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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bookshelf Mini Finished!

I had so much fun making this bookshelf mini quilt. I have been somewhat down lately about starting school again and having to tuck away the sewing machine for awhile, but this project totally cheered me up. It was quick to put together, but full of creative potential. My favorite thing about this quilt is using selvages for the book titles. I never would have thought that selvages could look so pretty! This was my first time using Steam-A-Seam to iron on the book titles, and it worked great! I still stitched around the book titles for extra security and to make them pop. The back is almost as cool as the front! And best of all, it looks so stylish hanging above my sewing machine (although I need to come up with a more "stylish" hanging method that doesn't involve scotch tape). I can envision a whole wall of these little quilts. Now you know how I'll be spending my spare time this fall, at least when I need

WIP, as in "Work in Progress"

I can be kind of dingy sometimes, which is why when I started quilting it took me awhile to figure out what in the heck WIP meant. This acronym kept popping up on quilting blogs, and I thought it must be some kind of weird technique that I was not yet aware of. Well, now that I know WIP means "work in progress" I have a sneak peak of a WIP to share! My bookshelf mini quilt! Ever since I spotted this tutorial on Don't Call Me Betsy's blog, I knew I had to make one for myself. My "real" book collection is ever growing and if I'm not sewing, you will definitely find me reading. But since I have a rather large stack (or stacks) of books to read before I am allowing myself to buy more, I figured a fabric bookshelf is the next best thing.   What better way to build a fabric bookshelf than from scraps?! I love a project where I can use up those little scraps of fabric that I just can't bear to part with. This project is perfect for that. B

Color Trends

I was reading Ryan Walsh's blog, I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts, the other day and he had a really interesting post about the color gray as a trend in the fabric market. He is starting a new thing called "Trendy Tuesday" where he talks about the latest trends going on in the fabric industry, which I think is really cool. I have always been interested in fashion and fabric. I actually took several classes in textile and apparel management when I was an undergrad. One of my most memorable experiences was the textile class I took where our exam consisted of identifying 100 swatches of fabric according to its material, hand, and weave. Call me crazy, but I thought this was the coolest test ever! As a new quilter, one of the most exciting things for me has been learning about, selecting, and working with different fabrics. Although I have been working with all cotton in my quilts (and will probably continue to do so), there are so many different options out there as far a

The Stack is Growing

My stack of finished quilts is slowly growing- and no surprise, so is my list of projects to do! Today I finished quilting and binding my Nicey Jane quilt top, and I think it's a nice addition to the stack.  I quilted it the usual way- straight lines in the sashing and borders and to emphasize the squares. I really like how the quilting emphasizes this pattern. It's simple, but effective. I pieced the back with two of my favorite prints from the Nicey Jane line, the stripes and the lindy leaf. And the best part is, I have a pillow to match! Except now, I want more pillows. I guess I'll add it to the ginormous "to do" list. With less than a week left before school is back in session, I'm pretty pleased with the progress I've made on my quilts. Once classes start, I know I won't have as much time to spend on quilting but I still hope to squeeze in a sewing moment every now and then. And maybe I'll ha

Metro Pinwheels

Remember all of those colorful little pinwheel blocks? They are happy to have found a home in a new quilt. I ended up using the gray linen-like fabric for the sashing that I had originally envisioned. This gray is from Robert Kaufman's Quilter's Linen line and the cool thing about this fabric is that it is 100% cotton but is made to look textured, like linen. It is kind of hard to find this fabric, but it has been popping up on Etsy recently. I purchased it from the Fresh Modern Fabric shop on Etsy, which has some really cool modern fabric if you are looking for something different and unique.  You can kind of see the linen texture in the following picture but you really have to see it in person to appreciate the effect it gives the quilt.  I really like how the dark gray tones down the bright colors of Kate Spain's Central Park fabrics. I had thought about using white sashing instead, but after seeing the finished quilt, I am really glad I went wit

It's Hip to be Square

I finished up another quilt top that has been hanging in my closet for awhile. This one is called "It's Hip to be Square." I thought this was an appropriate name for the quilt because the fabrics, which are from Liz Scott's Sugar Pop line, are retro inspired and the quilt is made up of 5 inch charm squares. Because the quilt is such a simple design, I really wanted to do something different with the quilting to make the fabrics pop. I still used straight lines, but instead of quilting the entire quilt with lines, I used them to enhance the square design of the quilt. I stitched both horizontal and vertical lines in the sashing between the squares and then I quilted continuous lines around the borders. I also used echo quilting by stitching about a 1/4 inch within each square. The quilting was more work than I expected it to be, but I am thrilled with the results. I love how the quilting draws your eye to the focus of the quilt, which are the squares.

"Little Man" Quilt

I finished up my "Little Man" quilt this weekend and I think it turned out super cute. I just love this pattern by Camille Roskelley. It is simple and modern and I love how it showcases the fabrics. The quilting of this quilt didn't go quite as smoothly as I would have liked. While quilting, I accidentally stitched a fold into the back of my quilt and ended up ripping out about 13 lines of stitches as a result. It was pretty painful, but I'm kind of glad it happened because now I know to be extra careful to prevent this from happening in the future. As the saying goes, live and learn. I think what I like most about this quilt is the way the soft muted colors create an understated but cohesive look. The fabrics are from Michael Miller's Citron and Gray collection. I used Kona cotton in Ash for the sashing which is one of my favorite solids. I tend to gravitate toward brighter colors in my quilts so I was surprised to find how much I ended up liking

Moving Along

I finished up another quilt yesterday and took these pics after taking it out of the dryer. I gotta say I am loving the walking foot for straight line quilting. I have not had any problems with the quilt layers shifting and the guide bar makes it really easy to keep those lines straight. I also learned how to baste my quilts using 505 spray adhesive and I can't imagine basting any other way. It is super easy and works great. Thanks to my Mom for introducing me to this method! The binding turned out much better this time. I used the same method of machine stitching the binding to the back of the quilt by stitching in the ditch on the front, but I made a few alterations. I made my binding 2 1/4 inches instead of 2 1/2 and I also sewed the binding strips together using a diagonal seam instead of straight across. I didn't think this would make much of a difference, but it made those seams much less bulky. I also used thread in my bobbin to more closely match the binding.

Getting Distracted

I know I should really be working on finishing up the projects that are currently hanging in my closet waiting to be quilted, but I got a little distracted today. So, this is what I did instead. These pinwheel blocks were kind of addicting once I figured out how to do them. It was a little tricky at first figuring out how to sew the pieces together and which way to press the seams. But after doing 25 of them, I think I got it. I was even able to make a really cute scrappy border from the extra material. I love it when I can use my scraps. Now, I just have to decide what color of sashing to pair with these bright and cheery blocks. I am thinking maybe a gray cotton with a linen-like texture to make it modern. I just love a stack of finished blocks! Now that I have these blocks out of my system, hopefully I can get back to quilting those patiently waiting projects.  

The First of Many

My very first quilt is finished! Binding and all! I quilted it with straight vertical lines spaced about 1 inch apart. At first, I thought the lines might be spaced too close together, but I really liked the effect once it was completely finished. It adds so much texture to the quilt and really makes the fabric stand out. The back is pieced with the same fabrics from the front. I have to admit that the binding is a little sloppy although you can't tell from the pictures. I wanted to experiment with machine stitching the binding to the back of the quilt instead of hand sewing it, which is something I still need to learn how to do. Rita from Red Pepper Quilts has a great tutorial on her blog for machine stitching the binding. (just search for binding tutorial on her blog). Her directions were easy to follow and I really liked the idea of not having to mess with hand sewing. You machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt, just like with the traditional meth

Making Progress

Are you ready for this? I can officially say I quilted!! After getting my walking foot this weekend, I didn't waste any time diving into my very first quilting projects. Like I said before, I wanted to start small so I quilted my pillowcases, which didn't take long at all once I got into the groove. Here they are finished. I'm really quite pleased with how they turned out. I kept it simple with straight horizontal lines going across the pillows. Although the quilting isn't fancy, I love the texture the horizontal lines give to the pillows. I also think this type of quilting lets the fabric speak for itself.    Since the pillows went so well, I felt more confident about starting on my quilts. I am about half way done with my first one, and so far it is going great. Once I got over my fear of ruining my quilt, I was able to relax and have fun. I've heard people say that quilting is relaxing which I never quite understood, but now I get it. There is some

Testing Skills

So, I've been doing so many simple quilts lately that I decided it was time to try something a little more challenging to test my quilting skills. And, they were definitely tested with this quilt. I am sure for an experienced quilter this type of pattern would be a breeze, but for a beginner quilter I found it a little tricky. The blocks that make up this quilt are called bow tie blocks. They are made by putting a smaller square on top of a larger square and stitching across the small square diagonally. Once stitched, you cut across the diagonal line (leaving a 1/4 in. seam allowance) and flip the triangle up to complete the square. I've heard of these referred to as stitch and flip squares. Anyway, the point is it took me some practice before I really felt comfortable making these blocks (my seam ripper became my best friend during this project). I also struggled a little with matching the seams once I put all of the blocks together. With this type of quilt pattern, it is

Vintage, Yet Modern

This is one of my favorite quilts that I have pieced so far. The fabric is Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey and it has a vintage feel to it. But I think the white sashing and the simple design of this quilt make it very fresh and modern. I also like how this fabric collection pairs modern and graphic prints with the more vintage florals. I think they work together nicely. Once it's finished this quilt just might find a home on my guest bedroom wall for awhile. It makes me happy looking at it. I am also working on a pillow to match! I can see how these could be really addicting. They are fast to make and I am always changing the decor in my house. So, don't be surprised if you see a lot more of these! You can never have enough pillows, right? Oh wait, maybe that's shoes. As for what I am working on now, a boy quilt! And, no I am not expecting (sorry to disappoint you Mom- I know you're reading this). But, my husband and I do plan on starting a family some time in the

Let the Quilting Journey Begin!

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jenny and I am a new quilter! (Click on my name on the right side of this page to read more about me). This is my first post and I am excited to be joining the blogland of quilters. Today I just want to share how my interest in quilting began and show you the very first quilts I pieced (they are not actually quilted yet, but that is my next goal!). About a month ago, I decided I was going to give quilting a shot. My Mom has been sewing since she was a child, but she just got into quilting about a year ago. Ever since then, she has been trying to persuade me to join the quilting bandwagon. Keep in mind that at this point I did not even know how to sew. To be honest, I always thought quilting was for old ladies. The words "modern" and "quilt" are not words that I associated with one another. But, I started avidly reading blogs about quilting (such as Diary of a Quilter, Cluck Cluck Sew, and  Red Pepper Quilts) and dis