Friday, May 2, 2014

Pow Wow Quilt

I made this Pow Wow quilt for my toddler's first big boy bed.  The twin size required 99 chevron blocks which I previously posted about here.  I love the look of this quilt a lot but must admit that sewing the blocks was a bit of a production....maybe because it was my first time doing a twin size (my biggest quilt yet).  I bought the majority of the fabric from 3 Dudes Quilting when I was in Phoenix, AZ, a very cool quilt shop!  I quilted it using straight-lines in all directions and different colour thread.

Some wonderful ladies I know organized a "Pow Wow Challenge".  We all took the same pattern and came back and shared our quilts several months later.  It was a really fun and inspiring thing to do.  Here is a peak at some of my faves.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Using my new Kaleido-Ruler!

I'm working on another Kaleidoscope quilt using some fabric that my mother-in-law bought me for my new baby girl (what a great gift!!!).  Last time I sewed this quilt, the paper templates gave me a lot of grief.  I found that no matter how hard I tried, I was shaving miniscule pieces off of the pattern with each cut, resulting in a lot of frustration later on trying to get things to match up and fit.

My husband is always very adamant about the importance of "having the right tool for the job", so I decided to listen to him and invest in a Kaleido-Ruler.  This nifty little tool sure made cutting a lot faster, which is worth every penny when you have a newborn and a toddler in your life.

Here is the technique I used:

I lined the Kaleido-Ruler up with the triangle paper template and placed a tape line on the ruler using scotch tape to cut the pie-shaped pieces.  I did this because the pie-shaped pieces are an odd length (5.75").

For the kite-shaped pieces, I used a two-step process.  First, I cut large triangles out of my 8" strips, using the 45 degree end of the ruler lining up with the 15" block mark.

Then, I cut the opposite ends of the triangles with the 90 degree portion of the ruler, again using the 15" block line.  I put some scotch tape on the ruler to remind myself of what line I am cutting to.

An there you have it, kites!

In hindsight, I think I could have skipped the last step of cutting the 90 degree angles because these could have been cut afterwards when squaring up the blocks... 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Fever Quilt

I made this quilt for a very special friend of mine.  She was my doula at each of my baby's births and has become one of my most favorite friends.  That being said,  she is definitely quilt-worthy!

The pattern for this quilt is called Jungle rendition is more of a Spring Fever!  The pattern calls for batiks, but I opted for some bright floral prints including some Kaffe Fassett prints that I have been saving for the right project.  I made the throw size, which is a 56" x 72" quilt made up of 63 squares.  There are five different blocks that make up this quilt and each is made in sets of threes.

I used a random approach to lay out the blocks and found that I didn't need to do much switching around to balance things out.  It just worked.

I used invisible thread for the very first time on this quilt and even though I faced some frustrations with breaking thread, it was well worth the struggle.  The thread was very forgiving which was much appreciated, given how rusty I was feeling about my free-motion quilting.

I always admire a roll of handmade binding.  Isn't it pretty?

Since the front is so busy, I chose a relatively simple fabric for the backing.   Now if this quilt doesn't give a pop of spring color to a room, I don't know what does!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pillow Case fun with new Birch Fabric prints!

Two new prints have arrived from Birch Fabric's Camp Sur collection....Big Sur and Sly Fox!  My Aunt sewed up these rustic yet chic pillow cases for her summer home and it was love at first sight!

She used a free pattern from a local quilt shop.  The technique used to sew these is simply amazing!  I found this video helpful in putting mine together.  I had do some modifications to get my Sly Fox prints running the correct way, but was happy with the finished product.  Now I'm addicted and will have to sew some more!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Finally sewing again!

Phew!  My maternity leave ended on March 10th and almost two months later, I'm happy to say that I'm back and blogging!  Life has been pretty crazy between working full time, being a mom, and keeping my house in decent order!  Now that I have some amazing Birch Organic Fabrics for sale on my online fabric shop, I am also pleased to say that I have some beauty fitted crib sheets available at my handmade shop as well!  I am most thankful to my fellow sewing/quilting buddy (who I have nicknamed Bizzy Izzy) for getting the ball rolling again!

These crib sheets are so colourful and fun.  Two of these just made their way over to a baby shower for a very good friend of mine.  I'm hoping to get some bedding sets in the works also.

I just love the simple look of a white crib with a bright and cheerful sheet.  The organic cotton used for these is so silky and soft, that I might have to think about making an adult size version for myself! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sewing Scant

My latest WIP (work in progress) is a twin size Pow Wow quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.  The chevron blocks in this quilt call for a scant quarter inch seam allowance, meaning that the seam allowance should be just under a quarter of a inch.

I have learned that many newer sewing machines have a programmable option for sewing scant seam allowances; however, my Janome 3160QC does not.  The twin size Pow Wow quilt calls for 99 of these chevron blocks, so after eye balling my first few scant seams, I knew there had to be a better way to use my quarter inch seam foot to its full potential.

What if I increase the stitch width setting on my machine thereby moving my needle over closer to the guide on my quarter inch seam foot? 

This is probably old news to many of you experienced quilters out there.  Unfortunately, it took me a little longer to figure this out on my own!   My regular straight stitch settings are 3.5 (width) and 2.2 (length).  I increased the width from 3.5 to 5.0 and voila, my seams are scant and oh so consistent. 

Regular Straight Stitch Settings

Modified Settings to Achieve Scant Quarter Inch Seam Allowance

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bizzy Kid Quilt 2

This is my second time making the Bizzy Kid quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.  I sewed this for a special friend of mine who is having a baby boy in April.  After making several crib size quilts, I decided to make a kid's size throw, measuring 48" x 60", so that this little guy could get longer use out of this project.

I was originally going to stick strictly to greys and whites for this quilt, but decided to add in some aqua for a pop of colour.  I primarily used print fabrics for my blocks, even though the pattern calls for solids.  The result is definitely busy, but I find it incredibly suiting for a busy little boy!

Because of the busy quilt front, I chose a solid fabric for the back.  In hindsight, I wished I had opted for a print on the back, or at least chosen grey over white thread.  My free motion quilting is far from perfect and the solid fabric offers no forgiveness for mistakes, especially with my white thread choice.  I also think the back of this quilt could use a little something to spice it up.

I have always hand-stitched the binding on my quilts, but after reading this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew, I decided to attempt machine binding for the first time.  I'm not an overly patient person, so when I read Allison Harris' suggestion that machine binding is ideal for baby quilts because they better withstand frequent washing, it didn't take long to convince me to try it.  I probably would have attempted machine binding a lot sooner but have had serious guilt holding me back from doing so!

I shared this quilt at a show-and-tell and my fellow hand-binding friends did not notice the machine binding until I pointed it out.  That being said, I would machine bind again!