Friday, November 30, 2012

King's Corner Quilt

Last posted about here.

For now I've decided to call this quilt King's Corner, since I intend it to be a king size quilt, and all I've done is sew colored squares onto the corner of grey squares.

I decided to sit down and sew on this quilt during an entire quiet time (about an hour) the other day, and made some decent progress.

Lots and lots of this.

Behind my sewing machine: a pile of squares.

I finished with all the green squares, woo!  I try ironing mostly in the mornings when it's a little cooler, so I waited until today to iron and trim them:

About 147 of these.

And while I was at it I pressed the little by-product HST.  I sure dislike pressing seams open, especially when they are so small, however I know it will be worth avoiding the bulky seams down the line.

I think they will finish at 1" or 1.5"

They need safe keeping until I get around to this mini HST quilt!

And then I cut out another 60 or so brown squares from my scraps.  I was hoping to deplete my brown scrap collection, but I have a lot of large brown scraps still left for another quilt.

Once I get these sewn on I'll be ready to work on a layout!

I've been thinking a lot about the layout lately.  There are a bunch of layouts that would require a triangle in opposite corners of all the grey squares.  I like those layouts, but kind of dread having to cut, sew, and iron another 210 pieces.

I decided to have my Dad decide, since it's his bed it will ultimately be on, and he's the one that will have to see it every day.  I created this board on Pinterest to collect all of the options for him to look at.  These are the two he liked best:

This one is from A Few Scraps.

This one is from LollyQuiltz.

And then my Dad mentions he likes spirals too.  I have not seen a spiral layout at all, but thought it might be possible.  So I finally broke out my Quilt Design Wizard software I got for my birthday.  I was quite disappointed to find out it didn't have this very simple block, nor could I make it myself or download it from the website.  Turns out I need Electric Quilt 7 to be able to make my own blocks.  Hurrumph!  So I fudged it by using the HST and a bunch of blank blocks, and after several hours got a possible spiral layout:

These are pretty close to the colors of the quilt, though there will obviously be some browns in there too.

So, which layout do you like best?  I'm leaning towards the first or last so I don't have to add another triangle to the 210 blocks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three Tree Quilts

The quiet month of November was due mostly to my friend Jessica's fight with cancer.  She died November 17th.  It was a very sad, frustrating, depressing, and anger filled month as she slowly lost the battle to the cancer.  I made it a priority to see her at least twice a week while she was in hospice.  It was emotionally difficult to see her in her ever more frail condition, and I'd spend the rest of the day sad, angry, and depressed.  Not very conducive to creating and quilting (at least for me).

I did however manage to finish three mini tree quilts as belated wedding gifts:

They each measure about 16" x  20"

I actually finished them weeks ago, all but the hanging sleeve on one and labels on two.  I don't remember when I finally sewed them on, but I'm glad they're finished.  All I need to do is cut dowels for hanging, find some mailing tubes, track down all three addresses, and then take them the 9 miles to the closest post office.

The backs--two have hanging corners sewn in with the binding.  The middle one I forgot to put the corners in, so I added a small hanging sleeve.  The one on the left I wrote the label on a hanging corner.

Hopefully it doesn't take me all of December to mail these out.  All they do is shift around in my sewing room as I try to finish my currently quilting/sewing projects so I can start some new ones.

This was the first one I made, to see how it would go.   I decided I liked it better with just the first initials, so that's all I put on the other two.

I got my original idea from here, and then saw several other copy cat quilts, here and here.

This one doesn't lay as flat as it should due to the slightly thicker batting.

I didn't have enough solid brown or tan (which I've since remedied) for the third one, so I used some faux bois print fabric I already had from Joann's.  W is not a fun letter to quilt.

From left to right: finished, done with the quilting, and ready to be quilted.

Well, here's to new beginnings (and getting my sewing table cleaned off)!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rainbow Hexagon Quilt finished!

Very, very glad to have this quilt finished (a whole a month early too)!  It has been a very frustrating quilt to work on, though not because of the quilt.  

It measures about 42" x 60"

The back is some cute fabric I've been hoarding for a couple of years.

My sewing machine, which I bought last March-ish, continued to have issues with tension while free motion quilting, so I got out my mom's sewing machine (an older, very basic Janome) and spent a lot of time getting all the settings good enough to quilt with it.  Unfortunately good enough isn't actually up to my usual standards, but considering the issues I've had to deal with, and the huge amount of time I've tried fixing and then settling with my current working conditions I'm calling it acceptable and DONE.

Lots of hearts.

I finally took my sewing machine (a Janome MC 6300) in to be tuned up and fixed--last I tried to use it, it would turn on but nothing else worked--it wouldn't sew, the buttons did nothing (not even beep at me).  My husband and brother both thought it sounds like a circuit board problem.  When I told the guy at the shop the issues, he plugged it in and the buttons worked!  BAH!  I hate when machines/cars do that.  Hopefully they give it a good look over (and tune up) and can tell me why it didn't work for me...I would hate to get it home and have it happen again.

Lots of stars.

Anyway.  The quilt.  My mom's machine chugged right through it.  It has a standard 6" throat, and I've been pretty spoiled with the 9" throat on my machine, so I'm glad this was only a baby quilt.  My biggest complaint (other than the tension never being perfect) was that the machine would be going along just fine, then all of the sudden bunch up a some stitches and then carry on normally again.

A dragonfly.

I'm so glad to be done with quilt!  And glad to be giving it away, it's got too much emotional baggage for me now, ha.

A few flowers.

I hope all these cute little things I quilted in are entertaining for a baby to look at.  My son loved looking for the buggys and stars.

Love how the colors turned out on this leaf.

Sorry for the inconsistency in photos.  Some were taken inside and some were taken outside.

Some butterflies

Quite a few pumpkins, which are lots of fun to make.

Various clovers.

 Instead of putting a label on the back I quilted it in.  I wrote it on with a disappearing marker, but like most words I quilt it quickly got away from the marked words and became "free hand".  At least I practiced a few times and didn't make any mistakes.

It says: For JNO made by Renee Hoffman 2012

And now I plan to wait until I hear back about my sewing machine before doing any more sewing.  Reeeeally hoping all it well or reasonably cheap and easy to fix!