posts tagged: sewing

blanket for eleanor!

I cannot even muster up any modesty here. My love for this blanket exceeds well, most anything else I’ve ever made. Isn’t it fabulous? I had a vision, and it came together even better than I had imagined!

The fabrics are all from the Kona Poseidon pack of fat quarters, though I did have to buy more of two fabrics, all bordered by Kona Snow. The binding is another turquoise Kona—I didn’t pay attention to the name when I bought it. Basically, I have no idea what all the colors are, exactly, but they’re all Kona, and the bulk of the colors are from the Poseidon pack. My original idea was to have all the squares made out of the same 3 colors, allowing the changing size configuration to give it graphic punch, but I was able to make good use of just quarters by working out this progression; the effect gives it even more depth, I think. I love it so much that I want another, larger one for myself—and have thought about writing it up as a little pattern, once I tweak and perfect a few hiccups—but picking the fabrics is going to give me agita: how ever will I get the combo right a second time??

Because yes, I gave this one away, to my friend Liz’s daughter. I started the quilt for her before she was born but ran out of fabric/took forever to get more/got distracted by other things, so only finished it up last week, in anticipation of finally meeting the little stinker, who is now 16 months old, this past weekend.

It’s backed in a single panel of corduroy to give it some warmth and softness (though it added a slight challenge in the quilting—definitely needed the walking foot!). I give thanks to the awesome staff at Purl, who immediately had great suggestions when I said I didn’t want to piece the back. The label is embroidered on a small patch of Kona snow. I love it, too, especially because I’ve never had the patience to actually create a successful embroidered label before. I also have my personalized ribbon, which I added to the top corner. The white text is kiiind of not as legible as I’d have liked, but it suffices.

Wavy quilting lines also help to soften the rigid structure of the piecing; it was my first time doing wavy lines. I know they’re not especially difficult or crazy, but I’m taking baby steps with each quilt and my quilting, so this felt like an accomplishment to me! I’ve seen the technique used by many quilters, but I was definitely inspired by Bijou Lovely, and her video helped me feel confident when I tackled it myself. I used three different colors of thread for the quilting just for some variety, especially since the backing was solid. (Those creases are from folding and transporting it to Maryland.)

My experience with little kids is extremely limited, but I learned this weekend that there is nothing cuter than a baby saying “baby?” Eleanor’s reaction upon being told that the blanket was for her was so awesome. “Blanket for baby? Baby?” And then shrieks and grabs and even putting it in her mouth and carrying it around the house. For once, listening to a little toddler cry out “mine!” gave me pangs of pride. So enjoy your blanket Eleanor, made especially for you by Aunt Erin!

meet Bob and his brother, Bob

My three quilting bees are pretty much all wrapped up now (I think one person still has to take her turn!) and I’m finally (finally!) finishing up all my blocks. I started out gangbusters on bee blocks, completing them within the allotted month every time, but then the job and life got a lot more busy, the apartment was rearranged, and I slacked off something awful.

Luckily, my bee partners have been pretty forgiving.

My most recent bee blocks finished were for Chawne, a quilter/knitter/crocheter extraordinaire. This is the second time I’ve made blocks for Chawne, actually. I should blog the others! (I’ll get to it.) This bee we called the “Twitter Bee Solid Six” because we were all keen on making all-solid quilts after our first bee together, the Twitter Bee. Only six of us wanted to participate in this offshoot, so we decided to make it a six-month-long one, giving 2 months for each person.

Bob 1

Chawne asked us to make block-size versions of her quilt pattern, named Bob. (Each of these blocks is 16.5 inches square.)¬†She designed this and wrote it up for Fat Quarterly, but shared the details with us. The smallest squares have a finished measurement of 1-inch square, so precision is key. It was a lot of careful cutting and sewing, and I did a pretty good job I think! Some of those seams don’t line up exactly, I know, but a lot of them do!

Bob 2

The fabrics are shot cottons; Chawne provided something like 30 different colors to each of us! I wonder how she’s going to combine them all…

2011 in fabric!

year-in-fabric

Last year I said that I’d start blogging about my sewing “soon,” but that was clearly a lie, since the only blogging I did about sewing was about my two finished quilts (the wedding present for my cousin and the baby gift for Mixtape). The fact is, 2010 marked the dawn of Minty the Quilter, but in 2011 I really got comfortable with it. And right now, at the end of the year, I’m staring at a long list of quilts in progress. Luckily, I got a new sewing machine for Christmas, which will hopefully make the rest go quickly! My old machine wasn’t broken, but it was about 8 years old, all mechanical, and clearly a starter machine. The new one is still “starter” like, but it’s computerized and just seems more efficient already.

mixtape’s quilt

mixtape-quilt

When you’re trying to pick a name for your unborn child, it’s always recommended to suggest a few “out-there” options. Throw people off the scent of your actual top name choices, you know? But did our friends realize that “Mixtape” was going to stick? It did, so this quilt, designed especially for the baby, has been named in its honor.

i made a quilt!!

my first quilt

Though I’ve neglected to blog much about my recent forays into sewing, I have been sewing a lot in the last year, getting more confident and more skilled with every block. But I’d yet to ever complete an actual quilt, and I knew that until that happened, I wouldn’t have any credence with actual quilters. I was just a “piecer,” not a “quilter.” I changed that in the past week.

That’s right, I made my very first quilt in one week (from first cut to the binding—the planning had occurred ahead of time). Why the rush, you ask? Well, because I’d been scared to start, and then I decided I had to just DO IT, all in time for my cousin’s bridal shower …