Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yellow Zig Zag Quilt

I've been waiting to post about this quilt until I could take a picture of the final product, but every time I think about it, the wind is blowing or it's dark outside. Here it is at last.

The pattern is from http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/. Look on the right column, it's the last of the tutorials. Her finished quilt was 46x61. I added some extras on one side to make a 60ish square. I was using up yellow stash fabric, much of which was 1/8th yard pieces that I'd bought for applique. Some of my stripes are made up of 2 or 3 different yellows in the same color intensity.

I started cutting this quilt out on a Saturday, when my fingers were too sore to quilt another stitch by hand. I put a couple hours Sunday finished the strip sets (yellow/white 5.5" squares). It took another session to put together all the squares. I pressed the seams to the dark fabric, which made pressing a challenge as the seams were in seemingly random directions. If I were to make this one again, I think I'd press the seams open. The cutting and piecing can easily be done in one weekend.

I decided to try using a sheet for the backing fabric as well as the neutral color on the front. I had a new 300 thread count twin sheet and used a seam ripper to un-sew the sides of the sheet, then washed it. I figure this gave me enough extra fabric, compared to if I'd cut off the hems, to be equal to 27" of a 45" wide material. I was hoping that there would be enough fabric for the white strips on the front as well as the backing, but fell a little short. Ended up adding a 10" piece of light yellow to get the backing back to 63" square. I'm fairly pleased with the results on the front of the quilt. The sheet fabric is more prone to wrinkling than quliting fabrics, which looks good if the quilting is fairly close together, but not so good with widely spaced stitching. (Who am I kidding....I ALWAYS over-quilt)

I used the spray basting for this quilt. It worked OK since the quilt was kept relatively flat throughout the process. I used a walking foot, and quilted in the ditch, then 3 more lines between, by eye, following the zig zag. The other new product that I used was the Bamboo/Cotton batting. It definitely has a softer drape than 100% cotton, and still shrinks a little, adding to the old fashioned look that I like.

I like this quilt well enough to consider making it in black and raspberry.

Next pieced quilt in the line up is a Blue & White, Stash Fabric, Double Irish Chain. I have strips cut. Put together some of the strip sets, but messed up the order on one of the 3, so seams will have to be unpicked and resewn. I'm also certain that I don't have enough of the 2 main fabrics that I'm using, so there will be some creative piecing options as the quilt grows.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Stuff

I'm working on the yellow & white zig zag quilt and decided to try some new products.

Dritz Quilting Spray Adhesive.
The claim: temporary adhesive spray for bonding fabric or paper. eliminates basting & pinning
My experience: First was sticker shock. It was about $15 for a 6.2 oz can. I used it to baste the 22" Baltimore Block. I hand quilted this block without any type of frame. There was some shifting of the layers which caused the front to have more slack than the back. This caused an increased poofiness between the stiching lines. It looks good on this particular quilt, but I would hesitate to use it in the future using the same technique. I like it much better on the zig-zag quilt. It's a 60" square with straight line machine quilting using a walking foot.

Bamboo Batting
The claim: 50% Antibacterial Bamboo fiber 50% organic cotton, luxuriously soft, renewable resources.
My experience: 50% more expensive than 100% cotton. Does have a nice soft feel. Less prone to wrinkles in the batting when layering. It appears to drape more than cotton does. I'll know better if it's worth the extra $ after the quilt is bound and washed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baltimore Album Style Applique

This block design is a variation of one from Elly Lienkiewicz's Baltimore Beauties and Beyond series. I changed the urn to a cut glass vase, and omitted the birds and some buds or fruits that were just inside the drooping leaves. Otherwise, it follows Elly's pattern.

I made this for my sister-in-law Diane. Back in the 90's I had set a goal to make a quilt for each of my siblings (4 ) and then my husband's (also 4). I was not a very prolific quilter in the years that my children were young, but fairly recently found myself in a position to consider the in-laws quilts. (OK...they are really Outlaws....you know, the kind that are wanted...) Anyway...the first of the sis-in-laws to get any quilting from me was Stephanie. I made a traditional English Piecing style Grandmother's Flower Garden pillow after a visit to her house when I discovered a stylistic addiction to decorator throw pillows. It was at that point that I realized there was a much better chance of my making very elaborate pillows, than original design quilts (as is my habit.) Add to that the criteria that I never make anything for a quilter that she might consider making for herself.

Ergo...Hand applique, needle turn, 20" mini-quilt/pillow. The total bouquet is 10.5" square. Those itty bitty flower centers are .25" max. Yes. I'm nuts. The good news is that by comparison, some of my old frustrating projects now seem easy.

Why the blog?

After enjoying and stealing ideas from other quilt bloggers, I decided it was time to start my own for several reasons.
1) I wanted to join the http://dontlooknow.typepad.com/dont_look_now/ Joseph's Coat quilt along and needed a url to sign up.
2) Friends and acquaintances keep asking to see the quilts I keep talking about.
3) My "bucket list" includes finding and organizing photos of the quilts that I've made, since they are scattered across the country.
4) Accountability. I have a goal to finish at least 6 quilts that have been on my "to do" list, by next summer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blogging...Another Addiction?

OK. This might be a really bad idea. I'm already addicted to applique....do I dare risk blogging?