Friday, October 30, 2015

Mini Vortex: A Finish

I enjoyed making my Scrap Vortex quilt that I couldn't bear to just put away the rainbow scraps I had left.  Some had already been sewn into groups ready to be used as fillers that were not needed.  So I put the pieces on my design wall, just to see what they would look like.

Once I saw how cute it would be, I couldn't leave it alone.  Later that afternoon I had a finished quilt top measuring about 21 inches square.

Then on another day I pieced a batting and backing for the quilt.  I basted it and began the quilting.

Using my built in walking foot I outlined the center of a daisy and began spiraling outwards.  It seemed a little uneven as I was quilting, but once I stepped back I loved it!  After awhile I was able to just gently guide the quilt in a circular motion while I stitched pedal to the metal.

While I absolutely love the look of the spiral quilting, I am not sure I would do it on anything bigger than a baby quilt.  It was the perfect design for a mini, taking about an hour and a half.

I was so excited to get it finished that I did the binding by machine.

The blue fabric was leftover from the binding of the big vortex quilt.

In keeping with the similarities to the big quilt, I chose purple for the backing.  It is pieced and made with leftovers from two different quilts.

I used a silvery gray polyester embroidery thread for the quilting.  It seems almost metallic which is the effect I was going for.

I seriously love the texture on this quilt.

I am so glad I decided to make this mini.

And Monkey wants everyone to know that it is still big enough for him.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar including Oh Scrap! and Finish it Up Friday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Binding Fairy

Last year I quilted my niece C's first quilt.  My mother helped her with the binding and taught her to do the handwork.  I told her that if she ever needed me that I would be happy to be her Binding Fairy.  She got most of it done, but then got really busy.  So she decided to take me up on my offer.

I finished the binding for her and then added some stitches where hers were a little too far apart.

It is now waiting for her to come pick it up.  I think she's excited to be able to use her quilt now.

I recently got a picture of my niece R's finished quilt.  I also quilted it for her last year.  She had a Binding Fairy too.  However, her binding fairy was her mother, my sister.  I love that she decorated her room to match her quilt.

I have one more niece who needs to finish the binding on her quilt.  Three other nieces are still working on their quilts with my mother.  Cheetah has picked out fabrics for his second quilt to be made in the same pattern with Grandma.  He chose cheetah prints.  Surprised?  I thought not.

Have you ever had a Binding Fairy help you?


P.S.  Hi, R.  I love your quilt in your room!  (R is really the only one in my family who reads my blog regularly that I know of.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Into the Vortex: A Finished Quilt

I just recently finished my Scrap Vortex quilt.  I am entering it in the Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival in the scrappy category.

Be sure to check out all the fabulous quilts entered into the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  There is always lots of inspiration!  You can even vote for your favorites.

I named my quilt "Into the Vortex" because once I started piecing the blocks, I just couldn't stop.  I was really sucked into the vortex of the Scrap Vortex quilt.  Pretty soon I had a whole quilt top which I quickly and simply quilted on my Baby Lock Tiara.

It is one of the very few I have quilted with my Tiara without the stitch regulator.  The backing was so bulky that It was difficult to maneuver the regulator.  I was able to get into a good rhythm and will probably have more quilts in the future quilted without it.

Be prepared for lots of pictures, because I really love this quilt!

I always love seeing the difference between quilts photographed in the shade (like the one above) and quilts photographed in the sun (like the one below).  I don't know which one I like better, so I included both.

This quilt contains my one and only orphan block, the fun hourglass from my Modern Farmer's Wife quilt.

It also contains a super cute fabric from Little Red by Tasha Noel.  I spy Little Red, the Big Bad Wolf, and Grandmother's Cottage.

I also spy fabrics from 25 different quilts, including the left over bindings from 15 of them.

I also spy fabrics from 15 different draw string bags.  (Really that makes 30 because I usually make two of each.)

I am not the only one who loves this quilt.  Monkey and Panda both love how fuzzy it is.  Minky is awesome!  And this minky is super plush and fuzzy.  That is the main reason why I didn't quilt it in a spiral.

However, Cheetah has informed me that he does not like this quilt.  At all.  Evidently even the purple minky doesn't make up for the chaotic and not symmetrical front.  He said he didn't like that color of purple, but look at this drawstring bag I made for him (scraps of which are on the front of the quilt).

He has now given me two rules for all future quilts.  Number one: it must be symmetrical.  Number two:  It must have minky.  I find it hilarious that being symmetrical is listed first.  Ha!

My sweet husband is very diplomatic, but it is easy to tell that he doesn't like it by what he doesn't say.  Well that, and how he looks and reacts.  That's okay, because it just means I only have to share it with Monkey and Panda.  They are quick to tell me that it is the wrong side up when I want to look at the scraps.  They want to make minky angels on it and nuzzle it.

So what do you do with the scraps of a scrap quilt?  You make a minky scarf (which even Cheetah tries to steal from me.)

And a mini quilt, quilted in a spiral. (More on the Mini Vortex next week.)

This quilt is probably one of my top ten favorites.  I love remembering all of the original projects the fabrics came from and how cheerful the colors are.  I also love the blue binding which looks great on both sides of the quilt.

Quilt Stats #169
Name:  Into the Vortex
Pattern: Scrap Vortex by Amanda Jean
Fabrics Used: My rainbow scraps
Amount Used: 8 yards (estimate)
Size: About 60 x 77 inches
Batting: Frankensteined Hobbs 80/20
Date Finished: October 2015
What I Learned:

  • I love the puzzle that is putting this quilt together.
  • If you are spray basting with minky and it doesn't seem to stick, you can spray both the minky and the batting.  Then it will hold together so much better.  
  • Painter's tape is great for a guide when you are quilting a design on the diagonal.  

I think I'm going to go pull it off of the sofa for a good cuddle right now.  ;)


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties listed on my sidebar as well as the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  There is something fun for every day of the week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Darci's First Quilts

Some of you have asked if anyone started quilting because of the quilt displays I have put together for our Stake Talent Night at church.  I can now say, "Yes!"  My friend Darci fell in love with my "Blushing Zebra" quilt I displayed in 2014.  It uses the Jelly Roll Race II tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Company

This fall she said she was finally ready to make her first quilt.  She wanted hers to be similar to mine and chose to use two Robert Kaufman Shadow Play jelly rolls.  She used an aqua solid instead of the pink.  I taught her how to cut out the squares, piece it together, press the seams, baste the quilt, and quilt in the ditch with the walking foot.  She did an amazing job!

She was so excited to finish it that she looked for binding tutorials online and got it done before we could get together again.  I think she has definitely caught the quilting bug, because before she finished her first quilt she had already pieced her second quilt.

It is also finished and she did everything herself on the second one.  It was made with two Riley Blake Basic Variety Red jelly rolls and a gray solid.  (I think it is wider than the first quilt because the Robert Kaufman jelly roll comes with 20 strips and the Riley Blake comes with 24.)  She made this one even bigger by adding borders.  Both quilts are now used by her boys and their friends in her family room.

She has also finished a set of placemats.  Plus, she has plans for at least three more quilts: one for her husband and two baby quilts.  So exciting!   It really is fun teaching friends to quilt and seeing their finished quilts.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Scrap Vortex Flimsy Finish

It is probably not surprising that once I got started on my scrap vortex quilt (design and quilt along by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts) that I didn't want to stop.  I talked about my initial progress of this quilt in my last post.  The quilt would not have been big enough using just my rainbow scraps that were odd sizes.  So I added in half the width of fabric of my rainbow strings.

I estimate that half of my rainbow strings was enough to add two yards of scraps to the quilt.  Using the strings made the piecing go much faster because I could create twos of the same size instead of searching for pieces the same size.

I had my fours quickly sewn together and then squared them up before sewing them together to make eights.

I added one set of eight to each of my 35 blocks (each one had either a white floral scrap or the hourglass block) from earlier.  I tried putting the somewhat larger blocks on the design wall in a random order and found it very difficult.

So I sewed the blocks into pairs and ended up with 17 large blocks and one smaller block.  It was amazing because these larger pieces were so much easier to fit together on the design wall.  I estimate that these larger blocks were either 15-18 inches square or rectangles at least 12 x 20 inches.

Once I got the larger blocks up there I started sewing sections together until I ended up with four large quadrants.

You can see that the upper right and lower left quadrants are a little longer than the neighboring section.  Once I sewed the bottom two together, I cut off the longer piece and added it to the upper left quadrant.  Then I sewed the two top pieces together.  One more long seam (around midnight) and the quilt top was complete!!!

The quilt top finishes around 60 x 77 inches.  I am amazed at how well all the pieces fit together.  The bottom half was only a half inch wider than the top.

I know it would have been neat to quilt a spiral centering around my one orphan block, the hourglass left over from my Modern Farmer's Wife Quilt.  However, I purchased an ultra soft and fuzzy minky for the backing.  So I decided to keep the quilting very simple.  I do have some "filler pieces" left over from this quilt.  I may make a smaller one sometime and quilt it in the vortex spiral.

I used one of the fun edge to edge designs from Christina Cameli's book, Step-by-Step Free-Motion Quilting.   You can see the design I quilted on the whiteboard on the wall.  My boys were anxiously awaiting the quilt finish because they wanted to test out the fuzzy minky.  Here is Panda checking it out after quilting but before binding.

I will share more about this quilt (including Cheetah's opinions of it) and the finish later this week as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.


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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scrap Vortex Quilt in Progress

I have been saying that I wanted to make a Scrap Vortex quilt for awhile.  Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts hosted a quilt along this past summer with great instructions for making this kind of improv quilt.

I started out by separating all of my rainbow scraps which were not the full width of fabric.  I put them in a tray in my Ikea cart and thought I would use the scraps as leaders and enders for a little while.  That thought lasted while I was making so many gift bags.  The rainbow scraps were great because I could use whatever thread was in my sewing machine as I was matching my thread color to the bag fabric.

Once all of my bags were finished and I was ready to start another quilt, I just couldn't.  I wanted to know what this quilt would look like.  So it became my current quilt project.  (Go ahead and laugh at the thought that I could even do two quilts at a time with leaders and enders.  I am still laughing every time I think about it.)  The scraps quickly moved to the top tray of my cart.

I started sewing pieces in pairs and even sewing individual pieces on long strings like this backing scrap.

I have heard that it is good to have a unifying fabric in scrap quilts, and that is what this floral has become.  It is the one scrap with the most contrast.

I learned that finding two pieces with a similar length on one side took longer than I thought it would.

I ended up building blocks/slabs around that floral print and I really like how it looks.

After awhile my tray looked like this...

And my design wall looked like this.

I totally love it!  I even included my one and only orphan block in the quilt.  Can you find the blue and white hour glass block left over from my Modern Farmer's Wife Quilt?

The only problem is that this quilt is not big enough.  I put all of the blocks in rows with other blocks of a similar height.  And I estimate that this quilt would finish about 42 x 60.  I would much rather it be 60 x 70, a good lap quilt size.  So I decided to add my rainbow strings and a few solids as well.

I have cut my rainbow strings in half at the fold and will see if that is enough to make the quilt the size I want.  I estimate that will add two yards of fabric scraps to the quilt. I have been sucked into the vortex of this quilt.  In fact, I plan on calling this quilt "Into the Vortex."  I love it when a quilt names itself.


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