Sunday, May 24, 2020

Starting the year of 2020 with some baby quilts.

(Ok, still playing catch up- I know it's late May but I've still got stuff to show from January/February!)

Early this year, I treated myself to starting some brand new quilts.  Both of these quilts await the birth of a niece of nephew in the early summer.  I am ready for either gender.  The parents decided to not learn the baby's sex prior to birth and although it's a little frustrating to now know, I can't complain.  I chose not to learn the gender of three out of the four of my own children.

This pattern probably looks familiar if you've just read my last post.  The Growing Up Modern book is pretty handy for easy and quick baby quilts.  The star of this quilt is this "Dream World" fabric- I just love the children riding animals.  The book by Emily Winfield is delightful too.  Of course, I have a new copy waiting to be gifted with the quilt. 

I bought some plush minky fabric for the backing and it proved very difficult to work with.  This resulted in a lot of frustration when I quilted the quilt on my longarm.  I ended up going with very simple meandering lines on the quilt, that was all I could manage.  I also wanted to stay simple because it wasn't easy to choose a thread color that would play well with the dark navy and cream fabrics.

This second quilt is also a pattern from the Growing up Modern book.  I was in the mood to use some of my fun low volume fabrics.  I used a lavender Lizzy House pearl bracelet as a background fabric. 

I quilted on some thrifted minky I've had for ages and the quilting was easier this time.  It's a very snuggly quilt.

I really enjoy making baby quilts, they're not overwhelming like larger, more intricate projects can be.  I would love to continue this trend of having "spare" gift quilts waiting for the right occasion.  It helps lessen the pressure when a deadline is looming and still helps making the quilt feel purposeful.

If my brother and his wife have a girl, I think I might give them both of these quilts anyway because they already have a two year old son- see his quilt in this post.  Also, as a sidenote: I was actually aiming for a "gender neutral" quilt when I made the Dream World one- do you think it would work for both boys and girls? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Last 2019 Finish

I almost forgot that one more quilty finish slipped into the end of 2019.  Nick was off of work during Christmas vacation for two weeks and I got this baby quilt done so fast.  It was super satisfying!

I made this quilt for a friend and neighbor whom I go to church with.  She's cousins with one of my favorite friends I met in Colorado- Leslie.  You can see the quilt I made Leslie's daughter here.  

Choosing the fabrics for this quilt was almost effortless.  I can hardly understand how I was able to choose fabrics so easily for this quilt.  Right now I am in the thick of trying to choose fabrics for new quilts and I am really struggling with getting the "right" combination of fabrics to make a pattern look great.... it's difficult sometimes!

The pattern comes from the book Growing Up Modern by Allison Harris.  I modified the pattern in the typical way I modify many patterns: I made it bigger!  The quilt measures 55" square.

I backed the quilt in a soft minky fabric- this quilt is so snuggly! 

The baby receiving this quilt was born around 4 p.m. on February 28- SO close to leap day.  His parents did not want him born on leap day, they were relieved it didn't happen- haha! 

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

City Weekend Churn Dash

I'm kind of amazed at myself for completing so many long-term WIP's in 2019.  This is the last big finish of 2019 that almost proved just as difficult to photograph as to finish (for me to photograph a large quilt I need many things/people at the same time: daylight, two adults to hold the quilt, a charged camera battery, and possibly help with my kids!).  

So I started this quilt about five years ago- aiming to finally cut into my bundle of the older Moda collection City Weekend, designed by my favorite pattern designer: Liesl Gibson.  I made 64 churn dash blocks: a process that proved to be pretty boring!  I finally sashed them all together with some wide back fabric at the April 2019 FRMQG retreat I flew to CO to attend.

A local longarm quilter friend, Hannah, quilted it for me in a very pretty paisley design- I wasn't up for quilting this beast when I was 7+ months pregnant. 

I backed the quilt in this City Weekend print, I scored yargage of it ages ago for $3 a yard and finally put it to use.  I gave this quilt to my mother for Christmas.

Now to finally catch up on some 2020 quilt finishes- there are already four!

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Flowering Snowball Ginger Snap Quilt

This finish was one of my most satisfying finishes of 2019.  In Colorado, my guild had an Accuquilt die for the flowering snowball quilt.  This is definitely a quilt that I would never want to cut out by hand.  So I decided to dive in and prepared fabrics from my stash to make a queen sized quilt.  At the February 2017 FRMQG retreat, I got everything cut.  Turns out, sewing 72 flowering snowball blocks is pretty tedious and boring.  I think it was in the fall of 2018, after moving back to NH, that I really started banging them out and I finally got all of the blocks put together.  They sat quite a while longer and finally became a quilt top in the fall of 2019.  With my life so full with a new baby, a longarm that was working intermittently, and I had some fears about all of the bias in this top- I went ahead and paid my friend Hannah to quilt it for me.  The last stitch of hand binding was completed on Christmas Eve 2019.

This quilt measures 96x108.  It's pretty big!  I love the subtle Christmas theme that some of the fabrics convey.  I have no worries about keeping it on my bed well into February.  

I added other fabrics from my stash besides the Heather Bailey Ginger Snap collection.  The background fabric is a Cloud9 Cirrus Solid in Ash.  The small red squares are also a Cloud9 Cirrus.

I backed the quilt in some economical finds from both Marden's and Keepsake Quilting.  I love the Russian nesting dolls!

I like the quilting Hannah did for me and she did confirm what I expected: quilting all of that bias was a little tricky.  I didn't want to ruin my piecing and other hard work with my mediocre free motion quilting.  I'm glad I sent it out to be quilted.

I'm slowly getting caught up on 2019 quilt finishes- just two more to go.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Berry Season Gift Quilt

Mashe Modern Fabrics had a crazy good sale on charm packs in November and I snatched up four from the Robert Kaufman collection Berry Season.  I bought both prints and solids.  I have to admit I don't really love precuts because I don't really like to make a quilt out of one collection.  But the price at about $7 a piece was worth it and I ended up using them for this quilt that was a fun and easy sew that was fun because I hardly had to cut anything before I could get sewing at the machine.  

I used a Moda Bake Shop pattern called Meet Cute by Preeti Harris of Sew Preeti Quilts.   I had the perfect fabrics in my stash to make this, including a self-made jelly roll of Kona Bone that I had abandoned maybe 10 years ago when I thought I might want to make a checkerboard quilt.  I decided to make four extra blocks than the pattern calls for, making a square (instead of a rectangle) quilt that measures about 70" square.  

Here's the result:

As I was sewing the columns of rectangles together, I endeavored to have a rainbow/spectrum type of feel.  When I got to the very end of my fabric pieces, I just put together whatever I could (hence the slightly less pretty block you can mostly see on the top right of the above picture.  

I quilted this quilt on my longarm with a free motion floral design.  I was pretty pleased with how it came out:

I backed the quilt in a $1 a yard Marden's find (an oldie from Erin McMorris) and bound the quilt in an Art Gallery dot. 

All of these pictures were taken in haste as the sun was setting.  I knew I wanted to pack it all up to ship to my husband's grandmother the next day.  It arrived in Utah barely in time for Christmas and Grandma Matthews was happy to receive the quilt.  She's is a sweetheart and I thought it would be nice to gift her with her own quilt to enjoy- she sews a lot for other people.  We've been blessed by some very nice Christmas stockings she's made.  This was one of the very few handmade Christmas items I gifted in 2019.

There are still a few more quilt finishes to document for 2019- I'm getting there!

Friday, January 10, 2020

DYO Sampler

I have quite a bit to catch up to in documenting 2019 quilt finishes.  Here's one of my favorites that was started over five years ago:

The DYO sampler!  It's a hodgepodge of techniques, blocks, and colors.  I still can't believe it's finally done.  I was constantly annoyed with all the different pieces of this quilt that would be lying all around my sewing room (it was started in CO and followed me back to New England, unfinished!).  

But here she is in her finished glory!  Yay!  I love it.  I also love that my kids love it.  Making something that ALL my kids want to claim can be rare- so that's been fun.  

Most of the elements of this quilt were completed years ago, the work I did on this quilt in 2019 was just putting it all together.  I had to do things like: applique the EPP hexagon flowers to a background after sewing them together in a line, add "filler" patchwork- like all the 2.5" squares you can see in the top- all made from scraps!, and I made the wonky patchwork forest trees for the bottom right.  Love it!

Ages ago, in anticipation of finishing this, I bought all sorts of colors of longarm thread: turquoise, chocolate brown, and green.  But I finally realized that this top is SO busy and doesn't need all that custom quilting with tone on tone quilting.  I decided to do an all over spiral with grey thread and it worked out great and was much quicker than the custom quilting approach I had been planning.  Now I am not sure what I will do with a huge spool of chocolate brown longarm thread!   

That stag!  It was days of foundational paper piecing.  If I had to do it over again, I definitely would have picked fabrics with more contrast (more darks, mediums....) but I am still very proud of it and I know it's one of the key highlights of this quilt.

The choice of the phrase "Live Free or Die" relates to my love for NH (state motto), the fact that it's succinct and was only 13 letters, and I think it's kind of funny- so passionate!  So clear!  So New England!

I backed this quilt in stuff from my stash- my surplus of stash backing fabrics is ridiculous.  I constantly find good deals on fabric and justify my indulgence by saying it will be for a backing.  It felt good to use up some of these oldies here:

Thanks for reading!