The Christmas tree is up.
It's cold outside. (A rare treat in Dallas!)
And I'm curled up under my new quilt, sewing on the binding.
This is my favorite part.
Progress of the gift-quilt is coming nicely.
Here's the back. I almost like it more than the front!
Esther likes the front quite a lot, though.
This is one reason we call her Essie Kat. She has to be right in the middle of any project--especially if it's happening on the floor. If you've ever lived with a cat, you know what that's like.
After I finished the back, I spread it face down on the kitchen floor, taping it down as I went.
Then came the batting, and the quilt top (face up) as the top layer.
Since I was tying the quilt, I bought a 100% wool yarn in grey, and a new large needle.
With my trusty clear ruler in hand, I placed a stitch every four inches. This is the best way to tie a quilt. No need to cut a thousand little strings and thread them a thousand times. Just one piece per row. And when you are done, snip between each stitch and tie into place. I went into more detail about this process in this vintage blog post.
I chose the wool yarn so that the ties will felt up into little balls in the wash.
Hopefully I'll remember to take a picture of that, too!
Fancy Nancy and Emily have some news to share with you.
Their new doll quilt, made and designed by Emma and me, is one of the patterns in the latest issue (9) of "Fat Quarterly", the on-line quilting magazine!
The issue is full of projects to sew for kids and with kids. Our pattern starts on page 41, and there are tons more to inspire you to make something special with your own little sewists.
Get the e-zine here.
Just popping in today to point you to a quilting blog I just learned about, Piecemeal Quilts.
Sandi is relatively new at quilting (2003) but her blog is full in information, history, design, and great ideas on the subject.
Here's the post she just wrote on Log Cabin Quilting.
And at the very end, you might see a familiar name...
Here's what she wrote about my style of log cabin contruction:
Here’s another version that uses bright, saturated colors, by Anna at Lasso The Moon. You can see photos of the finished quilt in her Flickr photostream, but I really like how this photo of the blocks shows the variety of colors. What I find interesting with these blocks is that she used two colors in each block, but built one color around a center of the other color.
And here's the link to my original post on the process of improv log cabins. Thanks for the mention, Sandi!
Everybody makes mistakes.
Case in point:
I thought I could finish piecing the entire thing in one evening, and I was playing this game with myself (my dad used to do this on car trips.) Okay, now I am 1/5 of the way finished. Ooh. Now I'm 20% done. Somehow if you occupy your brain with a little math, the task itself seems less mundane.
At this point I was so excited to announce to Donnie that I was 80% (even though it was nearly midnight) that I sewed one whole strip on backwards.
Do you think anyone will notice?
I have a rule that if I make a little mistake, just pick it out and barrel through. But if I'm tired and I make a big mistake, it's time to stop for the night. I'll pick it out and fix it in the morning.
I have been sewing until my fingers are just nubs, and now I'm trimming and laying out the squares.
Isn't the illusion of the diamonds lovely? Sigh.
It's nice to take a breather and admire the progress...okay, back to work!
That's the sound of my sewing machine lately.
The center of each square is kona "stone" and it is the same fabric I used on Ethan's bunk quilt top. There will be many more squares in this quilt, so I used a thinner strip, one inch.
These are so fun to make, but exhausting! I have to make each color combo 6 times, and with five colors, that makes 60 squares total. I've been trying to do all one color in one sitting, but even that is a beating. I had to make 24 of each half-square. So of the blue triangles, 6 will pair with orange, six with green, six with brown, and six with yellow. Ok, I think I've shared too much. I might have to write a pattern when this is done, just to keep the details straight!
I have mentioned before that I prefer any project that kind of plans itself. If I have to pre-cut 1000 squares for a quilt, I'm likely to run out of steam and never piece them together. It's just a tendency that I've learned to live with, so I avoid anything with tons of prep work.
And that's why I love the idea of the string quilt with its paper foundations. It's a kind of plan-as-you-go style that suits me perfectly. But don't get me wrong--these are not shot-in-the-dark-grab-a-scrap-out-of-the-bag-and-use-whatever-comes-out projects. They are carefully designed...by the seat of my pants.
But then I came up with the design for this string quilt for the top bunk:
The sketch is so, well, sketchy because I had to keep redrawing the thing to get it right. If you look closely, each square (mine will be 9 1/2 inches) is actually two different colors, so I'll have to refer to this "map" constantly as I piece the squares.
Here's an idea of what they will look like.
Yeah, sometimes you need a plan.
I was going to put one down, one to go...but I have learned that after you get a quilty success or two under your belt, your mind starts to discover all sorts of needs around the house for anything quilted. So as far as the kids' bunk beds go, one down, one to go.
This is the finished top for the bottom bunk. I mentioned before that there were tons of strips left over from this one, so I'm jumping right into the second quilt top. Then I'll decide on backing and quilt them both at once. ( Well, one after the other. If anyone knows of a way to quilt simultaneously, let me know!!)
I'll share the design for the next one soon. It's much more complicated than this one was!
Questions? Contact Me!