Monday, February 27, 2012

A Scrappy Half Square Triangle Quilt!

Time seems to have flown by!  Since getting my bionic knee in September, several holidays have passed, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, and even MLK Day!  I didn't work full time during my recovery, but I did go to physical therapy five days a week!  I'm happy to report, finally, that I have graduated (again) from therapy!  Yes, I even have a t-shirt to prove it!  The downside to this, however, is that I have been released for full duty work!  So, for the past few days I have been working...NIGHTS!  I haven't worked the night shift for a very, very long time.  So, not only am having to get used to work again, I have to adjust to vampire hours!  Anyway, I wanted to update you on a few of the things going on in my personal life.

As for things going on in my sewing life, you should know I still have the quilting bug.  As you may know, I made my first quilt a few weeks ago.  It was appliqued.  After that, I made a small art quilt.  So I decided I should try a traditional quilt next.  After looking through many books and searching the internet for inspiration, I decided to do a scrappy half square triangle quilt using white and colored fabric from my stash.  Once I started cutting the first several squares, I could see a hot pink color theme beginning.  I decided to go with this.

Sorry, it's a weird angle shot.  Here I have laid out 88 half square triangles.  I actually cut 104, but  decided 88 was the best layout design.  Next I sewed them together.

Starting to look pretty cool right?  I decided to add borders.  First, a scrappy border.

See it on the left edge?  I also added hot pink borders to the top, bottom, and sides.  

The top and bottom borders are wider than the sides.  The quilt top is now complete and measures in at 42 1/2" X 60."  It's my biggest quilt so far!  Now I just need to get started on the backing, which will be white.  Then, make my quilt sandwich, baste it, and then start quilting!  That's the scary part.  Do I want to attempt quilting this one?  If so, how?  Straight lines?  Stippling?  Free motion?  Any suggestions?  

I hope you all have a terrific Monday!  I'm off to bed!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

An Art Quilt

It's official.  I've got the quilting bug.  Since finishing my Baby Bird and Bunting quilt, I've been searching out and reading up on directions, designs, and patterns for my next project.  I've checked out library books and even watched a few quilting shows on television.  Honestly, I've wanted to make a quilt forever, but have been too scared of messing up to even try.  Since finishing the baby quilt, however, I've gotten a bit of a confidence boost and am now ready to go "all in" on quilting.  As a matter of fact, I've made my first art quilt.  It's a small wall hanging that was inspired by this mini quilt I saw on the back of one of my Sew Somerset magazines.

Isn't that adorable!  I've probably seen that picture a hundred times, but never thought about attempting it until now.  I started by sketching the girl and table.

Next, I had to decide on colors and fabrics.  Again, for me, the hardest part of the process!  I traced my sketches onto freezer paper and ironed each piece to fabrics.  I pieced the red and white fabrics together and then ironed fusible batting to the backside.  I then used a decorative stitch on my machine to "draw" soft gray lines vertically on the white fabric.  I stitched straight black horizontal lines on the red fabric.  I positioned the freezer paper pieces on top and determined placement and then stitched the black lines for the bunting.

The bunting triangles actually took forever to sew around.  Before sewing, I adhered them to the fabric using fusible web.  Big help!  After completing the bunting, I sewed around the girl, table and cake.  

I eventually sewed more lines to add depth and texture to the dress.  I stamped "Live for Today" on a piece of fabric and sewed it to the bottom of the quilt.  I spray basted a back piece of fabric to the top and quilted it using invisible thread.  I bound it using the fold over technique.  And the result....

See the little button on her waist?  It is vintage and was a gift from a super special friend of mine.  Love it!

Have a great weekend!

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

My First Quilt: DONE!

It's done!  I worked all week on it and finished up my first quilt Saturday night.  I ran into a few hiccups along the way, but overall I'm happy with how it turned out.  My hiccups?  First, I tried basting the quilt sandwich using Heat N Bond "tape" as described by Nancy Zieman in Sewing A to Z .  This did not work.  I guess my sandwich was too thick to heat all the way through.  I went out and bought basting spray.  It rocks!  Problem solved!  The second problem...the yellow flag, above the bird, frayed and came away from the satin stitched edge when I washed the quilt. I tried "patching" the spot, but, to me, the flaw is obvious.  I'm still glad I started my quilting journey with applique.  Next time, however, I will cut my pieces a little larger and make sure to watch all fabric prior to cutting and sewing!  

Even with the flaws, I'm still happy with it...and pretty proud of myself for quilting it myself!  All those (straight) lines!  I didn't use my new walking foot for the quilting, but I did use the transparent thread I bought.  Wow.  It is like fishing line!

Quilt back (closeup)
I folded the back fabric over to the front and used it for the binding.  I found this method pretty easy and will use it again for my next quilt!  
Fold over binding
So, what do you think?  Thanks again to Polly at Helping Little Hands for the great Bird and Bunting Quilt Tutorial.  Any good ideas for what I should do for my next quilt?  I'm on the hunt for another great pattern!

Have a great week!

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