Saturday, April 24, 2010

t-shirt quilt top just needs borders now....

 spent most of the day piecing this yesterday and finished piecing it this morning.  Now it just needs borders and then quilted!

Here is a pic of a couple batik's I'm debating using in the border.  I'm wondering if they will be too bright though and detract from the center?

Friday, April 23, 2010

t-shirt quilt for my niece

I started a t-shirt quilt for my niece..... I planned the layout over the last couple days and cut the shirts out and stabilized them today.  I got the first row sewn together and now it's time for a break.  I think it's going to go together better than I thought, but it is a lot of work!  Here is a sneak peek at part of the first row.  My niece is a competitive figure skater and these are shirts (and patches) that she's collected over the last 9 years skating.  The patch will be sewn on AFTER I am done with quilting (it's just sitting there for the pic right now).

I think the 'next' t-shirt quilt I do, I will plan for more shirt material around the designs in the blocks.  Some of them the seams are right up to the edge of the design.  Just an extra half an inch all the way around would be good :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a finished 'flimsy'

Quilters call finished tops that have yet to be quilted a ''flimsy''.  This is one I finished today.  It is the Moda Bake Shop Pinwheel Baby Quilt tutorial pattern done in sock monkey's from a Moda charm pack I got on eBay.
This quilt top is also the reason why I came up with the tutorial of smaller pinwheels from the 5'' charms - I wasn't happy with the two-patterned pinwheel's in this piecing.  Now I wish I would have thought of it before piecing this, but it's still cute either way :)

sock monkeys for grandma

I made this 'by the month sock monkeys' quilt in December 2007 for my grandma who was in a nursing home.  Grandpa had passed away earlier in the year, and she was quickly going downhill without him.  I wanted to make her something for her lap to make her smile.  I finished the quilt and had plans to take it down to her, but she passed away before I could get it to her (she passed Jan. of 2008).  So, I have kept the quilt in memory of her.  Grandma always had sock monkey as a 'toy' for us to play with when we went to visit and he was there for grandkids and great grandkids as well!  I loved his floppy arms and tail :)
I got the embroidery designs from GNR embroidery  and I think I got the fabric from Hancock's of Paducah but I'm not 100% on that.
One of my favorite blocks - sock money pirate, arrggg.

Cute little NewYears monkey, I'll never be guessing when this was finished with that block :)
I look at the quilt now, and think, 'why in the world did I piece it that way?'.  It would have been SO much easier to piece it with a 4 patch and an hourglass the same size of the embroidered block.  But, NOOO, I did all these 'flying geese' blocks around the embroidered block with cornerstones.  Ugh.  Don't know why I didn't take the easy way out and have a few less seams! LOL

Friday, April 16, 2010

My favorite quilt

Here is a picture of my favorite quilt.  I think it's the 3rd quilt I ever made.  The first one was one for one of my twin brother's when I was a teenager (my mom and I worked on two quilts together in log cabin block in blue's if I'm remembering correct).  The second was a log cabin mauve/pink and blue/navy quilt that I will share another day.  My younger son uses it on his bed under his comforter.  This was the 3rd, and I made paper patterns for each block.  I did 15 different blocks and made 2 versions of each block (one in purple, one in the fuscia).  It is approx 85x90 I think (just a guess) and I used warm and natural batting and quilted it on my sewing machine with clear thread.  I really dislike clear thread now, so would not use it again!  Although I quilted 2 more quilts with that around the time I made this, I wouldn't do it nowadays.  This quilt is showing it's age (I made it in late 1991 when my oldest son was a baby).  It's still my favorite though, and is always on my bed (under a comforter to protect it from our two very spoiled dogs!)  I think my favorite blocks on this are the 'card trick' and the 'pinwheel' :)  I also have another one to share another day.  It's technically a UFO though from around 1992.  It's another one I made paper patterns for too (a scrappy double wedding ring)  Will share another day though.  It's still in the UFO pile even though all that needs done is about half of the quilting.....

Friday, April 9, 2010

tutorial - pinwheel block from 2 charm squares

I have seen a lot of tutorials on how to make pinwheel blocks from half square triangles from four 5'' charm squares (two pairs), but couldn't find one for a pinwheel block from only two 5'' charm squares.  I have a lot of 5'' charm packs that have only one of each print, and if I wanted a block to only have two prints in it, I'd have to do it with 2 charm packs.  So, I wracked my brain and figured out a way to make a smaller pinwheel block from just 2 charm squares.  This finishes to just under 6'' when I sew it, but you might be able to get a full 6'' block with a scant 1/4'' seam allowance.  I like to square mine to 5 1/2'' though (to get a 5'' finished block) so use a full 1/4'' seam allowance.  I think one of the best parts is that it's not necessary to do any marking on the fabric like in the larger pinwheel blocks where you mark a diagonal line and sew 1/4'' on each side of that diagonal line.  No marking necessary on this technique!  Anyhow, here is my very first tutorial!

Step 1: layer your 2 charm squares right sides together and sew 1/4'' (or scant 1/4'') seam allowance on all 4 sides.  Yes, on all 4 sides.

Step 2: cut the block into quarters from corner to corner

Step 3: open the quarters into 4 squares and press (toward the dark side is recommended)

 Step 4: arrange into your pinwheel

step 5: sew top half and bottom half together.  Press seams OPEN.  You really need to press this seam open otherwise the bulk in the center will be too much.

Step 6: sew top to bottom matching up points.  Press the seam OPEN.  I wasn't sure about doing a stripe with this technique, but I really like it!!!

final step: square up your block.  This one I squared to 5 1/2'', so it will be a 5'' block when assembled.

EDIT:  Yes, the block edges end up on the bias.  But, with such a small block, they really are not an issue.  I did not have to starch my blocks to keep them from stretching.  If it was a larger block, I might consider starching though to keep them under control.