What? Me? Procrastinate? Never! Ok maybe a little…

So I started this quilt for my neice, like, a year ago.  Before she was born.  Her first birthday party is Saturday so I figured I better (finally) get it done.  It’s been sitting on my sewing table, neatly folded, waiting for binding this whole time.  Seriously.  I’m ashamed of my procrastination sometimes.  So here it is.  Pink, brown, and cream, and oh so cute!  I really like how this turned out and it was pretty quick to do.  You know, if I had done it all at one time like a normal person would.  The colors aren’t showing well in this pic.  The pink doesn’t blend that well with the cream background.  Well, to me it doesn’t.  Anyhoo… here it is.  Late is better than never, right?

A few months ago I started cutting fabric to make my own quilt but I got sidetracked with school, work, kids, etc., and haven’t been back to it.  I had to move the pile of fabrics to get to my sewing space today and it made me think that I really need to pick it back up.  I have more time this quarter, kinda, so maybe I can get in the mood to do it.  I’m really sick of my old comforter.  And frankly, I’m embarrassed that I don’t have a quilt on my bed.  I even looked at coverlets and quilts in stores to find something to do until I finished mine.  How shameful!  I couldn’t find anything I liked, at all.  That just further enforced my will to finish my quilt.  I just gotta start on it first.  Maybe tomorrow… lol.

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Making progress

I have started sewing down the applique pieces.  I decided to use the “blanket stitch” on my machine because it looks similar to a style of hand stitching.  However, when I applique by hand, you never see my stitches. I think this will look fine when I get it all put together though.  I have 16 done, and 20 more to go.

Blanket stitching

Don’t look too closely at that stitching, it’s not my best work lol.  I’m still learning to use this function on my machine.  Once I get it all put together, those little flaws won’t stand out. I hope.  Back to sewing… I’ve got ONE week to get it done!!!!

Wow I’ve really let time slip by!

I’ve been super busy lately with school, Red’s softball, and Hurricane just being a busy toddler.  My sister’s baby shower is 2 weeks away and I never started on her baby quilt! Eeek!  I kept thinking “I’ve got time.”  Well, now I don’t have time!  These are the designs I drew up and played around with a while back.

Baby quilt sketches

Baby quilt sketches

I finally decided on this one, then started doing some math (these are the unfinished notes btw)

Final sketch and notes

I chose the background fabric, made my template, then chose the pink and brown fabrics (not shown.)

Template and background fabric

I’ve enlisted the help of Red to cut out all the pieces.  Now I’m trying to decide if I want to really push myself and try to get all this applique done by hand and still have time to hand quilt it (in TWO weeks!) or just go ahead and machine stitch and quilt it.

I’m thinking since I start a new job on Monday, plus finals, plus whatever comes up, I may need to go ahead and do it by machine so that I can get it done in time.  I’ll update with pics as I make progress.

My first Mug Rug

I’ve been drooling over “Mug Rugs” over on Flikr for a while now.  These are basically over-sized, quilted, glorified coasters. Or miniature place mats.  And I love them.  I couldn’t stand it, I had to make one.  Since today is my and Mr. Wonderful’s first (dating) anniversary, I thought this would make a nice homemade, heartfelt gift for him.  I realllllly wanted to free-motion quilt this, but I was worried I would mess it up.  Maybe on the next one…

The front is a simple string block using scraps from my stash.

Mug Rug Front

Front

And the back is just a blue scrap and a white scrap done in reverse appliqué (another first for me.)

Back

I quilted it using my quilting foot and using the width of the foot itself for spacing.  Nothing special.  In hindsight, I should have used a darker color thread for the quilting.  It stands out a bit too much and takes away from the top, I think.  I fought with closing the binding quite a bit.  These small projects are a PIA.   It finished out at almost 9×7.  I say almost, because NOTHING I make ever comes out the right size.  It’s more like 8.75×7.25 inches.  So wierd.  But hey, not bad for a first attempt, huh?  I’m learning as I go.  I’ll do a better job on the next one, I’m sure.

Fall is in the air!

Cooler weather means the quilting bug comes out to bite me!  I always seem to do more sewing when the weather cools off.  I have to finish up all those pink blocks.  I never did pull out the Halloween Quilt to finish.  Maybe next year lol.  I have a Fall quilt top that needs finishing too.

It's FALL Yall!

It’s a smaller, wall-hanging size and I may just be able to get it finished in time to pack it away before pulling out the Christmas stuff.  Speaking of Christmas, I have a Christmas Tree wall-hanging top that I made a few years ago and never quilted.

Christmas Tree

Are you seeing the pattern here?  I Love Love Love making the tops, hate the quilting part.  I can’t afford to pay someone else to quilt them, so they sit folded in a box until I get around to them or come up with some extra cash.

Maybe I can get motivated to work on these soon.  Pinks first though!  Oh and I’m DYING to do a couple of other things, but I need to prioritize.

Batting and Quilting Questions

Hello out there Blogland.  I hope some other quilters stop by because I have some questions…

I’ve always used 100% cotton batting.  The only time I used a poly batting was in a bed quilt for a friend.  I love the heavy feel of cotton batting but the poly sure was easier to quilt!  I have a couple questions regarding batting.

Are the poly, cotton, blends, and wool all about the same warmth? Does the loft play a part in the warmth?

As for the quilting, this may be a super silly question but I’ve been wondering for a while.  Does it affect the warmth of a quilt the more flatly you quilt it?  I’ve been following quite a few blogs and admiring different styles of quilting.  It seems that most of the “modern” quilters I see stipple or quilt some other design on the quilt that really flattens the whole thing out.  And I do mean FLAT.  It seems to me that when you flatten it out like that, you leave very little space for the batting to trap air, therefore, taking away it’s ability to trap warmth.  Am I wrong in that line of thinking? Or does it make it more warm because it’s more dense?  I personally don’t like a heavily quilted quilt.  It makes it stiff feeling to me.  I like my quilts lightly quilted and soft. Plus, the actual quilting is my least favorite part and I would like to do as little work as necessary lol.

It’s getting cold here and I’m thinking about the warmth of quilts more so than the prettiness of them.  Can you tell?

Red’s Kitty Quilt is on her bed, but she’s been tossing it in the floor (can you see me scowling?) and sleeping under a fleece blanket.  It made me wonder if the fleece is warmer than the quilt??  And BTW, the Kitty quilt has THIS batting in it.  My bed has a comforter on it and it’s very warm.  I want a quilt on my bed, but I have yet to actually make myself one.  And I wonder if my hand-made quilt will be as snuggly warm as the comforter?

Any opinions from my fellow quilters?

And since I believe posts are boring without photos…

What? I'm helping...

Fabric Friday

I just realized I never posted a pic of Hurricane’s Daycare Quilt.  So here it is.

The hearts block  in the center is an orphan appliqué block I made years ago.  The green matches the leaves around the hearts.  The pinks are just large pieces from my stash, including one with Elmo and Zoe on it thrown in because Hurricane loves it.

I’ve been working on the Christmas swap blocks a little more.  It’s hard to get motivated on them when I am so NOT ready for Christmas.  I will probably have them done today though.

I am not going to do any more with the pink fabrics until I get the Christmas blocks done and out of the way.  Priorities!

I have a stack of fabric set aside to make pillowcase dresses for Hurricane, but I’ve lost steam on that as well.  Those are more of a summertime project.  I may find another use for the fabrics… (and the “Fabric Friday” pic is below)  Lovely fabrics, terrible pic.

Speaking of other uses, I’ve been seeing these little quilts called “Mug Rugs” and I’m DYING to make one.  It’s basically a glorified coaster.  Instant Gratification.  That’s right up my alley!  I’m thinking that brown floral fabric and the coordinating solid below it need to become a Mug Rug.  But, back to the priorities thing, I need to do my other projects first.  And fit in time for my homework.  Or wait… maybe homework first?  /sigh

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