Friday, March 28, 2014

Cheetah's First Quilt

I recently blogged about my niece R's first quilt.  I just found out that my niece C, wants me to quilt her first quilt as well.  So, while first quilts are on my mind, I thought I would share my experience helping my own son to make his first quilt... 

Last summer I helped three of my husband's nieces make tote bags.  I told Cheetah that I would be happy to teach him to sew as well.  He was excited about it and wanted to start with a quilt.  It should not be surprising that my Cheetah, wanted to make a "Fuzzy Cheetah" quilt.  It just so happened that I had the perfect fabric in my stash.  :o)  

I have given a lot of thought to what is the ideal quilt for teens and pre-teens to start with.  My mother likes the Turning Twenty pattern that she used with the granddaughters, because the blocks are large and don't have many points to match.  The challenge with that twin size quilt is that it is hard for a beginner to quilt.  (My mom had originally planned on tying the quilts with the girls, but my dad thought the quilts were too nice to tie.)  That is why I am now quilting them.   

So I thought about what would be easy and help youth feel successful with quilting.  I thought that something not too large they could quilt with the walking foot would be a good idea.  That is why I suggested to Cheetah that we make a stripe quilt. 

I let him be involved in the design process, and asked him if he wanted all the strips to be the same size.  He did.  Then I asked him if he wanted them to be in a specific order or be random.  He wanted the fabrics to follow a pattern.  This is when I learned that he likes things to be symmetrical, just like me. 

I cut all fifteen of his strips out at 4.5 inches, so they finish at 4 inches.  (His quilt finished at about 42 x 60 inches.)  We put everything up on my design wall, and he started sewing.   

Here he is with the completed top. 

We went the next morning to select a backing.  He really wanted minky fabric, even though I told him that it would be more difficult to quilt.  He was fine with the challenge, because he REALLY wanted a fuzzy quilt.  This minky is so thick and soft.  It feels like a fur coat. 

We went home and basted it with basting spray and a few pins.  We used the Warm and White batting. 

I set up my craft room so that he could get it quilted.  He got right to work and was counting down the seams.  Only fourteen to finish. 

I actually had to stand behind him and help him guide the fabric through to help it be more even.  ;)  It was a little hard on my back hunching over him, but was well worth it.  Just look at his excitement. (I am sure he is thinking, "Hurry up and take the picture so I can finish quilting.") 

As you can tell, he really enjoyed the process!  I asked him if he wanted me to do the binding for him, and he said that he did.  (I figured that if Natalia Bonner of Piece-N-Quilt could still have her mother bind her quilts, that it would be just fine for me to bind my son's first quilt.) 

I cut the binding out at three inches because of the thick minky fabric, and bound it completely by machine. 

So we finished his quilt in two days. 

That evening Cheetah was cuddled up in his first quilt...  But I took this picture today.  ;)

He loves his quilt so much that he could hardly stay off of it while I took pictures. 

He was acting silly... really silly. 

I had to take this picture between his head and his arm. 

I loved sewing with my son, and would definitely use a stripe quilt for a beginner again.  Cheetah plans on making a cheetah/leopard tote bag next summer.  :)

I thought that you would like to see how he sometimes makes his bed.  (Other times, he makes his bed with this quilt hidden between his sheets.)  It brings a smile to my face every time I see it.  He has dogs, wolves, and cheetahs on his bed.  When he was younger he wanted us to call him "Puppy Pup."  Gotta love it when children pick their own nick names. 

What do you think is the ideal quilt for a young beginner? 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Simple Baby Quilt

April Showers Bring May Flowers...

I made this simple baby/lap quilt in less than 24 hours over a two day period.   One evening I sewed it together and basted it.  The next morning I quilted it and bound it by machine.  I finished it yesterday, but the weather has been wet and dreary so I had to take indoor pictures. 

I have decided to call it, "April Showers Bring May Flowers" which is a long quilt name for me.  The quilt reminded me of the sweet things that come from rain, like rainbows and flowers. As I have decided to donate it to Happy Chemo as part of the Hands2Help Challenge, I thought the name was appropriate.  I hope that it can bring comfort to someone going through a rough time. 

In case anyone is wondering about my dimensions... I cut out each of the five vertical strips at 8.5 inches and sewed them together.  Then I trimmed off the salvages and cut 6.5 inches off of the bottom.  The horizontal strip was cut out at 9.5 inches, because I started with a generous quarter yard.  I added that strip in the middle and my quilt top was done! 

Well, that is how I would have done it if all my strips were the full width of the fabric...  My pink was six inches too short, so I took a piece off of a fat quarter for the bottom section.  It was a good use of the fabric I had.  I don't think it is super noticeable, but it adds an unexpected fun element.  ;)

I quilted it in a cream thread with 35 big flowers connected by a loopy line.  The quilting took less than an hour for this 40 x 50 inch quilt.  Princess, my new sit down quilting machine, is FAST! 

I used 1.5 yards of a soft yellow for the backing, and bound it with a slightly darker yellow. 

I added my favorite corner label when binding it. 

Quilt Stats #101
Name:  April Showers Bring May Flowers
Pattern:  Simple quarter yard strips
Inspired by:  Quilts I have seen where the horizontal strip was appliqued with a name
Quilting design: Loopy line with flowers
Fabric:  pastels from my stash.
Amount Used:  3.5 yards
Batting: Warm and White
Size: About 40 x 50 inches
Date finished: March 2014
What I learned:
  • Quilting from the upper right corner to the lower left corner worked really well with my Tiara. 
As I mentioned, this quilt is for the Hands2Help challenge.  The sign-ups started just last week, so there is still plenty of time to join.  Click on the button below for more information.  I know I finished this super early, but there is no time like the present to get something done, right? 

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict


P.S.  I am linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quilting my Niece's First Quilt

This beautiful yellow and gray quilt was pieced by my niece R.  She worked on it with my mother who teaches her granddaughters to quilt once they are teenagers.  My mom has been using the basic Turning Twenty pattern with all her granddaughters.  It was so much fun to help R finish her first quilt.  :D  All she has left to do is the handwork on the binding. 

I quilted the center section with light gray thread in spirals with hooks.  It was so much fun, and only took two hours with Princess. 

I quilted the borders by sketching around the large daisies.  It took nearly two hours to quilt the borders, which is longer than I expected.  But... I love how it turned out. 

She has this fun polka dot on the backing which looks so neat with all the swirls. 

This quilt is twin size measuring about 76 x 92 inches.  It has Hobbs 100% cotton batting in it, and I love how it quilted up. 


P.S.  I will be linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Sister's Rose Garden Quilt

I finished this quilt for my sister S yesterday.  It only took me a week from start to finish, but it seemed to drag.  My sister did select the fabrics from my stash, so I hope she will love it and use it.  I talked more about the piecing of it in my last post.  It used one of my floral fabrics plus some pinks from my stash which was part of my March goal

I decided to call it "Rose Garden" because "Taking Time to Smell the Roses"  seemed a little too long.  ;)

I really like the way the hourglass blocks frames the roses.  Sometimes I see economy blocks, and sometimes I see green stars.  I do like the way it turned out. 

I had enough of the rose fabric in my stash to make it so I didn't have to piece the borders.  Because I cut the borders out at 6.5 inches, I had a bunch left over which I used on the backing. 

The bottom fabric really is a pretty pale pink.  It is an old Jinny Beyer print. 

I quilted it in a light pink with a large stipple, because I wanted the fabrics to show more than the quilting.  I was amazed at how fast it went quilting with Princess. 

I used the green fabric for the binding, and bound it completely by machine. 

Here it is another picture of the whole quilt. 

Quilt Stats #100
Name:  Rose Garden
Pattern:  Hourglass blocks with setting squares
Quilting design:  Large stipple
Inspired by:  My friend Deb's Warm 16 Patch quilt
Fabric:  Hoffman floral and other fabrics from my stash. 
Amount Used:  8 yards
Batting:  Warm and White
Size:  About 60 x 76 inches
Date finished:  March 2014
What I learned:
  • I do like quilting with Warm and White batting.
  • The stipple quilts up very fast.
  • Some quilts are more engaging than others.
While this quilt is not my favorite, it did received Panda's approval in the form of snow angels.  :D  He cooperated this time when I tried to take his picture.  Cheetah also had fun being silly on it once Monkey was asleep.  I love watching my boys play on the quilts I make. 


P.S.  I am linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another Hourglass Quilt In Progress

I have been working on this quilt for my sister S little by little after I finished the jelly roll race for my brother.  It seems to be taking longer than normal for me.  I don't know if it is because the quilt is not speaking to me, if I am a little quilted out after a 48 hour finish, or if it is just a crazier week with my boys.  (Although cleaning honey off of my kitchen floor is NOT my idea of fun.) 

The quilt is now ready to baste and quilt, and I love thinking of my sister while I work on it.  However, I will be glad when this quilt is finished.  ;) 

I really do  like the way the blocks play together.  I cut my pink and green squares out at 10 inches, then squared the hourglass blocks up at 9 inches.  So I cut the floral squares out at 9 inches.  I think that every time I look at the quilt I notice something different.  Sometimes I see pink and green squares, and sometimes I see green stars. 

I am thinking of calling this quilt "Taking Time to Smell the Roses" because of the roses and the hourglass blocks signifying time, but that is a long name.  Do you have any suggestions? 

The layout was inspired by my friend Deb of A Simple Life Quilts.  She used hourglass blocks as setting squares for her Warm 16 Patch blocks.  I really like the way hers turned out, so I decided to try it out with floral squares.  I do think my sister will enjoy this lap quilt. 

This week I also signed up to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  You can still sign up.  Click on the button below for more details.  :D

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

On a side note, I had a fun time last week setting up a quilt display with my neighbor.  This was for a Stake Relief Society meeting held to celebrate the birthday of the Relief Society at church.  It was really fun working on it. 

Half of the quilts shown are mine.  We draped a flat sheet over chalk boards and ladders to protect and display some of the quilts. 

The purple Southern Belle quilt was cut out by my grandmother and finished by me.  I blogged about it here

The scrappy quilt on the rocking chair has blocks sewn by my great grandmother, and I finished the quilt.  I mentioned it in this post.  I also hand quilted the little pink quilt sticking out of the basket.  I mentioned it in this post

The Pink Double Irish Chain quilt in the quilting stand was pieced and then hand quilted by me.  I blogged about it here.  The turquoise satin quilt the the white quilt in the trunk were made by my grandmother.  I blogged about them here.  And the pink and turquoise log cabin quilt was pieced and then hand quilted by me.  I blogged about it here

The other quilts in the display were made by other women's grandmothers or great grandmothers.  It was such a fun project to work on.  By the way, my neighbor found that awesome trunk at Hobby Lobby.  Isn't it super cool?  I think I want one of those.  ;)


P.S.  I am linking up with Let's Bee Social at  Sew Fresh Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Race to the Sky: A Fast Finish

Another Jelly Roll Race Quilt~

I named this quilt "Race to the Sky" because it is a jelly roll race quilt with a sky border containing suns and moons. 

It really was a fast finish.  I started with the jelly roll already cut, and pieced the top in one afternoon. 

Then the next day I pieced the backing...

And then quilted it with Princess, my new Baby Lock Tiara.  I quilted it with gray thread with pointy spirals.  Which really is one of my favorite FMQ designs. 

Then the next morning I did the binding by machine.  I love this old stripe fabric. 

So this quilt was finished in less than 48 hours over a period of three days. 

I even added my favorite corner label while doing the binding.  :o)

It is a gift for my brother M.  That teal/aqua color has been his favorite color for as long as I can remember.  He actually was visiting when I was working on binding my reverse star quilt, and commented on how much he liked the sun and moon print on the backing, so I know he is just going to love this quilt.  When I asked what he would like me to make him with the fabric, he said that he would use a lap quilt.  So, I really hope this quilt will be used and loved. 

Quilt Stats #99 (How cool is that number?)
Name:  Race to the Sky
Pattern:  Jelly Roll Race (my third one)
Quilting Design:  Pointy Spirals
Fabrics:  Bright cool colors from my stash
Amount used: 8.5 yards
Batting:  Warm and White
Size:  About 62 x 76 inches
Date Finished:  March 2014
What I learned:
  • The Warm and White batting was easier to quilt with the TruStitch.
  • I can still use my DMC 50 wt. embroidery thread for quilting with princess.
  • I love the little bit of purple mixed in the the blues and teals. 
This really was a fun quilt to work on, and I can't believe how quickly it came together. 


P.S.  I will be linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

P.P.S.  I added another half yard to my stash today.  :o)  I am slowly but surely getting the newer cuter fabrics I like. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Lovely Twist

A Twister Quilt Made without the Special Ruler~

I finished my twister quilt yesterday, and I absolutely love how it turned out.  I was able to figure out a way to cut and piece this quilt without the special ruler, AND with minimal waste.  To see how I cut it out, check out this post.  To see how I pieced the blocks together, check out this post

This quilt is part of my March goal (link #17) for A Lovely Year of Finishes, which was to make something with my pink fabrics.  It is nice to have it done early in the month.  :D 

This is the first pieced quilt that I quilted with my sit down quilting machine, Princess.  I was amazed at how easy it was to quilt.  I actually quilted the entire thing without rotating the quilt at all.  And (this sounds really crazy to me) it was easier to quilt the center of the quilt than the edges.  I am holding the quilt differently and keeping two fingers on my stitch regulator as I go.  So it is easier to grip the quilt in the middle.  I really did gain more than the 16 inches of the machine arm.  My quilt spread out to the right more than two feet! 

In the picture above, you can see that I added tables to the right and left of my chair as well as to the right and left of the machine.  (When I quilted with my Janome 6500, I only had to add a table to the left.)  This held the quilt quite nicely while I was moving it around, and I didn't fight gravity or have much drag.  You can also see my new Koala sewing chair.  A good chair helps sooo much.  :) 

I quilted A Lovely Twist in a pointy spiral, which is now my favorite design to quilt. 

I pieced the back with more of my pink fabric, and added my favorite corner label. 

Here is a close-up of the backing.  The colors are more accurate in my close-up. 

I bound the quilt in the same fabric as my border print, and I love how it nicely frames the whole thing.  (Ignore the dead grass, please.)

Here is a picture of the entire quilt. 

Quilt Stats #98
Name:  A Lovely Twist
Pattern:  Twister Quilt made without the ruler
Quilting design:  Pointy spirals
Fabrics:  Pinks from my stash
Amount Used:  11.25 yards
Batting:  Hobbs 80/20
Size:  About 70 x 88 inches
Date Finished:  March 2014
What I learned: 
  • I love twister quilts, in fact my whole family does.
  • I love my method for twister quilts.
  • I love having my own sit down quilting machine.
  • I loved using Best Press spray starch.
That's a lot to love about one quilt!  But I also love how the pink looks with my brown sofas in the living room. 

Last night after Monkey was in bed, Panda gave this quilt the "Stomp of Approval."  Well, it was more like the break dance of approval, including pretend snow angels.  By the time I came back with the camera, he was done and wouldn't do it again.  :(  So how about another outdoor picture instead?


P.S.  I will be linking this up with a lot of fun parties this week.  Including:  Fabric Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

P.P.S.  In case you missed it, my post about the finished whole cloth quilts is here.  :)