Monday, June 28, 2010

bee blocks and the table quilt

To my bee partners: I'm so sorry I haven't thanked you all individually for your blocks, and that it's taken me so long to post pics! Here are the ones I have received so far - aren't they awesome?? I absolutely love them!

Top row: Two from Leslie, (thank you for sending two blocks!), plus my sample block
Middle row: Jodie, Amanda, and Jane (and thank you Jane for the beautiful notecards!)
Bottom row: Two from Janice (thanks for sending two blocks!)

I've made a little more progress on my table quilt. I'm happy to report that the top is all quilted. Yay!

From the beginning, my plan was to have the final size of the quilt exactly match the size of the table. I made the top at least a few inches bigger in both dimensions, thinking I would trim it down to size just before I put the binding on. Of course the fabric is pre-washed (a zillion times over - ha!), but I didn't bother to pre-wash the batting. And I've never stopped to calculate how much shrinkage there is from the quilting itself. So... after serging the edges and giving it a wash and dry, I am dismayed to find that it's already slightly smaller than the table!! And I still need to straighten up the sides! Oh well, it's all good. It will still work okay, and I'll know better next time!

Check out the backing - isn't this an awesome print? It's another old sheet - it was in pretty bad shape, but there was just enough good fabric left for this quilt. I might even like this side better than the top!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

a finish is a finish

I am WAY behind in my blogging (reading and writing), so I'll be playing catch up for a little while...

Let me start with this little Project Linus quilt I finished last week. And when I say finished, that's all I did! My friend Ahava was moving, and gave me a TON of scraps and miscellaneous sewing stuffs (how awesome, right?). Among the bits and pieces was this whole-cloth quilt UFO. It was already quilted, and just needed to be trimmed up and bound.

I was really excited that I finally got to use this fun fabric for the binding. It's some that I got from the cat lady estate sale, and I always thought it would make an awesome binding, but I've never had a quilt that was right for it. But this one was PERFECT - the colors were almost an exact match. Serendipity!

So here it is, all washed and ready to go. The back is flannel - so snuggly!

I love being able to turn someone else's UFO into a donation quilt. It's like a double bonus - a project is rescued, and a kid in need gets a quilt! If you have an old UFO in your closet that you know you'll likely never finish, why not donate it to your charity of choice? It will be one less thing on your "to do" list!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

quilting in progress

I was hoping that my next post would be about finishing this project, but I guess I'll make do with some in-progress pictures!

I don't think I ever showed a picture of this quilt top. When I'm done, it will be a table quilt, like this one (we even have the exact same IKEA table!). It's a very simple design - I just took a bunch of 3" strips of vintage linens, and sewed them all into one very long strip using a mitered edge like I would for binding. Then I cut the strip into pieces that were a couple inches wider than the table, and sewed them up. I didn't pay much attention to the design, except to ensure that the same prints never touched.

When it came time to quilt, I decided to try my hand at straight-line quilting. After about 3 lines, I was regretting it. First of all, it just takes FOREVER. But then, the puckering started. After the first one or two, I lost the will to fight, and it quickly went from bad to worse. Just look at these!

I'm using a walking foot, and the back of the quilt looks great and doesn't have any puckers at all. So I think it must be that I did a poor basting job on the front. I used basting spray, which has always worked great for me before. But this was the third quilt I basted that day, and I was really exhausted at that point. Let this be a lesson for me - even though it's a pain to set things up to baste, don't try to do more than one or two quilts at a time!

Normally, I'm a very (ok, extremely) perfectionist person. But since this is just an experiment of sorts, and not a gift, it was easy for me to just say to heck with it and forge ahead. It's not going to be beautiful, but it will get finished, and it will cover the darn table. I might even try the straight-line quilting again some day, but it will be on a smaller quilt for sure!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

leaning tower of swaddle

13 Project Linus swaddling blankets, done! (I know, I said 15 before - either I miscounted initially, or I've lost 2 somewhere in the house - both possibilities are equally likely!) Here are twelve of them, very precariously stacked...

The 13th, in this incredibly adorable Valori Wells "Little Owl" flannel, was a gift for my friend Robin and her new little boy. Oh my, what a cutie pie! I even got to hold him while he slept, all snuggly wrapped in it - what a treat for me!

The Project Linus blankets were such a mix of fabrics - I just used whatever I had in my stash. My favorite was this Mexican food print. I hope the family that gets this has a sense of humor! I know I would have loved it, so I hope someone else will too!

One of those (many) UFOs in my stash is another swaddling blanket. I'm going to use that one to make a tutorial, and will post that when I'm done. (Not that the world needs yet another swaddling blanket tutorial, but whatever!) I'm not sure when that will be, because I've started my "clean slate" project and already have a few items in the queue:
  • A table quilt, sort of like this one, but in vintage linens.
  • A second pink quilt, for another friend fighting breast cancer.
  • The postcard quilt.
All of these are basted, so I've got some serious quilting ahead of me! I was tempted to list ALL the WIPs I've got, but I think it would just overwhelm me. So, I think I'll just try it three at a time, and not look too far ahead!