One of the fun projects that I did last year was a Cube Quilt Along. I own an AccuQuilt cutting system and one of the products that they sell is a Cube. This is actually how the dies are packaged, in a cube. Each cube set has dies that create a specific size finished quilting block. The block size that I chose to use last year was the 8″ cube and the classic companion set which is an extra set of dies that coordinates to make a lager variety of blocks in each size. Although I’ve owned the AccuQuilt cutter for several years, and I’ve sewed for many many years, I’ve never done much quilting. This cube quilt along was a wonderful way for me to learn and practice more quilting. I worked on a consistent seam allowance and learned how the shapes worked together to form blocks. The other thing that I got to practice was learning more about color placement and color values.
Each week for 48 weeks Bea of Beaquilter provided instructions for a new block. It was fun to look forward to and nice to only have one block to do. Here is a picture of the entire set of 48 blocks. I guess I only have a picture of 42 of the blocks. I’ve got the rest pinned together and this weekend hope to get the rest done and sandwiched for quilting. I may decide to send it out however because it will be difficult for me to quilt on my machine and makes my shoulder hurt. I’m looking forward to the finish and am now working on the 2018 Cube quilt along. This year I’m using two entirely different color schemes and doing one with 9″ blocks and one with 12″ blocks. So far, I’ve enjoyed this as well.
I keep thinking I’m going to do an update or two but time seems to pass and then I think, where did the time go?
So this will be several short updates so I can get caught up. I hope all the hubby surgery illness is done for a while and then I will have a bit more time.
One of the things that I have worked on is a weekly block quilt along with Beaquilter. Each Monday morning for 48 weeks she is posting the instructions for one block that will be finished as a sampler quilt.
Here are the first 29 blocks that I’ve done.
The fabric is from the first fat quarter bundle that I have ever purchased. For those of you that don’t know what a fat quarter bundle is, it’s a group of fabrics usually from one designer or collection that all goes together. I didn’t end up using this bundle for what I thought I was going to but wanted to use it up so here it is. I’m not sure this would have been my first choice for color or pattern but I don’t mind it and I know it will be fine when I’m all done.
It’s been a fun experience for me. Although I’ve done a lot of sewing over many years, I’ve never really quilted much. I’m enjoying the challenge and learning new things including accuracy and trying to put all those pieces together in the right order without getting confused and then ending up with the correct size block.
One of the things this has led to of course is fabric acquisition. Hmm like someone said, I can buy fabric faster than I can quilt. Oh well, it’s really nice to have options when I’m home sewing in the evening, need a quick gift, or just want to sew to “make” something. There seems to be always someone to give things to.
I guess I’ll stop here for now. I think if I plan just several short posts for a while, I’ll get caught up with all the things that I’ve made. Not so many quilts but lots of little things.
Well the last post I did about babies and the latest baby gift was hacked. Apparently I didn’t get the update applied in time and the post was deleted except for one picture. I do want a record of the things I’ve made on this blog so I can have a reference so I’m going to repost some of the pictures and text.
This is the quilt I’ve made for this new little boy. He’s arrived last week and his name is Parker. Such a sweet looking little boy and I’m looking forward to holding him and smell that sweet little baby smell.
I also made some drool bibs and a tag blanket as well as some pacifier clips.
I didn’t want to forget little sister. I suspect this might be a challenge for her. She is only 20 months and her place in the family is going to feel threatened. She’s now the middle child. So here is a baby doll and a blanket just for her.
Fun times for all. Big sister got a book. I don’t want to forget anyone.
More babies are coming. I’ve made a number of baby quilts and things in 2016 and already working on the first ones for 2017. I do like making baby things because they are fast and I can try different patterns and colors. I can then pass it on but I never really know if they will be used and most often I don’t hear anything or see them being used. Occasionally, I do hear that a quilt I’ve made is an important part of the bedtime routine. Once it’s out of my hands whatever will be will be but it’s nice to know it’s appreciated.
This quilt and the tag blanket and pacifier clips were for a surprise baby. The baby is anxiously being waited for by the family.
Baby baby, can’t you hear my heart beat… well not mine I guess but I’ve had lots of fun in the last couple of weeks sewing for my niece’s new baby girl. She actually will arrive in this world June 4th but I really didn’t want to wait. There are still more babies on the horizon. Not my own grandchildren yet, although maybe someday, but children of folks that I do know.
I made this new little girl a lovely “girlie” quilt. When I first started I knew the colors I wanted to use but when I cut the first pieces out it seemed too intense so I ended up cutting the strips of fabric and resewing and cutting again. I’m quite pleased with the result. It has produced a lovely quilt that is not too jarring but very sweet. It has this cute pink dancing bunny flannel on the back.
For the new baby there is also a tag blanket, a new burp rag and a darling sweater that my friend made for me to give her.
I had some leftover blocks and decided that I needed to make some fun gifts for the big sister too. Now the big sister is two and a half and loves to help her mommy. She is also a great imitator and has a wonderful imagination. I just knew the big sister needed to have a new baby doll of her own. With that baby doll, she needed a few necessities to take good care of the baby so I also made her a doll blanket for that precious baby, as well as a few diapers with velcro, some diaper wipes, and a diaper bag. She also has a soft colorful blanket to cover that baby doll so she won’t get cold.
The next step in my adventure was to match up the strips and the zippers. I knew that I wanted each of the zip pouches to be unique. I wanted the strips in pairs of patterns and also didn’t want to be too random and stuck at the end with odd color combinations of strips and zippers. I took the roll ups apart, matched two of the plain prints with a patterned print and then added a coordinating zipper. I laid them out on the cutting table about 20 at a time and them clipped them together with a binder clip and put them in a basket. My friend and co-director volunteered to sew the strips together and press the seams open. That was a life saver for sure! With a few strips isn’t not so bad but when you are talking in the neighborhood of 70 or so.. this accounts for some extras and several “test” pouches.
When I got the strips back from Linda, I cut the strips in half and restacked them with a layer of batting. At this point I could baste them and head for the sewing machine. Now it’s on to the next step.
Another baby quilt is finished. I’ve used tumbler blocks again I’m pleased with this one. The colors are not in my normal range of color choice but I do like the way it turned out. I don’t know if the baby will be a boy or a girl. I used ten different fabrics in this quilt and it made a better mix than the previous two. The pink one had seven fabrics and the red and blue one had five fabrics. I like both of the others but this one has a better balance and will be soothing for a baby. The back was an interesting dilemma as well. I had a remnant of one of the front fabrics but I knew it was short. I ended up adding two rows of blocks from the front. They fit in well. One thing that I had not thought about when I made the choice for the back was what the plaid would look like and if I could get it on straight. I ended up washing the fabric before I started because the fabric was stretched. It did straighten out well and I was able to get it straight enough that it looks good. The binding is pieced some of the quilt fabrics and was another good choice. Hope the mom likes it. In any case, it will be a good floor quilt and wash and wear well.
When I get the urge to sit and sew I often wish that I had things cut out so I could just “sit and sew”. it’s frustrating when you want to just sit at the machine and have to make a decision on what to sew and the fabric choice. Now really it’s about making a decision and some days it’s just too much trouble.
I came across this piece of linen that had a vintage print on it and it had already been lined with fleece. It was also a rectangle. On the spot I decided it was time to make a zip pouch. I have experimented with zipper installations. I want to know what goes the fastest and still looks good. I found some fabric for lining, cut a square of the same size, did a bit of quilting so the two were stuck together and made a zip pouch. It’s cute and I do love the fabric but am not entirely happy with the zipper. It looks ok and works fine but I like them better when they are a little more finished looking. That will be my afternoon project today. For now however, this will go in the pile of things until I need a gift of have a need for a pouch of this size.
The fall table runner is finished and I think it looks ok. When I added the oatmeal colored border it really helped pull it all together. It gives your eye a place to rest among all the busyness of the patterned fabric. The dark brown binding really finished off the runner by framing the entire mini quilt. It think it was a good choice. I also decided to try my hand at free motion quilting. I traced a stencil on the middle portion and then just did a rounded zig zag down the sides. It’s far from perfect but for the first time I felt it was acceptable and not so bad I had to rip it out and start again. I figure it’s on the table for only a month or two and no one really looks at the stitching but only the overall effect. I know this is how people get better at a skill but I was lamenting to a friend that it’s hard to admit that at my age I’m really just a beginner. When people get older I think there is a tendency to think you should be able to master a skill the first time and not have to start at the bottom of the skill level. Sort of a humbling reminder I guess. I did have great fun doing the free motion quilting however and really look forward to finishing more projects so I can do it again. I think it’s time to finish up the x’s and o’s quilt and see how I do on that one.
My first attempt at coasters was ok because they were cute. Yes, they are also functional but still didn’t really meet my needs as far as dealing with the condensation on the glass with all the ice cubes. Especially if it had been sitting for a while. Now I didn’t write about try number 2 bust basically what I did was use the apple squares and add a layer of microfiber dishtowel to the batting layer. This was a better solution but still not adequate. Here is try number three. I started not really knowing how big I was going to make this but I had been using a hot pad that was ok so I decided that a bigger version would work. My kitchen table is formica so getting the table wet wasn’t the problem so much as leaving water on the table so other items got wet. When I sit at the table, particularly for lunch or a break, I like to read. The condensation on the glass would get my book or magazine wet. After I got a Kindle it was suddenly more than just an annoyance but now was deemed a necessity to control the water. This time I started with a fan pattern. I’ve been thinking about trying one of these to see how I liked it. I also knew that I wanted to use some olive fabric that I had so I pulled some fabrics that would look good together and got started. These are colors that are a bit out of my comfort zone but it turned out fine and I think it will work. I used a layer of insulbrite which has a layer of foil between the batting and also a layer of microfiber kitchen towel. Because of the larger size and the different layers I’m thinking this should give me an all day solution to wet spots at the table.