Thursday, August 27, 2015

Spring Sorbet: A Finished Quilt

I had so much fun finishing this scrappy jelly roll race quilt.  I estimate that the scraps were the equivalent of 2.5 jelly rolls.  I don't know if the machine quilting, the first 55 yard seam, or remembering all the other quilts was the most fun. (Check out my previous post for more details on the piecing)  All in all, it was very enjoyable for a quilt made just for fun.  ;D

I knew I wanted to do an all over quilting pattern on this quilt.  The difficulty was in deciding which one to try, because I wanted to try something new.  I ended up choosing a large paisley quilting design.  I quilted it in a light gray Omni thread.

I started the quilting in the center then continued to work my way around the quilting multiple times switching from clockwise to counterclockwise.  I was able to quilt in that order because I have lots of room with my sit down quilting machine.  I quilted the entire full size quilt without rotating the quilt once.  I love my Tiara!  You can see how I started it in the picture below.  It is where the four paisleys meet together at a point.

I love how the quilting looks in the sunshine and how it helps blend all the strips together.  I purposely left in some slightly darker strips, because I think it adds interest to an otherwise light quilt.

I had plans for a two sided quilt which would have eight inch cut squares across the entire back, but decided to simplify the backing.  There is just a section four squares across down the length of the quilt.

There are two fabrics with four squares each and two fabrics with only one square each.  The rest all have two squares each.  My boys enjoy looking for the matches and finding the oddball fabrics.  You can see the entire backing in the picture below.

The light fabrics all came from my stash and the blue heart fabric came from my mom's stash.  The only thing I had to purchase was the binding.  I chose a fun purple dot print, because purple is my favorite color.  I first sewed it to the back, then sewed it to the front by machine.  I find myself binding more and more quilts by machine.

I was thinking of calling the quilt "Sherbet Strips" but Cheetah vetoed that name.  He came up with the name "Spring Sorbet."  He said that sorbet sounded lots better than sherbet.  Lol.

I made this quilt just for fun, and it is now hanging out in my living room.  I think it looks so pretty on my sofa.

And here is one more picture  of the whole quilt top just for fun.  You can definitely see more of the prints and less of the quilting in the shade.

Quilt Stats #145
Quilt Name: Spring Sorbet
Pattern: Race Quilt Variation 
Fabrics Used: From my stash
Amount Used: 13 yards
Size: About 80 x 96 inches
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Date Finished: August 2015
What I Learned:

  • It is so much fun to use up scraps and see how a quilt will turn out.
  • It is more fun to sew a 55 yard seam than press a 55 yard seam.  (I like to press after each seam rather than once the entire top is sewn.)
  • I need to slow down a little with my machine quilting.  The design was so large that I found myself quilting faster than my stitch regulator could handle.  

You will probably see more of this style of quilt from me in the future.  I love the random piecing in long strips.  It is a great stash buster!


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out for lots of quilty inspiration.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Keeping a Quilting Log

Once a month I attend a long arm quilting club at my local quilt shop.  A few months ago they asked if I would give a presentation at one of the meetings.  At first my answer was "no."  I didn't know what I could share with the ladies.  Most of my quilting is done sitting down.  I can count on two hands the number of quilts I have actually quilted on a long arm machine.

After that initial surprise, I got thinking about it and realized that maybe I did have something I could share.  I am a very organized person and thought that I could share how I keep records of my quilts.  So I went to the manager and told her my idea.  She loved it!  She was particularly interested in my quilting log.  I have found my quilting log to be very helpful, and thought that it would be good to share on my blog as well.

My quilting log is kept in a journal one of my friends gave me.  The kind that you put in a cupboard until you know what to do with it.    I started using it when I purchased my Tiara and was so grateful for a cute journal I already had.  I use it to keep track of all projects I quilt with my Tiara.  I think I need to start another one for projects quilted on my domestic machine.  I have already started one for my mother for projects quilted on her Fusion.  

I keep my quilting log on the shelf underneath my Baby Lock Tiara.  It is right there so I remember to write in it every time.  In it I include this information:

  • The project number (I have quilted 51 projects on my Tiara)
  • The dates I quilted that project
  • The name of the project
  • The batting I used
  • The size of the project
  • The types of fabrics used (cotton, minky, flannel...)
  • The thread used (type and color)
  • The needle used
  • The total number of stitches (I love the stitch counter on my Tiara)
  • How many bobbins used
  • How long it took to quilt the project
  • Any special settings on my machine: stitches per inch, cruise speed, maximum speed... On a domestic machine your settings might include: stitch length, feed dogs up or down, tension setting, needle position...
  • What designs I used (name, diagram, description...)
  • Any notes or other things I want to remember
Here are a couple pictures showing pages from my quilting log.  

I find this helpful for a number of reasons:

  • I can review previous quilts of the same size and similar design to guess how many bobbins to fill.  (I hate stopping in the middle of a project to wind more bobbins.)
  • I can remember what needle worked best for which thread type.
  • I can remember what kind of batting or thread I used in a quilt. 
  • I can remember any special settings for different types of thread or fabric.  
  • I can keep track of any challenges I need to overcome in the notes section. (I had a hard time with Omni thread in the bobbin at first and tried different things to solve that issue.  Turns out a different bobbin case worked much better.)
  • I can review designs I have already tried and what worked well.  
  • I love numbers, and find keeping track of the total number of stitches fascinating.  I have 3.3 million stitches on my Tiara.  

Do any of you keep a quilting log or do you have any suggestions for what to include?

I will be sharing more ideas I have for keeping records of your quilts in the future.  In case you missed it, I have already blogged about my quilt photo albums/scrapbooks here.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out for lots of quilty inspiration.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Scrap Quilt in Progress

First, I want to say thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes during my blogging break.  We had a lot of fun spending time together at the end of summer with less time on the computer.  My boys are now back in school and we are trying to settle into our routine.  I am looking forward to blogging as part of my routine.  :)

I have been saving up my scraps of light 2.5 inch strips for a few years.  The plan for these scraps has changed many times.  Some ideas included a string quilt, a granny square quilt, a scrappy trip quilt, and a jelly roll race.  At first I wasn't going to do a jelly roll race, because I already made one with some of these fabrics.   However, I just felt like doing some simple sewing and using up all these scraps in one project.

So I fluffed up my strips and set them by my sewing machine.  (They took up less than half the tub when they were laid nice and flat.)

I just randomly sewed them all end to end in one great big long strip.

I found the two ends, matched them up, and started sewing... and sewing... and sewing...

I measured the strip after the first seam and it was about 55 yards (1,980 inches).   I had to change the brand new bobbin of 50 weight Auriful partway through the seam.  Evidently I can't fit 55 yards of Aurifil thread on one bobbin.  This was the longest continuous seam I have ever sewn.  Previously my longest seam was about 800 inches for a jelly roll race (22 yards).  Before that my longest seam was only 114 (3+ yards) inches for a large border.  Please note that is one seam, not chain piecing.  Ironing a 55 yard strip was not nearly as much fun as piecing it.  ;)

Once I knew how long my first seam was, I used my calculations for jelly roll race variations to figure out how big my quilt would end up.  I decided to continue sewing until I had a 16 strip wide section.  Then I divided it in thirds, and used my design floor to determine the placement for the last three sections.

In one day I had a simply pieced full size quilt (about 80 x 96 inches).  Totally love it!

One of the most fun things about this quilt was thinking of all the other quilts whose leftovers I was using.  There is even one scrap from my very first quilt.  It is the light pink calico near the bottom left corner in the picture below.

I used some larger scraps plus yardage for the backing.

I can't decide if I like the back or the front best.

Here is the quilt basted and ready to quilt.  :D

Monkey had a lot of fun watching me baste this quilt.  Once I finished I asked him what he thought.  He said, "It's cool.  I like it.  What's it for?"

I told him it was just for fun.  There's nothing wrong with making a quilt just because you already have the fabric and it sounds like fun, right?


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out to see what other quilts have been doing.

P.P.S.  I'm sorry if anyone is receiving this twice.  I had a small operator error.  :)