Last year when I went to Lancaster, PA I saw the prettiest leaf quilts and I wanted one soooo bad. One of the shops I visited had a quilt kit with one that I bought. It sat in my room all year, I just didn't feel like making a fall quilt in the winter or spring. A couple weeks ago I came across the kit and decided the time was right to make it.
The picture doesn't do it justice ...it was late in the day so the colors are a bit washed out ....but trust me it looks much nicer in person!!
I did the quilting in the ditch ...I really wanted to do some free motion but I liked the quilt so much I didn't want to take the chance of ruining it. I'll have to save that for something else!!
My little ghosties made an appearance this weekend. They look so cute dancing around the front tree. I think I'm going to have to use a different tree next year because this one is leaning and looks like it's going to fall over ...not sure why it's dying :(
I finally took the plunge ...it wasn't as bad as I thought. I had a bit of a tension problem that showed up on the back (which I didn't notice until I was done). But all in all, I'm happy with it. I figure this time next year I'll be able to see how much I've improved.
I'm not sure why this picture is so small ...maybe it's time to figure out how to take a quality picture :)
I've never made it a secret that I can't free motion quilt to save my life. Any of my attempts so far have been embarrassing ...so I gave up.
Recently, Christina, from A Few Scraps decided to offer some FMQ help ...I knew this was for me!!!
I think this Free Motion Quilt Along is going to teach me a LOT!!! Today was my first attempt at the machine and I think I did pretty good. My lines may not be the straightest or stitches the same length but I'm so far ahead where I was a week ago.
I can't wait to see what Christina has in store for us with her next lesson.
I finally machine quilted the March tablerunner from Maria Peagler's color series that I started in January. I hadn't been very pleased with my machine quilting so I found it hard to sit down to my machine. Even though I was only doing straight stitching with a walking foot, it just didn't look good to me.
I did much better this month. I had a bit of a problem with the echo quilting in the white squares but I realized it was how I was holding my hands and moving the fabric.
Want to know my secret with being happier with my machine quilting???
My new baby ...and I'm in love!!! I love that it has a built in walking foot, a needle threader and it actually cuts the threads at a press of a button! There are other great things about this machine but I'm still getting to know her :)
Cute!!! This is the dishcloth from Rachel's Knitting Corner August Knit A Long. Each day she posts 6 rows ...it was fun watching the project evolve. I love these dishcloths ...so much nicer than anything bought in the store.
I can't wait to see what she has in store for September!
I did it ...I did it ...I did it!!! Can you tell that I'm excited about finishing Amy's Simple Sampler (see her link on the right sidebar)? Amy, my dear, you ROCK!!!
I learned a lot and saw quite a bit of improvement in my cutting and sewing. I also learned ...be careful of stripes and that they might not be the best choice for corner blocks :) No matter, I love it!
Another thing that I feel made a big difference was starching my fabrics before I started cutting.
Amy presses her seams open, while I didn't do it on this quilt ...I might give it a try in the future so I'm not going nuts at the end trying to have opposing seam allowances.
One other thing ...I don't have a design wall and think it would have been helpful with the layout, I see a couple blocks that would have looked better in a different spot. I'll have to add that to the list of things to do ;)
Now to think about a backing and quilting this baby!
Again Amy, a big huge thank you for this wonderful project and your great instructions!!
Today I finished the last of the bonnets for my daughter. She bought these fabrics at City Quilter in NYC when we were there last Spring. They had such a nice selection of fabrics ...which reminds me, I haven't used mine yet!!
Tomorrow I hope to make the last two blocks for Amy's Simple Sampler.
Part of my knitting journey was making a pair of socks. The first pair were very fun to make ...I liked watching the heel form and knowing that I'm actually learning how to read the instructions. They are nice and soft but one is a bit bigger than the other ...no problem since I didn't plan on wearing them out but inside snuggled up on the couch in my jammies.
The second pair are simple tube socks ...no heel, just straight tubes. I gave them to my daughter and she loves them.
Now I have to think about what I want to make next. I love having a project going that I can knit while watching tv.
My daughter is a nurse in the OR and today I tried my hand at making her some OR bonnets. I took apart one that she had and used it to make a pattern ...she now has a weeks worth, all fabrics she picked out. I have four more cut out and ready to sew ...one is a Vincent van Gogh print that I love.
Here is the front view ...
And the back view ...
The hats take 1/2 yard ...I think I'll tell her to buy 1 yard for future hats. That way I get a 1/2 yard for my fabric pile :)
Gosh, this project has gone so quickly ...I can't believe it's been 7 weeks already. This weeks blocks turned out 12.5" which makes me so happy ...I think I've become better at cutting and sewing my blocks.
The first block is a Mosaic block which I really like. HST's aren't the dreaded thing for me anymore ...thanks Amy!
Block 2 is Practical Orchard. What I enjoyed about this block was learning a different method for the hour glass ...this was much easier for me. I have to also thank Lindsay from Me, Quilting for the idea of using 3 fabrics and stripes for this block ...thanks Lindsay.
Here are my blocks so far:
One more week of blocks and we'll be putting things together ...I'm so excited!!
Last week I got home from spending 5 days in Lancaster, PA. It is easily one of my favorite places ...I love the scenery, the quilt shops but I did not like the HEAT!! Every day it was 95 or higher which sapped my energy and made it so hard to do anything.
I had promised myself that I was going to take a ton of pictures ...but I hardly too any and those I did aren't very good quality. I really have to spend some time practicing taking photos.
This first quilt was my favorite. It was made with various Christmas fabrics ...I bought a fat quarter bundle of them and hope to do something like this. I was hoping I could find the pattern but I don't think it's anything that has been published.
I came home from work tonight and got right to this weeks blocks. I'm going away Wednesday and didn't want to get behind. I rushed a bit and don't think my sewing was as good in previous weeks, I can always do them over but I think they will be okay.
Block number 1 is a 6-Grid Chain. I really like this block and think I would like to make a lap quilt someday with it.
Block number 2 is a variation a 4 Patch. The triangles gave me a bit of a problem, most likely because I was rushing.
A couple weeks ago I won a give away at Fat Quarterly of Party Dress by Mo Bedell for Blue Hill fabrics. Last week they arrived ...they are so beautiful. I love, love, love the cheater hexagon fabric. I've never tried hexies before but something tells me I just might have to give them a whirl.
Also included were some notecards that are adorable!!!
Wow ...week four already and I haven't gotten behind ..it's a miracle!!
Block 1 is a Log Cabin block ...
Block 2 is a Mosaic. Amy presses her seams open which is something I have never done, but I think after this block I might give it a try. I had a problem with the way I pressed my seams when it came time to put this block together and because of that my points don't match as nice as I would like them to ...but not bad enough for me to rip out :)
All my blocks so far, I think we are at the half way point.
Hmmm ..something is wrong with the title of this post. I guess I'm a bit behind on my tablerunners. I am participating in Maria Peagler's Color of the Month and some months I have trouble finding the fabrics I need ...may was one of those months!!
Rather than driving myself crazy looking for fabric I decided to order the kit from Maria. Much easier, but I I'm supposed to be learning how to choose my own fabrics.
Ah well, that's what July is for :)
I had some puckering from my quilting ...not sure if I didn't smooth things out well enough before I pinned, or if I didn't pin enough. Possibly my stitch length ...or tension?? Good thing I realize that this is a learning process.
Well just in the nick of time I finished this weeks blocks. Amy's instructions are so clear and her tips are making such a difference in my quilting.
The first block is Two by Three and used strip piecing. I have had many failed attempts with this before ..I think due to my cutting but this was much better.
Next was a Snowball Variation which used half square triangles. Again, Amy's directions were fantastic and her instructions on squaring the blocks up was so clear. I have a 1/4" seam allowance along the edges of the block which sometime alludes me.
Here are my six blocks so far.
So far all my blocks measure 12.5"!!!
Click on the button to the right and check out Amy's quilt along ...I'm beginning to feel that I may actually become a quilter one day.
Often I have heard quilters say that the fabric you buy from a quilt store is better quality then fabric bought in a regular fabric store. I've always disagreed, probably because it costs more buying from a quilt store. Well, I'm a convert now. Some of the fabric I bought for this project is impossible to cut so the pattern looks straight. I wasted a bit of my fabric trying before I gave up ...so this will be my Skewed Quilt.
Blocks 3 and 4 were simple and turned out 12.5" which has me sooo happy. It's such a good feeling to make something that turns out the size it's supposed to be ...something that had alluded me for the past few months.
My four blocks so far.
I can't wait for next week to see what Amy has in store for us.
It looks like a fun, stressfree project for summer. Amy has some great tutorials on her blog so I'm betting her directions for this quilt will be just as good. I really need to brush up on my quilting skills ...or lack there of ;)
These are the fabrics I chose.
Block number 1 is a super simple 4 patch. In looking at it though I think I have to work better on squaring up my fabric.
Block number 2 is a simple 16 patch. I had to change my fabric choice because when I cut the fabric it looked skewed ...I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
What I am happiest about with these blocks is that they both measure 12.5!! I have been losing 1/4" on the blocks I've made recently.
I think I figured out the problem though. I was lining up my ruler wrong when cutting. Instead of having the line on my fabric edge I had it to the outside. Thank you Maria Peagler for this tip!!
I finished the June table runner from Maria Peagler's Color of the Month. I'm not sure why, but I had a heck of a time with it. I think I need to be more careful with cutting the fabric. I always come up a little short so I know it's something I'm doing.
I am sooooo far behind on this monthly series. I still have March, April and May to do. Problem is, I only have the fabric for May! That seems like a pretty good excuse not to have March and April done :)
This next project took 1 year and 5 minutes ...the one year was me putting it off and 5 minutes to actually do it!
When we hung the tv in our bedroom I liked that it wasn't sitting on the dresser anymore ...but I hated the cords showing. Since my husband needs to get at them ...he's always tweaking something or another, it limited my choices.
This is how it looked:
Then a year and 5 minutes later, this is how it looks:
I'm not sure I actually like it, but for the time being it's much better then seeing all those darn wires.
Oh my gosh!! ...it has been 3 months since I have sat down and done any sewing!! I could probably come up with quite a few excuses but that's all they would be. I hate to admit it but I was just uninspired and pretty much sat in front of the tv too much!!
I did so some knitting and have a couple projects I completed and will post later. I really love knitting ...mainly because I can do it while I'm sitting in front of the tv. Hmm ...sounds like I need to turn that darn thing off!!
I made two of these simple pillows for the den couch. I didn't bother with cording since I really wanted them simple. I used invisible zippers for the first time ...and I am in love!! Talk about easy!! I bought one of the cheap zipper foots and really should buy one made for my machine since this one really didn't fit right, but it did get the job done.
Not sure what I'll work on next, but I'm hoping I won't take such a long break!
It seems like I have table runners on the brain of late. Actually, they are just so easy to make and finish. It also gives me a chance to try something a bit different and see how I like it ..and to practice skills that need practicing!
Hmm ..now to get to that applique sampler quilt I said I was going to work on next ...it's only been in the works since 1995!!
Yesterday my mailbox had a surprise for me ...all the way from Denmark!! Ann from Kvinta Quilts sent me a package from the give away she had that I won. Mind you, I have entered a ton of them and this is the only time I have won!
The fabrics are beautiful ...I don't know what I'll make with them yet ..something special I am sure!