bear paw quilt

Bear Paw Quilt

Since I donate most of the quilts I made to Project Linus, I sometimes feel a little guilty, like I’m sending them my experiments rather than my best work or something that’s more appropriate for a child.  So I made a more traditional quilt – one that was made specifically for Project Linus: a bear paw quilt!  In pink!  As it turns out, I had a LOT of pink in my stash – odd, since I don’t really think of myself as a “pink person”.  Guess I’m a “pink quilter” though?

Though it looks like there are a million pieces in this quilt – well, there kind of are – it came together really quickly.  The hardest part was making sure all of the “paws” were facing in the right direction.  Once I had the blocks sewn I was kind of shocked at how big it was going to be.  I almost made it into two small quilts but left it at one huge quilt.  I had no regrets about the size until I went to quilt it – this really stretched my ability to wrestle a quilt through my machine.  As a result, the quilting is a little wonky.

bear paw quilt

bear paw quilt

bear paw quilt

bear paw quilt

This was a really fun quilt to make and I love all of the pink :-)  Hopefully it will find a new home soon!

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postage stamp quilt

postage stamp quilt

When I first started quilting almost 9 (!!) years ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to make a postage stamp quilt.  While there’s some variation, postage stamp quilts are mostly made of 2.5″ squares.  In my enthusiasm, I started keeping a couple of squares from nearly all projects that I made until I had what seemed like a lot of squares.  I started to sew them together in groups or nine and realized that “a lot” of 2.5″ squares sewed together doesn’t necessarily become a standard sizes quilt.  So I kept saving these squares and, every so often, sewing them together.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I painted my sewing room and as I was emptying the room, I decided that I had enough and I would just make a quilt from whatever I had.  Well, I had enough for one and a half quilts (of course!) :-)  So as soon as I could get back into my sewing room, I made my first postage stamp quilt.  This one has 1,080 squares (that’s no typo – just a measure of my (in)sanity!).  It was actually pretty fun to put together and I love how it came out!  My only hope is that it doesn’t take me another 9 years to have enough squares to finish the second quilt!

I tried my best with these pictures – it’s remarkably hard to take a good picture of a quilt with so many tiny pieces and retain the depth at the same time.

postage stamp quilt

Not only is the top made of scrap squares, but the batting is a bunch of larger size pieces.

postage stamp quilt

postage stamp quilt

There is a scrap from my very first quilt right in the center of this picture (between the green and blue squares):

postage stamp quilt

I pieced the back to use up some larger size pieces of fabric.  For the quilting, I just did a single diagonal lines in both directions.

postage stamp quilt

Honestly, the most time-consuming part of making this quilt was collecting the 2.5″ squares!  Once you have them sewn in blocks of nine, it comes together really quickly, I promise :-)

black/red/yellow stars

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library searching for more traditional patterns for inspiration.  I found a great book, Quilts Quilts Quilts by Diane McClun and Laura Nownes, which has some of the patterns that I’m particularly interested in.  Does it take you a long time to think about the construction of a quilt and the colors?  Sometimes I think I spend more time thinking about my projects during the planning phase than I do actually making the quilt!  I didn’t really have anything pressing on my “to make” list, so I thought I’d make the star sampler with the pattern from the book.  A friend recently gave me some random fabric that I wasn’t in love with, so the colors (red, black and yellow) self-selected.  I would not say I followed the pattern exactly – what a surprise! haha – mostly because I am not very careful while sewing HST’s and I need a lot of trim allowance.  Believe it or not, all of the blocks were supposed to be 14″ square.  As you can see, only two achieved that size.

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I used up a lot of random pieces on the back.  I kind of love the back?

IMG_0292

I had fun making the quilt but I neither love it nor hate it. I feel like this quilt can be filed under the “I made a quilt and it was ok” category.  I guess some quilts are like that?  :-)

scrappy quarter log cabin quilt

scrappy quarter log cabin quilt

Thought it’s hard to believe after my last quilt that I would still have a sizeable collection of scraps, once I started to sort the remainders, I realized that not only did I still have a lot of scraps, I had a lot in the pink/purple/orange and yellow color zone.  I decided to make a bunch of quarter log cabins and see how it worked out.  To be honest, this quilt is not at all how I imagined it would be.  I think it works but I like the one in my head that I was unable to execute better :-)

scrappy quarter log cabin quilt

scrappy quarter log cabin quilt

scrappy quarter log cabin quilt

The quilting was a real hot mess which was really disappointing.  I think there were too many seams, too many fabric directions and too much lousy ironing, which made it pull at my first row of quilting and just got worse as I went on. Don’t ask how many times I re-basted! I got it to work eventually but it was very frustrating.  If I washed it before taking these pictures, I don’t think the pulling would be all that noticeable…

scrappy quarter log cabin quilt

I love the back – orange it one of my favorite colors!  And I am thrilled that I *almost* got the zigzag to line up – I didn’t have enough fabric to get it to line up and make a 10″ stripe but I love it just the same.

scrappy string quilt

scrappy string quilt

After my last few projects, I realized I had an abundance of scraps.  Fortunately, I love to play with scraps!  I had this idea that I would make something along the lines of Charlie Brown’s t-shirt – a bit of a zigzag.  Instead of making it all scrappy, I had some blue fabric that I thought might work as the center to create the zigzag line.  Full disclose: the blue fabric was what was going to be a summer dress.  After two pattern alterations (one with the professional advice of my mom), the darn dress still didn’t fit so I gave it up and threw it in my stash.  It was very cathartic to cut up the remains of that dress and put it to use in this project!  I have to admit, this is one of my most favorite quilts that I’ve made so far.  Fortunately, I still have a ton of that blue fabric left over and I am always making more scraps!

scrappy string quilt

I purposefully made the blue strips uneven widths so as to add to the wonkiness scrappiness of the quilt. I think it works!

scrappy string quilt

scrappy string quilt

The back is some Marimekko yardage that I got for cheap at the Crate & Barrel Outlet.  It’s a bit heavier than quilting cotton so it was a dream to quilt – no puckers!  The quilting is very simple – I did a single line through all of the blue fabric and then another single line the opposite way.

scrappy string quilt

I love how this quilt came out and was so pleased with the process that I’ve lost a bit of my “sewing mojo”.  I’m slogging through my latest quilt . . .