Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Blocks of Fancy" and "The Right Slice"

"Blocks of Fancy" 40 x 40 inches square

Recently I finished another baby quilt, which I call "Blocks of Fancy".  This little quilt is for our newest little grand baby, Tanner Felix, to use at his house, once he starts using his crib, or just for "tummy time".  My daughter, son-in-law and their young family and I went to a quilt show last June in Lethbridge, AB.  We enjoyed viewing the numerous creations displayed there, some of which were very beautiful and quite inspiring!

We saw one quilt there that my daughter particularly liked, so I took a photo to remember what it looked like once I got home.
I printed the photo to help me figure out some measurements in order to make a small sized version similar to the original.

Arranging the 3 inch squares into blocks...
I figured that making the square blocks 3 inches and the rectangular blocks  3" x 11"would result in a finished quilt of  40" by 40" a good size for a baby. (The white sashing strips in between are 1 inch wide.)

Once I figured out the measurements for each part of the quilt top, it was quite easy to make.
My daughter helped me to rearrange some of the blocks at one of her visits here.  Luckily I had made a few extra squares so we could switch a few of them.

Kitty approved :)

Once the blocks and sashing were all sewn together, I 'sandwiched' the quilt with the batting and backing, then pinned it thoroughly together. I 'ditch quilted' the blocks on my sewing machine.  On the white outer border, I free- motion quilted some vines and leaves with white thread to blend in.

With the blue Minkee Fleece on the back and it turned out to be a nice colourful, cuddly quilt for our new little boy.  :)

Blue minkee fleece on the back

They are all coming to visit us here this Easter weekend and I am looking forward to giving the quilt to little Tanner. I hope he gets many hours of warmth and enjoyment from it.

Love all my little Sweetie Pies bunches and bunches! 

Our  quilt guild is working on some charity quilts for an organization called Little Warriors which is starting up in June to help abused children in the province. Our group is donating over a dozen quilts, some which individual members have made and some which we worked on during meetings and quilting bees. The quilt below is a pattern called: "The Right Slice" (Quiltmaker Magazine- Nov./Dec. 2013 issue).  We put an "Eye Spy" twist on it, adding a novelty print at the centre of each block.

A number of us worked on the individual blocks which all start out as a basic 9 patch. After that  2 2/3 inches are chopped off the right and the left sides, then 1 1/2 inch black sashing is sewn on.  Then the chopped off parts are sewn back on.

Next the top and the bottom of the block get the same treatment (black sashing added).

The blocks end up being 14 inches square.  Once the blocks were all completed, we arranged the blocks on the floor in rows at one of our meetings and we sewed it together into there quilt tops, one of which you see above. This one I will be quilting and binding on my sewing machine in time to be displayed at our annual Heartland Guild Quilt Show in Stettler in June.
After that they will be delivered to the "Little Warriors Organization for their use.

Happy quilting!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Magic of Quilting: Diamonds Jubilee Bargello

Photo of the finished Bargello quilt; here's the link:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Diamonds Jubilee Bargello Quilt- finally completed!

Diamonds Jubilee Bargello quilt

Diamonds Jubilee bargello quilt completed... and kitty approved as well! :)

I finally completed my big Diamonds Jubilee Bargello quilt last weekend! (Feb. 16, 2014).
The actual quilting of this monster took quite a number of hours to do and a whole lot of muscle, too!   (I estimate about 40 hours to quilt and add the edging.)  The quilt dimensions  are 104" by 105"inches, almost 8 1/2 feet long and wide.

I had to roll the entire quilt up tightly in order to feed it through my sewing machine. I used a series of free motion designs on it, starting at the centre with one of my favourites, a vine of leaves joined together from the top of the quilt all the way down to the bottom. I put safety pins along the edges of the blocks where I wanted to quilt in order to keep from wandering off during the free motion quilting.

Bargello quilt all rolled up showing back fabric

Next I re-rolled the quilt on the kitchen floor and  re-pinned the "path" to be quilted.   Then I sewed a butterfly design along the left side of the leaves running down the centre . Again I re-pinned and re-rolled the quilt the other direction, sewing a similar butterfly design to the right of the leaves.

 I went back and forth like that, sewing various designs down the quilt, but always matching the designs on the right and the left each time.  It wasn't as easy as it sounds, as the quilt weighs about 20 pounds and I had to sling it over my shoulder and drape it on my computer chair so it wouldn't get hung up on the edge of the table too much as I was trying to sew.  I had to stop and start many times to re-position the quilt, but tried to do the restarts as unnoticeably as possible.  I tried to stop at a seam line each time and because the Bargello has over 3000 pieces in the top, it wasn't that difficult.

In the end there were only a few places where I was unhappy with the sewing and took the stitches out to re-sew the design.  The red/ orange batik outer border of the quilt has large veiny leaves on it so I decided to go with the pattern when I quilted that.  I free-motion stitched around many of the leaves on the border to keep to the design which was already there.

I also tried out a new design. I got an inspiration from a flower on the front of my photo album and figured out a way to make that design in a continuous manner all the way down the quilt.

The edging worked out well, too. I wasn't sure what I was going to use for the edging at first, but one day I was in the local quilt store in town and I saw the exact brown fabric that I had used in part of my quilt.  Great!  Because this quilt already has 11 different fabrics (not including the back) I really hadn't wanted to introduce a new fabric, so that was perfect!

Beautiful bargello

 I did some estimating in my head and figured out that I would need a minimum of 30 inches of fabric (at 42 inches wide) to make enough strips for the edging. It had to go all the way around the outside of the quilt, with an added 3 inches at each corner and 6 inches overlap at the end, (plus figuring in 1/4 inch seam allowances at both ends of each fabric strip....)  Well, the length of the edging worked out to be approximately 445 inches long!

I like to cut my fabric strips 2 1/4 inches wide, then fold them lengthwise with right sides out; press well ( with help from cats!) and sew the raw edges along the raw edge of the quilt sides.  The time consuming last part is where you have to flip the edging around to the back of the quilt, and hand stitch it all the way around! ( I usually do that part while I'm watching TV in the evenings.)

Then I washed the quilt in the machine on 'cold' and dried it in the drier on medium heat. Then, voila!!! It was done and now sits on top of our bed to be enjoyed all night long! :)

Paper pieced "Signs of Autumn" quilt
My paper pieced "Signs of Autumn" quilt which used to decorate our bed, has now been put in storage for the time being.

To see the beginning steps of the Diamonds Jubilee quilt, follow my link below. :)

Happy quilting!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

2 Baby Quilt Tops Completed

Yay! Finished quilting both pink baby quilt tops in the last week or two, The Pink"Starry Boats" made up of 5 Bernagat Bay blocks and the Pink/ Kitty Chains quilt top.

I finished off the Pink Starry Boats quilt with a mock edging (where you use the back fabric to wrap around to the front and sew it on around the outside.)

The Pink Kitty Chains got a traditional edge made up of  2 inch strips of white fabric matching the fabric used in the chain blocks. It seems to set off the rest of the baby quilt quite nicely.  It got the approval of our 2 year old grand daughter anyway! :)
But then again, she loves blankets of all sorts.   👼 

White fabric edge

The back of the Chain quilt is pink Minkee fleece.  That can be a bit tricky to work with because it can be slippery to sew with, but I pinned it really well. After that I started the quilting process by stitching in the ditch down the centre of the quilt, then stitching vertically for a row or two, then back to a row or two horizontally. I alternated the beginning of the rows as well, starting one from the left side, then the next row from the right side and back and forth. That helps to keep the Minkee from shifting.

Minkee fleece backing

Both of these quilts are about 40 inches square. 

I really like how the Bernagat Bay blocks turn out so I have already started on a yellow starry version with green boats. There is no baby in mind for that one yet, but I am hoping to get one quilt top ahead, if possible.  😊

After that, the next plan is to start quilting my Diamonds Jubilee Bargello king sized quilt. It has been sitting here on top of the ironing board for several months now all pinned together and waiting its turn very patiently. The cat seems to think it is her personal cushy sleeping spot and I had to put a towel on top of it for that reason.


Diamonds Jubilee quilt top

Monday, January 6, 2014

Barnegat Bay- Pink Sailboats

Purple Sailboats/ Pink Stars
I finished the baby girl quilt top with the purple sailboats this week. It is destined for our nephew's little new addition, Sage Aria, who arrived a few weeks early in mid November. Her dad is a sailing fanatic and has participated in numerous sailing regattas, so I thought this little quilt would be appropriate. :)

Barnegat Bay Block

These Barnegat Bay sailboat blocks are really simple to make, 3 7/8 inch half square triangles for the sails, a couple of 3 1/2" by 6"inch rectangles on either side. The boat is a 3 1/2" by 12"inch rectangle with two 3 1/2" inch squares sewn diagonally at each end.

I made the water a 3 1/2" inch strip of fabric the whole width of the quilt top to create continuity.
(The directions called for a 3 1/2 by 12 1/2 rectangle sewn below the boat.)

 The in-between blocks are just a 9" by 12" inch piece of 'sky fabric' in this case, the pink stars fabric.

I added a border of white (2 1/4" inch width) to bring out the sails. Now it is ready to be 'sandwhiched' and machine quilted.   Time to wash the kitchen floor again!  :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pink Chain Quilt

Because we did not know the gender of most of the new babies we were waiting for,  most of the quilts I had made recently were neutral (except for the blue Delectable Dino). 
I really wanted to make a 'girlie' one in pinks after that. I had seen this little chain block number in an earlier edition of  Quiltmaker magazine in greens (Child's Play Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks - Spring 2013 Page 26-27).
I decided to make it in pink and white instead of green.

The blocks were quite simple:  Fabric strip sets of two 21/2 inch white with one 2 1/2 inch pink and the opposite, 2 pink strips and one white. 

The step sets were cut in 2 1/2 inch pieces then put together to form the 2 different blocks one 'large chain and one small chain.

They remind me of bandaids! :)

Once the 2 kinds of blocks were made, they were sewn alternating large chain with small chain

The centre of the quilt top has a 25 1/2 inch piece of interesting animal fabric. 
This was my first idea, but after sewing the chain blocks on 3 sides of the centre square, I soon realized that I didn't like the colours together. There was no real pink in the animal print.

I took the chains off the sides and went hunting for a new centre fabric that would compliment the pink chains better. Of course there was nothing in my stash of fabric, so I made a trip to town to the local quilt store. There wasn't a lot of good pink fabric prints there either.  I finally decided on a panel with cute kittens where the pinks matched better, but since it was rectangular, I had to add white fabric strips to the sides and bottom to make it 25 1/2 inches square.

I like the end results better and now just have to find a back fabric that will compliment it in order to make it into an actual quilt!

The quilt top is 40 inches square and will eventually make a cute quilt for a little girls baby/ toddler. :)  

Close up of kitty panel

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Starry boats & More Raggy Babies :)

Starry Sailboats

I just finished quilting my Starry Sailboats baby quilt. The 5 sailboat blocks are based on the Barnegat Bay blocks except that I made the bottom 3  1/2 inch blue fish strip (the 'water') go across the full width of the quilt to give it continuity. 

This little number is for a new baby called Lawson who lives in Saskatchewan, new baby boy for a relative of ours. This is quilt #4 for them! :)

I ditch quilted around the sailboats and the sails, and then echo quilted a half inch out from that.  I free motion quilted all around the stars on the starry blocks and also around the fish on the ocean strips on the top bottom and middle of the quilt.  The back is a soft yellow stars fabric the same as the edging. (I made a mock edging, bringing the back fabric around to the front, folding it in half and then stitching it on with the machine.)

Now working on making and sewing on the labels for my last 3 baby quilts  so that I can send them away to the recipients. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of them!

On to Raggy Quilts: A few weeks ago I made a small raggy baby quilt using 6 inch squares of thick green leftover fleece as backing and a variety of green flannel for the fronts ( no batting). I traced hearts in the centre of the blocks and then stitched around them.
It is quite small only approx. 25 inches square but nice to use with a baby chair or car seat. 

Green bugs and frogs

Back of the green bugs and frogs small raggy baby quilt

After finishing that  one, I started another raggy baby quilt. This one has 6 1/2 inch flannel blocks of farm animals, zoo animals, solid yellow, solid green, blue on a blue squares and green butterfly squares.  It has no batting inside the 2 layers of flannel, which is what my daughter requested.  This raggy quilt is for our new grand baby whose arrival we are anticipating any day now!!!  ( I have plans for a pink raggy baby quilt if it turns out the baby is a girl.)
Update: Jan. 3/14  Our new grand baby was a boy- Tanner Felix, 9 lb. 12 oz.   ;D

Arranging the blocks for the latest raggy baby quilt

I brought the 3 baby quilts, along with the green raggy one and both of the knitted afghans that I had made recently to show my daughter last weekend. Her twins (22 months old) loved the quilts and had to put them all on the floor and lay on them. Then they proceeded to cover themselves up with the 2 afghans. 
Our little granddaughter, Claire pointed to one of the quilts on the floor wanting Grandma to lay down, too, so I joined them in their play. :) 
Our little grandson, Hayden then brought me the green raggy quilt and covered me up with it. I love joining those two little sweethearts in their impromptu games! Nice to know that all my work has their seal of approval! 

 The animal raggy quilt (above) is all put together now;  I  just need to get out my good scissors and clip all the edges.  Photo soon!

Happy quilting!