Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hand Stitched Hexagons

Lots of quilters in blogland are working with paper pieced hexagon these days.  The act of basting the hexagons is something that can be done where no sewing machine is available. Lots of folks have cute little stitching kits they take on the road with them for use in waiting rooms, the passenger seat, or deadly boring meetings.

Here are my first attempts at hexagons.  I printed a hexagon template and used it to handcut more from construction paper. Mine are pretty large--between 3 and 4 inches across.  I found some directions online and began with trepidation.

After the first 7 were complete, I decided to confirm whether I was doing them the correct way with some Flickr contacts.  According to them, mine look just as they should. They recommend pressing them to make them look a little crisper.

Not sure what these will become part of, probably a wall hanging or baby quilt. I will probably opt to use machine applique when attaching them to the finished product. Hand stitching is not something I am going to do much more of with these hexies.

Julie from Jaybird Quilts promises more details about how she makes her hexies in the next few days! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bento Box and Random Reflections

Here are two quilt tops. I have been working on the Bento Box quilt for some time. I did not start with a clear idea of how much fabric it would take or how big I wanted it, so I had to keep getting more fabrics. 

The strips are all 2.5 inches, except for one block which is not a bento block.  As I was getting ready to assemble I saw that I needed one more block to make the rows come out right. So I grabbed an orphan block made with black/white prints and trimmed it to the size I needed. (You can try to find it for yourself.)

Also pictured here is my first attempt at a Random Reflections quilt made with scraps of the black and white prints I have collected. I threw in a couple of red prints for fun.

I saw this pattern on Flickr and thought "Oh, I can do that." It is a lot harder to figure out than I first thought and the first two groups of strips I made did not look anything like the quilt in the picture.  So I went back on Flickr and found the link to the Moda Bake Shop directions for this quilt.

I will be making more quilts in this pattern in larger sizes, using jelly roll strips and Kona solids.  I have several lovely jelly rolls lying around here needing to be cut into.

So the moral of the story is: Sometimes it is better to just go ahead and read the directions. Then you can decide for yourself if you want to follow them :)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Finish and a Near Finish

This black and white baby quilt is about a yard on each side. It is made with scraps from other black and white projects I have in the works.

I quilted it sparingly with a grid in the center and stitch in the ditch around the borders.

The backing is white cotton and feels so soft! The binding is pieced with some of the same prints and machine stitched.

This Pop Pink quilt is made with fat quarters of several modern prints that I picked up as part of a fabric grab bag at a shop in Richmond. I went back and got yardage of the stripe print in pink, purple and brown to use as the backing.

The yardage was not wide enough so I split it and added a wide strip of white cotton. Then when I pinned it together in prep for quilting I decided to use the stripes to guide my quilting. That means that I placed the pins in the back and quilted from the back side instead of the front.

The quilting is just (mostly) straight lines every few inches. The stitching runs horizontally across the blocks.

This is not quite twin sized. The next step is to trim and bind.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last Year's Wool Beach Quilt and Inspiration for a New One

I made this last year after a wonderful trip to the Outer Banks, NC. You can see I entered it in the county fair.
It is embellished with shells I picked up on the shore near Cape Hatteras.
I am feeling inspired by these photos from First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach to create another small beachy art quilt. I will probably use cotton as a base this time and layer on other materials to create my picture.
This cute sailboat may make it into the picture.
I love this line of pilings that extends out into the Chesapeake Bay. At certain times of day each piling is occupied by a pelican or other sea bird. This will feature prominently in my beach quilt. I am thinking of how to construct the pilings in fabric.

I have a handful of small shells and some sand that I plan to incorporate into the quilt. I am thinking of using a layer of sheer fabric with the shells and sand underneath. We'll see how it turns out.


Friday, July 16, 2010

What's Your Stitch and Stuff?

I visited a wonderful quilt store today!  Here is the link to their website.

The store was crammed full of wonderful patterns, projects and samples of quilts and wool applique work. There were many bolts of fabrics and the sales associate I talked to said they specialized in reproduction fabrics.  They also had quite a few bolts of novelty fabrics.

I picked up a book with patterns for wool applique for 50% off, some fat quarters and some ocean themed fabric to make a quilt for myself! 

Did you know that Aurifil makes wool thread for wool stitchery?  I had no idea!  I did not get any, just marveled over it.

I enjoyed the store and if you visit Va Beach, you should visit the store as well!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Lazy Day

The furry people are having a lazy day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Electronics Travel Organizer

After making the Nook Cover I started thinking how I could adapt this design to make something to carry around personal electronics-- things like MP3 players, Nintendo DS and the like.

I did some measurements and a drawing, basically a rectangle 10 x 26 inches. I planned to make 6 inch pockets on each end with the whole organizer being folded to about 9 inches.

I chose to use Warm and Natural batting as a stitching foundation for the strips of Nest by Tula Pink. I chose the green and white lattice print from that line for the lining.

My Janome TB-12 has only a few decorative stitches, but they worked like a dream with no skipped stitches or hiccups of any kind. I used brown thread for the decorative stitching to coordinate with the colors in the Nest fabrics.

On the Nook project I used a binded edge. This time I decided to sew the lining pillow-cover style and flip it right side out.  Before turning I trimmed the seam allowances down to eliminate extra bulk.

Once I had my rectangle and lining complete, I took some additional measurements and marked with pins where I wanted my pockets to be.  If you make one, you will want to customize it to your own electronics that you plan to put in it. I wanted pockets for cords and chargers, too.

I used more brown thread to topstitch the pockets in place and to close the sides.

I did break a needle at the very end of the project when attempting to stitch through 4 layers of fabric and 2 layers of batting at a corner (fat with seam allowances!)  The needle had been used for at least 5 projects-- so was understandably weak and tired!  (Yes, I know that you are supposed to change to a new needle with each project-- I just don't.)

I am pretty happy with how this turned out. I may add a button and elastic closure just to keep it from unfolding in a purse.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nook Cover

My uncle Steve is getting a Nook for his birthday. I made him this case for it using the directions from the Moda Bake Shop for the Bookeeper.

Quilt Dad made a couple of very nice versions of this for Kindle, luckily for me the 2 ebook readers have the same dimensions. You can see his version here.
I love this Beatles fabric the best. It came from scraps my aunt gave me and this was all there was of it.

Love, love me do! 
The lining of this Nook cover is made with canvas from the Authentic line by Sweetwater. There is a layer of Warm and Wonderful for padding and I broke out the decorative stitching in red thread.