Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Shhhh...Quilt for Mom

My mom realllllly wants a quilt. Her best friend of 40 years quilts (and by hand!) but has never made her a quilt. When I started quilting too,  I think she was almost ready to beg me to make her a quilt. She once said, "When are you going to let me pick fabric to make me a quilt?" I was dismissive and laughed it off, knowing I already had a plan on the go.

While at The Hobby Horse I came across this jelly roll of Dandelion Dreams fabric:

It is pinks, purples, blues, greens and creams and I think it suits my mom perfectly. I then scoured the internet, blog sites and books and found this pattern, Garden Trellis from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. It is a manageable pattern for a newbie like me (I hope). It involved buying a particular triangular ruler (Omnigrid 98L) which took forever to find (eventually asked the owner at The Hobby Horse, Gail, who found one in 30 seconds).
Part of the pattern involves dividing the jelly roll into lights and darks. This is my result:
I think they look so delicious. I now have lots and lots of pinning and strip sewing to do, not to mention the tricky parts when I have to start making those triangular cuts. Eek!

Wish me luck. Oh, and don't tell my mom. It will be a Christmas present!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Monday, 30 July 2012

Hooded Towel

It seems that everyone I know is having a baby, and so baby projects are again and again on my list. This project came from Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing for Baby. It is a hooded towel for babies that has an adorable binding. My sister-in-law doesn't know the sex of her baby, so I chose this soft green colour for the towel, and then cut into one of my favourite all-time fabrics: Bread for Breakfast by Bora, from Spoonflower.

Bread for breakfast!

I ordered this fabric the same month I received my sewing machine, almost exactly two years ago. I love it but didn't know how to use it. This was the perfect project!

This is the end result, already delivered at baby shower #1. She loved it! I can't think of a better reason to cut into that awesome fabric, can you?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Hobby Horse 30th Anniversary Sale

In June, The Hobby Horse had an anniversary to celebrate 30 years in the business. This store, located about 30 minutes from my home, has beautiful quality fabrics and the employees are so helpful. Ask Gail about her children and grandchildren- she has a ton of them and they are super successful, interesting people!

The sale ran from June 4-10 and I almost (gasp!) forgot. Fortunately my mother reminded me on June 9. I got my butt up there the next day for the sale!

These are the goodies I scooped up at 30% off:

The bottom two are flannelette. I already used the brown alphabet fabric as the backing for my Teddy Bear Picnic quilt. The turquoise birds I am hoarding until I have my own baby to sew for!

I have cut some of the polka dot fabric into two inch strips for my Rainbow Flip quilt (tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew), and the others are safely in my stash, ready for another project at some point. The white on white pattern is being used in my Sweet Baby quilt. It is nice to see that I'm using what I've bought! (And yet, somehow, on Friday my sweet husband bought me more fabric from Pink Chalk Fabrics after he saw me loading up my online shopping cart and then sighing wistfully. So much for my fabric diet, especially since next week is my birthday and I am heading to Greenwood Quiltery to SHOP!).

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Baby Bump's Zoo

This is my first ever quilting project, a baby quilt made of flannelette for my sister-in-law. I took a course on free motion quilting, and read TONS of blogs and books, and then jumped in.
Here is it, basted and ready for me.

I used my walking foot (purchased for this quilt) to do wonky "straight" lines through the centre of the quilt, mimicking the wonky squares in two of the prints (see on the black square to the left of this picture?).
I free motion quilted the border in lines, to echo the black uneven lines in the small border strip. I was nervous, but I think it looks amazing. I then added the red binding (again, a first for me!).

And now for the finished product!

I hope my sister-in-law loves Baby Bump's Zoo! She will get it at her shower on August 12. 

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Pow Wow Problem

I have tried this week to fit in bits of sewing so I can get this Pow Wow Dessert quilt done in time for the rapidly approaching baby shower (I am skeptical about finishing on time, to say the least).

I worked away, diligently sewing 2" strips between the blocks. After my third row was complete, I checked the pattern one more time. I then looked at my quilt. See if you can see the difference:

Pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew

My first two rows.

Do you see it? Yep, the chevrons are supposed to be going in the same direction vertically. I pulled out my seam ripper, cursed like a sailor and started ripping out that second row. Fortunately I only had to tackle my second row, and some of the sashing could stay in place (just flipped). I now have three rows again, and have three more to do. The clock is ticking!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Pow Wow Process

I have some in-progress shots of my Pow Wow Dessert quilt. I am going to call it Sweet Baby. I love reading blogs with loads of pictures, and so here are some from when I began to piece the two parts of the blocks together and through all the pressing.

Machine-piecing the blocks means it is time for lots of pressing!

The fabrics are so delicious, and I am really hoping the end result is stunning. Back to sewing!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Baby Bump's Zoo in Progress

My sister-in-law is expecting her first baby at the end of August. I knew I desperately wanted to make her a quilt, but was unsure of my skills. I bought a quilt kit from The Hobby Horse when I first began quilting because I fell in love with several fabrics in this line (and have since used several meters for baby blankets for friends). It is flannelette (my favourite!) and gender-neutral (since she and her husband opted out of finding out the sex. I'm hoping for a girl!).

This is the kit with the squares cut (by me):

Adorable, right? And sooooo soft.

I laid out all the squares for some colour balance without being too much of a pattern. I even enlisted my husband for his take on the balance of the quilt. He was very patient and helpful, thank goodness. I found the black very hard to work with- I didn't want it to jump out too much, and yet how can it not?
This was the resulting decision of block placement. 
And here I am piecing it together. It went together really easily, mostly because of the very simple design of the quilt.
This is the first backing I have ever made, and I decided I needed to piece it to include some more of the yummy fabrics. I think it looks cute, but the black stripe bothers me a tiny bit. It looks nicer once the entire quilt went together.
And this is a shot of my first time ever basting a quilt. I used fusible batting and it worked really well, especially for a novice like me! Only the very edges got a little loose with all the twisting and manipulation while I quilted. I have since used it twice more.
After I basted it, I rolled it up and put it aside to quilt the next day. My next post will have the quilting and the finished product!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Kona Solids Club

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop in Toronto has a Kona Club that intrigued me. I visited their site again and again and then caved in, subscribing to their Kona Club. It provides me with 4 fat quarters of different Kona Solids each month for just $10.99 (shipping included!).

Each month's package of fat quarters is accompanied by an inspiration photograph. Here is June's:

From left to right: Tomato, White, Sour Apple and Cream.
And I did not like these colours. In fact, I was a bit disappointed that this was my first Kona Club delivery. Once I thought about it, however, the tomato, sour apple and white all work with my rainbow hoard of fat quarters, and I'm sure I'll need a bit of cream eventually. Right?

Now here is my July delivery:

It was like Sew Sisters heard my disappointment and sent a bundle designed with my colour preferences in mind! From left to right they are: Forest, Stone, Olive and Cadet. I LOVE the Cadet colour particularly, and the Forest is a little green for me, but this Kona delivery delighted me.

I sat down to put them away on my new fabric shelf (I have such a wonderful husband) and wanted to label them so I wouldn't forget which colour was which in case I have to order them in the future. There was a fabulous surprise for me when I unfolded one:
They are all already labelled! Sew Sisters are geniuses! 

Now, back to that Dessert Pow Wow quilt. I have a lot of pressing to do!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Chain Piecing

I am trying to get a baby quilt done in time for the baby shower happening in August, and have found great efficiency in chain piecing.
It has saved me a ton of time, and the piecing is coming along nicely. It is a pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew called Pow-wow. I am using adorable Dessert Party fabrics from Ann Kelle. I love them!
The great thing about the pattern is that it includes directions to make HSTs with the corners you would be cutting off anyway. That glass ice bucket is collecting all the HSTs for some undecided future project. A great way to cut the scraps!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Kona Solids Mail Delivery

I love getting mail. This has always been the case, but now that I am an out-of-control fabric hoarder, checking the mail seems to always have the promise of fabric. 

Friday in my mailbox, this was waiting for me:

I knew what it was, but still got a thrill when I opened it and found:
You see, before my self-imposed fabric diet, I found a sale at Fresh Squeezed Fabrics on several Kona solids. Three in particular caused my heart to flutter.
These are a yard each of (from the left) Kona Coal, Kona Slate and Kona Artichoke. Delicious, don't you think? Of course I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, but that seems unimportant. Great buy!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Friday, 20 July 2012

Teddy Bear Picnic

Friends of ours are expecting their first born, and against what seems to be the norm now they decided not to find out the sex of the baby. When P&M (the mom and dad-to-be) told me the nursery was a green colour with a teddy bear theme, I immediately knew which quilt to prepare for their new arrival.

Early on in my sewing days, I purchased a quilt kit from The Hobby Horse, a quilt store in Georgetown, Ontario. It is a Crazy 8 pattern and I thought I might be able to tackle it. Below is a series of pictures documenting my process. The end result is adorable, I think! The parents will get it next week. This is just the third quilt top I've pieced (and I also pieced the back) and the second quilt I have quilted and bound.

After cutting up a storm, the pieces were in piles all over my cutting mat.
These are the block variations. I stacked them to ensure an even distribution of patterns throughout each block type.
Here are the pieced, pressed blocks, ready to be assembled into rows.
I arranged them on the floor to ensure the pattern looked pleasing.
Attached rows of blocks together.
I pieced the back by using two left over blocks in the centre of the flannelette alphabet pattern. I chose the brown because it works with the teddy bear theme and the brown dots in many of the fabrics. (I took the picture after it had been folded for awhile- I promise I pressed it before basting my quilt!)

Here is the basted quilt. I used a fusible batting on advice from Elaine, my instructor for the one quilting class I've taken (Free Motion Quilting at The Hobby Horse). Her blog is http://crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.ca/. The fusible is great for novices like me. I then used a free motion foot to do random loop quilting throughout. It was WAY more work than I expected, but I think it is pretty cute!
I used a walking foot to sew on my binding, and then hand stitched the reverse. My fingers are killing me but I was really happy with the result (much smoother than my first quilt).
Here are the results!

I think it is super cute! Thank goodness the recipients won't know to look for my errors in quilting, binding and piecing. I hope their new addition gets lots of use out of it!

Lynn (aka Buttons)