Friday, April 29, 2011

Ethan's Quilt - Gators & Golf

My buddy, Joe P, asked me if I would make a quilt for his grandson, Ethan Ross. Sure, I say, but then he tells me the theme is alligators and golfing! Really? I was hoping he was kidding,... but no. Really. I had to think about that one. I searched my stash and found this animal print which fortunately has an alligator.
Now Joe is a HUGE gambler, and rumor has it that Ethan was conceived on a family trip to... wait for it,... Las Vegas, so the card trick blocks were a no brainer. Joe (ever the kidder) lobbied to have his grandson named "Ross Vegas", but thankfully there were no takers.

This is already the busiest quilt top I have ever made, and it just keeps getting better. My plan for the border is to have have 2 sides be holes of a golf course, one other will have a large gator on it, and the final side will just say "Ethan". Gators and golf. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, New Look and New Siggy!

I hope you like the look of my blog. I thought it was definitely time for a make-over, and Easter seemed like the perfect time for a fresh start.

Here's my most recent siggy. It arrived a week ago from Helma de Jongh, who lives "between the cows in Lopik" in the Netherlands. I really love this siggy. I used to live "between the cows" in Wisconsin, so I know just what she means.
I've been busy quilting, but that's a story for another day. Happy Easter, everyone!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Group Nine-Patch Scrap Quilts

The Blanketeers decided to harvest our scraps to make some nine-patch quilts. I've made 18 blocks so far and have barely made a dent in my stash. Rachel and I decided to use blue as our coordinating color. I made 12 of these blocks using only scraps with white backgrounds,... and six of these blocks using intensely colored prints. I love the really saturated hues like this one. Remember the "Great American Smoke-Out"? These bright scraps came from that haul. If you look closely at the GASO picture, you can see a bit of it peeking out.
I love this one too; I think it's a bit of Laurel Burch from who knows where.
And these ponies brought back fond memories of this quilt.

This clown fabric is more of the GASO fabric; I love the happy motifs.

And these stars were from the Baby Fats quilts. I remember picking them out at JoAnn's with Virginia many moons ago. I love using up scraps, especially from quilts I enjoyed making in the first place. I can't wait to see what Rachel comes up with. I'll probably recognize her fabrics too. 8)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Disappearing Nine-Patch Quilt Complete

My first attempt at using glue to bind a quilt was a big success. Even though I had to overcome several screw ups on my part, using glue is definitely the way to go. Despite making a narrower binding than usual (I only had 12" of pink left) this method was much easier and more accurate than using pins.
The binding was especially easy to make with glue. Just lay down a patch of glue... then line them up and iron them together. Heat setting really make the Elmer's bind quickly and tightly. And popping the fabric back to the seam was fun. Note to self: Always trim after popping the glue loose.
I guess my starch wasn't heavy enough, because my binding didn't stick to itself much at all when I initially ironed the binding. Note to self: Use heavier starch next time.I also didn't measure my seam allowance very well, and as usual, didn't allow quite enough. This put more pressure on the binding to get it to overlap the seam line in the back, and made gluing it together a much messier proposition. Still, I was impressed with how well the glue held. An added benefit, all that glue stabilized the edges so well that the final seam went together like a dream.
And to all you free-motion newbies out there, here's the real trick to making your stippling look its best: Buy 100% cotton batting and using the hottest washer & dryer settings the fabric can stand for maximal shrinkage.
With all those extra crinkles in the fabric, no one will ever spot your "problem" areas. 8) And all that glue just washes away. Yeah GLUE!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Disappearing Nine-Patch Top - Stipple Complete

I lit out at lunch in the rain on Tuesday and bought another spool of my favorite baby pink Prescencia so I could finish stippling.
This was a bigger quilt than I usually make, and it took me longer than normal to stipple the whole thing. The center was a PITA to reach, but I got it done. I don't think it's quite up to my usual stipple-standard, but it will do. Here's a close-up of a part I'm not too ashamed of. lol I'm going to bind it with the pink batik, using the gluing technique I've seen here. In fact, I had better review the process before I start; otherwise, I'm likely to mess it up!
I was happy to hear my friend, Dorthy, is going to start stippling. She took my advice, and selected a quilt that is in such bad shape it can only be improved upon - apparently after washing, the back is falling off. This removes all pressure to stipple perfectly, and lets you just get in the flow.