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Ha.

Quiet from me these days as it’s family time in New Hampshire (I miss my sewing machine!!) but I found this funny.  Clearly the focus of my blog is QUITE clear!!

Hmmm...

A simple tote

Just whipped up this tote that’s a gift for my sister who I’m off to visit in New Hampshire, where we all grew up.  She lives in Gabon, Africa so we don’t get to catch up in person that frequently and I’m very excited. I offered to make her a bag and she requested a tote.  Here it is!

Bird Tote

It measures about 12″ x 16″.  Hard to go wrong with this amazing Anna Marie Horner Drawing Room fabric!

And the inside, which I always use as an excuse to keep free motion quilting in, oh… every project I make!  I’m on a sewing supplies buying ban so I had to line the bag with scrap quilt batting (I’m all out of interfacing!) so why not quilt it?!?

Bird Tote - Inside

I hope she likes it!

First little glimpse at progress on the commissioned coin quilt.  Just the binding left to go!

Quilting on Coin Quilt

I’m really no expert, but I’ve been asked by some people about the various steps of making a quilt, and as I’m completely self taught (I’ve learned everything from blogs and books!) I thought I’d put all of my favorite tutorials/posts in one place.  I’ve read a lot of blogs about the process of making quilts and to me, with these specific posts, anyone can make a quilt.  I’m proof of it because this is how I learned!

In terms of making the quilt top, to each their own!  That’s where it’s all about taste and design.  The one thing I am not is a perfectionist, so I’m not all about perfect piecing.   I’ve gotten better with practice and this is a great place to read about the details, from cutting to pressing

http://quilting.about.com/od/piecingtechniques/Piecing_Sewing_Methods_for_Quilters.htm

Sizes of different quilts and different adjustments can be found here:

http://www.amishcountrylanes.com/Pages/QuiltSize.shtml

For basting layers of the quilt:

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2007/09/one-way-to-baste-quilt.html

For quilting there is lots to be read but I’m personally a free motion quilter.  I love this discussion on flickr.  It’s filled with lots of specific tips from different quilters.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/quilts/discuss/72157604324619530/

And this post with a video is amazingly helpful!

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/03/free-motion-quilting.html

Once you’ve quilted all that’s left is the binding and this is a great tutorial:

http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/continuous_quiltbinding/index.html

And then your quilt is all done!!  I’ve made many quilts simply by following all of these directions.  I’ve never had another quilter see how I do any of my work so there’s a good chance they would look on in horror at my methods, but in the end, I always end up with a pretty quilt, so I don’t worry myself too much with that!  I have so much fun making my quilts and that’s what matters!

I recently got commissioned to make a full sized version of my gender neutral baby quilt and I just finished the top.  It’s clearly inspired by a stacked coin quilt, but I like wider and fewer columns than you usually see.

Coin Quilt Top

I made some changes on the color scheme in order for it to read a bit more adult than the baby version.  There’s still the same warms (orange & yellow) but I have more blues and greens and also added the chocolate brown – it reads a bit dark in the photo…  The plan is to also bind it in brown.  I really really love brown as a neutral and I think that combined with the bright colors and white sashing/framing, it makes the quilt lively, yet grown up somehow…  I can’t wait to get the back made and then quilt it to see it all come together!!

I got this one all finished up and washed!

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt - Both Sides

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt

What a Bunch of Squares Baby Quilt - Back

Meandering free motion quilting + a quick wash and dry = crinkly goodness!!

What a Bunch of Squares Baby quilt - Detail

It came out much better than I had initially anticipated so I’m really happy about that.  It’s the Denyse Schmidt pattern but I made fewer blocks that measured 15″ square, so it now measures about 45″ x 60″.

What fun it is to make blocks without really worrying about perfectly measuring and cutting.  As long as they were vaguely the right size, and there was variety among them, they were “right”!  Then framed them all in white and I was done with the top!  Quick and easy and FUN!