Friday, February 14, 2014

Quilt #15 - Rainbow Skies

2009 was really a year that I started making a lot of quilts.  I did a lot of baby quilts that year as well as some good-sized lap quilts.  Early in 2009, I decided to make a quilt for my husband's grandmother.  She was an avid garment maker her entire life, but had never made a quilt.

She had recently moved into a senior community, and while it was a very nice place, it seemed to be lacking some color.  I opted to make a quilt that had every color of the rainbow in it.  I actually had a lot of fun picking out the fabrics and loved seeing them all spread out together.

The layout of the quilt was very simple and consisted of all squares.  This was before I knew the benefits of strip piecing, so I cut each square out and sewed them back together in the order per my design.  I was very "ordered" at the time and made sure all my pieces lined up properly.  I had fun putting the strips into an order such that each strip had one additional color added to it.  I know...I'm a bit crazy.  :c)

Here's what the layout really looked like:

And the layout for the full quilt (minus borders):

It didn't take took long to piece the top together.  I did make sure to pin all my intersections though, so that took some time to do.  I wanted to make sure that all my corners lined up just right.

I opted for a very simple black border around the quilt.  I wanted something that would hide the dirt (so it wouldn't require a lot of washing).

I started quilting it during the summer on my domestic sewing machine.  This was long before I had my frame, so it involved marking each square and quilting it.  I had a lot of trouble with skipped stitches and bobbin thread poking through to the top, but I worked through it.

My little "helper".... "what you want to quilt this thing?"

"but this is my cozy bed.  Can't you tell I have it just so ... and I have a little pillow too!"

"Fine!  You want to take pictures of me?  HERE I AM!!"  Ellie was very helpful with quilting this quilt.  At least I know its a good quilt since it was cat approved.

So several weeks later (notice the Christmas tree on the left of the picture), the quilting was done and the binding was complete.  I took these pictures just before I wrapped up the quilt to give as a Christmas gift.

Some of my quilting... not my best work, but it was a learning experience.  I even switched threads based upon the colors of the squares.  I think I had 5 different thread colors that I used for the quilt.  I don't recall the bobbin thread I used, but in the top, I used several different variegated threads from Superior Threads.  These were all from the King Tut line.

I really love the happiness of this quilt.  Even looking at the pictures makes me smile and thing of spring and warmer temperatures.  Speaking of that... we just got through another nasty storm here in upstate NY.  Last night we had another 16" of snow come down.  Sure glad I didn't have to go out today!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, February 10, 2014

Quilt #14 - Stars & Hearts

Back to my history of quilts... :c)

This is another lovely from 2009.  It was actually my very first applique quilt.  I had a great pattern that I found for this quilt (sadly I don't recall the name off the top of my head, but it was a published pattern).  I think it may have been called "A Star is Born".

I don't have any pictures of it in progress, but I recall it taking a while to figure out my stitch settings for the satin stitches around the appliques.  The fabrics were a bunch of fat quarters that I purchased specifically for this quilt.  The only yardage was the white background, the blue dot fabric and the backing.

These pictures were also before i figure out how to take better pictures of quilts!  So I apologize for the not-so-great pictures.

It really is a cute quilt.  I did simple straight line quilting in the center sections of the quilt and then did some free-motion loops in the outer border.  I didn't do any quilting directly around the appliques.

And another picture of this laying flat on the floor.  The quilt was about 35 x 50 when it was all said and done.  This was before I purchased my mid-arm frame, so its quilted on a standard domestic sewing machine.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mariner's Compass Progress

I made a lot of progress this past week or two on the Mariner's compass quilt.  My last update on this, I mentioned that I had to take off the first set of blue borders since I somehow managed to mis-cut the strips and didn't realize until I tried to put the pieced border onto the quilt.  After spending about 3 hours ripping out stitches on ~60" square quilt, I was able to recut the border strips and start putting things together.

As you can see, the pieced border now lines up properly.  ;c)

My husband was out snowboarding on Saturday, so I had most of the day to myself in the house.  I was also up early with him (he left the house at 7am), so I had a LOT of sewing time in front of me.

I was able to get the pieced borders on by about 10 am.

By early afternoon (after a shower and lunch break), I had all the borders on and the quilt top is complete!

I absolutely love it and can't wait to start quilting it.  I know what I want to do with the large setting triangles outside the ribbon border, but I'm not quite sure what I want to do with the center yet.  I have to think about it a little bit before I start doing anything.  I'll leave it up on my design wall to stare at for a while so I can figure out what I want to do.  Over the years, I've found its usually best to let it sit for a week or two to see what I want to do with the quilting.  Then it will just hit me and I'll start flying with it.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Quilt #34 - Three B's

This quilt has been finished for a while, but I finally got around to washing it and taking some finished pictures of it.  I've done quite a few posts over the past year on this quilt and if you do a search with the key word "Bento Box", you'll find all the posts.

This quilt was used entirely with 2.5" strips.  The non-white portions of the quilt came from one jelly roll pack of batik fabric strips.  The rest of the white background was pieces from my stash.

I used a slightly different batting this time around.  Its Quilter's Dream Cotton batting in their supreme loft variety.  Its a very thick cotton batting at 3/16 of an inch thick.  Once it was washed, it gives the quilting a lot of texture due to the thickness of the batting.

I used Superior Threads bottom line in the bobbin and King Tut for the top thread.  The top thread is a variegated green, but its a very slight variegated color, so its difficult to see unless you're in person.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with this quilt yet.  It was one of those things where I wanted to try out the Bento Box pattern and this seemed like a good time to try it. :c)  I'm sure I'll find a home for it somewhere.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bear Applique Progress

This past week I finally finished up the applique and embroidery on this little wall hanging kit.  The pieces are all wool that were hand-stitched in place with some silk thread.

The noses and the Mama bear's eyes are little buttons that were included in the kit.  All the other detail on the bears heads and the stars were hand-stitched with embroidery floss.

It was a fun a little kit and was just the right size to see whether I liked working with wool appliques or not.  They're alright to work with, but not really challenging at all since you don't turn under a seam allowance or anything like that.  You just cut the pieces to the size you want and then stitch in place either using a button-hole stitch on a machine or you can hand sew them in place. 

I've seen a few designs where wool pieces are used to make mats for candles, which is a great idea since wool is naturally resistant to burning.  I may come up with my own design in the future to do something like a candle mat or center piece for a table.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stashbusting 2014 - Week 5

Over the past two weeks, I've been able to use up a bit of stash and finish two flimsies!  :c)

The first is a small wool kit that I purchased last year and have been slowly working on.  It isn't quilted or bound yet, but all the hand applique and embroidery is done for the top of the wall hanging.

The second finish actual does come from fabric stash and I'm glad to say that the top is completely pieced!  Yesterday while the hubster was out snowboard, I was up early and in the sewing room to get all the borders cut and sewn onto this puppy.

I have to say...I'm completely enthralled with this one.  It looks similar to what my EQ drawing looked like, but so much better! :c)  A few of the points in the center section aren't as good as I would have liked, but its pretty hard to tell they are off and it was difficult to get that much fabric together in the middle of the quilt.  From other designs I've seen, some folks finish it off with an appliqued circle in the center to hide seams that don't quite line up.  I didn't want to do that, so I tried my best to get them to line up and they're pretty darn close.

So here are my stash numbers:

Added This Week:       0 yards
Added Year to Date:    0 yards
Used This Week:          1.75 yards
Used Year to Date:       3.33 yards
Net Year to Date:         3.33 yards

Go on over to Judy's blog to see how others are doing.

 Happy Crafting!
 ~Sarah at upstateNYCreations