Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Quilts

I've spent a fair amount of time working to improve my sewing/quilting skills this summer.  As I've I mentioned, I definitely do not have a natural aptitude for sewing....but I am happy to say that with practice, I am improving!  Here are a few shots of finished quilts that I've completed since my quilting obsession commenced this spring:
 This is a baby quilt, for a very dear friend of mine who will be giving birth any minute now to her first baby!  I used a combination of new fabric and recycled pillowcases for the patterned strips. 
My little Buzz Lightyear requested a Toy Story quilt, so of course he got one.  I decided to be brave and do half-square triangles, using Jeni Baker's technique, which works great.   The back of this one is plain blue flannel and I didn't use any batting in this quilt because my little man is very warm-blooded.  I quilted this on my "new" vintage 1958 Singer machine that was my birthday present to myself. 

And last but not least, here's a shot of the first quilt I set out to make.  I started and finished it back in May.  It's far from perfect, but it's been getting used daily and it's holding together so I'm considering that quilting success!
This one is bigger than the other two, and I quilted it on my little Mini-Ultra.  It's backed with an vintage mint-green sheet that belonged to my grandparents, so it is super-soft and snuggly.  I used a random assortment of fabrics, some that I had on hand, some other cheap fabrics, and one Old Navy dress from 2005(it's the white flower on aqua background).  Despite the imperfections, I felt proud of myself for achieving a goal I'd set for myself and doing it all by myself!  Quilting is hard work, but it's fun, fun, fun!

And for those who might wonder: no, I didn't use patterns for these quilts.  I just made them up and sewed them.  Is that designing?

I have two more quilts + backs neatly folded, just waiting to be quilted and bound someday.  I've found sewing to be quite addictive and sometimes I have to force myself to quit quilting and go back to work making books and collages.  My only complaint is that I have lots of fabric I'm dying to play with and not nearly enough time. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Nancy found a home.

Back in June, I posted about my Nancy Drew quilt:

I loved making this quilt and I was really happy with how it turned out.  Definitely not total perfection, but for someone who does NOT have knack for sewing and is new to quilting, I was proud of it.  I made it the quilt for fun and thought I would use it as part of my table display at shows.  This past Saturday at the Des Moines Farmers' Market, I had several customers interested in buying it, and so "my" Nancy has found a home.  But not just any home; she is going to be displayed in a middle-school classroom in Cedar Falls.  I really couldn't be happier about that.  The nice lady who bought the quilt is a reading teacher and she is going to hang the quilt behind her desk.  She thinks it will be a great way to get students interested in reading Nancy Drew and more. 

This is the best part of making stuff.  This  is why I love what I do.  Books and reading have always been so important to me, ever since I can remember.  The idea of my quilt in a classroom, introducing kids to Nancy Drew,  makes me happy.  When this sweet teacher decided to buy it, she said she was getting it because it made her happy.  So, everybody's happy!  What could be better?