Friday, February 16, 2018

Squirrel! (or Penguin)

Something happened on my way to putting prairie points on the Vintage Sparkle quilt.  While I was pondering the best way to do it (turns out it would have been better to put them on before the quilting, but that's another post) I got distracted. Squirrel!

Two patterns got jumbled together with some appropriate fabrics to fulfill a few of my daughter's quilty wishes:  penguins, Cuddle, and high school colours.

Orange and black are the school colours.  Grey is not official but I figured if the choir robes and marching band uniforms could use grey I could too.

The Penguin has nothing at all to do with the school.  Laura, however, has been hinting about a quilt featuring penguins for a very long time, so here he is.  He is "The Proper Penguin" by Robinson Pattern Company, and he is made of Cuddle fabric because she has been hinting very strongly about Cuddle too.  The Midnight Wolf (or Samoyed, in my case) worked out well this summer so I knew this would be a pretty quick addition to the quilt.

The letters are from Jaybird Quilts' book Alphabet Soup.  They were fun to put together and I'd like to play with more words when I have a bit more time.

I had planned to piece a few for the back of the quilt too, but time is an issue.  I am fitting this in as something fun between "work" projects, but I also want it done in time for her to take on the bus for band tour in March, so I think a plain back is more realistic right now.  Maybe I'll quilt the words in instead of piecing them on the back.

The layout is all mine, though it is Plan B.  Plan A was dreamed up at 2 AM when I couldn't sleep, and it turns out that even if I'm awake at 2 AM my math skills are not.  The name was supposed to be horizontal with the penguin at the end.  I have no idea how I though that would all fit across the quilt, because the name alone barely fit!  That's OK.  I think Plan B turned out much better in the end.

One month to band tour.  I think I can get it quilted by then...

Friday, February 2, 2018

TBT - Matt's Houses

Do you have quilts from your pre-blogging days that you would like to share with the world? My friend Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Lemon is hosting Throwback Thursday linky parties for these quilts on the first Thursday of each month.  This month's linky is today (yes it's Friday, but check out her blog for all the good reasons it got bumped to Friday).

For my first TBT post I chose the second quilt I ever made.  The colors in the picture are very poor.  The borders and cornerstones are actually green, and there are both red and orange houses.  The black houses are actually green.  All the fabrics are flannel.

Matt's House Quilt
Matt's House Quilt, 2 years in the making, finished Dec 2003

In order to finish my first quilt, I acquired the book "The Quilting Bible" by The Singer Sewing Reference Library (1997 edition).  It's still on my shelf, and I still think it's a great beginner/intermediate reference.  It contains some patterns to illustrate/practice the skills it discusses.  My son was two or three years old when I got this book and he pored over the pictures.  He decided the quilt "Houses" was fabulous, so that's the project I dove into when I finally finished that first quilt.

I learned a lot from this quilt.  The biggest lesson was about seam allowances.  It turned out my presser foot was not in fact a 1/4" foot.  Who knew?  Happily, I figured this out when I wisely made a test block and it turned out significantly smaller than it was supposed to be.  (The discarded block became a quilt for the much loved, originally named Brown Puppy stuffed toy.)

The related lesson was that allowing for an extra bit of fabric is not a bad idea.  I was on a very tight budget so calculated my fabric needs as closely as possible.  I did not have enough extra to cut extra pieces for an extra house block, and I wasn't familiar with the operation of a seam ripper yet.  Alright then.  How about an alternate block?

This was my very first attempt at drafting a block myself and offered a lovely opportunity to personalize the quilt.  I quilted my son's name in there as though that block was planned all along. Every other bed quilt I have made for my kids since then has their name quilted somewhere.  And this post reminds me that I need to figure out where to quilt my daughter's name on the current hand quilting project...

I also made my very first pieced quilt back.  After the ladies at the quilt shop talked me into a woodsy print flannel for the back, they discovered there wasn't enough on the bolt so they then talked me into adding the plaid flannel to the top.  I ended up adding some to the bottom as well so it didn't look quite so accidental.

I hand quilted this quilt in the ditch.  I know now that 1/4" away from the seams would have been easier.  Also, two layers of flannel makes it hard to make small stitches so I shouldn't have been so critical of my efforts!

I was very proud of my binding, but looking at it now it seems really wide. You can see I can fit a penny on the back of it! How wide did I cut this?

If you compare the first and second pictures in this post,you can see the colors have faded a lot, but it was a well-loved and used quilt and I'm OK with that.

I hope you will go link up a post about one of your pre-blogging quilts. It's fun to see how skills and tastes have changed, and wonderful to read the stories behind the quilts!

Linking up with
Throwback Thursday at mmm!quilts