Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Princess and the Pea

I had fun making this one.  I have fun making all my quilts, otherwise I wouldn't be a quilter, but I had mucho fun with this one.  I don't think I ever hated this one.  I pretty much always have a moment of doubt bordering on what was I thinking quilt hate; but I can't think of it with this one.

 I used nine different pink patterns for the mattresses, a light pink for the "background," white for the bed frame, and yet another pink pattern for the backing and roll over binding. 
 I hand quilted of course.  Pink around the pinks and white around my appliqued bed frame.  (The white and light pink are easier to distinguish in real life.)  I patterned the bed frame shape off my daughter's bed. 
 The sheer amount of pink in the border and edging was kinda a bit much to work with, but my pink sister assures me there is no such thing as too much pink.  My mother, who had three boys before little me, agrees that for a baby girl there is indeed no such thing as too much pink.
 I hand stitched the border and mitered the corners.  I did a piano key border in the nine pinks of the mattresses.  I like the play of the patterns all together.
And of course I love the pea.  I used some green from my stash (read closet pile of random fabric) and it was the perfect green to go with these pinks.  I dryer sheet appliqued it again and the seam allowances shoved inside function as make shift stuffing and give it extra poof.  It's a perfect little pea.

This is another blanket for my etsy shop.

linking to tgiff

Monday, December 19, 2011

For Grandma Birdie

Our daughter loves birds.  She always has.  She got a pair of bird feeders for her first birthday and has been known to cry when they are empty because the birds are hungry.  She makes sure our feeders are always full.  Consequently, we have a lot of birds in our yard, especially in the winter. 
A month or so ago I was watching the birds out the window with her and apparently I think in terms of fabric.  I saw the birds on the fence and thought quilt.  I so had to make one someday.
And who better to make a bird quilt for than my Grandma Birdie. 
I had thought I'd make it for her birthday next year.  I mentioned it to my mom and she thought it sounded great.  So I added it to my mental list.
 Then, a week or so ago, I couldn't shake the feeling to make it now.  So I checked my stash and actually found the perfect brown.  I don't do brown so it was pretty amazing.  This quilt was one thing after another that was amazing.  I began to joke to my husband that the quilt would quilt itself.  No such luck, but despite three little ones, it did come together in less that a week.
 And now some details on the Quilt That Took Less Than A Week, I appliqued the birds with dryer sheets again.  My new favorite method, by the way.  I hand quilted along my seams on the fence posts and made little Xs at the white intersections of my plaid sky.  I couldn't stomach the idea of blue binding framing my fence or brown in the sky and I couldn't envision some other color, so I bound each in itself; fence in brown, sky in blue.
(this little birdie is my favorite, I think his paisley looks like a sweet little wing.) 
They are all scrap material from various things over the years.  The pink on the far right is actually from a dress my mom had made for Pie when she was teensy.
I used a flowery blue on the back.  The selvage said Disney on it and then I had a total moment of panic that there were fairies on it somewhere I had missed.  False alarm, no fairies.
This quilt turned out great.  I am really pleased with it.  And I have a crazy love of the plaid sky.  If I ever make this design again, I'm making it all plaid.  It will likely be too much, but I seriously love the plaid sky. 
This is one of my favorites so far.

linking to tgiff

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monsters Squared and a Plan

Periodically, my in-laws tell me I could/should sell quilts.  I know somebody somewhere buys quilts, but I sure don't, I just look until I figure out the pattern and then go at it.  Anyway, seeing as I do love quilting and I only know so many people I can give them to, I decided to go ahead a give it a try.  So I opened up an etsy shop
  I figure I'll quilt for fun, to try out new things, and just because, and then list them on etsy and see if anything happens.  If nothing happens I already have a home picked out for my quilts.  They will be heading to Project Linus if they don't leave for somewhere else first. 

I've never made a quilt for anyone and no one before, it was a bit of a different experience.
It started out as just a bunch of squares, but as that's lacking in the pizzaz department, I added some monsters.  I did something different for each one; three eyes, bow tie, glasses, two heads, horns, that kind of thing.

I blanket stitched around all the applique stuff and then couldn't decide  how to quilt the squares.  I thought about a few different things, but nothing felt like it really went with the quilt.  I ended up blanket stitching in contrasting thread around all the patterned squares. 
I used my first ever striped binding and really had fun with that.  I liked that I was able to place the seams just right that the joins were hidden.  It was dorky fun.

And here's a sneak peek update of the one with all the pink rectangles.  It's destined for an elsewhere home, too.  It's about half way done, it had to wait while I made a Secret Quilt.  I'll show you that one soonish.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Remember This One...

This quilt was the "girl" quilt I made when a friend was pregnant and not finding out gender.  I had left the center blank, thinking that I would add the kid's name. 
Well, that baby ended up being a boy and he got monsters instead.  So the girl quilt sat waiting, like patience on a monument as they say. 
Our Kindergarten teacher is having a baby in February, and score, it's a girl.  Check it out, she is so getting a quilt.  Done and done.  But we really weren't all that sure we would manage to find out exactly how they are spelling the name (I'm related to an EmmaLee, so even a "usual name" can't be assumed) and coordinate that with when she is at school considering maternity leave and all that. 
So we went with Plan B; and around here, B is for butterfly.
 The butterflies are all applique.  I used dryer sheets as the underside of my applique, I read about it here.  It worked out great!  I like the bit of dimension it gave the wings.  I am all about poof, remember. 
The thing that surprised me, and really if I had thought about it I should have seen this one coming, but it smells a bit more spring-time fresh than you'd expect in my full on winter.
 The butterflies are all a bit different as I didn't use a pattern or anything.  I just drew a wingish shape for each of the four wings on the butterfly.  I then stitched those together and voila, a butterfly.
 I had planned on hiding my stitching, but it was taking way long, so I switched to visible stitching in purple on all the butterflies, as opposed to pink on pink and blue on blue.  I ended up really liking the way it turned out.  I think it fits with the visible purple stitching in the little square border. 

 We are going to be gifting this one, along with some cookies or whatnot, to our teacher for Christmas.  Here's hoping she likes butterflies...and the smell of fresh laundry.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Someday Soon...

my sister will be jealous of this.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In My Hoop

This is what I'm currently quilting.  It started as just some squares, but I added some monsters.  My favorite again is the cyclops.  Turns out I just really like cyclopes.  Go figure.

This one is still being pieced. I have a border cut and soon to be sewn, but for now this one is just this.  Pie is in love with this one.  She asks about it every time she wakes up; we've been to visit it at least once a day lately.  It doesn't look like much now, but its moment is soon as I finish up the monsters.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Me and This Quilt

(this one is for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, that's why you're seeing it again people)

My mom is a youngest and has instilled in at least me, that youngests (and really any child not the oldest) needs things that are special, just for them.  My sister-in-law had a boy and while he was on the way I made him a quilt.  Really though, I made it for the son of my sister-in-law so I mostly thought of her.  Although I did occasionally think of my brother-in-law too.  But mostly his wife, 'cause come on, we know she's the one decorating. 
I decided on a fabric personality for the mom (graphic, bold, clean) and set to work coming up with a plan.  My plan looked great on paper.  I was way excited.  I called her to find out what the color's were for her baby room and from there I bought my fabric.
Again, my plan looked great on paper.  It felt like a train wreck while I was piecing.  Seriously, I came up with about a million alternate designs.  I nearly scraped it at least three times.  I tend to have some doubts about my quilts while in the piecing process, but this was a whole 'nother level.  I was even to the point of sending my own sister pictures of my new designs for her vote.
So half way through piecing my train wreck, we went of vacation.  We actually visited this sister-in-law.  I saw her baby room and the fabric she had chosen and knew I was so right about her fabric personality.  The curtain fabric even went with the quilting method I had in mind.... but I still thought my quilt was maybe too busy.  I was back to slight apprehension as opposed to full on disaster.
When we got back my husband actually was the one to made the final call.  He saw the quilt top and said it totally fit and I should just do it.  The mom is his sister after all, so I listened.  And besides, it looked so good on paper...
As I started adding the "elements," it really starting coming together. By the time I got to the actual quilting, I was so confidently in love with the quilt top that I cringe at the memory of how close I was to ditching the whole thing.

I am in love with the wrenches. They turned out perfectly. The extra layer of batting was a stroke of genius. The whole thing turned out great. I really need to work on my quilt confidence. Next time I hate a quilt in progress I will have to remind myself of this one. Seriously, I've never hated a quilt more and it is now one of my all time favorites. And you should just see it with my handsome nephew on it; he's so the best part of the quilt.

 I used three different patterns for the yellow squares and solid for the orange.  I used my main blue dot fabric for the "blank" squares and the secondary smaller dot for the robot background and the occasional small square.

 I included a number pad for inputing things with the robots.  I also threw in some binary (this was for the brother-in-law), it's their last name.
 Gears and bolts for robot parts.

 I handquilted around the squares to connect some of the checkerboard more, and it so went with the lattice-type curtain fabric.  I handquilted around the wrenches and gears and stuff too.
 And here are the robots.  The second one's eyes are made to be snipped to his birthdate.  I sewed each loop on the eights separately so my sister-in-law could make it exact. 

 This quilt and I had many ups and downs, but I'm glad I went with it.  It's just stinkin' awesome.  (and I'm so humble about it)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Finished Quilt Under There Somewhere...

I really couldn't get a picture without them; for my binding shot I had to block them with my arm.  Considering O had to wait while I made this, and these, and these, I can't say that I blame him for not wanting to part with it.  And really isn't joy and love in blanket form why I make these?

It's twin sized for his bed.  The boys room has planets hanging from the ceiling and I used the same planet fabric on their drapes.  I call it his planet quilt, O calls it his outer space blanket.  Either way it's finally finished.  

I used the stars fabric for the binding.  It's just like the planets but without the planets.  It ended up being so the right decision.  (by the way, how awesome is Saturn?)

The bright nearly primary color solids took some getting used to and felt kinda jarring while I was cutting and piecing, but as a whole I really like the look of it.  And really, I made it for a boy, not his mom.  O loves it like crazy and is so excited to have his big blanket made by mom. 

I hand quilted this one just inside the seams.  Well, not just inside, but inside.  I like the crinkliness it gives the quilt (and it let me get away with having six inch finished squares of the planets without having my quilting distance be too far and without having distracting quilting all over the solids). And, with the seam allowance tucked inside there it gives it a little more poof.  If it weren't for summer I would make everything with a super high loft batting. 
 So big blankets for beds: two down, one to go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Luke's Planets

I'm nearly finished with the quilting on Owen's, so I've been taking inventory of what I still need to cut for Luke's quilt.  I had run out of a few colors when I was initially cutting.  Turns out my new yellow and green don't match what I already had.  The yellow I think I can pass off in the quilt as long as it's not caddy corner to an original yellow.  The green though, not so much.  Seeing as I was planning on backing Luke's in green anyway, this isn't really too terrible a happening, I had to buy more green anyway.  Luke's green won't be quite the same as Owen's green, but the bunk beds should take care of anyone noticing.
The only down side is that now I have to cut all new green squares and rectangles as I can't use the ones already set aside for Luke.  I suppose my eventual dollhouse quilt just planted a garden.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finally, Some Pictures

Here it is. The finished product.  And of course, the ever present three year old model. 
I've known this sister-in-law now for going on eight years and I've seen some of her fabric choices and how she's decorated.  I have a theory that people have fabric personalities whether they know it or not.  So with that theory I tried to go with a geometric, clean, graphic look that can sometimes be bold.  It was about that scientific.  Although I did use graph paper when I was planning this one, so maybe it was a little scientific. 
I did robots and a bunch of checkerboard bits.  Deconstructed checkerboard is the glorified name I've given it, but really it's just overlapping checkerboard bits. 

 As you can see it is exactly one three year old long.  Here are close-ups of the robots.  Turns out it was kinda tricky coming up with the robots.  There's the classic robot, but then what?  The girl actually designed the third one.

 This is the girl's robot.  She chose his shape and I tricked him out.  His numbers can be made into B2's birthday.  The loops on the 8's are each sewn individually so that his mom can snip out the extras and make it B2 specific. 
 I put a bunch of nuts and gears on the blanket, robot parts of course.
 And wrenches.  I love the wrenches.  I made them with an extra layer of super fluffy batting so they have tons of poof.  I love me some poof.  Then I appliqued my little wrench quilts onto my quilt top.
 I did the same for the big gears and the number pad square has extra batting too.  It's for imputing things with your robot.  I don't have a robot so I don't know what kind of things you would input, maybe how many scoops of ice cream to bring you. 
 And then there's the binary.  Sigh.  I used geeky translators to get their last name into binary and used some of my fancy smanchy embroidery floss to really carefully put it in all equidistant.  Doesn't it look great?  What's that? You can't actually see it?  Yeah, shouldn't have use yellow.  Curse you farsighted eyes.  I promise if you were holding it a foot from your face you would be able to see it perfectly.  Next time, no yellow on a patterned fabric.  But trust me, it looks good.  And really, B2 will have a pretty close view, so he can back me up on the actual beauty of the binary.
 Here it is sans child measuring stick.  As a whole I think it works.  That's not to say that it doesn't have a lot going on, but I think it's a good kind of lot.
 See the poof.  My future quilter wanted to pick it up.
 The quilt method on this one was to quilt outside the squares.  I thought it might connect some of the checkerboard a bit more and it would work with the lattice-esque fabric of B2's drapes.  Since it's the opposite of my vanity quilting I'm calling it my modesty quilting.  I have a dorky love for words. 
 I used three different yellow patterns and as orange patterns were all too girly for my taste I used a solid orange.  The solid turned out being a nice balance to the patterns.   I used two blues.  The main blue for my blank squares, and a secondary blue dot for the background of the robots and the occasional little blank square in some of the smaller checkerboards.
 Here's the view once B2 starts holding his head up.

There are a few things I would do differently and a couple squares I wouldn't include again, but I had fun on this one.  I love the wrenches so much that someday I might just make some crazy quilt with tools everywhere.