Thursday, December 30, 2010

the owl quilt and forays into mid-arm quilting

I got the new sewing machine just in time to help finish up the top and back for Alex's owl quilt. And, since it IS a freaking large quilt, I decided there's no time like the present to learn how to use the quilt table. After many stops, starts, thread breakage, loops, and what-the-hell-is-going-on-here moments, I finally quilted the top. Granted, it kind of looks like shit, but hey... it's my first try! There are a number of spots on the back that are particularly terrible -- wads of looped up bobbin thread and other such horrors. But, Alex being the "who cares" kinda guy he is, and me being too lazy to hand fix it all (at least right now), I think for now it's going to stay this way. It's my ode to learning. :)

The front:

The back: (witness my shame)

All trimmed up and ready for binding!

New sewing machine!

You'll see me quilting a lot more in the coming months, because I got a sweet new sewing machine. It's a Janome 1600p that I managed to snatch up on craigslist, along with a Little Gracie II quilt frame (that barely fits in my house). I'm heading for the big(ger) leagues!

Now if only I can figure out how to properly use them...

The machine:

The beast:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a 70's inspired log cabin quilt for Alex

My next big project is a curl-up-on-the-couch quilt for Alex. Wintery nights usually find him wrapped in a giant Sesame Street blanket that is nearing the end of its life... my aim is to replace it.

A while back I came across some owl fabric that he really liked, so this has become the inspiration. The colors are all 70's yucky (or not, if that's your thing, as it is Alex's): browns, oranges, red and cream.

Here are the blocks all set out on the floor as I figured out the layout:

I am going to sash them with a creamy solid, so it won't be THAT dark.

Last night I finished squaring them off. One of the great things about having a drummer around is how many giant flat drumhead boxes there are around that I can use to make big 14.5" square templates! This was my evening last night:

And here's a closeup of the stack waiting to be squared up. Love those owls!

My goal is to get the quilt top done before xmas, and the quilt itself done by the new year! Here's to dreaming big!

The Joys of Paper-Free Wrapping

My family and I have a deal this xmas -- no more paper gift wrap! Last night I received a big package from back home, filled with goodies in home-made fabric holiday bags made by my mom. They all look amazing!

As for my own gifts, I splurged on a bunch of fun xmas fabric earlier in the year, in the hopes that this fabric will be traded around between family members for years. Some of the highlights are Sheri Berry "12 Joys of Christmas" (now on sale at pink chalk fabrics... get some now and join in the revolution next year!) and a bunch of selections from the Alexander Henry "Christmas Time" collection.

I wrapped each present up in a piece of fabric, much the same way I would've done had it been paper, and then tied them up with a 2" length of white linen. To top it off, I embroidered simple name tags using some cute xmas transfers from Sublime Stitching.

The final result? Pure Christmas spirit!

3rd baby quilt down, 3 more to go!

I finally finished the charm squares quilt and handed it off to the new parents to be. They have assured me that they will do their best to see if it can become "THE BLANKET" for their kid. That's really my ultimate goal with all of these.

I forgot to take a final pic of it, so I snapped one as I was on my way out the door to give it to them. Look how cute it is all tied up with an extra strip of binding!