Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2010


This is my first time participating in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival. It's an online quilt show that she hosts. Such a fantastic idea. If you want to be inspired, head over there and click on some of the beautiful quilts to see more!

My quilt is one that I just finished. It is special to me because it's the first quilt I've made for ME!  So far everything I've done has been for a challenge, for someone else, or for a class.  This one was all mine.

This is also the biggest quilt I've ever made. Here's the full shot, it's 98" square. Queen size - for my bed, yay!

I fell in love with this Amy Butler line of fabric and originally planned to make something else. I realized that the patterns weren't going to be able to shine enough in that quilt and changed my mind. This pattern is Eleanor Burns "Summer Porch". I added a few non Amy Butler fabrics to my stash and here's my quilt! It still needs a name though. Any ideas?

Here's a detail shot. You can see more of the quilting (which I did not do).
I usually piece my label into the backing. Mostly because if I don't, I never get around to adding a label. For this quilt, it was originally not square and it was huge on my bed. I pulled out one line of quilting and made it square.
That line is now in the back of the quilt! And the quilt fits my bed perfectly.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A binding tip

This is my favorite tip for binding. I haven't seen it in any of the books I have so I don't know if everyone already does this, but I learned it in a class and love it.

This is for when you are machine sewing the front side of your binding to the quilt. Before you begin fold over the beginning of the binding to create a clean edge and press it down. Then line up the raw edge of the quilt with the raw edge binding as you normally would. Right sides of the fabric together. Pull back the top layer and sew down the bottom layer a couple inches in. I usually go about 4 inches in. Here's a photo of what I'm talking about.

 My apologies, the next photo looked okay in the camera but is a bit blurry. :(   Cut your threads and fold back that top layer of binding. Start sewing on top of both layers where you left off sewing the bottom layer.
 Attach binding as you normally would for the rest of the quilt. When you return to your beginning point open up that binding again and tuck your binding end into the 'pocket'. Trim any excess binding so it fits in there nicely!
 Pin it down and sew over all the layers until you get to where you began sewing on the top layer.
 When you fold it over, this is what your binding will look like. You can tighten it up as you like.
I love this method because there is no math or measuring! And you get a clean binding each time.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A quilt comes home

I went today to pick up my biggest quilt from the quilter. I'm so excited about how it turned out. Here's just a little bit of it.

I don't want to show it all until I get it binded. binded? bound?  At any rate, I prepared about a half mile of binding, but I think I'm going to need 3 miles! Better get measuring.

I hope to photograph is soon because the weather has been gorgeous and the colors on the trees are spectacular. Case in point:

I'd love to have the fall colors contrast with this quilt! But, with how big it is, there will most likely be bare trees in the background.

And this last photo is just because. My husband took it and when I downloaded it, it made me laugh out loud.

Such a diva!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A choo choo train

I did go to my jury duty and was not selected. Yay! I'm grateful because it was a criminal trial for assault with a deadly weapon and I would have been a wreck. It was a long day though. Pretty amazing to see how the system works.

On to more fun things, I finished one of the first quilts I pieced. I think this was the 3rd quilt I put together. But since doing the actual quilting is one of my least favorite parts, it has sat for a while waiting to be finished.

I made this one before I discovered all the "designer fabrics", but I'm still happy with how it turned out. I wanted to make something for my nephew who is 2 and loves Thomas the train. Here is the finished quilt.

This is the Thomas fabric that I started with.

I pieced a little along with my label into the back.

I did a custom printed label for him. Unfortunately, I wound up getting a bunch right over it when I quilted it. I didn't notice it until I put the binding on. I'm debating whether I should pull that line out and re-do it or just leave it. What do you think? Any tips on how to deal with these gathering issues?

Something new to me this time was the thread I used for the quilting. I couldn't decide on a color so I decided to try a rainbow thread that was blue/orange/yellow. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. When looking at it from further away the quilting looks like it disappears and comes back. And I think that helps my straight lines look a little straighter!  How do you decide on your quilting thread?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We're back!

We just got back from our week in Florida. It's always hard adjusting to reality isn't it? And Samantha got used to a level of entertainment that I just can't provide. She keeps talking about all we did and telling me how fun it was. I took close to 600 photos! I won't bore you with all of them, but here are a few high points.

We celebrated Samantha's birthday with my family. Samantha perfected her pout during this trip. Not sure why she was pouting at this point.
She has always hated the beach. This time she decided the water was okay and the hard wet sand. Still "no like" the dry sand. Her daddy taught her how to build sandcastles.

We took a boat tour of all the fancy houses and some dolphins decided to join us. Pretty neat huh?
Then we headed to Disney World. It was a good time to go because kids under 3 are free. Samantha loved her Minnie dress from her grandmother and wore it to the park the first day. I thought she was going to explode from the excitement of seeing all the characters.

And what is a trip to the beach without a beautiful sunset.

I potentially have jury duty tomorrow. I will know after 6 pm tonight. If I get selected it will be another quiet week here. Think they'll let me bring my sewing to work on?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Almost there

I mentioned before that I was working on a quilt for my mother in law for christmas. I have the pieces completed and it's being shipped off for quilting by the end of the week. Here are some photos of the top.  Sorry they aren't great, it's been so rainy here I couldn't take it outside for photos. It's way more traditional, but will be perfect for her.

And a close up of the two blocks.

I will say, my next project will not have any flying geese in it! There were 140 in this one and I'm ready to work on something different!

And a quick look at my pieced back. Once I get it back from the quilter I'll get some proper photos.

Things will be quiet around her for a while. We are heading to sunny Florida to visit my mom and a famous mouse!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Girl

Allow me a moment to gush like the proud mama I am!  Today my daughter turns 2.  It's so funny how once you have kids all the cliches become true. I'm throwing one out there: I can't believe how fast it has gone. She amazes me every day with everything she does. She is chattering my ear off, knows her colors, can count to 5,  has started singing, and of course has boundless energy.  I say all this not because I think my child is a genius, but because in my mind, she is still this little pumpkin.

I truly have moments where I look at her and wonder where this kid came from! I'm always surprised to realize how much she has grown.

Happy happy birthday little girl!


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