Friday, November 28, 2014

Baby Quilt and Diaper Bag

With the arrival of some nice cool weather, I always look forward to quilt making.  Somehow during the heat and humidity of summer, the thought of standing over a steaming iron or having a lapful of quilt doesn't appeal to me. We had a nice cold front move in just in time for Thanksgiving weekend, so I got some fabric and started cutting.  My daughter's next-door neighbors are expecting their first baby in the Spring and they are going to wait to find out whether it is a boy or a girl when the baby is born.  I just happened to have some fabrics left over from a pillowcase dress I made for Emily about four years ago.

I thought these fabrics would be perfect to use in a gender-neutral baby quilt.  After I cut the fabrics to make the blocks, I realized that I had enough left over for a diaper bag, so I went for it.  I sewed the blocks and assembled the quilt top last night, and then started on the diaper bag this morning.   By 3:00, the bag was done (except for a button needed for the front).  I wasn't about to get out in the shopping madness going on out there in the wild.  The way I look at it, by staying home I not only saved a ton of money, but also accomplished quite a bit.

I even got the quilt back and binding made.  I'll drop the quilt off at the quilt shop the next time I go so it can be quilted on the longarm.

Here are a couple of close-ups of the diaper bag.  It has six pockets inside and because both the bag and the pockets are quilted with batting, they keep bottles cold long enough for running errands - even in Florida in the summer.  My daughter loved these when Em was a baby.  Best of all, the bag is completely washable.

There are also two outside pockets on the front, and one on the back.

It was a great day!  I hope yours was as well :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The alternating block for my brother's quilt

So, after cutting up all the fabrics for my brother's quilt, I finally figured out what it was about these fabrics that made me certain they were perfect for him.  Even though they are civil war fabrics, the green and brown striped and the blue fabrics remind me of silk foulard prints used for men's ties.  He's always been a fan of classic silk ties, so I think he will like the overall effect of this quilt.  It is masculine and the colors are rich and subdued.

In any case, I decided to sew up one of the alternate blocks just to see what it would look like.  I only have to make ten of each, so it should go fairly quickly now that the cutting is done.  I did find that I had to press the final seam open in order to reduce the bulk of all the flying geese points coming together in the center.  When I first tried to press to one side, the bulk created a definite bump which is not desirable.  

This is my first time making flying geese and it seems to waste an awful lot of fabric - the pattern instructs the quilter to cut a tan fabric rectangle 3.5" x 6.5" and then mark the red and blue squares with a diagonal line point to point.  Put one square on one side of the tan rectangle, sew on the line, then cut the excess away leaving 1/4", press, and repeat on the other side.  I'm thinking that there is a more efficient way to make flying geese.  I'll have to do some research online before I make these again.  In any case here are the two blocks that comprise the quilt center.

I'm done cutting and sewing for today, but at least now I'm ready to make some real progress the next time I get back to it :)

Have a great weekend!