Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our first commission

The third quilt I've been flat out making was a commissioned King Single Quilt for a gorgeous little 3 year old, Amelia. I'm slowly unveiling it over at 2 of 4 but here are some sneak peaks.

I learned so many new techniques putting this quilt together, including raw edge applique and trapunto which were inspired by the amazing work of Kelly Wulfsohn of Don't Look Now, and I've gotten so much better at controlling my free motion quilting.

This little guy is the big brother of the caterpillar I made for Little Sir's baby playgym mat and I've also made a pillowcase to match the quilt.

So far I don't have any immediate plans to begin anymore quilts (I can hear my husband sign with relief) as I'd really like to finish Little Lady's cardigan - I'm thinking of changing the edging to a ruffle rather than a picot/scallop. But right now I'm going to wrap my monkeys in beenies and coats and take advantage of the sun and head off to the park before the weather decides to turn crappy again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quilting designs

I planned the quilting designs for the freckled whimsy quilts long before I got anywhere near quilting them. I used google images for inspiration and practiced sketching on paper first to work out how to draw them in one continuous line. Next I made templates in cardboard of the general shape and traced these onto the quilt top with the water erasable Clover pen, then basted the quilt.

On the purple and pink quilt I quilted a meandering pattern of swirls and hearts 

 and incorporated each design as I came to it, including a rose,
a tulip,
 a handbag,


bumble bee,

and flower.

On the blue quilt I used a meandering pattern of loops, stars,

and occasional waves

to fill in the spaces between crabs,






and anchors.

The finished quilts measure 1.2m x 1.5m.

For my gorgeous little niece

and my handsome little nephew.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

I'm still recovering from a massive 2 months sewing in which I've made 3 quilts. My sisters both had theirs bubs - Tammy had a beautiful little girl and Nicole had a tiny handsome little man, and I actually managed to finish both quilts on time.

I sewed the fronts together fairly quickly and then used a blue fine tip Clover water erasable pen to mark on the designs that I wanted to incorporate into the quilting. I bought and tried many, many chalk pencils and other removable pens and markers and the Clover was by far the best. It completely dissolves in a small amount of cold water even after ironing over it which you're not supposed to do. On the blue quilt I had to use a violet marker (Sew Easy brand from Lincraft) which faded quickly so I had to redraw some designs, it took a bit more to come out and I haven't been game enough to iron over it.

Dreading the thought of having to baste them hunched over on the floor for hours on end I tried a technique I came across a while ago while trawling youtube which I conveniently bookmarked and promptly forgot about until these quilts...and am I ever kicking myself that I didn't try this sooner. It's soooo much easier than pin basting and is actually quite therapeutic tho it does take longer. The videos are long and Sharon talks quite a bit but it's well worth it as its full of tips and tricks - my fav is the quilters knot which I now use for everything. Did you know that thread had a grain?

I sourced my boards from Bunnings - they're just painted 2.7m pine boards found with the skirting boards which they kindly cut for me into a 1.1m and 1.6m length. Even tho my boards are shorter than the quilt width it still worked really well.

Here the quilt is 1.2m wide and I'm using the 1.1m boards. It took me 4 hours to baste the first one and 3 hours to baste the second which sounds like a long time but since then I've basted a king single quilt, 160cm x 210cm so almost double the size of these, in 4 hours. One of my main gripes with pin basting was the fiddling I have to do to get top and bottom smooth often involving repinning areas a few times and I absolutely hate fumbling with taking the pins out as I get to them on the machine. With thread basting I just snip the threads and pull them out as I get near them and if I accidentaly run over them they pull out easily and I don't damage anything.

Next up, the finished quilt and quilting designs.
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