Charity Quilt

It is much easier for me to give quilts to charity than knitwear. It doesn’t take as much time and effort to make a quilt.

Every year LAMQG chooses a charity. This year it is Harvest Home, a haven fro homeless pregnant women and the babies that are born there.

I have leftover blocks and plenty of fabric, so it was time to get working.

img_5760 I had heard of the method Headers and Enders, as a way of creating quick blocks  as an afterthought.  Bonnie Hunter popularized this method. It didn’t make sense to me until I heard her speak about it on a podcast. I won’t explain it here, go to her blog.

I have quite a few 2.5″ blocks and it’s very easy for me to cut more on my Accuquilt.

p1170121I can’t do straight forward scrappy, I need a plan. So here we go, take an orphan block and build a border out of these newly made blocks.

img_5877My decision is to have two sides cool colors, blue-greens. the other two sides warm – yellows and reds.img_5880I went to LAMQG sew day and finished up this top.  This is happy and bright, should keep any baby not only warm but stimulated.

p1170302The quilting itself is a very basic free motion quilting. I think it took me maybe an hour to quilt. I always find that it really is the quilting that brings it all together.

p1170304Plain backing. I did add my label. I made this after all.

p1170301Sun sparkling on the surface of these scrappy squares is lovely.

p1170305One of these days this hippo will be gifted to someone. Until then, he gets a place of honor on my quilts.

Next meeting I will be very happy to hand over the quilt and hope that it becomes a cherished heirloom for someone.



Another project I started a while ago that I can finally share.

My friend Mandy is having a daughter in a month, she and her husband already chose the beautiful name Violet.  You know what that means as far as my quilt goes.P1060500I don’t have a lot of purple fabrics, which means off to the store I went. notice the stripped fabric, I did have that in my stash. I cut the half-square triangles on my wonderful GO, which of course made the project a breeze.P1060561There are different ways of achieving this chevron.  Sorry, the color here is a little too blue.P1060710Front.P1060715Back, notice how blurry the stripes get on camera. Which is why you will never see a stripped shirt on TV – it’s crazy making. I do like how  quilting shows up nicely on the back.P1060707On the front, straight lines for the print chevron, fmq for the solid color.P1060718Side view.P1070207Of course, there is a label, with room for Mandy and Pat to put in the actual birth date.IMG_3066At the shower, opening the gift, yes, Mandy was thrilled.IMG_3065I love it when a quilt is well received, not hard when you are giving something for another crafty person.  Hope to get a picture of Violet on this quilt at some time soon.


Clamshell finished, Field of Flowers

IMG_2980I have really enjoyed sewing all these clamshells together. The instructions were very good, after a while I was able to sew without any pins.P1070219My Field of Flowers is done.  I went row by row placing the clamshells, I know there are people who simply add them willy nilly and the end result is great. I needed a more controlled placement.  Here is the quilt before I squared it off.P1070228For the back I used my least favorite of the fabrics in the quilt, I want to be able to use my favorite fabrics in other projects.  The binding was also made of leftovers.  Btw, this little owl pincushion holds my hand sewing needles. When when one has a lot of pin cushions…P1070231Done! I did a combination of walking foot and FMQ. Yes, it’s crazy, most people will never see it. I did the walking foot on my Babylock because I wanted a wavy stitch. I DO NOT like this Babylock anymore and one of these days will trade it in. It worked ok, but nothing like the JUKI.  I used the Juki for a handful of clamshells that I free motioned.P1070233P1070232In these two examples, if you look closely you can see the difference. Yes, I look closely at these things, I have other friends who will appreciate this as well.P1070237The back looks like this because I was using up fabric and piecing it to fit, no other reason.P1070236And here is my little label. I also need to embroider a nicer label, but this is a start. Now to wash it and put it out in the living room, another quilt for someone to cuddle with.  I think Shira will really like this.



Have I mentioned how much I love my Juki TL2010Q? The quilting was just so much fun.close up of quiltingHere is the section of the background.  Doing swirls and circles. It just went so smoothly. I used Aurifil thread. Yes, it’s the go to thread for quilters these days and I’m on the band wagon.fmq on my JukiWhen I quilt, things are much more bunched up, but hey, here you can see quilted vs. the unquilted section yet to come.P1020396I used a special quilting  ruler and a special quilting foot to get the straight lines.P1020426I did not switch to the walking foot, two many turns.  I love all the other quilters and crafters with blogs, I learn so much about the different tools out there. This ruler and 1/4″ thick quilting foot really make  a difference. Using quilting gloves helps as well.quilting feet for Juki TL2010qI needed a special quilting foot as well. The one on the right came with the machine, you can see it has a thin narrow  foot that sits on the quilt.  It would just slip under the ruler and that defeats the whole purpose. I paid a lot of money for the foot on the left, simply because it stated that this is for the Juki,  I am being very careful not to use something that might damage the machine.  As you can see, the foot part is 1/4″ thick itself and glides smoothly next to the ruler.P1020415Quilting done! My SIL mentioned that the straight lines reinforce the box-car while the swirls look like smoke.Box-cars on the RailsI bound the quilt with the solids, a nice colorful touch.P1020417Spiderman has place of honor on the back. I put a line of box cars there as well, I actually like how they blend into the background fabric. And of course, the remainder of the train tracks.P1020420Just a close-up of the quilting from the back.

The spray-basting worked! I don’t have creases on either the front or back. I have since learned a few new tricks that I will use on the next quilt I need to baste. Always learning, there is never a point where I can say I know it all.

So it appears the project is done, not quite. I need to make a label as well as do a final wash. I really want to see how pre washing the batting affects the quilt. That will happen very soon.

Linked at Freshly Pieced


Urban Nine Patch – finished

I sat down, quilted, binded and put on the label. Oh and of course took pictures.Here it is in all it’s glory. This picture was taken before I washed the quilt. Yes nice crisp lines. P1020057P1020060Here is a close up, you can’t really see the quilting on the prints, except for the straight  lines in the large grey areas.  Yay for a walking foot and a machine that cuts the thread itself. I’m talking about my Juki.Back of UNPThe back is made up of the leftover fabrics from the piecing. So once again, quilting is not obvious.P1020052You get the idea of what the quilting looks like.  Initially this quilt was meant for me. I had made the blue/grey quilt for Joel so this was going to be my, cuddle up quilt.  I was posting pictures along the way on FB and before I knew it, a good friend claimed it. It is her colors! She wants this quilt and is willing to exchange a piece of art for it.

I don’t sell my quilts. I have given baby quilts as gifts but this is a full size quilt and the time and effort put in are much more than a baby quilt. An exchange, now there is an idea, I said yes.

If this were a wall hanging, there would be no need to wash it. Since it will be used as a quilt should be – I washed it.  I don’t want the new owner to have any surprises if down the road she decides to wash it herself.UNP cornerHere it is washed.  What’s the difference you ask?Before and after washing a quiltThe top is unwashed, the bottom, after washing. Now you can really see the difference.  I didn’t prewash the fabric, I used 100% cotton batting. Then threw it in the washing machine and dryer and this is the result.  The quilt shrunk a little but it is also much softer and cozier. You can see the quilting in action, how it makes everything much more three dimensional.UNP labelA quilt isn’t really finished until there is a label. It’s the artist signature, name and date.Close up of labelThis is why I still need the Babylock machine. It does basic embroidery, which is a nice easy way to make a label.

Next week I will show this off to my Quilt Guild and then it’s going across the country to Connecticut to my friend Lynne.  When I get the artwork from her, I’m sure I’ll post about that as well.


FMQ (free motion quilting) a large quilt on a home sewing machine

I’m new to making videos and putting them up on youtube. But hey, the only way to learn how to do it – is to do it. I’m sure I will get better at zooming in on my actual work, but for now, you can see me in action on a large quilt.

I follow other blogs and am very impressed with FMQ that people are doing, but rarely do you see them working on a large quilt. It’s fun to practice on something small, but here you have a chance to see how I deal with the big bulky quilt, stopping, moving, readjusting.

While taking Angela Waters Quilting feathers  she showed a wonderful new tool to me. The Grip & stitch. These replace those quilting gloves that I find hard to use. What a difference these make.  I really feel like I have control now, with a lot more experience, my FMQ will shine.




Cars and Stars

For some reasons the pregnant women I know these days are all having boys. They need quilts but must have a boy theme. Once again, in that wonderful stash from Barbara I find many wonderful car and transportation fabric.
I wanted to try some paper piecing, a method using paper template pieces while putting a block together. The central blocks really needed this treatment, the others, no so much, but I was on a roll.Cars and stars, paper piecingTo get the sharp points and accuracy, paper worked like a charm.Layout for Cars and starsOne of the things I love about quilting is putting the puzzle together. I had no plan, just making the blocks and then trying to see the best way for them to make a cohesive, eye pleasing design.finished cars and starsI’m very pleased with how this worked out.  Symmetry and a center motif that is similar but not.quilting stars and carsQuilting on a dark background is wonderful, hides many mistakes, unfortunately, unless the light is shinning directly on it – you don’t see the details. Of course this is a baby quilt, not an art piece. I enjoyed the process, baby should simply enjoy the softness and the bright colors.Back of Cars and StarsBack must be as bright as the front, also here is a chance to showcase some of the fabrics that were cut into small patches on the front.Cars and stars labelA quilt must have a label. I used the old Babylock Quest for the machine embroidery. Yes that machine still has very important used. I also left enough space for mom to add the name and birth date of the baby.  Notice the dark print on the back?  I used the reverse side of this fabric as the background on the front of the quilt.                            Yes that caused a lot of problems and ripping out. Since my brain kept going back to – pattern is the front of fabric. I’d piece two patches together and duh! I wanted the solid side on the front. So rip and start over. Luckily I had a lot of this fabric and still do.Gifting Cars and StarsSorry about the quality of this picture. Lauren is a member of my knitting guild and boy did we ever throw her a baby shower. Here she is admiring the quilt.          Since then her son was born (missing my birthday by 16 minutes!) I have no idea if his name is on the back yet, babies take up much more time than anyone expects.