Sep 282016

Here’s the quilt I made because I wanted to play with my Bloc Loc HST ruler. I love this ruler! (Also, I love chain piecing and HSTs.)

beachy HST quilt

The whole top is made from fabric from a kit for Emily Cier’s Chi quilt. I bought it mainly because I wanted the book of patterns, and then I also thought it was cute that some of the shapes looked like shaved ice cones. But when I opened the kit and read the instructions that said to interface the five charm packs of white squares, I knew that wasn’t happening!

beachy HST quilt

Inspired by Susan Kephart’s random vector quilt, I did a low-tech version by first laying out all of my HST units so that blocks with the same colors weren’t too close together. Then I numbered the four orientations that HST units can take (1-4) and used on my phone to choose the unit layouts as I sewed rows together.

beachy HSTs close

I’m all out of order, but trimming the HST units was so fun (I know, I’m a dork!) with the bloc loc ruler. Being able to quickly set the diagonal ridgey bit against the HST seam makes trimming go by much faster!

beachy HST quilt

The quilt ended up pretty big — it used 12 charm packs, so about 79″ x 90″. I gave it to my father-in-law, and I was so happy when he said he liked it because it reminded him of the quilts his grandma used to make! 🙂

Sep 212016

Earlier this year, our awesome guild member Val taught a hexagon star stack and whack quilt workshop. Just for us, she taught it all in one day even though she normally teaches it over four sessions!

hexagon star quilt

She showed us how to carefully layer, pin, and cut our fabric so that we could make fun kaleidoscopey patterns with yardage from just one print. I got to use all Cotton & Steel for this quilt (hooray, sales!) and this Alexia Abegg papercut print for the hexagon centers.

Alexia Abegg paper cuts print

For the quilting, I tried to do custom fmq by outlining the print in the hexagons. It was fun, but I was glad that this quilt was only lap sized.

hexagon star fmq

On the borders, I tried making ghosty shapes by fmqing hexagons. I feel like normally, ghost shapes are supposed to be surrounded by dense quilting to really highlight the shapes, but I didn’t do that because I couldn’t imagine what it should look like on this quilt. Also, I was almost done and getting lazy. 😀

stacknwhack ghosty border

Back to the piecing — I made a problem that Val hadn’t ever seen before from her other students! My first few hexagons came out really warped and couldn’t lay flat. We tried a bunch of things, and it wasn’t til a fellow student let me try sewing on her machine that we realized that my problem was that I was sewing with a too-scant 1/4″ inch seam allowance. I was sewing on my Juki TL-2000qi, and I normally use the edge of the regular presser foot to sew a very scant 1/4″, which usually works out fine since I’m at least consistent with myself. But since the hexagons are basically circles, it makes a big difference when you don’t use the intended exact 1/4″ seam allowance.

After that, I used the 1/4″ marking on the throat plate thingy, and my hexagons came out fine. Yay!

circles fmq

The pattern that Val was having us work off of included a border made from the hexagon centers fabric, which is fun because then people can see the print that the kaleidoscopes are made from. I replaced it with a smaller border of the background fabric, though, because I liked having the stars floating.

olive center!

It’s been a few months since I finished and mailed this quilt off (I sent this to my friend who I told I’d make a Belcarra blouse for TWO YEARS AGO and still haven’t finished yet O_o ), and I’ve already forgotten how to make it. Good thing I hardly ever want to make up quilt patterns more than once!


Jun 162016

I really appreciated Cosmo’s first grade teacher this year — she emailed the parents all the time, which meant that I actually knew what was going on. Cosmo hardly ever remembered to tell us stuff… which is normal, right? 😀

Since I was in a quilty mood, I made an Arrowhead quilt for her end of year present. The pattern is great! The design is obviously fantastic, and the instructions were really nice — it includes efficient cutting layouts for using fat quarters for all three sizes of the quilt. (I used yardage, though, so I didn’t have to pay attention to those.)
Initial K Studio - Arrowhead quilt

Since it’s mostly HSTs, I got to use my Bloc Loc ruler again (I haven’t gotten pictures of the first quilt I used it on, yet). I LOVE this ruler! Since I’m a cheapie, I only have one — the 6.5″, which was the biggest size that I saw on sale at the time. The next time I have to make flying geese, I’m going to get one of those rulers, too! I can’t do the same thing as with the HST ruler and just use the biggest flying geese ruler for all size blocks though, can I?

I actually spent quite a bit of time planning how I was going to straight-line quilt this. I drew a whole bunch of options on my computer and kept bugging Mike to help me decide. But then after I quilted all of one set of diagonal lines on the quilt, I got impatient to be done and stopped. hah!

When I was squaring it up, I found out that all that diagonal quilting had pulled the quilt very not square. (The flimsy had right angle corners, I promise.) Oops! That didn’t make me go back and try to fix it by quilting in the other direction, though — I just took my lesson and went on with binding.

Initial K Studios - Arrowhead quilt

After the school year had ended, Cosmo’s teacher mailed us a really nice thank you note… which inspired us to actually remember to make the kids write thank you notes to their great-grandma for a present box she had recently sent. See, such a great teacher — teaching the parents, even!

May 172016

I’ve been wanting to do something for my cousin-in-law after she was such an awesome realtor for us, and I finally made her a thank-you quilt. It only took me two years, hah! I chose Meadow Mist Design’s free MQG Use Your Illusion pattern — it’s a great graphic design, and I figured that if it didn’t happen to be her personal taste, she could always use it for house staging. 😀

use your illusion quilt

The quilt design is obviously great, and I think the instructions are probably fine… I may have messed up cutting or lost pieces when I took breaks from sewing because I ended up having lots of extra strips in certain sizes, and I also had to cut more strips in other sizes when I ran out towards the end of assembling blocks.

I tried out a nifty swirl fmq pattern from Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, mainly because I was trying to justify having bought the book. My swirls were pretty uneven, though, and I kind of ruined the great straight lines of the quilt pattern. derp!

use your illusion - close up

Even though this didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, hopefully it still made my cousin happy. I should probably practice those spirals some more, huh!

use your illusion quilt

Apr 042016

People in my office tend to retire without letting people know so they can avoid being fussed over, but that makes it hard to make quilts for retirement presents! So since I had the feeling that my favorite coworker was in a retiring mood, I made her a birthday quilt this year.
adore-la quilt

I used the free Adore-la pattern by Cut To Pieces. I love the all solids version, but I already had a small fat quarter pack of Carkai which worked perfectly with the pattern — I just had to add in one other print.
adore-la quilt

The templates were good, but they sure left a lot of wiggle room for trimming! I didn’t really mind, but I did notice that I cut somewhat hefty chunks off when I squared up the drunkards’ path blocks.
adore-la quilt

It’s quilted with a circuit board-like stipple. I tried to concentrate on keeping the corners sharp since the last time I used this fmq pattern, I sometimes got antsy and accidentally made rounded rectangles. I like how it turned out!
adore-la quilt

This was such a fun quilt to make! It made me really happy because I got to use up stashed fabric, finish a project quickly, and make something for a really nice person!
adore-la quilt

Jan 142016

I’ve been wanting a double gauze quilt of my own since it’s a little chiller lately, so before Christmas, I pulled out my hoarded Cotton + Steel double gauze and got working. (Glowbug totally stole the first one I made, and while later I made one for Sunshine.) Like last time, I used pretty double gauze for the top (Cotton + Steel), soft double gauze for the back (Kobayashi), and Quilter’s Dream wool batting. Then I machine tacked it to keep it poofy.

Cotton + Steel double gauze quilt

It was really fast to make — I think I only spent two days on it! Also, it turned out huge since the top is just four 1 yard cuts sewn together, and I used a twin-sized piece of batting.

I did the machine tacking in thread that matched the quilt top’s colors. I didn’t want them to stand out too much in the front because I didn’t put much effort into making sure the tacks were in an even grid.

double gauze quilt, close up

It doesn’t come across in these photos too well, but it made a pretty effect on the back, especially in the quarter where I changed thread colors for each stripe. It made me think of a field of stars.

double gauze quilt, back

The backing is actually purple (more like the previous picture), but this picture shows the multicolored tacks I like. 🙂

double gauze quilt back

I ended up mailing this to my sister for Christmas, and then her daughter stole it to use in her fort. The double gauze quilt thievery continues!

Jul 212015

I finally made a medallion quilt! Since it was so popular last year, I’ve been wanting to sew one up, but I hadn’t found one that I really liked the look of until I found out about the Modern Medallion Workbook, and the June medallion quilt in particular. It’s pleasantly wonky and not too cluttered, and I love it!
june medallion quilt

I would have loved to make a low volume clone of the sample version, but I don’t have very much low volume fabric in my stash, shucks. On the bright side, I’m planning to give this away as a baby quilt, and the yarn-dyed essex will hide stains better!
june medallion quilt

The instructions were super easy to follow; I think there were sets for sewing and attaching borders one at a time, and also for sewing all the borders at once and then assembling everything at the end. I think it’s good that I preferred to attach one border at a time (more instant gratification!) because mine tended to shrink! Definitely by the tenth border, my quilt was at least three inches too small.
june medallion quilt

My last triangle border is extra wide to make up the lost width… such is the beauty of medallion quilts! ;D Also, on that triangle border, I didn’t pay attention and made a different number of wonky triangles than the instructions specified, heh. I was being loosey goosey!
june medallion quilt

I actually made a complete strip of scrappy binding, but then changed my mind and thought it would be nice to have it just on one corner of the quilt.
june medallion quilt

The simple straightish quilting in the book was so perfect that I copied it for mine. I kind of wish I didn’t like the look of straight line quilting so much because I find it so boring to actually sew!
june medallion quilt

I’m so happy with my June medallion quilt! I’m super looking forward to making more medallion quilts from the book… when I have another big chunk of free time, heh.
june medallion quilt - with babies

May 072015

I’m posting over at imagine gnats today about Quilt Lovely and Flutterby, which I made from it.
flutterby quilt, from Quilt Lovely

I really like this one! I made it almost all from scraps and for three weeks I worked on only it (I kept wanted to procrastisew other things), so I’m really fond of it! I’m a little sad that it’s going to Mr. Yazoo’s co-workers, but on the other hand, it would be really silly if I kept all the quilts I made. :}
flutterby, with a baby for scale

There are a bunch of other quilts I want to try from the book, now… after I get through my current clothes-sewing kick!
flutterby and my baby hehehe

Mar 022015

hehehe, I’m blogging about two months behind my actual output…

Since Sunshine’s been in preschool for half a year, it was about time for me to make him a naptime quilt. ;D Also, at that time, there was a guild sew-in coming up, and I wanted to have a project prepped for it. So I started cutting out the pieces for a Hazel Hedgehog quilt… and it was so fun chain piecing everything together that I finished the top in two days! (Oops, sorry about the creases in the picture.)
hazel hedgehog quilt

I used the baby sized blocks and just added another row and column so it would be a better size for Sunshine. I wanted to make sure it would cover him, but not be so big that it would be difficult for him to put away in his cubby. The whole quilt is made from my stash, which I was a little bit proud of, since I usually end up buying sashing and backing fabric for specific quilts. I very carefully laid out my blocks beforehand to make the different colors spread out evenly… and then I messed up and sewed the rows together in the wrong order!
hedgehog quilt sunshine

I thought Elizabeth Hartman’s quilting was perfect, so I copied it as best I could with pointy stippling. It was my first time doing this kind of fmq, and I thought it was fun! I didn’t have enough light grey thread so I used light purple, and while I was quilting I kind of didn’t like it, but in the end I don’t think it’s really noticeable.
hedgehog quilt close up

The pattern is brilliant and so easy to follow — probably the reason I wasn’t able to stop and save any of the quilt top sewing for the sew-in. I thought it was super cool how all the pieces came together to make the hedgehog blocks. And they’re so cute!
hedgehog quilt in use

Dec 232014

My parents’ 40th anniversary is this year, so my sister and I made a quilt for them. Surprise! (My parents are hard to get presents for — they just buy what they want when they want it!)
anniversary Round & Round quilt

My sister drew pictures of everyone in our immediate family and sent them to me so I could trace them with fabric paint. My OMQG guildies were tickled when they saw me use a Crayola light board for a lightbox, but it works really well and is very portable! (I found out about this at ikat bag.)
anniversary round rents

I used the Thimble Blossoms Round & Round pattern since the circles of stars were perfect for framing my sister’s pictures. I didn’t mean to make it look so allthesamevalue, though! I even took greyscale pictures of my fabric to make sure I had light, medium, and dark values, and I didn’t notice until I was taking these pictures that the stars all kind of blend in with everything. >_< But my sister's drawings make everything better. 😀 anniversary round us

I really like how the Round & Round pattern turned out, but I have to say that the instructions are formatted really weirdly! It goes:

  • Page 1:
    • general instructions, including pretty detailed binding instructions
    • large quilt cutting instructions in bullet points
    • block assembly
  • Page 2:
    • block assembly, continued
    • finishing instructions – making the quilt sandwich and binding (binding information is spread out over three pages!)
  • Page 3:
    • layout diagram (why is the layout after the finishing instructions??)
    • mini quilt cutting instructions in paragraph format (why aren’t the mini cutting instructions in bullet points like the large quilt cutting instructions??)
  • Page 4:
    • binding illustration (why is this not on the same page as the finishing instructions?!)
    • materials list (why is this on the last page?!?)

I would totally rearrange the way the instructions are organized.
anniversary round sis

I don’t prewash my quilting fabric, and I’ve never made a mostly Essex linen quilt before, so I got nervous when Sarah told me about someone who made a quilt with not-prewashed linen, and then it pulled apart at the seams after the first wash. I didn’t manage to wash the quilt before giving it to my parents, but hopefully it’ll be okay because I quilted around every single seam, and also because I haven’t managed to baste very tightly since I switched from spray to pin basting.
anniversary round sis kids

My babies! This is my favorite block, hehehe.
anniversary round our kids

This one is Oscar, my mom’s favorite child. 😉
anniversary round oscar

I forgot to make a label for the back, but I figure this part’s kind of good enough? I actually had to make two of these blocks because I wrote in the wrong date on the first one!
anniversary round date

I liked how the quilting looked, except for around the pictures. They got really poofy since I didn’t quilt much in them, but I couldn’t figure out what I should have done. (Plus, it looks worse because of the creases from sitting folded for a while.) I guess I should buy one of those Craftsy quilting classes!
anniversary round back