Friday, May 29, 2015

Some Finished Quilts

Just because these pics are sitting in a folder waiting for me to do...something...with them, here you go.  My latest three quilts.

Up first is the teeny tiny quilt I made to donate.  It wasn't supposed to be teeny tiny. But you know how it goes.  Math.  Ugh.

I got found some of this Beach Retreat fabric at but they don't have it anymore and besides that, I'm boycotting them anyway.  They have OUT OF NOWHERE started charging MORE for half yards. Like, if a yard is ten bucks, it used to be a half yard was five bucks.  Makes sense, right? Now it's all random and expensive, like 7.99 or some bullshit like that.  GIVE ME A BREAK, ASSHOLES.

Anyway, I washed and dried it and then tore it up into ten inch squares. Oh, I got a few yards of kona white too. Then I starched the hell out of it with this.  I use half starch, half water, then just pour it in a tupperware and shove all the squares in there and let them get completely saturated, then pull them out and iron them.  You're supposed to 'press' them, but I hate doing that so I just iron. Then I use this tutorial to make my half square triangles.

So basically, I do the exact opposite of what proper quilters are supposed to do: I iron instead of press and I cheat my way thru the HST and either do or don't do them on the bias. Since I don't understand what that means, it doesn't bother me at all and I can't see ever making them any other way.

Then I iron those suckers open and use these grids to arrange them how I want and chain piece until I've got all my rows. Well, for this one I did columns, but that doesn't really make a difference.

Now, typically, I either stitch in the ditch around the colored parts, or I'd stitch 1/4in on either side of the seams to follow a chevron for each row. But since this was so tiny, I decided to try my hand at straight line quilting and used this (sort of) tutorial to tape out a cross hatch pattern.

I say sort of, because there's not much to it: you put tape where you want your lines to be, then you sew along it.  Then take the tape off and flip it to go the other way to get the cross part.  Viola. 

I was absolutely OBSESSED with the cross hatch.  Poor Angela, I must have sent her four hundred pics. I can hear her telling her husband can you believe this bullshit? It's quilt lines, it's not brain surgery.  Why am I friends with her?
But whatever it's awesome.

 Lessons learned from this one: I don't like traditional fabric for the back, and I don't like batting.  I usually use minky for the backs and a flannel sheet for the batting, but I wanted this one to be more 'traditional' since it was a donation, but I hated it.  I washed and dried that sucker five times, and it stayed stiff and uncuddly.  So there you go.

Next, Big Bertha.

I've already talked about this one a little bit, but if you're curious I used this Birch Farm collection and just ordered a million layer cakes.  Then the second half is Kona Snow and it was a PERFECT match. Then it's the same story: starch, iron, iron some more, iron some more, trim trim trim.  Oh yeah, I use this method to trim my HST before I open them up and iron them flat.

Use my grids to lay everything out how I want it (this one I had to do in two parts bc my board isn't that big) then chain piece for hours and hours and hours until I have my rows.
Then baste it and tape off a cross hatch and get to quilting.  When I say that this took me FOREVER to quilt, I am not exaggerating in the least.  I watched so much Supernatural, I'm pretty sure I could run the entire show. If I knew how to operate a camera and stuff.

Fight it into the world's tiniest washer and dryer, then take four million pictures of it and cry when you stick it in the mail.  I know I didn't pay for it, but it's so gorgeous and I want it.  There, I said it.  It should be mine.

Lessons learned from this one: I don't want to make them this big anymore.  This one in particular I loved making, because I love Serena, and I really super love her mom. So honestly, as lame as it sounds, each stitch (each hour up on hour upon HOUR that I poured into this) brought me a bit of happiness.  Fuck I'm lame.  But it did. But the idea of doing it again? Not so much.

And finally, one of my favorite quilts I've ever done.

I started with seven yards from Katarina Roccella's REcollection for Art Gallery Fabrics and tore them down into 5.5in squares.  I didn't so much follow a tutorial for this, I just laid them out in plusses and hoped for the best.  (I did have one major fuck up, so be warned if you're doing this style.  I have no idea how, but one of my yellow plusses is not a plus.  Angry face emoji.)

I didn't starch this one since I wasn't doing anything with bias edges and I just didn't feel like it.  Sorry Megan. 

Then more of the same- chain piece to rows, attach rows till you have a quilt top, baste, then quilt.

Despite what it looks like, I promise I don't quilt in a dark room.  I usually have the curtains closed because I don't want a glare when I'm watching Supernatural (because priorities) but it certainly isn't DARK.  Weird.

I'm getting better at binding, but it's still a work in progress.  Like, a lot.  I use this method but basically, here's the gist: You make your binding, then sew it to the FRONT of the quilt. Then you wrap it around and pin it to the back (I iron it first to make it easier to pin) then you stitch in the ditch ON THE FRONT and if you've done everything properly, you catch the edge of the binding on the back., leaving you with one perfect line of stitches, on the back only.  Nice clean bunch of nothing on the front.
But if you're me, your stitches only catch half the time and then you have to go over it again from the back, leaving the front pocked with horribly ugly lines of stitches dispersed  randomly along the binding.  Win some, lose some. 

Hopefully, if you're lucky, you're making this one for the most amazing friend ever and she won't mind if it's a little wonky.  PS I used this Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Grid in Curry for the binding and my plan is to only use this (in other colors) for the rest of my life.  I LOVE it.

Lessons learned from this quilt: I don't know how I'm going to survive when Megan leaves.  And even though crosshatch quilting is the greatest thing since sliced bread, I can, in fact, quilt other ways too.  This one I just did 1/4in on either side of every seam.  Easy peasy.

There you go.

Anyone interested in a quilt? You know I always need more practice ;) But seriously, I'm not doing big ones anymore.  I just can't.

Linking up with Sew Can She for Show Off Saturday!


  1. Jenn, I'm so glad I got to see your beautiful quilts - but you've linked up on the Hands2Help final linkup on my blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I don't have you listed as a participant - did you link up to that linky party by mistake? I do have a Friday linky party also every week... it's confusing when there are two parties going on at the same time!

    1. Oh no! I'm so confused. And I have no idea how to delete my link. I'm sorry! Not very computer savvy...