Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cesarean Quilt: Red III & Body

Since my last post I've gotten to work on my quilt a lot more than I thought.  I love having pictures that show progress!  I forgot to take a picture of the red before I started on the body, so you'll just have to wait for the last photo to see it.

Here's the upper body finished:

Here's the rest of the body finished:

I love how it has turn out! 
And here's the whole thing:

I love watching an idea turn into something tangible!  

Yesterday I had Matt make a list of all the words he associated with my cesarean.  I made a list of my words a few days ago.  Then we compared lists and discussed everything more and came up with a few more words.  So my next step is to quilt those words onto the red fabric.  Then I'm going to add quilting in all the white space.  I'm enjoying this quilt so much, I can't wait to work on the next step!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cesarean Quilt: Red II & DNP update

We went camping this weekend, so I didn't do any quilting for three days.  It was a good rest for my body and mind.  I tend to stress/clench my upper body muscles while sewing, so having a few days off gave them a chance to relax a bit.  I still need a massage though...

Yesterday I got a lot done on the Cesarean Quilt:

Ooh, I figured out how to make the photos bigger!

I'm loving how it is developing!  It is really fun to work on too.  Ticker Tape quilts are a lot of fun, and really easy.  I highly recommend using a glue stick to hold the pieces in place until sewn down, and using a free motion/darning foot to sew them down so you don't have to rotate the quilt 3-4 times per piece of fabric!

Since that quilt is a nap-time only quilt, I decided to work on the Disappearing Nine Patch quilt at the same time, since a lot of it can be done while my little one is awake and playing near me.  Since the nine patch squares were already cut into quarters, I just sewed two together at random and got this:

Fifty-something sewn one after another to get this long line of half blocks.

Then I ironed most of them (I have a few left to iron today):

Next I'll sew two of those together to make a full DNP block.  Then I need to decide on what color for the sashing and border, any suggestions?  I need to go through my fabric stash and see what I can use out of there....then maybe I can post the options.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cesarean Quilt: Red I

Yesterday and today I was able to work more on my Cesarean Quilt during nap time.  Caution: this post includes words like uterus and blood.

Yesterday I was only able to get pieces cut out and glued to the quilt before my babe woke up.

Gluing the pieces down (with a glue stick) worked much better than pinning.  
Luckily he was happy enough to play while I sewed the pieces down.

All sewn down!  The black strip is supposed to represent my cesarean scar, but it has flowers on it to help remind me that my uterus is still capable of growing new life :-)  The red is not supposed to represent blood.  Red is such a powerful and meaningful color.  I think it is supposed to represent power, passion, health, and strength here.  Fear and pain too, I guess.  More on that on some later post...
The back, not much to look at since it is red on red.

My little helper, inspecting my work :-)  Any time I lay a quilt on the floor he runs over to play  with, on, or under it.
Today was another 3 hour nap, woo!  I was able to get a lot more done.

My work space, on the floor.  The paint can is for trash bits.  I didn't realize until today that I had been sitting  in the same position for the past three days, and then leaning forward over the quilt, which has caused my right hip to be quite sore!
Today I decided to try my free-motion/darning foot to sew down the pieces.  It was much easier and faster than using the walking foot.  With the walking foot I had to rotate the quilt at every corner of every piece.  With the free motion foot I don't have to rotate at all! 

I'm really happy with how this quilt is coming together.  Today went a lot faster than I expected, which gives me hope that I will finish in the next month!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cesarean Quilt: Hair

After posting the beginning of my Cesarean Quilt yesterday I went upstairs and worked on it for the rest of naptime.  It is definitely a naptime quilt!  It is too big to work on on a table, and has lots of straight pins and little pieces--not exactly toddler and sanity friendly.

So far it measures about 40"x 60?ish, then I used a water soluble pen to sketch a guideline for the pieces.

Anyway, it was a glorious 3 hour nap, so I got a fair amount done:

Close up of the woman...hard to see....try squinting.  

Over the weekend I went through all my scraps and bottled all the small black, red, tan and yellow pieces.  I wanted to use glass jars, but they aren't very toddler friendly.  
I started with the hair, laying out pieces, then trimming them, then pinning them.

Then I sewed them all down using my walking foot.  The straight pins poked me a lot, and several came out, which caused problems putting the fabric back in the right spot while the quilt was still under the machine.  I will definitely be trying the glue method next!
The back.  I had to trim the extra threads on the top as I sewed so the foot wouldn't get caught under them.

All morning I've been wanting to work on it, but I know it would be a headache with a toddler "helping," so I'm anxiously awaiting nap time :-)

Prairie Points and Quilting

I really enjoyed making the prairie points for this baby quilt.  It was a simple process, and I really like trying new things with my quilts.
Somewhere on my to-do list is a new ironing board cover...
 I think the prairie points will be a real hit with any baby.  I know my kiddo would have loved them when he was just a rolly-polly baby.  Heck, he played with them every time I laid the quilt on the floor.
Pin basted, and ready to be quilted!

I put extra pins around the border, near the prairie points to keep them from moving.
When quilting near the prairie points, I pinned them back to keep them out of the way.
I chose quilting that I thought would emphasize the star layout, but when I mentioned it to my husband, he said, "What star?"  So I guess the star, and the quilting in it, aren't that obvious.  Oh well.
Finished quilting, just need to trip the edges, bind and label it!
Once I finished the quilting I put the quilt aside since I wasn't sure what to put on the label or what to use for the binding.  I still don't, but there's a small possibility we'll be seeing the recipients of this quilt in about two weeks, so that is my new deadline!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


For some reason posting about this makes me nervous, even though I'm sure I want to.  It took me several days to find the motivation to actually get this quilt started.  This is the beginning of my Cesarean quilt:

"Cesarean" art quilt, basted and ready to be art-i-fied.
My son was born by an unplanned (and probably unnecessary) cesarean section nearly 16 months ago.  This quilt is my way of releasing and expressing some of the emotional and spiritual damage I have from it.  I've been planning on some type of art form to express what I feel, and about a week ago it dawned on me to "quilt it out."

I dreamt up this quilt one night as I was falling asleep.  The image, the colors, and how it would come together fit perfectly in my mind.  The next day I did a bunch of google image searches to see what other cesarean-inspired art I could find.  Almost all of it was dark, sad and disturbing.  And I was able to relate to all of it, though none it felt like what I have planned for this quilt.  So I'm glad I have this blog to share it with the world...certainly there are other women that feel the way I do?  I guess I haven't exactly express how I feel...but I'm taking baby steps, and plan to get to it as I progress through this quilt.

I finished up quilting the log cabin baby quilt, and am stuck at binding and labeling it, so it was a good time to start another quilt.  For the Cesarean quilt, I chose some white muslin for the top, some thrifted polyester batting, and a red sheet for the back.  

I've already sketched what I want on this quilt, and as soon as I'm done writing up this post I plan to go draw it on my basted fabric.  Then I'll start cutting up scraps and other appropriately colored fabric, and pin it to the quilt.  Ever since I came across Crazy Mom Quilt's ticker tape quilt I've wanted to make one, and it will (hopefully) work perfectly for this project.

I'll be posting updates on the quilt often.  My goal is to have it finished by the end of June and hang it above our bed (assuming Matt agrees to it).  I'm hoping he'll help with the quilt, actually I need him to help with it, so then it will be our quilt and be fitting over our bed.  We'll see I guess :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

When it rains, it pours...fabric

In the past couple of weeks I've collected a huge amount of fabric:
The box of fabric I mentioned in this post.
More fabric out of the box.  I was happy to find more matching fabric for the D9P quilt I'm making, in case I need to make more blocks.

Fabric from Joann's for the Log Cabin Baby Quilt, and three other quilts I haven't started yet...

My Mother's Day Gift :-)

A freebie I got with a recent order.

Thrift store find, all for about $6.  The batting turned out to be big enough for the art quilt I'm about to start and the twin sized quilt I've start, yay!

Fabric my mom gave me since she's moving.

A friend that is a crafter and quilter invited me to go check out some fabric a friend of hers was selling.  There was SO much to choose from.  I tried to only buy what I thought I might use on the quilts I already have started, or have plans to start in the near future.
Today's thrift store find (despite the fabric-buying moratorium I have),  all this for about $3!  The bottom fabric is a light weight corduroy I can't wait to use for a purse, and the top is about 1/2 yard of some gorgeous batiks!  :-)

 So...no more fabric buying for a while!  I hope.  I really, really hope all I need for the next several quilts are batting and thread.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


About a month ago my dad's girlfriend gave me a box of fabric.  There's a lot of fabric I'll probably just pass on, but the best thing I found was a pile of these:
Hand stitched nine patch squares!
 There are probably enough of them to make a twin sized quilt, with sashing and a border.  But I'm not really a nine-patch type of gal, so I decided to turn them into disappearing nine patch (D9P) blocks, which means I cut the above block into fourths, rotated the quarters, then sewed them back together to get this:

The squares weren't cut or sewn together very accurately, so these are more like wonky D9P blocks.
Still wonky after squaring it up, but at least all of these blocks will be consistent. 

After making the first block I decided I liked it enough to do it to all of them, so I cut all the nine patch blocks:

My first plan was to make a D9P quilt with no sashing or border...but then I would need a lot more blocks than I have.  So now my plan is to add sashing and a small border, and hopefully I have enough of the original  fabric to finish up the quilt.

But for right now it is all sitting in a box in a corner while I finish up the log cabin baby quilt.  I like working on only one quilt at a time, unless one of them is at a dead end, or I'm waiting for inspiration or materials.  But still, I'm anxious to work on this quilt, I hope it looks good when it's finished!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Log Cabin Baby quilt

Originally posted May 12th, but blogger ate it.

A couple of months ago I came across an Arcadia honeybun on sale and had to have it.  I can honestly say I don't do that very often.   It sat in a box for a couple of months, then I realized it would make the perfect sized, gender neutral, baby quilt!  My husband's roommate from college's wife is having a baby in Septemberish (got all that?).  And even though I don't know them well, they are the only people I know right now that are expecting, and I'm quite excited for them.  So excited I want to make them every baby thing I know how to make.  But I think I will limit it to a quilt (and maybe some new born pants and booties!). 

Right, the quilt.  I unrolled the honeybun and organized the strips by color, then reorganized by pattern:

Then I paired them up and started making log cabin blocks.  In retrospect I wish I had considered my log cabin layout before sewing...but oh well.  Here's the first block:

Next it was squared up to 8 1/4"
Once I finished all 20 blocks, I laid them on the floor and spent an entire nap time rearranging them to figure out which layout worked the best.  I kept coming back to a star, and tried it many ways.  Finally I decided on one and sewed the blocks together to get this:

More fore thought would have produced a nicer looking star, but I still like it okay.

I decided to only use 16 blocks, so there are 4 orphaned blocks (I'll probably use one of them for a taggie/ribbon toy).  Then I took my little quilt top to Joann's and found some coordinating fabric to use for prairie points and border fabric.  I've never made prairie points, so I went internetting for a good tutorial.  I found a good one on SewTakeAHike, and made a practice run last night.  They turned out smaller than I wanted, so I'm glad I made a practice set. 

And that's where I'm at now.   I'll think I'll go upstairs while the babe is still sleeping and make some more prairie points!  :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why I started this blog and the quilts I've made to-date.

I've thought of having my own blog for years now.  I've had two photoblog.com sites for a couple of years, but decided it was finally time to create a true blog, and my recent passion (maybe obsession is a better word) for quilting inspired me to create a quilting blog.  I want to be able to connect and share with other quilters, and especially other quilt bloggers.  And I also feel that making it a quilt blog will keep out some of the personal stuff in my life that should not be shared on a blog.  My husband is a private person, but I'm the type of person that like to tell people my problems, get their feedback, think about it, repeat, then take some action.  So having a blog about quilts (and other craft things) where I can talk to the masses and get their feedback fulfills my need to be expressive and have some type of community.

Okay, on to my quilts.  I started quilting when I was pregnant with my son in 2009.  I was a house wife (not for lack of trying to find a job, mind you), so I had a lot of time on my hands.  Also I had a lot of pregnancy insanity, and by that I mean I had a lot of time, inspiration and drive to DO.  So I made my first quilt:

What I learned from this quilt: how much fun quilt is!
My husband and I designed it together, it's based on the Fibonacci Sequence, and because we didn't know if we would have a boy or a girl, I used colors to celebrate both.  I was intimidated by binding then (not sure why) so I did a pillow case type finish, then quilted it.  You can kind of see how the quilt start to bunch up on the left side...someday I'd like to redo the quilting.

Shortly after finishing that quilt I decided to make a queen sized one for our bed.  Ambitious, I know, but like I said I had the pregnancy crazies.  I happened upon this Old Red Barn Co quilt along, and decided to do it.  Here's the finished result:
What I learned from this quilt:  bigger quilts are better :-)
I followed the quilt along, and loved the directions and tips I got.  I completed it my 38th week of pregnancy, the last week of 2009.

Once my baby boy was born, I didn't do a lot of sewing.  Mostly small baby and post partum things.  Finally in August of 2010 I started on a pinwheel quilt.  Then I had a great idea to make a quilt as a wedding gift, so the pinwheel quilt was put on hold.  I spent three and half intense weeks making this quilt for a wedding gift:
What I learned from this quilt: binding is easy!
It went a lot faster than my first queen sized quilt!  And since credit should be given where credit is due, it was inspired by this quilt I found by some random google search.

My next quilt was my first completely thought up and designed by me:
Wall hanging, 32"x45", November 2010
It is a whole-cloth quilt, quilted to look like aspen tree trunks.  I'd like to make more of these, both bigger and smaller, someday.

Then in January of 2011 I came across the PS I Quilt postage stamp quilt along, then fell in love with the Prayer Flag jelly roll and knew I had to do it.  I love it in every way:

It was fun, it was fast, and it was easy.  I need to make more quilts like this.

In February of 2011 my mom got remarried, and I decided to make them a quilt as a wedding gift.  I decided to include them in the making of the quilt.  And though it did add some complications, the end result is something they both love: 
Nicknamed "The Fish Tarp" and "The Beast"--it ended up being  83"x105", which is quite huge to quilt on a  small machine.
Matching pillow from my practice block.  What I learned from this quilt: be very, very careful when sewing blocks cut on the bias, measure and cut before adding borders, and never skimp on the pins when basting!

My now step-father (weird!) requested fresh water fish, and my mom wanted mermaids, and I wanted to make a disappearing nine patch.  During the endeavorer of making this quilt, my family had to deal with and eradicate scabies, and the quilt went into a box for a few weeks.  Also the putting the quilt blocks on point added a lot of frustration, so I needed a break from it.  So I made this: 
Will blog about this one later on...
A small art quilt, that will soon be hung on a wall.  I need to quilt and wanted something small and maneuverable.  I also wanted something to break-in my new sewing machine (to be blogged about at a later date!).

Then finally I got around to finishing the pinwheel quilt I had started the previous August:
"April Pinwheels" in honor of the windy April we had.  Finished size: 87"x87"
This quilt nearly made me go insane.  I did tiny, tight little loops, a total of around 10,000 of them!  I wish I had done larger (and few) loops, but c'est la vie, it is done.
What I learned from this quilt: when making quilt blocks over many months, make sure they are all the same size before sewing them together (note wonky rows in first photo) and draw out the quilting pattern I plan to do before putting needle to quilt...otherwise I end up with insanely small loops and regretting it for the rest of the quilt!
So...that's it.  All my finished quilts through April 2011.  I currently have 3 in the making, all of which I hope to finish in the next month or two, and will of course blog about.  :-)