Kind of like wearing black tights with a white skirt

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Box spring cover
After several weeks of stairing at the box spring under my new quilt for the guest room, I decided it was time to come up with a solution.  I'm not a fan of bed skirts as I never seem to be able to keep them properly in place and the bedframe lends itself to being shown a little.

Using 3 yards of Moda Lollipop Chocolate Bias Plaid and an old fitted bottom sheet I crafted a cover for the box spring. 

I am actually quilte pleased with how it came out and definitely took enough photos to put together a tutorial (a couple of minor touches required before ready to go prime time).

Although I am really happy with how the box spring cover came out, I am challenged with the way it looks with the quilt.  I realized after I finished it, that the color contrast between the box spring cover and the quilt is just too much.  

I think it's fixable with some darker elements on top, perhaps a pillow that matches the covering, and this might even ben a good excuse to make another smaller quilt in a darker theme to throw at the bottom of the bed! 

I got the box spring cover made this morning ... and then helped John cut up a tree that had fallen across the road just down from our cabin. 

Large rounds
This ought to help fill in the empty spots in the woodpile!
Woodpile behind the blue tarp
And i finished quilting my "no blues" string quilt ... photos will be taken once I get the binding on. 

I love productive days!!!

All the best!

1" patchwork

Friday, January 21, 2011

As awesome as a quilt this would make ...
Pillow top before quilting
I am pretty sure I will never make one!  But I really, really do love the movement you get in the tiny square! 
After quilting
I started with 1.5" x 4.5" strips.  Then sewed two strips together.  I was then able to cut each strip into 3 sets of squares ... come to think of it, I probably could have sewed a couple more strips together (the novice comes out again).

I quilted and washed the front. 

For the back, I had pieced together some red scraps for another project and borrowed 20" of that piecing for this one.  Then I quilted with straight lines and installed a funky zipper in the middle of the pieced bit.  I actually like the back as much as I like the front!

The piecing around the zipper
I finished it just in the knick of time ... it is a housewarming present tomorrow to friends who just purchased a new home!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

All the best

In honor of those who serve

Saturday, January 15, 2011

As many of you who read my blog are aware, my brother is currently serving in Iraq.  His wife "D" is holding down the fort just outside of Schoffield Barracks in Hawaii.  She's a full-time mom, a full-time college student and now chairing the committee to raise funds for a memorial to honor our soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.    

Their goal is to raise funds to add the names of fallen soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division who are currently serving their 3rd tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom and  Operation New Dawn.  They would also like to bring the immediate family of those soldiers to Hawaii for the re-dedication of the memorial.

Last week I sent her an e-mail asking if, in addition to the check that John and I were going to send, she had any use for a quilt to raffle off to raise money, because if she did, I had some fabulous inspirations here and here!  I could hear the squeal through the return e-mail!!!  They are holding a silent auction in April and so a quilt is greatly appreciated.

Since there's not alot of patriotic red and blue in my stash, I reached out to Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics and she put together a custom scrap bag for me; it was a great value and will be more than enough to complete this quilt.

I got started today using Victoria's (of The Silly BooDilly) Wonky Star Tutorial

And have now completed the first 8 of a total of 30. 

The blocks are definitely time consuming (even more time consuming than the scrap quilt blocks Jen ;-), but I am already thinking about what other colors to use once this one is done.

If you're interested in learning more about the war memorial, please click on the image below.  Our soldiers are amazing, they have been fighting on two war fronts now for nearly 10 years, they have walked away from parents, wives, husbands, children and so many other family and friends to go over to harsh lands to fight in new types of warfare and sadly ... many do not come home.  This memorial is as important for those that do come home as it is for the families of those that don't.  (I have a brother-in-law I never got to meet who's name is on a similar memorial in the UK and I know it means the world to my husband and his family).  Please take a look Their memorial is worth a look and ever-positive "D" says that nickels and dimes add up, and that small contributions are also deeply appreciated.  

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend!

All the best

No blues ...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She has so figured out this quilt thing ...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Queen Quilting Tips

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind comments on my HST queen size quilt for the cabin.  Turns out ... I'm not the only one who was afraid to attempt to quilt of this size.  So I figured I would share a few tips?

  • Clear the room ... It's really important to do a good job basting the quilt.  Because of the size of a queen, you will likely need to move a little furniture out of the way to make room for a good job basting.  
  • Square it up ... if you're using straight-line quilting, you'll want to make sure that the back is lined up with the front.  I used the wood planks to line up the backing before laying the batting and top down. 
  • Pin well ... I had 139 pins for a 440 square quilt ... not the best ratio, so be prepared to use a lot of pins.
  • Make room ... I used the dining room table, make sure you've got plenty of space. This puppy is heavy and the more room you have to rest it ... the easier your job will be.
  • Roll it up ... the easiest way to way to get it through the throat plate is to roll up the portion that you intend to quilt and then start to unroll as you proceed.
I found it reasonably straight forward to quilt.  The vertical and horizontal lines were the easiest.  I had to remind myself to slow down and focus on keeping the keeping the lines straight.  I found the diagonal quilting to be more difficult, it's a bit harder to roll up and you end up with more of the quilt under the arm.

If you would like additional tips on quilting a queen size quilt, I would suggest taking a look at some of the good information that other helpful quilters shared with me on Flickr

All the best

Just what I wanted ...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Two and a half years ago, as the blueprints for the cabin were finalized, I began to dream about how to marry the relatively modern structure we were about to build with the more cozy, rustic feel that I wanted for our cabin. 

I knew that quilts would play a role, and was just naive enough to think that I could make them.  I searched Amazon and ordered two books on "modern quilting", got John to dig out my nearly 30-year old sewing machine, and as I was searching for lamps on eBay, discovered you could buy fabric there as well ... so the first, of what would be limited to 2, eBay fabric purchase was made.

What I didn't know then, was that this was what I had in mind.

Cabin guest-room quilt
Fifty + quilts later ... I have just completed my first queen-size quilt.
Straight-line quilting
But that's not entirely what this post is all about ... this post is about the journey and all the help that I had along the way.  I actually cut the squares from the FQ set back in January 2010 ... again, really naive at what it would take to create 440 half-square triangles (didn't know what HST meant at that time either). 

Then in May I shared my progress here and here ... and then again in June when I sought, and received, some advice on how to size this thing.  
Nothin' but the quilt ...
Last week, when I knew I was getting close ... I sought out some advice on Flickr on how to quilt a queen size quilt on a standard sewing machine ... and the response was amazing ... great suggestions that actually gave me the courage to give it a go.

The Back
Throughout the journey I have met some incredibly gifted, talented and giving people.  People who have taken the time to tell me when they like something and people who have offered advice and encouragement.  I have gotten to know many of you virtually.  And while I know that I'll never be half the quilting artist that I have seen in others, I have made a lot of progress over the past year because of a quilting community that is very, very giving!

The binding
The room is still a work-in-progress, but the focal point (the quilt) is now complete and I wanted to share that piece first.  The budget is tight to complete the room ... but I am looking forward to making it work and I hope to share the rest when it's complete.

I think I wanna' climb in!
The detail
So as we head into this new year ... my thanks to all of you who have come, looked, commented and helped ... it has meant a lot to me this past year!

All the best

Sneak peek ...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I am now just over halfway finished ... and everyone was right ... it is SO doable on a standard sewing machine ... I'll publish a summary of the tips and some photos soon.  I am already in love ... and that doesn't happen often at this stage.

We are also finishing two of the most fantastic winter days that we have had in the 20 months since we finished the cabin ... from sun rise to sun set ... it was a grand day ...

We are blessed ...

Happy New Year

All the best

Happy New Year !

It was my first full year of quilting ...

I can see how my quilting evolved over the year ... my favorite period were the improvs early in the year ... I guess I'll be looking towards that style again in the new year.

I hope that you had an equally productive year!

All the best
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