatever I do. I think 40 strips in a jelly roll is a little limiting because you have to add a lot of other fabric to get a decent bed quilt, but it’s a minor quibble because I have a closet full of possible choices.

Here is one of my current projects, from Summer Fun. I started with two jelly rolls, two charm packs, a layer cake and some additional yardage. From it I’ll get at least three projects, the first is a bed quilt. Here is the first section of completed blocks:

multicolor quilt

Once I sorted the pieces I wanted to include and cut strips, it was mindlessly simple to sew the blocks together. The worst thing that happened was I accidentally stitched one block with one of the pieces wrong side up. The layer cake and charm packs went together easily into the three block types. Putting together the smaller charm squares was dead simple and the others were only a little more complicated. It’s instant gratification quilting.

There were enough colors that I could arrange the blocks and sashing so no identical fabrics touched, even after setting aside all the reds for sashing squares and binding. I didn’t really plan how many of each type of block, it just worked out with the number of squares I pulled from the packages for my 42 blocks. I made some with 3 triangle because I had an odd number of layer cake squares and couldn’t match them all in pairs. I think it improved the overall design, which was to make as “random” as arrangement as I could devise. (If it were really random, the fabrics and blocks wouldn’t be so evenly distributed.)

I’ve got a couple things underway, both from some precut fabrics I bought. I had two Love is in the Air jelly rolls, I took the brown strips for a small quilt and the rest for a larger one.

With the brown strips, I combined them with two other pink and brown fabrics and made rail fence blocks in a pinwheel arrangement. There are six different fabrics in my brown strips, so I’ll have six slightly different types of blocks.

pink and brown rail fence quilt blocks

From the remaining pink, white and green strips I added some additional pink fabric and I’m working on a log cabin and star design. When I’m done I’ll have directions to post but I want to make sure they actually worked first. It’s fairly complicated and I tried to cut the strips as efficiently as possible, which was a challenge.

pink log cabin and stars quilt blocks

I posted these pictures on twitter a while back but didn’t get around to putting them on the blog until now. I’ve been working on this quilt for a couple months, it was my first large project and a wedding gift for friends. I used some of the 1 1/2 inch precut strips and additional matching fabric and then it was machine quilted by Laurie Roberts in San Jose. I can’t find the receipt right now so I don’t remember how big it is, but it’s a large throw.

I made 9 patch blocks from 4 patch squares of the precut strips, alternating with a print square. The other block is yellow with an orange stripe, arranged in squares. The orange stripe and border was from a surprise box stash and it worked well. Originally I was going to do the border in red but I did a test block and the orange just looked much better. I have a few of the 9 patch blocks and some of the other fabrics left to use for another project.

The quilting is in green to match the dots in the background fabric and it was done in a meandering heart-shaped leaf.

Click on the picture for a closer view.

Yellow and orange quilt

I’ve been doing more quilting lately, mainly because it doesn’t take huge blocks of time. I can work on something for ten minutes and put it down, which is not possible with most of my other projects. Haven’t had time to update the blog either. Some are gifts I can’t post yet anyway.

I finished several laptop sleeves, some because we got new netbooks and needed them, another as a design challenge. They are fun because they are small enough you don’t get sick of something and can try techniques you aren’t so sure about. First the two netbook sleeves:

two netbook sleeves

Can you tell which is mine? I was intending to make one from the blue log cabin handwoven fabric but it wasn’t wide enough. So I used a cotton print in traditional overshot weaving designs. If you don’t look too closely it looks like an overshot center rectangle with borders. As quilting goes it’s very very simple but it works.

The other has friendship stars in black on a star print, with a panel image of Buzz Aldrin on the moon. That would be for DH the Space Dork. He even posted about it on his own blog (including some more pictures.)

The other is what I’ve been calling the “Ugly laptop sleeve project.” I recently bought several quilting surprise packages, which came with all manner of, err, “interesting” fabric selections. A friend had responded to one of my sewing project comments with a bad pun, so in honor of such noble sentiment I promised to make him something. :)

I pulled out a couple fabrics, tossed in a leftover from another project, and made a laptop sleeve of one inch squares in a four patch design.

The fabric:

Some really atrocious fabric remnants

And the finished product:
finished laptop sleeve

My goal was to take some fabric I hated and make it into something interesting. I still have a hard time saying I like it, there being much orange involved, but I think it was successful. It’s sure bright, anyway. The small pieces disguise the objectionable patterns in the fabrics so you don’t notice as much. Adding the red much improved things and I had some strips already cut from another project. I learned a few useful things, like don’t try to apply binding directly over all those seams. I won’t be doing any large projects with so many tiny squares, either.

I made the inside a different pattern, in some more reasonable colors and a design I’ve been wanting to try but not commit to a large project. It was the first time I’d done curved seams for a quilt block. Interestingly, after I had already decided to use this I found out it’s a traditional quilt shape called Apple Core. Which was particularly funny since not only is it for a Mac laptop, it’s for an Apple employee’s Mac laptop.

In piecing the curved blocks I discovered that my quarter inch seam allowances weren’t up to snuff. This made matching the rows annoying and I had to iron it to death to get it flat. After much quilting it’s hard to tell, but I’m still happy it’s only the lining.

I have some other projects in the works but they are mainly gifts. One is out being machine quilted, so soon we’ll see how that experiment goes. I’ve seen other work by my quilter so I’m expecting good things. I’m trying to finish one more quilt to drop off when I go pick up the finished one.

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