Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Lane

My sister-in-law and I whipped this quilt out last weekend (a 4 day weekend to clarify!)…she drew out the design, I figured out the pattern, and we sewed like mad.  We pulled it out of the dryer still wet, took the bad picture up there, and she took it home just in the nick of time.

I taught her how to free motion on my machine…and she sewed through her fingernail and out the other side of her finger.  Yucky.  At least we finished up the quilt and it turned out cute.  We backed it with double sided minky and no batting.   Most of the fabrics were a layer cake of Flurry, by Kate Spain for Moda.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little(r) Scout

I’m so thankful to Cindy who pieced this quilt and tested the pattern for me.  Then she so kindly sent me back the top….my husband basted it (oh yes he did!) and I quilted and bound it while my kids visited their Grandparents.

I quilted it with all over loopty-loops (surprise,surprise).

I’m really happy how it turned out…these aren’t my normal colors but that purple and orange is such a fun combo.

Thank you again Cindy for making the top at the last second!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quilting with Minky

Because I get a lot of questions about it…I thought I’d share about my process when backing and quilting Minky.  I’m definitely not an expert but I’ve found what works best for me.  I only attempt quilting them myself when they are a throw size or under…if I’m in a brave mood I might even try a twin size.

As I said in my Looking In post, I bought buy a lot of my Minky backings from here or Joann’s when they go on sale (usually around $7-8 dollars a yard).  Since some of them are 64" wide (check the listing before you buy), I can usually get away with only buying 2 to 2.5 yards and not piecing the back (throw size and under).  I don’t pre-wash my Minky backs.

If I want a heavy quilt…especially if its going to be on a bed I add batting.  If I want a lighter quilt for carrying around or for the couch I skip the batting.  Double sided Minky Fleece is my favorite to use when I skip the batting (it’s a little thicker/fluffier), but it probably doesn’t matter.  You can also use flannel to take the place of batting, especially if there is a lot of white in your top.

I pull out the big guns when I baste with Minky.  I use basting spray heavily first, then I go back and also pin every 6-8".   It’s probably overkill but it works.   I tape the back to the floor when I baste…but be extra careful not to stretch it.  Just get the wrinkles and creases out without pulling it tight.
Right after basting I stay-stitched around the edges using a long stitch length to keep everything in place.  Once you get quilting the quilt can shift a lot and the edges tend to get stretched and wonky…I feel like it helps me free motion quilt nicely around the edges and everything stays nice and square.

If you notice the backing pulling through to the front in the stitches, try switching to a thinner needle.   I usually use a size 90/10 (?) needle when I quilt…once I switched to a smaller size it stopped.

Using a large quilting design will keep your quilt from being too stiff and it will drape more like a cozy fleece throw.  It will also prevent swear words from being said.   :)

After I machine stitch the binding on it’s ready do be used and loved and fought over relentlessly!

That picture up there is before washing, but after washing it looked nearly the same with a tiny bit more "crinkle" in the top.  Of course if you use batting, you’ll get a nice crinkly top, but a much stiffer quilt.

Feel free to share any other tips in the comments section…I’m sure we’d all love to read them!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Looking In

I made this quilt especially for one reason...so my boys won’t fight (constantly!) over this quilt I made last year for the couch.
It didn’t work…but now they each have their own quilt while they fight.

I used novelty prints from my stash and bought from a local shop.  I used lots of different squares instead of a few yardage cuts, so it would be like an eye spy quilt.   I made the throw size of the pattern 56" x 67"…so I can steal it when you-know-who is in bed.

The best part is I backed it with a double sided Minky (this one…it was on sale at the time for $7.49 a yard!) and  I skipped the batting.  The Minky I bought was 64" wide…so I bought 2 yards and it was enough to back the throw size without piecing it!!!  Love that…and a super affordable alternative, especially since I didn’t use batting. 
I basted the quilt top directly to the Minky and free motion quilted it.  I’ll post more on that later… it is so soft and has such a nice drape. 

That sweet little 2 year old up there is giving me a run for my money.  I got out of the shower today to find him sitting on the couch with a open half gallon of ice cream and a spoon…must be my child.
The pattern can be found here.  My favorite block is this giraffe peaking from one side of the window to the other:

The background fabric is a print from Timeless Treasures.  It gives the background some oompth instead of using a solid.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This quilt was made for my living room (after a round of trunk shows).  The colors are so soft and soothing…which is just what my living room needs this very second now that the Halloween d├ęcor is down.

The fabrics are a mish-mash as usual.  For quilts like this one I plan out the color scheme I want first…then I choose fabrics based on those colors, instead of sticking to just one or two fabric lines.  I love pulling and choosing fabrics, but there’s nothing wrong with sticking to one fabric line either!

This one is very beginner friendly and comes in 4 sizes.  I quilted it with a loopty-loop pattern on my own machine.

And because I hate having scraps…there are directions included for a pillow:

Luckily it’s a really tough pillow as its been jumped on about 100000 times by the 2 year old that rules my house. 
The pattern can be found here in PDF or hard copy.