Two more (historical) finished quilts to share.
When I worked at Bellas, one of the books that we had was called Singular Sensations. It has 14 quilts using the same square block. If you change the color placement, then you get a completely different looking quilt. Spiderman and Batman were also this block. This quilt was made for a student who had some type of medical condition… I don’t remember the exact details any more but I know she was in a lot of pain and missed a lot of school. At the time, I was spending a lot of time and effort making donation quilts for children in hospitals and it occurred to me that I should make one for her rather.
7-ish years ago, teal and brown were insanely popular. Every quilt shop I went to, there were so many teals and browns. I knew so many people decorating in teal and brown. My friends in Texas had just gotten married or were getting married, so this was their wedding quilt (and it was finished only 1 year late!) It’s modeled off of a Bento Box pattern but the only rule I stuck with was alternating teal and brown in each block and then in each segment.
Continuing the Etsy listing frenzy…
This first quilt is a Stripper’s Club pattern from the Quilter’s Market in Tucson, AZ (every month they give us a pattern made from 2.5″ quilt strips… what were you thinking of?). The fabric that I used by the Farmer’s Market line by RJR. I bought it for myself as a birthday present circa 2008 or so.
This next quilt is the first quilt top that I ever made. It was a class at the Quilter’s Market called Yellow Brick Road. There is now the YBR quilt patterns, but this pre-dates those. It’s made using fat quarters cut into strips. For the layout, you put all of the pieces into a bag and then randomly pull out each piece and sew. For me, who likes to know exactly where we’re going, it was a bit of a challenge, but fun. I really like how it turned out.
I finished another 50 cranes. The total is up to 350 (35% of the way there!) and I’m starting to run out of space in my first display case.
I also listed 3 more quilt tops on Etsy. The first is Vice Versa which I have posted about before.
The second top is called Garden Jewels. It’s a strip pattern by the Quilter’s Market in Tucson, AZ. I bought the kit and made this top. Later, I inherited someone’s partially done quilt from the same kit and finished it. With the extra pieces from my and their kits, I made a 3rd, smaller quilt, so I’ve made this quilt 3 times. The 2nd and 3rd tops were donated to a gal who makes quilts to donate to the local hospital.
This top is called Hoopla and is also a Quilter’s Market strip pattern. It is also made from their kit which includes the die cut circles that came with fusible web on them. I blanket-stitched the applique pieces.
This first quilt was made using Tonga Treat strips. I try to avoid buying precut fabric since I usually end up hanging onto it longer than regular yardage (and it costs more), but these were so bright and yummy, I couldn’t resist.
Quilter’s Market in Tucson hosts a summer quilt camp at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. You bring your sewing stuff and spend a weekend sewing and they interrupt us for food and games, but beyond that, it’s a weekend to sew/do whatever you want. I brought these fabrics there since I had been wanting to work on this quilt for awhile. This is also one of their patterns from Stripper’s Club (every other month they give you a free pattern for a quilt using 2.5″ strips). What I love about this pattern is that the squares in the center aren’t actually squares – they’re rectangles. Something about that has always made me like this pattern and quilt. When I posted the finished top on Facebook, one of my students said she really liked it, so it became her high school graduation gift.
This second quilt was a pattern in a magazine. It was also during summer at Bella Quiltworks where I worked. During the summer in Tucson, business always slows down (snowbirds are gone, it’s 110 degrees out), so I had a lot of time to stare at these beautiful fabrics. When I saw the pattern, I finally caved and bought the fabric. Though it has nothing to do with Portal, the cubes always make me think of the Companion Cube, so this became the Companion Cube quilt. When I quilted it (which I wish I had pictures of!), I quilted hearts in the center little square. This was a graduation gift for another student.
Here are 2 more of my first quilts. This first one is, I’m pretty sure, the first quilt that I ever finished. It was also with my really awful camera so please forgive the quality of the picture. The pattern was given out at Stripper’s Club at Quilter’s Market, Tucson. Every other month they put together a pattern made with 2.5″ strips. You show up for the meeting times, they put on a show (no, not that kind 😉 ), there are giveaways, and you get the pattern for free. I got some really bright blues, pinks, and purples, and made this. The border is a dark purple batik which is gorgeous in real life. I was most proud of how well I was able to get the borders to line up since those were the smallest pieces I think I had ever worked with. For the binding, I rolled the top over to the edges and stitched it down. I had no idea what to do and I giggle when I look at it, but it worked.
This was also during my “I will use the brightest fabric that I can possibly find for the back” phase, so here we go.
This is the second quilt that I finished, for my friend in the Army. The borders are all 6.5″ because that’s as wide as my ruler went and I didn’t know how to measure anything larger than my ruler. This was also my first time doing binding as a separate fabric. It didn’t occur to me that binding would be a single continuous piece that you just turn when you finish a side, so I did 4 separate pieces, like if they were a border. I saw this quilt a few years ago and I giggled at a lot of my “early quilt” mistakes (though I do love it and the owner got a little offended when he thought I was making fun of it).
A few years ago, he got deployed and had to leave the quilt in the States, so I made him pillowcases to take with him.
My Easter weekend has consisted of finishing the quilt blocks for the wedding quilt. I had gotten the strips half sewn throughout the week. On Saturday, I finished sewing all of the strips together. Here are a few of the finished strip sets.
This morning (after I had some coffee… never cut when not mentally present), I subcut the strips into the 6.5″ unfinished blocks. I love seeing all of the blocks together. So pretty!
Here are the finished blocks. There are 120 total, though the quilt may have fewer, depending on how many people sign the blocks. They will sign in the beige in the center (hopefully leaving me 1/4″ seam allowance on either side).
Other than needing to be mailed, these blocks are as far along as I can do right now. The wedding is mid-June so I should get the blocks back in early July to start assembling them. The goal is to have this finished by Christmas.
Project stage = complete
I’m making some great progress on the wedding quilt blocks. I started by cutting all of the fabric into 2.5″ strips (which are approximately 40″ long). 2.5″ strips are one of my favorite things to work with since they give you so many possibilities of what you can do. In most (all?) cases, I make strip sets where I sew a certain number of strips together a specific way and then subcut for my pattern. Today, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks for sewing accurate strip sets.
For the wedding quilt, I ended up with 20 inner-beige and 40 outer-color strips. The way that I’m making the block is to sew the strips together and then subcut to get the actual 6.5″ blocks. This is a faster and more accurate way to build the blocks than to cut all of the pieces at 2.5″ x 6.5″ and then sew them together.
When you’re sewing fabric, because of how it feeds into the machine, the top piece gets stretched and pushed back just a little while the bottom is pulled through just a little so things don’t exactly line up the way you had originally had them. This can actually be handy if you have two pieces where one is slightly longer than the other – put the shorter one on top. If they’re more than slightly off, then you may want to recut (do as I say, not as I do…). For my Bernina, I have a walking foot which is great to avoid the stretching problem for sewing on binding but I don’t like using it for piecing. I exclusively use my #37 1/4″ foot for all of my sewing, which is a foot that is 1/4″ wide from the center to the outer edge. Since the goal is to sew a 1/4″ seam, then you try to have the fabric lining up with the edge of the foot and you should get a 1/4″ seam.
For strips or any time I’m not sewing over pins, I use my Bernina #57 foot. It’s a 1/4″ foot with a guide to block the fabric when it hits the 1/4″ mark. This makes it so easy to sew long strips since you don’t have to pay quite as much attention to ensure that your seam is 1/4″.
Another trick is to sew the strips from opposite sides. If you’re sewing always from the right, then what ends up happening is you get a bit of stretched out fabric when you get to the left times however many seams you’re doing. So, rather, alternate the direction that you’re sewing from. This mitigates the stretch so it doesn’t all end up on one side.
Feel free to share any of your tips and tricks in the comment section!
One of my big current projects is a wedding signature quilt for my friends Scott and Regina. The idea is that each guest signs a square and then the squares are put into a quilt, rather than using a traditional book.
The wedding is on June 18, and I need to have the blocks completed and delivered by then, so we’re getting a little close to the deadline. I went to Pacific Fabrics yesterday, which is my favorite quilt shop in Seattle. I needed the main fabric for the center and outer triangles, 8 fabrics for the outside of the blocks, and 3 fabrics for the inside. I found a vacant corner of the store and started auditioning bolts of fabric. After about an hour of pacing the store and sitting on the floor (yup, no qualms with sitting on the floor in the middle of a fabric store), I ended up with these fabrics (the left side is rejects). The pink across the bottom will be the center/border fabric, the 3 beiges are the center of the blocks, and the back 8 are the outside of the blocks.
Here are some pictures of the fabric after I got it home. I find it amazing how different the fabrics look in fluorescent and yellow light, both in real life and in the pictures. The yellow light (pictures below) is more accurate to the true colors.
My favorite fabric:
Up next is cutting all of the fabric into 2.5″ strips…
This is my first bargello. I used only stash fabrics. After I cut the strips, I couldn’t stand to waste the little bit leftover fabric so I cut it in half and added it to the ends. I used Michael Miller Jet Black to really contrast with the colors. In general, I do a lot of pinning and this quilt was no exception… I did pin every single seam in this quilt. I also alternated how I pressed the seams so they would nest, so my seams line up really well (in my humble opinion)
A few years ago I went through a year long class. For graduation, I made my 3 classmates and teacher each a quilt. I love the Wizard of Oz one since I felt like it symbolized our journey.
For the ombre quilt, it was Karen Combs / Blank quilting fabric where there were 4 shades on each piece of fabric (so there are only 3 pieces of fabric used in the quilt). With the extra, I reversed it so it went light to dark, added a little from other colors and made it a buddy quilt. This one ended up getting donated.