charm quilt

charm quilt

Another friend had a baby so, I happily got to make another quilt for a friend!  I went with a really simple pattern – a charm quilt made of 5″ squares.  Can you tell that Lauren had a girl? ;-)  I love the rose fabric on the back though I’m not super crazy about the white thread on the black background.  Once it’s used/washed a few times it won’t be so obvious.  I can’t believe how girly this quilt is – I love it!

charm quilt

charm quilt

charm quilt

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Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love Quilt in Yellow

It’s so rare that I get to make quilts for people I know.  Most of the quilts I make get donated to Project Linus so it’s a bit of a treat when a friend has a baby and I get to make a quilt that will be loved by someone I love.  My friend Leigh just had a boy so I made the Moda Love Quilt in yellow.  I made one a while back in red so I knew it would be lovely in yellow.  It came out great!  So soft and cozy looking :-)  The pattern comes in three sizes but I altered it so all of my finished blocks were 7″ – perfect size for a baby.

Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love Quilt

These pictures are a little dark, but I assure you this is a bright, sunny, happy quilt!  I hope Leigh and little Valin Xavier love it! :-)

sewing curves, part 2 – a finished quilt

As I mentioned in my last post, I taught myself how to sew freehand improv curves.  This has truly been one of the most enjoyable quilting experiences I’ve had since I started quilting!  This project was such fun and I am happy to now share pictures of the finished quilt.  I absolutely love how it came out!  improv curves quilt

improv curves quilt

improv curves quilt

improv curves quilt

My only regret with this quilt is that it turned out a lot larger than I anticipated so I didn’t have quite enough room to pin the “quilt sandwich” together.  When I went to quilt it, the fabric pulled all over the place.  Ugh, I’m so disappointed in the quilting!  It’s my own fault for rushing things.  I’m sure that once the quilt has been washed, the pulling won’t be noticeable.

improv curves quilt

The backing fabric is from IKEA.  I love this fabric but I think they finally discontinued it.

Instead of dwelling on the quilting mess, I’m going to end with a another picture of the quilt.  This was such a great project and I can’t state enough how great it was to stretch my skills and learn something new :-)

improv curves quilt

sewing curves, part 1

I saw a very inspiring exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum a couple of months ago, Circular Abstraction: Bull’s Eye Quilts.  It was amazing!  Huge quilts, freehand curves, bright color and some of the most interesting work I’ve seen in a while.

I was so inspired by the exhibit, that I decided to teach myself to sew curves.  In the quilting world, there’s a bit of a mystique or fear about sewing curves.  I’ve also been intimidated by curves, with my only experience being on the Meadow Quilt, which found really frustrating once I learned that thin fabric has way too much stretch.

For this attempt at curves, I decided to just wing it – no pattern, no paper piecing, no pins, just play.  I don’t think I do enough of “just play” in quilting and I’d like to do more.  I watched a bunch of YouTube videos (this one and this one were the best!)  to get the hang of sewing curves and pulled out some polyester fabric that I bought by accident and just went for it.

You know how they say that you need to practice something for 10,000 hours before you become an expert?  Let’s just say that I have many more hours to go!  I think there’s something to be said, however, for admitting that you’re learning and you’re not an expert.  There are days/weeks/months/years where I feel like every quilt I see on the internet or at a quilt guild meeting is perfect and the quilter was born knowing how to perfectly piece, sew and press.  My first few sewn curves, were kind of a hot mess:

sewing curves

sewing curves

sewing curves

I cut all of these freehand – no pattern, following a chalk line or using a plate as a “curve guide”.  It took a few times before my muscle memory kicked in.  (and there are a lot more samples that were such failures I immediately used them as dust rags!)  When I sewed the pieces together, I didn’t use pins so it took a few tries to figure out where to match up the seams.  Working with the polyester was kind of a nightmare – the stretch was unbelieving and when I tried to press, it smelled like I was burning down a Barbie factory.  What gave me hope was this one perfect block:

sewing curves

So beautiful!  :-)

sewing curves

Once I felt comfortable with the polyester, I moved on to a much heavier weight fabric and the difference was unbelievable!  The fabric didn’t pull when I cut it and it held its shape during the sewing.  This is when I realized that I was on to something!  I pulled a bunch of fabric, figured out the measurements and just started playing.

sewing curves

This is the start of my latest quilt and I am loving it!  For size reference, each finished block measures 8″.  This has been such a fun experiment and learning opportunity for me.  Now that I have all the blocks cut out, I can see how tentative I was at the beginning with my cuts and re-cuts, and how much more creative and confident I got as I made more blocks. This project has been such a great reminder of a couple of things: everyone has to start somewhere; if you mess up – it’s just fabric; and wow is it fun to learn new things!  Stay tuned for the finished quilt . . .

Simply Fun by Maywood Studio

Simply Fun quilt

When I turned in my last few quilts to Project Linus, I picked up a fun-looking project for the next round of Project Linus Quilts, Simply Fun by Maywood Studio.  The pattern directions weren’t what I expected so I altered the pattern a bit to make 12 separate blocks, instead a more row-by-row design.  I tend to think better in blocks, don’t you?  I went with pink and yellow to make it extra girly :-)

http://cdn.maywoodstudio.com/media/stash-item/file/s/i/simply_fun_update.pdf

The finished/trimmed blocks are 15.5″ square so it made a decent size quilt.  I hadn’t planned to do anything but shadow the suggested pattern colors but in pink and yellow but realized that the quilt would be a bit more interesting if I alternated the pink and yellow so there was some variety in the inner and outer triangle colors.  I also reversed a couple of blocks to use the “white” as a color.  I think these changes made what is a pretty simple quilt, a little more interesting.

http://cdn.maywoodstudio.com/media/stash-item/file/s/i/simply_fun_update.pdf

I finally found a use for that pink camouflage fat quarter I’ve been holding on to (see bottom left block)!  I did end up making a couple of blocks slightly scrappy so as to fully use up a couple of fabrics.

camouflage

I used some random fabric for the back – isn’t that striped fabric great (no crazy piecing!)?

I’m glad I adjusted the pattern to make it into blocks – this turned out to be a fun, quick and easy quilt to make and I’m really happy how it came out.  Sometimes you just need something quick!

This quilt is for Project Linus .