Monthly Archives: October 2011

Project 2011-26: Wedding Sampler 4

This Sampler quilt is one of the tops my mother has made as a future wedding gift for one of her grandchildren.    I like how the four maple leaf blocks anchor the corners of this sampler quilt.

I quilted this top on my longarm with the CircleLord Swirlz template, using white polycore thread.  It worked up very quickly with this template. I was finished in less than three hours, including set-up time.  I like fast!  This is the last of the current tops I have from my mother.  That makes seven done.  she plans to make four more for me to quilt.  Hopefully, she will not do it too quickly because I need some time to get some of my own flimsies converted into quilts!

Done feels good.  Now I have a large IKEA bag packed with the four quilts to deliver to her in mid November when I go to visit.

This is the halfway point in my goal of completing 52 projects in 2011.  Now the tally is 26 done and 26 more to go!  Still achievable, even though I will not have a lot of time to fritter away!  I’ll have to take extra precautions to avoid distraction!  No new projects!

Project 2011-25: Blue Blossom Applique Quilt

This Blue Blossom Applique quilt is the same pattern as the Peach Posie quilt.  It is one made by my mother as a future wedding quilt for a grandchild.  These blocks are likely leftover blocks from an earlier set of quilts she made for her children.  I paired it with a pale blue and white striped backing and then quilted it with white thread using the CircleLord Clamshell template.  It worked up quickly and I am pleased with the finished project.

Finished size is 48″ by 58″.   Mom will add the binding of her choice.  This is the third of four quilts that I aim to have completed by the time of my visit to her in mid November.

This project is one away from the midpoint of my progress toward my goal of 52 completed quilt projects in 2011.    Having a goal is very motivating.  I really want to get more done!

Project 2011-24: Holy Hexagons

Holy Hexagons, Batman!  What colour and variety in this hexagon quilt!  This vintage hexagon quilt was one of the quilt tops I purchased on eBay.  It was not quite as advertized, not by a long shot!  The seller had declared a mouse hole, but not the broken seams, pin holes and the very wide variety of fabrics types that were definitely not quilting cotton – flannels, suitings, acetates, rayons, woollens, voiles – you name it and it is in this quilt.  It was sewn by hand, but the exceedingly bulky seams had never seen a pressing iron and  it did not lay flat.  In the bottom left hand quadrant, there was so much extra fullness, I could have hidden my latest fabric shopping purchases under it!   However, despite all its flaws, I still found it to be charming and decided to repair and replace.

After living in my flimsie cupboard for several years, I decided to tackle it this year.  I spend New Years Day 2011 working on this quilt.  (Everyone else was recuperating from our party the night before, so I had lots of free time!)  The big holes were easy to spot and replace.  As I got into it, I found many more pin holes.   I persuaded my very patient husband to help me hold it up to a picture window to allow me to locate the holes.  After carefully checking every hexagon, I marked those hexagons  with holes and then set about replacing those blocks.  I estimate I replaced about 20 hexagons.  The area with the extra fullness was a bigger challenge.  I ended up taking a small seam inside each of every hexagon in that area to shrink the fullness.  It was a lot of work, but it seemed to do the trick, eventually becoming relatively flat.  As I worked on this quilt, I wondered if it might have been a lot faster to start from scratch and make an entirely new quilt.  Maybe, but I love old textiles.  The variety of patterns in this quilt speaks to my heart.

The only option for quilting was a fairly dense meander to quilt it into submission.  I loaded it on the longarm and quilted strategically , aiming to hit most seam intersections with a goal to strengthening the quilt.    It turned out much better than I expected.

The binding is a narrow violet print, hand stitched to the back.   This is one quilt that definitely is not worth the amount of time it took to hand stitch the binding, but it really does look nice.  I wondered as I was stitching down the binding if my unconscious goal was to rescue the quilt and give it a better finish to its life than it had until it came to my door. Finished size is 72″ by 80″, a generous throw size.   The quilt will be used as a teaching sample for my “Sensational Scrap Quilts” classes until someone chooses it as a gift.

This is one more top done and out of my flimsie cupboard and counts toward my goal of 52 completed projects in 2011.  The tally as of today:  24 done-done and 28 more to go.  There are 9 more weeks in 2011, so that makes an average of three per week I need to complete to meet my goal.  Ambitious, yes.  Crazy,probably.  But I still think I will manage it.  I have  many works in progress that just need some finishing to get them to done-done stage.  Keeping myself focused on the goal will have very satisfying results!  I predict that I will be able to start 2012 with a clean slate without the distraction of unfinished projects pulling my attention away from the creative new projects I really want to start!  The results should be a huge win all the way around!

Project 2011-23: Wedding Sampler

This sampler quilt is one of the tops that my mother made as future wedding gifts for her grandchildren.

I quilted it using the Circle Lord Baptist Fan template.  It was my first time using this template and ‘m not overly entranced with it.  I found it a bit difficult to line up and keep the fans balanced in each row.  With this pattern template,  you do not want to forget to clamp the sides of the quilt.  If not clamped, the pattern is off.  If the quilt is not fairly tight on the rollers, the fabric seems to be pushed around a bit by the machine.  This is likely due more to the loft of the batting, however, with any type of shift in the quilt, the pattern does not line up well.  There is very little forgiveness with this Baptist Fan pattern.

Finishing this sampler means one more quilt top is done and out of my flimsie cupboard.  The quilt top is now off my conscience. I have already packed it in the travel bag to be ready to take to my mother when I visit in November.    Mom will put the binding of her choice on this quilt, which pleases me.  I find binding to be the only part of quilt making that I do not relish.  So my part is finished.  Done feels marvelous.  Only two more of her tops to complete.  (And another 30 of my own!)

Project 2011-22: Jacobs Ladder

This Jacobs Ladder quilt was made from some orphan blocks that someone gave to me.  I simply trimmed them to an equal size and then set them with an ecru sashing and borders.  The choice of ecru sashing and borders was made because that was the only fabric I had on hand.  I was at the cottage, where I do not keep any stash.  I had kitted up another project and tossed in the ecru with it, just in case I decided to use ecru instead of white as the neutral.  It got the white, so the ecru was left over.

The quilting was done with ecru thread using the Circle Lord Clamshell template.  It works up very quickly.  In fact, it was quicker to quilt it than it was to apply and sew down the binding.

I had intended to give this quilt to charity, but as I was quilting it, my daughter came into the sewing room, stopped to admire the quilt and tell me quite sweetly, but with the perfect significant pause, that these were her favorite colours! Now I’m not sure who gets it.   For the time being, it will stay in my finished quilt stash until the moment when inspiration makes the decision.  It will probably be a donation quilt.  I’d rather make my daughter a much nicer quilt.

Binding a quilt is becoming a dilemma for me.  Should I machine bind or do I hand stitch the binding?  I do a very fine hand stitched binding, but I do not enjoy doing it.  I’d rather be designing, piecing or quilting.  Machine binding is much faster, but I do not care for the look of it.  I don’t think I do it especially well, which probably accounts for why I do not like it.  A simple project like this one does not seem to merit the time and effort put into hand stitching a binding.  I did do this one by hand and I like the look of it.  An average calculation of my hand binding speed shows that I can sew bindings at 48″ per hour.   So is this quilt worth 4.5 hours of hand stitching?

Project 2011-21: Peach Posies Applique Quilt

This flower applique quilt top was made by my mother as a wedding gifts to one of her eleven grandchildren – if any of them ever get married (LOL!).

The pattern for the top came from a lady named Mary Burk, wife of Harold Burk, the inventor of the Red Haven peach.  I can remember when I was in high school (a long time ago!) going with my mother to visit Mrs. Burk and having the treat of a quilt show.  My mom was struck by this design, favoring it because the size of the applique flowers made it a very portable project, one that she could do in her moments of waiting for her kids.  In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, my mother made a double bed size quilt like this for each of her six children.  I think the blocks in this quilt are left-overs from those projects.

I selected a pre-washed muslin backing to coordinate with the muslin background fabric behind the applique flowers.  The batting is poly with a bit of loft, which allows you to see the quilting pattern.  I like the look!  I machine quilted it using the Circle Lord Clamshell template with  an ecru cotton thread which blended well with both the peach and the muslin and was well hidden on the muslin backing.

It now goes back to my mother who will add the binding.  I am happy to do the quilting for her, but am VERY glad I do not have to do the binding too!

This takes one more project off my UFO list and it is one less flimsie in my cupboard!  Hooray!

Project 2011-20: Bunny ABC

Bunny ABC Quilt

This quilt was pieced from an alphabet panel I bought from a woman who was de-stashing.  The sashing, border, backing and binding all came from my own stash.  I wanted to preserve the pink checked border around each letter, so it required fussy cutting and fussing sewing, as the fabric between each block in the panel did not leave a full 1/4 inch seam.  I’m happy with the result of that careful work.  I quilted it with an overall ABC meander.  The binding is a pink, blue and white striped cotton.

I finished it in September 2011, just in time to enter into the Fergus Fall Fair in the baby quilt category where it won first place.  The quilt will be gifted to our recently-born, first great niece, Charlize.  Her grandparents are hosting a family shower with an “Eduction” theme.  An alphabet quilt will be a perfect gift!