My current work in progress is a sweet little deer baby quilt. I’ll post more about it when it’s finished, but I thought you might like a peek of how it looks right now. In the last photo, the medium tone fabric isn’t yet sewn down, it’s just laying on the white. (Oh, what a challenge that is going to be!) There will be one more layer of darker fabric to add a little more detail and dimension.
The “Healing” quilt top is pieced and ready to be dropped at the quilt shop! A friend of mine asked what the quilt shop does to my quilts that I can’t do at home (and my husband has asked at least five times), so just in case you’ve wondered, too … they have a long arm sewing machine, very different from what I sew on at home, that makes the quilt making process much easier. I found these pictures licensed for creative commons use from Stephanie Vacher on Flickr. The backing, batting and quilt top are rolled onto bars, and the machine itself moves back and forth across the quilt.
From this angle, you can see the big roll of batting (below) that feeds between the front and back of the quilt.
The machines can either be pre-programmed with a quilting design or the quilter can guide the machine by hand. I love this colorful shot by Open Threads!
Here’s the Lava Meets Sea quilt freshly quilted and not yet cut away from the excess batting and backing.
This is so much easier than quilting at home, carefully laying out the backing, batting and top on the floor and pinning them together so they won’t shift as you jam them through your sewing machine. (More creative commons photos by Jessy Roos and athenamat.) At this point, the weight and volume of the quilt become factors as well. While you try to keeping sewing just where you mean the stitches to go, gravity pulls your heavy quilt off the table to the floor. Meanwhile, the size of the quilt makes it difficult to fit through the arm of the sewing machine. It is a great workout for your arms, but it doesn’t make for easy, relaxing sewing.
My personal policy is that anything larger than a baby quilt can go to the quilt shop. I know many quilters who love quilting on their home machines, I’m just not one of them. So as much as I loved piecing the Healing quilt, I’ll take it to Phyllis at my local shop, Quilts by Phyllis, for the actual quilting.
This weekend I finally finished Kaori’s Hugs and Kisses quilt top! I tried to keep it “flowery” while throwing in lots of other fun prints. And I do love sunshine through a quilt top!
This morning I pulled out the new-but-vintage sheet I meant to use as backing so I could pop it in the wash before taking it to the quilt shop. Just then I realized that the quilt is a block too wide for this sheet. Arg!! I really love the backing sheet, too, a sweet sky blue with white and yellow daisies. Now to decide between shopping or using another backing I have on hand, navy blue with white circles. Hmm. It’s not the look I intended, but the circles and deep, calm blue might make a nice contrast to the sharp edges and riot of color on the front.
This morning I also started stitching down the petals on my big flower pillow top. Hopefully the rough edges of the applique will ruffle up and hide my very imperfect stitches. Because GEESH.
As with every other project, I’ll just keep stitching and see how it turns out!
Yeesh, what a morning! My vacuum cleaner has given up and my email was hacked. I also realize I haven’t shown much of my sewing progress here lately, so I thought I’d pull a few photos from Instagram to share here. (I’m coopcrafts there if you want to be friends. :) ) Sometimes working on a quilt takes up all my crafting time, but progress is measured slowly and it seems like I’m just showing the same thing, over and over again. I like the process but worry that it makes for tedious posts. Instagram makes me feel like it’s OK to share those in-the-moment bits.
This one is for my best friend and I can’t wait to see it finished! I think it may be my favorite quilt yet.
OK, I think I need a bit more coffee and maybe for nothing else to break for a while.
No time to quilt it today, but I did get the top pieced. There will even be a similar-but-different doll quilt that carries on the ombre effect for the baby’s older sister.
If only my arms were longer, you could see more! The pink and green remind me of watermelon or roses, both of which are welcome this time of year.
And I always love the stained glass effect of a quilt top viewed from the back. Even on such an overcast day, it just makes me happy. The pattern of neatly pressed seams with the light filtering through is the reward of a job well done! (Well, you probably have to sew to understand that one.)
I tend to think of quilts as my big “background project”. Smaller projects jump in, like gifts for Mother’s Day and birthdays, and once they’re done I go back to my quilt in progress. But baby quilts, much like babies, have a timing all their own. My current quilting project is on hold again, this time so I can work on a little quilt I’m calling Ansley’s Diamonds.
I’m using hour glass blocks set together so they’ll form diamond shapes. The added bit of interest with this quilt is the fabric which has a nice ombre gradation to it. I’m using just one yard of green and one yard of pink, but because of the shifting coloration there are lovely variations in value. The blocks pictured here combine the darkest green with the lightest pink, but they’ll shift across the quilt to reverse to a paler green and deeper pink. Hopefully that will create a feeling of movement, something that will draw the eye back and forth over the pattern.
This one is maybe a bit different for another reason — I really don’t know the recipients all that well. I met Lucy at the gym and she’s just so sweet, and her husband Chad is, too. They’re young and kind, having their second child but still just starting out, really. (At least it feels that way to someone who’s been married 22 years!) Anyway, I’m a believer in positive reinforcement, so for their kindness alone baby Ansley gets a quilt. And if I’ve done my math right, her big sister will get a little doll quilt from the leftover squares. Otherwise I suppose I’ll be making a scrappy doll quilt!