Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Quilts

To ease my anxiety about sewing this maxi dress, my friend Andrea sent me a very long, wonderful email with all sorts of tips and how-tos. I feel totally 100% more confident now!! She is just starting to quilt, so I wanted to post a few pictures of my two completed quilts for her and everybody else. I'm completely self-taught in quilting, so be nice. :)

Quilt for the Kozlowski wedding, 2006 (PS, that dark blue fabric used for the inner border was my favorite favorite fabric I have ever seen):

Close up of the piecing. All the triangles don't match up, but they are pretty close!

For the quilting part, I just used an all-over even diagonal pattern. My machine has a tool that is basically an extended arm out from the needle that matches the seam you just sewed, so that the stitches are all the same distance apart. You can also see the binding. This quilt I'm making now is the first time I'm doing the binding on my own. I had this done at a tiny little quilt shop that has since closed, so I'm going to venture out this time. Oh, and see that white line in the corner of the inner border? THAT'S why you don't want to use a quilt pencil EVER. Buy erasable quilt markers instead!!

Art's commissioning quilt, 2007. This was kind of a challenge because after seeing the Kozlowski's quilt, Art wanted one, but quilts can tend to look feminine. So I had to pick a different quilt to make and find fabrics that looked masculine. I found some GREAT red white and blue fabric and there ya have it.

I got more adventurous with the quilting this time. The center part with all the blocks is still quilted with the diagonal diamond pattern, but the red and white borders are using a freehand loop design. I did not draw this out first, I just went for it. They are all totally uneven, but that is the best part of quilting!!

The red white and blue border uses stippling. This is basically an all-over wiggle design that never crosses the other stitches. Stippling is lots of fun, but make sure the stitches never cross each other! I also had this bound at the same shop.

My favorite part: the back. My photographer cousin took portraits of us which I printed out on fabric paper and stitched into a red and white border. I designed this quilt back, so it took a lot of math! And, even though I like math, I screwed up. Toward the center of the back you can see where my red-and-white row does NOT match up with the photos. But it was on the back and Art was like two weeks away from moving to Texas so I had to improvise. Art says he wouldn't recommend using the fabric paper again because it's really scratchy. I bet fabric softener would make it better pre-piecing. Fabric softener will also smooth scratchy American Girl doll hair. Who knew?!

These two quilts plus the one I'm making now have come from this book. I have yet to design one myself, mostly because these quilts are easy and beautiful and they give you specific instructions on how much fabric to buy. Perhaps for my next quilt I will design my own... but for now, I love this book.

And that's that! <3 Off to squeeze in a workout before my last day of UD classes!! For two weeks anyway, then summer session starts. But still, I'm happy!