Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Bird's Nest" Finished and for Sale!

This quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop here.

"Bird's Nest" is finished! That's what I decided to call the top I sewed up Sunday after finishing the monstrous Ocean Waves top.  Things have been quiet on the blog for the past week, but it isn't because I haven't been sewing. I just haven't had a chance to get out and take pictures as I've finished things. 
I LOVE the colors in this quilt! And I love that it is such a girly quilt without being pink and purple! Because there are some little girls (and some grown-up little girls who are now mommies) who just aren't "in to" pink and purple.  I was never a pink-and-purple girl myself.  The colors scheme for the scraps I chose came completely from the focus fabric.  It's a great mix of blues, turquoise, greens, reds, oranges, and yellows on a modern white background.
I decided to quilt this using large overlapping circles.  It didn't take to long to do and the effect is so cool. Wherever the circles overlap they make a flower shape. Perfect for a little girl quilt. When I washed and dried the quilt it krinkled, but didn't lose its softness.
The backing in another orange and teal flower print, again, totally girly and totally NOT pink.  To stretch it far enough to cover the back I mixed in some of the same orange shot-cotten that appears in the front.  The binding is a stripe that has most of the colors of quilt in it, from orange to green. I cut it on the bias and machine stitched it down to the front and back.
This is the first quilt I've ever put a label on and I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

The quilt measures 54" square, just the right size for a toddler bed or just for snuggling with.  If you are interested in owning this quilt please check out its Etsy listing and convo me if you have any questions!

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Salt Water" The Ocean Waves Quilt is DONE!!!

 The Ocean Waves quilt, now officially named "Salt Water" is finished! The picture above is the closet I could get to a photo of the whole thing.  There's about 18" more hanging over the back of the swing. Prepare yourself for a picture heavy post.  I am pretty darn proud of this baby :) 
My LQS had this great sailing theme fabric on sale a while back. I didn't get enough to do the whole back, but it covered about half.
864 2" HSTs to make one twin-size quilt; somehow the triangles look smaller now that it is quilted and washed.  Prior to shrinking in the wash this quilt measured 64"x72", a modest twin.  Despite that, it is probably the most ambitious quilt I have ever taken on. The only one that would be close would be the Carpenter's Star quilt I made last Christmas with its abundance of Y-seams.
It says "The cure for anything is salt water- sweat, tears, or the sea." Isak Dinesen.
I work at an embroidery shop, so I was able to sew up a panel for the back with this classic quote.  I set it with some variegated blue fabric and two novelty sailing fabrics.  The recipient of this quilt is a tall ship sailor, so the nautical theme is perfect for him.  I did sew up four copies of this panel since that's how many the machine can run at once. I still have 3 more in various shades of blue to play with, so who knows what projects those may turn up in later ;)
The blues for this came exclusively from scraps I have picked up over the years, mostly from remnants bins. I was actually surprised how small of a dent it made in my overflowing collection of blue fabrics.  There's a denim like fabric in here, two different shot cottons (my favorites!), a blue plaid, and a few different small prints.  The combination of them all together looks better than I ever hoped.

I quilted this with wavy horizontal lines.  I suppose they look like waves.  Mostly I just wanted something curvy that would break up the straight lines of the HSTs.  I quilted it pretty densely; some of the lines cross over each other and others don't.  Fortunately, it was pretty quick quilting after such a long piecing time.  It krinkled up amazingly after a wash and dry. Maybe because of all the different small pieces? I don't know, but I like it!
Another gratuitous shot of the quilting in the light.
I love this quilt.  Plain and simple.  It would be hard to give it away if it were going to just anyone, but I'm pretty fond of this boy, too :)  This quilt is proof to me, if there ever was one, that when quilting it's not worth it to get caught up in the details.  The points of all those HSTs are "approximate" in a lot of places.  A lot of them are right on, while others are off as much as a quarter of an inch.  Because I skipped over trimming to HSTs my blocks ended up slightly large and when trimmed down to 8.5" square it was impossible to make the points meet perfectly where they came together.  If you look too closely at these pictures you'll see what I'm talking about.

But I don't care :)  This quilt looks great from 10 feet, and nobody who's going to be looking at it close up will care about the misaligned points.   It's worth every bit of the time and effort that went in to it and I love that it looks homemade and invites cuddles.  I couldn't be more happy.  Well, scratch that, when I give this to its new owner, that will be the happiest moment.
A parting shot.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scrappy Quilt in the Spotlight

 This isn't a new quilt, in fact it's one of the very first quilts I ever made.  It's old enough to have some stains and signs of wear.  But, it deserved better pictures than the ones I had of it so today was the day.  During the summer months this hangs over the rail on the stairs, but this time of year it goes on my bed.
 You can read more about the details of making this quilt at its original post here but basically I had some oddly shaped scraps left from an Authentic jelly roll after making another, smaller quilt.  Almost all of the scraps I had were various sized triangles made up themselves of strips sewn together.  I didn't want to throw them away, so what else to do but try to reassemble them?
 Nothing is regular on this quilt. None of the blocks are the same size, I built them up with the muslin sashing to even them out.  I had 6 whole strips left from the jelly roll, so those became the borders on the offset squares. This was the quilt where I discovered the magical joy that is setting blocks on point to make a larger quilt.
 I quilted it with diagonal not-quite-straight lines at unevenly spaced intervals, also the first quilt I tried that technique on. It's now a favorite of mine.  The borders were bought on sale and JoAnn's and before I knew it I had a generous twin size quilt from scraps.
Like I said before, this is the quilt that goes on my bed during winter.  It's warm and snuggly and I love the colors and the scrappiness of the top.  It's perfect :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Merry and Bright

Yes I know it's early, but I was in the mood to get in the attic and drag everything out, so I figured I'd better take advantage of it.  The past several years we haven't had a shred of Christmas decoration because we've all been so tired by the time the holidays come, the last thing we want to do it go to the trouble of decorating.  This year though I've made up my mind: We are going to participate in Christmas, lights and tree and all.  I got out one of our antique quits to use as a tree skirt and Wilson has already made himself at home under the tree.  So, here's hoping all is well where you are and all is Merry and Bright :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sunday Afternoon quilt

 After finishing the Ocean Waves flimsy I had the itch bad to piece something quick and simple.  So, Sunday I whipped up this sweet little baby quilt.  I've had most of these fabrics forever. One of the rare times I bought several cuts from the same fabric line that all went together.  Having stared at them long enough, I decided it was finally time to do something about it.
The focal fabric is this great bird print with teals, oranges, and greens.  I cut the focal fabric into large squares and cut rectangles from the coordinates plus some additional fabrics from my stash.  It's undeniably girly, but NOT pink and purple.  I love that.  I'm planning to put this one in my Etsy shop when it's done.

It measures 54" square and I can't tell you how good it felt to finish a top in a day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I did it!!

From a bin full of HSTs to a completed top, 2016 pieces later, Ocean Waves is finally a flimsy! By the time I realized how insane this project was I was already too far in to quit. My plan to finish was to get done before I could realize how overwhelming the amount of piecing was.
864 HSTs ready to become a top
It was definitely a long haul, but today I was able to sew, press, and trim the final blocks and get the whole things assembled. By the end I was able to sew (16) 2.5" units into a 8.5" block in less than 10 minutes, a major improvement over my pace at the beginning. Surprisingly (although perhaps not...) I think the single most time consume element of this whole process was pressing all those seams open.
A shot of part of the back

The next step is putting together the back and layering for quilting. Fortunately, I am planning a simple, quick quilting pattern for this monster!