Marc came home not long ago and told me that a friend of ours is in the family way once again. It’s a little too early to know if it’s a boy or a girl so I’m making sure I’m prepared. I’m undecided whether to keep this new quilt in the same theme as the quilts for her older two children and do a sea theme or do something else entirely. Here are two very bad pictures of the quilts I made for the older two children:
Part of me is tempted to break with the theme and make the new arrival a 100-Hugs quilt from the Wedding Dress Blue blog. I have a blue and green one all ready to go for a little boy:
And I’m working on a pink and purple 100-Hugs Quilt for a girl. I haven’t had much time to sew lately so it’s been coming along slowly.
No worries whatever I decide. Baby quilts always find a home!
Last weekend I headed to quilt retreat with one of the quilt guilds I belong to. Four days up north of the city in cottage country, with great ladies, my favourite hobby, lots of good food and snacks and wonderful scenery. Just what I needed after a crazy few months of work and life in general.
Here are some of the views of the resort where we stayed
Beautiful, isn’t it?
As beautiful as it was it was chilly outside which kept me inside quilting up a storm.
I had started the and constructed the 3.5″ squares for a Galaxy quilt by Deb Tucker before I arrived at the retreat. A good thing, as there was some swearing involved in getting my pieces the right size and not an 1/8th of an inch shy of the right size. However, my perseverance paid off and the top (other than the outer purple border which is not on yet) went together very nicely:
I also had cut out a quilt for Marc before the retreat but had not sewn it together. He’d wanted a quilt made of solids in three colours. I’d found this quilt called Geometric Graduation 2 by Greta Grama that fit the bill perfectly. It too needs outer borders but the rest is together:
It was fun to do but after a while I did need a break from dealing with solid black material with solid black thread. The 132 blocks were easy to put together, however,placement did take a bit of concentration. This too needs outer borders. I just wasn’t in the mood to tackle outer borders at retreat (that and I just didn’t have enough time).
Last but least I made a simple Mary’s Strippie quilt top with some Toronto Maple Leaf juvenile fabric:
I was productive. I have another Maple Leaf Strippie cut out that I didn’t get to and I, of course, have to get the borders on the two quilts I started.
All very different in style but I liked that as it gave me a very nice variety of things to work on and stopped me from getting bored.
A few weeks ago Marc and I took a course at a local quilt studio, Whirls n Swirls Quilting Studio run by the lovely Tracey, teaching us how to use their APQS long arm quilting machines. Yes, I managed to convince my man to join me in learning to quilt on a a long arm. He has tried a bit of piecing and quilting on my domestic machine but it really isn’t his thing yet still he was willing to try this type of quilting – I’m very lucky and I actually think he’s better at the mechanics of operating the long arm than I am. For our lesson we quilted on a quilt panel that they supplied and then donated to a local charity.
Today we went in to quilt a quilt I had pieced. I picked a long finished quilt top from the Wedding Dress Blue blog (I love Deanna’s patterns) called Calico Rose to quilt as my first long armed quilt. Why start with something small when you can start big?
Here it is folded in 4 and not yet quilted:
Here it is on the machine with Marc quilting away on it.
It took us four hours to quilt – a fraction of the time it would have taken me at home. It was also so much easier doing it on the long arm rather than fighting getting it through the the the throat of my home sewing machine. My shoulders, back and arms are loving the decision I made to do this at Tracey’s studio. It still needs to be trimmed and binding to be made for it. I’m wavering back and forth between solid black binding and scrappy colourful binding. I’ll decide while I get prepared for quilt retreat starting at the end of the week.
The pattern is from the Patch the Giraffe blog where it was called Big Bock Quilt and is about 36″ square. It went together well! A simple pattern yet a lovely bold result. It’s backed with pink material in the quilt top. I’m really pleased that my blue quilting lines washed out completely. Crayola washable markers haven’t failed me yet.
This will make a great quilt for a baby girl. I don’t have anyone in mind for it yet but I know I’ll find the perfect little person to gift it to soon!
I’m pleased to report another finish. This time it’s the Hundred Hugs Quilt. I made the top a few years ago and finally quilted and bound it in the last few weeks. I love that it’s scrappy yet has a controlled colourway of green and blue. The quilt is a bit crinkly but has been washed and soft and clean and is ready to be gifted.
I’ve decided I’m keeping this one so that I have a baby boy quilt on hand. I don’t have anyone in mind for it but I’m sure the opportunity to gift this will come up sooner rather than later.
This makes 2 of the 5 quilts I recently quilted completely finished. The hand sewing of the binding is coming along on another 2 quilts and the binding has been chosen but not yet sewed for the last of the 5 quilts. I’m slowly getting there with finishes. I’d love to get them all finished by the end of the month.
I’m linking this up with many of the blogs on my Quilt Link Up Parties page.
I finally have a finish. Believe it or not it’s my first one in 2018. I started making these happy blocks earlier this year and actually finished a quilt with them in the same year I started working on them. I’ve made lots of tops in that time but never got them past the finish line. Life happened – renovations, family health issues, unpacking after renovations, setting up my sewing room after our move last year – and it kept me from the sewing machine more than I would have liked. And when I finally got to the sewing room I was piecing quilt blocks and tops and not sandwiching, quilting or applying binding to actually get quilts finished. That has now changed.
For this quilt I used the same print for the centre square and and then used various tone on tone fabrics from my stash for the outside of each block. I was planning to make it very scrappy but that didn’t happen. Rather a controlled scrappy quilt emerged.
I found a green fabric with hearts on it in my stash. As it matched most of the colours in the quilt I thought it the perfect backing for this quit. I quilted it using a wavy line stitch on my sewing machine. It was then bound in the same material I used for the pink blocks.
If you see some dark lines on the quilt those are marks from the crayola washable markers I used to mark some of the quilting lines on the quilt. I’ll wash it prior to giving it away.
I’m not quite sure where this quilt will end up. I’m guessing that it may be donated to the quilt guild to use as a charity quilt or for the silent auction at the upcoming quilt show.
When I mentioned to my beloved that I was blogging about this quilt. I described it as a the quilt I made with the colourful squares. He looked a me as if my head was spinning and exclaimed “Which quilt with the colourful squares?” and then started laughing loudy. Between laughs he suggested that given how I love bright colours, that my describing a quilt that way is not identifying in the least. I have to admit he does have a point; I do like colour! Instead I’m calling this my Happy Blocks Quilt. It probably won’t help him identify it but I’ll know which one it is.
I’m so pleased. This past weekend I got in some serious quilting time. I got 5 baby/crib sized quilts FINALLY quilted. I love piecing, but sadly the actual quilting isn’t my favourite part of the entire process.
One of the quilts I quilted is this one:
I must confess that the quilting is very simple. I used the walking foot on my Husqvarna Sapphire and a stitch that produced a gentle curvy line. It went very smoothly and quickly. I think it complements the straight lines in the block nicely and adds a bit of interest.
A close up of the quilting:
Yes, those light blue lines are marks from a crayola washable fine line marker. I’ve found that they are indeed true to their word and that the marker does wash out. I hope I’m not proved to be wrong on this though I’ve used those markers many times and have never known them to remain after the quilt has been washed.
I found this quilt on the Patch the Giraffe blog. The blog hasn’t been that active lately but the pattern is still a great one.
I’ve selected the blue material in the centre of the quilt for the binding fabric. It’s cut out and ready to go on. My plan is that the binding is on by the end of the week.
I’m linking this post up with many of the blog parties listed on my Quilt Parties page.
My in-laws were over for the weekend, so the fabric that lives in the guest room had to move into my small sewing room for their visit.
What can I say, other than my stash overflows the space available. The fabric is now moved back into the guest room and I have room again to sew in my sewing room.
As I’ve got an embarrassingly large pile of unfinished quilts I decided that I should stop creating quilt tops and switch to actually quilting and finishing some of them. So, I’ve pulled out two quilt tops to be sandwiched and then quilted.
The first quilt top, is the Hundred Hugs quilt and the second is the Cross my Heart quilt both from the Wedding Dress Blue Blog by Deanna. She has great designs and writes clear and straightforward tutorials. The Hundred Hugs quilt top was made a few years ago and has sat in the UFO pile far too long. The Cross my Heart quilt is a recent finish that I’m trying to keep out of the UFO pile.
So far, I’ve out cut batting for these quilts and selected backing. I hope to get one sandwiched, basted and ready to be machine quilted by the end of the evening.
A few weeks ago I decided, on a whim. to sew together some 2.5″ squares, with the only criteria being “brighter is better”. I didn’t have a plan but that didn’t stop me. The 2.5″ squares soon became two-patches and then four-patch blocks were created. I just love sewing four-patches together. It’s easy, calming and best of all they go together so fast.
I just kept making these four-patches until a pile accumulated. Finally I realized that I needed to find a pattern they work with or I’d have a random pile of four-patches to deal with later. When inspiration didn’t appear out of thin air I decided to started searching the web for ideas. I knew I wanted something fairly straightforward, preferably crib or lap sized and different to what I had made before. Other then that I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do.
After some searching through Pinterest, Google images and blogs, I found this great quilt by Sarah at the Sew Me Blog This quilt, the Charm Pack Quilt gave me the inspiration I needed.
(Posted with permission)
I decided that I could use the four-patches that I’d made where Sarah’s quilt used the charm squares. I knew I’d need some math to adjust the size of the strips between the strips to take into account the difference between the size of the four-patches and the charm squares. I also knew I might need to add another “round” to the quilt to make it a good width for a baby quilt. It all seemed quite doable.
It didn’t start off too well. I wasn’t thrilled with how the quilt looked as I started the project. It didn’t look scrappy enough or it was too scrappy – I couldn’t decide. Also, I wasn’t happy with my implementation of random and I questioned if the black polka dot material I had selected in place of the white strips was too busy. The only thing working well at the beginning was my math.
However, I kept going and I started liking it more. The black polka dotted fabric looked much better once I added the next row(s) and the randomness of the four-patches was worked better the more I sewed.
Here is the completed quilt top
I’m really happy with how this turned out and I’m glad I decided to adapt Sarah’s charm pack quilt to work with my four-patches. I’m also glad I kept sewing after early doubt about my choice of fabric. I’m calling this my Around the Block quilt.
I haven’t decided on the quilting or the backing yet but I’ve decided that I’ll bind it with the black polka dotted material that I used for the strips. Now to start searching the stash for a backing. it would be nice if I didn’t have to buy one.
And of course I’ve got a small pile of four-patches left.