Now onto the quilting of Grayson's quilt. I had decided that the free motion quilting (where you lower the feed dogs on your machine and are responsible for moving the fabric and making a fun design all by your self) was too hard and I would just do straight lines for this first quilt. Well, I did one line and since my blocks didn't match up perfectly, it just looked bad. SO, I decided the free motion quilting might actually be a little more forgiving. All the information I saw online says to practice, practice, practice the free motion quilting before you do it on your final quilt. Well, being the impatient and highly imperfect crafter that I am...I decide to just wing it. Needless to say, it is not perfect. Some parts look really good and some could use some improvement. If I was a perfectionist, I would have take several sections out and started again. But I am far from being perfectionist and so I continued on...wanting just to get it done. Overall, I am very happy with it. But alas, I jump ahead. After I was finished quilting, which took a long time, used up a TON of thread, and probably drove my husband nuts from the incessant noise (as I sew at the kitchen table), I needed to bind the quilt, also something I had never done before. I made a pieced binding from the extra 2.5" strips I already had cut out. I followed the Red Barn quilt along instructions for binding which were very good. Sorry to say though, I didn't really grasp the blind stitch until the last 1/4 of the quilt. Oh well. It still turned out nice I think. I really like that binding technique. So now Grayson's quilt is finished and he just needs to get old enough where he can sleep with heavier blanket without me worrying that he will suffocate himself. So here is it is the finished quilt. There are lots of pictures...it's my first quilt, give me a break.
After finishing quite a few quilt blocks I decided to see how big they were going to be compared to the crib size batting I had. The directions from the quilt along were for a larger quilt so I wasn't sure how many of these blocks I would need. It turns out I had enough block before I even used up all my cut up fabric strips. Yay! This left me enough to use the remaining fabric to make the backing from the uncut fabric I had and to make a pieced binding from the strips I already had cut out. Then, I laid everything out for my quilt sandwich: backing wrong side up (I duct taped it to by kitchen floor to keep it straight), then the batting, and finally, the quilt top, right side up. I then safety pinned it all together. Not a fun step. This is what the backing and quilt top looked like before the sandwich making took place.
But now for the hard part. The scary part. The part that has stopped me from ever making a quilt before. The actual quilting....
I was inspired by all the quilts I saw from the Old Red Barn Co. Quilt along and some fabulous fabric I found at Fabric Worm's Etsy shop. I got the cutest fabric that is perfect for a modern little boy's quilt.
This will be my first quilt that is not a rag quilt. I was just going to make the quilt top and then send it out to be quilted but after thinking about it a little more, I decided I want to try to do the whole thing myself. We'll see how it turns out. First I cut out 2 1/2 inch strips from my 5 fabrics. The quilt along used 12 different fabrics, 1/2 yard each. Well, I'm making mine with only five fabrics and I have a yard of each so we'll see how big that makes it in the end. I'm just making a crib/toddler bed sized quilt so I shouldnt need as much as was listed. Here's a picture of my strips cut out and my first finished block.
And here is what four of my blocks look like together.I've made almost all the blocks now. I just need eight more (to have a total of (24)10" square blocks. I'll trim them down to fit on the batting I already have. I've varied the block pattern so I'll try to make the arrangement as random as possible. I think it will look nice when it's all put together. I'll post more when I get the blocks done and sewed together to make the quilt top.
I made a rag turtle pillow this weekend. I took a bunch of pictures of the process and am thinking about making it into a tutorial but for now I thought I'd just post the picture of the finished product. He turned out OK. I don't like how his head is attached but I'm pretty happy with the rest of him.
I made this purse using a pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. It was a pretty easy project to complete (evidenced by the fact that I could complete it). It turned out pretty good. There are a couple things I will learn for next time such as using a stiffer interfacing. The book said to use flannel but since I didn't have any on hand I went ahead and used some cotton batting. It worked out OK but I think I'd rather have something a little stiffer. I love this Amy Butler fabric; I'm a little obsessed with her fabric at the moment. In fact I originally bought this fabric last year to make myself a diaper bag using her pattern from Little Stitches for Little Ones. At the time I think it was a little too advanced for me. I might try it again though. Now that I know I have little boy I can tailor my fabric choice a little better too.
OK, So I've been reading so many other blogs lately I decided I needed one of my own. What it will be exactly I haven't decided yet. I'm thinking it will be part craft blog, part blog about my new little guy. We'll see. Maybe this will be a good outlet to get down all those thoughts I always say I will write down in a journal and then stop after two entries...or maybe this will go the same way as all those journals I have with only two pages and be a 2 post blog forever. Anyway, I had to post this picture of my silly little monkey. It was taken at Grandma's house on a raft (not in the water though) and I edited it in Picasa, my new favorite thing since I don't have photo shop. If you want a good free photo editing tool you can find it here: http://picasa.google.com/ I love the soft focus feature (as evidenced by this pic).