Lavender Fields?

I’m making a baby quilt for my cousin’s friend’s baby.  The colors are purples, greens, and browns, and these are the fabrics I came up with.

I’m having a heck of a time coming up with a name for this quilt.  Sometimes names can be so hard!!!  So far I’ve come up with Lavender Fields.  Do you have any other suggestions?

Hoping to “Catch” Some Color

I’ve worked fast and furious on the Hawg Wild quilt.  Here’s a peak at the layout:

I put the quilted and bound quilt in the washing machine along with 4 color catchers (yes, 4!) and said a little prayer: oh please, color catchers do your job and let the white stay white.  I hope it works!  I will be devastated if it doesn’t, because I won’t have enough time to make a new quilt before Amy leaves.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Be Giddy

My Be Giddy quilt has been complete for some time, but it took awhile to actually snap some photos.  I absolutely love this quilt (don’t I say that about all of them?!?), because the colors are so cheerful.  I used the Piece of Cake 2 Pattern, by Camille Roskelley @ Thimble Blossoms.  It’s a great layer cake pattern, and I love how the pattern shows off the fabrics.

The post wash measurement is 56 x 66.

And this yumminess is all for me! :)

When I washed the Black, White, and Red All Over quilt, a bit of the red bled onto the white.  I was able to get most of the bleed out with stain stick and multiple washes, but ever since that experience I’ve used 2 or 3 Shout Color Catcher each time I was a quilt (especially quilts that have red and white).  Boy am I glad I did this time.  The backing for Giddy is red with pink dots and the front has lots of white.  I’m certain had I not included the 3 color catchers, some of the white would’ve turned pink or red.

2 color catchers from the wash load sandwiched between a fresh out of the box sheet.  They definitely caught lots of color!

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.

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!

Blue is Hard

I figured that blue would be an easy color to match.  I have 2 bindings for quilts that are both blue, but different shades.  I took samples of the binding into the quilt shop with me to find thread to match.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a difficult time matching thread.  There were so many blues, but none that were perfect.  Instead of hunting for the perfect match at multiple quilt shops, I picked those that matched the best.

I seriously never thought finding the right color blue thread would be so hard!

Yikes

What a night!

I started sewing the binding onto the Baby Blues quilt, and I got to about 10 inches from the end and looked at the back of the quilt and this is what I saw:

I gasped!  That stitching line closest to the edge of the fabric was the stitching line for the binding and at it’s narrowest spot is less than 1/8 of inch…certainly not enough to hold the seam for the binding.  How could I have made such an error?  The backing wasn’t big enough!!!!!  All I can figure was that when I sandwiched it together I forgot that the batting was wider than the backing and I centered the top on the batting instead of the backing.  Luckily it was just this one spot that was the problem.  So I ripped out the binding and was thankful that the quilting was straightline and that I didn’t quilt up to the edge of the quilt top, then I added some extra backing and then reassembled (it took a few tries and I ripped out seams 3 or 4 times).  Had I done my usual meander quilting this error could’ve been disastrous!!!!

The backing is flannel.  It’s the first time I’ve used flannel, and while it feels nice and cozy, it was really difficult to work with.  It’s pretty bulky, and even with a walking foot I had a hard time with it.  I especially had a hard time getting the sandwich underneath the walking foot.  Not sure how much flannel I’m going to be using in the future.  Time will tell.

Spring Flowers Recap

Spring Flowers is done! :)  And I LOVE it!!!!!!  For starters I used Camille’s Baby Mine pattern.  The pattern is a great deal because you get 2 patterns for the price of 1–a girl quilt and a boy quilt.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the flower applique pieces that go with the girl quilt.  So I hunted through my library of patterns and found one that I love…it’s called French Roses by Heather French.  Some day I’m going to make an entire quilt of French Roses (I even have the fabric for it), but since that’s down the road I figured I give the French Roses a whirl by substituting these flowers for the ones that came with the Baby Mine pattern.

The French Roses pattern  uses the soft edge applique technique, which I thought is perfect for a baby girl’s quilt.  I’m certainly in love with soft edge applique!

I’m so glad I made this modification.  I think the French Roses flowers are softer, more feminine, and just downright adorable.

The quilt measured 40 x 50 prior to washing and measures 37 1/2 x 47 1/2 after washing…perfect size for a baby.

Front

Back

Polka dot binding matches the inner border

Label: I used a piece of muslin, cut the edges with pinking shears, wrote on it, then soft edge appliqued it to the quilt

Fabric: Butterfly Fling by Me & My Sisters Design for Moda, the white is a white on white design with butterflies, the polka dots and some of the fabrics in the flowers are from my stash.

Side note: I started working on an improv project tonight.  I got everything out and set up (machine, ironing board, started cutting fabric etc.), then went to sew, and my sewing machine won’t sew! Grrrrrrr!  So I’m bringing it in tomorrow to get serviced, because one can’t have a non working sewing machine when one NEEDS to sew! 😉

Urban Nature: Binding

urban-nature-binding

I’ve had the quilting done for the Urban Nature quilt for some time now.  The next step was binding.  Admittedly I was a nervous to do the binding mostly because at 95 x 95 working on the outer 1/4 inch of the quilt all the way around really made me nervous.  Today I decided to take the plunge.  And it really wasn’t all that bad.  Dare I say no more challenging than the 60 x 70 quilts I’ve done.

I’ve noticed lately that if the presser foot pressure is the same as it is when you sew or piece the top when you are trying to sew the binding it creates too much pressure causing the binding fabric to shift in ways you don’t necessary want.  (I realize I didn’t explain that well, but I’m not sure how else to explain it).  So I decided to experiment with the presser foot pressure, and I found that if I decrease the pressure just a bit the binding sews on beautifully.  For example with regular sewing on my machine the presser foot pressure is set to 6.  When I free motion quilt I set the presser to 2, and with the binding I set the dial between 4 and 5.  Anyway, I’ve never heard of decreasing the presser foot pressure for binding, but for me it made a big difference.