Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Very Special Graduation Gift

A couple of weeks ago I finished a very special quilt for my brother's graduation. My brother is a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan so I knew I had to create a quilt for him using some of the fantastic licensed fabric from Jo-Ann fabrics! But I still wanted a little extra something for it. And that is when I lucked out. My brother had a jersey that no longer fit him. I was able to upcycle the jersey into an extra special block for the center of his quilt.

I decided to create this quilt using the quilt-as-you-go method since I wanted to make this as big as possible for him but didn't want the headache of trying to fit all that bulk into the tiny throat space of my domestic machine. So I began building out from this center block.

I love this method as I get to piece and then quilt and then piece and quilt some more. It keeps the project from being too mundane at any one point. 

I made one large mistake though. I chose a fleece fabric for my backing fabric, in hopes of making my brother's quilt extra cuddly and warm. However, I should have omitted the batting when using the fleece as a backing. The batting combined with the fleece made my seams extra bulky. Even serging the seam allowance did not help reduce bulk. So, unfortunately, the quilt does not lay as perfectly flat as I had hoped it would.

But, each quilt is an opportunity to learn something new and this one taught me to be careful with fabric choices when doing quilt as you go. Thank goodness it still turned out beautifully!

And it is just as cuddly as I had hoped it would be. This will be a great quilt to keep him warm on cold nights! A great bonus of quilt-as-you-go is that the back is just as visually appealing as the front.

I attached a very special note for my brother . . . he lives out of state so I thought the quote was perfect.

I hope it will be a keepsake for him for many, many years to come!

Until next time . . . happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Elephants on Parade: A Gray Toned Baby Quilt

There is no kick in the butt like that of your husband telling you about a baby shower for his boss with only 1 weeks notice. Suddenly I could quilt with a baby hanging on my arm. Okay, not literally, but there were quite a few sessions at the machine with her on my lap . . . I can't believe I pulled this off in time. 

I quickly came up with a basic quilt design and let the fabrics do the talking. I added the baby's name and an elephant in Minky (I used scraps from the blue minky that I backed the quilt with) on the lower right hand corner and echoed the elephant on the top left corner. 

For the quilting, I also used the prints as inspiration mixing in some meandering, straight lines and some arced lines along the blue and gray print fabric. I am still amazed that I was able to finish in time seeing as I have been having such a hard time getting projects finished lately. I hope to have another finish soon on a much larger quilt! Can't wait to share the results!

Until next time . . . happy sewing!