Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

Despite the fact that I’ve got a couple of WIPs that I really need to finish, I’ve recently gotten started on a new project.  I’m working on two different baby quilts now that are going to be a matching set.

On a recent trip to my LQS, I bought a variety of cotton solids in a rainbow of colors.  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set has Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.

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I tried to find fabrics that would pretty true to the “standard” colors of the rainbow.  I was basically envisioning opening an 8-count box of crayons and trying to match what the colorful crayons would look like.

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Since I’m pairing these colorful solids with Kona white for the background, my LQS recommended that I pre-wash everything.  They said my colorful solids would shrink at a different rate than the background.  So I bought some pinking shears and embarked on my first pre-washing ever.  And I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of having to pre-wash.  Between trimming with the pinking shears and cutting off the frayed edges after washing, you lose a good bit of fabric.  And it takes a lot more work!

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But I finally got everything pre-washed and re-ironed and could actually start cutting into it.  I cut out 120 squares (1/2 colored and 1/2 white) so that I can make 60 half square triangles and 60 hourglass blocks.

I know everyone seems to rave about shot cottons but so far I’m not a huge fan of working with these colorful fabrics.  I’ve had a lot more issues with fraying as I cut than I’ve ever had before with Kona solids.  I tried starching the fabrics and that didn’t seem to help either (if anything, it might have been worse after starching).  But I did successfully get everything cut!

Textured Fabrics - 3

And now I’ve been doing a ton of chain piecing and sewing everything together.  Luckily, both HST and hourglass blocks make for easy chain-piecing.  I love how all the colors look all stacked together!

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I can’t wait to start getting everything laid out and see these quilts come together!

Finished Bungalow Quilt Top

Well this post is a long time coming.  Not because it took me long to sew together the quilt top (it actually went together pretty quickly).  But it was over a week after I finished the quilt before I could even take any photos!  A combination of rainy weather and a couple of late days at work where it was already dark when I got home and all of a sudden more than a week had passed.  So without further ado, here is my finished Bungalow quilt top!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

This quilt was made using the Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop and I really like how the pattern allowed the larger prints from Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line to shine.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I haven’t worked a whole lot with precuts and I noticed when working with this layer cake that the 10″ by 10″ squares seemed to not be the right size.  I cut them in half (I measured 5 inches in from the left side) but when I paired them up with the 5″ precut white charm squares, many of the layer cake strips were too narrow.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

Luckily this pattern was pretty forgiving and with a lot of glue basting to match seams and easing of the fabric, I was able to make my seams line up well enough.  But I was a little annoyed about the inaccuracy.  Has anyone else noticed this with precuts before?

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I love the colors in this quilt.  There are some great jewel tones and really saturated prints!  I stressed a little bit trying to get the colors and prints balanced and I think I ended up doing pretty good!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I’ve bought some yardage from the line for the backing and am going to do a little piecing for it but hopefully I’ll be able to get this quilted up soon!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I can’t wait to finally have a quilt I get to keep!

A Quilt for Me!

So far, every quilt that I have made has been a gift for someone else.  Don’t get me wrong, I love giving away these quilts and it makes me happy to see others enjoying them.  But I’d also love to have a piece of my hobby and hard work for myself.  So I decided it is time to make a quilt for me!

I was really drawn to Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line and I bought a layer cake of it a while back but had never done anything with it.  There are a lot of big, bold prints in this line so I really didn’t want to cut it up too much as I didn’t want to lose the designs in small piecing.

I found this Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop which really fit the bill and looked like it would go together quickly.  So I sliced the entire layer cake in half and got started.  I love how the stack of fabrics looked together!

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric

Then I proceeded to do lots of chain piecing and pressed open all of my seams (which honestly took a lot longer to do 84 times than I expected!)

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric, chain piecing

But I’ve already been able to get the entire quilt top laid out!  I’ve been making a few tweaks here and there since this late night photo to try to make sure the colors and patterns are balanced but I think it’s almost ready to start sewing up!

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric

Is there anyone else like me who has been negligent in actually making a quilt for themselves?

Jelly Roll Jam Quilt Top

It was really gross and rainy outside yesterday evening – the perfect kind of weather to stay inside and sew!  And since the rain meant I couldn’t mow the lawn, I had plenty of time to finish piecing the top for my Jelly Roll Jam quilt!

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After I’d sewn all the strips together, I used glue basting for the rest of the piecing to try to make sure all of my seams were matched up nicely.  Glue basting is probably my new favorite technique and I’d say it worked pretty well here.

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My only concern with this quilt top is its size.  It is only about 36″ square currently which just feels a little small.  But then again, it is supposed to be a baby quilt.

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I was thinking about adding a solid border around the outside (maybe 2.5″ – 3″ wide).  It would probably be a white or gray so that the colors from the jelly roll still pop and are allowed to shine.

What do you think about a border for this quilt top?

Jelly Roll Jam Quilt

Man – It has been a crazy last week and I feel like I’ve hardly spent any time on my sewing machine!  Between my tennis team and my husband’s tennis team both playing in playoffs last weekend, to losing my grandma early this week and going out of town for my sister-in-law’s PA school graduation this weekend, time has just flown by!

I did manage to put a little bit of time in getting started on a new baby quilt though!  I mentioned back when I started on the Baby’s First ABCs quilt that I had bought a jelly roll of Riley Blake’s Boy Crazy line but didn’t have time to put that quilt together in time for her baby shower.  Well that same friend is due this month so I wanted to turn that jelly roll into a Jelly Roll Jam Quilt using the Fat Quarter Shop’s free pattern!

Jelly Roll - Boy Crazy

Don’t jelly rolls look so fun all rolled up?  🙂

I chose a couple of prints from the Boy Crazy line to feature as the backing and the binding.  The backing is the Boy Crazy Main print in teal and the binding is the Boy Crazy Circles in teal.

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I was able to divide the 2.5″ strips into three groups and get each group sewn together.  I tried to evenly balance the colors from each group and I was able to use every print in the line except for the coordinating solids.

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Hopefully I can spend some more time at my sewing machine this week so I can have this quilt ready to go as a welcome home present for her new little boy (whenever he decides to make his appearance!)!

Progress on Born to Quilt

I was able to cut into my bundle of Born to Quilt fabrics this weekend and start working on my mini quilt for the Windham Fabrics booth at Quilt Market.

First I jumped right in to fussy cutting the fun text print.  I wish I’d taken a picture of just the fussy cut phrases but I was so excited about making my plan work that I jumped immediately into all the quilt math to figure out how much spacing I could put between each phrase to stay within my 18″ by 18″ size requirement.  I decided to have the phrases run in a diagonal stripe across the quilt and quickly had them sewn together and trimmed down to size.

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As I mentioned last post, I really wanted to use the striped print for my binding but when I actually did my calculations, I wasn’t sent enough of that print to bind the whole mini quilt.  I decided I’d intermix some of the black chalkboard fabric with the stripes to give me enough length.  I alternated sections and put together my binding so it will be ready to go.

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Now I just have to make the corner triangle to complete my 18″ by 18″ square.  Yay for lots of quilt math!  I’ve decided to make these corner triangle out of a square quilt block and two smaller triangles, like this:

Corner Triangle

The square blocks are going to have to finish at 5.5″ so they will be pretty small.  I think I’m just going to do some scrappy stripes using multiple prints from the collection for the side triangles.  So the full corner will look something like this:

Corner Triangle Plan

I don’t know what blocks I should use for the square though.  I’m thinking I’ll do a different block for each corner.  Any recommendations? What is your favorite block (that would hopefully translate well to such a small size)?

Born to Quilt

After working two really long days both yesterday and the day before and then coming home last night to find thousands of pieces of glass all over my garage (two beer growlers exploded while I was at work), finding this lovely little bundle on my doorstep was just what I needed!

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Windham Fabrics sent me a bundle of some of the prints from their new “Born to Quilt” line (available in May 2014).  I’m going to use this new line to make an 18″ square mini-quilt for Windham Fabrics.  And guess what?  They’ll be displaying it in their booth at the International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, PA in May!  I’m really excited!

Born to Quilt is a chalkboard-style collection and it contains some really cute prints!  Check out this fabric!  I think this print is just begging for some fussy-cutting!

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The line is mostly black with white designs (like a chalkboard).  I really like the soft polka dots.

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Windham Fabrics also sent me this fun geometric green fabric (not from this collection) to use as the backing.  And I think the striped print will make a good binding.

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I’ll be honest – all of the ideas I had come up with for this quilt got shot down when I saw the fabrics I received.  I’m used to working with bright colors but I think designing around this bundle is really going to stretch me and make me think outside the box.

Time to start designing!