Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Fabric

My mom arrived on Monday to spend some time with the grandkids and she brought a great present! Can't wait to find a project for them....

Scrap Stacked Coin

My husband was out both Friday and Saturday nights last weekend so I spent my time putting together a quick scrappy stacked coin quilt. I loosely followed the pattern from Joelle Hoverson's book Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. I changed the dimensions based on the white fabric that I had on hand.

I didn't cut the fabric by hand (I'm much too lazy for that) and I strip-pieced the bright fabric, then cut it into 4.5 " strips, then randomly took seams apart and mix-and-matched them so that they wouldn't look too matchy. I also had to piece the white outside borders. In a perfect world they would be all one piece of fabric but I think once this is quilted it will look just fine.
Now I just have to buy some backing fabric...any ideas???

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wonky Log Cabins

One of the reasons that I created this blog was because I was so inspired by the blogs I started reading around Christmas time. What beautiful quilts! One blog that has had an amazing impact on my quilting is Tallgrass Prairie Studios. One night after reading her blog and information about her Project Improv, and the Wonky Log Cabin tutorial, I rushed down to my sewing room, intent to try some for myself. I have NEVER done anything without a pattern before and Jacquie's blog seemed to waken something within me. Since this was all new to me, I didn't want to cut up any good fabric, but I saw a pile of scraps on the floor that my daughter uses to make quilts while I sew and thought that they would be perfect. I started sewing. And I loved it! First I made two, then I thought maybe I should make six for a baby quilt, then it was nine, and in the end I had 12 blocks.
I used white fabric to sash and square them which was also a bit of an experiment. Next time I will make the blocks big enough to trim to 12" finished (because that is the size of the ruler that I have) rather than using white to bring them up to the right size. In some of the blocks, the white is less than 1/4 " wide so it makes the seams very bulky. But I LOVE this quilt! I can't wait to get some backing and batting so I can quilt it. I think I will free-motion stipple quilt this one because I am saving it for me and I don't care if my stitch length changes dramatically! I am really looking forward to doing more quilts without patterns.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tale of Two Baby Quilts: Part 2 Dinosaur Shoes

If my sister-in-law has a baby boy (and I am rooting for his name to be Jean-Phillipe because it would be perfect with their french last name...probably won't happen though...darn) this is the quilt that I will give him. I named it Dinosaur Shoes because of the two prints in the quilt. Obviously Dinosaurs and Shoes.
My husband bought me a fat-quarter pack a while back of the Dinosaurs, Shoes, Black Dots and Stripes. My husband LOVES bright fabric and quilts so I seem to make a lot of those. Anyway, for this one, I used the pattern from Fons & Potter's Easy Quilts. And it was easy! But I also think that it is very effective with the black and yellow.

I put flannel on the back because I love the soft texture for baby quilts and I put a strip of scraps just to break it up. I am loving pieced backs!
I used a great variegated thread of bright colours for the quilting and it was so much fun - especially on the black. I can't wait to make another bright quilt so I can use the thread again.

Two Small Projects

Over the weekend I fired off two quick projects: patchwork tea towels for my sister's birthday and a cushion cover for ME! (Yay, I hardly ever make anything for myself because the list is so long of things to make for other people, but it sure is fun to make stuff for our house!)

I followed the wonderful Patchwork Kitchen Towels tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew for the tea towels. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out - I just used some leftover "Chocolat" scraps from a charm square quilt I made for my sister-in-law's wedding last spring and some tea towels I picked up at Home Hardware. There isn't much choice in my small town, but next trip to the big city I am picking up some cheaper towels so I can make more of these. They were fun, easy and they look really pretty! I think I need some red ones for my kitchen.
I've been meaning to make new cushion covers for the pillows on my couch forever and I finally did one! I have slipcovers on the couches (they are southwest-inspired striped couches from the 90's that I got as a hand-me-down from my mom. I LOVE hand-me-downs, but this one needed a little bit of prettying up!) I used leftover fabric from a quilt I made for my mom 2 years ago. My husband loves it, so I guess I'll be making more in the future. My daughter likes it too...

I'm off to my first quilt guild meeting this morning - more details to come.


Friday, January 16, 2009

A Tale of Two Baby Quilts: Part 1 Baby Girl

My sister-in-law is expecting her first baby any day. And while I loved not knowing the sex of my own two babies until their 'birthday,' when it comes to creating for new little ones, I hate not knowing if the baby is a boy or a girl. This time around, I was sick of making gender-neutral quilts, so I made two instead!

It has been a very long time since I made a really 'girly' quilt, so I started with some beautiful pink and yellows for the baby girl quilt. I used a pattern from Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts Magazine I really love quilts that go together really quick and easy and this pattern was perfect. And because of the tiny sashing strips, I didn't even have to worry about lining up the seams. I haven't finished binding yet, but I'm very happy with how it turned out.
I even pieced the back! It's a little crooked, but I love how the nine-patch breaks up the back.

It was also the first quilt that I attempted to free-motion stipple quilt. I have done a few smaller projects (pillows, doll quilt, place mats) but this was the first real quilt that I have done without the safety net of my walking foot. Again, it isn't perfect - the stitch length varies considerably, but I am slowly learning to throw out my quest for perfection. (And let me tell you, having two kids in two years really helps with that quest!)

So now I'll I have to do is sit down and finish (and start) hand sewing the binding. (Did I mention that I really don't like hand sewing?!?)

I'll post some photos of the boy quilt soon.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1st Post!

Hello and Welcome to my brand-new blog: Quilting Barbie. I know that I am seriously late to the blogging world, but hey, isn't it cool to be fashionably late? I'm not always fashionable, but I am often late.... The reason I started this blog is because I have been so inspired by the blogs I have been reading lately. The quilts are beautiful and they are also modern and bright and not traditional. I LOVE them! I have been looking for a way to make my quilts more modern and I was having a very difficult time until I stumbled across the blogging world. So I thought I might as well join in... See more about my transition from traditional quilting to more modern quilting in future posts.

A little bit about me. I am mom to two wonderful kids - a 2.5 year old and an 8 month old. I don't get tons of time to sew, but I love to be creative (and productive) when they are sleeping. I live in a very small town without a quilt shop. I learned to quilt about 5 years ago when I took a course in the closest city to my town.

Why Quilting Barbie? Why not, I guess. Barbie has been my nickname since I was a little girl and it just seemed to fit. And besides, I love the image of "Barbie" sewing away until the wee hours in full make-up and heels. But realistically, this Barbie is more often seen in yoga pants and a pony-tail!

Thanks for reading.