Monday, December 31, 2012

Curvy Ruler Quilt #2

Here is one last quilt I made this year. I finished this one back in March and just never got around to posting it. I made this quilt for my friend Jessica who wanted a quilt to match her son's room. She saw the first curvy ruler quilt I had made and asked if I would make one for her in gray, orange and blue. Apparently she was having a hard time finding bedding in those colors! Good thing she knows a quilter! 

This quilt is similar to the first Curvy Ruler Quilt, but it isn't exactly the same. Jess wanted this quilt at least twin sized, and the original was throw sized, so I had to make the blocks a little bigger. For some reason I didn't think just adding more of the smaller blocks looked that great. So bigger it was. I used the quick curve ruler to cut the curves, but since I was fudging a bit with the larger sized blocks, the edges of the curve aren't exactly parallel across the whole curve...but it still works.

We decided solids were the way to go, so I gave Jessica my Kona color card...that was the easiest thing to do to pick the fabrics. She chose white, coal, cadet and tangerine. I mocked up a bunch of different color layouts, and she decided on this one.

Since this quilt was for a boys room, I just did straight line quilting on it. I was pretty sure her son wouldn't appreciate any frilly quilting! ;)  I used a light gray thread for the quilting...I think it blends in nicely.

The back is charcoal minky and I bound it in the gray. Fun fun! Jess told me that her son just loves it! Yay!

Ok, now that all of this years quilts have been documented, I can get cracking on some new ones! 
Here's to a quilty 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

In Print!

I got some very exciting mail the other day! This sweet Australian Quilter's Companion Modern Quilts edition featuring a quilt by yours truly! :) I had no idea it was even coming, so when my husband put it down in front of me, I was a surprised girl! He had already read the whole thing and was telling me all about it...what pages to look on, etc...that's what I get for letting him get the mail! 

When I was contacted several months back about submitting a quilt, it was a month or two before we were about to move...I was thinking I couldn't do it since I wouldn't have time to make a whole new quilt...but they were nice enough to let me submit one that I had made previously and still had in my possession...the Wipey Box quilt! It's one of my favorites, so I was happy to finally get a pattern out there!

I even got a nice profile in the magazine, complete with picture! They also included some photos of other quilts I have made! So cool! It was also fun to see my cute bloggy friend Jenny Pedigo (of Quick Curve Ruler fame) in there as well! I think I have looked at the magazine about 25 times since I got it! 

Yay for quilting magazines!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2013 Quilt Calendar

It's calendar making time again! Yay! This year I barely had enough quilts to fill it! Since this is now a yearly tradition for me, I try to plot my quilt making so I have at least enough for the calendar. I had a good time going back through all my photos and choosing which ones to use for this calendar. It was fun to reminisce about the places I've been and people I've shared quilts with this year. (For posts about the previous two years calendars, see 2012 here and 2011 here).

Here's a picture of the back cover. It looks pretty much the same as last years, except I changed the font, and the photos of course. I ordered them from Zazzle again since they have never failed me. The quality is always great. This year I missed the big half off sale that I was so excited about last year. So I wasn't really in a big hurry to get these done...I figured I'd just wait until they had a 40% off a little closer to Christmas...but then I got an email only special discount...wait for it...65% off!!! Talk about a killer deal! That made the standard size (11x17" open) $7.33 ea. and the huge size (my personal favorite--14x22" open) $9.03 ea. Of course at those prices I ordered one for just about everyone I know! And I still have the Zazzle Black free shipping that I paid for last year. Yay for deals! And yay for another year filled with quilting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Calendar Quilt

Here's a quilt I just finished. And now it's official...Christmas can come...since my Advent Calendar quilt is finally done! This is the first seasonal quilt I have ever made and I'm planning on keeping it for my family to enjoy.

I started making this quilt last year when we were staying in Arizona in November and December. Since it was just a temporary stay we didn't pack any Christmas decor...and we didn't have a tree. So I decided to make this wall hanging so at least we'd have a tree. I just made this up in my head, so I didn't really think through all the the fact that I had no way to quilt it in Arizona. But luckily I didn't think about that until the fabric was bought and the construction was well underway! I just finished as much as I could and packed it away to finish later. 

I made all the presents out of one charm pack of "Ready, Set, Snow" by Me and My Sister for Moda. I love this was so fun to design all the little presents and choose coordinating "ribbons" and "bows". 

To assemble these I first made the front of the present and appliqued on the numbers (fusible web, stitched on with a blanket stitch in matching thread). And since this is an advent calendar, of course the presents are actually pockets. I wanted a nice finished edge on the top of the pocket, so I cut a white piece of fabric the same size as the present, then sewed the two with right sides together, leaving a small opening at the bottom, and turned it right side out. Easy.

The bows are all appliqued to the background fabric using fusible web and blanket stitch. These were put on first, as was the tree. I marked the background with a water soluble pen so I would know where to put the presents once it was quilted. And then after it was quilted I stitched the pockets on with a blanket stitch. A note about that...use a walking foot. The first 5 or 6 of these I put on I was wrestling with the dang thing and trying to figure out why the heck my feed dogs didn't seem to be doing their job! Then I got smart and used the IDT on my sewing pretty much does the same thing as a walking foot. After that it was MUCH easier. 

For the quilting I wanted something frilly and fun. I entertained the idea of trying to be like Judy (Green Fairy Quilts) but let's just say I was not confident that I could pull it off. Instead, I decided to do something I thought I could easily do and make it look fairly well. So I ended up with lots of swirls. I thought they looked like little cinnamon rolls...and that's fun enough for me! It was rather time consuming, but worth it in the end. I decided to use 2 layers of batting, which I have never done before. And let me tell ya, the finished quilt is STIFF. But I knew I was going to quilt it to death and I wanted a sturdier background to attach the pockets to, so it works. 

I bound it in this cute red stripe, and though I thought seriously about bias binding (you know, like a candy cane) due to time constraints...(I was trying to finish this on Dec. 1st)...I decided against it. Still cute. 

And the tree...the final thing I had to do was sew on a bunch of buttons. I was originally planning on just using green buttons, but I decided to throw in the red and white too, cause I had them, and because it gives the tree a little more interest before all the ornaments get put on...

And...the ornaments. This part was definitely harder than it had to be. In the beginning I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I was going to use as ornaments. I thought of felt...but couldn't find enough cute felt ornament I hate the feel of felt, so that was out. Real ornaments? Couldn't find enough flat ones that wouldn't cost me a fortune. Then I found a bunch of cheap, flat wood ornaments at Joann...but they were the kind you have to paint yourself. I bought them last year thinking that's what I would use but I wasn't thrilled about them. Then a month or two ago I had a stroke of pure GENIUS...

I thought of using these super cute and fairly sturdy gift tags. They come with ribbon already attached and they are very inexpensive--like $8 or $9 dollars for a box of 60. Perfect!! I recruited my sister-in-law Michelle (the gift wrapping queen of America) to get me some at Sam's Club, Costco, and from her personal stash, then I picked up another box at BJ's so I had lots of different styles to choose from. And they fit perfectly in the pockets!! Let the advent calendar fun begin!

Merry Christmas!!

UPDATE: There is now a full pattern available for this quilt! Get it HERE!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Square Rings Quilt

Here is quilt I made several months ago. I actually finished it up about a week before we moved...luckily...because I knew if I didn't do it before we left Minnesota, it would never get done!

I made this quilt for my friend Lorie. She asked me ages ago if I would make her a quilt. I told her I would, and asked her to get me some paint chips in the colors she wanted. I figured I could just whip up one more quilt...and then I got the paint chips. Let's just say they were colors that I was not used to working with. I had nothing in my stash. I hunted around for a few months for fabrics that matched, but the only things I could find (that weren't hideous) were solids, or near solids. So I finally bought a bunch of quilter's linen because that was the only thing that was even close to the right colors. I started mocking up different quilt designs and sending them to Lorie, but it didn't seem to me like there was one that she was really in love with. So I took a little break to work on other quilts while I waited for inspiration to strike...

...which it inevitably did in the form of this fabulous stencil (above) that I saw at the Paducah quilt show. It is made by The Crafter's Workshop. They have so many cool designs...any one of them could have been an amazing quilt, but I chose to try the rounded squares since I have been loving that shape lately. Oh, and I didn't tell Lorie what I was doing...I decided that I'd just surprise her and hope that she liked it! :) 

I mocked this all up in inkscape, using a picture of the stencil as a guide. I figured out the colors, and measurement of each shape. Then I printed out the corner of each square, cut each square out of fabric and rounded the corners and cut out the centers using a rotary cutter. I used Bonash (fusible powder) to attach the shapes to a large piece of background fabric and secured them with a blanket stitch in matching thread. 

For the quilting on this one I decided on straight 1/2 inch lines in the background and loops inside the shapes, all in matching thread. Easy, and I like the way it turned out.

Quilts made for friends are the best!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cinder Blocks Quilt

Here is a baby quilt I made a few months back that I am finally getting around to posting. This is also my Blogger's Quilt Festival entry! 

I made this quilt for no one in particular. The inspiration for it came last year while we were staying in Arizona. I consider myself completely lucky that I even found the inspiration since I discovered it in a place that I normally don't go: the gym. So the apartments we were living in had a really nice clubhouse, and usually my girls and I would make our way over there once or twice a week for the delicious and free fresh baked cookies they always had. So one day while on a cookie run, we used a different entrance to the clubhouse than we normally did and it took us right past the workout room, aka the gym. Normally I never would have even looked in there since I'm not really a gym kind of girl (I'm completely content with a workout video in the comfort of my own living room). Anyway, as we walked past the room I glanced through the open door and as luck would have it, on the one wall I could see there was a giant mirror reflecting this fabulous piece of wall art:

I have no idea who the artist is...but I think this piece is brilliant! When I saw it I knew immediately that it would somehow become a quilt! So later on I went back to the gym and covertly snapped a picture. 

It took me a while to actually sit down and come up with a design for the quilt and then a while longer to decide what fabrics to use. Once I figured out exactly what I wanted to do, I mocked it up in Inkscape. I printed just the corner of one shape and cut it out to use as a template. Next, I figured out the measurements of each shape, cut the appropriate sized rectangles out of the printed fabric and used my template and a rotary cutter to round the corners and cut out the middles. Then I appliqued them onto a single piece of gray fabric using Bonash (fusible powder). I have decided I really like Bonash for quilts like this...other methods I have tried are either more time consuming or they leave the quilt too stiff. One drawback of this method is the edges can fray a bit more, but for me that's not a deal-breaker. Anyway, to finish it up, I secured the shapes with a blanket stitch in matching thread. 

And...the quilting. I think I was in a hurry to get this quilted...yeah, I was in a hurry. My quilting machine was making a funny sound and I had scheduled it for maintenance, but I wanted to finish this quilt first. :) So the whole time I was quilting it I kept saying to my machine, "please don't die, please don't die!" And it didn't. Anyway, I had a really hard time trying to come up with a good way to quilt it (sound familiar?). In the end, I chose a ridiculously tedious design...pebbling. After I started it I realized that pebbling was totally the wrong choice for a speedy finish. But I still got it done in time and became more adept at pebbling. I couldn't decide what to do inside the I decided to just do nothing. Now I'm thinking this quilt would have been perfect for some trapunto!

After I finished it, every time I looked at it I thought the shapes looked kinda like a bunch of cinder blocks stacked on each other...hence the name. 

Yay for quilting! Enjoy the rest of the quilts in the festival!!

Amy's Creative Side

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rainbow Stripes Baby Quilt

Here's a quilt I made last week as a baby shower gift for a new friend, Ashley. It was one of those, 'It's Monday, and I need a shower gift by Thursday' kind of quilts. Seriously, fastest quilt EVER.

The inspiration for this was a picture of a quilt I pinned on Pinterest a few months ago...I don't pin much, but when I do, it generally comes in handy later on. So last Saturday, I thought about making a quilt, but after racking my brain for a super fast quilt idea, I came up with nothing! Then Monday morning, I woke up and again remembered that I would need a shower gift by Thursday. I really didn't want to go shopping...even the thought of dragging my girls to the store was stressful. So I again thought about making a quilt. All of the sudden this picture popped into my head...

Streamers Quilt --photo from
How cute is that picture?? Now normally, I am not really a rainbow quilt kind of girl...I can appreciate a good multi-colored quilt, but they're not usually my first choice to make. But when I saw this picture, I changed my mind a little. I really loved the white breaking up the colored stripes. I knew it would be perfect! So anyway, I quickly went to my Pinterest board and found the picture, clicked through to and looked at more pictures of the quilt. An hour later I had a plan and a pile of fabrics pulled from my stash. There is not a full picture of the inspiration quilt available, but I am fairly sure the stripes run vertically up and down the quilt. I decided to do mine horizontally for ease and speed and I am really happy with how it turned out.

I cut all the strips out freehand with my rotary cutter. I tried to keep them about the same width. Once they were all cut out, I positioned them on a white piece of fabric and pinned to keep them in place. I didn't feel like doing a blanket stitch so I sewed them down using a straight stitch about 3/8" from the edge--I decided I would let the edges fray a little. Once all the strips were sewn down, I flipped it over to the back and cut off the white fabric between the 2 stitch lines of each strip so they would lay flat. This was all done easily in a few hours.

On to the quilting...this probably took the longest-- mostly because I had to sit and agonize over how to quilt it. Typical. In the end I wasn't in love with what I did, but I didn't have time to dork around with it just needed to be done! I liked the straight line quilting from the inspiration quilt, but I couldn't do it because of the frayed edges. So I finally decided to do loops in the white sections and the goofy lines and flowers that ended up in the colored sections. Normally I don't like to wash my quilts before photographing or giving away because you can't see the quilting as well. On this one, I had to wash it so the edges would fray well, and I was glad because the quilting blended in a little more. 

I bound it in white and showed it to my 4 year old. She loves rainbows, so I thought she would love this quilt. I asked her what she thought of it and she said (sounding very unenthusiastic), "It's OK. But it's missing something." I asked her what it was missing and she said, "It needs a baby." Then later on she said, "Mom, I changed my mind, I do like that quilt...but it still needs a baby." She is such a funny girl. Then when I told her I was going to the baby shower, she said, "Does the baby like to get wet?" I laughed so hard imagining what she must have been thinking we would be doing at the baby shower!

After I had already made the quilt, I found out that the shower was a "diapers and gift cards" shower. Oops! Should have read the invite more closely. I told Ashley she could easily turn this quilt into a gift card by selling it on ebay...I don't think she's going to though. :) 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bohemian Festival Quilt

Here's a quilt I finished last week. This one was requested by my sister-in-law Michelle. I think she has discovered the fun of giving quilts as birthday gifts...and asked me to make this one for a good friend of hers who has a birthday this week. 

Michelle asked me a couple months ago if I would make this quilt, and said she would need it at the end of July. I figured it was doable but I knew it would have to wait until after our big move at the end of June. We moved from Minnesota to a lovely little state on the east coast...and lets just say that the transition was a little rough for me. Ok, a lot rough. Things were totally different than I could have ever imagined, and I was so excited to move out here that it never occurred to me that I would possibly hate it!! I was not prepared! After being here for a whole month, things are much, much better, but the first two weeks were kind of awful. There was lots of complaining, freaking out, crying, and hunting for the elusive "weird smell" that pervaded our too-good-to-be true condo. Luckily, I had this quilt to snap me out of it, and all is well now. Thank you, quilting, for helping to restore my sanity! :) 

For this quilt, we first chose the fabric. Michelle said she wanted bright, fun prints with white to accent. After looking a bit, I suggested a couple fabric lines, and Michelle chose Bohemian Festival by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake. I think it was a great choice...definitely bright and fun! Originally I had planned on making a different quilt, but once I mocked it up, I was not in love. So Michelle looked online and found this post showing a few quilts made in this pattern which unfortunately I do not know the name of. Probably something to do with half-square triangles, since all the quilts I saw were made up entirely of half square triangles. Bleh.

I feel like a little bit of a traitor saying that I am not in love with half-square triangles. Seems like lots of quilters really like them, but I am just not a huge fan. The thought of making an entire quilt from just half-square triangles was slightly nauseating (even with Thangles, or programs like Triangulations which make it slightly more bearable).  So I messed around in EQ until I came up with a way to use the least amount of half-square triangles but still get the same look. Here's the block I used:

Now with any block that I am just making up as I go along, it doesn't always work as planned at first. I printed the rotary cutting measurements out of EQ, but it rounds to the nearest 1/16. So the measurement it gave me for the printed squares was 3 11/16. So I rounded to the nearest 1/4 and cut my squares at 3 3/4. No big deal, right? WRONG. Apparently a small amount of rounding can really mess things up. Each triangle ended up being just a tiny bit too big! So when I sewed the rows with 3 or 5 triangles, they were too long and didn't match up with the white pieces (which I cut out as indicated on the rotary cutting measurement sheet with no modifications). So, I am happy to report that it only took me until the 3rd block to figure out a fix: when sewing the triangles together into rows, I just used a slightly bigger seam allowance, and then it worked out perfectly. And with this block I didn't mind using triangles at was actually fun to put them together! YAY!

For the quilting...I looked a little bit online to get ideas of how others had quilted this...and found straight lines, mostly. I thought about looking for other quilting designs, but then just decided to Cynthia-fy it. This quilting is very similar to the quilting done on the Central Park Kaleidoscope and the Beach Umbrella quilts. I can't get enough of this type of quilting. Lots of rulers and loops and fun to do. My loops could use some help...they are kind of crazy, but what do ya do?

The back is yellow pretty!

Did scrappy binding...I bought a fat quarter pack, and had so much leftover fabric, I figured I ought to use as much as scrappy binding it is!

Happy Birthday Miss Renee!