Monday, February 4, 2013

Wintery quilt quilted and in use

My first "big" quilt finish and I'm so glad it is for us. I like it so very much and the rest of the family does as well.  It was meant to be finished when the Christmas tree went up after Thanksgiving, but it didn't get done. It wasn't even done for Christmas morning cuddling.  But that's okay because about two to three weeks ago (can't remember was right after I finished the tree skirt) I finally got the quilting and binding finished.  Alleluia!!! Just in time for some serious deep winter cozying! (is that even a word?)

The children couldn't wait to use it.

This is seconds after I presented it for everyone's approval or disapproval.
I think they approve (and it wasn't even washed yet : )

On the recommendation of a couple of kind quilters, I checked out Quilter's Dream Select batting. Oh my! I really want to try this stuff. It sounds like a very lovely batting.  For this quilt though I ended up using what I had on hand - wool. I'm very happy with it. It is lighter weight than some baby quilts I have batted with cotton yet it is cozy warm. After a gentle wash it fluffed up and got all pillowy, almost like a comforter. With the brushed cotton top and the flannel backing this quilt is like cuddling up in an old flannel shirt. Heavenly!

Initially I was going to quilt diagonally one direction and then the other to get a hatch design, but after completing one direction it seemed to say that was enough. I liked it, really liked it. At first quilting a quilt this large (largest quilt so far for me) was a bit of a struggle.  Once I figured out how it drifted behind the  machine after being quilted and compensated for this, it went much smoother, especially if I made sure it didn't drag too much in my lap.  My new method of basting without taping down the back again also proved successful - not a single pucker in the backing or top! Ah! quilting heaven : )

All in all another awesome finish for the new year.

I told my husband I made it to be used, and used it is -
: ) 

PS:  I washed it in cold on gentle with three Color Catcher sheets. Whew! So glad I did. All the sheets were a lighter shade of the red of the backing flannel.  All the colors on the front remained their true color.  I don't know how they work, but Color Catcher sheets work.

Quilt stats:
Fabric:  Frosted Memories for Moda brushed jelly roll
Size: 53 x 73 after washing

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Favorite Schnibbles

and the first one I have ever made.  I present my version of Speck (pattern purchased here).  I picked this Schnibbles pattern because I have been wanting to try the X and O block for a while now. It's not finished finished but I am waiting for the perfect blue fabric to arrive for the binding.

This little project was a roller coaster ride of emotions. By the time I was halfway through cutting I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. The pieces are soo small compared to everything else I have worked on.  Was really wondering if I wanted to continue. But, I do my best to finish what I start so I got through step one and started piecing. OMG! Not much better. It seemed tedious and I wasn't getting very far very fast at all and the pieces didn't want to stay lined up. Ugh!!!

After I got the first block together, I got excited!! It was so cute and pretty. I must continue! The piecing is not the greatest but it did get better as I went along. Loved the second block even more.

Came back the next evening to finish and blah!!! Pieces just didn't want to go together well at all. And the layout of the remaining blocks just didn't seem right. Rearrange and rearrange and rearrange some more. Was ready to put it in a bag and call it quits.  Why oh why didn't I just sew some squares together and call it good?!? ("Because that's boring," says my dear husband who came and checked in on me.)

 I really wanted to participate in this Schnibbles parade though (and I do like to impress my husband : ) so I gritted my teeth and kept going. Got to the sashing and things improved.  I am really surprised it came out somewhat square. I thought for sure with all my barely passable piecing that it would be way off. It's wasn't (whew!)

I really like this little blue square.
I think this is my favorite block...really like those little white dots and the blue and coral and brown.

It really was lovely working with these spring colors.  I used a couple of candy bars of Buttercup fabric by Fig Tree. It feels really good to have those little bundles of prettiness made up into this table topper/wall hanging.  I am very pleased with how this little quilt top turned out. I just have to decide how to quilt it.

I did make six blocks.  My master plan is to kill three birds with one stone (is that even possible?) 1) finally participate in a Schnibbles parade 2) make something springlike for our kitchen wall or dining room table and 3) make a little bit of spring to be gifted to a very kind great grandma.  These two blocks I kept separate to make into a little table runner to gift. I must say that the plan is progressing fairly nicely. 

A big thank you to Sherri and Sinta for hosting the Schnibbles Parades. I have really enjoyed them the beginning of every month over the last year or so.  I am thrilled to finally be able to participate.