Category Archives: Small Projects

with love…

I think this is the first time I’ve ever finished a project within a few days of starting. Modeled off of Svetlana’s Pixelated Heart Pillow, with love… measures 28″ X 28″, was pieced from stash, quilted diagonally with variegated pink thread and bound in a print from Violet Craft’s Madrona Road collection. My take away from this project is that I really need to take the time to make a design wall, even if it’s temporary. There are a few fabric tweaks that I would have made if I would have had a different perspective when I laid it out. The girls love it though and it will make a nice addition to their room.

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Linking up to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
and TGIFF at Sewing By Moonlight

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A Bunch of Firsts and a Finish!

My first fabric purchase, my first English Paper Piecing, my first zipper, my first pillow!

Flea Market Fancy was my first fabric purchase last April and it sat in a neat little stack for quite a while after I purchased it. Then one night I decided to cut squares from the corners. Armed with a package of 2″ hexie papers and a needle, I went to work basting. A couple of nights later I had this piece of patchwork and was hooked on sewing. My initial thought when I included this pillow in my Fourth Quarter FAL list, was to hand quilt it. After spending so much time this past month QAYG, I changed my mind and went for a quicker finish. I really enjoy the spirals and I feel like this is the one part of the project I did a good job on.

I’m especially proud of my beginning circle, which is about the size of a quarter. I was able to do it with my walking foot, going extremely slow. There’s a slight bobble on the second ring, but you don’t notice it unless you look really close.

Then I turned to Sew Katie Did and her invisible zipper tutorial. I’ve dreaded zippers for a while now and decided I just needed to jump in and do it. The only problem I had was sewing over the zips a couple of times when I feared I wasn’t getting close enough. It didn’t dawn on me that after I was done sewing it would roll up again, so I didn’t need to get that close. It is tight! But that’s okay, I just have to be careful.

I’m not sure what’s up with that wonky left hand corner. I adjusted the insert a couple of times, but will probably have to go back in and square things up a bit. For now I’m going to sit back and admire all those pretty prints and cross this project off my list.

Linking up to:
from blank pages… for A Celebration of Beginnings linky party
Making Rebecca Lynne for TGIFF!
Crazy Mom Quilts  for Finish It Friday
Eventually to the Fourth Quarter FAL at Quilter in the Gap

TGIFF: Learning Curves

As I’ve experimented with different projects, I’ve tried to tackle the independent parts of the quilting process and improve on them as I go.

  • Cutting ~ I feel like I have this down. I’ve established a pattern of lining up my fabric along the same spots on my ruler and cutting mat and feel like I’m pretty consistent.
  • Piecing ~ I’m doing pretty good with my 1/4″ seam allowance. My first project was all over the place, but the last couple of things I’ve pieced have measured exactly right in the end. Sewing bias cuts are another story…
  • Basting ~ I’m still trying to figure this one out. My first quilt sandwich went well and I didn’t have any puckers along the back. The project I finished up this past week, didn’t have puckers, but wasn’t quite right either. More on that in a bit.
  • Quilting: QAYG ~ So far so good.
  • Quilting: Walking Foot ~ Until this week I had only done straight lines. This week I tackled curves
  • Quilting: FMQ ~ Nope. Haven’t even tried
  • Binding ~ Machine binding attempts have been nightmares. Hand binding not so bad. Although this week I decided to use a ladder stitch instead of a whip stitch and I don’t like it nearly as much.
  • LOVE! ~ Done.

My finish this week is pretty simple. I had some extra blocks from my Tula Pink Birds and the Bees Dream Weaver quilt, so I decided to make a small topper for one of our dressers. I’ve wanted something to protect the finish for a while and since it’s a tall dresser and you can’t really see the top, it was the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Piecing it wasn’t a problem and it didn’t take long to get it all pinned up. I decided to experiment with my walking foot and used the Ribbons design from Petit Design Co. This was a really fun design to execute and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out on the front.

I really found a rhythm and while I marked most of it before hand, I felt free to improvise as I went along. The back is another story. There are no puckers and the following picture is post ironing, so it emphasizes the bunching of the fabric. I’m not really sure how bad it is. If it were the back of a quilt, I’d be happy with it, knowing that it would crinkle nicely after being washed. But as a table runner type piece, I would have preferred it to be more taut.

Clearly I didn’t pull it tight enough when I was basting. I even had a bit of a problem with it bunching when I sewed down the binding. My question is how do you know how tight to pull it? I’ve concentrated so much on not stretching my fabric when piecing and pressing, especially as I’ve attempted bias edges, so I’m hesitant to pull hard. I’m also wondering if I was pulling the top too tight as I was moving it through the machine. For the most part I kept my hands flat on the fabric and tried to provide a little tension by easing the fabric to the sides.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m THRILLED with how the quilting came out on the front. I love this design. In fact, I wish I could do the same thing on a baby quilt. I’m learning as I go though, so would appreciate any insight you would have that would help me improve.

Project Stats:
Fabric: Tula Pink Birds and the Bees
Back and Binding: Kona Parchment
Finished Size: 28.5″ X 15″
Finished Date: November 2012

Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday! at Sewing by Moonlight and to
Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

The Handmade Parade 9.28.12

It’s another Friday at There and Back’s Handmade Parade. The best thing about Katie’s linky is everyone understands when progress is slow. Sometimes it’s feels like I’ve worked and worked on something without much to show for it. When I looked at my pile of 1/2″ hexies this morning, it didn’t look much different from a couple of weeks ago. How nice it was to go back and realize that my project had actually grown by a third!

I desperately want to enter the Blogger’s Quilt Festival with this mini quilt. After I finish adding in the strips shown, I think I’m going to lengthen it a bit. Right now my plan is to add three rounds of coal or charcoal for a border (which I’m kind of dreading) and finish it off with a scrappy binding. I don’t know yet what I’ll do for the quilting. Anyway, here’s this progress I’ve made over the past couple of weeks…

The other project I’ve been hand sewing this week is the binding on Leo’s I-Spy/Matching quilt. It is so close and yet, due to my own foolishness, is still going to take a while. I had worked on this quilt all day on Sunday and after I finished sewing on the binding I could feel how close I was. I wanted to finish it so bad and fell prey to the siren song of a machine sewn binding. This despite the fact that I had cursed my machine all day. I jumped in any way and it was a disaster. I did stop after half a side, but since I have been unable to adjust the stitch length on my machine, the stitches are nearly impossible to unpick. Imagine layers of super soft cushy flannel and micro stitches. They were so close together that even the slightest tug ripped the fabric and buried so deep that I have to put reading glasses on top of my bifocals to see them.  Ironically, I stitched done the rest of the binding in no time at all. Lesson learned! Hopefully I will be back to report a finish soon!

Linking up to There and Back’s Handmade Parade.

Edited to add: I can’t resist popping back in and posting the following pictures. When I went back to continue on the binging this is who I found. Sage seems to think I made this one for her!

Apparently Sage doesn’t care that it’s not finished!

“What, you don’t have a problem with this do you?”

“Maybe you’ll feel better after you give me a belly rub or a scratch behind the ear.”

“See, like this.”

“Pleeeeaaaaassssse!”
She graciously accepted a rubdown as payment for her modeling services. 🙂