TGIFF: Another Minky Baby Quilt Done!

What a joy it is to give the gift of a quilt! Even if it is 6 months late and to a little one who doesn’t quite understand that he’s getting a gift made with love and sweat and tears. Even with all of that, it’s still a wonderful moment to gift to someone a quilt you’ve made with them in mind.

I was blessed with two nephews in one year. They are two months apart and both are the sweetest things. I adore them both and enjoy being their Aunty Keki.

For their first birthdays I decided to make them a minky quilt each. For Logan, I made a grey and neutral colored quilt with zoo animals and it matched his crib and decor perfectly. After working with minky on that quilt, I grew more confident and knew that I could make Watson one, too!

And I got lucky! I found this great off-the-bolt fabric in colors that matches Watson’s nursery with nautical animals. He’s all about that narwhal.

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With minky and fabric in hand, I put together this little baby quilt but ran into some technical problems. My machine was struggling with the minky this time around, something it didn’t do with the first minky quilt. I ended up taking it in to be services and that slightly solved the problems.

In the end, I got through it with a simple wavy line quilting pattern and I ended with some hand binding. I do like to attach the minky binding to the back and hand stitch to the front because it gives it a nice, cozy edge to the whole thing. And for a little guy I wants as much cozy as possible!

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Well, it finally happened (6 months late…) The quilt is finished and Watson now has his own Aunty Keki quilt of his own.

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Even though quilting on minky is kind of a pain in the tush, it looks great and just blends in nicely. And I love that minky binding. It may seem crazy to bind in such a thick fabric but it looks great when finished.

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And the little man loved it too!IMG_1613

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TGIFF: Noodle’s Baby Quilt!

Not too long ago I finished a small baby quilt for my nephew, Noodle. No, he’s not actually named Noodle but that’s pretty much what I call him 100% of the time! It was a cute little nickname that stuck and now he is forever my Noodle!

He turned 1 in February and I had a baby quilt already started that I thought would be perfect for him. It’s original owner had already outgrown this fabric and when Noodle came around in 2017 I knew it would be perfect for him. Not only is is small enough for him to carry with him but it matches his nursery room color scheme and it’s made of soft minky that he can snuggle with.

It was pretty much done when I decided to gift it to him. All I had to do was quilt it down and bind it. I made the choice to use minky as my backing fabric even though I had never worked with it. I had heard so much about minky being a difficult fabric to work with that I was a bit gun shy so it sat in a corner for quite some time. Then I received Noodle’s birthday invitation and that meant I needed to get over my fears and concerns and just finish it!

So I chose a simple wavy line/meander for the quilting. I did one set in a light grey and then went back over it with a darker grey. The quilting kind of reminds me of flames with the way the tips of the quilting came to a stopping point before I turned it back around to quilt to the other side.

Because I quilted with the minky against the machine, it sailed smoothly under my free motion foot and I found it super easy to just go. It does make quite the mess but in the end, the outcome was worth all the fuzz I endured! I also made it my goal to stop as little as I could manage so that I had less stitches to bury.

Ignoring the laundry I so badly needed to finish (real life photo right there), I decided to hand bind the quilt with more minky. Boy was it bulky! But the overall look was worth every curse word uttered while binding it.

And here it is! The comfy, cozy, fuzzy baby quilt for my little Noodle!

It’s not perfect but I wasn’t aiming for perfect. I just wanted something adorable and cozy for him to drag along behind him through his baby years.

The quilting is simple yet really attractive against the different patterns in the fabric. The polka dotted squares blend well with the bumps in the minky.

It’s warm and soft, perfect for a little guy who likes to explore and touch things, curious about how things feel.

I made 9 patch blocks and then cut into them and matched them up before putting them back together. I actually posed a question to other quilters about what I should do for the borders. It was overwhelmingly expressed that I could leave it just as it is, all unsymmetrical. It wasn’t easy; I may not be a pattern follower but I love a good symmetry to my quilts. In the end, the suggestions were heard and I left it as it was, all unbalanced.

And even though it was a pain to bind with minky due to the extra bulky and the slip, I think that the binding really ties it together and makes this already comfy quilt even more inviting to cuddle with!

Happy Birthday my little Noodle!

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Short On The Borders

At the beginning of this year, my mom and I agreed that 2017 should be the year of finishes. We had enough projects going to last us a lifetime and we needed to get some of that work done!

Well I’ve sorta lived up to my word. I did finish my husband’s quilt not too long ago and he now sleeps wrapped up in it on warmed nights.

My son’s quilt still languishes due to having run out of his border colors. I’ll need to finally bite the bullet and just purchase more so I can get that one done, too!

But last summer I started a quilt with this adorable flannel fabric I found at JoAnns. Originally, I got it for a friend’s baby boy but he has since grown beyond such a young pattern. Then I was blessed with two nephews, one whose room is adorably grey and light colored, similar to this fabric. Plus, he’s got an animal theme going so it’s perfect for him.

Well, this project has made it’s way out of my drawers and I’ve finished the top. It’s small and simple, just right for a little guy who needs some extra snuggles on chilly fall nights.

It’s adorable and fuzzy soft. I’m considering some minky for the backing to make it even softer.

But I have a small conundrum. There is a border the lines only two sides of this top. It is the slimmer pieces that surround the larger squares. I’m all out of fabric from this kit (except for some random end pieces) so I have a few paths I can take to even this out.

  1. I could just leave it be with that slim border only on two sides.
  2. Or I could remove both sides and leave the outer edge border free.
  3. Or, and this one is probably the most work, I could trim down the borders and then attach it to the barren sides. But my cutting and measuring would have to be pretty precise if I don’t want to screw it up.

So, quilters, what should I do?? Should I go with plan 1, 2, or 3? Or maybe there is another plan I haven’t considered. I do have to get fabric for Jake’s superhero quilt so I could just see if JoAnns has any more of this kit lying around. This would mean I have 4 options!

Decisions, decisions!!!

TGIFF: A Whale of a Good Time Quilt

There’s nothing like presenting a gift that has love in every stitch.  Such was the case when I gave this adorable “Andrew” whale quilt to my Daughter-In-Law Jaqueline on the day of her baby shower.  She chose the pattern from the book Fat Quarter Baby, and asked that I choose colors that reflected their “under the sea” theme.  She wanted to be surprised, so I picked out the fabrics in secret.  I found the fat quarters at a booth called Custom Creations at Road to California, and I was off an running!



The pattern was fairly simple.  I had a heck of a time however…not the pattern’s fault, but my own brain translating the instructions.  But I never gave up, and with the help of my husband, was able to correct any boo-boos and finish the quilt in under three weeks.

I didn’t realize that I had chosen two fabrics that had directional designs.  This made piecing a bit more difficult, but certainly not impossible.  Here’s the in-progress quilt top.  My hubby placed all the bubbles for me before I appliquéd them down!

We experimented with this built in wave pattern on my Baby Lock Aria machine. What a gift! It worked perfectly!

And then a miracle happened!  For the first time, my husband asked if he could stitch one of the borders…of course I said YES!

The sandwich ready to be quilted!

Then a second miracle happened….da hubs offered to do ALL of the quilting. WOW! I happily gave up my chair after he mapped out and marked the whole design.

It took him about 2 1/2 hours to complete the quilting. Can you tell he’s really happy with the result? Trust me, I’m so impressed and it’s gorgeous!  Oh, and I had him pose in front of “Revolution”, the quilt he designed.  It’s still a work in progress.

I chose to machine stitch the binding to the front, then hand stitch it to the back. I really enjoy hand stitching with a good movie and hubby for company!  But first, I wanted to watch a tutorial on binding, a refresher course if you will.  I love this video by Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop.  It really helped me to feel confident and well informed!

Finally, the day of the shower arrived. It was so nice to get such wonderful compliments on the quilt, and even nicer still, to say that BOTH Nona AND Papa worked on this project together.  Talk about stitching with love!!! I also made the adorable teddy bear you see in the crib. Here’s the link to THAT post lol!

I attached a label with the instruction that the quilt not be washed yet. After baby comes (he/she is due in late April) I’ll add baby’s name and birth date to the label, then we can soften it up with a gentle run through the washing machine.

Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you for your support and love!
Hugs,

DoriSignature

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WIP: Flannel Baby Quilt

Sometimes, the best way to get back in the swing of things is to start up something new. Now I have more than enough projects going on but none of them are calling to me. I’m still working through Darth Vader and it’s going well but I was already feeling less interested in it and I knew, if I wanted I stay motivated, I would need something new to draw my attention in.

While out and about with the guys, we stopped in our local Joann’s and a pack of flannel charm squares caught my eye. I had a gift card and a coupon (YAY coupon!) so I picked up two packs and a new seam ripper.

I broke my old seam ripper when I used it to try and pick out a fluff ball inside my machine.

But I digress. 

I decided to string the blocks together in rows of three with the intention of making a version of a 9 patch quilt. The quilt will be for a friend’s baby boy who is about 6 months old.

Now this is my first time using flannel and it’s not so bad but I do love my cotton. It doesn’t shift and move on me as much. This flannel seems finicky too. Some of the squares are not perfectly cut and I had some trimming to do to make them work.

It came together rather quickly and it got me moving and stitching. My machine whirled and I worked through it until my bobbin ran out then I’d switch it up with Darth Vader and sew a few rows on him until that bobbin ran out. It’s a new concept for me, working through the bobbin then switching up projects until that bobbin runs out.

We’ll see how it goes…

From rows to blocks, I finished them all, played them out, then took them to the cutting board. Then came time slice and dice. I decided I wanted to play and to cut into the blocks to make up interesting patterns. Like cutting into a block to make a disappearing 9 patch.

Sadly, after the first cut, I didn’t like it…

It’s too busy…

Oh well, I’m powering through. I think, had I included one common solid in each block, it would have worked out better.  I just think that with all the busy little patterns, it’s a bit too much. But, who knows!? I might work out just fine!

My current book in progress: The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I am back on the workout train and this book has a lot of interesting info for both the diet and your workout routine. I’m not ready to get into the weight room (I have major anxiety about it) but my eating has been super clean and healthy and I’m moving everyday, even if it is to catch Pokemon!

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Something New: Dresden Plate Piecing WIP

A few months ago, my mom discovered Pinterest. I had already been working on building my boards and pinning anything and everything I found interesting. Slowly but surely, she did the same.

Then something interesting started happening. We have a board together for quilting and anytime I posted something to read later on (I use Pinterest more as a reminder to read things than a place I post realistically), a day or two later I’d find out that my mom had read the same pin and bought all the instruments/fabric needed to create whatever I had shared.

It’s now become a running joke. If I like something, like a fat quarter set, or if I want to try something ,like this Dresden plate pattern from this site, The Stitching Scientist, all I have to do is pin it and BAM! Like Santa delivering gifts in his sleigh, my mom will have it purchased and delivered before I can say “Please”!

Here is the first string of blades. Isn’t this fabric darling? My mom started out with her first Dresden plate using an adorable Riley Blake Design kit for a baby girl. I didn’t even know she was interested in making one when all the sudden I was receiving text messages showing her progress.

Holy smokes was she fast!!!

Before long she had TWO made!

She then began designing a simple wall hanging/lap quilt that will be bordered with the same fabrics as the Dresden plates. The plates will be appliquéd into the corners of a beautiful clean Kona white center piece.

Even her hand turned appliqué on this center circle is perfect! I’m jealous of her handy work and how far it’s come!

As she began the borders, she did find herself in a pickle. The directions in the pattern weren’t as clear as she wanted them to be. Now, in the past, my mom would have allowed this to deter her from finishing. Instead, the growth in her new skills show in her new abilities to work through a problem and solve any issues by stepping outside the box!

So cute! Love this set of fabrics!

Once I saw what she was able to make and how simple she made it sound, I decided to try it out myself. Using the Joyeux Noel set we bought from Moda, I set to work on my first Dresden plate. And she was right!! It was very simple to piece together.

My biggest issue was the hand piecing in the center. It didn’t go together as nicely as I wanted it to look but overall the process is one I’d like to attempt again.

I chose a simple echoing straight stitch from the edge of the Dresden out. It gave it a beautiful star-like look that radiants from the center. It even comes off as a little art deco, an architectural style I adore!

My only problem with the quilting: first, I should have used a red thread in the bobbin. And secondly, I’m still struggling with the back of my quilted projects looking clean. There was a lot of sniping and clean up to be done once I was finished.

I did a simple straight stitch in the plates, around the center piece, and echoing out to the border. Then I framed it all with a simple box around.

Voila!

Today I picked up some red thread to bind the whole thing together. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do, whether I’ll hand stitch or if I’ll do a decorative blanket stitch, but I’m ready to wrap this project up so it can hang proudly on my wall!

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