We’re back from Phoenix, but wanted to recap the past couple of months, as life has been a rollercoaster. After deciding that Ezri had to have surgery in late July-early August, I knew there were three baby quilts to be made: one for my nephew’s daughter due November 15, and two for my daughter’s twins due mid-November. I also decided to make one for Ezri to take with us on the trip. Here’s a recap of these quilts.
The first quilt was designed in EQ6. It took some puttering with the design until I got what I wanted. I used Makower teddy bear prints and batiks. The batiks were Maverick Star blocks from Quiltville.com and the teddy bear blocks were courthouse steps. I used a border print for the border. The quilting was a feather meander in the outer triangles and a star meander in the center blocks. I used piano keys on the border, as I did not want to detract from the print. The framing strips on the maverick star blocks were not the same width as the courthouse steps blocks–miscalculation/measurement on my part b/c I was using blocks that had already been made. It is still a nice quilt.
Here’s the EQ6 file: Courthouse Steps Baby Quilts
The next two quilts I made were for Emily’s twins, Nate and Wyatt. She used Dwell Studios designs for the nursery–the transportation and zoo themes. The quilts are blocks of color with white sashing. They are quilted with one of my designs: Spiral Stars. The digital design can be purchased from Intelligent Quilting.com.
Here are the quilts with the Dwell Studio linens:
The last quilt I made before leaving was one for Ezri to have for the trip to Phoenix. I used the Strip Twist pattern from Quiltville.com. I used the Moda Butterfly Fling jelly roll precut strips to make piecing quicker. I quilted the blocks with free-style square feathers and meandering butterflies in the border. Here are some photos.
I’ve been working on a new quilt design for using noodles (2.5 inches x width of fabric). It also lets me do some freezer paper piecing which is nice for lap work at night when I want to sit for a few minutes before bedtime. I have a miniature iron and a lap-size pressing board and can do almost everything in my lap except the seams. If we’re watching TV, I can go to the machine and do all the stitching during commercials. Here’s the picture, and the Electric Quilt 6 project link is below the picture. I think this is a possible baby quilt for Kes in June, or maybe one of the twins in the fall.
Right click on the link and save as a file. Use Electric Quilt 6 software to open.
My instructions for paper piecing are in the Freezer Paper Piecing Post from February. There’s a whole file you can download there.
I don’t do a lot of piecing, but I don’t have a top that has to be quilted right away, so I decided to try some triangle piecing. I usually stick to squares and rectangles because I like the dependable way they go together, and I love to twirl those seam allowances on the back. I’ve been playing around with Star Struck from http://www.quiltville.com. For this block you sew together two 2-1/2 inch x 4-1/2 inch rectangles to make one 4-1/2 inch square. Then you sew off a light 2-1/2 inch square on the dark corner and a dark 2-1/2 inch square on the light corner. Four of these units makes a block with a light friendship star in the middle.
Sewing diagonally across the corner square to make a triangle is supposed to be one of the best known shortcuts in the quilting world. However, it just doesn’t work for me. They always go wonky and are not square in the end. So I tried some other things. I got out my Easy Angle tool so I could cut them into the right sized triangles first and then sewed them on. That was no better.
Continue reading “Paper piecing with freezer paper”
When piecing a quilt, one should not be able to see the edge of the seam allowance of the darker fabric showing through the light fabric when a seam has been pressed to the light side. Now I admit, I’m a little compulsive about this. We’re always told to press to the dark if we can, and there’s nothing wrong with pressing to the light side; it can be a good thing if it makes our seam intersection flat. But sometimes that dark fabric just wants to show through. There are ways to take care of it when we’re piecing.
If it has already happened, there are remedies. I’ve been told that you can go back and trim the dark fabric to be shorter than the light. I’ve tried that and it takes FOREVER!!!! as well as being pretty risky if you accidentally nip the quilt top or trim it so short that it unravels at the seamline.
So, I took some photos while I was piecing some brown and yellow blocks to illustrate one way to avoid those dark slivers. This is what I usually do if I can.
Continue reading “How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt”
This is a slide show of the baby helping me “sort” my quilt blocks and quilt patches. This is far better than some of her high tech toys – if her smiles and laugh and focus are any indication.
Here’s one I’ve been working on today. Norma pieced this one. Batting is Dream 100% cotton Select weight, thread is Aurifil 50 wt on top and Bottom Line 50 wt in the bobbin. Have had tension issues for the first time in ages. Finally put a silicone washer in the bobbin and it seems to be doing better. haven’t had as many thread breaks. Feathers are free-style–drew spine w/ blue water soluble marker and then started quilting.
This is what I finished today. It’s a printed panel called “Graceful Geishas”.
This was fun to do. I used Isacord thread in the top and Bottom Line thread in the bobbin. The batting is Dream Blend Select. I used my Quilt EZ double spiral template to quilt the large spiral and then used free-hand quilting for the rest. The binding seems a little tight, so it may need to be blocked. The hanging sleeve was stitched into the top binding and then a machine hem stitch was used on the lower edge. I was hesitant to pre-wash the fabric because it was so shiny and pretty. Sometimes polished cottons lose a little sheen when they’re washed. Here’s some of the detail.