One of the first quilts I made was from necessity. We had just moved daughter #2 into a big girl bed and didn’t have a bedspread or anything that would fit. We bought an imported bed, these were pre Ikea days, and it was a bit narrower and longer than a conventional twin bed. It was also closer to the floor. Perfect for a toddler and a fitted bottom sheet but I couldn’t find anything that was toddler friendly for the top. I can remember putting the sewing machine on the dining room table and spending the day sewing. This was after shopping for a pattern and fabric. At that time we had a wonderful quilt store here in downtown Edmonds. I loved to go in there and just look at all the fabrics. It was housed in cute little older home in the downtown area. I picked out a sunbonnet Sue pattern and a few fabrics, came home, cut them out and sewed them together. Those were in the early days of fusible web so I think I cut them all out, layered them and appliqued the pieces by machine and then layered the quilt all with straight pins and tried to stitch it all together. I used a white flat sheet for the back so that dictated the size for the front. Kim loved it and loved playing with the feet which were not stitched down but were loose, hence the name the foot foot quilt. It was used for many years but actually still looks good even with all the daily use. I’m thinking about putting it back on the bed and remembering all those fun years of little girls.
Well, the wedding quilt is done. Not without some angst however. It’s not perfect but I doubt anyone but me will care and probably will not notice. The real challenge came when I washed the quilt after taking some lovely pictures. Into the wash it went and along with the quilt I tossed in some of the Shout Color Catchers. I know that the batik has such bold colors that there was a possibility of bleeding but I didn’t know how many times they really needed to be washed before the color wouldn’t bleed. After the first wash and tossing in the dryer I thought it was fine. The color catchers really did catch some color. It was not until I pulled it out of the dryer however that I realized the many of the dark purple squares had bled all over the white. It made me feel sick to think that maybe this fabric hadn’t been washed and now ruined all my work. After thinking about it for a while I decided that I wasn’t out anything if I tried to remove the purple from the white. I used stain stick and Clorox2 and washed it three more times. I ended up adding 3 color catchers each time as well. After the third wash I put the quilt in the dryer. When I pulled it out it was warm and dry and for the most part the purple was all gone and the colors were still bright. If you look closely and you know it’s there on a few of the squares you can still see a bit of duskiness but it really looked ok. What a relief! I’m not sure if that purple fabric never got washed or if the color was so dark that there was more color to bleed out. I guess I’ll know that next time I use such a dark batik that I need to be more careful.
The next challenge was how to wrap it and send it. Now these are young California professionals and transplants from Washington so they believe in a “green” lifestyle. This was a soft and squishy quilt and it was going in a box so I decided to pack it in a market bag and add a bow and now they will have two gifts. It’s in the mail and I’m on to different projects.
I love cold water with lots of ice but it makes a mess on the table. so I guess glasses will still drip but they won’t leave a mess on the table any more. It finally occurred to me that I didn’t have to keep using napkins or towels to clean up the mess but I could make coasters. When I was walking through the fabric store today I saw this print with apples. They were about 4″ squares and I knew I could cut them apart and they would make great coasters so I took a few minutes tonight and made a couple and now I’m off to try them out.
I’ve made it this far. It’s in the machine being quilted. It’s a bit bulky to fit through the machine but so far so good and I think (hope) it will go quickly and without too many problems. I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok if it’s not perfect. I’m not entering it in a contest to be judged, it’s just going to be used to cuddle on the couch with and that will be fine!
My friend the seam ripper (unfortunately) has been used several times in the last few days. First it was the iron spitting brown stuff on one of the sashing strips. I was able to sponge most of it off but after a good night sleep, I decided it really did need to be replaced. First thing this morning that’s what I did. I also started some clothes washing, washed the sheet that I am going to use for the backing, cut all the sashing strips for the rows and cut all of the binding strips. That is after I checked my measurements many times. I’ve now started to sew all the rows together and guess what I discovered. I sewed the nine patch square to the wrong side. In other words upside down which meant that I ended up with two squares of the same fabric together. I was going to start ripping off the sashing and flip it around when I realized that if I chose a different seam, I would only have to rip or unsew as some say, one seam rather than two. So I’m sitting here ripping seams and ripping a book CD to my computer so I can put it on my iPod and listen to a story while I sew. I do have a tv in my sewing room and do watch that but when I’m sewing it’s really more about listening rather than watching. So hard to watch the seams and the TV. Now I’ve finished the seam and ready to head back to the machine before I have to go and help my mother. She’s then going to come here for dinner. Ribs and corn on the cob. Should be yummy!
I’m on to another project before I finish my own lap quilt. I have another wedding gift to make. I almost have the top pieced and then I can add the batting and quilt. I think it will look fine once I have the sashing on and the binding but as with all projects… time will tell.
Been a while since I’ve updated this blog. I’ve been busy with things like a trip to Portland, getting ready for camp, Father’s Day and trips to the ER with a sick kid upgrading a computer and oh yes, a bit of work, laundry and other assorted items.. All interesting in different ways! None of this however has kept me from investing in a bit of fabric and doing a bit of sewing.
I have almost all of the rows together for my x’s and o’s quilt and am anxious to get back to that. This probably isn’t going to be the week for that however. Probably not until the end of month. I have also started another project. It’s called The Farmers Wife Quilt Sampler Quilt. I’ve been watching as folks all over blog land have been joining this quilt along and I decided that maybe I should do this at my own pace. It’s based on letters from 1920 farm wives and it contains 111 blocks they inspired. Bloggers I have noticed have talked about doing 2 blocks a week and so far I’ve had fun. I’ve just finished my first 4. Here again, there will probably be no more until close to the end of the month but I look forward to the process. I’ve enjoyed it for several reasons. I think it’s been a bit more like fashion sewing because there is a specific pattern and template pieces. It has been interesting to try to keep the accuracy up as I trace and cut the pieces with the scissors but I’ve enjoyed the very small projects and sense of accomplishment when they are done.
We are still waiting for summer to arrive but at least today there was sun. We were out for a drive and bought some fresh fruit so I think tomorrow there will be strawberry jam. I just unearthed the jam jars from the storage room and now have to go and read the directions on the pectin box. I’ll make freezer jam and will probably need to go and buy some sugar and lemon juice before I start.
More fun to follow.
Well, finally after a long time I’ve finished the first row of this quilt top. I’m pleased with the way it’s coming together and the squares are all fairly even. I decided I need to use the same foot with the same settings and then all the seams are the same width and much easier to line up. When I was sewing clothing there didn’t seem to be so many decisions but I suppose the reality was that I had done that for so long I didn’t really think about the tools, only the process. I really think the next quilt will go faster because there will not be so much decision making involved when I get to the actual sewing process. Now I have to finish cutting the sashing strips for the rest of the quilt and I can finish this part and move on. I’ve done the math, ironed the fabric and look forward to the finish.
Well this round of gifts is done. I’m just heading to the post office to mail the graduation card and gifts to my niece. I’m actually quite pleased. The little purse/bag is cute and I think she will find very functional and useful as she travels. The shoe bags will help keep the wedding attire that she is also packing clean and who can’t use a cute little snap pouch. This is one that you use the carpenter ruler in the top. It was fast and easy to put together. It probably took more time to cut out the pieces and the interfacing and fleece that it did to sew it all together. There are a couple of things I will do differently next time such as where I start the quilting and how I do the bottom but really for the first time, it was a success.
Oh it was a good day today in Seattle. The weather was great and we were able to have the shower outside at my sister in laws house. Happy Day! The guests were in a good mood and the bride to be was pleased. I made hot pads and cute plaid napkins to go with the placemats and towels. I was pleased that they seemed to be well received. Next event… well I think I’m going to see if I can finish the quilt top that I’ve started and then work on a couple of things for camp. Busy busy busy.