Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dick & Jane Baby Quilt


I was so excited to do this Dick & Jane Baby Quilt (Michael Miller's Dick & Jane fabric). Believe it or not, this was a stash quilt! The only thing I had to purchase was the batting. I have made a number of projects with this fabric over the years. Now that my kids are getting older, I'm finding fewer uses. It's pretty much used up now, and I had a ton of fun doing it!

A few of my previous Dick & Jane projects are a book caddy for my son's bed and a stuffed monkey doll that was kind of a fail. She's in the first picture, she's coming unstuffed!

A book caddy for the top bunk.

This being my third quilt, I thought I'd share a few tips I've learned a long the way. All the instructional videos I've been watching on Craftsy & YouTube have made a HUGE difference in the quality of this quilt compared to the last therefore making it that much more fun to sew.



A few tips & tutorials

Spray "starch" has changed my life! Having fabric blocks stiffer makes life much easier.

The back of the quilt.

The technique of pressing your seam allowances opposite ways when joining blocks is a neat trick! Again, I can't stress enough how helpful this FREE Craftsy tutorial was. A good tutorial on the other school of thought, pressing open your seams, can be found here. She has a lot of other great tips too.


My binding was 100% better due to this amazing binding tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt Co.! While you're at it, subscribe, this lady is pretty great. I enjoy her wisdom paired with her quick pace. Along with technique, I'll share a product that makes this job sooo much easier. I'm a fan of Clover products, but their Wonder Clips are one of my all time favorites.

I love wonder clips!
This binding is hand stitched, much improved from my last quilt!

The back.

I just got a new Janome sewing machine, so there will be lots of new projects soon while I test her out. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Herringbone Baby Quilt

It's taken me a long time to take this step.... my first quilt!



Ok, confession...
This was NOT my first quilt. Below is photo evidence circa 1996, a school project. *wince*. Yes I made the matching dress too. Everyone needs apparel to match their quilt.



MOVING ON.

I. Learned. A. Lot.

You'll get much more valuable tips from other blogs and sites, I won't pretend to be an expert after 1... ok, 2 quilts. I will tell you though, I learned I didn't understand triangles, bias cutting, and fabric stretch. If you're a newbie, my suggestion is to look this up before endeavoring on your first triangle quilt. Also, learn the triangle trick (at least I think it's a trick).



I thought I was choosing a pattern that would be easy, but it turned out that the fabrics I chose led to... a lot of math.  Don't try to create your own pattern if you're a newbie, too much unnecessary stress!

Precision is important. This is not my strong suit, so it's great practice for me to take things a bit slower.

Get organized! Label your stacks & label your quilt axes.


I used the pattern system G1-G-4 (gray fabrics) and B1-B4 (blue fabrics), letters for my vertical axis, and numbers for my horizontal axis. Do what is comfortable for you. My first two columns created the pattern that repeated throughout to make 5 sets of 2 columns=10 columns across. My columns were 12 squares high. If math is your thing, that's 120 of those suckers.

It's so easy to nit-pick, but I won't, it was a learning experience!

AFTER the fact, I watched this gem: Craftsy has a free quilting basics class online. AMAZING! In a way I may have learned more watching after I made all my mistakes, because it was easier to apply the knowledge, but I do suggest watching it BEFORE. ;)

If there is major interest (comments please), I can put up the 8 color version of this pattern that I created, otherwise you can just adapt this one like I did.

My Materials:
1/4 yard of each of the 8 fabrics (this was cutting it close *pun intended*).
1 1/4 yards for backing fabric
Batting (baby quilt size in a bag)
1/2 yard for binding
2 spools of thread
I got all my supplies at Jo-Ann Fabrics with 5 coupons. Score.

I cut 4.5" squares, once they are sewn into triangle pieced squares, they are 4" square (including seam allowance). My quilt's final size is 36" w x 43" h. Now to wrap it in tissue paper and give it away *sniffle sniffle*.



I stitched in the ditch with the walking foot. I'm excited to try something different next time. Did I say next time?