Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pink Ferris Wheel Dolly Quilt

So, this was one of the intro pics on Monday's post ...

Here's the rest of the story ...

I made this dolly quilt for a little girl who's about to be a big sister - since I was giving her mom a quilt for her new baby, I figured big sister might need something for her babies.

I'd been wanting to try my hand at incorporating some hearts into my free-motion quilting, and this tiny quilt (around 18" square) was just the project for hearts.

Actually, I was just going to add occasional hearts to the loopy free motion on the background (which I did), but I was impressed at how well the ferris wheel lent itself to a hearts & loops design.

The quilting was fun, and this tiny project was satisfyingly quick (and adorable!)

The back of the mini-quilt is made from some of the oxford-cloth fabrics I mentioned in a post last week.

(Speaking of which, I'm planning to post some more about my next oxford-cloth quilty project soon, so stay tuned!)

And if this design looks familiar, the little bit of English Paper Piecing is like the (bigger) piece I blogged about here and made into another friend's baby quilt here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blue Ferris Wheel Baby Quilt

In Monday's post, I mentioned using my sewing machine's new walking foot ...

Here's the project I was making ... it's a baby quilt for a friend.

I mentioned this project in a post last week as well ... when the hand-sewn parts were still in progress ...

(For the record, I no longer like the idea of using all those straight pins in the pic above. Go with safety pins. Or that iron-on-sticky stuff. Just sayin'.)

Lots of free-motion quilting (not with the walking foot), in addition to the walking-foot job of stitching the English-Paper-Pieced ferris wheels through all the layers ...

The back of the quilt was made entirely from shirt fabrics (since they come from my favorite fabric designers, as you may know.)

I arranged the ferris wheels in a sort of random pattern ... they remind me of bubbles, somehow.

I'm pleased with how this one turned out ...

... and I got to give it to a friend at her baby shower this past week. 

Check back later this week for pictures of the teeny tiny dolly quilt I made for this new baby's big sister!

Monday, February 25, 2013

They were right ...

Now and then, I read ideas on quilting blogs, and I think, "Yeah, whatever. Maybe it works; maybe not."

So, last week, I found out: "they" were right about a couple things:

They were right when they said a walking foot is wonderful for quilting in straight lines. 

And ... They were right when they said ...

... mitered corners (on continuous binding) are, indeed possible!

I'll plan to have more pics of these two projects later this week, but for now, just for the record - I'm pleased with my newest discoveries.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A little English Paper Piecing

From time to time, I pick up my bag of handsewing supplies, and put something together. It's been a little while, but I'm loving this latest bit of English Paper Piecing.

These are like the ones I made for the little girly quilt, and my nephews' quilts, but for this one, I'm leaving out the center hexagon ... 

I'm still auditioning backgrounds - The above pieces are laid on top of denim, (not bad); I'm also thinking of using a variety of blue cottons instead ... haven't decided yet.

Look for more pics later on ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Oxford Shirt fabric - ready to sew

For quite a while, I've been saving oxford-cloth shirts that I find at thrift stores - not putting them in with all the other shirts I cut up, saving them for something special. Oh, and occasionally I come across a great deal on a piece of oxford cloth that's not a shirt, and I like that, too. 

I'm still not exactly sure what I've been saving them for, but I'm getting started: I've been cutting squares - big, and medium, and little, and tiny.

So far, I've got dozens of 10.5" squares, dozens of 6.5" squares, dozens of 4.5" squares, and a TON of 2.5" squares. (Oh, and lots of little skinny pieces for the next time I'm making quilty letters.)

I'm loving the process, even though I'm still brainstorming ideas for what I'm actually making!

This bag jam-packed with squares-ready-to-sew makes me smile!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beads again, rainbow-style

I've been making more necklaces ... the easy kind, strung on nylon beading thread and tied securely with no clasp, pull-over-the-head-style ... in every color!

This way, I can pick and choose colors that match what I'm wearing ... 

... or I can wear them all at once and say they go with everything!

Fun colors go well with solids, after all!

 The one below is my favorite combo so far ...

And I also especially like the blue-green combination!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Favorite Fabric Designers

If you've been reading my blog a while, you may remember my posts about my favorite fabric designers ... (and another post here). 

Since I'm a regular mom who makes regular quilts, I like to use fabrics that are easily accessible and easily affordable, so ... I love recycled and reclaimed textiles.

I've been cutting up cotton shirts again ... 

And I've been loving the price, and the feel, and the colors, and the patterns, of more of my favorite fabric designers ...

This week's favorites, in no particular order: Croft & Barrow, Apt 9, Perry Ellis, Cremeux, Axxa, Izod, St. John's Bay, Land's End, Steve & Barry's. 

Some of these are companies I've never heard of (and they've certainly never heard of me!) - but I'm loving the fabric that's turning into nice, neat stacks of squares and rectangles!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Scrappy Shirt Quilt Top

This quilt top is made completely out of cotton shirts, and I finished it this week! This one has been in progress for quite a while, and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. LOTS of plaids and stripes and solids - and white and yellow shirts for the "background". 

I started on the nine-patches (made from 2.5" squares!) a couple of months ago, with this design in mind. A test-run in a much smaller version started off fine. I cut the white and yellow background squares ages ago, and got the corners sewn on this month.

A couple of my helpers were fascinated when I laid out chunks of 6-blocks-each on my bed and started constructing - so they had fun helping me add chunks to the rows.

I love the idea (and the price!) of using reclaimed shirt fabric for scrappy patchwork. It just makes sense to recycle shirts nobody's using into quilts that will be cozy and nifty!

I've started cutting up my thrifted shirt fabrics into "usable" sizes (sort of like a modified version of Bonnie Hunter's "Scrap User's System"). It takes some work, but it makes the fabrics faster to use, and easier to store. Now I've got stacks of squares and rectangles in different sizes, ready for more quilty projects ...

Speaking of which, I recently cut some "fat quarters" from some of these shirt fabrics. So if you know anyone who wants to sew with shirt fabrics without the fuss and muss of cutting up shirts - they're for sale in my eBay listings. (I cut some shirt backs into 18" x 21" rectangles - the size of regular fabric fat quarters. My recycled "fat quarters" are priced to sell in my eBay auctions!)

This quilt top is 65" x 76". I'm debating about adding a border, also made from shirts ... We shall see.

It's always fun to see what other quilters are working on - so I'm linking this post to this week's Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts' blog, and this week's Show Off Friday at Pieceful Life blog.

Update: You can see a post here about quilting-in-progress for this quilt top.
Update: Pictures of when this quilt is finished can be found in the blog post here.
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