Monday, August 30, 2010

Playing with Windows

    I was at one of my guildies house the other day to visit and she showed me some of her quilts, which were to die for, and one of them was a cathedral windows quilt.  It was amazing.  All hand stitched and beautiful.  Before I left, she gave me a couple bags of her left over scraps and in one of the bags were pieces of white fabric already folded for a cathedral window quilt.  I have always wanted to make one for my own, so when I found those two white squares already folded up, I decided to play around a bit.
     First, I made the small cathedral pin cushion.  It has a window on both sides.  I had to do some manipulating for the windows to show up on the top and bottom for a pincushion, but it was fun.   Then I wanted to test someone's theory on the internet about how what ever size sqaure you start out with, the finished square will end up being half that size after you are done folding.  So I started out with a 4.5 inch block in hopes that after turning a quarter inch in for seams and then doing the other folding it would turn into a 2 inch block.  Sure enough it did.  So I made 8 more and made this very small cathedral windows quilt.  Its finished size is 6 inch square.  I machine stitched the windows and it is a bit wonky, but it was good practice for when I finally start on my real big quilt sometime in the future.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Nifty Wallet

It's birthday time again!  Well, for my daughter's friend that is.  My daughter already made her friend a handmade beaded bracelet, but we wanted to get her something else to go with it so I told my daughter I would pick something up for her at the store today while she is at school.  But as I sat this morning trying to think of what to purchase, I decided I would rather make something instead.  Unless I know specifically what someone wants in a store, I don't usually like to purchase store bought gifts.  I have always preferred to give handmade gifts when ever possible.  I can't help it, it's just what I do.   It just seems more personal to me.

This time I have made a wallet.  The pattern is a free tutorial from Sew Christine. Mine didn't turn out quite like hers though, because I screwed up the zipper hole placement.  The tutorial said mark 1 inch down from the pocket, sew, and cut.  Since the photos were close ups and didn't specify which end to cut,  I ended up measuring from the wrong end, which made my the hole for my zipper on the wrong spot on the lining.  I wasn't about to cut out another set of fabrics, so I improvised.  I moved the credit card pockets up higher and cut off 2.5 inches from the bottom of the lining and sewed it back on to the new top part of the wallet.  This positioned the coin pocket at the bottom of the wallet instead of the middle and also prevented the credit card pocket from being upside down, which was another option I could have gone with, (which I am glad I didn't).  Then I finished with the rest of the instructions.  I also used fusible fleece for the outside so I could have a quilted wallet, and I also added the name to the front. My husband says all my handcrafted gifts should have the person's name on it somewhere.

I hope she likes it!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My First Hand Quilted Quilt

 Yay! Another project finished!

This quilt was stared in June of 2008 and I put the last binding stitch in last night.  This is my first experience hand quilting.  I didn't hand quilt the whole top myself, but I did do a good 80% of it.  Two years ago I was asked to demonstrate hand quilting at the local bean festival in town. I had a few ladies from my quilt guild helping out as well as my daughter and a bored little girl from another booth.  Unfortunately, we didn't get very much quilting done at the event so that left me with the majority of the quilting to finish up myself at home.

I really wanted to get this quilt off the UFO pile.  So these past couple months I made it my priority to finish up this quilt.  I am excited that this is my first hand quilted project.  I must say I am no expert in hand quilting yet.  But with more practice I should be able to eventually get nice small even stitches.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Small Zipper Purse

My daughter has been telling me I have made a bag for everyone but her.  And she is right.  I've made bags for her friends, my friends, myself, my extended family and my extended family's family.  I even made tote bags for my boys to carry their treasures in.  But I still hadn't made one for her.  So for her birthday I surprised her with her very own hand made bag.  She had already picked out the fabrics but she didn't know I was going to make the bag so soon for her.  She was still under the impression she wouldn't get one till she was 30.

The bag she requested had to have a zipper closer and had to be small, but not too small. It took me a while to find a pattern that fit her wants and looked nice.  That is probably why I dragged my feet so long on making her bag.  Then this week the thought hit me to look on Etsy for a pattern.  I figured there should be some pretty bags on there made by individuals, instead of big companies, that would fit what I was looking for.  Sure enough I found the pattern for this bag.  The bag is very cute, but the pattern had a few hard spots that left me wanting to rip my hair out, which is odd for me because I have never had any trouble reading patterns before.   Needless to say, what should have taken 3 hours turned into a 9 hour project.  But the end result was worth it.   My daughter loves it and she has already put all her things in it and taken it to school. So the bag is a success.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beverly's Quilt

Here is my latest project.  This quilt was made by a lady in my quilt guild.  She said she wanted something swirly on it, so per her request, I did an all over free hand loopy swirl design.  This quilt was fun to work with.  The colors are nice and bright and fun.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Machine Quilting

I finished another clients quilt yesterday.  When trying to decide what over all design to put on this quilt I took my inspiration from the green sea life fabric.  I wanted to have some wavy sea weed type lines all over the quilt.  So I used a version of the Mud Flats design from the 365 days of Free Motion Quilting blog.

My version doesn't look quite the same as the one the blog, but I am still happy with the results.  I suppose I am use to making freehand feathers, so what was suppose to look more like wavy Vs turned out to look more like half of a feather.  I did end up spending a little more time on this quilt than I normally do because of the density of the quilting, but I wanted it to look a certain way and I accomplished that goal.