Tag Archives: Quilting

It’s been a while OR, what I did in my year-long hiatus from blogging

It’s been quite a year in Alyson-land.  I mean, I worked, I played, I made some quilts, oh and I had a baby.

The heck you say? Yes, yes, I know.  Most of you already know.  But I did kind of leave the blog hanging and I thought i would catch you up, just in case.  So here she is, Erica Beth. Born January 31, 2014 at 7:22am. I couldn’t have been more surprised when I discovered my ‘condition’ and I couldn’t be more in love than I am now. She’ll be 11 weeks old tomorrow and she grins all the time, babbles near-constantly, sleeps almost enough for my liking, and is loved by everyone who knows her, including her big brother and the dog, much to my relief.

But this blog is about sewing and sewing we shall discuss. The quilt pictured was made not for Erica but for another new little friend of ours, Emily.  The pattern is “Bathtub Gin” by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time. I don’t have a Sizzix, so I created my own 8″ tumbler template and rotary cut the pieces. The fabrics are from Mod by Annette Tatum.
FSmod

I tried glue basting for the first time on this piece and I LOVE it. I will never pin again!  I mean, look at those perfectly matched points:

If you’ve never tried glue basting, I suggest you give it a go.  No more pin holes in in your fingers! Here’s the video that I worked from to learn the technique:

When the quilt was pieced and sandwiched, I quilted it using a watery free motion quilting design:

I have another quilt top that I put together with these fabrics but that hasn’t been sandwiched and quilted yet.  I’m thinking about finishing it up and putting it up for sale in the HastyQuilter Etsy shop.

Just as an aside piece of business, I unpublished the HastyQuilter Facebook page. It just became too overwhelming to even think about maintaining it. I doubt I will bring it back, but you can still talk to me through this blog and on Instagram, and if you’re a friend, my personal Facebook page too. :-)

Sunset Star

 

Sunset Star

Here’s the finished Doll Quilt Swap 13 Mini!  I decided to call it Sunset Star.  I based my color choices on a sunset photo taken by one of my friends and used the 3 Layer Star paper piecing pattern by Mommy’s Nap Time.  My partner, who I can now reveal was Paula, asked for modern quilting and bright colors.  I found out through the message boards that her favorite color was purple, but that she’d also been into the pink/orange combination and that she loved paper piecing.  A match made in heaven? Maybe… :-)

Enough about that, though.  What I really wanted to talk about was the QUILTING of this beast:

Sunset Star label

Starry (can I call you Starry?), Starry and I did NOT agree on its quilting.  This was a battle to the death and I did not come out on top.  I really, REALLY wanted to do something different than my usual, and settled on “Feathered Hearts” from Leah Day’s 365 free motion project.  I had the perfect thread for it too: a pretty peachy-pinky one that went perfectly with the star. I did a little scrap test and adjusted my tension. I got myself all comfortable. Then I started. My thread broke. I re-threaded and picked up where I left off. It broke again. I checked the tension – the thread seemed awfully tight in the machine. I adjusted the tension again. The thread broke AGAIN. I thought it must be because I was starting the middle and there was a lot of seams right there in the center (you know, since the star pieces all meet there).  I decided to tackle the feathering parts and leave the hearts for later. Skipped stitches. MORE skipped stitches. Another thread breaking incident.

At this point, I didn’t know if I could recover the quilt.  I mean, it was pretty dense quilting since I was going so slow. I pulled the whole thing out of the machine and walked away.  When I came back to it, I started the long, long process of picking out the quilting I had already done. Luckily, with lots of picking, spritzing (with water) and pressing, the quilt recovered almost completely. Except the center. It was then that I decided the star needed a literal focal point at the center, both to cover the battlefield and to complete the piece.  I was super worried that it would just look thrown on there, but in the end, I think the little circle does complete the piece.

After that, I changed out my thread for some yellow in a different brand, gave up on the feathered hearts and got down to the business of stitching that sucker in happy, flowing little loop-de-loops in the star and echoing angles in the blue areas. Some much more relaxed!  Of course, this was too good to be true…as I reached the outer edges it quickly became apparent that my blue thread was running dangerously low, so I made a quick switch BACK to the yellow for those little loop-de-loops along the sides.

For a piece that really DIDN’T WANT to be quilted, I think it turned out alright. But I am going to get those feathered hearts right if I have to die trying.

Farfalle Baby Quilt

Do you know what Farfalle is?  It’s the pasta that’s shaped like a bow. You know, this stuff:

Farfalle Pasta

Did you also know that “farfalla” is Italian for butterfly? Neither did I…

ANYWAY…this weekend, I made a flying farfalle quilt as a well-past-due gift for the baby of some friends.  (The baby is now 4 months old, so it’s not THAT far past due…)

Farfalle Baby Quilt

What a fun quilt to make!  I love how this turned out…well, most of it.  I love the wonky triangles and the colors.  I’m not usually a pink girl, but every once in a while I like to let my girlie flag fly. Plus I think the grey and other wonderful colors mitigate the glaring pinkness of it all, even if I did use hot pink thread to quilt it. ;-)

Speaking of the quilting, that’s the one thing I really don’t like.  I love my little loop-de-loops that I normally do and knowing that I was on a bit of a time crunch, I should really have stuck with them for this quilt.  But I wanted to try something different and ended up with this loop-de-loop-de-loop design. I guess the results are good, but this little 40″x40″quilt became such a BEAST.  My arms were completely exhaused and I think I started to develop tennis elbow. Add to that my basting spray refused to perform it’s proper function and hold the layers together…UGH!

Farfalle Baby Quilt detail

Still pretty. In the end, I don’t think I can be too unhappy with the results – what matters is that I made a special gift for some special friends and their beautiful little girl. Amiright?

I’ve been trying to find a tutorial to direct you to to make this quilt and I haven’t seen one. Maybe I’ll write one up myself. You’ll be the first to know if I do.

On my sewing table right now:

I’m trying out a new (to me) free motion quilting design on this baby quilt. It’s called “Trailing Spirals“. What do you think?

Trailing Spirals

Swappin’ it up in 2012

I’ve decided that I really need to connect with more quilters, like-minded or otherwise.  I follow several blogs of friends, casual aquaintences, and people I don’t actually know  – you can find that list over here on the right —>

But, I don’t really chat much with those folks.  And I’ve been missing having a sewing buddy.  To that end, I’ve opted to join some swaps!  Years ago I used to participate in swaps through several lists on yahoogroups.  I’m still on those lists but over the years they have become less and less and less active.  I’ve done a few other swaps, in the mean and in between time, via the Quilt Art mailing list and some ladies on there.  But I think I was missing the connection part, where you get to talk about what you are working on and show them pictures and, well, make friends.

Imagine my shock to discover a booming community of swappers on flickr?  I mean, what a strange place to encounter this kind of activity.  And yet, it’s strangely fitting.  I feel a little like the last one to arrive at a party and they started the games without me.  Inserting myself feels complicated and uncomfortable, but I think I’ve found a few groups where I feel less complicated and uncomfortable.  But anyway…

The first swap I’m taking part is a group that swaps blocks monthly: Nubees.  There’s a website and such coming soon.  I’ve already chosen my fabrics and the block I’ll be making for each of my swap partners:

Nubees swap block sample & fabric pics

The block in the center is using my colors (purple, orange, teal & yellow) and the fabrics around the edges are the fabrics I’ve chosen for my partners in their selected color pallets. The block is “Envy” from Modern Blocks, which I received as a Christmas gift this year.

Next up, I’ll be participating in the Doll Quilt Swap cycle 12!.  It’s a blind swap – you make and send a small “doll” quilt to someone  who doesn’t know who you are and you receive the same in return.  I received my name this morning, so now I have to start stalking my partner and find out what they like!    I’m very excited about this one.  My quilt wall could use some serious refreshing.  That one is due to be sent on April 2ndish.  Expect to see some blog posts about it.  I have nothing to show for that one yet, but I’ll get there soon!