Sunday, March 17, 2013

It was National Quilting Day

.. which was yesterday, of course, but I never quite got around to writing a blog entry about it on time.  Story of my life, ya know?

However, I was busy!  Quilting, no less!  When I was excavating my sewing room recently, I came across a long-buried crate that contained 5 quilt tops that were tagged to be given to a local charity that I like to support, the Bay Area Crisis Nursery.

These tops have been ... ::ahem::  "aging" for quite some time.  I decided that it was time I got them quilted.   This would not only allow the Crisis Nursery to have more quilts to give to their charges, but it would free up a crate in my sewing room!  

The top that I actually DID quilt on National Quilting Day was (.. of course ...) finished rather late at night so that there was absolutely NO decent lighting to take a picture.  Y'all will need to wait until tomorrow (or later) to see that particular quilt.

I have 3 of the tops to share with you right now.  One nice thing about all these child's quilts is that, being so small, they do quilt up VERY fast.  It's certainly instant gratification for me!  :-)

Back in January 2012, I participated in a quilt along, called Oh My Stars! 

I made many more star blocks than I needed for the project quilt, so that I was able to create a bonus baby quilt. 

Because I just wanted to get these tops quilted and not spend a whole lot of time devoted to intricate quilting, I actually used a pantograph for this quilt. 

I usually don't do pantographs very often.  The physical constraints of the layout where I have my Lizzie make for a very cramped area.  It's awkward to work in, so I tend not to want to do pantographs so much. 

 This quilt, and the one after, were created from some very unusual yardage.  Back in 2010, I found fabric that had rows of quilt blocks printed from selvage to selvage, rather like a pre-printed row robin.  It was called "Borders and More".  The intent was that you would cut the rows apart and use them as instant borders for centers that you piece yourself.  It was an intriguing idea, so I bought some yardage (I don't remember how much). 

But as time went by, I realized that I was just never going to use the fabric as it was intended.  Instead, I simply used it as-is. 

For the first quilt, I cut off a chunk of the yardage and quilted it, using the edges of the printed blocks as pseudo-seams.  What you see in the picture to the right is exactly what the yardage looked like, right off the bolt, except that .. trust me ... the quilt in the picture at right really IS quilted!

I did "stitch in the ditch" in all the pseudo-seams.  It really wasn't as difficult as you might think ... there weren't any real seams to be concerned with.  I used black thread, which disappeared into the black background, so if my stitch in the ditch was exactly gnat's eyelash perfect, it really wasn't noticeable.

However, this does mean that you can't really SEE any of the quilting at all from the front!   For this quilt, and the next one, I just wanted to get it quilted and wasn't terribly concerned about fancy stitching.  The printed rows were nifty enough; I felt that overt quilting would be a distraction.



The second quilt made from this yardage had a different treatment: because the leftover yardage wasn't large enough to be a quilt on its own; I needed to stretch it with a very wide border. 

I found enough of the purple fabric in my stash for the border.  Although there is no purple in the print yardage itself, I think the border works surprisingly well.  :-)

As with the first border print quilt, I also did a stitch in the ditch along all the pseudo seams.  I quilted an embellished meander in the purple fabric; a double loop-de-loop.

All of these quilts are small .. about 45" x 60" or so.  They are intended for the younger kids that the Crisis Nursery cares for.

I haven't made webpages for these quilts yet, so I can't *quite* count them as 'done'.  And because there are no webpages, there aren't any up-close, detailed pictures nor any of the typical gory details that I usually provide.  All of *those* items will be on the webpages!  You'll just need to wait.  :-)

The main reason for posting the pictures now was to prove that I am still alive and kicking!

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