Testing WP 2.7.
Quilter’s Newsletter is one of the quilting magazines I subscribe to off and on. In a recent issue, they featured a quilt that was made to commemorate the first 400 issues of the magazine. Each block includes an element from one of the first 400 covers. I think it’s amazing and must have been a huge amount of work. You can see close-ups of the blocks at the QN website. I even recognize some of the cover elements from some of the magazines I’ve got.
I’m making very, very slow progress on my current quilt project. I pieced the back and did the label the other day. Next up is basting — which, due to lack of space — is a pain. I also found a mistake I made in the quilt that I will attribute to pregnancy-brain. I decided not to fix it; that will just have to be part of this quilt’s charm.
In the meantime, I found a couple of other cool quilts elsewhere. First, Cher made a quilt using a technique I hadn’t heard of before called “convergence.” I could definitely see trying this out sometime with some of my favorite fabrics for a wall-hanging or baby quilt.
Second was this t-shirt quilt over in the flickr quilting group. I have a pile of t-shirts I’ve been planning to make into a quilt for awhile but have been stuck for inspiration. This quilt has inspired me a little bit to maybe start thinking more about that project.
I revealed on my other weblog[*] the other day that my husband and I are expecting a baby boy (boy, at least according to the ultrasound technician) this summer. I’m planning, of course, to make this kid a quilt of some sort, although I’m not going to put pressure on myself to do it before he’s born - I think a first birthday blankie might be nice. As usual, I end up with way too many ideas and ambitions, though, and am now thinking that I should aim to make him a new blanket/quilt for every birthday. Probably too much, though, right?
[*] Note that due to a screw-up on my part, all comments on that site were blown away and haven’t been recovered yet… Oopsie. You should be able to comment there again now, though. Le sigh.
I’m a regular on the Craftster forum, and I’ve been watching (but not participating in) a Harry Potter quilt block swap.
You can see all the blocks that have been swapped in this gallery. I don’t do this kind of quilting at all, so it’s been interesting to me to see how people have put these together. This HP block, which I’m assuming is paper pieced, is my favorite, but there is plenty of fun eye candy and creativity to enjoy.
For a very short time (perhaps a year or two) in the early 90s I subscribed to Workbasket magazine. At the time the only handcrafts I knew were crochet and embroidery, and I liked that Workbasket had patterns for both, in addition to knitting and quilting. I also liked the small size of the magazine and its old fashioned look-and-feel. Subscribing to it made me feel crafty. However, I didn’t have any time to be crafty, so I discontinued my subscription, thinking I could just keep the ones I had and use the patterns in them as I had the time.
I always enjoyed looking at the quilt patterns in the magazine, but I never made any of them. I just ran across this History of Workbasket magazine, which includes a fun biography of the author. Workbasket ceased publication in 1995, leaving many crafters, including the author, bereft of their favorite magazine.
Sadly, my tiny stash of Workbaskets got lost or thrown away or given away in one of my many moves. I wish I still had them. I always look for them in used bookstores, but they are in high demand and are becoming increasingly difficult to find. There’s been one published book of the Workbasket state quilts, but to my knowledge, there are no collections of any other patterns from the magazine. I’d sure like to see one!
I am not making good progress on that quilt. Need to sit myself down there and get to it! So this is just a guilty nudge to myself to do that.
I don’t remember if I mentioned it here or not, but I recently subscribed to a feed of quilting pictures at flickr which is fun to browse for inspiration and to see what people are working on. If I were making any progress on anything, I’d be posting pictures there myself! Argh!
I’ve got all the blocks (25 of them) finished for my latest project and will try to get the top pieced together tonight. They’re fairly simple blocks so I won’t need to do a lot of seam matching and it should go together fairly quickly. Then I need to find some new backing fabric — I don’t actually have many big pieces left — or piece a bunch of random stuff together to use as a backing, and get the thing finished up! Pictures to come soon.
I came across this neat site the other day: The Quilt of Belonging.
The Quilt of Belonging is a stunning textile art project that shows there is a place for all in the fabric of society.
There are a bunch of pictures. It’s pretty neat.
The process I’m using to work on my postage stamp quilt is messy, but it’s organized in a functional, if not rational, way.
I posted before that I had collected enough fabric for my quilt, and organized it in ziplock baggies. That’s still true. However, I’m still collecting individual pieces here and there, from swaps or from other projects I’m working on to add diversity to this quilt. I would have preferred it to be a charm quilt — but I also want it to be finished in 2008, and I didn’t think I could collect enough fabric in time! But as I go along, I’m still adding new fabrics.
The picture below shows some of my in progress pieces:
The box lid has two sets of single squares in it, separated by a knitting needle. On the top, you see 7 piles (which have a full 144 pieces) and on the bottom 5 piles (I’ve already sewed two of the piles together). To the right of the box, you see units of varying sizes — 1×1, 2×2, 2×4. I work on units in several different stages of progress simultaneously. This keeps me from feeling overwhelmed, because as I finish one block, I’m also closed to finished with the next one. I just finished block #4 a few days ago, and here’s block#5:
The 4×8 unit you see was originally made for #4, but I decided I didn’t like the way some of the fabrics in it worked, so I set it aside for #5. I’ll leave these 8 units up on my design wall for a while before I sew them together, just to make sure I like the arrangement. In the mean time, I’ll continue working on smaller units.
My Christmas tree is decorated with childhood ornaments, handmade ornaments and repurposed items (like a pepper shaker I strung with ribbon and a small egg beater). I’ve been thinking that it looks a bit bare this year, and that maybe it needs some kind of garland.
I saw this yo-yo garland on Crea8tive Quilter and absolutely fell in love with it. Wouldn’t it look cool in those colors, but totally scrappy with all sorts of different prints? As it turns out yo-yo garland is everywhere. But I thought the yo-yo’s might look a bit too big and chunky on my tree. I want something to fill in empty spaces with color, not something that becomes the major element of the tree.
Then I saw this tiny yo-yo quilt on Sunshine’s Creations. It’s made up of 819 yo-yo’s crammed into only 21-1/4 x 41-1/4 inches. Imagine! They are just slightly larger than a quarter.
And of course I thought “A-ha!” A garland made up of teeny-tiny yo-yos would be just perfect. And the yo-yos themselves would make a nice tv-watching project. Unfortunately, I hate hand-sewing, but since it’s not necessary to make the hand-sewn hem perfectly neat, it might be ok. I think I’ll try one or two of these over New Year’s and see if I like making them.
I’ve finished postage stamp block #4.
I like this block a lot — it’s got all sorts of fun fabrics in it.
Here’s a look at how all four of the finished blocks look together:
Usually, I would wait until the end to figure out their final placement and sew them together, but with this quilt, I’m thinking of sewing them together as I go along. The idea of looking at all 20 blocks and all those seams makes me want to cry. What do you all think?
Over in the LJ quilting group, check out this gorgeous stained glass quilt used as a wedding chuppah. I love it - very inspirational. I never tried the stained glass effect, but should someday.
I did a lot of sewing this weekend. I can’t show you all of it until after the holiday season, but I can show you some of it.
First off, I made four dinner napkins. I have a vision for my table — I want lightweight denim place mats, with no embellishment or decoration, a crazy assortment of fabric napkins (I love fabric napkins) and Fiestaware. Ideally, everyone at the table will have a different napkin and a different colored plate. For now, I’m starting with these four napkins and Target’s Fiestaware knock-off.
I used this tutorial for the napkins. The only change I made was that I cut my fabric to 17.5 inches (square). That way, I can get a napkin out of a fat quarter. Otherwise, I followed her instructions to the letter. I really wish I had fussy cut that cowgirl so that she appears on the top of the napkin when it’s folded at a place setting — I’ll keep that in mind for the future! All the fabrics are 100% cotton. The cowgirl and the map are high quality quilting fabrics. The Asian fabric is cheap stuff from JoAnn’s. And the lobsters are a heavier cotton — not quite twill, but along those lines.
Next, I finished another block for my postage stamp quilt. This is block #3. I find myself giving the blocks names based on squares in them that I particularly like — this one is the “sunflower block” because of the fussy cut sunflower.
Some of my sewing on this block is pretty wonky. I’m going to have to start paying better attention to what I am doing. I am nearly finished with block #4 also, so I will be posting it soon. It’s called the “bowling pin block.”
I’ve also been working on a set of place mats for a gift — I’ll post pictures of them soon.
I recently started reading the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog. In poking through the archives, I found this list of Reader Submitted Sewing Tips, which includes all sorts of helpful hints. One in particular (submitted by someone named Debbie) caught my attention, as it’s relevant to a conversation Lyn and I were having recently:
Being a newbie, I was always pulling tangled messes out of the wash
until I started just clipping the corners of the fabric before washing it.
It wonâ€™t fray and itâ€™s quick and painless.
I never knew that. I’ve frowned at my share of frayed fat quarters and (especially) fat eighths. I’m going to try Debbie’s tip the next time I have fabric to wash — I’ll report back on how it works.
The rest of the reader’s tips are well worth reading, there are all sorts of good ideas in there.
I’ve finally begun cutting fabric for my next project, which will be a simple (but colorful) attic windows quilt. I cut out the strips for all the window sills and sides, but haven’t notched off the corners yet. This quilt is simple, but will give me loads of practice with set-in seams. The squares (windows) are going to be 12×12 and the quilt will be 5 blocks by 5 blocks. And I’ll probably have a border or two. So lap-quilt sized, which is my favorite size quilt to make.
In other quilting news, I saw this neat idea for how to piece/make backing for a quilt over on the LJ quilting group.
When I have to seam backing, I get my two pieces cut and put them right sides together. I sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance with a very narrow tight zigzag on both sides to make a big tube. When it’s all sewn up I nip the middle of one of the 44 inch pieces and rip it in half so the seams get distributed evenly without any annoying measuring and cutting. I press the seams open and I’m done.