Commission Quilting

A few months ago I agreed to barter for quilting services: I would quilt an acquaintance’s quilt top, and she would pay me in yarn and fabric.  Life intervened, and she was very patient as I proceeded to have zero free time around the holidays.

But now it’s done!  Here’s the front, post-washing:

image

I stitched in the ditch to emphasize the swirly quilting:

image

The back (pre-washing, and quite wrinkly) shows the outline of some of the curves slightly better:

image

If you look carefully on the right-hand side you can see a sleeve for a dowel, so the quilt can be hung from a wall.  I’d ordinarily do corners, but this was so wide that I was afraid it would sag in the middle.

I’m delighted to have this done and in the mail back to its owner – and can’t wait to get a box of yarn and fabric in exchange.  Now if only the postman would show up to pick it up the way the USPS says they already have!

Finished Penny Patch Quilt!

I FINALLY finished my Penny Patch quilt. Rachel at Stitched in Color started a quilt-along about a year ago and I cut fabric and stitched a quilt top and even machine quilted the whole thing and then… well, then I got hung up on binding it.

But I finished it last Sunday, and I love it. Here it is on my kitchen table:
45%22x45%22

I grid-quilted it, free-handing it with a walking foot on my Brother P1500Q straight-stitch machine:
Detail

And I used a blue and orange backing, stretching the blue gingham I had by adding a center orange panel:
Back

I’ve also been cleaning out my closets, and discovered that I have a lot of quilts that I’ve finished that I just have no use for — they don’t match my personal aesthetic, I made them just to make them, or they’re for babies, and I don’t have a baby. So I’ve put them on Etsy.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.15.58 AM

Longtime blog readers will recognize two quilts I made in 2012. If you like one of these, and use the code KNITSPINQUILTREADER, you’ll get 10% off.

As before, all income in September and October of 2015 go directly to a donation to the JHU CTY Scholars program!

Edited to add: linking up to TGIFF!

Two-Finish Friday

These are both gift quilts: one for a friend and her husband and one for a new baby. Here they are all folded up, about to be packed and mailed:

StackFolded

The first quilt I finished was made up of hourglass blocks. I pieced them all over the summer on my Singer 66, and then they sat, and sat, and sat over the fall, because I didn’t have time to finish it until the semester was over. But now it’s done!

HourglassFrontWhole

The backing is a boat print, because the mother and the grandparents all sail. You can see in this picture that I quilted a simple diagonal grid 1/4″ on each side of the hourglass blocks.

HourglassQuilting

I used a black pezzy print for the binding because I didn’t want to emphasize any particular color from the front. I think it works! I wish I had more of this fabric in stash to do the same in the future — I’ll just have to keep an eye out for similarly useful prints. I attached the binding by stitching it down twice. On the back you see two lines of stitching:
HourglassCornerBack

On the front, you only see one, because the other is hidden at the intersection of the binding and the quilt:
HourglassCorner

The other quilt is for friends of mine, because they live in northern England and it gets coooooold! For this one I used a pattern by Elizabeth Hartmann: her New Wave Quilt.

WavesWhole

I cut my fat quarters very, very carefully, and had enough extra pieces to showcase the wave pattern on the back of the quilt as well:
WavesBackWhole

This one I quilted by stitching in the ditch along the edges of the white sashing. I stitched smaller diamonds within the “waves” as well. Then I did some free-motion quilting in the sashing, which I’m really quite proud of.

WavesColorQuilting

I did the same kind of binding on this quilt, and also bound it in a pezzy print, though this one was navy, to complement the blues of the quilt.

WavesCornerBack

Not bad for a break that only started on December 23rd!

StackFolded

Linking up to TGIFF!

Another Friday Finish

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while. Since I last posted, I (successfully) defended my Master’s thesis (we have a required oral defense for the MA thesis) and am cranking out some serious papers for the end of the semester.

But! A little over two months four months since I finished this, I’ve finally had the chance to take better pictures of my Strip & Flip quilt!
Strip and Flip

This is a really brilliant, simple, satisfying pattern, and I just love how it turned out. As I said before, I didn’t quite follow the pattern exactly: I cut strips that were 2 1/2″ inches wide, instead of 2″ wide, and I pieced them really carefully, so that the final dimensions of the quilt are about 42″x52″

I decided to echo the white lines on the front in the backing of the quilt, which was just enough to let me use a single cut of Kona cotton (a little under 2 yards) to back this quilt — but it was iffy in places, and if I did it again, I might opt to give myself a little more wiggle room.
Strip and Flip back

I quilted it pretty simply: first I filled the vertical white columns with white stitching, which I think makes them look sort of column-like, and then I quilted horizontal lines more or less randomly across the middle column, which involved a lot of fussing and tugging to get the wider part of the quilt to fit in my sewing machine.
White quilting

Then I had a dilemma. I considered doing a different style of free motion quilting in each strip, to give the back of it a sort of scrappy, varied look, but I decided it varied too much from the straight lines already present on the back of it. Instead, I picked every fifth strip and quilted across it back and forth.
Quilting detail

It leaves about an 8″ gap between quilted sections on the wide side, which makes me a little bit nervous.

So I have a question for more experienced quilters:
Should I run some additional quilting lines down those sections? I know Warm & Natural says you can quilt it every 10″, but those are awfully LONG 8″ sections… (And before you ask, I have no idea who’s going to be using this one, but probably a child.)

I considered doing a scrappy binding, or using one of the prints in the top for the binding, but I decided that would just be too much going on. Instead, I wandered over to my local fabric shop (it is three blocks from my house: let’s just say the owner and I chat when I go in, I’m there that often.) I looked over their solids, and chose a deep blue (Kona Ocean, if I recall correctly). I tried to use Red Pepper Quilts binding tutorial but I have yet to figure out exactly what counts as 1/4″ when I’m using my walking foot, so the stitch allowance was too wide, and I wouldn’t have been sure to catch the folded over binding if I stitched in the ditch. Instead I bound it by hand, while watching the news over the last couple of nights.
Binding

Any questions? I really enjoyed this one — it’s a great chance to pick fabrics (I’d consider doing this in all neutrals, or all greys, or all reds (etc) if I had enough of them!). And it comes together very quickly without looking like it, which is always satisfying.
Strip and Flip

EZ-Dresden Mini Quilt

This quilt is my entry in the EZ Dresden Challenge:

I considered trying to do a queen-sized traditional Dresden quilt and then decided that, really, I’d like to come out of August with my sanity intact. So I took the little mini-Dresden medallion I’d made up for practice, added a larger one and some fans, and ended up with this:
FinalWhole2

I’m pleased that this fabric set worked so nicely together: it was a lot of fun to play with it, and I was really pleased when I could cut out a little teacup and have it be just the right size for the center of the medallion.

I’m proud of the way some of the spokes line up:
FinalBladesMatchy

Though there are spots where they don’t line up quite as well as I might have hoped:
FinalBladesNotMatchy

The fans in the corners aren’t perfect, but I think they came out pretty well:
FinalFanDetail

I’m proud of the way the quilting looks on the back of it, though I’m sorry I didn’t go get more fabric: the seam is more distracting than I expected:
FinalBackStitching

Still, it’s going to hang on a wall (see the little corners?) so I suppose the back won’t get all that much attention:
FinalBackPocket

And one more shot of the whole thing:
FinalWhole

Now I have a question for all of you who have made Dresden quilts before: do you find rounded or pointed spokes easier to make? I found the pointed ones much easier than the fans, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to round the edges that I didn’t think of.

Finished Filmstrip Quilt!

Filmstrip Quilt: based on the tutorial written up by Crazy Mom Quilts
The prints are Cosmo Cricket’s Circa 1934, the cream fabric is Kona Cotton, the black fabric is something I had in my stash, of unknown maker.

I managed to get photographs of this quilt on Wednesday morning before work, so that I could set up a post about it for today. The quilt has been finished, and all the little ends sewn in and so on, but hasn’t been washed yet: I want to get some color-catchers before I do that, because I’m not certain I trust the black not to stain, and that would be a pity.

It was already hot outside at 8am: I was really glad I didn’t need to huddle under the quilt for any photographs.
FQ-Far

FQ-Close

The backing is a single piece of red and white striped fabric that I’ve had since about 2007 or 2008 — I picked it up at a yard sale on a whim, sure I’d make something out of it. Well, I did! Finally. You can see the scrappy binding pretty clearly in all of these photographs.

FQ-Back

I quilted it in straight lines about 1/4″ from the seams between the blocks and the sashing, using white thread, which more or less disappears into the cream/red fabrics, and provides a little bit of pop for the black. The lines are very, very wobbly: this is not a quilt that would win any awards for precision. At least some of it is because not all of my blocks lined up perfectly, so there was the occasional wonky intersection. Part of it, though, is probably sheer impatience: I find straight-line binding really boring, and about 2/3 of the way through I really just wanted it to be DONE.

FQ-Detail2

Still, overall, I’m pretty happy with how it came out!

FQ-Close

Tobin’s Mixtape: Finished!

My new free-motion quilting foot arrived in the mail last week, all metal and (so far) much sturdier. I had Friday off, and took advantage of the time to organize my fabric stash and finish up my Mixtape Quilt, from Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern. I made the “Favorite Songs” style, in its largest size: the lap-quilt of 8″ blocks, which ended up 62″/62″. All posts about it can be seen by clicking the “mixtape quilt” tag on the right sidebar.

I had already quilted about half of it (before my previous free-motion foot broke) and started on it with the previously quilted sides neatly rolled and folded to keep them out of my way. I did my best to keep it all in neat place so that it was smaller, which did make it a little easier to move around, though it was surprisingly heavy.
Mid-quilting-folded

But by about halfway through today’s quilting, I had given up on keeping the outer edges folded, and only rolled the edge that was under the sewing machine’s arm. I got a little bit better at manipulating the quilt as I went along, and at figuring out where to place my hands while I was moving it — left hand to the back and left of the needle, right hand right and slightly to the front (that is, closer to me), moving in tandem. I think the quilting of it improved a bit by the end. Overall, I’m very proud of it: it’s the first thing I’ve ever free-motion quilted, and it’s the largest quilt I’ve made so far, at 62″x62″. It could be a bit awkward to do something larger than this, because it got difficult to manipulate too closely with half the quilt folded up under the arm of the machine.
Detail-quilting

Once I’d quilted all of it and trimmed the borders, I machine bound it in one of the fabrics I used in the quilt. It’s a slightly heavier weight than some of the other fabrics, which may stand up to wear and tear a little bit better than a lighter fabric. Since this quilt is going to a 3-year-old boy, durability is definitely a concern.
Binding

Once I’d finished it, I tried to take a picture indoors. That was … not entirely successful: I had to hang it up over the railing and take a picture from the stairs. It ended up being a bit of an odd angle:
Front_indoors

Thankfully, it was beautiful outside, so I took it out to the back yard, and hung it from the back porch:
Front_garden_far

Front_garden

Back-of-quilt
It may be feverishly hot outside today, but it made for nice picture-taking.

I’m so pleased to have finished this project, and I can’t wait to see the look on my friend’s face when I give it to her and her son.