Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Finishes - warning picture-heavy!

I have never had a more productive month and I have to thank all the lovely quilting and sewing bloggers out there!  I get so inspired when I see pictures and read about what they are doing, so much so that I put my little netbook computer in my sewing room so I can easily look things up!

Here's my little parade of projects.  First up, a 3-year-old UFO - a table runner for my sister.  I started this while her family was living with me after they suffered a devastating fire.  She picked Lava Red for her new kitchen colour, and when I saw this little charm pack that featured cats, I couldn't help but think of her!  It must have been one of Moda's first charm packs, because it was only 4-inch squares (the fabric is "Cats that Cook").

I put it aside because of those pesky triangles.  I forgot that when you cut a square in half, you lose 7/8's of an inch due to seams, so when I tried to put my rows together of course nothing would line up. I put it away until this month.  Then, when I went to machine quilt it, I discovered that I can't lower the feed dogs on my sewing machine - what gives?  My 30-year-old machine could, so I expected this 15-year-old machine would - nope.  I persevered and it turns out it does a pretty good job with no puckers, even without a walking foot.  I used a featherstitch to do the quilting.

Here is the finished table runner in its new home!  I forgot to take a photo of the back but it has an inset of the blocks.

Next up was another UFO that I finished up for a good friend of mine.  About 3-4 years ago, I purchased a small fat quarter pack and had enough to make 2 lap-size tops.  It was so nice to pull one of these out and finish it off with a cream Minkee backing.  I tried machine quilting again with a leafy vine design in the ditch and I only had one small pucker in the back.

I let myself start a new project since I was so good to finish 2 UFO's.  I kept it small so as not to add to the pile!  I made a Modern Valentine table runner (pattern by Sherri at A Quilting Life).  Bloggers are so generous, Sherri and her friends put together a "blog tour" and shared seven days of beautiful Valentine-inspired projects.  I found the blog tour through one of those elusive buttons on another blogger's site.

Made using scraps and a few pieces broken out of one of my precious Honey Buns - Oh, Cherry, Oh from Moda. 

Then I made 2 of these:

Roll-up high chairs!  This is a pattern of my own design that dates back to when I had my babies.  My twin nieces had babies last summer, 3 weeks apart, and now that the little ones are sitting up, I made these for their diaper bags.  Very handy when you are visiting, in a restaurant without high chairs or even in a shopping cart.

This was also my first attempt at machine-sewing the binding.  My first bit (the T-shaped piece) was pretty lousy as I did the sewing from the wrong side.

I did better on the second one.  I reviewed some instructions on the internet and realized that you sew the binding on the same as if you were hand-stitching it down; then from the front, you machine-stitch in the ditch and hopefully you'll catch the binding in the back.  It also helps to keep your stitches straighter.

In this picture you can see the front of the larger piece on the bottom (much better), the front of the T-shaped piece in the middle (yuck), and the back of the larger piece on top (much better, but I should have made that run to the store for matching thread.  You can also see the flap on the back to hook over a chairback when you are using it as a "high chair".

And my last finish (although it doesn'l look like it), is a bench cushion for the top of my cedar chest.  How I finished the back is the subject for another post.  It involves recycling!

I also busted out 3 BOMs that have been in limbo and started on those, plus picked up the newest "Buck a Block" Thangles program at my favourite local quilt shop, Hamels.  More on those later as well.

All in all, I had a great month and I'm so happy I got my sewing groove back.  I have completed more things in the last 4 months, than I have in the last 5 years!  Thanks everyone for your inspiration and hopefully I can inspire you too.

1 comment:

  1. It feels soooo good to get some things done! Love the quilting you did on the Valentine table runner.