April 28, 2008

My Mom's first quilt

My mom and I have been learning to make quilts together for the past couple of months, and I'm proud to say she has ventured out and started quilting on her own! :-)  I am in the midst of finishing my friend's quilt that we worked on together, and while I'm doing that she is starting on a quilt that we had planned to make for her.  I will be joining her on that one once my binding is done. She is doing an fabulous job with this one and I'm so happy that she's enjoying it as much as I am!

Her first quilt squares- aren't they cute? 

She is working on her mom's sewing machine which is a great machine.  I'm sure that her mom would be tickled to see that. 

This is the cutest pin cushion ever. We both appreciate the importance of having a cute pin cushion to work with while quilting. 

April 16, 2008

Yummy Fabrics

I purchased these fabric quarter flats last night at a sale at JoAnn and they are so unlike anything I have bought before! I feel like I am in a cheery bright colors phase right now and can't wait to make a fun quilt with these bright, fun colors. I'm thinking of making a quilt I've seen on another blog called "The Future's So Bright" and it incorporates white into the mix of colors so that you can have a wide variety of bright colors in one quilt. 

April 9, 2008

Things I have learned

I'm about halfway done quilting my friend's quilt and I have learned quite a few things along the way.  
1. It takes A LOT of thread to "stipple" a quilt
2. This size quilt is about the largest my machine will handle. See below photos of the half finished quilt and the machine. :-)
3. It's VERY important to pin your quilt very well and to tightly stretch the backing before you pin it. If this is not done, the back of your quilt will bunch and that's not very pretty.
4. Those sticky gloves really help push the quilt through the machine even though threads get caught on them quite often. 
5. If you forget to pull the bobbin thread up from under the plate and start sewing, it will probably come up anyway which is helpful. :-)
6. Quilting a quilt is great exercise for your arms.  I find it necessary to do some exercises every now and then to loosen up my arms and unfreeze them from the quilting position.
7. And finally, seeing the quilt turn into a quilt is a very fun reward. :-)

April 3, 2008

Free-Motion Quilting

I started quilting the quilt I'm making for my friend's graduation last night and tried a new technique (new to me, that is) called free-motion quilting.  I used a darning foot on my sewing machine and dropped the feed "dogs" so that I could move the quilt in any direction I chose.  It was a little scary because I had only practiced a little bit and never on something this large.  But once I got started I had fun with it.  I had a couple mishaps where the back of the quilt bunched up and I had to rip out what I had done in a section.  Oops.  Now I know to be more careful about that.  So far,  I like this kind of quilting better than quilting "in the ditch" which is when you follow a seam in straight lines.  The free-motion quilting allows me to be creative and adds a very personal touch to the quilt.  I'm not sure if I'm breaking quilting rules because with a certain kind of stippling stitch the lines aren't supposed to cross. But with this one, I decided to make a loopy pattern and cross the lines a lot and make hearts and stars. 

April 1, 2008

Larger Pieces= Quicker piecing

I am working on my second large sized quilt right now which I will be giving to a friend of mine for her graduation in May.  I'm hoping that particular friend doesn't find out about this blog because I'm posting pictures of her quilt. :-)  This time I decided to use a pattern from "Quick and Easy Romantic Quilts" that consists of stars, rectangles and squares.  The pieces are very large compared to the last quilt I did, and it was fun to see how quickly the top pieced together. It was kind of like an instant gratification quilt top. :-)   Before I started I practiced some Free Motion Quilting with my darning foot because that is the technique I will be using. It was fun and challenging and I'm excited to see how it will work on a full quilt. Below is a picture of that practice piece. 

I expanded my table in my kitchen by using two leaves I had stored away at my parents' house and now I can do cutting at home- although it is more fun to do that with my mom.

This is the fabric for my friend's quilt before I started cutting it. 

As I was cutting the pieces I labeled them with post-its to keep track for later. 

My mom ironing the quilt top as I worked on piecing it

The finished quilt top before I started pinning the quilt sandwich together