Monday, May 27, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt

Whew, what a weekend! My daughter graduated on Sunday and her party was directly after. In the few minutes before her party I made her pose with her quilt.

She has been very active in sports and is a smarty pants as well! I put this quilt together in March and took it to be quilted by a long arm quilter. This is only the second quilt that I have allowed someone else to quilt. Both experiences were great!

Go figure, she picked running horses. She is a horse nut, loves all animals, and is going to college in the fall to begin studies for Pre-Veterinary medicine.

You may have noticed that most of the shirts are green, so why orange and black for the sashing and backing? Well, she didn't want black like her sister, so we decided to use her college colors, orange and black. Watch out University of Findlay, here she comes.

T-shirt quilts are not difficult to piece, especially this pattern. Getting the cornerstones to match up in the right place is the hardest part. One tip for sewing these together is to always sew with the t-shirt piece up. I am not sure why this works so much better, but if the t-shirt side is down, the pieces shift and bunch.

If you decide to make one of these, the worst part is fusing the interfacing to the backs of the shirts. Making this quilt, I think I counted to 10 Mississippi at least a hundred times. I was thinking that a heat press might work to speed this up. Anyone tried this? Someone offered to let me use theirs. Wonder if the interfacing would hold up?

Things should slow down for me in the next week or two with the last track meet tomorrow and only 3 more weeks of school left before our summer vacation. I am dreaming about the hours I will be able to sew. There are only about a dozen projects I have lined up in my mind to make next. Looking forward to turning on the machine this week!



Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Weekender Bag

Since I have finished the baby quilts, with a little time to spare, I was able to work on a project I have been dying to get started! While working on the baby quilts I began assembling the supplies necessary to put together a Weekender Bay (Amy Butler). These bags have been all over blogland and I really wanted one. My goal was to finish mine before my husband and I go away for our annual Anniversary trip. Here we are over a month ahead of time and it is finished.

Isn't it fabulous? I love it. There is enough interfacing in this bag to carry two bowling balls on our trip, but I think I will just pack clothes instead. They are a little more practical.

This pattern by Amy Butler was challenging, but if the directions are followed, the bag will turn out great. I am used to sewing quilted bags with cotton batting on the insides. The idea of using not one, but two types of interfacing was strange. Despite this, I followed the suggestions and couldn't be happier with the way the bag turned out. I may even have to use this double interfacing concept on some of my other bags, if I want them to stand on their own.

While assembling the bag, the directions said to use binder clips to hold the pieces together while sewing. Go figure, the teacher has all of her binder clips at school and couldn't possibly wait until Monday to finish the bag, so I just used some super heavy duty pins I used to use when I stretched quilts on a frame. They worked fine, but if I ever make this bag again, I would like to try the binder clips. It may be just a smidge easier.

This is my first attempt at pattern matching. One side turned out great, the other looks good, but not quite a match. I need to choose an easier point in the pattern to match, like I did on the first side. Lesson learned.

Don't you just love happy accidents? I did not plan for these zipper panels to line up like this and create a snake like pattern, but isn't it cool? Pretty sure I couldn't make that happen again in a million years.

If you would like to make this pattern, don't be afraid, just read the directions carefully and be prepared to spend almost a whole day cutting out the pieces.

Notice how the bag I made in Florida coordinates with my new Weekender bag? I have plans for one more medium sized bag to go with these two. Both of these bags are made out of fabrics from the Juggling Summer line from Moda. There will more than likely be enough scraps for a few other travel items to go along with the set. Now that I have matching luggage maybe I will have to travel more often!

Now I need to get cracking on the Mother's Day gifts I have planned for next Sunday. Off to the machine.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Winter With The Lorax


There are going to be three new bundles of joy entering our family this spring. My brother and his wife, my niece and one of my nephews are all expecting fairly soon. This means that I have spent the winter sewing up a storm for these new arrivals. I do love picking out and making baby quilts. While obsessively seeking the perfect projects for these babies, I found an awesome quilt kit for The Lorax fabrics by Robert Kaufman. This kit included a panel that had illustrations from the book. Perfect! One quilt picked out.

This is from a free pattern available from Kaufman fabrics, called I Speak For the Trees. I had a few problems with the pattern for this quilt. One of the measurements is incorrect, all of the pieces that are cut 13 1/2" should actually be 13" cuts instead. This was an easy fix. The other error is that the panel blocks and the 25 patch blocks wind up being 1/4" different in size. This was easy to fix also, but would have been easier if they were just cut the correct size from the beginning. So if you are making this quilt, check your block size. You may have to trim an 1/8" off of each side of your blocks. Despite the pattern troubles, I love how this quilt turned out. So much so that I made a second one!

This second quilt from the I Speak for the Trees pattern came together much smoother than the first. Knowing what to change before cutting made it so much easier. My brother and his wife should have this quilt, in New York, by the time this is posted.

For the last baby, I happened upon yet another Lorax quilt kit called The Need for Thneeds. This pattern was excellent and the quilt top came together nicely. I was a little nervous about getting the knitting thneeds all lined up and centered all the way across the top. No need to worry, they lined up perfectly (well as close to perfect as I get).

After making all of the Lorax quilts, I have so many scraps! I sure am glad that my two little girls love The Lorax and want several things made from these scraps! Speaking of my little girls, I want to say thank you to them and my husband for taking the time to hold up my quilts on the back deck for these pictures!

There are all of my helpers!

The baby quilts are finished. Now to get on that t-shirt quilt...or maybe something for myself?