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:
Front

Pieced-back
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.  :-)






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