Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Days 15 - 19

Another Finished Object!

I spent most of days 15-19 handsewing the binding on my "Batik Stars" quilt. Here is how it turned out.

The fabric for this quilt was bought at two different quilt stores. I made a quilt with batiks a few years ago but hadn't used them much after that. I went to the Pacific West Quilt Show and came across the Sew Batik booth and was obsessed. I bought a kit and a ton of fat quarters. The kit was sent to a friend for a wedding but I didn't have a project for the fat quarters. I found the class to make this quilt at my local quilt store and I decided to use the batiks. I figured out what fabric I needed and headed to the Sew Batik booth at the Pacific International Quilt Show to buy the rest of my fabrics. This quilt show is amazing. It is held in a huge convention center and it takes us two days to get through everything. There are amazing quilts from all over the world and tons and tons of booths. I can't go very often because I come home with way too much fabric.

Speaking of too much fabric, I ended up coming home with WAY too many batik fat quarters from the trips to the two quilt shows. Since I am trying to do a little stash busting, I decided to put the extras to use. Here is the back of the quilt:

I am off for a few days of vacation and will pick up where I left off on day 20 when I get back. Next up are two more quilts to bind and a lot of quilting.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Days 11-14

Days 11 & 12 were spent had sewing the binding on this quilt:

The nice thing about working on binding is that it is easy to just sit in front of the tv and stitch. It also makes for a fairly portable project so I was able to bring it to the in-laws to work on there.

I missed a couple days over the weekend with Sunday being Father's Day and Monday just being a crazy day so I re-set my numbering scheme and designated Day 13 to be June 22.

On day 13, I added the borders to the quilt that I am making for the itty bitty swap coming up soon. The theme is Teddy Bear Picnic and I think my picnic blanket is a perfect start to the theme I have in mind. I will share pictures once the swap is underway. I also continued on the binding and have about 1/3 of the quilt left to go.

Day 14 was spent piecing the backing for my Halloween quilt
that I talked about in a previous post. I am using up leftover fabric so there is a bit more work than just sewing a couple of pieces of fabric together. I also went through some of my WIP's to see which quilt tops are ready to quilt. Right now, I have 4 ready to go. I am hoping to break out the quilting equipment this weekend and maybe get a start on one or two.

Finally, I dug up some old quilt blocks that I had made a couple summers ago and sewed the rows together. This is just a little table topper so it went pretty fast. It is made of some very summery fabrics by Sandy Gervais, one of my favorite designers. You will probably be seeing one or two more of her fabric lines in my WIP's this month.

A few years ago, I decided to write down all of my projects that were in work. I built an excel spreadsheet and added anything that was started or had fabric and a pattern. I also added columns for the basic steps I take when making a quilt - finding pattern, cutting out pieces, sewing the blocks, etc. For each of the projects, I put a check in the column when I finish a stop so that I can get a good sense of what needs to be done. Last night, I counted 32 projects on my list. This includes around 3 or 4 projects that have all of the fabric but still need a pattern. Hopefully after this challenge, I will have few items on that list at the end of the month. At the very least, I will have a few more checkmarks.

Here is a picture of part of my list:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Days 9 & 10

A finished object!

I finished handsewing the binding on Adam's Tractors and Trucks quilt. I am really happy with the way it turned out.

The wheels are wool and I used the blanket stitch on my machine to sew down the edges. The machine quilting was done by a women near my hometown. I have been sending my quilts there for almost 10 years and I am alway happy with her work. She is also in charge of the quilt displays at the local county fair. I am hoping to enter this quilt this year.

I also sewed the squares for my Itty Bitty swap quilt. My next steps will be to add the borders. I also need to decide how I am going to quilt it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Days 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8

It has been awhile since I have checked in but I have mostly been working on the same projects. Last summer, I found a cool pattern that looked like little shopping bags where you could actually tuck things into the pockets. The example I saw was made up of Halloween fabrics and I just had to make. I purchased fabrics during the annual quilt week and whipped up the top. I hadn't finished the borders so I decided to work on those. Here is how it turned out. Can't you picture Halloween Candy tucked inside the bags? Once I am done quilting it, I will tack the shopping bag handles in place and add some buttons.

I also designed and cut out a quilt for the next swap over in the Itty Bitty Quilts Group on Ravelry but that is a surprise for another day.

Finally, I started hand-sewing down the binding on Adam's tractor and truck quilt while we watch re-runs of Bones. I am about 1/3 done and hope to be done by the end of the week.

I will admit that I missed day 7. We had swimming lessons and it completely slipped my mind. Luckily, I did some overtime this weekend so I don't feel too bad.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 3

Today, I wrapped up sewing my binding on the front of the quilts. Tomorrow, I will start hand-sewing down the binding to the back of the quilt.

When I make quilts to give to other people, I like to add a quilt label to the back of the quilt. I read a great tip in American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine a few years back.

I used to make the labels like the picture below. I would have to applique all four sides down.

The technique in the magazine only has you applique 1 side. Here are the steps:

  1. Cut a square out of the fabric you want to use for your label. I make it about 5", maybe a little larger if you have more to write on the label.
  2. Iron the label in half diagonally.
  3. Add your message to the label. I usually write on the label before I attach it to the quilt in case I make a mistake. I typically use Micron Pens. I have also found a fabric stamp pad to stamp images on the fabric.
  4. When you sew the binding to the front of the quilt, place the triangle in the corner of the quilt with the folded side towards the center of the quilt.
  5. Hand-sew the bind to the back and then applique the folded edge to the back of the quilt.

Here is an example (the yellow is the label, I hadn't written on the label yet):

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 2

Day 2 was a little more complicated. Today we had swimming lessons for my son so we don't usually get home until later in the evening so I wanted to try and get my half hour in before we left. For about 15 minutes, he played by himself but he started to get a little fussy so we sat for awhile. He went back to playing so I went back to sewing. I got a few more minutes in before Adam wandered over. I ended up sewing with him in my lap for a few minutes but he was interested in trying to touch the needle as it went up and down. Finally, my husband came home and he was able to entertain Adam while I wrapped up.

I was able to finish machine stitching down the binding on the Doghouse quilt and part of the truck/tractor quilt. Here is a shot of sewing the binding on:

Tomorrow my goal is to finish up the machine work so I can start the hand-sewing.

Day 1

For the challenge, I am starting out with the binding on three quilts. I sent the quilts out last summer to be quilted by the professional quilter I used. I got them back quite a while ago but haven't gotten around to bind them. I had already cut the strips so I just had to sew them together and then iron them in half. I also made a quilt lable for each quilt.

The first quilt I call "In the Doghouse." My mom and I went on a quilt trip through my LQS a few years ago. We stopped at several shops along the way finishing with a class at the Buggy Barn Quilt shop to make this quilt.

Here I am sewing the binding:

The second quilt I am working on is one I started for my son before he was born. We decided to do a transportation theme for the room and this pattern and kit came out about the same time. I finished the applique when I was supposed to be on bed rest (sewing helped with the blood pressure) and finished sewing the backing after I came home from the hospital. Here is a link to the kit (I will post my own pictures soon).

The third quilt was a class I took through the LQS. I picked up the batiks at a two different quilt shows that I went too. Here is a picture of the top laid out:

A New Blog and a Challenge

Recently, a blog that I follow issued a challenge. In order to improve her sewing skills, Janelle, from Pretty Little Knit Stitches decided to try sewing for a half hour a day for the next 30 days. Lately, I have been a little obsessed with knitting. I find it easier to work on a little bit at a time than sewing. I also joined Ravelry which has helped me discover more knitting patterns than I could do in a lifetime. Quilting has always been my hobby of choice and since Adam was born, it has been feeling a little neglected. I decided to accept Janelle's challenge and attempt to sew 30 minutes in 30 days. I have also decided to try my hand at a blog and I will start by documenting my progress on the challenge.