It’s been awhile…but I got my groove back!

I finally broke out of my crafting funk!  Anyone still here to read about it?

I decided to make Kiarda her first big quilt (I made her a small floor quilt before she was born for tummy time and the like).  The focus fabric is the paisley that I used to make her room decor stuff.  I’ve had this pattern and fabrics hanging around since before she was born, and I figured now was a good time to make it for her.  It took about 20 hours total.  I’m particularly pleased with how my binding came out (save the one off miter on the back by the label, the only one that got photographed, go figure!).  I used Sharon Schamber’s gluing method, and MAN, that binding is damn near perfect.  I’ll be using it every time – it’s so worth the results!

Kiarda loves her new quilt!  She got all excited this morning when I gave it to her.  She proceeded to dance on it, roll all over it, pretend to go to sleep on it, and just be silly on it.  While she likes to get tucked in on the couch, she still doesn’t want blankets in her crib, so she’s not currently using the quilt for covers at sleep times.  Ah well…in due time.

Here are a few pictures of the silliness:

She’s got a pretty good downward dog, dontcha think?

The label. I decided at the last minute to use some of the leftover binding around the label, and I like how it turned out!  “Futterflies” is how Kiarda says “butterflies” right now, and it seemed appropriate given the backing fabric.

I also found a mini quilt – likely a round robin quilt in progress, from the looks of the piecing – in my UFO pile tonight.  I think I inherited this from somehwere, because I can’t for the life of me place where it came from.  It did have the coordinating fabrics with it to continue adding onto the center.  I opted to just square it up as is, quilt it, and bind it.  I’m pleased with my binding, but I’m still figuring out what the “magic” strip length is so that I can machine stitch down the back of it and not have too much extra overhang.  I went with 2.25″ on this one, and I think 2 1/8″ woudl be perfect.  Ah well.

Again, I didn’t piece it.  It did lay flat, though, so that’s good.  It came out ok overall though!
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Miniature Booty Swap Quiltlet

I got my quiltlet done tonight for the Miniature Booty Swap. I’m running a bit behind (today was the mail date), but it’ll go out tomorrow so it should be A-OK. This swap was a kitchen quilt swap – and in addition to the quiltlet, we had to come up with a dishtowel to coordinate. I made a little crocheted one with variegated red/white yarn, to be used as a dishcloth for washing dishes rather than drying them. The yarn started out making kind of a cool pattern, but then it changed. I tried to square it up when done, but alas, no luck. It also has bits of pink where the colors transition…I hope it’s okay!
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My partner said she has retro red, white, and yellow in her kitchen, so when I saw the little bee fabric (a 30’s repro I actually LIKE) I knew it was perfect! I like vertical layouts on quilts, but don’t usually make them, so I decided to do it here. I left the inner columns (note: I *hate* that quilting instructions call them “vertical rows”!) shorter on purpose, to draw attention to the vertical aspect. It is just quilted in the ditch, and backing fabric is the WoW of the front, which has little line hearts on it.
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They’re both done!

Cookies & Cream is finally done. It took me almost six hours to do the handwork on the binding alone – eek! My fingers are feeling it. I stabbed myself more than a few times, and the backside of the needle kept digging into part of my thumb. The quilt was just washed tonight (to pucker it, my favorite part!) and is currently in the dryer.

Quilt on our king-sized bed with the coordinating pillowcases:
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Close-up:
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Label (sorry, it’s a little blurry):
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I also just finished making the sleeve for this one, which I called “Seeds of Summer.” The sleeve is too low, though, so I may take it off and redo it. I also haven’t washed this one yet, and I need to block it when I do. This little quilt is about 40″ x 40″ and is hanging in the office. It’s my ode to why I don’t finish my bindings by hand. About eight inches on the back actually looks good, but that was the last part I did and I tried using my overcast foot, which worked well. I had actually finished the top and quilting in May, began the binding in June, but got sidetracked when my sister-in-law came to visit. It’s done now!

Seeds of Summer:
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Close-up of quilting. I did curly-Qs and wrote the word “summer” all over it in cursive every which direction. It’s interesting – my FMQ cursive is better than my handwritten cursive (which I NEVER use). Weird.
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Practice in Purple

Toni (The Quilting Pirate) will appreciate this one. 😀 I’m going to use her idea for displaying my little quilts, too! 😀

I ordered a few miniature quilt tops from a woman on Ebay for about $10 each. They arrived today, and they’re very well made (points, size, lay flat, etc.). I thought it would be a good way to work on specific quilting techniques with minimal hassle – and I’d get a finished product quickly. 😀 I received my two tops today, and finished the first one. I was working on my stitch-in-the-ditch, which I don’t do often (because historically, I’ve not been good at it) and microstippling. The SITD came out very nicely, as I was using my overcast foot with the little guidebar right in the middle of the foot. That helped a LOT – it’s perfect! I also, surprisingly, had NO tension issues with the FMQ. Yay!

Finished quilt. It is 16″ x 16″:
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You can see how the log cabins “pop” out with the denser background quilting with it hanging off the edge of the ironing board here:
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Close-up of SITD and fabrics:
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Back of quilt (pictures taken before the sleeve or label is put on):
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Close-up of FMQ (sorry, it’s a little blurry):
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This is the other top I bought. I’m still thinking about what I want to work on with regard to quilting it…It’ll probably be something FMQ-related, but I’ll have to come up with a design just for it. I am going to call this one “Oceans Away!”

Top:
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Close-up of the fabrics. There are two batiks and two Fairy Frost fabrics, very pretty!
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