Monday, February 20, 2017

Filigree Quilt

I did it. I made a quilt (!!!). 
This pattern is a great one to jump into...and it's free!
It looked like a daunting pattern and the instructions said "intermediate" but I went for it. I followed the directions to the letter and went slowly and methodically at every step of the way. I was catching up on "Downton Abbey" and doing things the proper way seemed like the right thing to do.

This quilt is from a kit and it makes a quilt that is a throw size, about 56 x 56. 
The colors couldn't be more beautiful and the texture of the fabric is amazing...very silky and soft. 
I gathered my materials and printed the patterns and instructions in color to help me better follow along. I started this just a tad over a week ago, and I've already completed it (yep. even binding and washing!). 
Aren't these fabrics beautiful?
I love quilts with white accents and strips, but this one also has a chambray strip and it is so pretty.
At each step, I carefully laid the pieces out and rechecked my pattern. I also followed closely the pressing arrows (did you know that clothing gets ironed but quilt pieces get pressed? You probably did...). 
I loved this quilt already at this point and was so excited to see it finished. These "butterflies" and strips took a few hours total. I knocked them out in two afternoons after getting home from school.

The butterflies and strips join together to make the quilt squares.
I got excited each time that my points all came together in the way that they are supposed to.
The squares join together to make 4 wide strips.
The strips join together the make the quilt front. 
This all came together in just a couple of episodes of Downton Abby.
I took my backing fabric and sewed it so that the seam was in the middle and now was wide enough for my quilt. 
Once the quilt front is completed, you are ready to make a sandwich. This is quilt basting and it is the step that I botched in the past. I now know what did wrong in the past (too few pins when pin basting, cheap batting that was too high lofted for machine quilting, and going to too tiny of stitches). 
I began by cleaning my kitchen floor and taping it face-down with painter's tape. 
I opted to spray baste this time around. Spray basting is like a spray adhesive and comes out very fine (like hairspray). I sprayed my batting (the middle portion of the quilt) and smoothed it out over the quilt back. I then sprayed the batting again and smoothed the quilt top on. I trimmed away the excess and got to work.
I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt this...was this the time to experiment with free motion? I love the look of line quilting. I opted with using my 1/4 inch guide and quilted on either side of the white and chambray lines in both directions which played on the design of the quilt and was still as easy as line quilting. This took about two or three episodes to complete. 
After quilting your three layers together I made the binding from the fabric in the kit, which is a really neat linen. I opted to do this by hand and used very tiny ladder stitches. 
Here it is! The finished product!
Above is before wash and below is after washing (on delicate and in cold water) and drying.

 I love the look when they are freshly washed and a bit more "crinkly". That is when they look like real quilts to me. My binding stayed together and none of my seams opened up (like they did in my dreams). The entire time I was making this, I was making it with a dear friend in mind. I need to do a little more pep-talking into actually giving it away.

I would ABSOLUTELY make this quilt again. I would likely quilt it differently next time and do more lines and just one direction. It is the softest, most delicate throw. I am so thankful for such clear, concise, and logical instructions. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Snow Day

Happy New Year! We kicked off January with a snow ice day. It is always exciting to anticipate cold, cozy weather and the possibility of missing a few days of school. We didn't loose power and enjoyed being at home together. We played a lot of rumikub, Super Mario (I am really close to defeating Bowser. Just sayin'), and deep cleaned together.
Heard of beet flights? Where you get several flavors to try at once? Kind of a fun idea, so I made smoothie flights for the kids. They had to guess what was in the smoothie and then rate them.

Childhood seems to be rushing through my fingers lately. It kills me to know that my days at home are gone and that their years at home are numbered. I mourn every little step of the journey, though I do try to see the joy. I just miss my baby and preschool years with them. In exchange for nap-time battles, I have sibling fighting. Instead of reading books at bedtime, I have ipods to police...but when I see glimpses like this, Mario strapped to a remote control car, my heart leaps.

Bella Skill Builder

I am taking on not one, not two, but three quilts. I showed you the Layer Cake Pop Quilt kit earlier this week and I am almost done cutting it out. Yesterday my second quilt kit arrived and I promptly got the first two blocks cut and ready! Today, the mailman brought my third kit! I unpacked that box, but cannot start on it. Yet (but it is so pretty...I am getting off track. that's my personality. that's why I have three quilt kits. at the same time.).

Let me show you quilt two. It is a really neat concept that really works well for people who want to learn new quilting skills but do not want to be tied down to a large project because you only make one block a month and quilt along with quilters all over the country! There are step-by-step instructions for each block and videos to also guide you a long the way. You can choose your own fabrics, but I oped for the kit...and once it arrived I was so happy that I did (wait until you see how it was packaged!).

If you order the quilt, you get the pattern and each block is packaged in its own bag to keep this on-going project organized. I LOVED this aspect!

Here is the first block for February:
I unpacked the first block and made a template using plastic school folders (you can buy the quilting rulers for this block and I would recommend it as they are sturdier but I opted for this method).

I cut out the pieces...because you are only making 3 blocks here for the first part of the project, you don't have a lot of cutting to do and can get on to sewing quite quickly. win-win!
Here is the first block ( I will add block 2 &3 after dinner).
It isn't perfect. I am a self-taught-still-beginning-quilter and as I go, I can only get better...right?!
Please sew along with me your blocks! Link up with the Fat Quarter Shop...they were so generous to send this kit to me and I can't wait to see the finished quit at the end of the year.
xoxo~ KD

psst: here is what it will look like in 10 months time...