Tag Archives: Quilting

#makeaquiltmakeafriend

I had such fun making this little mini for my partner in the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap!  She said in her interview questions that she loved foxes, and I took that and ran with it. I call him “Foxy”

Foxy for the schnitzel & boo mini quilt swap!

My original plan was to use the cross stitch block pattern by Pile O’ Fabric and the fox pattern by Making Life Prettier, but I wanted Foxy to be smaller and I was just not up for the tiny, tiny blocks that I really wanted to create.  I opted to use the fox pattern with solid blocks finished at 1.5 inches.  I quilted it with the crosshatch design to give the impression of the cross stitch blocks and added the Foxy borders with minimal quilting.

Foxy the schnitzel & boo mini quilt swap!

The most fun I had with this one was string piecing it all together. I love string piecing because, for me, it cuts down on a lot of the piecing errors I am prone to make. I don’t often have a chance to use the technique, though, because I don’t make a lot of quilt with squares that match up quite so perfectly. I guess TECHNICALLY I string piece all the time, but this was sort of extreme string piecing:

Foxy - String pieced

I think it’s tough to see in this picture, but the rows are all joined at each seam and you won’t be cutting them apart.  The only bear is pressing the strips while they are all connected, but with a little practice, it’s not that problematic.  At this point you can just fold the rows over each and either glue baste or pin without worrying about which row goes next. I’m all for short cuts. Also it leaves you back looking nice in neat without a bunch of strings hanging around. The only caution I have is that you can’t press your final seams open when you sew the block like this, so if you’re someone who likes to do that, then perhaps this technique is not for you.

Foxy the schnitzel & boo mini quilt swap!

It’s been a while OR, what I did in my year-long hiatus from blogging

It’s been quite a year in Alyson-land.  I mean, I worked, I played, I made some quilts, oh and I had a baby.

The heck you say? Yes, yes, I know.  Most of you already know.  But I did kind of leave the blog hanging and I thought i would catch you up, just in case.  So here she is, Erica Beth. Born January 31, 2014 at 7:22am. I couldn’t have been more surprised when I discovered my ‘condition’ and I couldn’t be more in love than I am now. She’ll be 11 weeks old tomorrow and she grins all the time, babbles near-constantly, sleeps almost enough for my liking, and is loved by everyone who knows her, including her big brother and the dog, much to my relief.

But this blog is about sewing and sewing we shall discuss. The quilt pictured was made not for Erica but for another new little friend of ours, Emily.  The pattern is “Bathtub Gin” by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time. I don’t have a Sizzix, so I created my own 8″ tumbler template and rotary cut the pieces. The fabrics are from Mod by Annette Tatum.
FSmod

I tried glue basting for the first time on this piece and I LOVE it. I will never pin again!  I mean, look at those perfectly matched points:

If you’ve never tried glue basting, I suggest you give it a go.  No more pin holes in in your fingers! Here’s the video that I worked from to learn the technique:

When the quilt was pieced and sandwiched, I quilted it using a watery free motion quilting design:

I have another quilt top that I put together with these fabrics but that hasn’t been sandwiched and quilted yet.  I’m thinking about finishing it up and putting it up for sale in the HastyQuilter Etsy shop.

Just as an aside piece of business, I unpublished the HastyQuilter Facebook page. It just became too overwhelming to even think about maintaining it. I doubt I will bring it back, but you can still talk to me through this blog and on Instagram, and if you’re a friend, my personal Facebook page too. :-)

Sunset Star

 

Sunset Star

Here’s the finished Doll Quilt Swap 13 Mini!  I decided to call it Sunset Star.  I based my color choices on a sunset photo taken by one of my friends and used the 3 Layer Star paper piecing pattern by Mommy’s Nap Time.  My partner, who I can now reveal was Paula, asked for modern quilting and bright colors.  I found out through the message boards that her favorite color was purple, but that she’d also been into the pink/orange combination and that she loved paper piecing.  A match made in heaven? Maybe… :-)

Enough about that, though.  What I really wanted to talk about was the QUILTING of this beast:

Sunset Star label

Starry (can I call you Starry?), Starry and I did NOT agree on its quilting.  This was a battle to the death and I did not come out on top.  I really, REALLY wanted to do something different than my usual, and settled on “Feathered Hearts” from Leah Day’s 365 free motion project.  I had the perfect thread for it too: a pretty peachy-pinky one that went perfectly with the star. I did a little scrap test and adjusted my tension. I got myself all comfortable. Then I started. My thread broke. I re-threaded and picked up where I left off. It broke again. I checked the tension – the thread seemed awfully tight in the machine. I adjusted the tension again. The thread broke AGAIN. I thought it must be because I was starting the middle and there was a lot of seams right there in the center (you know, since the star pieces all meet there).  I decided to tackle the feathering parts and leave the hearts for later. Skipped stitches. MORE skipped stitches. Another thread breaking incident.

At this point, I didn’t know if I could recover the quilt.  I mean, it was pretty dense quilting since I was going so slow. I pulled the whole thing out of the machine and walked away.  When I came back to it, I started the long, long process of picking out the quilting I had already done. Luckily, with lots of picking, spritzing (with water) and pressing, the quilt recovered almost completely. Except the center. It was then that I decided the star needed a literal focal point at the center, both to cover the battlefield and to complete the piece.  I was super worried that it would just look thrown on there, but in the end, I think the little circle does complete the piece.

After that, I changed out my thread for some yellow in a different brand, gave up on the feathered hearts and got down to the business of stitching that sucker in happy, flowing little loop-de-loops in the star and echoing angles in the blue areas. Some much more relaxed!  Of course, this was too good to be true…as I reached the outer edges it quickly became apparent that my blue thread was running dangerously low, so I made a quick switch BACK to the yellow for those little loop-de-loops along the sides.

For a piece that really DIDN’T WANT to be quilted, I think it turned out alright. But I am going to get those feathered hearts right if I have to die trying.

Farfalle Baby Quilt

Do you know what Farfalle is?  It’s the pasta that’s shaped like a bow. You know, this stuff:

Farfalle Pasta

Did you also know that “farfalla” is Italian for butterfly? Neither did I…

ANYWAY…this weekend, I made a flying farfalle quilt as a well-past-due gift for the baby of some friends.  (The baby is now 4 months old, so it’s not THAT far past due…)

Farfalle Baby Quilt

What a fun quilt to make!  I love how this turned out…well, most of it.  I love the wonky triangles and the colors.  I’m not usually a pink girl, but every once in a while I like to let my girlie flag fly. Plus I think the grey and other wonderful colors mitigate the glaring pinkness of it all, even if I did use hot pink thread to quilt it. ;-)

Speaking of the quilting, that’s the one thing I really don’t like.  I love my little loop-de-loops that I normally do and knowing that I was on a bit of a time crunch, I should really have stuck with them for this quilt.  But I wanted to try something different and ended up with this loop-de-loop-de-loop design. I guess the results are good, but this little 40″x40″quilt became such a BEAST.  My arms were completely exhaused and I think I started to develop tennis elbow. Add to that my basting spray refused to perform it’s proper function and hold the layers together…UGH!

Farfalle Baby Quilt detail

Still pretty. In the end, I don’t think I can be too unhappy with the results – what matters is that I made a special gift for some special friends and their beautiful little girl. Amiright?

I’ve been trying to find a tutorial to direct you to to make this quilt and I haven’t seen one. Maybe I’ll write one up myself. You’ll be the first to know if I do.

On my sewing table right now:

I’m trying out a new (to me) free motion quilting design on this baby quilt. It’s called “Trailing Spirals“. What do you think?

Trailing Spirals