i spy

photo from obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com

Awhile ago, when I was first browsing Obsessively Stitching's blog, I found this picture (and a tutorial) of an I SPY quilt. It was first time being seeing one. Now, I am infatuated with the idea of making an I SPY quilt myself. I only wish I had enough different fabrics to make one!
Recently, Care from Obsessively Stitching linked to Spoonflower I SPY kits at Crafterhours. The selection of prints are so-o cool in both the available collections.  Just check them out below!

photo from crafterhours.bigcartel.com


quilting frustrations

 Today I was so excited to start quilting - finally - this quilt top, which I finished a month ago.  After some consultation with my mother, I decided to straight-line quilt it using my very expensive walking foot.
And a few lines later, I hate it. Not enough to unpick all those stitches, but I am super frustrated and I don't think the end result looks very good. I'm getting some puckering, which I don't understand because Adam spray-basted the quilt layers and then I pinned it all together.  And the lines are all wonky, and I've decided I hate my walking foot. I swear, it's possessed or broken or something. Ugh. I hate it when sewing isn't fun.


cutting finally complete

a rough look at how the fabrics will be arranged
After hours and hours of unproductive time wasted on video games, laundry, dishes and Netflix, Adam came home and I finally found the motivation to start cutting fabric for my grandmother's lap quilt. She doesn't read my blog, so I can post about this quilt without ruining the surprise.
The quilt should come together quickly - there are only fourteen seams in the whole quilt, and it's composed of large pieces. The fabrics - a floral print, and tan, sand, blue solids with muslin sashing - are outside my usual comfort zone, but they are so-o beautiful! This quilt is a pattern of my own making, and I can't wait to see how it comes together!

pretty scraps


check out my awesome scribbles
Today is no better than yesterday. I still have no motivation to actually, you know, do anything. Except watch "Say Yes to the Dress".
I managed to get myself to do laundry and dishes today, but I haven't made any progress on any project. I think the real thing getting in my way is cutting the fabric. I hate cutting. It's so stressful! If I mess up, there goes my whole project! I've only had that happen once, but once was enough to ruin the whole experience for me. So even though I have quite a long to-do list, and I've checked my math more than once, I'm still afraid to take my rotary cutter to fabric and get started on something.
I'm going to try making some coffee... maybe caffeine will make me bold.


too much to do

Happy belated Valentine's Day!
Today I have too much to do between housework and schoolwork and life. I want to work on something to clear my head, but I have too many work-in-progress projects, and I can't decide what to work on. Sigh!


sea creatures quilt completed!

I am very proud of this 40 by 40 inch baby quilt. I made it entirely out of materials in my stash, so I didn't have to buy anything except more thread. I did straight-line quilting for the first time on this quilt, and made my own binding out of green fabric. I machine-sewed the binding on the correct way this time (as opposed to the backward way I did it on the black and yellow baby quilt). It's not perfect, but it's cute and cuddly. And hopefully it will be well loved by the recipient!


quilts and cats

For some reason, quilters seem to love cats. And I am no exception! Sassy keeps me company while I sew, and although she is often annoying, I love her to pieces.

sea creatures quilt done being quilted

the front
 Last night, I finished quilting the sea creatures quilt. Huzzah! Those zig-zags took just about forever, and took a lot of thread. I love the texture that the zig-zags created, especially on the back. I ended up trimming an inch off each side of the quilt because the quilt top stretched out as I was quilting it and the back was not big enough. I knew that was a risk when I started - the back was barely big enough when I was basting.  I didn't use the basting spray on this quilt. I don't think I used enough pins, because I got some puckering on the back (not pictured). So that is a good lesson for the future.
Now I just need to make and attach the binding (which will be green), and the quilt will be done!

the back


practicing stitches

I've been practicing "straight" line quilting using my walking foot. I've tried straight lines, zig-zags, decorative stitches, and the ever-elusive wavy line. Even after reading about a billion blog posts about how to do wavy lines, I can't seem to do it. My waves aren't even, and don't look very good. The decorative stitches, however, look pretty cool. I'm especially fond of the greek key pattern (it was Adam's idea to try that one out) and the scalloped line.
It's nice to have more options for quilting, but I probably won't be branching away from straight-line quilting or free-motion quilting any time soon.


quilting away...

can you see where I've quilted?
I now have half of the sea creature quilt nicely quilted. It is taking a lot longer than expected - isn't that always the way with quilting? I thought the "straight" (zig-zag, in this case) lines would go fast, but I'm doing the lines very close together (using the edge of the presser foot as a guide). All those bazillions of lines take awhile!
I love how the lines are almost invisible in this photo, yet totally visible in person. The lines are subtle enough to allow the print to shine, but add a nice wavy texture to the quilt up close.
There are some issues with my backing being just barely too small, but I think it will work out fine. I haven't sorted out the binding quite yet. I am leaning towards white, to keep the clean modern lines of the quilt intact (and also because I don't have another appropriate color fabric in my stash).


now for something different...

can you tell which side I've quilted?

 After the awesome feeling of having the black and yellow baby quilt done passed, I started working on my sea creatures baby quilt. The quilt is pretty simple - big squares of printed flannel with white cotton sashing. I finished the quilt top this afternoon, and started straight-line quilting it with big loose zig-zag stitches using my new walking foot this evening. So far I'm loving the texture that the quilting creates. 
I may become addicted to machine-quilting - I'm certainly never going to tie a quilt again!
This quilt is going to be a present for a certain little someone, but it's a secret for now!


completed quilt: black and yellow baby quilt

the front and back
all rolled up
my imperfect-but-good-enough binding

quilted the black and yellow baby quilt

Just now I finally finally finished quilting the black and yellow baby quilt I started ages ago. Remind me that stippling takes forever next time!
Next I just need to make the binding, attach it, and I'll be doneee with the first quilt for donation to Quilts for Kids. Huzzah!

Look how much better the quilt looks quilted. I love love love the texture that stippling creates.  Adam loves the texture too.  I can't wait to finish it so I can wash it and see the final crinkly texture.


tight stipple = lots of time

I'm still quilting the black and yellow baby quilt! I haven't worked on it much lately, but today I returned to it and tried to get some stippling done. I've never done stippling before (I'm more of a loop-de-loop kind of girl), and it is taking so much longer than I had anticipated! The quilt is so small that I thought I would be able to quilt it quickly, but doing a tight stipple like I am is not going quickly at all! Good to know for future quilts.