Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Quilts for Twins - Part 2 (with instructions)

I spent some time this weekend finishing up the second quilt for my new twin nieces (see the first one here).  If you didn't guess from the first quilt, the second quilt is the second half of the rainbow.  These quilts were super fun and quick to make, so I thought I'd share quick (very rough) instructions in case you want to make your own.
Quilts for Twins
Cut (42) 6.75" squares for each quilt.  I used different shades of three different colors, but yours doesn't have to be rainbow-y.  It could be scrappy or a single color or whatever you want.
Quilts for Twins
Pair the squares together to make half square triangles.  Trim the HSTs down to 6.25" and sew together the quilt top so that it is 6 blocks x 7 blocks.  
Quilts for Twins
When I was finished with the quilt tops I was a little stumped about what to use for backing.  I wanted to use the same print in different color ways and I was convinced that I wouldn't find anything out there that matched both of my quilt tops.  But I checked my stash and was delighted to find out that my fabric hoarding had paid off: I had enough of this Alison Glass print in orange and in blue to back the quilts. Yay for having too much fabric!
Quilts for Twins
If you want a quick way to quilt a project, I highly recommend the "organic grid."  It is one of my favorites. You don't have to mark any lines, just start sewing without making an effort to keep the lines perfectly straight.  I have tried making my lines intentionally crooked, but it looks a little funny and I am pretty good at making my lines a little crooked without trying.  This method gives the quilt a great feel and it is so fast.  
Quilts for Twins
My nieces are still in the hospital, but are just on oxygen while they get fattened up a little bit.  
Quilts for Twins
So I just need to get these in the mail so they are waiting for those sweet baby girls when they come home.

Finished size: 35" x 40"

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Quilts for Twins (Part 1)

A few days ago my sister unexpectedly went into labor at 33 weeks with her twin baby girls.  I had made quilt tops for her a few weeks ago, but they weren't at the top of the priority list since we weren't expecting the babies to be born for another month.
Quilts for twins part 1
Both babies doing well and weighed around 5 pounds.  They are going to be spending a little extra time in the hospital which gives me a little extra time to finish their quilts.  I spent the last couple days finishing the first one and am hoping to finish the second this weekend.

I knew I wanted to do something that was quick and colorful, so for this quilt I went with pink/orange/yellow (can you guess what the second quilt will look like?) HSTs.  They finish at 5.75", making this quilt 36" x 41".  My sister regularly uses the quilt I made for one of her other kids (this one), so I knew I wanted to make the quilts a good carseat/stroller size.
Quilts for twins part 1
The backing is from Alison Glass' Sunprint collection and the binding is from Elizabeth Hartman's Rhoda Ruth.  I quilted it with an "organic" grid, meaning that I didn't mark the lines and made no real attempt to have them be perfectly straight.  I really like the result and I particularly like that it doesn't involve marking lines.  

The twins were actually born the day after this little guy's first birthday.  I can't believe my baby is one!
August turns 1

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pretty Playtime Quilt Along

Today begins Week 1 of the Pretty Playtime Quilts book by Elea Lutz.  Over the next few weeks, blocks from the book will be highlighted by different bloggers.  Watch for my turn on Week 11 ;)  In the meantime, check out this adorable book!
Week 2 - Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 - Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 - Anorian from Samelia's Mum
Week 5 - Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 - Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 - Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 - Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 - Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 - Tina from Emily Ann's Kloset
Week 11 - Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 - Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 - Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 - Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 - Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 - Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Carol Quilt Pattern - Now Available

All right guys, this is an exciting and scary day for me.  My first ever quilt pattern is available for purchase!  I have written patterns for magazines and fabric manufacturers and I have done tutorials, but this is a whole new thing.

The pattern is now available on Craftsy and Etsy.

Thanks to some wonderful and extremely helpful pattern testers, I feel like the pattern is ready for you. And I have images from the testers to share.

I was so excited that Alison was willing to test the pattern for me.  I admire her work so much and she always has such a unique perspective.  She did not disappoint!
Alison's Carol Quilt
I love how pretty her version turned out and I love how she mixed up the colors on the side triangles.  And the background fabric is gorgeous!
Alison's Carol Quilt

Adrienne went nice and scrappy with a cooler color palette.  
Adrienne's Carol Quilt
These colors are right up my alley and I love the way they pop against her scrappy, low volume background.
Adrienne's Carol Quilt

Dawn had a family emergency and didn't quite get her quilt finished, but she made up for it with a very helpful list of pattern edits.  She sent me some in-progress shots and I will post photos of the finished quilt when she gets a chance to finish it up.
Dawn's Carol Quilt
She used similar colors to the pattern, just a little brighter.  I love those happy pink triangles.
Dawn's Carol Quilt

Thanks so much to my pattern testers!  Writing this pattern taught me A LOT and it gave me a whole new appreciation for quilt patterns.  I hope you enjoy this one!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lots of Squares Quilt

A few weeks ago a friend emailed and asked if I would make a quilt for his wife and soon-to-be-born baby boy.  We have known them since my husband was in law school and they have been living in Hong Kong for the past several years and they are some of my favorite people in the whole world.  Now that they have received the quilt and the baby has been born, I can post the finished product.
lots of squares quilt
I decided to do a log cabin quilt with lots of blues and greens.  The fabrics are mostly solids, with a few of Lizzy House's Pearl Bracelets prints mixed in because they are just the best colors.  Plus they coordinated with the Natural History print that I used on the back.
lots of squares quilt
I love this gorgeous dinosaur print and I used the colors as inspiration for the quilt top.  

I did something a little different for this quilt; I used double gauze as the binding.  This idea really started because it was the only fabric that I had that was the exact color that I wanted for the binding, but it ended being (I think) a great, soft way to finish off a quilt for a brand new baby.  
lots of squares quilt
For the batting I decided to use bamboo, since it drapes really nicely and I thought that all of the seams in the quilt might make it a little stiff.  I love how the bamboo turned out!  So soft.  

I normally photograph quilts before washing them, but my dog had other plans and there was a dog print that needed to be removed from this quilt before it was gifted. (Oops! Sorry Richard and Betsey!)  Luckily the dog print came out in the wash.  

Finished size: 36" x 45"
Batting: Quilter's Dream Bamboo

Sunday, May 1, 2016

a birthday quilt

I finally finished this quilt for my daughter.  For the past few years I have been making quilts for nieces and nephews as they have turned 8, so I knew I wanted to make a new quilt for my daughter's bed for her 8th birthday.  But we are in a little bit of a limbo situation where we are trying to decide whether to keep Harper in her twin sized bed or get something a little bigger, so we are gong to wait just a little while before we make a bed sized quilt.

So here is our in-between quilt.
birthday quilt for Harper
It is a little on the smaller size (42" x 56"), but should be a good size for snuggling on the couch.  This is actually my preferred size for using at my desk.
birthday quilt for Harper
Because Harper was not very happy about not getting her new bed quilt immediately (we are going through a little bit of a drama queen phase) I wanted to do a few things to make the quilt extra special.  So the first thing I did was use Quilter's Dream wool batting.

I have used wool on 4 different quilts; I have used Quilter's Dream twice and other brands twice.  If you want to use wool, go with Quilter's Dream and I am not just saying that because they are a sponsor.  It is awesome and fluffy and easy to work with.
birthday quilt for Harper
The second thing I did was use double gauze for the backing.  I have used it in a few quilts, but never as backing and it went better than I expected.  Soft and squishy and very easy to hand quilt.  This is from Sarah Jane's Sommer collection.  
Harper's birthday quilt
The last new thing that I tried was using voile as binding.  I bought some Free Spirit solid voile in Cobalt and it was gorgeous to work with.  Instead of my normal 2.5" wide strips, I cut my binding strips 4" wide.  It was a fun change and it gives the edge of the quilt a nice, silky feeling.  

And, as you can see, I hand quilted this one.  After using the extra squishy batting, the extra soft double gauze backing, and the extra silky voile binding, I didn't really have a choice.  Plus I am really enjoying having a hand quilting project here and there.  Or maybe I just love an excuse to lounge on the couch.  

Dresden Carnival Giveaway Winner

Don't worry, I didn't forget to pick a winner!

According to our friend random.org the winner is . . .
Congratulations Carmen!  I will be emailing your shortly for your mailing address.

Thanks everyone for entering!
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