Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid-Week Sneak Peek: 04/27/2011

I've shown you this project before - it's my zigzag quilt. Well, I've finished sewing the blocks into rows next step, finish the top!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Charity Pillow Cases

I did a little charity sewing this weekend and made a couple basic pillowcases.  Despite being a nice, simple project - it wasn't quite as mindless as I thought it was and I had to do a bit of ripping out ... luckily I had Ally McBeal on Netflix to keep me company!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monochromatic Challenge - Bargello Blue

Hey, everyone.  You saw several sneak peeks at this quilt last month, but I never posted about the finished product!  I'm a little behind - sorry about that.  I do already have some photos posted over at Flickr and I entered the quilt in the Modern Quilt Guild's Monochromatic Challenge, so the photos are on their Flickr page as well.

I decided for the challenge that I was going to take on one of my quilting resolutions for the year, which was to make a Bargello-style quilt.  I had been interested in making one for a while and when I saw Marlene make one for our solids challenge, I really got inspired.

Bargello Complete Closeup
A closeup of the finished quilt.  The narrow strip towards the left is 1/4 inch wide!

The process of making the Bargello quilt starts with designing the "curve."  This step was harder than I thought it would be - I think I redid the curve design 3 or 4 times until I was happy with it.  Basically, you use graph paper with very small boxes and draw a curve, then you convert that curve into strip "widths" that are required to make the curve look the way you want, using one of your fabrics as the a focal point.  Then, because I'm crazy like that, I transferred all the information into Excel and made a spreadsheet to do all my calculations.  The quilt is then constructed as follows:

1.  2.5-inch strips are cut the width of all the fabrics.  In my case, I had 9 different fabrics and I cut six strips of each.
2.  The strips are sewn together into "color runs" - my color run was 3 repeats of the 9 fabrics, so 27 strips in total.  I had to create two of these color runs, each was the width of the fabric (about 42").
3.  Fold each "color run" over on itself and sew the bottom to the top so that you form a tube.
4.  Prepare the batting and backing (basted together as you normally would do, except without the top).
5.  Cut strips from the tubes perpendicular to the direction of the original strips (so each of the newly cut strips has 27 small rectangles of fabric).  The way I did it was to cut each strip right before it was sewn onto the quilt, not all at once at the beginning.  It's easier to keep track of this way.
6.  Open the strip either at a seam or halfway between seams - each new strip is opened at a different location so that you get the "curve" - my spreadsheet was used so that I would know what width to cut and basically where to open each strip.  The widths of the strips I cut ranged from 0.75 inch (3/4 inch) to 2.75 inches.  The narrowest strips end up as only 1/4 inch in the quilt!  Those were a beast to work with!
7.  Sew the first strip directly onto the backing and batting, starting in the CENTER of the quilt.
8.  Work your way to one side of the quilt or the other, laying each new strip front sides together onto the last strip and sewing it down onto the batting/backing.  In this way, you are quilting the quilt as you piece the top, and the quilting lines actually are hidden inside the seams.
9.  Once finished with one half, you start at the center and go towards the other side.
10.  At the end, add borders if you want.  Add any additional quilting on top of the quilt you may want and then bind the quilt as usual.

Bargello Quilting Lines
The quilting lines only show on the back.  I chose not to add more quilting on the front because it would cross these lines.

Wow, that's pretty complicated when written out like that, but once you get going it's really not too bad.  And the final result is quite striking, I think.  So what do you all think?  Are you going to try a Bargello sometime?  If I do another one, it probably won't be for a while.

Bargello Top from Angle

Bargello Top

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Fabric Friday: 04/15/2011

As many of you know already, I'm a big fan of Cloud9 Fabrics.  They make fantastic fabrics from organic cotton and low-impact dyes.  Michelle is their art/design director and she designs a lot of their prints.  I recently saw on their blog that they are releasing a new line this fall called Across the Pond and I think it is their best one yet!  Go get more information here.  Here are a couple photos of my favorites from the line.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mid-Week Sneak Peek: 04/13/2011

Hi, everyone.  I started a new project this week and I'm really excited about it!  It's going to be a gift for someone, so I'm not going to be able to post a lot of photos about it until I give it to her.  The fabric I'm using is Nature Walk by Cloud9.  It's all organic cotton and it's a dream to work with.  Here are a couple photos - so far I've just cut up all my squares.  This weekend, the guild has a sewing day, so I'm sure I'll complete the top by next week.  Yippee!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sneak Peek Update

Here's another photo of the blocks, as requested!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mid-Week Sneak Peek: 04/06/2011

I finally had a chance to work on my zigzag quilt again this past weekend. I finished up sewing all the half square triangles. Next step is to sew them into rows! I love how it's coming together so far. I'm using some Quilter's Linen as a "solid."  Check out the photo below.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Fun Fabric Friday: 04/01/2011

Wow! That's all I can really say about this new line that is coming out soon from Jessica Levitt on Windham Fabrics. Jessica is the mastermind behind the Timber line, and she does not dissappoint with her new line, which is called Kingdom. Below are a couple photos from her blog of the two color ways. I love the colors and the overall design. Her quilt patterns shown on the blog are also awesome. For more info head on over to her site.