Because I’m a nerd, I decided I wanted a Star Trek quilt. I had seen a quilt on Esty made up of HST (think Postcard from Sweden but with red, blue, gold, and black). I liked the look of the random placement of the HST but I wanted something more….nerdy. So I designed this quilt. It was the second quilt I designed (this is an important piece of information).
I started quilting in July 2016, the same month I designed this quilt. Being a new quilter, a 5″ HST didn’t seem that big. Let me tell you, when you put 304 of them together, it’s big. This quilt is approximately 80″ x 95″. Needless to say, I now know 5″ HST are big enough.
I experienced plenty of thread breakage while doing the first few rows and the last few rows. And the tension changed on it’s own part way through. I’m not sure why any of the problems I had occurred although, I’m inclined to believe the first “set” of thread breakage was due to the bobbin not being wound correctly. Besides that, I’m at a loss for why it happened which made things increasingly more frustrating for a while (thanks Momma Bear for making me continue on).
I started this quilt in October 2016, finished the top in 2017, took months to find the perfect backing (which I did from FabricUtopia on Etsy), and it took months for me to figure out how I wanted to quilt it and what thread to use. My goal was to have it done by the end of 2017 but I got it finished in the beginning of 2018, which is close enough.
Protip: When it says read the full pattern before starting, read the full pattern before starting.
Twisted Ribbons is a pattern by Katie Rock that was in an issue of Quilty. It’s just flying geese, half square triangles (yay), and rectangle blocks. I was going to make it scrappy…well, scrappy to the best of my ability. It’s a fairly simple pattern so I figured I could make it without consulting my wise Momma Bear. Well. That was a mistake.
I’d never done flying geese. I knew how to make them but had never actually made one. The pattern in the magazine gives instructions on how to make individual flying geese. One. At. A. Time. 108 of them. I soon learned this was not the best use of my time…”soon” being after I had cut all the individual pieces already. Had I consulted Momma Bear before starting she would have passed down the knowledge of 1) the flying geese ruler, and 2) how to make multiple geese at a time. Knowledge that I now know and wish I knew back then.
Amended Protip: When it says read the full pattern before starting, read the full pattern before starting because there may be a different/more efficient way to make it.
The Arnprior Guild had three challenges last year: Crayon challenge, 10 inch block challenge, and the President’s Challenge. I didn’t participate in the President’s challenge but I did participate in the other two.
With the Crayon challenge we had to pick a crayon from a bag and make anything using only that colour/colour family (white and black were also allowed to be used). I (surprisingly) picked one of my favourite colours…pink! I had designed a nice lap quilt but because I was procrastinating, I ended up changing my mind and decided to try a bargello. For the first time. With a week left. Good idea, right?
I searched Pinterest and YouTube for tutorials and beginner bargellos. I found a few tutorials, watched a few videos and decided to get started. Not as hard as I thought, but also not as easy as I thought…ok I didn’t think it was easy to begin with. Cutting the inital strips was easy though! Especially with a Go! Cutter (#notsponsored), cutting is a breeeeeeeeeze. Things might have went down hill after that but hey, it started off well.
Makes cutting strips a breeze!
The finished top. The top was quilting and bound but because I don’t really like it, I don’t have a picture of it.
So apparently I’m not a very good blogger…it’s been over two months since my last post! Terrible. My excuse is that I’m working full time now, which you know is a good thing but that means less time for ‘important’ things like quilting…and blogging.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t done ANY quilting. Back in April I made a baby quilt for a dear friend of mine with super cute forest fabric that I was dying to buy. I love how it turned out and the maple leaf panto I used to quilt it just fit the overall theme perfectly.
I recently (like last night) finished another baby quilt for another dear friend. I was hoping to have this time for when the baby was born but surprise! Baby couldn’t wait to meet the world and came early. This was the first time I’ve done free motion meandering…and it turned out pretty great! Even when meandering on paper, I always trap myself in a corner or something so I wasn’t all that confident when I started. Near the end of the first row, I was getting the hang of it and finished this in no time. Now I have to decide if I should give it right away or wait until Thursday so I can show it off at the Kanata Guild meeting. What should I do??
I hope you had a very merry Christmas and happy holidays! This year was one of those Christmases where I wasn’t really sure what I wanted so my wishlist was very short. But because my family is awesome, I was happily surprised by a few gifts under the tree especially the fabric kit for Postcards from Sweden by Jeli Quilts – I was definitely not expecting that!
When Momma Bear started quilting years ago, my best friend (Kimmeh) and I asked her to make us each a big block quilt. We got the fabric, set the layout and even used minky for the backing (sorry Momma bear!) At the time, these quilts were amazing…a bit very bright and so not colour coordinating but we loved them. Fast forward 14-15 years, we are now both 30 years old and our tastes have matured quite a bit….and Kimmeh’s quilt is confined to her bedroom because it doesn’t do anything for the rest of the house decor. As soon as I started quilting in July, I knew I was going to make her a new quilt for this Christmas. She was in desperate need, amirite?
I really wanted to keep this quilt for myself because…well, I did a pretty amazing job on it. This definitely is one of my best quilts to date and the first time using a pantograph on a quilt. That experience was fun – it’s not as easy to follow lines as you would think, and the thread kept breaking (if you know why, please feel free to provide some advice in the comments) but I would definitely do a pantograph again (and will soon!) Continue reading →
I mentioned last post that the finishing instructions (final week) were published at We All Sew on November 28. Last night I finally got around to finishing this awesome table runner!
Like the sample in the quilt along, I was going to quilt straight lines to keep the modern look but….I can’t sew a straight line. Instead I got to try a pantograph for the first time! Here’s the story: I have this other quilt (that I love but can’t show right now because it’s a Christmas gift) that I wanted to quilt with a pantograph. Seeing how I had never done it before, I figured I should practice on something small(ish) before attempting to do a whole lap quilt. Enter the Sugar Plum Table Runner. The pantograph was the perfect size and fit the modern/whimsical look of the piece. I think I did a pretty darn good job as well.
This past weekend I enjoyed a mini retreat with Momma Bear and a friend. I even got to try a Pfaff Passport 2.0! Using the amazing little machine, I finished the table runner ‘pillowcase style’ as per the quilt along. I really like the no border look and a pillowcase finish, while similar to a faced edge, is much easier to do on smaller projects. I just need to add my label (always add a label!) and this table runner is ready for Christmas dinner!
I enjoyed participating in my first quilt along and would highly recommend joining one if you never have. It’s a fun experience and having a set date for the next part to be available really motivates you to keep on track.
Sewing right sides together and then turn inside out for a pillowcase finish.
Although Momma Bear and I sometimes have different tastes in fabric choices, I’m lucky enough to have her stash and pattern library at my disposal. Taking full advantage of that, I decided to finally make the Comfort & Joy pillow from This & That. A pattern that we she had bought a few years ago.
The pattern is for a 16 x 16″ Christmas pillow – you can always resize for whatever size pillow form you want. This is a great pattern for using fabrics from your stash. While I browsed Momma Bear’s stash, I decided on two sets of coordinating fabrics; one set was (for lack of a better word) matte Christmas fabrics, and the fabrics in the second set all had some gold metallic accents throughout the fabric. I really loved both sets but ultimately decided on the metallic set.
This is my second pillow and the second time using a pattern (I can’t design everything I do, right?) BUT it is the first time doing applique! Which is not as easy as it seems…although it doesn’t really seem that easy. I used Heat n Bond Light Weight and maybe I’m not using it right, or it’s an old package but the letters (JOY) weren’t completely sticking to the fabric! Momma Bear prefers Steam-A-Seam so next time I applique I’m going to use that instead to see the difference. That whole process is pretty easy….it’s stitching down the applique pieces that is difficult. That’s when I became a frog…Satin stitch? Rip it. Zigzag stitch? Rip it. Straight Stitch? Rip it. Blanket stitch? Winner winner chicken dinner! I did a pretty darn good job of blanket stitching around all the pieces – using coordinating thread colour helps too!
Painted wooden star buttons gold to match the fabrics.
If I could knit, I would always knit the Fair Isle pattern. However, since I don’t know how to knit, I’ll just design a Fair Isle quilt instead.
Feeling creative, I drew out the design on graph paper (shhh…don’t tell Photoshop) and went to work on figuring out if this were to be a full size quilt or a wall hanging….or something in between. I settled for wall hanging with a final approximate size of 23″ × 23″. Yes, that means tiny 1 inch and 2 inch squares make up this beauty.
I like how this turned out even though it’s far from perfect. Originally I was going to quilt an overall 1 inch grid however I changed my mind (and took out some stitches) after realizing how not-so-good that would look. I ended up just quilting a quarter inch echo in coordinating thread.
Did you know that there are multiple ways of binding a quilt? I sure didn’t. There’s a way to bind a quilt called “Faced Edge” (I’ve also seen it as “Knife Edge”). Basically this means facings, instead of bindings, are used to finish the edges of a quilt. It gives the quilt a very modern and contemporary look since the quilt design finishes at the edge. That’s how I finished this wall hanging and I’m definitely going to try this method again for wall hangings.
Designing My Fair Isle wall hanging
Simple quarter inch echo quilting
Hand stitching down the facings to finish the quilt
Artists always sign their masterpieces so don’t forget to sign yours too!