Monday, March 29, 2010

In flight entertainment

Most people take a good book with them to occupy themselves during a flight. I take a small sewing project.

I took my dragonfly wall hanging with when my husband and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I finished the top during the MANY hours we spent in the air, but haven't worked on it since. That is until I started to get ready for a flight to Washington, D.C., for my cousin's wedding later in the week.

Last weekend I cleared off the kitchen table (no small task as it is usually covered with my sewing supplies) to layer and baste the wall hanging.

I'm going to practice my fine hand quilting on this project, which is appropriate because the wall hanging as a whole was a practice run for the Hawaiian quilting method so I could work out the kinks before using the applique method on fabric I bought in Hawaii. It isn't perfect, but I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Completed project: Patriotic T-shirt quilt

This quilt was made for a client out of T-shirts he collected from his days in the Navy, working as a union laborer and volunteering at elections. He chose an appropriate red, white and blue color scheme for the sashing in between the T-shirt blocks.

Preserving memories with a T-shirt quilt

I've been working a lot on T-shirt quilts recently. I had a bunch of shirts from my sorority days in college that I don't wear anymore. I didn't want to toss them, but I also don't have the space to store them all, so I decided re-purposing them as a quilt was the best option.

I started it a couple of months ago, but got distracted with other projects. Last night I finished the sashing on another T-shirt quilt I'm making for a client and spent the free time finishing the top of my own quilt.

It contains 16 shirts and is 63-inches square. The sashing is done in my sorority colors. I remember being surprised that I only had one T-shirt that was red when I went through them. I originally thought I was going to have a very difficult time matching reds together.

There were a couple shirts that had sayings on them that would have looked funny as a 12-inch square, but worked perfectly as sashing. I really like the way it turned out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The scrap quilt is coming along

I finally finished sewing my 400th flying geese unit last weekend for the scrap quilt I'm working on. It was a good feeling, let me tell you.

I still have to piece a couple dozen quarter square triangles, and then all the 4.5-inch units that make up my 16-inch blocks will be complete. I've been busy arranging the blocks on my makeshift design wall, which really is going to be coming down soon, because the painters tape isn't holding it up anymore.

I'd like to get the first twelve blocks that are laid out above sewed together this week before taking it down this weekend. Then I'll have to lay the rest out on my bed or something until I can make, and have space for, a real design wall.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My first block of the month

About a month ago I saw a block of the month program for a Civil War quilt.

My first thought was that I could join it, and sew all the blocks by hand like the women would have during that time. Then reality set in and I realized there's no way I would have the time to piece an entire quilt top by hand in a year.

So I abandoned my thoughts of making a Civil War quilt. Then at quilt retreat last week I met a quilter who was still working on a block of the month project from a couple years ago.

I was inspired and signed up for Fat Quarter Shop's Civil War Tribute block of the month program. Each block in the quilt represents a significant battle in the war and the instructions come with a historical information about the battle.

I still want to piece it by hand, but if I don't finish it by the end of the year, that's OK.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Combing my love of dogs and quilting

I found this super cute applique pattern at Nancy's Notions and I have to have it. I'm going to make it in a summer scene so I'll be able to make the dog look like Einstein, one of our three dogs.

I've also been asked to make a wall hanging for a humane society fundraiser in October, and I think this might work perfectly for that event as well. So I'll probably be making two.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A peak at the design wall

I had a great time at quilt retreat. I did nothing but sew and chat with other quilters for three days, and while my husband doesn't understand why that was so fun, I'll definitely be going back for the fall retreat.

On Friday afternoon I finished the quilt top for my signature quilt, layered and basted it. Then I spent the rest of the retreat making quarter square triangles and flying geese for another quilt I'm working on. It's all in shades of brown and cream with a few greens, blues and reds thrown in for variety.

I've started arranging the blocks on my design wall. I need to buy eight more fat quarters to have enough fabric to complete the quilt, but when it's done there will be 42 different fabrics in the quilt. I'll post a few more glimpses as I add more blocks to the wall.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Things to do before Quilt Retreat

1. Make two pots of the De Pasquale family pasta sauce recipe for lasagna on Friday night.

2. Decide which projects to bring with, (signature quilt, T-shirt quilt, quilted messenger bag, a quilt I'm making as a gift and an airplane baby quilt are all possible contenders).

3. Finish laundry so I have clean clothes to wear this weekend.

4. Pack said clean clothes, sewing machine and notions and at least two possible projects.

5 . Stop by fabric store to see if there are any fun stencils, fabrics or notions I must have at retreat and can't believe I've done without for so long.

Success: Signature quilt top is pieced

I'll admit that there were times when I thought I'd never get around to sewing together the top to my signature quilt, but it is officially pieced together.

I still have to add two borders, but that's a piece of cake at this point. I've even gotten a little ahead of myself and started marking a quilting pattern on the top. I'm just going to quilt in the blue and orange sashing around the signatures, because I don't want to take away from the messages our friends and family wrote us on our wedding day.

I'm really glad I made these blocks instead of just having a guest book. In addition to well wishes, we also received lots of marital advice. And my aunt, also a quilter, even put our monogram on one block. The monogram is a big joke by the way as Adam, Soebbing, Stephanie, spells out ASS. There will never be monogrammed towels in our bathroom.

One of my family members that signed the quilt has passed away in the six months since the wedding, so I have a feeling that as my relatives get older, this quilt will be cherished.

I'm going to quilt it by hand using the big stitch method. I got blue and white variegated thread, so that should look nice as it weaves through three different colors of blue and orange. Now I just have a little less than six months to finish it before our one-year anniversary.

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