Saturday, July 25, 2009

a test quilt

I don't want my first experience with quilting to be on my sister's quilt, and am using this as an excuse to start another project. I've been curious about the disappearing nine patch pattern, so I pawed through the "stash" (I've been buying fabric for a month, and there isn't much there yet) and picked out some green, purple and blue fabrics.

I used the greens for the corners, purple for the inside squares and blue for the centers.

I didn't really have a plan in terms of size or anything. I tried to find the strip width between 3 and 6" that would make the most efficient use of some fat quarters, and decided on 4". I cut some strips, pieced them together, and so on, until I had a stack of 25 squares and very few scraps:
And then I got out the rotary cutter and cut them up!
OK, in the interests of full disclosure, after I cut them, they didn't look like they were going to go together too well, so I went back and squared them all up and made them all 5.25". Yup.

Now to lay them all out so they look nice...

Monday, July 20, 2009

a pause

As much as I've been enjoying the full-tilt progress on my sister's quilt top, a little time for reflection never hurts, either. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway!
When I heard there was going to be tiling happening in the kitchen, I knew it was time to fold things away to keep them clean. I hadn't anticipated the extent of the mess, but at least I took precautions.

I'm sure it will be lovely when it's done.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

scraps + inspiration =

When the strips were cut into blocks, there were some leftover 6" lengths left over. I sewed them together in pairs, and added some more scraps in a design inspired by my kitchen floor:

I think I have the beginnings of a mini-quilt! A perfect chance to figure out how this quilting business works before I try it on the big one.

Happy quilting, everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a square is a rectangle, but...

Note to self: squares are supposed to be square. That means that when you cut strips into blocks of a certain length, they should be trimmed to the same width as well. Otherwise, they become strips of blocks that can't all be matched up at the corners:
So, I disassembled all my strips, squared up the blocks, and put them all back together again. That's a lesson I won't soon forget! But in the end, my blocks became a quilt top, with a spare row of blocks for the back:
It's starting to resemble something that might really be a quilt for my sister someday!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

a little random inspiration

Ever since I got interested in quilting, I've started to see interesting patterns everywhere. Perhaps someday they will find their way into quilts!

A bathroom floor:

The staircase at work:

My kitchen:

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Friday, July 10, 2009

pattern notes

Dana told us to begin the Old Red Barn Co. quilt-along with, I believe, a dozen half-yard cuts of fabric. My first-ever fabric order consisted of 14 purple and green prints that I liked together, so I used all of them.
I got seven 2.5" strips from each half-yard, which made 16 assembled strips with just two 2.5" bits left over.
The 16 assembled strips became 48 blocks; so I think I'll make the quilt six blocks by seven blocks, and have another strip of six blocks left over for the back.

I calculate that this quilt will be approximately twin sized, so I think it is destined for my sister's dorm room when she starts college this fall. They're colors she'll like, and as my dorm "big sister" Sheila told me my first year of college, "big sisters should give their little sisters quilts." Sheila gave me a quilt my first year, which I eventually passed on to my dorm "little sister."

The thought of sending my little sister Button off to college with a quilt I made myself just makes me feel warm and happy. Life is good. (Now to see if I can actually pull this thing off!)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the first quilt

While I dabbled in sewing during my teens and once bought some beautiful quilting fabrics at a crafting convention, I've never tried my hand at quilting. I've always been mesmerized by beautiful pieced quilt tops, and the idea of keeping warm with beautiful, storied blankets just makes me happy. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across that gorgeous fabric in my parents' attic. The idea of doing something with it wormed its way into my brain, and in the middle of the night turned into a burning desire to quilt. By 4 a.m., the cloth's siren call had me out of bed, wanting to rummage in the attic and retrieve it then and there. Waking the whole house at that hour for a few yards of cotton seemed a bit excessive, so I lay awake dreaming about it for hours.

So, the next morning I fetched down my beautiful cloth, started stalking quilting blogs, and asked for a rotary cutter, mat and sewing machine for my birthday! I got all three, bought some more fabric and joined the Old Red Barn Co. quilt-along.
I cut some strips:
I set up my new sewing machine...

And I started sewing!
I think I'm addicted.

the adventure begins

I've been lurking in blogland for too long. I think it's finally time to join the party! It should be fun to document my continuing adventures in knitting and my exploration of new fiber crafts as a means to maintain my sanity while in grad school (and beyond!).

Won't you join me?