Summer Soiree

A friend of ours in Oregon had her second baby girl this past week.  A brand new baby is such a great excuse to stop everything I’m doing and make a baby quilt!  I love the coin pattern, and it’s so simple to make (I used the stacked coins pattern from Moda Bake Shop).  I’ve had some charm packs of Soiree, by Lila Tueller for Moda, that I’ve been saving to use for this very quilt, and finally someone had a girl!

I involved my kiddos too.  As I sat at my sewing machine I had them pair up the 2.5 X 5 rectangles and then they gave them to me to sew.  They loved it, and I love how proud they are when they see their work turns into something cool.

I got the top and back all pieced together and realized I didn’t have anymore white batting.  So last weekend I hunted through town, and didn’t find any on sale, so when I came home I ordered batting (read: a lot of batting), and waited until the batting arrived.  I was so excited when it was delivered on Wednesday that I got straight to work basting it.


Now onto quilting this beauty.  I think I’ll call this quilt Summer Soiree only because I can’t come up with anything else.  If you think of a cool name, let me know!  Thanks!

Thread Breakage

Nothing irritates me more than thread breakage while I’m quilting.  Why?  Because I have to stop what I’m doing, rethread the machine, and pick out the last few stitches before the thread broke off so that I can secure those threads.  That all takes time.  And to me, that’s really time wasted.

I have been using Essential Cotton Thread from Connecting Threads, and I’ve had very good luck and very little breakage.  The great thing about this thread is 1) it’s cotton, 2) little breakage while quilting and piecing, 3) each spool comes with a lot of thread, and 4) it’s inexpensive for how much thread you get.  But the last 2 spools I’ve used have been giving me trouble with breakage.  Perhaps I just got an off lot, but it’s irritating enough that I ordered the Essential Pro Thread from Connecting Threads to give it a try.  One of my really good friends is a long arm quilter and swears by the polyester thread.  So I’ll try it out and see how I like it.

Cool Breezes Takes My Breath Away

I am so in love with this quilt!  I love the calm peaceful colors and the fact that it works for the winter and the summer.  The last thing I need to do is ship it to its new owner, and since she doesn’t read this blog, I can say that it’s going to my mom.  I can’t believe its taken me this long to make her a quilt, especially since she’s the one that encouraged me (for my birthday 2 years ago she sent me to learn to sew classes) to actually use my sewing machine.  She’s not a quilter, but she sews beautiful garments.  And I know she’s going to love it!

Post wash measurement is 54 x 70.

Sleepy Time Baby Quilt

Oh how I love baby quilts!  They are so satisfying…the piecing is generally pretty quick, and then you can have a quilt completely done in record time.  I’ve had Sleepytime jelly roll by Lori Gardner for Moda for quite some time.  It’s pretty much all pastel colors, and I don’t generally work with pastels (hence it’s been sitting in a drawer waiting to get used).  Since this quilt will find its way to someone the hubby works with, I let the hubby have a bit more say in fabric selection than I usually do (read: the hubby has no say 😉 ), and he chose the pastels.

I started this quilt Sunday afternoon, and finished hand stitching the binding on Monday afternoon.

The quilt’s post wash measurement is 31.5 x 38.5.

Summer Lovin’

Two years ago I was very much a newby at quilting.  I had been quilting for all of 2 months, and we had a terrible ice storm.  We were in the house for an eternity and my hubby who was out of town on business could not get home because of all the ice.  So what’s a quilter to do?  I ended up making 54 blocks.  My seam allowance consistency was awful, but hey I was new and I was having fun.  When I finished the blocks I had all the intentions of making a nice quilt with them, but away they were stashed in one of my drawers for the last 2 years.

I took the blocks out recently and studied them.  I love the cheerful colors and the mix of of small and large squares framed.  Each block was *supposed* to be a 12.5 inch square.  Ha!!!  I don’t think any of them (ok, maybe a few) actually turned out that size.  So I decided to trim the blocks down to a 12 inch square.  Now the one thing I absolutely loathe about quilting is squaring my blocks.  These days I generally don’t have to since my seam allowances are quite consistent, but these blocks needed it or else the quilt would have been a disaster!  Squaring the blocks actually took less time than I thought, and now I wish I had done this long ago and not waited 2 years!!!!

Fabric Trimmings

Anyway, the squaring is done, and I now have a nice new quilt top, which will be a later wedding gift.  Hmmmm, late wedding gifts seem to be a recurring theme….  I will also be creating another wedding gift quilt, which is, you guessed it, late.

Variety of fabrics, but lots of Summer in the City by Urban Chicks for Moda

Ethan’s Quilt

Today was Ethan’s turn to layout a layer quilt for his quilt.  Boy did he have a blast!  I helped him out in the beginning by talking to him about mixing up the squares so that not all the yellows are together etc.  Once he got comfortable with the idea of randomness (he’s pretty linear and really wanted to make a pattern with it like, one green, one yellow, one red, one blue etc, but I told him that was a great idea, however, we didn’t have the same number of each color), he did awesome, and loved it!

Ethan’s layout.
(Fabric is Make Life Sweet by Sweetwater)

Helping to pin the fabric.
(the black on his right forearm is from last week’s swim meet with his heat info)

Helping to sew.

I will never hold back on buying layer cakes and just having them.  It has been wonderful to just pull one out and have the kiddos design their quilt without having to wait for them to arrive in the mail.  So here’s to not holding back on fabric buying!!!! 😉

Ellie’s Blush Quilt

My 5 year old princess has gotten really interested in quilting, and she said she wants to make a quilt.  Wanting to nurture this interest I decided to pull out a layer cake (Blush by Basic Grey for Moda) I already have and let her arrange the squares any way she wanted.  She’s helped me arrange blocks before, but she was so excited about this being her quilt.  I did give her a few tips about not putting all the squares that are similar in color together.  She wanted me to help her with the first few squares, and then she wanted me to go back to my sewing machine and work on something else while she finished arranging the squares.

Princess Ellie’s layout.

She loved every minute of it, and she did a great job!!!

She “helped” me sew the squares together into rows and then sew the rows together, and by “help” I mean she stood right in front of me as I sewed.  One of these days I’m going to give her some fabric and let her practice sewing.

Binding Breezes

I’m in the process of hand stitching the binding on the Cool Breezes quilt, and I can’t wait to get it done, because I keep adding more projects to my must do ASAP list!  I think I’m adding way too many to my list, but it will be fun to see just how many I can get done.  I’m definitely in the “I want to get lots of projects done” mode.

Thinking About a King Sized Quilt

A queen sized quilt is the biggest quilt I’ve ever made.  It was a lot of work, but it was also very rewarding.  It’s been about 1 year since I’ve finished that quilt, and now I’ve got the itch to do something big all over again.  But this time I’ve got my eyes on making a KING sized quilt for my bed!  Am I crazy?

So here I am curled up under a quilt, with the fire in the background, and reading up about quilting large quilts.  I must admit it is intimidating, but I think I may just go for it.  I toyed with the idea of just making the quilt top and sending it out to be quilted, but part of me wants to accomplish this daunting task so that I can say this quilt is made 100% by me (and my beloved sewing machine).

I started collecting the Al Fresco line by Marcus Fabrics about 18 months ago.  I got the fat quarters and yardage that I have out this morning and looked at them (and petted them 😉 ), and then I went through one of my over flow drawers (read: hubby doesn’t utilize one of his dresser drawers to its capacity, so I sort of stash fabric there) looking for something else and discovered that I have an additional 16 fat quarters!  I did a happy dance!!  Not to self: look at fabric more often to have a better idea of what I actually have.

Fat Quarters

So here we are.  Do I attempt this task?  I just may, and since I just ordered some extra wide backing just for this project, that may be the incentive I need to actually do this!

Now I’m asking for a little bit of help.  I’m using a pattern by Atkinson Designs in the Happy Hour pattern book, and the cover picture is of the blocks that are 14.5 inches, but there’s also a pattern for 9 inch blocks.  Shall I go the 9 inch route or 14.5 inch route?  The 9 inch blocks would mean I need 143 blocks and the 14.5 inch blocks would mean I need 56 blocks.  I’m thinking that the 14.5 inch blocks would be easier because there would be fewer seams, thus less quilt weight, but I do love the look of the smaller blocks.  So what do  you think I should do, the 9 inch blocks or the 14.5 inch blocks?

Giddy Goof

I completed the Giddy quilt top a few nights ago, and on Tuesday evening while we watched the Sugar Bowl (and sadly watched the Hogs lose), I decided to pin paste the quilt.

I got to the very last corner and finished the pin basting and realized this:

The top right block was sewn in the wrong direction!  I let out a very loud “Oh, no!!” It was PG since my kiddos were still awake.  This seems to be a recurring problem for me…sewing directional blocks.  I did the very same thing with the Ellie Fun quilt.  My hubby kept telling me not to worry about it especially since Giddy is for us (really, it’s for me 😉 ), but I couldn’t, because I knew it would bug me, and I love this fabric so much I wanted it to be “perfect.”

So I unpinned that section and got out my handy seam ripper, and I got to work.

I then rotated the block and sewed everything back together, and then repinned that section.

Now that looks better, and more importantly I feel much better!