Tag: Quilting

Lots and lots of pluses

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I finally fulfilled one long term ambition and made a quilt for my parents. They really liked the baby quilt that I made for the little monster, so they got one with a very similar color scheme. Actually, a few of the fabrics are even identical. Instead of triangles, theirs is featuring a pluses design though.

The whole project started with cutting the pieces, two little squares and one long rectangle for each plus. Doesn’t look like many? It’s just under 1000 pieces… 😛

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Instead of laying all the pieces out to figure out their exact positions, I created a cheat sheet and coded the different fabrics with numbers from 1 to 9. This technique had already proven very handy with the baby quilt last time, but was an actual necessity with the full size quilt this time around. We simply don’t have enough empty floor space in our house to put all these pieces down (and not have them attacked by little monsters).

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So according to this nifty cheat sheet, I prepared one little pile of pieces for each row…

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,,, which I then sewed together forming strips. You can see a few “editions” to my cheat sheet where I changed the position of a few pluses because I wanted to avoid the two brightest and the two darkest fabrics to have neighboring pluses, so they would stand out to each other more nicely. Below is a picture of a few of the finished strips – it was definitely a great moment to see all these strips of squares and rectangles come together to form the actual pluses!

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Another moment where lots of endorphines were released was after all these strips had been joint to one single sheet. After a good little while of ironing it looked like this:

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In order to assemble the quilt sandwich – I used a light polyester batting and a matching navy blue flat sheet for the back – I pinned the three layers together using safety pins.

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Then, I quilted the sandwich together with gentle wavy lines. It’s hard to see in the picture but I used a turquoise yarn that would stand out nicely against the navy background.

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And finally, after attaching an also navy colored binding, here is the finished quilt:

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As an additional surprise, I hid a little triangle in the back of one of the corners – which my parents found within only a few seconds 😉

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I’m so happy I managed to finish the quilt before my parents’ visit! The last stitches were only completed on Friday, the very day befor their arrival…

So, dear Mutti and Vati, I hope you’ll sleep well under your new blanket! I love you! 💛

A little phone cozy

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My phone finally got a protective sleeve! I know that there are a ton out there to choose from, but stupid me always wanted to make one myself, so I never got one… Consequently, it is too late already for my poor phone in a way – after a previous fall (or rather several… 😜) the front glass is beautifully cracked in one corner. But now at least I won’t have an excuse for any further damage…

A mini quilt

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There have been some more baby preparations after setting up a second crib in the kids’ room about two weeks ago. We still have basically all essentials from the first monster – except for a box of newborn diapers that I got earlier this week 😉 – but I really wanted to make something special for him. So I made a baby quilt!

After the quilt for my sister and her husband I had the strong feeling that this wouldn’t be my last one and got myself a few tools to make my future quilting life a little easier. Namely, those were a rotary cutter, a giant package of curved safety pins (you can see those awesome little guys in action in the bottom picture 😉) and – most importantly – a walking foot for my sewing machine. This last one was actually mostly coincidence. I had just mentioned to one of the ladies in the fabric store that I had found it a bit tricky to prevent the three layers from moving against each other while quilting the fabric and batting sandwich together, when she asked me why I wasn’t using a walking foot which was designed exactly for that purpose. Not that I hadn’t had this idea before, but during my own research I found out that Pfaff doesn’t offer one for my specific model of sewing machine. So I assumed that this was it and tried to find peace with that fact. But as it turns out, sewing machine accessories are sometimes more compatible between different manufacturers than I had imagined and my friends had a Janome foot for me that works like a charm with my Pfaff. It’s a bit of a noisy fellow, but it really was like making myself an early Christmas present when trying it out for the first time and now I just love its little “click click click”! 🙂

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And even better: my wonderful husband also made me a wooden cutting template (more durable than cardboard, but a lot cheaper than those fancy acrylic quilting rulers!) according to my specified dimensions.

I don’t want to say that making a quilt isn’t still a time-consuming business, but I really feel like I saved a lot of time with this one thanks to these little helpers. 😉 To be honest, part of it was of course just due to the smaller size of the quilt (about 1m x 1m) which made things a lot easier and faster…

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Do you like the little triangles? There are so many a lot more elaborate designs out there, but compared to the simple squares from last time, I felt almost a little adventurous. And I really like the combination of the lime and navy hues. Can’t wait to actually use the baby quilt!

A true quilt

When I made this baby blanket for Theo a few months ago, I remember mentioning that I wanted to make a “true” quilt one day. And here we are, not even too long after! My sister’s wedding was just the perfect occasion as it makes for such a beautiful and symbolic wedding gift! 🙂

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I already had such a great time at the fabric store choosing this set of eight fabrics! I almost put them under my pillow going to bed that evening… 😛

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I chose a classic patchwork design made of 7.5 inch squares, i.e. my pieces were by far not as tiny as for most of the quilts that I’ve been admiring on Pinterest etc., but this being my first quilt, I wanted to keep things simple. And it actually is a BIG one (90 inches x 90 inches) – the photo only shows a quarter of the whole quilt. Paul is hiding behind it while sitting on a chair holding it up for the picture. 😉 So despite the simple design, my sewing machine and I had some intense moments – a few quiet swear-words included – at least while quilting the middle section where I had to manoeuver a  considerable sausage of rolled fabric through the arm of my sewing machine on the right side of the needle.

I wanted the squares to be randomised, but still in a balanced way, meaning that I didn’t want to end up with too many dark squares in one corner for example. So as everybody else would have (right?! 😜), I sorted my fabrics from dark to bright, assigning them numbers from 1 to 8, then made an excel spreadsheet to visualize the layout. Then I played around until I had the same number of squares for each fabric in total and in each quarter of the quilt, and never having the same numbers in adjacent fields:

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I pinned this cheat sheet over my desk and for each row that I was sewing, I grabbed the 12 required fabrics from my eight piles of cut fabric squares. Sometimes I suppose I’m trying pretty hard to be as efficient as possible… but it worked pretty well, except for the fact the I still see a number 2 instead of a square with a flower pattern 😛

And this was after the front of the quilt was finished and ironed:

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As I didn’t want the quilt to be too warm, I chose a light batting. And for the back of the quilt I got a light grey flat sheet because I wanted it to be just one piece and most fabrics come only 44 inches wide. But I find the color goes really well with all the different shades of teal and makes them pop quite nicely. And I find the teal quilting seams also look really nice on the grey background. Anyways, I am more than happy with the result and now want a quilt for us, too 😉 I may actually already have bought the first few pieces of fabric… but that will be another story…

Congratulations again, Britta and Pete!!! 😘

A blanket for the monster

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Being quite happy with how this baby blanket for Theo turned out a little ago, I was thinking of making one for our monster as well and was so glad that there was just enough fabric left. So I did! I got some grey fabric with little dots for the back and went for a simple diagonal squares quilting pattern.

Technically, it’s not Yannick’s first blanket. He has another one that used to be his play mat before he was mobile, and which we still use for the stroller and in the car. This blanket though I want to keep in his crib. And don’t the forest animals just go perfect with the cloud shelves and the birch trees on the kids room wall?! 🙂

While I will continue to use his sleeping bag at night, I’ll start to use the new blanket for Yannick’s daytime naps. We’ve been “practicing” with his unzipped sleeping bag for a while now, so I think he’s ready for an actual blanket. And so far he seems to really like it – let’s see what he thinks when we get ready for his afternoon nap today… 😉

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UPDATE:

Ha! There we go! And yes, the stuffies may have been arranged for the picture… 😛

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Bears in trees

Last Friday, Paul took a day off. He and the monster had fun together all morning, so I felt like I was really the one on leave! 😉 I had some great hours in the guest room/crafts room, and I really enjoyed making something in one stretch once again. No attacks from the monster and no praying that the nap might be a long one!

So here is the result, a baby blanket for Theodor, my cousin Lana’s second little mister who was born today! So exciting! Congratulations and all the best to the whole family!! 💛

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I chose a plain brown fabric for the back and modified the quilting pattern I previously used for our headboard cover trying to resemble woodgrain, which I thought was perfect with the forest theme. And I believe I’m getting a lot closer to making a REAL quilt one day! You know, one that requires putting together a ton of tiny little pieces. But let’s not get too excited here – one day…!

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“Bears in trees”, this was actually the name of the fabric as it appeared on my receipt and I just fell for it. It is one of the treasures I got at JoAnn’s in Boston last fall. I can’t wait for my next chance to dive through their amazing selection! Which will probably be in July, as I already found out there is one in Sault Sainte Marie, literally just over the bridge to the US!

I also made a matching card, using the same brown fabric and kinda copying the acorn motive (It’s hard to see in the photo, I know, but there’re also a bunch of squirrels between all these bears and owls, and each of them is holding an acorn…). And who says you can’t sew a card?! 😉 I ironed some fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric scraps to prevent the pieces from fraying, then embroidered a little face and stitched the pieces onto the card.

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Now I just need to pack the little parcel and send it on its way to Vienna! 🙂

A quilted headboard cover

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It’s finally done! This headboard cover that’s caused me so many headaches is finally done!!

But I should maybe start my story a bit earlier: Shortly after we moved into our house here in Ottawa, we got a new bed. While I instantly loved the simple wood frame, I hated the leather headboard it normally comes with. The happier I was to find out that both could be purchased separately. I was totally enthusiastic about making our own headboard cushion, ordered a mattress topper as a filler, cut it to size and even bought some fabric, then… Nothing. For over a year. Until I made this little zipper pouch for my Kobo in order to practice quilting and more specifically to try out that leafy lines pattern that I figured would be manageable with a regular sewing machine foot and wouldn’t require free motion quilting.

So far, so good. I expected this project to be challenging, but I did not expect it to be that hard! Part of it was simply the size of it. Manoeuvring that heavy thing through my sewing machine while it tried to jump off the table more than once… But the worst part was the fabric itself, quite a nightmare! So slippery! And I have never worked with anything before that would fray only half as badly. Literally, just by looking at it, the fabric would already disintegrate! 😛

I admit having cursed a few times but I’m glad that in the end I didn’t let myself get defeated. Although I’m sure that I’ll be more careful with my fabric choices in the future!

Quilting experiments

For over a year I have wanted to make a cover for the headboard of our bed… Last night, I finally revived this project by finalizing the pattern and starting to cut the pieces. As a pretty detail I would like to quilt this cover. However, as I have never quilted before, I felt that a practice piece was needed. And as I didn’t want to just use some throw-away-scraps, I recently made this little padded zipper pouch for the Kobo that I got for Christmas and experimented with a leafy pattern that I think will look great on our bed as well.

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Can’t wait to scale the process up tonight when the monster is snoozing! Will keep you updated how my “real” quilting project is going… 😉