To the Stars (and Back!)

My daughter just turned one. Yay! I am happy to report that her baby quilt was finished BEFORE her first birthday. (Or, realistically, happy to report I got it finished at all!)

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First draft of the quilt. Wound up adding her name and a few more stars before all was said and done.

This is my very first quilt that I designed, pieced, and quilted entirely myself. I drew it out on graph paper first, a very rough sketch, then cut out the background pieces. I printed out the stars and used my light board to sketch them on to freezer paper. I then ironed the freezer paper on to the main fabric, cut out the shapes, then iron the fabric onto the background panels, stitch them down, and then finally sew the panels together.

 

43302827_10161146644345284_8075668844498124800_o.jpgThe name was the hardest part- that and the moon, because it was so big it overlapped a few background panels, meaning I had to sew the panels together first and THEN stitch the moon down. I was worried about the moon moving during stitching (even though I used approximately 1 billion pins) and causing the fabric to bunch. But it worked out!

I then basted it using 505 Spray (I’m nervous because you aren’t supposed to use it when pregnant, and use it in a well-ventilated area… so I did it when it was nice out and in the garage and AFTER Athena was born) and started quilting.

43385965_10161146644260284_2340888610909192192_n.jpgFor the quilting I did an all-over meander… a very dense meander. It isn’t the best, but it isn’t the worst, and it was my first time doing a meander so I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

As for the stars/planets/letters, I started doing a double echo around each one but then went down to just one echo. Again, nobody is going to notice from 20 feet away so it’s good enough for me!

I was able to bind it in  some leftover purple that matched absolutely perfectly with the purple in the space fabric. Also, I didn’t know this at the time of purchase, but the space fabric has glitter in it… that is now everywhere in my sewing room. I think I’ll be finding glitter in my machine for the rest of my life!

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Elephant Baby Quilt

IMG_2011Another baby quilt; this time it’s for another little boy and my instructions were as follows: navy blue and lime green colors. The rest was up to me.

I had recently obtained a tumbler template from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and hadn’t had a chance to use it yet, so I decided this would be a perfect time to do so! Using some different shades of white/grey/off white fabric from my stash and some navy and lime green yardage, this came together quite nicely! (Especially since it was my first time using the template.)

Originally I had wanted to do triangles instead of the tumbler block, but I don’t have a triangle ruler and it was shaping up to be pretty confusing. (I’m sure, eventually, I will wind up doing a triangle quilt and I will find it much easier, but today is not that day!)

It turned out looking pretty modern – I have to say, when I heard the colors “navy blue” and “lime green” together, I was a bit nonplussed – I had never thought to put them together before.IMG_2013

But after this quilt… yeah, this is high on my color choice combos for boyo quilts from now on. It’s so striking, I absolutely love it! Not to mention the quilting, which is elephants marching from row to row. My LAQ even managed to get them marching around the corner instead of doing a simple edge-to-edge.

Fun story- I actually didn’t have this quilt finished in time for the baby shower, which actually turned out perfectly! When I went, the theme was green, blue, and elephants, so that decided me on the quilting pattern! (Oops!)

I’m just head-over-heels for this quilt! I think it turned out absolutely stunning!

It’s hard to believe we’re just a few weeks away from our move. I’m about two weeks behind right now on my 365 Challenge, but I’ve been feeling really under the weather lately, so hopefully when that clears up I can get caught up again!

Yer a wizard, ‘Arry! (Harry Potter Baby Quilt)

A good friend of mine at work is having a baby this June, and so of course I had to make her a baby quilt. It was super easy to come up with a theme- she absolutely loves everything Harry Potter. She mentioned once or twice that she liked the chevron pattern, so I thought it would be fun to do a chevron pattern with the Hogwarts’ House colors.

Originally that was going to be it. But as I was piecing it, I decided it needed something more. And I wanted to add her kiddo’s name- Liam. Now, Harry Potter has a very unique font associated with it- and it’s got lots of jagged lines. But I was determined!IMG955163.jpg

I freehand drew the letters of the name out, got them all traced and cut out, and then realized that there were font generators online where I could have TYPED it out in the font, printed THAT, and then traced THAT. So I did that with the date, but there was no way in hell I was redoing the name. Plus I was kinda proud of how it came out. Yes, the ‘m’ is slightly smaller – but nobody knows until I point it out.

Wait. Shoot.

Anyways, moving on – the IMG955155backing is just simple black because I REALLY wanted the quilting to stand out. My LAQ had a Harry Potter themed edge to edge design, and it was PERFECT. I chose a silver/grey thread to really pop on the back and somewhat blend on the front without blurring the lettering. I finished the quilt off with black binding.

I’m absolutely in love with this quilt. It turned out unbelievably well! I know it’ll be treasured for years to come- hopefully the little one likes Harry Potter!

I did forget to take pictures of the quilt before gifting it, but my friend was super nice and took some pictures of it at her house and sent them to me. So there isn’t a traditional “hung up” one, but they’re quality photos nonetheless! She has an awesome camera and a pretty good eye for photography. Maybe someday she’ll let me borrow the quilt for a couple minutes to snap a couple more.

 

Baby quilt from a panel!

So my wonderful brother- and sister-in-law were expecting their very first. Baby, that is. They already have three cats. Now, normally my wonderful step-mother-in-law (the same incredible woman who taught me to sew and started this whole addiction- I mean passion-) makes quilts for all the coming babes.

But because this was Dan’s brother, he asked me to make a quilt as well. Of course, he asked me this about 3/4 weeks before baby was due. And we didn’t know the gender.img_0844

So I went to my LQS for some inspiration (read: I was going to buy something or drop of a quilt and… well… we all know how those quick trips turn into something else…) and happened to see this adorable panel of little birds, bugs, and insects. It had some matching colorful fabric that I thought would be perfect for either a boy or a girl. Made the tree fabric into borders and BAM- had img_0830my little quilt. I backed it with another colorful fabric and had it quilted with little dragonflies in teal thread.

I absolutely, unabashedly, wholeheartedly LOVE this quilt. Love, love, LOVE this quilt. I was so tempted to keep it!  It turned out SO darling, and it was quite large! Hopefully that means it’ll last the little (who turned out to be a girl, btw) quite a long time!!

I might start updating a couple of times a week- once for the Winter Solstice, once for any completed projects I’ve finished, and once for the 365 Challenge.

 

A Happy Accident

No, I’m not talking about my son. (Even though he was.) I’m talking about a baby quilt! I’m not actually naming the quilt “A Happy Accident”- No, wait, I’m totally naming the baby quilt/wall hanging that. That is hilarious.

This quilt came around because I made a mistake on a much larger quilt I was making that required me to buy a new jelly roll. But I hate wasting fabric, so I was trying to figure out what I could make with the rest of the jelly roll instead. And since it was all sewn together, I decided to cut some off-center blocks from the strips.

I went with a simple black to border the blocks, and used 9 of the 10 I cut in a roughly rainbow arrangement. I absolutely adore how it turned out! It’s going to be a perfect wall hanging or a baby quilt. It’s already up on Etsy.

img_0869The backing is black as well, which really shows the quilting off to advantage. The quilting was done using teal thread to create whimsical dragonflies and lightning bugs. I really enjoy how much it stands out on the back of the quilt!

I’m pretty proud of how my corners and the binding turned out too. I machine bind all my quilts now, because I actually like the look if it much better than hand bound, and I think it is much more secure than when it’s hand bound.

A Happy Accident is pretty special to me. Even though it was a relatively quick and painless quilt (if only because it wasn’t planned), it holds a special place in my heart. Every time I see this quilt, I’m reminded that just because something didn’t go the way you wanted or planned it to, you can make something wonderful come from it.

My kiddo really wanted to help hold the quilt, and who am I to tell him he can’t help out?! He definitely makes the quilt better. 😉

Follow the Yellow Brick Row!

It’s been awhile; it has been a crazy couple of weeks. The good news though, is that I have a lot of my quilts finished!

img_0813Back in February, I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Virginia. While there, I happened to come across a booth that sold exclusively Kaffe Fassett fabrics and kits that used his fabrics. If you aren’t familiar with K.Fassett, he creates quilts and fabrics that are full to bursting with vibrant, over saturated color. In the booth I saw a quilt made from a brick pattern, and fell in love with it.

I’ve always loved K.Fassett’s fabrics and quilts, and so I purchased the 18 fat quarters needed for the quilt and some white as well as the white fabric. Now, I am not usually a fan of yellow, but the colors and vibrancy of these fabrics… I fell in love.

So, I brought the fabric and pattern back home, and created the lap quilt. After creating the lap quilt, however, I counted my remaining pieces that I had and realized I had more than enough to make a baby quilt from the leftover pieces.

This is the baby quilt I made:

 

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I am absolutely in love with this quilt and I wouldn’t even CONSIDER trying to sell it except that I have the lap size quilt that I think I will keep.

The quilting pattern I picked out was that of a daisy, and I think it compliments both the quilt and the pattern on the fabrics very nicely. I call these two quilts “Follow the Yellow Brick Row” because, well, they’re yellow, and their bricks, and I went down the “road” when sewing the rows together… and everyone knows I stole the thought from The Wizard of Oz. I’m not fooling anyone, am I?img_0817

The lap quilt looks very similar to this, just larger. Getting the rows just right so the same fabric didn’t wind up next to each other too often was exhausting, but I really, REALLY like this quilt! I haven’t had my lap quilt sent off to be quilted yet, but I will be doing that very soon now! I’ll give it it’s own (much shorter) entry just so it doesn’t feel ignored.

Baby Quilt for a friend!

Everyone has that stage in their lives where all their friends are getting married and/or getting pregnant all at once, right? It’s like a bug that goes around and bites people and they just all start falling one by one. Well, my best friend from college recently had a baby, and so I made her a quilt for the little one. She asked for pink and green, and as I do fairly often, I found something perfect at Connecting Threads. I designed the quilt myself (read: decided on HST and just went with what I thought would look good).

I think it turned out really well! So well, in fact, that I didn’t feel guilty not giving it to her until her little one was almost 5 months old! To be fair, that’s what you get when you live in Virginia and your college friend is still up in Michigan.

It’s super soft and when I went back to visit, baby was all cuddled up with it in her bed. It was the first time I saw one of my quilts actually being used, and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside, haha.

Anyways, I’m really excited because I just dropped off a couple of my finished quilt tops with the quilter, so hopefully soon I’ll have a Halloween quilt, another baby quilt, a block of the month, and a wall hanging done! Yay!