My Friendship Star Quilt top has been finished for so long (since last March!) but I’ve been putting off basting and quilting it. This is for several reasons, mostly I’ve been intimidated by it’s size, and by the fact that it will be the first quilt I’ll machine quilt!
It has been niggling at me for a while, and so I made a sort of New Year’s Resolution to finish it in the first half of 2014. I needed a free day when I had nothing else on, and had my son in day care, for basting. The reason? Well, I baste on the floor of my apartment, it takes several hours to do, and basting and toddlers running around don’t mix! 🙂
Anyway, I decided to pin baste, because that’s what my Quiltmaking for Beginners book advises if you’re machine quilting. I’ve always thread basted previously, so this was much quicker because I didn’t have to pin first. I still ended up with sore muscles, but the finished quilt will be worth it! I plan to quilt it in the next fortnight.
One question, how far apart do you put your safety pins when basting? I’m not sure I used enough.
Today I’m going to tell you about the third quilt I ever made. It’s a baby quilt that I made for my nephew who was born in 2011. I followed the Moda Bake Shop “Stacked Coins” tutorial with a couple of changes (I only used four columns of coins) and used the “Happy” line of fabric designed by My Sister and Me.
This was made completely by hand, all the piecing, quilting and binding so it really was a labour of love! For the quilting, I stitched in the ditched around each “coin”, and filled the white space with wavy quilting.
As with every project I do, I learned a lot. On the negative side, I learned that you don’t pre-wash pre-cut fabrics as this changes the size, so it was a bit more tricky that it should have been to sew the coins together. On the positive side, I learned how to do continuous binding as well as how to properly mitre my corners!
The toddler I gave this to still uses it so I’m happy! 🙂
The second quilt I ever made was this “Trip Around the World” quilt, which I made for my sister’s birthday back in 2011. Her favourite colour is purple, and I wanted to work with solids so this was an easy choice to make!
It’s lap-quilt size, made with cotton solids, and Aborigine Dots fabric on the back. It was completely hand-pieced and hand quilted, and I JUST finished it in time for my sister’s birthday. I found this a lot easier to make than the first quilt I made, I had learned a lot with that process and was able to side-step some of the problems I had there.
I think this may actually be my favourite quilt project, I really wanted to keep it for myself! Do you have trouble giving away the things you make?
My OH (“other half”) is a botanist by profession. In his free time he also likes to go out into the countryside and look at the plants that are growing and in flower around the place. I’m no botanist, but I also enjoying taking advantage of the lovely weather we get here in the South of France to go for walks with the OH and our baby and see some nice flowers and scenery.
Sometimes when he is out of one of his botanical “sorties”, he sees a plant he doesn’t know. He likes to have a book with him to help he identifying these UFOs (unidentified flowering object!). The only problem is, some of the best “flores” are very expensive (150 euro for the Flore de Coste, which is the definitive flore for plants in France!) but have soft covers! These can get pretty roughed up from being dragged in and out of backpacks. So the OH asked me to use my sewing skills to make some book covers for him. It took me a while to find a tutorial that I liked and that I felt would be easy enough for my skills! Finally I settled on this tutorial from sewing.com.
I picked a fabric from my stash that had a plant theme for the front of the cover, and a solid green fabric for the inside of the cover. The tutorial mentions that you can used pre-quilted fabric but as I have plenty of batting remnants lying around, I did the quilting myself, just plain straight-line quilt. I tried to finish the edge of the flaps with bias tape but I made a bit of a mess (Note to self: learn how to make and sew on bias tape!) so instead I finished the edge with a sort of blanket stitch.
For the closure, instead of using a button, I decided to use some velcro, as I have a lot left over from making bibs for the baby. The velcro is supposed to be self adhesive, but from experience, the adhesive doesn’t hold up to much use, so to be on the safe side, I sewed it down.
For the top and bottom edges, I just had stitched them down. I’ll need to think about this step for any further book covers I make as I’m not really happy with this part of the process.
So what was the verdict? Well I got a very positive review, and I have been asked to cover all the other books the OH is likely to need in the field! Success!