Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fancy Spring

So as mentioned in the last post, my dilemma about whether to finish an old project or start a new one was easily solved by, of course, starting a new one. I have been longing for spring since December really, and now that it's April (tomorrow) my longing has become almost painful. Spring is taking her sweet time, and while it is marginally warmer, it is not sunny most days and there certainly is no green around.

Therefore, in my quest for spring I decided to make a wallhanging for the kitchen that is totally, 100-percent, unabashedly spring-like, so may I present for your quilting pleasure Fancy Spring, so named because the flowers on this wallhanging are decidedly fancy and because, well, I do fancy spring.

It's already brightening my home. Here's hoping it brightens your day as well. Spring, please come back. We miss you!

Friday, March 20, 2009


I have finished quilting the grandbaby quilt, just in time. I think it turned out fine. I chose hearts for the main quilting motif, hence the name of the quilt, Heartwarming. The blocks with the 50's kids in them are quilted with hearts in the corners, framing the kids in the center of each block. The small striped blocks, of which there are five, are quilted with large block letters, H-E-A-R-T. Too, too clever, right? The large striped blocks are quilted with a large heart with cross-hatching. The quilting shows up really well on the back, not as much on the front, which is fine. I think the fabrics need to be the star of this quilt.

Along with the quilt I made three coordinating crib sheets, which I really, really hope fit. I got the pattern off the Internet, after checking out many patterns that all had about the same measurements. If they don't fit, the fabric is still mostly intact and could be used for something else, I suppose, but I hope the Internet doesn't let me down and that the sheets fit perfectly.

Now that the grandbaby quilt is finished, what to do next? My options are finish the pile of WIP's waiting completion or start something entirely new and fun. Of course, you all know which way I am leaning. Bring on the new!

Monday, March 9, 2009

To Snob or Not to Snob

When Connecting Threads first came out with their $5.96 a yard quilting fabric, I was quite excited about it, but since then I have sort of changed my mind. It may be inexpensive, but it's not very inspired or inspiring, at least to me. I realize for that price they may be limited in what they can do. Maybe it's not possible pay fabric designers, so maybe they are just using more "stock" designs. Perhaps they have fewer color selections available to them, and maybe even the size of motifs they can print on their fabric must be scaled back. At least, it seems to me that most of their fabrics have very small prints on them. Kudos to Connecting Threads for at least attempting to make quilting more affordable. For right now I'll just use the stash I have until I see something from them that wows me more.

I will give Connecting Threads full marks, however, for their quilting thread. I have a Voyager 17 mid-arm quilter, which is all I will ever need. It's a great machine, pretty basic, but I love it. You can get a stitch regulator for it, which I have not done yet, maybe won't ever do. Anyway, I digress. My point is the Connecting Threads quilting thread is very inexpensive and runs on my machine with very few, if any, breaks. It's sort of linty, but who cares? I clean out the bobbin area every time I change a bobbin anyway. I use a size 18 needle and have very few issues with breakage or tension. A spool with 1,200 yards costs only $1.99, less if you buy it in a set. I bought every color they have. It's a really nice selection of colors, plus they also have some variegated thread. (I am a variegated girl.) You can also buy a cone of 5,000 yards for $7.99. I have a grey cone that I use on my sewing machine for piecing. Fabulous!

So is someone who loves expensive fabric or expensive thread a quilting snob? I think if you're buying the name-brand fabric or thread simply to have the name brand, then you are guilty as charged. If, however, you honestly believe that the quality offered by those more expensive companies is justified, then I say not a snob. I believe I'm a mixed bag. I do love to find a bargain, and I am happy a lot of the time with "lesser babka". (Obscure Seinfeld reference alert!) I'm perfectly content to quilt all my quilts with Connecting Threads thread. But, oh, there is a such a sensual pleasure in running your hands over really high quality cotton quilting fabric. When the quilt is important, I spend the money on the fabric.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yet Another Baby Quilt

Look at me, being all quilty. This is honestly the most I have quilted in months, maybe in more than a year. I love making baby quilts. First of all, a baby coming into the world is a wonderful event. Second, baby quilts are quick to make because they are small and usually not too complicated. Third, even if you don't do such a great job on a baby quilt, people are usually too happy to notice. Fourth, baby quilts get washed a lot, so imperfections will soon be lost in the general malaise of a well-loved quilt.

This particular baby quilt, called Puppy Love because of the fabulous doggy fabric it showcases, is for a friend in our ward who just had her fifth child. She's a wonderful mother, but so quiet and self-deprecating that I fear she often gets overlooked. I figure if you've gone through pregnancy and childbirth five times, you and your fifth baby deserve a quilt.

The quilt is made from a block on EQ6 called Left and Right. I don't know why it's called that. I liked the fact that it made secondary blocks when put in columns and rows. I quilted it with a simple all-over meandering (Remember, Lori, when we talked about how we were going to make more gift quilts and simply meander them? Done.)

Let me know how you like it. Thanks for the suggestions on how to quilt the grandbaby quilt. That's this week's project.