Saturday, December 31, 2011

Poseidon's Garden Fence

Let me just start off by saying that I love, love, love this quilt!

Back before Thanksgiving, my dad got hit with a nasty virus that made him extremely sick. After a week of becoming severely dehydrated, he decided to go to the hospital. While there, they found gallstones. After being in the hospital for nearly a week, he was discharged and ended up in need of a hospital bed.

My plan to make my parents a king-sized quilt changed into needing to make two twin-sized quilts instead. I thought this was good though because then my dad could have a quilt in any colors he wanted - and I wouldn't have to quilt a beastly-sized king. He told me he'd love something blue. I'd been wanting to make another solids quilt since I made this, so I ordered a Poseidon fat quarter pack and set to work.

I altered Cindy's Garden Fence quilt pattern by omitting the outer white border/sashing on each block. I really like the look of the multi-colored blue plus signs created by the lack of additional fabric between the blocks.

I needed the quilt to be a titch larger so I added a thin, maybe 1.5 inch border in Kona stone, which I think frames the quilt quite nicely.

Garden Fence Quilt

For the back, I used a twin-sized sheet since that's my M.O. for backings these days. I love the color of it.

Garden Fence Quilt Back

The binding on this quilt is definitely my most favorite by far - ever! I can't emphasize enough how much I love the binding. I used the leftover fat quarters, so each different color strip is only 18-21 inches long. I think it gives the binding a variegated look around the quilt.

Garden Fence Quilt - Scrappy Binding LOVE!

It was so great to see my dad's reaction to it on Christmas morning.

Garden Fence Quilt - Scrappy Binding LOVE!

For my mom's quilt, she wanted totally different fabrics, so I'm going to do another variation of the Garden Fence quilt to tie the two together. I've started cutting the fabric for hers and hope to finish it soon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quilt Tops Become Finished Quilts

A few months ago as I was preparing for my baby's arrival, I was really getting annoyed with all the projects in my sewing space that were in various stages of incompletion. I think it was part of my nesting phase. So, once the baby was born, I set out to turn all the quilt tops I had laying around into finished quilts. I finally finished the last one just before Christmas (which was sitting around without binding for several weeks).

First up is the zigzag quilt I made for one of my sisters. I started it some time in 2010, finished the top in July, and finished the quilt in November (?) so I could finally give it to her for Christmas. I used a charm pack of Blush by Basic Grey, a charm pack of Bella snow, and some Blush fat quarters. I densely quilted the white zigzags with free motion meandering loops, regular loops in the first border, and then large meandering loops in the outer border.

Blush Zig Zag Quilt

As I was trying to a) finish these quilts as fast as possible and b) use fabric from my stash, I used a single print from the Panache line (can't remember the designer). It was a hair too small to cover the whole back so I added a little strip of some green solid. The back doesn't look as nice as I would have preferred, but it works.

Blush Zig Zag Quilt Back

Next up is the quilt that I started way back in 2007 (my first quilt block ever!). I finished this top sometime in July too and decided to finish it up to give to one of my nieces for Christmas. With the exception of the solid blue (a Kona cotton), all the fabrics came from Hancocks and Joanns. I bought them all several years ago when I didn't think fabric quality mattered. You can really feel the difference when you compare this quilt to another made from quilt-shop quality fabrics.

Swirling Stars Quilt, 2007-2011

I alternated between straight lines one-inch apart and meandering loops for the quilting on this one.

Swirling Stars Quilt Back

This one didn't get finished before my baby was born like I wanted it to, but we've been able to get good use out of it since I finished it. It makes me happy to see my sweet baby with it.

Patching Up Quilt

I quilted loops in the white sections and then flowers, swirls, and snails in the Freebird sections. I used a brown and cream dot from the Freebird line for the binding.

Patching Up Quilt Back

My first quilt-along, in 2010, was for a jellyroll sampler. The mister's aunt is like another grandma to my kids so I wanted to finish this quilt up so I could give it to her for Christmas. It was well-received as she now considers herself part of the family. =)

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt

I quilted meandering loops in a red thread for this one and really like the contrast it adds to the quilt. The binding is smaller than what I normally do, so I struggled a bit with it. But, I wanted to use the leftover jellyroll strips, which are 2.5 inches. My usual binding width is 3.25, which I'm much more comfortable working with.

Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Back

Next up is my final quilt of 2011. I love it so much that I almost had a hard time giving it away. Good thing I love my dad so much.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Sewing: Year in Review

The year is nearly over and I can't believe how much I got done despite being pregnant for three-fourths of it! As I looked back over the year, I was surprised to see that nine of the fourteen quilts I made I finished in the last four months!

Finished Quilts of 2011

In addition to fourteen quilts, here are some of the other things I made:

Finished Everything Else 2011

These are the blocks I made for the girls in the Sew Beautiful Bee.

Sew Beautiful Bee Blocks 2011

And here are the swap items I received during the year plus the blocks I made for both the 4x5 Bee and the La Beeda Loca Bee.

Swap Items Received and Other Bee Blocks Made

I looked over the list of goals I set for myself for 2011 as well and found that I met about half of them:

1. Cathedral Windows Quilt - Nope
2. Sew Beautiful Bee Quilt - Blocks received, but not pieced into a top yet
3. Goldfish Quilt - Done!
4. New quilt for my bed - Done, but not photographed yet
5. & 6. Quilts for two of my sisters - I finished one, but still need to work on the other
7. Quilt for my parents' bed - Halfway done on this one
8. Colorbrick Quilt - Nope
9. Car and Truck Quilt - Nope
10. Figgy Pudding Christmas Quilt - I bought the Swoon pattern and plan to make this quilt for next Christmas.
11. Finish quilt tops - Done!
12. Swaps - Done!

I'm still mulling over my sewing goals for 2012, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Sewing 2011

I can't believe it's been just about a month since my last post. Going back to work has totally kicked my butt and taken away ALL of my free time.

My dad has been having some health problems, so that's brought added stress to my already-maxed-out stress level. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to get up and enjoy the Christmas tree in their living room, so my brother brought over a little tree for my dad to have in his room. We needed some ornaments for it, so I made a couple yesterday. These were so simple and quick to whip up. I'm tempted to make some more as gift tags.

I used photo fabric, batting, fabric scraps, and decorative string. I printed out some family photos in black and white, then layered the photo fabric with the batting and scraps. Then I used pinking shears to trim the edges and sewed in the string for hanging on the tree. I think they turned out pretty cute, and I'm sure my dad will love being able to see his progeny's faces smiling back at him.

Photo Christmas Ornaments

I only made eight ornaments so not all of my family is represented. I come from a family of six kids. There are 35 of us, including my siblings and their spouses, 18 grandkids, plus four great-grandkids. Looks like I'll need to make more for next year.

Photo Christmas Ornaments

Photo Christmas Ornaments

Also for this year, I made an advent calendar. I had one growing up and I wanted to continue the tradition with my little family. I bought this Sherri Beri (sp?) fabric a year and a half ago. The vintage feel of it reminds me of my sweet Grandma Cole, who passed away when I was 16. This advent calendar was made in her memory.

I bought a panel of whatever this line is called. I asked the mister's grandma to embroider the numbers 1-25 on each square. Then I cut them out, backed them with interfacing, added fabric for the pocket tops/trims, and zig zag stitched them to some solid white. Then I added a border to the top and bottom because it made it look more like a calendar to me.

Christmas Advent Calendar

On the back, I just sewed strips from the other fabrics in the line that I bought. I added a little slot for a dowel to slide into for hanging it on the wall. I quilted dense straight lines between the pockets horizontally and vertically. The binding is scrappy from leftover pieces. And I tied a ribbon to the dowel for hanging. I think I'll need to do something else next year because the calendar was so heavy with little goodies in each pocket that the ribbon got pretty stretched out now that Christmas is only a couple days away.

Christmas Advent Calendar

Anyway, that's it for me. I'll be back after Christmas to review the year and show you what I made for gifts this year. I hope you all have/had a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and joyous Kwanza!


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