Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Grandma's Teddy Bear Quilt (Four Patch and Panels)

Here's a quick quilt! I was inspired I guess, because my machine was just purring along.
My grandma collects teddy bears, so this will be a perfect wall hanging for her collection room.

The bear "Trip Around the World" panels came as is, with their blue or green border. I made Four Patch blocks to separate the panels, used some material from the Late Fall Quilt as border, and a cool bear fabric for the backing. Tadaaa! This was also my practice piece for free motion machine quilting. I just went ahead and did crazy patterns all around the yellow border to get a feeling for the machine. That helped a lot with the quilting on the Late Fall Quilt.

I put in a little free motion heart on every side of the border...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Late Fall Quilt (Double Irish Chain) Part 3


Having created a quilting room really helped the process. Here's the finished product:

All I have to do now is hid the hundreds of threads hanging out and wrapping it up for christmas...

Here's a close up of the two more interesting fabrics I used, an English Toile in red brown, and the leafy fall theme. The yellow fabric I call wallpaper fabric in my mind :)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Cole's Jungle (Sampler Baby Quilt) Part 2

Here are the final steps of the sampler baby quilt I made for baby Cole:

The four sampler blocks we did in class:

The whole quilt before quilting...

... and after. (It really is rectangular, but it's warped here from lying on the back of a chair)

Here are the individual blocks and close-ups of the hand-quilting.
Handquilting was an interesting experience for me, though not my finger tips. I can't get the hang of the thimbel, it doesn't feel right, so I had some pretty pricked finger tips... :)

(Four Patch)
I quilted these diagonal lines without guidelines - then I discovered fabric pencils, what a difference!

(Rail Fence)

(The Jungle Panel)

(Bow Tie)

(Friendship Star)

(Log Cabin)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Late Fall Quilt (Double Irish Chain) Part 2

The quilt top is now finished, including the borders.

Here it is pinned to the backing and batting - what a tedious job that was!!!

And I'm now busily quilting away on it. I did the binding first, which I might not do next time around in case of shifting material, but since I had used so many pins, my teacher said it'd be okay to bind first, quilt later. I started by stabilizing the quilt with outlines of all the main blocks. I'm doing free motion around the outside (dark) border and in the open (dark) spaces between the crossing chains. In the red-brown border, I'm doing an interlacing curvey pattern.

This is my quilting set-up so far. It's not ideal, because there's so much material pulling, despite being on the table. It's a major pain in the... Also, I've been eating my meals sitting on a camping chair in the kitchen, because I'm obviously not taking this whole machinery-quilt concoction off the table 3 times a day...

Quilting Obsession

My quilting obsession has not abated. I've made another small quilt, this one for my grandmother's teddy-bear-collection-room in 4 days. I need to balance my life more, what do you think?

I'm still happily plugging away on the double quilt from my class. Still have a lot of actual quilting to do (I'm never quite sure what that term refers to. I think putting the top together is called piecing, and then joining the back, top and batting is called quilting, but the overall term is quilting, too?)

I've also rearranged my apartment and gotten rid of the junk room - it is now my quilting room!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Cole's Jungle (Sampler Baby Quilt) Part 1

In my other class, we've been working on a log cabin pattern. It has a yellow or read square in the center, representing the hearth of the log cabin, and then the logs layered around it to look like a log cabin seen from above. Here's my progress from Saturday night:

Here are the pieces laid out in the right order:

You sew one on after the other, turning left in between to align the next seam. It helps to chain-sew them together, saves some thread and gets you a kite-tail like string in the end:

You end up with four of these:

And they can be aligned in oodles of different arrangements:

I settled on this one:
since we're only using one block in our sampler quilt. For a big quilt I'd probably use the second last pattern that makes the quilt look like a triangle pattern.

I find quilting really engaging. My cheeks get hot and red because I'm concentrating on my perfect edges. I guess quilting works well with perfectionists, because if you're a millimeter off, in the end it ends up to an 5 cm since there are so many blocks to sew together. I'm especially excited to see the final product of my big double-sized double Irish chain quilt. I can't really picture the final pattern yet.

Late Fall Quilt (Double Irish Chain) Part 1

So, I've made a quite a bit of progress in my quilting classes! Things are starting to come together and patterns are forming. Here's a quick intro to quilting: Irish Double Chain 101.

First, get the tools together: cutting mat, quilting ruler and rotary cutter (like sharp pizza cutter):

And of course an iron, ironing board and instructions:

Next, pick the material, which needs to be washed, dried and ironed but never steamed:

Then we cut it into strips (they're folded up so that I could cut them on my cutting mat):

And lastly - for now - the strips are sewn together according to a detailed plan and with lots of rules to follow.

Next class we'll cut the joined strips so that we get short strips with several squares sewn together. Then these smaller strips will be laid out to form a block and sewn together. In the end, all the blocks will be laid out and sewn together and then the quilting part begins.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Learning to quilt!

I've signed up for community school (10 week courses taught by volunteers)! I'm taking two quilting classes, one in Donagh on Tuesdays and another in Stratford on Wednesdays. There was a long line up in Stratford, but I think pretty much everyone got the class they wanted anyway. I figured if I have to buy materials and cutters and mats and rulers, I may as well take two classes and make it worth it. Plus I wasn't really interested in much of the rest that was on offer in terms of classes.
And good thing I signed up for two classes, because already after the first class I noticed that we're getting lots of different tricks and tips about what to do and what not to do in each class!
In Donagh, we're all making a full quilt with the same pattern (double Irish chain) but with our own colour choices.

In Stratford, Kathy is teaching us how to make 4 different patterns for a quilt sampler. I will add two extra patterns and make it into a small lap-quilt, because I don't want a useless sampler, I need something functional :) The patterns are: Four Patch, Log Cabin, Bow Tie and Rail Fence. In addition, I'm doing a picture panel with the jungle theme fabric I use and a Friendship Star.